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Game of Thrones 4×1 Recap – One episode, two swords

We’re baaacccckkkk and we are so thrilled for a brand new season of Game of Thrones. With a new House in town and the taste of vengeance in the air, this season guarantees to be fantastic. Let’s dive in. First and foremost, we have a credits update! Meet Dreadfort, the keep of House Bolton and the current location of poor Theon. Also, Meerean makes an appearance, the slave city with a giant pyramid. Dany’s on her way there but more on that later.

House Lannister

We kick off the episode with a scene symbolizing the complete destruction of House Stark with a true song of fire and Ice. Tywin Lannister stands watch as Ice, Ned Stark’s gigantic Valyrian steel blade, is welded down in fire, forging two new swords for House Lannister. Tywin completes the destruction by tossing Ned’s wolf-skin scabbard into the fire as the Rains of Castamere plays eerily in the background. The Red Wedding may have happened ten months ago for us, but in the GOT world, it was mere weeks ago, and it continues to be the wound that keeps bleeding.

[ASIDE: This entire scene was painful to watch, and served as a terse reminder of the events of Season 3. Just like the Red Wedding, Tywin stands in the shadows, unwilling to reveal himself and his role. Tywin constantly takes what isn’t his and remolds it into something new, giving the appearance of power and bold courage. But is Tywin really that courageous? Isn’t he known for hiding under Casterly Rock during Robert’s Rebellion, only daring to step forth into King’s Landing when he knew the city was starving, ripe for sacking? Does he ever take responsibility for what he does? Was the Red Wedding not a cowardly move in itself? Tywin feared the Young Wolf and thus found a way to defeat him without facing him in battle. I think Tywin Lannister is a façade – a man who thinks he has all the power in the world but is really living in a house of cards, with children who are sleeping together and a grandson who holds a false claim to the throne. Every empire burns to the ground, and I can’t wait until Tywin Lannisters’ does just that. END OF ASIDE]

Tywin presents one of the new Valyrian blades to his one-handed son, Jaime Lannister, who clumsily receives his new sword. Tywin questions Jaime’s intentions for his future, imploring Jaime to leave the King’s Guard (since he can’t really fight with a sword anymore) and return to Casterly Rock and rule in his place. Jaime refuses. His honor, his word, his reputation are already spoiled and he refuses to abandon yet another post at the whims of another. Tywin is shocked that his 40 year old son still doesn’t get it and dismisses Jaime, but allows him to keep his present. “A one handed man with no family needs all the help he can get.” As Jaime leaves his fathers’ chamber, we see a sly [sexy] smile spread across his face. Wonder what that’s about.

Next, we catch up with everyone’s favorite imp, Tyrion Lannister, Master of Coin, accompanied by Bron and Pod. They are waiting to receive the party from Dorne, which sailed to King’s Landing for Joffrey’s wedding. In brilliant GOT fashion, Tyrion proceeds to discuss the Dornish sigils and the “bad blood” between House Martell and House Lannister, clueing the audience to the significance of the new characters and providing us with a Westerosi history lesson.

Much to Tyrion’s dismay, the Dornish reveal that Prince Doran did not sail to the capital due to illness. His brother, Prince Oberyn of House Martell, came instead and snuck into the city in the wee morning hours. Tyion has an idea where he may find him.

Enter stage left – the one and only Oberyn Martell aka The Red Viper of Dorne. Oberyn is with his great paramour, Ellaria Sand (Sand because she’s a Dornish bastard; like Snow for our beloved Jon), and the pair are inspecting Baylish’s whores. After Prince Oberyn picks a boy who can he can have his way with, he suddenly becomes distracted as the tune of Rains of Castamere float through the brothel.   Oberyn ventures off to find the cause of the disturbance, despite Ellaria’s pleas.

Oberyn stumbles upon two couples whistling the Lannister tune. “Forgive me for staring, I don’t see many Lannisters where I come from.”

[ASIDE: The way those words ooze out of his mouth, and the way he burns his fingers on the candle as he walks, oh la la. I am already in love with Oberyn. END OF ASIDE]

The tension between the Lannister couples and Oberyn seeps out of the TV. The men make jabs at each other until the Red Viper stings. “May I tell you a secret? You’re not a golden lion. You’re just a pink little man whose far too slow on the draw.” Then, BAM, knife in one of the Lannisters wrists.

Tyrion enters just in time to disrupt the argument. Oberyn already knows the “King’s Imp Uncle” and the two men go for a stroll, talking truths to one another. Oberyn thinks Joffrey is offended since he is the second son, not the ruling Prince of Dorne. Tyrion questions Oberyn’s intentions, knowing there is more to the visit than attending a wedding. Then, in another genius dialogue-driven history lesson, we find out the true reason for the Martell/Lannister hatred. The last time Oberyn was in the capital was for his sister, Elia Martell’s, wedding to Rhagaer Targaryen. Elia had his children and cared for them until Rhagaer left her for another woman, the “kidnapped” Lyanna Stark, which caused Robert to wage war. After Rhagaer was killed, the Lannisters sacked King’s Landing, killing all remaining Targaryens, including Elia and her children. It is said that Elia was raped by the Mountain and then split in half. If this is the case, Oberyn holds Tywin directly responsible for her death and the deaths of his nephew and niece. “Tell your father I’m here. Tell him the Lannisters aren’t the only ones who pay their debts.”

Whoa. These two actors were phenomenal together. The tension, the conflict, the dialogue, the accent. All fantastic. The chemistry between them is fantastic. GIMME MORE, PLEASE!

After Tyrion’s depressing conversation with his new wife, Sansa Stark, he goes back to his room to find Shae draped over his bed. She knows it’s a dangerous place but insisted on seeing him, since she hasn’t gotten any in weeks. Tyrion turns her down and makes her leave. In a fit of rage, she reveals she knows he tried to dismiss her from the city and she wants him to be a man and say it to her himself. Tyrion reveals he has no idea about Varys’ visit last season, as we correctly assumed. Then, Shae storms out of the room….and the audience sees that one of Cersei’s little birds was outside chirping. Uh oh.

Speaking of the Golden Queen, we catch up with Cersei Lannister as she presents her brother with a golden hand, with the help of the Un-Maester Qyburn. Cersei reveals that Maester Qyburn helped to relieve her of some symptoms. (Pregnancy symptoms? Or no longer able to get pregnant symptoms? Is this her way out of her marriage to Loras?) The twins talk about the events that got them here and Jaime’s plans for the future. He reveals he wants to stay in King’s Landing so he can be with her. He tries to seduce his sister (EW) but she denies him, making it so both Lannister boys aren’t getting any. Cersei then breaks his heart – she tells him he was gone for too long and it took too long to get back to her. The incestual scene is disrupted when Cersei’s bird flies into the room to tattle on Tyrion.

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We get a glimpse of the Royal Wedding plans when we catch up with Olenna and Margaery Tyrell and Jaime and Joffrey. Olenna, determined to make a fashion statement at the wedding, is displeased with the necklace options for Margaery and sends her little doves out to find the most beautiful one in King’s Landing. Margaery has a different idea but Olenna warns her to be careful because even the walls have ears.

