A Sashurai’s Review: Game of Thrones – Season 5×07 (The Mormont who became a gladiator)

GOT 5x07

Every aftermath is positioned carefully so that the most ill-fated characters have some semblance of hope. Yet such courtesies are snatched away again and again for some, and hope turns to confusion and even desperation for others. Tonight’s episode of GOT provides enough sullen waves yet its second half proved more lenient and even gave us a morsel of comeuppance for the so-called queen of the seven kingdoms. From here to the end, there won’t be a fan not glued to their seat to view what comes next.

If the pattern had continued, I would have been hard-pressed to write an objective viewpoint regarding certain villainous and cowardice characters. The straw that almost broke the dragon’s back was Sam’s abhorrent beating at the hands of his own brothers of the wall. Sometimes the wicked thrive because the pores of the earth seep darkness through and through. Luckily an old friend cameo’d and since then the tempo was most deservedly upbeat and even bashfully supportive as a pair of characters are unkindly reunited.

In the north, Sansa is betrayed by Theon when she pleads for him to send her allies a signal. Jon departs with Tormund to find the remaining wildlings beyond the wall. Melisandre tries to convince Stannis to sacrifice his daughter to guarantee victory over the Boltons, and Ghost helps Sam stop a pair of night’s watchmen from taking Gilly for themselves. In Dorne, Jaime unsuccessfully tries to convince Myrcella to leave while Bronn suffers near death at the hands of the sand sisters. Jorah and Tyrion are purchased for the pit fights and Daenerys attends a small event. Jorah see her and rushes into the fight defeating everyone and revealing himself to her. Tyrion emerges by his side as his gift to her. In King’s landing, Littlefinger converses with Olenna which eventually leads to the high sparrow arresting Cersei after Lancel previously confessed his actions with her.

If I haven’t wrote it a few times before, I have to once more punch the keyboard about Theon. He is less of a case of Stockholm syndrome and more of a trial of absurdity in this series. Even from a written standpoint, characters like the Hound, Davos, Yara, and even Lancel at this point deserve more screen time than this fop of a let down. His absolute last moment of choice was when his sister went to break him out. Now we’re utterly forced to endure his broken down and tattered being again and again crumbling to the might of Ramsey. There’s overselling a villain’s stature and then there’s Ramsey Snow. Sansa’s only beacon of hope is Brienne who’s waiting for some kind of sign to ride in and take her away. If there’s a pay off here, it needs to happen. Theon is a joke and now Sansa knows it. Whatever happens next, she needs to be careful because she swiped that tool and she might try and do something with it and of course she won’t succeed because writer’s rub their hands together and cackle when they dangle hope like that in front of a specific fan base. Okay, moving on.

Aemon’s death and Sam and Gilly’s coupling all happened on a boat that was meant to send them way south, but that’s no longer happening at least not in season 5. For the most part that’s okay considering Ghost got to make an appearance and wouldn’t have if Sam wasn’t around. I just hope Ghost doesn’t suffer at the hands of vindictive men. Not to mention, why isn’t Ghost at Jon’s side in all this? He really has the freedom to go where he likes. Sam’s heroic nature is also stumped by the fact that he was reminded his allies are growing short. He and Gilly need to leave and leave fast.

Much of the only real highlight came from Jorah’s one-side victory over the pit fighters on his path to reuniting with Dany. What was strangely observant was Dany’s face when masked Jorah beat those men up. Unless she recognized his fighting prowess, she really shouldn’t have been impressed nor interested in one man’s gallant stomping of fellow fighters. Yet, when he revealed himself, she showed nothing but contempt. And then, there was Tyrion, once more saving his comrade and now we have the fated meeting between Targaryen and Lannister. Something the books never dabbled in because we’re simply not there yet. This is an exciting moment. Although, we can’t expect Tyrion to be propped beside the queen just like that, no there’s going to be a lot of haggling on Tyrion’s end just to keep his head attached. Still, this is uncharted territory and that’s a good thing.

Not much to say about Jaime and Bronn except that Bronn was easily being toyed with by the sisters. a scene like this was interesting because it shows at least one of the sisters isn’t completely heartless although holding that kind of power over a man could very well be the nature of their personalities, or at least one of them. They’re not to be trifled with and now Bronn understands that.

The climactic moment came in the form of situational irony. Whether Cersei had all of her own hand in the making really doesn’t matter. What matters is she’s now in the same boat as Margaery which makes the next few episodes very tricky for mother and queen. Cersei can’t order herself out of this and what’s more, everyone is technically guilty. What happens to the guilty in the eyes of the high sparrow and six other judges. Tommen will be a mess once he finds out his mother is locked up along with his wife. Things are getting interesting, but it was a sweet moment to finally see something happen to Cersei after 57 episodes. That’s a long wait, but so far, worth it.

FAVORITE MOMENT

Tyrion and Dany looking at each other. I would have picked Cersei in a cell, but I already read that and Tyrion has yet to meet Dany in the books. So for me, this was an epic moment to relish. Dany is smart, but Tyrion is impressively gifted in wit, so this will make for an interesting pairing. Where does that leave Jorah though? Hopefully in a better spot considering his greyscale is probably getting worse as we speak.

CHARACTER MVP

Sam gets the top spot this week. He took his lumps, stood up and was ready to face even more at the hands of protecting the woman he cared for. He’s proving to be more confident and hard-spoken even though he can’t quite match his wit with his ability to fight. Right now that doesn’t matter, Gilly recognized the heroism and thanked him in her own way. Hopefully this isn’t the highlight of Sam’s trek through this season with the foreboding that it all goes downhill from here. He shouldn’t suffer such a fate, not for lasting this long.

ENDING THOUGHTS

Sansa’s now suffered several nights of sexual abuse. This is truly a living hell for her considering it’s in her kingdom and there’s no one to help her. One thought that came to me was when Ramsey revealed to her that Jon was the Lord Commander of the night’s watch. What if she tries to send a message to him? Granted it’ll probably never work and even if it did he wouldn’t be there to receive it. But still, if he did, what would a half-brother do so close to home?

Bronn’s also in a tight spot considering he’s locked in a cell while Jaime is just in a room. Oddly enough I can see some kind of kinship with him and the sand sisters and who knows, maybe they could just buy his allegiance, but I know that’s not in their nature. Still, it’s hard to know what lies in store for the sellsword.

Rest is peace Aemon, you outlived practically everyone in around four generations.

I honestly don’t know what Stannis is prepared to do now that Melisandre has put this sacrifice in front of him. It’s sinister but he’s trying very hard to be a victorious king. Now comes a real interesting test for him.

