Photo Courtesy of Netflix and YesTV

Fauda Season 4 is a Bit More Brawn and Less Brains

Fauda Season 4 is both more of the same and a noted departure for the series. Doran (Lior Raz) and the crew are back, and there is so much that they all need to reckon with. This season could have taken the opportunity to step back and thoughtfully consider Israel’s position in the world. Unfortunately, bravado wins out in favor of important critical analysis when looking at complex geopolitical issues. 

There was always going to be a reckoning with the horrifying end of Fauda Season 3. If anything, last season’s ending is proof positive that no one on this team should be making any promises or guarantees. This should just be a general rule for action heroes who run around saving others. Nothing good comes from making promises that are so far out of the promise makers’ hands. Fauda Season 4 continues this theme.

Gabi’s (Itzik Cohen) story is perhaps the most compelling this season. His story starts out strong, with Doran finally calling him out for not always being the best leader and failing to recognize all possible risks. The twists and turns are enthralling. Viewers never know what will become of Gabi. This isn’t played for cheap thrills, however. His absence is felt so acutely by everyone on his team. 

Maya could have had the most interesting story on this latest season. She is an immediately fascinating character. Little moments showing how others treat her, like refusing to speak to her in Hebrew, speak to the fact that she will always be seen as an outsider. It is unfortunate that the show did not delve into this deeper. This could have been a really important dynamic to explore. It also could have shown how global issues can impact everyday people. 

The story would have been better served with more character development for Maya. She could have stood in direct contrast to Dana. They could have represented the range of experiences in Israel today. Instead, the show had these two characters woefully underdeveloped. This is another example of how the show continues to focus on one perspective when looking at the modern State of Israel, with little to no nuance.

Nurit’s (Rona-Lee Shimon) storyline including being pregnant didn’t really come together. It’s certainly possible that were practical issues behind the scenes that prevented Shimon from filming more of the season in which she appeared. Even so, the writing is lazy. It’s not that a Strong Female Character can never get pregnant in the course of a story. The issue is that pregnancy too often grinds any character development to a screeching halt. Nurit deserves a lot better. 

What Fauda Season 4 does surprisingly well is give the characters a brief moment to grieve who has been lost. This series tends to go at such a breakneck pace. The tragic loss of members of the team can sometimes fade into the background as the chaos continues. In an all-too-brief moment, survivors of the squad are allowed a single moment to fully reflect on how the loss of members of their team impacts the survivors in the present. 

The ending is breathtakingly good. The door is left wide open for essentially limitless possibilities with these stories and these characters. The ending is an effective reminder that while these characters may be strong individually and as a group, they aren’t invincible. This vulnerability is frankly a welcome change. Hopefully, this is not the last time the show will explore this dynamic. 

Fauda’s latest season is a mixed bag overall. The highs are phenomenal. The lows are disappointing. At the end of the day, however, the team is in a position to be at a massive turning point. If this series is to continue, each character will have to face a moment of reckoning. Hopefully too, if the series returns, the story will become more nuanced and focus more on other perspectives from inside Israel. There remains so much potential in this story. It remains to be seen whether it can live up to all it can be. 

Fauda is available to stream on Netflix.

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