Jaime and King Joff discuss security for the wedding, and the fact that the war isn’t over as long as Stannis lives. Joffrey isn’t interested and would rather squabble with his uncle, blaming him for his imprisonment and poking fun at Jaime for being a 40 year old knight with no hand who has done “no good deeds.” Did anyone else think Jaime must’ve been thinking, “How did I create that,” as he watched Joffrey walk away?

House Targaryen

We get our first glimpse of the Daenerys Stormborn, Mother of Dragons, being just that, mother of dragons. She’s sitting with a dragon in her lap, stroking Rhaego as if he is a puppy. The dragons are gigantic and have almost doubled in size. Suddenly, the other two dragons return with a dead sheep and the dragons begin to fight. Rhaego even snaps as Dany before the three fly off. Holy. Shit. The dragons are scary and on their way to becoming massive and uncontrollable. Ser Jorah Mormont so wisely states, “They are dragons, Khaleesi. They can never be tamed, not even by their mother.” Why thank you Jorah, I shall call you Captain Obvious.

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Dany heads back to camp to discover Daario Naharis and Greyworm are missing – gambling. After she walks through her gigantic camp, she discovers the two men holding weapons to determine who has the right to ride beside Dany on road to Meereen. Dany quickly reins the boys in and we discover that Daario and Greyworm have a cute bro-competition going on. This scene felt kind of pointless and more like a chance to showcase the immense size of Dany’s horde and the new actor playing Daario Naharis but I’ll take any Dany time I can get.

Later, Dany and Missandei talk about Meereen and Missandei lets her know that she thinks the slave masters should fear Dany before Daario interrupts the women to talk strategy. He brings Dany three flowers, the flowers of Meereen, which are used for tea and poison, telling her if she wants to win over the peoples affections, she must become one with their lands. Dany is smitten, as are we, but seems to recognize Daario’s ploy for her heart.

Suddenly, the horde comes to a halt. There are dead children, mutilated and strung up, on every mile marker between there and Meereen – 163 in total. Barristan Selmy offers to ride ahead and bury the children but she refuses. She wants to see them all, and wants them to remove their collars before they are buried. Dany is going to liberate the enslaved and conquer the slavers. I’m afraid already for the masters of Meereen.

House Stark

The length of the Stark section is dwindling, you know, since they’re almost all dead.

Sansa – Sansa is in mourning. During the Season 3 finale we saw her immediate reaction to her brother and mother’s deaths. Now knows the details. She stays awake at night thinking about how the Lannisters (via Bolton and Frey) mutilated her family members. They chopped off Robb’s head and sewed his direwolf’s there in its place. They sliced her mother’s neck to the bone and then threw her body into the river, discarded like trash. There’s no cheering up Sansa, not even with lemon cakes (um, can I have Sansa’s lemon cake? My mouth is practically watering). Don’t worry Sansa, misery loves company and she’s got plenty of company in the legion of GOT fans.

It takes a fool to cheer Sansa up, literally. After creepily following her through the garden, Ser Dontos — the former knight she rescued from Joffrey in Season 2 — gives her a charming necklace as a gift. The family heirloom is all he has left and wants her to have it and wear it proudly.

Later, Brienne of Tarth tries to convince Jaime that he has to honor his pledge to rescue Catelyn Stark’s daughters. With Arya presumed dead and Sansa married to his brother, that makes things a bit difficult for Jaime. With Jaime’s previous speech to Tywin about breaking his word, is it wrong of me to have hope that he’ll follow through? Also, don’t you love that Brienne and Jaime are still besties?

Jon Snow – Man, Ygritte is a woman scorned. To be honest, I can’t say I blame her. If my man left me for a 600-some guys that wear only black, I’d be a little peeved too. We check-in with Ygritte as she’s making arrows, surely thinking about firing more of them at Jon Snow. Her angry arrow making is short-lived as Tormund Giantsbane approaches.

Is it just me or does Giantsbane remind you of Rumpelstiltskin in his angry wig? No, maybe try upside down? I don’t know, I can’t take him seriously whenever he’s on my TV.

Tormund Giantsbane rumpelstiltskin shrek angry wig

In case you forgot (and missed Jon Snow’s recap to the council), last season a few of the Wildlings, led by Tormund Giantsbane, scaled The Wall and now intend to attack Castle Black from the south. Once they have control of the castle, they will open the gates to The Wall so Mance Rayder’s army can invade the southern lands. Right now they are waiting for Mance Rayder’s signal and it will be a big signal, says Jon Snow.

Anyway, back to Giantsbane and Ygritte. He’s giving her a hard time about Jon Snow, questioning whether or not she actually killed him. If she didn’t, their entire plan is at risk. Their conversation is interrupted when some weirdos show up. A group of tall pale bald men with creepy scars start talking about body types in a way that says, “I’m not a personal trainer, I’m just hungry and you seem like a delectable piece of meat.” Now, I’ve been binge watching NBC’s Hannibal lately and I just don’t know if I can handle another cannibal in my life right now. This group is called the Thenns and they are here to help with the Castle Black attack.

Speaking of Castle Black, let’s catch up with Jon Snow. He’s hanging out with Samwell, reacting to the Red Wedding news. He explains to Sam that he was always jealous of his brother Robb, but never wished harm upon him. Samwell knows the feeling since he feels that way about Jon Snow. To be honest, I was a bit disappointed in this whole scene. Like, that’s it, Jon Snow? You aren’t a little bit angry? Did Samwell tell him about seeing Bran? Are you at least going to try to save Bran? Maybe try to track down Arya? I NEED ANSWERS.

Well, at least he’s going to give the Night’s Watch council some answers. Members of the council want to end Jon Snow for breaking his vow (“You know nothing, Jon Snow”) and killing Qhorin Halfhand. Jon Snow begs the council to stop stressing about the little details and start preparing for the Wildlings. Can the Night’s Watch ready themselves in time for the attack?

Arya – Arya is still with The Hound. The Hound is obviously just looking for somewhere to drop Arya and not feel bad about it. Now they’re on their way to her crazy Aunt Lysa in the Vale of Arryn. The dynamic between these actors is really growing (see Jaime and Brienne from last season). Their banter is perfect and I love seeing hints of The Hound’s personality.

During their road trip, they decide to stop at a local tavern where several of The Mountain’s men are pissing outside, harassing the barkeep, etc. Arya immediately recognizes the pisser as Polliver, who in Season 2 captured Arya and her buddies after killing a bunch of people in the prison camp. Polliver steals Arya’s sword Needle and kills her friend Lommy because he cannot walk. Conveniently, Polliver still carries Needle.

Upon entering the tavern, Polliver recognizes The Hound and starts trying to impress him with his torturous ways. The Hound teases Polliver and it’s obvious that The Hound has decided to kill all of these people but is just waiting for them to make the first move. “You’re a talker,” he says, taking Polliver’s drink. “Listening to talkers makes me thirsty.” The fight starts.