OVERALL SCORE

7 out of 10. There were ill moments as I stated earlier. the kind that treat as though the world isn’t allowed to feel good about itself. And for much of the plot, it seemed like this would be a 100% dismal episode which never resonate well except to crush the plastic cups under aggravation at the water cooler. Though, things did pick up and some sense of balance came through with Tyrion meeting Dany and Cersei being arrested. Those are cliffhanger moments and shouldn’t be the centric of what made the episode good or bad. Sam dealt with proving himself and protecting Gilly and Brienne is biding her time until she comes to Sansa’s rescue. The north is preparing for war and what’s strange is all of the main characters are not in the picture, at least not directly. With three episodes left, it’s time to wait and see if the penultimate is our war episode. And the battle between queens in jail has begun in King’s Landing. Good luck.

No more words

A Sashurai’s Review: Supernatural – Season 10×23 (I am become Darkness, eater of Death)

SN 10x23

Symmetry is a powerful tool when relating opposite events and in cases like these, the potential armageddon or apocalypse. Back in season 5, It was Sam, under the control of Lucifer who pounded and beat Dean, the last person that could stave the end of the world. Now, in season 10, it is Dean who is beating Sam in the effort to save the world from ending, yet the emotions play out in similar fashion. Under brilliant moments, the tale as a whole has the weight, but the sheer speed it took us to get to this season’s cliffhanger sacrificed some of the necessary impact on the second half by bloating the first half with a rather redundant plot.

What stylistically worked was the rigid and crumbling personality of Dean throughout the start of the episode. His hungover awakening sold the status of his decaying mold, yet later on he’s relatively calm as a cucumber except when it came to having any feelings toward anyone at all. While I don’t feel this was an accurate picture of the mark of Cain mythos, he was fairly consistent with the attitude he was showing and even if it weren’t for the mark, Dean would probably say a few of the same things in regards to the vampire murder. As a whole, there were times I applauded the depth of field certain characters showed including a very frustrated Sam, but the shocker moments and overall reveal of the next big evil fell very flat in my view.

After Dean recovers from solitude and drinking, he attempts to solve a vampire murder case that also involves a kidnapping. Sam renegotiates with Rowena and has Castiel fend for the unique ingredients needed to remove the mark from Dean. Castiel engages Crowley for help and he uncharacteristically agrees when he learns the third ingredient is someone the spell castor loves. Crowley finds and brings Oscar, an immortal who’s family once helped and cared for Rowena hundreds of years ago. After the unfortunate death of a fellow hunter, Dean saves the kidnapped girl but decides he’s finished with the mark’s hold. He summons Death and wants to be killed, but Death explains that Dean can’t die and the mark is a lock keeping an ancient primordial evil called “The Darkness” at bay. Realizing what’s at stake, he calls Sam and the two meet. Dean reveals that he intends to live forever in solitude with the mark but has to kill Sam because his brother will never stop at getting rid of the mark. The two fight and Sam finally gives in, giving Dean his family pictures to remember and hopefully return to good someday. Dean, unable to kill Sam, slews Death with the reaper’s scythe and seemingly kills Death. Meanwhile, Rowena completes the spell even after sacrificing Oscar the immortal she loved. The spell works and Dean’s mark is removed. Rowena then departs with the book and codecs as she casts a spell that puts Castiel in a murderous frenzy as he tries to eliminate Crowley. In the final scene, spears of light strike around Sam and Dean’s location and furious pillars of smoke emerge all converging into a huge wave of smoke that engulfs the Impala with Sam and Dean in it.

I’ll have to pepper the good with the bad in this episode as it felt far from perfect, but had very much the potential to be exceedingly epic. Dean’s spiral started off great, but then it reverted back into sarcastic careless Dean who resembled more of his demon visage than that of a hungry killer. There seemed to be some inconsistency with the demon aspect and being immortal as Death told Dean he couldn’t die. From my perspective earlier on, it was established that if Dean died he’d revert to demon Dean again, or possibly that was the perception but only Death knew the absolute truth. In any case, Dean was mostly in control of his persona but lacked the empathy to save Rudy which was one of his tipping points in summoning Death.

And then there was Death. In the grand scheme of pure awesome characters, Death was the pinnacle of suave and sincere. Yet, in his final scenes, this was a very different Death as he spoke of a war that predated the physical universe. He had urgency in his mannerisms and in the end, he handed Dean the one weapon that could effectively kill him. And Dean slew Death, reaper of souls. This just doesn’t add up in any real way. I get the idea that Death’s weapon can kill him, but it was literally brought on screen two minutes before it was used, so the impact there was barely resonating. Not to mention, actually killing Death was positively the worst thing to do. If it weren’t for Death saying he could kill Sam if Dean didn’t, I doubt Dean would have specifically cut into Death. Now they have nobody to explain what The Darkness is and what it will manifest into, even though it’s fairly obvious they are the primordial demons before humans became them. I don’t want to believe that this was Death’s final episode, but I get that they need to sell the validity of these new villains, yet why take out Death in this matter. In his first episode he had a presence that told the watcher, he was forever and beyond the realm of Earth and God. Now he gets eliminated as easy as this? And what’s the repercussion of losing Death to Death? It just felt entirely too off.

Rowena did her best to sell the idea that she loved the child that grew into Seth/Oscar but it was very difficult to buy into. If anything, it seemed like she was faking the emotion just to throw Crowley off, yet she did the deed and performed the spell as intended. Which also begged the question, did she immediately do another spell to free herself and why didn’t she just do that to begin with? She might have even been able to save Oscar with other potent spells now that she’s rooted in the book’s power. The good news is she’s still around to be a threat and it’s the smart move to have her continue on the show. Crowley was also rather indifferent after his revelation from Sam’s inability to kill him. This didn’t feel like the Crowley that was ready to revel in the demonic role he was born for. Instead Crowley played the docile sarcastic wit he’s always been and not a darker shade of himself from evil’s past.

It was almost comical that they introduced a hunter we barely heard about then killed him like that would in some way matter as much or more than Charlie’s death. What would have had more impact was if that was Garth on the receiving end, but since Garth is happy as a werewolf, that wouldn’t have translated as well here. The vampire subplot really did take precious time away from the finale at hand, and I would have easily traded those minutes for more screen time with Death or an extra few dozen punches from Dean to Sam just to sell the importance of the scene like they did in season 05.

