The fourth season of Netflix’s original series, House of Cards is a true return to form. I was someone not completely sold on season 3. I know that I watched it and did enjoy it but it just didn’t have that spark that the first two seasons had and was quickly forgotten about. I came into season 4 of House of Cards a bit on the cautious side because of that. The fourth season is unique because it can really be broken into two halves. There are some plots that carry throughout but the second half of the season really kicks in with the introduction of Will Conway.
Will Conway is the Republican candidate for President and is presented as the total opposite of Frank Underwood. He’s young, in decent shape, good looking, has children, transparent and to be in a warm relationship with his wife. In fact, the first time we see him, he has sex with her. This is something that’s only been shown once between Frank and Claire Underwood and it seemed to be more sex for solace more than anything else. While it can be argued that Frank and Claire love one another, it is a relationship that only seems to make sense to them.
Conway is presented as a warm candidate who is very open to the public. He constantly has his camera phone in his hand and he constantly take pictures and videos of himself and his loved ones. In fact, in his introductory episode, we frequently see Conway through the lens of either a television or internet lens. During a fundraiser, there is service paid to the fact how many people want to take a selfie with him. This becomes apparent more and more that this is his blessing and curse.
Public persona is one thing but it is shown that behind the scenes, Conway is as ruthless and cunning as he might not present himself to be. He doesn’t seem willing to cross any serious legal laws but will play in gray areas. If called out, he will spin it in a way just like any other politician. His wife is just as willing to go along as he is and it’s clear that they know how to play the game.
Conway and Underwood are rarely face to face with one another but when they do, it is an interesting take. It seems that these are rare moments where they can be honest with one another. It is also shows the similarities between the two. It is shown between the first meeting between the two, one set minutes before the very first episode, Conway reveals that the only reason he joined the military after the September 11th tragedy was because it would good for his political campaign. Also note is how the two men are standing at the meeting, both with their arms crossed. Later, they both bond over a video game and also note their disinterest in the masses. Conway is also the same in how he tramples over others to get where he wants and more or less strong arms others into his agenda.
The more the season goes on, these issues continue to show and how his staged transparency is staged transparency are key signs of his narcissism. Everything that he does is to fuel his ego. The constant pictures and video feeds are all to grab the spotlight. This comes back to bite him but it still doesn’t stop him and his ambition. However this becomes more apparent to his loved ones as well.
How will Will Conway play into season 5 of House of Cards is unknown. The Presidential race is starting to heat up and so it is no doubt that Conway will play a major factor in that. Does Will Conway become more like Frank Underwood and show that he was not as different as he initially presented himself? Does he become more his own man and show the differences between himself and Underwood? It will be an interesting journey to witness.