Arya retreats to the corner. This fight seems really tough; The Hound does not seem to be winning. Also, there’s no backtrack. The quiet mixed with the clangs and the grunts is making me really anxious. Finally, Arya makes her move and the music kicks in. She gets her sword. Once Polliver is without a weapon, she stands over him and repeats the words he once said to Lommy, “Something wrong with your leg, boy? Can you walk? I’ve got to carry you. Fine little blade. Maybe I’ll pick my teeth with it.” She then slowly drives the blade into his throat, just like he did to Lommy. Meet the darker Arya of season four.

No news from Theon, Bran, or Rickon this week.

House Baratheon

There’s a brief chat between Brienne and Margaery where Brienne tells her what she remembers of Renly’s death. She saw a black fog with Stannis’ face murder Renly and vows to avenge “their king.” Quietly Margaery reminds her “Joffrey is their king now.” No update from Stannis but he should watch his back.

Rock Paper Watch’s Top Quote of 4×1:

Jenn’s Pick – “Perhaps I should just let Joffrey choose it for me, end up with a string of dead sparrow heads around my neck.” – Margaery Tyrell to Olenna.Elizabeth’s Pick – “Are you sure we’re not related? Ever since I’ve returned, every Lannister I’ve seen has been a miserable pain in my ass. Maybe you’re a Lannister too. You’ve got the hair for it. You’ve got the looks.” – Jaime to Brienne

Game of Thrones Recaps are authored by Jenn O’Mera (Lannister and Targaryen) and Elizabeth Bond (Stark and Baratheon).  Feel free to contact any author with feedback or questions.  

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Breaking Bad 5×10 Recap, “Buried”

WARNING – If you have not yet watched Sunday’s new episode of Breaking Bad, 5×10 ”Buried”, DO NOT READ THIS POST.  This article contains SPOILERS!

Sunday night’s episode of Breaking Bad continued this series’ pattern of delivering intense and emotional drama.  And I can’t even begin to give the actors on this show enough praise.  Anna Gunn was on point this episode,  Dean Norris was riveting.  It’s almost ashame that this show is coming to an end, as the actors reach the pinnacles of their characters’ storylines.  But all things must end, whether they be good or very, very bad.  So our recap begins:

BB Buried

We open up with a lucky old man stumbling upon wads of cash courtesy our friend Jesse, who tossed his money all over Albuquerque last episode.  The man first spotted his own wad and then followed the money trail.  The trail ended with Jesse, who is really not doing very well so far this season, playing on a jungle gym with his car left abandoned a few feet away.

Cue loud harsh music and flashes of the periodic table.

In the habit of picking up exactly where we left off, we catch back up with Walt and Hank concluding their extremely heated and threat-ladened conversation.  Walt races out of Hank’s house to call the one woman who can crush him – Skyler.  However, Skyler is already on the phone and won’t take his call.  In yet another magical moment with a garage door, Hank opens it to reveal to a stunned Walt that he is also on the phone…with Skyler.  Hank got to her first.  Walt heads to the car wash but, of course, Skyler already left without saying where she was going.

Skyler left the carwash and went directly to a small diner to meet with Hank.  He meets her with an embrace, but his look is hard to read.  How much does he know about Skyler’s involvement?  It becomes clear that Hank thinks Skyler is the victim of a “monster.”  Hank thinks she found out the truth around the same time she jumped into the pool earlier in the season.  Hank isn’t sure what Walt did to force Skyler to keep his secrets, but he’s ready and willing to help protect her and the children.  In return for his protection, he just wants her to tell him everything she knows.  Skyler asks about Marie, but is careful not to reveal anything or admit to anything.

bb Buried Skylar

Hank takes out a tape recorder and asks Skyler to start from the beginning.  Skyler seems horrified about the location of the interview and Hank’s urgency to get her statement.  Hank persists but she continues to avoid saying anything.  Hank tells Skyler he needs something solid on Walt, whatever she knows, and mentions that they are running against the clock.  Not one to miss something, Skylar asks him to explain what that means.  Hank tells her that Walt’s cancer is back.  (Inner dialogue: Is she happy about that?)  He tells her that Walt said there wouldn’t be any time to even convict him, if what Hank thought was even true, because his cancer was back.

Hank essentially tells Skyler he has no case so far.  He has a lot of little pieces, but they don’t fit together, and he needs her help to figure it out.  She responds by telling Hank that she thinks she needs a lawyer.  Dismayed, Hank says that isn’t necessary and tries to argue his case.  But Skyler doesn’t believe him.  She thinks Hank wants to get Walt “at all costs” and wants someone there on her behalf.  Hank agrees but still tries to make Skyler leave with him therefore preventing her from speaking with Walt.  Skyler finally asks Hank out right,  “am I under arrest?” in the “Shutup! Shutup!” style to which he responds by grabbing her arm.  She continues to throw a tantrum to cause a scene and finally gets the hell out of there.

Walt, who is now doing everything he can to cover his tracks, has Saul’s men move the gigantic stack of cash.  After using the cashstack as a bed, Huell suggests that they take the money and run to Mexico.  “Guy hit 10 guys in jail within a two minute window, all’s I’m saying.”  That response sent chills up my spine; it’s clear that Walt is now feared by everyone.

BB Huell cashstack

While Walt is waiting for the money, Skyler tries to get in contact with him.  Saul convinces Walt to avoid the call and he listens because Walt thinks that Skyler told Hank everything.  Saul tries to convince him that that’s probably not the case, but Walt doesn’t listen.  Then, Saul suggests that Walt send Hank on a “trip to Belize” or wherever it was that he sent Mike AKA Walt should kill Hank.  Walt adamantly refuses and reminds Saul that Hank is family.  Walt’s pure shock and clear disdain of the idea was very surprising to me.  It was the first of two times that Walt really surprised me this episode.

The men finally show up with the money and Walt decides to deal with it himself.  Walt instructs Saul to find Jesse before he heads into the desert.  Walt deals with the money by digging a gigantic hole and burying all six barrels in it, chemo-treatment and all.   He memorizes the coordinates and then breaks the GPS on a rock, leaving no evidence behind about his hidden fortune.

Hank enlists Marie to plead at Skyler’s sisterly heartstrings to break her of the truth.  Marie eventually convinces Skyler to open the door and the two of them head to the bedroom to chat.  In a carefully constructed conversation (and some MAGNIFICENT acting), Skyler manages to let Marie know that she has in fact known about Walt’s secret for much longer than Hank thinks while still admitting absolutely nothing to her.  It is right here that Marie realizes that Hank not only was shot because of Walt, but also received treatment with Walt’s drug money.   Marie and Skyler’s bond is broken with a harsh (and sort of deserved) slap in the face from Marie.