And finally, there’s The Darkness itself. I read Top Cow’s “The Darkness” so it’s very amusing to see this entity(s) get introduced with the same basic background and lineage. While I’m interested in the shape these Darklings will be taking, I also feel this came dangerously close repeating the start of season 7 when the Leviathans were introduced. It borders on paralleling so much in fact that I’m just hoping The Darkness characters don’t wear suits and work on fattening humanity up to eat them. If The Darkness was a powerful force that the archangels couldn’t really stop, they should be able to make Earth a pin cushion in no time. Too bad there are no archangels left. If only Gabriel’s cameo was really him before.

FAVORITE MOMENT

Everything with Death up until that strange kill scene. Though off, he still had the presence he’s known for. His love of certain foods followed him which is an endearing trait, but most of all, he was the oldest character retelling events that essentially shaped time and space itself. Any character that gets to reminisce on such things has to command the screen when they’re there, and he did so brilliantly, even if it did kind of shadow the aspect of the Death persona into a character that actually cared that something beyond Death was locked away for fear of what they would unleash in the universe.

CHARACTER MVP

Go Sam Winchester. He showed some heart tonight and delivered a clutch performance from beginning to end. His snippet with training a gun on Rowena was somewhat lackluster, but his performance outside of that was golden all around. His words to Dean were nearly as poetic and striking as Dean’s were to Sam when Lucifer nearly beat him to death. There were interesting similarities, but each brother fell to an object that brought them back to reality.

ENDING THOUGHTS

Thank you very much for keeping Metatron out of the finale. That’s one expectation I had and they followed through with it. Now his access to a demon tablet could be handy especially if it relates anything to The Darkness.

I’m certain Death would have been just as happy with Chicago style pizza. And too bad the scythe wasn’t left behind. That would have been handy against The Darkness. And I don’t believe for a second that Death is truly gone.

The Darkness smoke could have been more layered in otherworldly effects unless the goal was to showcase them as similar to demon smoke as possible. Could that mean they have the same limitations on Earth as demons do?

Nice little throw there with “Seth” as Oscar’s alias. It had no bearing on the mark of Cain, but there were some quick nods to the lore and that’s always cool to see.

Nice try but the last scene with bloody-eyed Castiel about to kill Crowley isn’t even close to believable. Neither character will expire, but whether Castiel’s condition is long-term or not remains to be seen. I’m sure he’ll be right as rain by the premiere.

OVERALL SCORE

8 out of 10. Very solid work by the brothers and Death. Rowena and Crowley were great supporting characters and the cliffhanger did stir up the franchise by introducing the literal beings that transcended the light. Seeing them in human form will probably not be as impressive. The main plot was engaging aside from the vampire segments. I nitpick that the intro should have had the normal start to Kansas’s beloved Carry on My Wayward Son,” but the sentiment was just as well received. Season 11 will carry forth the next chapter to Sam and Dean as two humans who now must battle the literal first beings of evil. This could force some interesting groups of allies especially if the Earth crumbles around them. Until next season, thank you for reading.

No more words

A Sashurai’s Review: Game of Thrones – Season 5×06 (There’s always death at a wedding)

Thrones 5x06

Virtue is cast aside to make room for more sinister agendas as the lone daughter of Stark becomes wife to House Bolton, and with it, a new sense of terror. This week’s episode of GOT delivers more uneasiness as nearly every showcased character gets rattled and captured in the snares of their rivals, save for the girl who wishes to become no one, but for now will become someone else.

Like Theon, this was a hard episode to watch and keep a positive outlook that good things will happen to those who seize the moment. In fact, it’s rather likely the only one’s who will prevail to some high degree by season’s end will be the ones who truly master the game and put forth devious effort and unrelenting conviction. “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken” reminds us that no one is trustworthy, not for second in this wicked world. People will be used and manipulated just like they always are and in the end, becoming stone is the only way to endure it. Tonight’s fractured tale was one of multiple cliffhangers conjured forth to make the second half of this season a captivating one. While there was little to feel at ease with, the sensation of dread is ever growing.

Arya discovers that the bodies she cleans are stored and their faces used to change the faceless men. In Dorne, Jamie and Bronn are ambushed by the sand sisters just as they find Myrcella. All are captured however by Doran Martell’s guards, including Ellaria. Jorah and Tyrion get to know more about one another when they are captured by slavers at a shore. Tyrion convinces the leader (Mr. Eko!) not to kill him and to let Jorah take part in the pit games. In King’s Landing, Olenna Tyrell arrives to help Margaery, but due to evidence against Loras and his sexual acts, he and Margaery are taken into custody by the High Sparrow with Cersei ever the puppeteer. Littlefinger speaks with Cersei and offers to take over the north after Stannis and the Bolton’s battle. Cersei agrees to make him warden of the north as long as he brings her the head of Sansa Stark. At Winterfell, Sansa and Ramsey are wed. At night, Ramsey keeps Theon in his bedchamber to watch as Ramsey forcibly takes Sansa on their wedding night.

Sometimes the number of times you can count certain characters having good moments never exceed the amount of fingers you have on one hand. Ramsey has officially taken the place of Joffrey as the king of sadistic men. Not only does he reveal his nature to Sansa so suddenly but he continues to punish Theon in obscene ways. This trio will be going through a lot of trauma although Ramsey won’t be suffering from any of it unless Miranda, Theon, or Sansa take some kind of stand against him. But that’s not likely to happen because GOT plots don’t utilize conventional plot mechanics. Theon may have been crying but he’s absolutely broken to do anything about it. Unless there are plans to turn him around, they should seriously just kill him and be done with it. Now Sansa knows what kind of person Ramsey is and the worst of it is she’s alone, for now. We as the audience know that Littlefinger is all but offering Sansa on a silver platter all for the art of playing sides against one another and being the one to be ontop. His game is the most dangerous, but is he really planning on using Sansa so carelessly, or does he have something else going on? Sansa has hidden allies, and she’ll be calling on them soon I imagine. If she’s the one to put a dagger in Ramsey, after all she’s done, it will be a good day.

Arya is learning little by little the difference between true stories and the lies that come with becoming no one. The remarkable thing about her character is she’ll always be safe while she trains. I have no doubts of her training and in the end, she’ll be that much stronger having sustained her new lifestyle. Whether she can truly let go of herself remains to be seen.

Bronn and Jaime both surviving their capture I thought was a bit odd. And neither them nor the three sand sisters were gravely wounded which means all five fighters are that good at what they do. That day, nobody died in Dorne. How many times can that be said? No doubt Doran can’t just kill Jaime, but he’ll have to play it safe if he’s to keep down a possible civil war in his own lands.

