'House of Cards' Binge-Watching Guide: The Best Way to Consume Season 4

Let the games begin.
 Courtesy of Netflix

[Warning: While this article does not contain spoilers from Season 4, it does contain spoilers from Seasons 1 through 3 of House of Cards.]

House of Cards helped to transform the way people consume TV. Why? Because from the start of the Frank and Claire saga, viewers couldn't stop streaming.

Witnessing Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) toss Zoe Barnes (Kate Mara) in front of a train isn't an episode to pause after; that infamous threesome with Frank, Claire Underwood (Robin Wright) and Meechum (Nathan Darrow) left fans disturbed and yet wanting more. In a show where murder happens as casually as a sneeze and one corrupt politician does whatever it takes to sustain his power, fans can't simply watch one episode and then carry on with the rest of their day. Show creator Beau Willimon has always left fans wanting more — and Season 4 is no exception.

The Netflix political drama introduced the binge-watching phenomenon when it first launched in 2013 and today, fans will once again commit to marathon-watching with the release of the show's entire fourth season.

Picking up right where last season's finale left off, the first episode opens up with President Underwood figuring out how to handle Claire's ultimate betrayal. The drama that House of Cards viewers have come to expect quickly picks up and remains steady throughout the season, highly encouraging fans to once again take on the task of watching the 13 chapters straight through, nonstop, with lots of popcorn — maybe with some company, maybe not.

But for the fans who will be opting against a sleepless weekend, here is the best way to space out watching the season.

Round One: Just Chapter 40.

Watch the premiere, and continue a few hours later or even the next day. There is no need to rush after the first episode. The premiere sets up what fans can expect this season, and serves as a little teaser. Take the taste, before you try to stuff your appetite for wanting more like it's Thanksgiving. 

Round Two: Chapter 41 and 42.

These next two episodes remind you of why you might have fallen in love with the show in the first place. Watch them, go to the gym, grab a snack or run some errands, because in round three, you'll be tied down for three chapters and won't be able to stop. 

Round Three: Chapter 43, 44, 45.

About three hours of the day will need to be dedicated to these three episodes. Fans won't be able to stop — and shouldn't, especially when they witness what hits the floor in chapter 43. 

Round Four: Chapter 46, 47, 48 and 49.

Welcome back. This is the show at its best. The reminder of when it all started. New characters are introduced in chapter 46, and with those new characters comes a plethora of drama, which means non-stop binging. Feel free to finish the season straight through after 46, but the advice here is: It's ok to take a break after chapter 49. 

Round Five: The rest.

All good things come to an end. The final three episodes each stretch out a bit longer than the ones before it, and that's because a lot happens. Watching chapters 50, 51 and 52 straight through will serve as the perfect end to this nearly 13-hour movie.

So, answer the very serious question: Will you be binge-watching? Sound off in the comments to share how you will be watching the unpredictable Frank Underwood and stay tuned to The Live Feed for more House of Cards coverage, including the ones below.

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