Marie then leaves and tries to take Holly with her.  In one of the most emotional and intense scenes of the entire series, Marie and Skyler fight (with the baby screaming in between them) until Hank convinces Marie to return the baby.  Marie leaves, her world shattered.  Hank joins her in the car and Marie ominously tells him that he has “to get him.”  The family is now broken.

BB Buried Fight

Walt finally returns home with the coordinates a la lottery ticket (nicely done, Mr. Gilligan) and we have The Confrontation.  Neither Walt nor Skyler have any idea what has happened to the other.  Skyler begins asking Walt a series of question but he literally collapses from exhaustion.  Physical activity has that effect on cancer patients.

Walt finally comes to and they talk about the cancer.  Walt asks her if she’s happy but Skyler admits she isn’t and hasn’t been in a long time.  Walt believes that she already told Hank everything.  He tells Skyler that it’s his fault that Hank knows, that he slipped up and it cost them.  He offers to turn himself in on one condition – she must keep the money and give his legacy to his children.  After all, that is the reason he did all of this.  This is the second time that Walt surprised me.  For two instances, we saw a flicker of the old Walt, the Walt we came to love and root for in Season 1.  It seemed like that person was gone, especially after the heinous crimes he committed earlier this season.  Is it possible that the old Walt is still in there somewhere?

Skyler then tells Walt again that she did not tell Hank anything.  In fact, she believes that Hank doesn’t even have anything to work with besides his suspicions.  In a moment that proves that Walt isn’t the only one on this show who has transformed, Skyler suggests to Walt that their best move is to stay quiet.  Hello, Mrs. Heisenberg.

We then catch up with Lydia and get a glimpse into the world that was set in motion by Heisenberg.  Lydia, who looks utterly ridiculous strolling through the desert in heels, goes to visit the men that Walt left in charge.  She asks them to take Todd (Walt’s former mentee from earlier this season) back and allow him to cook a more superior product.  The men deny her but that doesn’t matter.  Soon after, Todd and his deranged family show up and kill all of the men in a firefight.  Lydia, the orchestrator of this whole thing, leaves the scene with her eyes closed to ensure she doesn’t have to live with the reliving the crimes she committed.  This story isn’t over yet.

We stop by the Schrader house one more time to find Marie and Hank now both playing hookie from work.  Marie tells Hank it’s time for him to go to the DEA with this case.  In a gut-wrenching scene, Hank finally admits a hard truth to Marie.  Once Hank tells the DEA that Heisenberg, the man he’s been chasing after and the man that destroyed his life, was in fact Hank’s very own brother-in-law, Hank’s career is over.  The least Hank can do for himself is to bring in solid evidence, so he is the man who takes Heisenberg down.  However, Marie tells him that if Hank hides the truth and the DEA figures it out without him, and realizes Hank’s role, he will go down with Walt.  That seems to change Hank’s mind.

He heads back into work and makes arrangements for a conference call.  It seems like Hank is about to open the can of worms.  However, in a brilliant twist of fate, Hank learns that Jesse Pinkman has been arrested and found with millions of dollars in unreported cash.  Booyah baby (at least for Hank).  As Hank convinces the cops to give him some time with the prisoner and heads into the interrogation room with a very much alone Jesse, the dorm slams shut and we cue the credits.

So there we have it.  We are now six episodes away from the series finale and we have no idea where we are headed.  The only thing we know is to expect one crazy ride with twists and turns to the very end.  Catch all new episodes of Breaking Bad Sundays at 9pm on AMC.


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Breaking Bad 5×9 Recap, “Blood Money”

WARNING – If you have not yet watched Sunday’s new episode of Breaking Bad, 5×9 “Blood Money”, DO NOT READ THIS POST.  This article contains SPOILERS!

In a brilliant episode, which not only answered many questions but also posed new ones, and spurred thousands of theory conversations all across the Internet, AMC delivered the final season premiere of Breaking Bad, episode 5×9 entitled “Blood Money.”  The full recap discussion is below.

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We open with skate-boarders having at it in the Walt’s abandoned backyard pool.  We then pan to the front to find a much scruffier and hairier Walt breaking into his condemned house.  We notice he’s driving the red car that he procured with the M60 in the trunk from the cold open of BB 5×1.

The house is completely empty and dilapidated, and the word “Heisenberg” is scrawled in graffiti on the wall.  The White’s have clearly been gone for a long time – how long, we do not know.  We can only guess it isn’t too far past Walt’s 52nd birthday, considering the car and his disheveled appearance.

Walt slowly takes everything in as he makes his way back to his bedroom.  There, he removes the Ricin from the outlet he hid it in during Season 5.  This is the reason for his return.  However, in an interaction with his neighbor, Carol, it’s confirmed that everyone knows who Walt is and they are very much afraid him

We jump back to The Moment, the one where Hank is reading the encrypted message in “Leaves of Grass” which confirms that his dear brother-in-law, Walter White, is Heisenberg.  This is the moment we’ve been waiting for!

Hank leaves the bathroom with the book in hand.  It’s too soon for a confrontation, so he sticks it in Marie’s bag and then feigns illness to get out of dodge.  Marie and Hank leave and then Hank, clearly reeling and very shaken after his discovery, suffers from a panic attack while driving home.  We have a quick moment in the hospital, so Marie can rule out a heart attack, before they return home.  When they get home, Hank asks Marie not to mention any of this to Skyler.

Hank heads to the garage and takes out the Gale Boetticher case files.  He tries to match the “W.W.” written in the Whitman novel with the “W.W’ written in Gale’s lab notes.  It seems that he’s found a match, but he needs to find more evidence.

We cut to the unknowing Walt, who is busy trying to come up with marketing tactics for air fresheners and assimilate into his “carwash owner” lifestyle, talking strategy with Skyler.  It’s here that Walt mentions “the story” and reiterates to her the importance of sticking to it.  I feel like this is important, since Vince Gilligan put it in the episode.  I guess we shall see.

Lydia stops by the car wash, which Skyler notices is pretty odd.  Lydia’s there to beg Walt to return to his laboratory, because the cook he left in charge is producing meth with purity levels at 68%.  She seems almost desperate, and mentions  “a lot of moving parts.”  Walt thinks this isn’t his concern and dismisses her.  How foolish of him.  Walter killed Gustavo Fring in 4×13, and he knows that Gus has many friends and connections, many of which would be happy to seek revenge against the infamous Heisenberg.   Plus, Gus’ military background as Generalissimo in the Chilean army, and the many mentions of his connections to Chile, make me think it’s too soon for Walter to stop watching his back.  However, Lydia leaves the carwash.  But not before Skyler gets an opportunity to tell Walt’s former business associate to never come back to their carwash again.

Hank stops going to work and begins having work brought to him.  He has all the case files on everything blue- and Gus-related delivered to his house.  He’s working to find connections between Heisenberg, Gus, and his brother-in-law.  Remember, Hank is the boss now so he can pretty much do whatever he wants.  We then have a scene montage where Hank is like the new Carrie Mathison, working the case crazy-timeline style.   It seems as if Hank isn’t going to find anything, until he stumbles upon the sketch of Heisenberg that appears to be a dead ringer for Walter White.