Margaery and Loras are also in hot water no thanks to Cersei, who is so busy playing the game that she can’t see past her own rival. Olenna will have to jump into this somehow and I imagine Cersei’s acts with Jaime will undoubtedly make their way to the High Sparrow. Since it was Littlefinger who made the off-handed comment, maybe he’ll be the one to help Olenna. But then, that wouldn’t put him in any position accept seizing some alliance with the Tyrells. There’s a lot of back and forth coming up I’m certain. Cersei can’t win every single round, that’d be boring.

FAVORITE MOMENT

Arya’s discovery of the faces. It was a magnificent set piece with an immense musical number behind it. On her path toward this new state of being, she’s finally unlocked an important segment that will continue to draw her in. After all she’s been through, things are starting to pay off and that was more or less the only “good” moment to come out of this episode in retrospect.

CHARACTER MVP

I’m giving it to Sansa. She really did try to put on a strong face when Miranda tried to frighten her with Ramsey’s past relationships. But in her current state, she really has no control. Still, she won’t become broken like Theon is, and that alone should be a reminder what not to turn into. She’s learned only a small bit from Littlefinger, but against Ramsey, she’ll have to become something so much more. And the symbolism with her dark hair being washed away is not lost on me. She’ll call on her allies, it’s her only ace she has left.

ENDING THOUGHTS

With a crisis temporarily averted, I can’t imagine Doran executing any of his own people including Ellaria, but how Jaime and Bronn will make it out of Dorne alive, I have no idea.

Olenna won’t waste time. Since she’s the only one who has any modicum of power to react to Cersei, she’ll need to undo what’s happened fast or share some similar fate with all the Tyrells. Question is, who would help her against the “real” queen?

I wonder if Jorah’s greyscale will be some kind of sympathy move with Danaerys. Not that he’d use it persay, but if he were in trouble of that nature, could it in fact be a way for her to forgive him? Or is that just not in the cards and he’ll likely just die ten feet outside the gate because this show is known to do dastardly things like that?

The scene with Ramsey and Sansa was originally supposed to be with Jeyne Pool (I think) as a stand in. Why they decided to do away with this plot and actually use Sansa as the victim is beyond me. I guess in the grand scheme of facial recognition, and Theon’s broken mind, there’s no way he’d let someone else be called Sansa in her place.

The five-way fight scene honestly felt sloppy, and the only reason it felt sloppy was because no one was supposed to die in that scene. Cool moves were had, but at no point was there a fear that any of the those five would be mortally wounded. The Sand sisters are new and they wouldn’t kill one or two off that fast. Maybe coming up, but not tonight.

OVERALL SCORE

7 out 10. There was a lot more dismal occurrences than I would have anticipated. The end was certainly shocking if not for the sake of watching a beloved character suffer the rampant acts of a psychopath who technically owns her now. This was very much a set-up episode and the hope is the seventh episode will be the pay-off. Arya’s continued growth was the most well-received scenes and the rest were quite frankly, a disjointed band of evil marionettes having their way with the decent characters of this show. Arguments can be made for who’s decent nowadays, but I stick to my sentiments. Until next week. Thank you for reading.

No more words

A Sashurai’s Review: The Vampire Diaries – Season 6×22 (Goodbyes are the hardest form of…wait, what the hell happened to Mystic Falls?)

TVD-06-22

The constitution of this show is that of youthful love, vampiric devotion, and an exquisite obsession with violent neck-snappings. To end season six and bring to light a new beginning meant taking out its front runner and heart of the show, Elena Gilbert. What will this new change mean for season seven? Well, if you stuck to the end, you have a taste of destructive things to come.

As robust and fast as it was, TVD managed to set an easy pace to follow while making this one of the more bloody episodes in recent memory. It’s format stuck with a villain trying to rectify all wrongdoings caused onto him the first half, and a lamenting goodbye between close friends the second. Some small twists and turns, most telegraphed, but one or two that stuck out as clever. And the bookend took a dark turn revealing a future that spells certain chaos for Mystic Falls while two familiar residents watch on. Hands down, one of the better final scenes to end a season for this show that I’ve seen thus far.

After killing Jo and wounding everyone at the wedding, Kai stabs himself to eliminate everyone in the Gemini coven. Unable to heal Elena, Damon takes her to a hospital while Liv forces Tyler to end her life to save his own by activating the wolf gene. Enzo takes Stefan and Caroline to Lily who is frantically searching for her witch-vampire group who Kai had told her he brought back. Unable to find them, Stefan and Caroline return to town. Kai awakens as a vampire having fed on Lily’s blood but is attacked by Tyler who had been reverting into werewolf form. Kai and Bonnie eventually confront each other when Kai siphons the magic from his wolf bite to heal. He then explains that Elena and Bonnie are linked and Elena won’t wake up until Bonnie is dead. With no way to undo the spell, Bonnie is at Kai’s mercy until Damon arrives and kills Kai. Afterward, Elena is placed in a coffin and hidden for safe keeping against any vampires who want to drink from her and return human. All the major characters including a cameo by Jeremy telepathically say goodbye to Elena with Damon the last. Enzo and Lily discover that the witch-vampire group are nearby and she reunites with them. In the final scene, at least a year has passed and Mystic Falls has fallen victim to destruction as Matt drives through town in a cop car. Damon is seen standing on top of the clock tower gazing down at the destruction below him.

As far as send off’s go, Elena’s was done with the care and consideration needed to do it right. She remained positive and motivational to all her friends while staying hopeful that she and Damon will reunite again, possibly 60 years. The means in which she’s taken out of the show was thoughtfully done and it leaves a lot of possibilities if Nina comes back for cameos or a full blown return. I imagine the show will survive without her, because supporting characters can learn a lot and grow on their own. And to be quite fair, the Salvatore’s are the pillars of TVD and they are carrying the most weight now, which is fine. They can handle this new take on the show.

I found Kai’s end to be very fitting and glad Damon utilized a bit of subterfuge to get the kill. It doesn’t matter if it was a raging fight, Damon didn’t have time to be that kind of macho vamp. At this point, how Kai made it back from that prison doesn’t matter and the small video segment that covered that loose end was nice but in a way I felt it was just thrown in just so we would be sold that it was possible. Still, murdering Jo and Liv as well as the Gemini coven was a brutal way to end that line. I wonder if the witches in TO will be aware of this at all. With Davina in charge of the main nine I don’t know if that includes the Gemini’s or if there are a lot more groups out there.

