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The Regime: Episode 4 Review

In episode 4, The Regime starts to get a lot more interesting, with what may very well be the best episode of the season yet.

Its political relevancy has always been one of the biggest strengths of The Regime and episode 4 is no different in this sense. The way the show’s storylines seem to take a page out of the current news is consistently impressive with every single new episode that comes out. In this week’s episode, The Regime delivers its best episode yet with bigger stakes and far more interesting plotlines that will hopefully pay off in the remaining episodes of the show.

Episode 4 of The Regime is set a whole four months after last week’s episode. The country is suffering the severe sanctions imposed by the West, as a consequence of the Faban corridor invasion that viewers saw in previous episodes. In this complicated political moment, Chancellor Elena Vernham (Kate Winslet) seems determined to ignore every issue, relying on the new relations with China to keep the economy going. At the same time, the threats around her become more and more real as her left-wing political opponent Edward Keplinger (Hugh Grant) gets closer to Elena’s now disgraced advisor Herbert Zubak (Matthias Schoenaerts) and foreign enemies approach her right-hand woman Agnes (Andrea Riseborough).

In episode 4, the propaganda element of Elena’s government is particularly interesting to see. This is something that was touched upon in the previous episodes of The Regime too, but in episode 4 it is now more evident than ever. As the story goes on, the audience gets to see how Elena, and her entire authoritarian government, keep such strict control over its citizens. The media is such an integral part of this episode as we see Elena’s constant addresses to the nation over the radio, which are mandatory for the citizens to hear, and the way television and news spin the facts and narrative of the events as they are happening.

Kate Winslet is in a golden bathtub in season 1 episode 4 of THE REGIME
in season 1 episode 4 of The Regime (Miya Mizuno/HBO)

I also really liked how we finally have the bigger picture in episode 4. For the entire first half of The Regime, I felt like there were no real stakes or opposition to Elena’s authority in the country, but this finally changed in this week’s episode. Keplinger’s name has been mentioned so often in the past few episodes that it is a relief to finally see him enter the show as a character that can pose a significant threat to the current government in place, but only has two episodes left to do so. Similarly, the United States also have a much more significant presence in this episode, as they seem to test the loyalties of Elena’s inner circle.

However, the stakes are still not as high as I would have hoped. Hugh Grant and Kate Winslet are both at the top of their game during their scenes together, but the opposition between them is not properly conveyed in the storytelling. This is because most of their conflict is not something that the audience is familiar with or has seen at all. The entire political situation seems too complex and abstract for the audience to understand, mainly because we actually never see any of it, despite constantly being told about it by various characters during the entirety of The Regime.

The biggest issue of The Regime remains the same as in previous episodes: its extreme focus on Elena and life at the palace. During episode 4, Elena’s husband reminds her of how she has not left her palace at all recently, and neither has the audience. The HBO show tells us of a country plagued by famine and extreme poverty but we barely get to see any of it for ourselves. Admittedly, we do finally see some of the citizens of this unnamed country at last in this week’s episode but they are not thoroughly developed – they don’t even have given names after all – nor important for the overall storyline.

This week’s episode was probably my favourite yet as the web of lies and conspiracy around Elena starts getting more intriguing and potentially dangerous. Episode 4 finally brought the series to a new level, but is it a little too late for this now that we are well past the mid-point season in the show? We will just have to wait and see how the rest of The Regime goes in the coming weeks to see what happens in the future: at least, from this week’s episode it looks a lot more promising than it did before.

Episode 4 of The Regime are now available to watch on Max. Stream all available episodes of The Regime and read our review of Episode 5 of The Regime!

The Regime: Episode 5 Review – Loud And Clear Reviews
Heading towards its season finale, The Regime heightens its stakes more than ever in episode 5. But does it really work? Read the review.
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