Then, it’s the second moment we’ve all been waiting for – the first sighting of Jesse Pinkman.  Jesse is hanging out with Badger and Skinny Pete, who are in the middle of an intense Star Trek conversation/smoke session.  Jesse seems disinterested and lost, and he’s not really paying them any attention.  Poor Jesse.  He was a wreck after the boy was shot and killed during the freight train heist last season and he doesn’t seem to have gotten over it.  Side note – Badger’s story was pretty funny.  Jesse suddenly goes and gets two huge black duffle bags and heads to Saul Goodman’s office.

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After growing impatient and smoking up in his waiting room, Jesse sees Saul.  He tells Saul the bags are each full of $2.5 million and he wants one to go to Mike’s granddaughter Kaylee, and the other to go to the parents of Drew Sharp (murdered boy).   Saul tries to talk Jesse out of it but he insists before leaving the office.  Saul then calls Walter to report on Jesse’s behavior.  Walt instructs Saul to hold on to the money.  We then see that as Walt is on the phone with Saul, he is also receiving chemotherapy treatment.  The cancer is back. 

We catch up with a distressed Jesse as he lies underneath his table, watching a huge bug scuttle across the glass.  I take it that this big bug is a symbol, representing or even foreshadowing contamination, as the fly has in earlier seasons.  I digress.  Walt then stops by to return Jesse’s money, and try to convince Jesse that they are still partners.  Walter reminds Jesse that he’s earned his money, which makes Jesse look even more sickened and distressed.  Walt tells a teary-eyed Jesse to let go of the darkness behind him and let go of the past.  It may be easy for Walt, but Jesse can’t seem to let go of his pain.

Jesse then tells Walt why he wants to help take care of Kaylee.  He knows that the only way Walt could execute all of Mike’s men (like he did in BB 5×8) is if Mike is permanently out of the picture.  Walt (of course) denies this and pretends like Mike left town alive and well.  Jesse doesn’t really buy it, and it seems Jesse has really come to hate Walter White.

Over family dinner, Skyler mentions that Hank still isn’t feeling well and hasn’t returned to work.  Walt then flees to the bathroom and covers up his vomiting, caused by the chemotherapy.  (PS – Notice in this scene he is sure to kneel on his towel, like Gus does in Season 4).   It is then that Walt first notices his Whitman book is gone.  He then heads outside to search his car and, much to his dismay, discovers a GPS tracking device attached to it.  It’s the same tracker that he himself stuck on Gus’ car on Hank’s behalf in Season 4.  Walt now knows that Hank is (finally) onto him.

Jesse then finds himself in the parking lot of a bar being solicited by a homeless man.  He pays it forward, and hands the homeless guy a huge stack of cash.  An idea then hits him and Jesse begins to drive through the streets of Albuquerque, tossing cash onto lawns, newspaper-style.

As Hank receives another shipment of files (I guess he’s having trouble building the case?), Walt shows up at the house.  Never one to avoid a confrontation, Walt heads right for the garage.  After dribbling around an awkward and forced conversation, Walt finally gets to the point.  He pulls out the GPS tracker and asks Hank if he knows anything about it.  In a move that I definitely didn’t see coming, Hank closes the garage door and punches Walt in the face.

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“It was you, all along. It was you, you son of a bitch.”  And then Hank begins to rattle off the hindsight moments that ate at him the most – Walt drove them into traffic to avoid the laundry, he faked a call about Marie in the hospital to avoid Hank finding him, he killed 10 witnesses to protect his name, he bombed a nursing home.  And then Hank calls him by his true name – Heisenberg.  Walt denies the “wild accusations” and tries to use the family card.  He then tells Hank that his cancer is back, and none of this will even matter in six months because he will be dead.  So according to Walt, there is no point for Hank to even pursue this, if there is even anything there.  And then, in the most perfect sentence that could be written to come out of Bryan Cranston’s mouth, Walt tells Hank, “If you don’t know who I am, then maybe your best course would be to tread lightly.”

And BOOM, there you have it.  The ground for the final episodes of Breaking Bad is laid.  And now the waiting begins.

As mentioned above, there are many different theories circulating the Internet right now about how Breaking Bad is going to end. Of all the ones I’ve read, this one here is my particular favorite.  In this theory, Walt murders his wife at some point between Hank discovering the truth and the cold open of Season 5.  In my opinion, this is perfect.  There is no greater way to symbolize the full circle that Walt has come – the transformation from Walter White to Heisenberg.  But, I don’t want to focus too much on theories.  I want to enjoy this final ride as it plays out, since this is the last time I’ll ever be enjoying new and unknown episodes of Breaking Bad.

New episodes of Breaking Bad air Sundays at 9pm on AMC. 


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Top 10 Moments from GOT 3×8 “Second Sons”

Okay, so we know we dropped the ball with our Game of Thrones recap from two weeks ago, but RPW was actually on vacation in Jamaica so we hope you can forgive us.  Since we’re now all officially suffering from GOT withdrawal [since there was no new episode last week;  I’m still bitter], I’ve decided to help combat our pain with a top 10 list.  Here are our top 10 favorite moments from “Second Sons” featuring not one, but all four of the major houses.

10. Arya’s face when she realized she was going to her family

The last we saw Arya, she was captured by the Hound. We catch up with her again as the dynamic duo travel through Westeros. The Hound takes Arya to the Red Fork river which she mistakes for the Blackwater.  The Hound shocks her when he finally tells her of his plan to return her to the Twins. “Why there?” she asks because she has no idea about the impending wedding between Edmure and Frey’s daughter.  The Hound informs her of the news, and his plans to sell her back to Catelyn and King Robb.  This is not what she was expecting and Arya’s face is priceless.  She looks like a kid who was just told Santa is real. 

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9. Cersei threating to have Margaery killed 

We saw Margaery initiate some soon-to-be sister action and Cersei was not having it.  After a pathetic attempt by Margaery to get friendly with Cersei, Cersei scares the crap out of her by threatening to have her murdered in her sleep. 

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Cersei 1 Margaery 0

8. Stannis wishing death upon the Usurpers

After some sick experiment with Melisandre and Gendry (we’ll discuss further down the list), Stannis makes some big death requests from the Lord of Light.  He asks for the LOL to kill the three usurpers to the Iron Throne – Robb Stark, Balon Greyjoy, and Joffrey Baratheon.  

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7. Sansa’s composed strength during her horrendous wedding

Poor Sansa suffered the wedding from hell.  She was forced into marrying Tyrion, threatened to be raped by Joffrey, and something just felt wrong about Sansa’s family (or who is left of it) being completely absent from the ceremony.  But through it all, Sansa showed amazing grace, composure ,and strength well beyond her years.  As Tyrion Lannister once said, “Lady Stark, you may survive us yet.”

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6. Olenna mocking her grandchildren for their twisted family tree

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Enough said; Olenna Out. 