Elena’s goodbyes bounced back and forth until they were fully fleshed out by the end. Each character’s tears were heartfelt and meaningful. I especially liked Matt’s interaction with Elena mainly because of how she viewed him and what he brought to their friendship. I felt Stefan’s was a little flat, but I get why it was toned down. To spend three-ish seasons building of their love and then switching gears to Damon meant what Stefan went through just wasn’t the all encompassing love that the show originally made it out to be. He finally admitted to Caroline what his relationship to Elena meant to him and tries to move forward with Caroline showing patience and sincerity, which I felt were stronger scenes with him than his goodbye with Elena. Damon’s goodbye was of course the pinnacle of their moments and the dance defined their passion and love as they spoke of love and twirls.

The end leaves a lot of speculation which is always great for a show to do. Changes coming is a good thing and it’s easily deciphered as a metaphor showcasing that the show will be a mess without Elena. But how big a mess are we talking about? Is the destruction specific to the witch-vampire group, or is Damon somehow responsible? He wasn’t smiling, sure, but if he was powerless to stop the town from falling, why is gazing at such a ruinous state? This also leaves questions about the start of season 7. Will we get to live through that year of destruction or pick up exactly where the final scene ended and backtrack through various flashbacks? Either way, it sounds like a fun concept to explore.

FAVORITE MOMENT

When Damon head-faked Bonnie and then killed Kai. It was classic Damon and though fans shouldn’t be fooled by his apparent nature to preserve his own happiness, it was a nice gesture that genuinely fooled Bonnie, because, he can still do that to her. Plus, Kai’s decapitation was well deserved. Though they never explained how he returned to such an evil mood, it doesn’t matter, he wrapped up his own loose ends with the coven and died for the effort. No more, no less.

CHARACTER MVP

Tough one, but Elena really should get the credit since it’s her last appearance and every scene she was in was meant to push her friends and loved ones into better directions, offering hope and lasting guidance which shows how much she cares and wants everyone to move on, live, and be happy. Elena always had a good heart and went in the direction that heart made her go, and in her last segments it was the same. She made everyone cry, and that’s what main characters do.

ENDING THOUGHTS

Even though I said a lot of bad things about Liv and Tyler’s relationship, that last scene was rough but understandable. I didn’t like that Tyler gave in and killed Liv, but I get why he had to. Does this mean he’ll stick around town or actually leave and go somewhere else like…say New Orleans, again? He’s still a hard character to put anywhere on TVD lately. Maybe he’ll find a new calling next season.

I know a coffin is sweet and personable for Elena, but asleep doesn’t mean dead, that lady has to breathe, doesn’t she?

Jo didn’t get a funeral scene likely due to time. Elena tried to help put Alaric on a better path, but considering that he put a gun to his head, I can’t imagine he’ll be in a good place at all next season, knowing he lost a wife and two kids in the span of thirty seconds. Something like that could ruin a life forever.

So, am I to believe Enzo and Lily both have daylight rings now? Has this ever been addressed since Lily arrived in the present? It was just odd seeing them in the day light.

Lily mentioned Valerie and Malcolm, two of her loyal witch-vamps. I ponder if they will be the two who lead them and be our season’s main villains. Kudos with keeping them out of the plot until now. I wanted them to be season 7 antagonists and it looks like that’s the direction they’ll take. How long they’ll be on the show remains to be seen.

I also want to point out one small thing that occurred with both brothers. In the dream, Elena tells Damon to go live life and be happy, while Stefan tells Caroline that he’ll wait till she’s ready to be with him. I don’t know why but both of those short segments are very emotionally taxing to both Damon and Caroline and they don’t even realize it yet. On Damon’s side, Elena is basically saying “Go be happy, live life” which is great on paper, but that’s now how Damon works. His happiness is directly tied to the love he’s able to share and feel. Without that, he’s essentially a sarcastic husk. If Elena expected him to move on, she should have added the “Be happy with someone” line, but because they’re so enthralled with each other that just wouldn’t work either. On Stefan’s side, I know there’s love to be had there, but isn’t it a bit presumptuous that when Caroline “is” ready that Stefan will be the one she’ll cling to? I almost don’t want to see them together now because once more it’s a foregone conclusion, but Stefan practically declared that they will be a couple again. That can be romantic…or controlling, however one chooses to look at it, but I just felt like pointing those two bits out.

OVERALL SCORE

8 out of 10. Finale’s can be tricky to compile action and resolution into one episode. For the most part, I felt this finale was well done for the time given. Some small scenes didn’t flow as well like anything with Lily and Enzo in it and Tyler’s transition back to wolf was awkward at best. Everything with Elena and Damon’s kill of Kai were the best parts of the show and of course the ending that should hopefully be talked about all summer long. I’d like to see some joint episodes with The Originals next season, but it doesn’t look like that’s in the cards, unless they surprise me. Overall, it was a classy end to the series’s more endearing and enduring character. Elena will of course be missed. She was strong, capable, and had a lot of tears to shed, but through it, she found true love, twice, and grew through vampire and human lives. That’s a lot for a youthful character and hopefully she’ll make some appearance in the future. Thank you for reading.

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A Sashurai’s Review: Supernatural – Season 10×22 (The Dean we need to wreck shop has arrived)

SN 2x22

Demons sometimes need a bit of fine tuning before they can come out just right. The basics have come back to a revenge-hungry Dean as he mows through the Styne family to annihilate the one who murdered Charlie. And just when things are looking their worst for Sam, they get even more difficult to deal with as his efforts to kill Crowley are in vain leaving the king of hell newly rejuvenated in his evil ways.

What started off as a play at sympathy toward the youngest of the Styne family became a blood bath that took too long to get to, from a seasonal perspective. Dean’s whirlwind of death finally spun up to give the audience a show of chaos and carnage befitting a wearer of the mark of Cain. All of Dean’s scenes were feverish but necessary to finally tell the story on his decline in human kindness. I’m less impressed with Sam’s half of the plot as he fails to take down the familiar devil with a piece of humanity stuck between his teeth. It’s since been dislodged thanks to Sam and frankly I’m perfectly good that call. Sam’s bumbling yet tireless efforts don’t earn him any badges this time as he’s sitting on failure after failure with getting the mark removed from Dean.  Now with only one episode left, it’s do or die and meet the madness head on.

After burning Charlie’s body, Dean leaves alone to hunt the Styne family. Sam is pressured by Rowena to kill Crowley or she won’t use Charlie’s code cracking symbols to decipher the book. Dean is eventually taken in by local police but he escapes and raids the Styne house only to be captured. Sam lures Crowley to a secluded building and attempts to use a hex bag to slowly kill Crowley, but it fails and Crowley escapes, allowing Sam to live for the time being. Dean escapes his bonds and kills all the members of the Styne family including their leader while Eldon and others raid the men of letters HQ. Dean arrives and kills everyone just as Castiel finds him. Unable to talk down Dean’s bloodthirsty mood, he is beaten and left severally wounded with Dean threatening to kill him should he try again.

