House of Cards re-introduced itself a little differently than anyone could've predicted. The fourth season didn't begin with Frank or Claire Underwood, Doug Stamper, or even everyone's favorite secret service member Meechum. Spoilers ahead for Episode 1-4: Instead, Season 4 re-introduced everyone to former journalist Lucas Goodwin who was last seen being sentenced to a decade in jail after being framed for cyberterrorism while trying to take down Frank Underwood. Throughout Season 3, it seemed that the show had forgotten about Goodwin, and the many people that tried to uncover Underwood's affairs and murders – But, Goodwin's return threw a huge wrench in the Underwood's plans. But, how did Lucas Goodwin get out of prison in the first place, and can we expect his actions to have consequences?
Lucas seemed pretty desperate to get out of jail, and not just because he wanted to get revenge. In his final scene in Season 2, Lucas is dealing with the realization that the bad guys won, and a viewer could have simply chalked it up as another win for Frank Underwood. However, Lucas neither forgave nor forgot that the president decided to ruin his life and kill his friend. Lucas seemed to be utterly miserable in jail, passing his time by unenthusiastically reciting erotic literature to his cellmate. He got his freedom by using his journalistic skills to his advantage: Getting the truth out of his cellmate and scratching the back of a criminal justice agency, aka informing on his cellmate and the Armenian gang in L.A. to save his own skin.
"I interviewed a lot of murder suspects when I was on the crime beat," Goodwin told his cellmate, Gagik, "I think you're innocent." What began as a seemingly innocuous conversation took a shift when it was discovered that someone else had been listening in. While Goodwin was talking to Gagik, he learned of a larger criminal group that seemed to have a much different kind of power than the type audiences are used to seeing in House of Cards."These guys, they'll skin you alive. Make you watch in a mirror if you do it." Gagik says of the Armenian Power in L.A., specifically "their top guy." In a show as densely packed as House of Cards, sometimes there are details thrown out left and right that seem to fall by the wayside. The Armenian Power doesn't come up much after Goodwin relayed Gagik's info to those working on the Armenian case and got out of prison. But, should Lucas be scared of the Armenian Power, even though he's placed in Witness Protection?
It seemed that upon being released, the Armenian Power was the last thing on Goodwin's mind, as he immediately started plotting his revenge against Underwood, who was — at that point — far more powerful than any small-time criminal syndicate, no matter how threatening they purported to be. House of Cards is very good at dropping small details that don't come back up until later in the series — for example, expect Joel Kinnaman's character who makes a brief appearance in the pilot to come back in a big way later on — but Lucas' prison deal really had nothing to do with the Armenian Power and everything to do with Frank Underwood. Unfortunately, in the mental state Lucas was in, the biggest threat to Lucas well-being seemed to be Lucas himself.
Image: Nathaniel E. Bell/Netflix