5. Tyrion telling Joffrey he can screw his wife with a wooden c*ck

Joffrey pushed Tyrion’s buttons quite a few times during the entire wedding ceremony.  But nothing was worse than when Joffrey tried to force Tyrion and Sansa into performing a public bedding ceremony.  Tyrion was quite drunk and not interested in publicly consummating the marriage.  After Joffrey continued to endlessly push him, he stabbed the table with a knife and threatened the king with this line: “You’ll be f—ing your own bride with a wooden cock,” if the king continued.

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4. Tyrion defying his father by refusing to sleep with Sansa

Tywin Lannister set up this wedding, so he was determined to make sure the marriage was consummated.  He made a point to visit Tyrion at the wedding table and order Tyrion to impregnate his new bride with a Lannister child ASAP.  Instead of heeding his father’s request,  Tyrion got plastered during the wedding.  After Tywin put the fire out on the whole Joffrey incident, Tyrion left the reception with his wife.  They returned to their chambers where they discussed Sansa’s super young age, and Tywin’s orders.  Sansa finally started drinking and undressing, accepting her fate and preparing to do the deed with Lord Tyrion.  But, in a shock to everyone, Tyrion tells Sansa he won’t do it.

 

3. Gendry survives the Red Priestess

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Melisandre used Gendry as a pawn in a disgusting experiment to prove to Ser Davos that the LOL was the real thing.  She seduced Gendry and slept with him, then deceived him and literally used his blood (and leeches) so Stannis could offer symbolic sacrifices to the LOL in the form of  the three usurpers to the throne.  The big shock here is the Gendry actually survived the Red Priestess.  After some convincing from the Onion Knight, Stannis must have demanded that his nephew be left alive.  Thank you, Stannis. #TeamGendry

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2. Daario bends the knee and swears fealty to the Dragon Queen

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Let’s take a minute to appreciate the new man in Dany’s life, Daario Naharis. Those eyes! Those cheek bones! OMG! Okay, back to the list.

Daario Naharis (previously lieutenant in the Second Sons) fights for beauty above all.  When Dany met with the captains and lieutenant of the Second Sons in an effort to buy their swords, he saw her beauty.  His captains did not.  When they ordered Daario to assassinate Dany, he refused and he killed both of them.  He brought their heads to Dany after sneaking through her camp and holding Missandei hostage.  But he quickly revealed himself, their heads, and his intentions.  All we can say is, we want more where this came from.

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1. Sam stabs the White Walker with a piece of dragon glass (and then leaves it behind like an idiot)

Our favorite moment of the last episode of GOT was also the last scene. Intentional? Probably. Regardless, here’s what happened.

Sam and Gilly are holed up in a cabin, trying to build a fire (again) and talking about baby names for Gilly’s son (it won’t be Russell).  Sam notices a large gathering of crows outside their cabin and the crows are making a lot of noise.  He decides to go out and investigate and orders Gilly to stay put.  Sam goes outside, sword in hand, only to see his worst nightmare – a White Walker is approaching.  The White quickly destroys Sam’s sword and makes a move for Gilly and the baby (who obviously came outside).  So in a moment of panic, Sam reaches for the only weapon on him – the black dragon glass that he’s been carrying around.  He stabs the White in the back and the creature explodes.  The two run for their lives with a flock of crows chasing after them, but they left the glass, and their best chance of surviving, behind.

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Top 10 Moments from Game of Thrones 3×7 “The Bear and the Maiden Fair”

In Game of Thrones episode 3×7 ‘The Bear and the Maiden Fair’ we actually got a bear, and a (sort of) maiden fair.  Oh, and everyone is in love.  Instead of a recap this week, we are counting down our favorite moments of the episode.

#10 Love vs. Loyalty

It seems that everyone is struggling between love and loyalty.  Jon Snow is falling in love with Ygritte, but wanting to remain loyal to the Night’s Watch.  Ygritte is realizing that eventually she’s going to have to choose between Jon Snow and the Wildlings (I think she’ll choose Snow, once she realizes the Wildlings don’t really stand a chance).  Robb has abandoned his loyalty to Frey for his love for Talisa.  Tyrion is struggling between his love for Shae and his loyalty to his family.

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#9 Gendry finds out he’s royalty

Melisandre:  Your blood is noble.
Gendry:  Are you saying my father, he was some lord or…
Melisandre:  There. Your father’s house. (pointing to the Red Keep)
Gendry:  I’m just a bastard.
Melisandre:  The bastard of Robert of the House Baratheon, first of his name, King of Andals and the First Men.  Haven’t you ever wondered where your strength comes from?  Your talent for fighting?

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#8 Girl talk with Margaery and Sansa

Margaery helps Sansa understand a little bit about the birds and the bees as they discuss her upcoming nuptials to Tyrion.

“Some women like tall men. Some like short men. Some like hairy men, some like bald men. Gentle men, rough men, ugly men, pretty men. Pretty girls. Most women don’t know what they like until they’ve tried it. And sadly so many of us get to try so little before we’re old and gray.”

The best part was when Sansa asked Margaery how she knew all this?  “Yes, sweet girl, my mother taught me.”  Sweet girl aka dumb girl.

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#7 Joffrey is actually right

Joffrey and Tywin have a bit of a showdown, each assert their dominance.  Tywin wins of course, but Joffrey is right when you think about it.  He should be briefed on the small council.  And, he’s the only one showing any concern about the impending threat of Dany and her dragons.

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#6 Ygritte sees a castle (or a windmill, same difference)

Now on the other side of the wall, it’s Jon’s turn to educate Ygritte about the ways of the land.  After mistaking a windmill for a castle, he know he’s got a long road in front of him.  He tells her about Westeros girls, how they swoon and wear silk dresses.  And of course, how he wants to see her in a pretty silk dress (so he can rip it off).  Ygritte replies, “You rip my pretty silk dress, I’ll blacken your eye.”

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#5 Dany’s Throne

Could it be anymore perfect?

#4 Girl Power

Dany proves that she’s a force to be reckoned with.  To expand her title as “The Breaker of Chains,” she has set her eyes on Yunkai, the home of 200,000 slaves.  Yunkai offers her a chest full of gold and a fleet of ships to leave their city alone.  Dany counters that she will spare his life if his city releases every single slave.  “Reject this gift and I shall show you no mercy,” she says cooly.  Then she keeps the gold as the dragons force him to leave.

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#3 Jaime saves Brienne

Revealing our title “The Bear and the Maiden Fair,” Brienne is thrown into a pit with a bear and a wooden sword to protect herself.  Jaime returns from his release to save her.  He jumps into the pit completely unarmed in order to force Bolton’s men into helping.  He refuses to come out until Brienne is pulled up safely.  Then he scrambles up with the help of Brienne.  It was very heroic.

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#2 The Bear

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#1 Robb’s Bum

I would post a picture, but this is a family friendly blog. 😉


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Game of Thrones 3×6 Recap

The Climb

“Chaos isn’t a pit. Chaos is a ladder. Many who try to climb it fail and never get to try again. The fall breaks them. And some are given a chance to climb, they cling to the realm or the gods or love. Only the ladder is real. The climb is all there is.”