To begin, I think it was a horrible idea to include some up and coming prospect who didn’t quite fit in with the Styne’s. All he got for his efforts in the end was a bullet in the head. I get why they did it as he in some small way represented a mirror for Dean (Very loosely) and was also meant to be a sympathetic character so that when Dean killed him there was weight to his acts. As it stood, his rampage was relatively justified considering the rules by which the brothers are governed by (Or lack of). As such, murdering evil people doesn’t necessarily sound like something he needs to be talked down from. Luckily there was more and it came much more smoothly when Castiel and Dean fought at the end. That struggle was much more poignant and carried enough hurt that for a split-second, I honestly thought Dean was going to stab him and I’ll say that would have been such a monumental scene. Not just the act but the image of looking at Dean while he’s engulfed in angelic light the entire time. That would have caused youtube to skyrocket with “Castiel dies-Reaction vids” In the end, Dean held off and left with a warning that he won’t miss next time. All in all, I was happy with how easy he took out everyone especially the last two Styne’s. He didn’t care about punching the bad guy several times, he just wanted him dead. As for Cyrus, well Dean spoke about himself more than anything but thought he proved his own point. Is he wrong? That’s never the point with Dean since the beginning. The point is the grip of evil remains unless one detaches that grip with death. Good riddance to the Styne family. Four seasons ago they might have fit in better, but not this late in the rotating feud between angels and demons.

On the other side, Sam’s scenes didn’t hold up very well against Dean’s “Terminator” vibe. His desperation is sympathetic, but his fear and constant stumbling with decisions made his portion of the episode somewhat difficult to watch. Crowley made up for it with his monologue and what was really tragic was his realization that being evil is the better outcome than his attempt that keeping hell civilized, so to speak. What’s funny is I never got that impression from Crowley at all this season. His attitude in his domain episode after episode suggested his acts were nothing short of boredom and being melancholy. It was always obvious why but I never attributed it to him trying to subjectively be a better person. In any case, Crowley’s eyes are red once more and in a mirror of Dean leaving Castiel alive, so to did Crowley leave Sam alive. Rowena still expects Sam to kill Crowley even though he failed and at this point, it seems like a moot issue. Crowley won’t be fooled twice and Sam is fresh out of ideas. He’s still too easily afraid of Crowley considering what he’s been through his whole life.

FAVORITE MOMENT

Dean and Castiel in the last scene. It was brutal and bloody and brought on all the right feels to really sink in the darkness that’s emanating from Dean once again. I didn’t want Dean to truly end Castiel’s life, but still the act would have made the finale that much more crazy and otherworldly for Sam. He’s essentially all alone in this with no real allies. Luckily Cass is still there to try and patch up what he can, but for that one brief moment, we simply didn’t know what Dean would do and that’s good TV.

CHARACTER MVP

It’s that time to give credit to Dean Winchester for hunkering down and ripping through bad guys with that dead-pan style of delivery. He even made jokes at the expense of his victims showing at no point did he really feel threatened aside from that bag that went over his head, but that was incidental. He carried the weight of the episode and finally let loose that mark’s personality that Sam has been swearing up and down was making him worse. Now we finally got to see what that was.

LONG TERM THOUGHTS

Keep Metatron out of the finale. It’s great he has some heavenly endgame going on, but it’s not the time of place to unveil it. Unless he does something surely wicked like depose Crowley with that tablet and becomes the new king of hell himself. Hmmm, that’s a sound theory, I should run with it.

I wish I hadn’t watched that promo for the finale. I did. Now I’m beyond elated because my all-time favorite character is coming back one more time, and he brought a scythe! But now I can’t be surprised.

Will next week be Rowena’s final episode, or will they turn her into a supporting character for next season? Tough to roll the dice either way, but I think she’s interesting enough to keep around. Maybe somehow she and Crowley can part on good terms.

Charlie’s send off was relatively well done. Flashbacks to precious moments while she burned away ala Darth Vader was appropriate though I’m surprised the brothers stood each other long enough to accomplish such a viking task. They loved Charlie, their 1000 yard stares were proof enough of it.

With season 11 in the bag, it means the cliffhanger has every potential to outdo itself from last season, and it better. There needs to be OMG’s slicing through the internet with how it ends. Don’t dull it down, make it rain blood.

OVERALL SCORE

8 out of 10. Dean’s scenes capitalized on mayhem and put him in the mindset that truly threatens any future with Sam and Castiel. This is much darker than demon Dean calling on the chaos and what’s more sinister is whether or not Dean’s attitude will change if the mark gets removed. His bloodthirsty habits may dissipate, but his emotional state is ironclad. Sam will continue his noble efforts but will they be enough to turn everything around? I’m convinced he’ll do what he has to, but again, at what price? Enjoyable episode and thanks for removing the Styne nuisance from the show. That didn’t help matters much. 22 down, 1 to go. See you next week.

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A Sashurai’s Review: The Originals – Season 2×22 (Complicated feelings for monsters huh? That’s how vamps roll)

originals-2x22

A collection of calamity ended with a soft and warm embrace between the oldest witches this side of the hemisphere. Season two of The Originals puts to rest the oldest family war and instills in its place a familiar mark between warring siblings. Lullabies are spoken and promises are made for the good of innocence and the threat of new evil likely to rear its head in New Orleans come the fall. All in all, the king of wolves and vamps settles in, ready to settle into fatherhood unaware of the future, but believing he has control of it.

There was some gorgeous imagery that fit in quite nicely upon the climax of “Ashes to Ashes.” With only a few minor plot holes, the episode stood on its own and provided a much needed finality to the old generation of Mikaelsons and their sophisticated rival, Dalia. The most fascinating aspect was of course how the battle played itself out, leaving the final segments as all too familiar approaches to goodbyes and promises of sardonic revenge. In many ways, it was the highlight of the season saving the best for last. Any lasting complaints are left for moments that felt too rushed and made way for aspects of season three.

