Genre: Historical Fantasy
Watched: Episode 37 – May 18, 2014
Summary: Fabulous episode
As I said last week: poor Ty. Quite a pickle he’s got himself into. Anyway, as usual, I’ll break down the threads into their sub plots for discussion.
Tyrion – Of course this is the thread we are most interested in. It takes the form of a test of three champions:
Champ 1: Jaime scolds Tyrion for throwing his life away. The dialog is so sharp — actually it’s so sharp this whole episode, and show for that matter. Lines like “You fell in love with a whore?” and “Careful, I’m the last friend you have.” Great back and forth zingers, plus there is a lot of emotion between the brothers. When Tyrion sideways asks Jaime to be his champion and Jaime turns him down it almost brought a tear to my eye. Whether this registered as a betrayal or a mere recognition of Jaime’s weakness is hard to say, and that very ambiguity is delicious. On mention of the opponent we cut to:
The Mountain. This new Mountain 3.0 looks just like 1.0 and is great. I don’t know what they were thinking with the unimpressive 2.0 version in season 2. That one was neither huge, obviously cruel, or so impressive. The show spares no punches with his brutal treatment (and enjoyment) of the prisoners. We are treated to several shots of the bloody entrails. And Cersei’s approval.
Champ 2: Bronn has been bought out by Cersei. Ty is pretty screwed. There is the usual great delivery and an uncomfortable honesty. Bronn would LIKE to find a reason to help Tyrion, it’s just none of them make sense. With Cersei’s offer he has money and position now, and I think he’s honestly worried about the Mountain. The man is a beast, and the way he talks about it is more tell following on the show. I liked that they parted friends and the painful honesty of “Aye, I’m your friend, and when have you every risked your life for me?”
Champ 3: The unexpected. Oberyn talks of Cersei, and tells chilling tale of the young girl’s cruelty toward Tyrion. This is straight out of the books but the delivery is pitch perfect, retaining all the straight up meanness. This serves to lower Tyrion right to the bottom, then Oberyon spills out a fabulous little line about Justice and revenge, “and I shall begin with Gregor Clegane.” Great stuff. Plus, I really liked Tyrion’s witty insight that “masking manipulation with truth is one of Cersei’s greatest talents.”
Arya and the Hound – continue to “bond.” Sort of. They approach a burnt out farm and a dying man. Arya spins out her particular blend of bleak nihilistic philosophy: “Nothing is just nothing.” The hound kills the man out of mercy and is bitten by Biter and kills him while Arya dispatches Rorge with a clever bit of trick.
Later, he’s sewing up his bite wound and she offers to burn it to stop infection. Nasty looking cut but he refuses. Still, he tells the story again of being burned by his brother the Mountain, which serves both to reinforce how nasty the big guy is and to invoke sympathy. Arya responds by tending his wound (sans fire).
Jon – has a brief bit at Castle Black. Ghost is now huge (and CGI). The first of these is cool. Mance is approaching and he suggests in council that they seal the tunnel but Thorne, always a PITA will have nothing of it.
Dany – is lording over her rather cool sets in Meeren. Dario comes to her saying he is only good for two things: women and killing. Surprisingly, she actually takes him up on both (treating lady viewers to Dario backside). A rare bit of simple human comfort for her. In the morning, Dario runs into Jorah, who knows, and is a bit miffed. But he manages to convince the queen to offer mercy (partially) to Yunkai and put Dario in his place (slightly) by reminding him that Jorah still comes first when it comes to council. This is pretty fun stuff, particularly given the serious nature of her storyline.
Melisandre – takes a bath in front of Selyse giving Stannis’ too women some screen time together. Not my favorite part, but it is amusing the way Mel uses both sexuality and piety. Selyse is all nun type. I really want to know what they see in that fire!
Brienne and Pod – visit that same inn where Lady (Sansa’s wolf) was murdered in episode 2. Hot Pie happens to be there, making for yet another cameo return. By being direct Brienne finds out about Arya was last seen with the hound — even if Pod was worried that such honesty might get them killed. Still Pod shows his value by knowing they might head for the Eerie. One might think they might actually find each other (or at least Sansa), but this is George R. R. Martin we are talking about! Pod and Brienne are fun together, although not as much fun as she was with Jaime — that was a hoot.
Sansa – finally we return to the Eerie. One might wonder why at the end of the episode, and why we wouldn’t end with Oberyn offering his services to Tyrion — but for good reason. Sansa has a few magical moments in the snowy Eerie courtyard. The snow takes her back to her childhood and she makes a snowy Winterfell (excellent snow sculpting skills BTW San). Robin joins and for a bit they have a nice moment, then the spastic Joff wanna-be goes nuts and she slaps him. As if this weren’t bad enough Littlefinger approaches. Sansa is becoming more of an active agent and she asks him point blank: “why did you really kill Joffrey?” Littlefinger is, like Cersei, a master of half truths. He appeals to his own love for Sansa’s mother and fingers it as revenge. I call B.S., Littlefinger doesn’t do anything for emotional reasons like that. But he makes a creepy move on Sansa and kisses her. Uh, oh. Lysa is watching.
The Lady of the Vale summons Sansa to the throne room with the Moon Door open. After a little setup about how the bodies burst apart on the ground below, she grabs Sansa. Littlefinger stops her, swearing (on his life) to send the girl away. Then he “comforts” Lysa, only to confess his love for Cat and toss her out the door. Trademark GOT ending and plus, he got a little extra taunt in before doing the deed.
All in all, this was a first rate episode, one of my favorites of this season. It just had a lot of good stuff, and only a few lesser scenes (like Mel and maybe Jon). Now we have to wait two weeks for “The Viper and the Mountain.” I wonder what that one is about…
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