Chaos.  In Game of Thrones episode 3×6 ‘The Climb’ we got the calm before the storm.  Several storylines begin to surface and it looks like it’s all-downhill from here for Season 3.

House Stark

Sam – Sam and Gilly are trying to get warm, but Sam kind of sucks at building a fire.  When that fails to impress, he shows her his dragonglass.  Remember those dagger-like things that he and a few other Watchmen found?  Yea, judging by the close-up we got, it’s going to be important so pay attention.  She’s not really impressed.  But she is impressed that Sam is high-born and now that he’s got her attention, he tells her about Castle Black and The Wall.  In case we needed a reminder (since Jon Snow is about the climb it), Sam reminds us about the size of The Wall:

Gilly:  Is The Wall as big as they say?
Sam:  Bigger… So big you can’t even see the top sometimes. It’s hidden in clouds!
Gilly:  You’re playing with me…?
Sam:  Am not.  It’s 700 feet high; all made of ice, on a warm day you can see it weeping.

Such a poet, that Sam.

Bran – Mean Girls, GOT Edition.  Osha is writing in her burn book about how she can skin a rabbit better than Meera.  No offense Meera, but Osha’s skinning seemed a lot more efficient, you might want to take notes.  Bran is trying to referee this argument when Jojen has a seizure.  Meera rushes to his aid as Bran and Rickon panic.  I always forget that Rickon exists until I see him again.  Meera explains that the visions come with a price.  Jojen wakes and explains that he dreamed of Jon Snow at The Wall.  Bran is all like “whaaaa?”

Jon Snow – Jon Snow and Ygritte prepare for their climb.  Jon is scared (perfectly reasonable); Ygritte is excited.  This is something she’s been wanting;  “I’ve waited my whole life to see the world from up there.”

Ygritte then teases him a bit about their sexual escapades; I bet he’d blush if he wasn’t so cold.  Now that Jon Snow has proven himself to Ygritte, he doesn’t tolerate her teasing too much.  He knows where he stands.

Ygritte has figured him out, “you’re loyal, and you’re brave.”  She knows that Snow is still loyal to the Night’s Watch and she intends to keep his secret.  In exchange, she only asks for his loyalty. “You’re going to be loyal to your woman,” she tells him that they are just soldiers in an army, no one cares if they live or die.  They have to depend on one another to survive, “it’s you and me that matter to me and you.”  They’re the Bonnie and Clyde of Westeros.

With that, they begin their climb.  They’re trekking along when Ygritte notices a crack spreading along The Wall, large chunks begin to fall taking climbers with them.  Jon and Ygritte lose their footing and are DANGLING off.  She begins to swing him so he can grab hold of The Wall.  Orell tries to cut them loose, but Snow connects with The Wall just in time.  Ygritte had a point, I guess.

The episode ends with Jon Snow and Ygritte reaching the top of The Wall; they made it.  Together, they take in the view and make out a little bit and can you blame them?  Overall this was a sweet scene, the calm before the chaos for sure.

Arya – Arya is having an archery lesson with the Brotherhood Without Banners, when someone stops by for a visit.  Melisandre, Stannis’ favorite lady in red is here to pick up something (or someone).

First, she chats with Beric and Thoros about the Lord of Light.  She’s quite impressed (and maybe a little jealous) that Beric has been brought back from the dead six times.  The contrast here is so interesting to me, Beric’s Lord of Light seems forgiving and hopeful.  When Melisandre talks about the Lord of Light, its scary and dark.

Melisandre bribes Beric so that she can take Gendry back to Dragonstone (told ya).  Keep in mind, Gendry is Robert Baratheon’s bastard and Melisandre needs Baratheon blood to make another demon baby, “The Lord of Light needs this boy.”  I don’t know about you guys, but I’m going to miss Gendry.  I loved the sweet moment that he shared with Arya last week.  I just wanted him to make it out of Westeros alive, like Hotpie. When Gendry protests, Melisandre tells him “You are more than they can ever be, they’re just foot soldiers in the Great War.  You will make kings rise and fall.”

Arya immediately hates Melisandre (rightfully so) and, in probably my favorite scene of the episode, isn’t afraid to let her know.  Arya grabs Melisandre and spins her around, Melisandre counters with a prophecy, “I see a darkness in you and in that darkness eyes staring back at me. Brown eyes. Blue eyes. Green eyes.  Eyes you’ll shut forever. We will meet again.”

Theon – Where in the Seven Kingdoms is Theon?!  We have our theory, what is yours?  Who is this person that is keeping him captive?  What does he want?  The Boy starts out by mocking poor Theon.  He wants to play a game.  The Boy chooses Theon’s little finger as the least important body part.  Now, Theon is allowed to guess where he is and who the boy is, until he’s begging for The Boy to cut off his finger.

“If you think this has a happy ending, you haven’t been paying attention,” The Boy says.  Oooooh.

Theon guesses The Boy is the son of Robb’s bannerman Karstark, you know, the guy Robb beheaded last week.  The Boy entertains this for a while, let’s Theon experience seem relief, then GOT YA!  Just kidding, that’s not who I am.  He then peels off the end of Theon’s finger until finally, Theon begs for him to cut it off.

Anyone else feeling sorry for Theon yet?

I am astounded by the actor playing The Boy (Spring Awakening alum, Iwan Rheon).  He is so good at playing crazy! Those eyes! That mocking tone in his voice!  Can someone look into this, is he actually crazy?!

Robb – You may remember last week when Robb decided to take Casterly Rock, but he needs the help of the Frey’s to do so.  After marrying Talisa, Robb lost his only bargaining chip.  He meets with two representatives from the Frey House to evaluate his options.  Frey has three conditions:  an apology (done), Harrenhal (okay), and Robb’s uncle Edmure must marry a Frey daughter.  Edmure objects (just as much as Robb did), wants to know if he can pick.  He argues, “No man can compel another man to marry.”  Um yes, they can.  Robb reminds him of his big mistake with The Mountain and wins via guilt-trip.  So it’s settled, Edmure will marry a Frey.  I’ve got a bad feeling about this.

Sansa – Sansa has a date with Loras.  God, could their conversations get anymore boring?  Could Loras be anymore gay?  That leads us to the Lannisters.

House Lannister 

We finally get some Lannister action when we open to a nice dinner scene with Jaime Lannister, Brienne of Tarth, and Lord Roose Bolton. Brienne is dressed in a new outfit – a pretty pink dress. (She looks more uncomfortable than Loras pretending to like women.) Jaime is struggling trying to learn how to adjust to life with one hand. Brienne eventually has enough and slams her fork into Jaime’s steak to assist him in cutting.