After linking with Dalia, Klaus stabs himself with the dagger and the two are returned to torpor. Elijah recovers Hope with Freya as Rebekah returns to her original body as a vampire once more. Convinced of Klaus’s plan, Elijah burns the body of their original mother and swaps the ashes with Kol’s when Davina attempts to user her “one time” ability to harness the coven’s power and use resurrection. Instead of Kol, Esther is brought back and captured immediately by the Mikaelsons. Dalia, still possessing power, melts the dagger in Klaus, awakens, steals Freya, and escapes. Klaus, Elijah, and Rebekah later confront Dalia but are subdued by splinters of the white oak stake being ingested through Dalia’s power. Esther distracts Dalia long enough for Klaus to impale the two of them finally killing them both. In a final scene with the pair as their younger selves, Esther relents that she should have stayed by Dalia’s side. The two forgive each other and perish together. Later, during the full moon, Hayley makes Elijah promise to look after Hope even though he had no intention to remain at Klaus’s side. Freya magically heals Rebekah’s human body and Rebekah once more inhabits it with plans to decide which she intends to stay in at a later time. Klaus and Camille share a drink as both are essentially still awkward around eachother but later, Klaus settles in with Hope in his arms, commenting on a new chapter in their lives.

I had fun watching this episode. Most of Klaus’s repetitive cliche’s were downplayed just enough to tolerate his multi-faceted yet always presently vindictive performance. With the exception of declaring murderous intentions to Esther, he was the exceptional protagonist we’ve all come to flip sides on almost every ep. One element I’m glad they held off on was the “will they/won’t, sure they will this one time” scene with Camille at the bar. They demonstrated awkwardness and he wisely left without bomb-rushing that kiss between the two that will now be the looming bookend segment that will accompany the first arc of season three. Had they forced that moment to come out now, it would have been very negative and probably pushed them further away.

As for the final confrontation, it played out as one might expect but with enough creativity to kill all the birds with the one stone, or an exceptionally long dagger at it were. Esther’s cameo was welcome, but that lipstick was rather too thickly red on such a pale complexion. I imagine Elijah wanted her looking more modern and made up before her eventual death. He’s rather classy considering the hatred he has for her, like all the siblings. And thus the white oak stake is now a dusty memory. Any chance to kill an original faded away, yet I never doubt the show’s capability in getting creative and finding new ways to subdue and/or kill an original vampire. The embrace with Dalia and Esther at the end felt appropriate as the latter accepted what she should have done long ago. It’s remarkably bittersweet knowing she essentially regrets having her children, at least that’s the more positive spin they wanted to put on it in favor of the two sisters forgiving each other and living in perpetual happy afterlife. The one surprise for me specifically was the survival of Freya, who looks to at least have an opportunity to be a part of the shindig that season three will unleash in the fall.

As far as the nitpicks go, there were some that stood out as question marks in my head, though I’m sure it was all pressed for time anyway and not everything could be spelled out in jaunty exposition.

  • What was the point with Marcel staying Davina’s vengeance in favor of allying with the Mikaelsons for the time being? She didn’t participate in the final conflict and probably could have helped immensely. Essentially she just agreed not to get involved.
  • Ingesting the dust of the white oak stake wouldn’t reach the heart unless it was absorbed through the blood stream directly. I’m questionably certain if any Original ate the white oak stake, it wouldn’t kill them. Or maybe Dalia knew that and wanted them perpetually suffering through an eternity of coughing and hacking dust particles.
  • Does Rebekah actually have free reign to bounce between bodies? She seemed to believe she still had a choice even though she went back into Eva’s body. Plus I don’t agree with that choice at all mainly because it once more takes Claire Holt off the show. I guess she’s going to be really important on that Aquarius series.

FAVORITE MOMENT

Esther and Dalia’s final moment together. It was very similar to how most prolific characters on TVD tend to be expire as they get special treatment and hallucinations into their past or what not. I liked the bright colors and the ethereal treatment it was given since most of the show tends to root itself in darker tones. It was a fine goodbye regardless of their place in good or evil and it just goes to show that Dalia was right, evil is created and in the beginning, they were innocent beings caught in the motions of life, love and the pursuit of immortal-ness.

CHARACTER MVP

Tough acts all around. Everyone played to their main strengths and performed as expected. Since it’s the finale, I’m giving it to the Mikaelson sibling quartet. Each one carried enough anger, hostility, and contempt to push each other into a dark alliance that in the end worked in their favor. All four lived, and each got a piece of their freedom and happiness with the exception of Elijah who essentially lost both women he cared for and now must put up with staying at Klaus’s side even against his better judgment for the sake of Hope’s life. Out of all the siblings, he tends to be shoulder the most burden, and finale’s are no exception to this rule.

LONG TERM THOUGHTS

I’m pretty sure Gia deserved a better send off than getting teamed up with another body and getting lit up in what looked like an alleyway. And Elijah just took the violin away, like “Nooooo, I think I’ll keep this.”

Davina wants to reinitiate the season of the witch, or whatever she intends to call her reign. What’s puzzling is, why is her resurrection spell a one-shot deal? She leads the covens, the power is there in ample amounts. It may not be something the covens want her messing with, but the last thing they would want is to anger their youthful and powerful leader. But it doesn’t matter, Elijah has Kol’s ashes anyway.

What role will Hayley and Jackson serve in season three? Will the crescent wolf curse be lifted by the premiere or will it be an arc that lasts for several episodes? And will there finally be an arc that is dedicated to the origin of the werewolves, or will they once more play third fiddle to the Vampire/Witch war that undoubtedly will erupt come third season?

I like Vincent’s character. I hope he sticks around and maintains a good influence on Davina, who likely will be making a lot of hasty decisions as coven leader in the future. Ruling with power is one thing, but without tempering wisdom, she won’t last long.

We were told that Klaus intends to give the city back to Marcel, but how will that play out? Marcel can keep a truce with Davina, unless she intends to say “screw it” and ruin all vampires save for Josh. I can’t imagine Klaus staying on the sidelines too long because being a king means holding the most power whether you rule publicly or not. He won’t stay idle and Marcel will need aces aces up both sleeves to keep his returning title.

OVERALL SCORE

9 out of 10. Again, it was an enjoyable episode with there little wasted and a few nitpicks of logical continuity. Everything play out that benefited most all of our protagonists and nobody long lasting was sacrificed in the finale where sometimes it’s worth killing a few to get those “omg” moments happening. The ending segments are relatively the same as the last season, that did feel a bit monotonous, but considering what else they could have done, it was the safer route. I expect the wolves to do provide more showmanship next season and a villain so vast and powerful that he/she alone could kill an original with certain ease. That’s upping the ante, and they’ll need to keep this show fresh and interesting. Until then, thanks for reading up on season two of The Originals. New chapters await.

