If the first episode is any indication, season 4 on "House of Cards" is going to be filled with a ton of fireworks.
HUGE SPOILERS AHEAD
The season picks up where 3 left off. Claire has left Frank and wants to run for office.
There are a ton of new players and some returning ones we haven't seen in a bit. Like Lucas Goodwin, Zoe Barnes' ex, who kicks off the episode in jail and, eventually, rats out his cellmate to cut short the prison sentence he got at the end of season 2 for cyberterrorism. Plans for his character are witness protection, though something tells us that won't stick.
Claire has gone down to her home state of Texas and is staying with her mother, played by Ellen Burstyn, as she attempts to take a soon-to-be-vacant congressional seat. Guess who is retiring and giving this seat up, the legendary Cicely Tyson.
But her character wants that seat for her daughter. The scenes with Burstyn, whose character thinks Frank is "white trash," and Tyson are immediately elevated by the quality of the acting from these two icons.
“Not even being president could give you any class,” Claire's mother tells the president of the United States to his face.
But it's Claire's mother's cancer that unites them, though not in a "we love each other" way; more like "this story could both get us what we want" way.
There's also Neve Campbell. Yes, that Neve Campbell, who plays the head of a serious publicity firm and has signed on to help Claire in her long run to eventually take the house her husband currently occupies.
And, finally, we have Joel Kinnaman taking on the role of Gov. Conway, the front-runner for president on the Republican side. According to Frank, he's a "snot-nosed pretty boy" who just learned how to shave.
Al these additions to the cast infuse a show that, as planned by Netflix, had a slower season last year. If the first episode doesn't get you hooked, nothing will.
A side story has Underwood's press secretary, Seth Grayson, playing for the other side and for the Dunbar campaign. But Underwood and Doug Stamper are too smart for that and quickly turn the tide.
Lots more to come, but this is sure to be one heck of a year. A failing marriage, a run at Congress and attempt to return to the White House, all the while with frenemies lurking everywhere.
Hold on to your seats folks, it's going to be a really bumpy ride.