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A Sashurai’s Review: Game of Thrones – Season 5×05 (Greyscale in a grey world with no absence of grey joy)

Thrones 5x05

**NOTE** I’ve read the books so there may be moments when I refer to a segment that happened differently than how the book version went down but I’ll do my best to not spoil what that difference was or what’s likely to come. With that said, any review I write on GOT may contain book spoilers. Read at your own risk**

The north is remembered for much of tonight’s episode of GOT. If all falls in the direction claimed, then our big battle for the season will be between the Bolton’s and Stannis for control of Winterfell and essentially the north. There could be other major skirmishes along the way, but for now Stannis has begun his trek back south no longer content with waiting.

Some intensity was held back in favor of more established concerns between Daenerys and her city and other moments pertaining to Sansa, Ramsey, Jon, and a surviving Grey Worm who at the moment is being cared for by Missandei. Jorah and Tyrion’s travel through old Valyria provided a bit of heightened moments that ended with a dark turn for one of them. Most of the episode played casually with a few scenes that conjured a bit of worry, but for the most part was a rather relaxing mid-point of the season.

In the north, Jon convinces Tormund to return beyond the wall to find the remaining wildlings and bring them south. Tormund only agrees with Jon accompanies him. Meanwhile, Stannis leaves the watch to deal with Roose Bolton and Winterfell. At Winterfell, Sansa discovers Theon (Reek) is serving Ramsey and still harbors anger over his act in “killing” her younger brothers. Ramsey is concerned over his position when Roose announces he’s having another child, but Roose reassures him and the two prepare for Stannis’s army. In Meereen, Daenerys serves a master up to her dragons but later decides to spare the master (I forgot his name) who had been pleading for her to reopen the pit games. She eventually succumbs to the request and even goes as far as to proclaim a marriage between the two to help with the hostilities in her city. Jorah and Tyrion travel through Old Valyria and encounter stonemen who attack the boat. Jorah and Tyrion escape to a beach but Jorah alone has been stricken with greyscale on his wrist.

To no surprise, another great character has seen his last episode. Sir Barristan Selmy fell after aiding Grey Worm, which means Daenerys is now one more consulate short in her group of loyal men. Just when his stories of Rhaegar and himself were reaching interesting points, any further stories that could shed light of Rhaegar’s being for Dany is now cut short. The truth is she knows enough of Rhaegar’s kindness that any more would probably dilute the image and she needs to continue to play at her strengths. Her choice in opening the pits to free people is something akin to the book so that’s on par for the time being. Barristan’s fate however is a different story.

In the north, we remain in Winterfell from a few points of view the first being Brienne who attempts to get a message to Sansa. Sansa is also greeted by the woman who gives her a message of her own about lighting a candle in the highest tower. Was it the same one Bran fell out of in season one? They looked similar. What really stood out here was of course her reaction to Theon and the way Ramsey treated him during their dinner. What’s puzzling is Theon is still very much broken by Ramsey’s torture and as such he probably isn’t going to be in any position to tell Sansa that he didn’t actually kill her brothers. It really wouldn’t do her much good to know because why would she ever trust anything he says? What’s important is she’s playing her game as best she can while Ramsey is actually behaving himself with the exception of Miranda, who’s showing more signs of malice and disdain for Sansa who is in line to wed Ramsey, still.

With Jon leaving with Tormund this will actually give him something to do, but I can’t imagine they’ll show too many scenes of this while Dorne and King’s Landing have a lot of cover in just this season alone. I wonder if Jon will still Sam away with his companions before he leaves. It is a book plot point, but is it one they want to stray away from like others they’ve done already? Sam’s scene with Gilly, Aemon, and Stannis were important I believe for this very reason. Sam needs to begin his next adventure, and they shouldn’t lock him in the wall on the show like that. Even Aemon gave Jon a stern message that he needs to grow as a man.

FAVORITE MOMENT

I particularly enjoyed the final scene with Jorah and Tyrion. There was a majestic quality brought on by Tyrion’s narration of what Old Valyria must have been like and what it would take to build cities like them again. The action came and spun them around taking them to their next destination while at the end, we discover Jorah’s fate with greyscale. Does this mean he’s going to die? Certainly not. How fast it will affect him and what not remains to be seen. But he’s keeping it from Tyrion for now and that means more in the future as they search for another boat. Jorah is now beginning to talk to Tyrion which means they may actually form a speakable bond. That’s the theory anyway.

CHARACTER MVP

Everyone was relatively equal this time around, but I believe Ramsey gets the edge this round. He had a moment with Theon and showed him mercy which doesn’t mean he’s turning a new leaf. Rather, he’s taking a softer approach with control because he’s already broken Theon in every way. He’s going to continue to use him to bait Sansa in some way, but at the moment his endgame could be anything. He’s playing his role, but deep down you can tell he’s waiting to try out his twisted ways when he’s free and able.

LONG TERM THOUGHTS

I liked Grey Worm and Missandei’s small scene together. There’s an honesty with their feelings and Grey Worm is easily remaining to be a favored character in Dany’s court. He’ll recover, but now he’ll have distraction in his heart which means he can easily become vulnerable again if he’s not careful.

Who will come to Sansa’s aid if she needs it? Was that meant to be Brienne or is it in fact other people of the north that are still loyal to the Starks? What worries is that there will most definitely be a time coming that will cause her to do this. Hopefully it isn’t something Ramsey does to her.

Melisandre gave Jon that look before her and Stannis left. Was it a chilling look of foreboding, or a warning even? I would have thought if she really wanted to seduce Jon then she would have stuck around. But perhaps it was all to gain his allegiance for Stannis. If she has her own agenda with him, it won’t be worth much if she isn’t around to procure him.

I almost thought Sansa was going to see a captured Direwolf in one of those cages. Of course, with Lady having been the first direwolf to be killed back in season one, it wouldn’t have been anything real significant for her. We haven’t seen a single one this whole season, not even faithful Ghost. Shame.

The look on Tyrion’s face was pretty priceless when he finally saw his first dragon. Now he knows there is no joke with Dany being the mother of dragons. Still, he’s got one heck of game to play if he’s really going to side with her. Too bad he can no longer reunite with Barristan. Not that they had a strong alliance to begin with.

OVERALL SCORE

7 out of 10. Although the north is more the focus I’d like to see, I felt Sansa and Jon were more like background characters this time. Jon certainly served a great start with allying with Tormund, but there was mostly more with Stannis, Sam, and the Boltons’s from Winterfell. Now that Dany has issued the pits to start anew, things should be getting interesting in Meereen again. Tyrion and Jorah have plenty to go before they can arrive there, and I’m not convinced it will happen this season, if at all. The most promising feature is that Stannis has left to face the Boltons and that will consist of some much needed battle days. Looking forward to that and I hope it’s not just an off-screen battle. They can afford bigger battles now. Time to get cracking.

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