It seems his ego and attitude hasn’t quite adjusted, though. Lord Bolton and Jaime start to go back and forth on how many people would pay for Jaime’s freedom. “We both know who would pay the most, or make you pay the most if he found out you captured me and sent me back up North,” Jaime threatens Bolton. Bolton tells him he won’t sell him back to his father, but he will send him back to King’s Landing as long as Jaime swears to tell his daddy that Bolton didn’t maim him. The two come to a deal, except Bolton refuses to allow Brienne to leave with Jaime.  “I’m afraid I must insist,” Jaime rebukes.  But Bolton reminds Jaime, for what feels like the umpteenth time, that he is not in any position to barter.  I mean, he literally has one hand and is surrounded by a garrison of Northmen.

The next scene is a true delight to watch. Man, if there ever were two people meant to act on screen together, it’s these two. They’re literally a match made in heaven.

We find Lord Twyin Lannister and the Lady Olenna Tyrell discussing the proposal of a wedding between Cersei and Loras. Olenna is opposed to the idea; she believes Cersei is too old. She fears that “the most beautiful woman in the Seven Kingdoms” will soon no longer be able to bear children. Tywin shoots back, why does it matter if she can’t have children? The marriage will hide Loras’ night-time activities.  Olenna doesn’t care or deny it. She admits that he’s a “sword swallower, through and through.” She asks Tywin if he ever experimented in such activity. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him more uncomfortable. He insists that he would never take part in such “unnatural behavior.”

Then Olenna drops her final attempt at avoiding the wedding. “Brothers and sisters, where I come from that stain would be very difficult to wash out.” Tywin seems cornered for a second, but he retaliates. They bounce pointed questions off each other until finally Tywin shuts it down. If Olenna refuses to marry Loras to Cersei, he will appoint Loras to the King’s Guard, making it so he Loras can never marry, reproduce, or become heir to High Garden. “It’s a rare enough thing, a man who lives up to his reputation.” Olenna out. And unfortunately, Olenna gives in. Loras will marry Queen Cersei.

We have another loving family scene between brother and sister, Tyrion and Cersei Lanniser.  The two banter back and forth about how bad their situation is, as each is being forced by their father to marry someone of his choosing.  Cersei offers to have them both killed – meaning Sansa and Loras – but Tyrion doesn’t that’s an option.

Cersei does something then that no one else did before – she gives Tyrion his due credit for saving King’s Landing and acknowledges that the city would have been sacked without him.  Then Tyrion finally asks her the thing he’s been wondering most  – did she try to have him killed in the Battle of the Blackwater? Shockingly, it wasn’t her but her son, King Joffrey.  Tyrion figures this out because only two people can give an order to the King’s Guard – the King and the Queen Regent. Tyrion whines that Joffrey is an idiot, but really he’s just fearful that his life is still in danger. “Probably. But not from Joffrey, he won’t do anything while Father’s here.” Oh, won’t he? More on that later.

Cersei tells Tyrion that she is fearful that the Tyrell’s will take power from the Lannister’s and “history will be taken from their hands.” It’s sort of refreshing to see these two bonding and brooding over their impending fates. Then, Tyrion has to do an unfortunate task – break the news to Sansa and her hand-maiden, Shae, about the upcoming nuptuals.

Now here is one of the biggest mysteries in Game of Thrones.  Why did they set up this scene perfectly, only to not show it?? We see Tyrion enter Sansa’s room and painfully realize he has to tell his lover that he’s betrothed to another woman. Your heart breaks for Tyrion because you can see the pain written all over his face, no pun intended.  It’s ashame they didn’t show this. I would’ve paid a lot of money to see Shae’s reaction to Tyrion’s news.

Then we have what I like to call a HPP – Huge Power Play. This one was sort of subtle, but still extremely impactful. Well played again, writers.  Petyr Baelish and Lord Varys are in the Throne Room, having one of their playful conversations. We have seemingly innocent banter about the two of them competing with each other, and rooting against each other, until Petyr drops a bomb. He knows Ros betrayed him, he gave her to someone to do cruel things to her, and he thwarted Varys’ plan to marry Sansa off to the Tyrell’s.

“She was a bad investment on my part.” This sent chills through my body, as I recalled the time in Season 2 when Petyr threatened Ros.  “I did what I did for the good of the realm,” Varys responds painfully.  This is the first time I ever saw Varys with fear on his face, but I still don’t doubt what he says. He seems like one of few people who may truly want what is best for the realm.

Then comes the big reveal, as Petyr monologues about chaos (quoted above). King Joffrey is the man that took Ros and he murdered her by literally using her for target practice with his new bow. Varys failed to keep his promise to Ros and Petyr triumphantly leaves King’s Landing knowing he outwitted and outsmarted the Spider, much to the dismay of Sansa Stark, who is seen sobbing as she watches Petyr’s boat (and her last chance of escaping King’s Landing) sail away without her.

It’s a shame to see a character like Ros go with another un-shown scene, especially since we’ve gotten to know her in the last few seasons. But in a way, I’m glad I didn’t see that. So thanks wrtiers, for saving me from a nightmare or two.

House Targaryen

No Targaryen action, much to my dismay.  Hopefully, that will result in a double dose next week, or maybe even an entire episode dedicated to Dany.  A girl can dream, right?

House Baratheon

Again, poor poor Gendry (see Stark).

Rock Paper Watch’s Top Quote of 3X6:

Jenn’s Pick – “It’s hard to say which of the four of us is getting the worst arrangement.” …. “Probably Sansa.” -Tyrion Lannister

Elizabeth’s Pick – “If you think this has a happy ending, you haven’t been paying attention.”  -The Boy

Game of Thrones Recaps are authored by Jenn O’Mera (Lannister and Targaryen) and Elizabeth Bond (Stark and Baratheon).  Feel free to contact any author with feedback or questions.  Also, we know that some characters are not technically a part of any of the major houses, it’s easier to recap this way.


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Game of Thrones 3×5 Recap

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In Game of Thrones episode 3×5 ‘Kissed by Fire,’ we finally get an answer to the question, ‘Do these people ever bathe?’  The answer is yes, and when they do, they bare it all (and no, not just physically, get your mind out of the gutter you dirty bird).  We saw several characters make emotional leaps this week.  There were several highly anticipated scenes and lots of plot twists, let’s dive in!

House Stark

Arya – Last week we learned that The Hound would endure a trial by combat to prove whether or not he was guilty of killing innocent souls.  His challenger would be Beric, the Brotherhood’s leader and avid follower of The Lord of Light.  Beric rubs blood on the sword and sets it ablaze.  We’re not sure what the purpose is, but it looks really cool and intimidating.  The duel is brutal, the two men are  swinging with all their might.  The Hounds’ known fear of flames makes me cringe, even more so when his wooden shield catches fire.  When Beric knocks The Hound to the floor, Arya yells, “Kill him!”  The desperation in her voice broke my heart.  Just once, she wants someone to pay for what they’ve done to her father and her family.  But today is not that day Arya.  The Hound eventually kills Beric.  It’s then that Arya takes matters into her own hands and she runs after The Hound with a knife.  The Hound chuckles at her attempt, gloating about how the gods prefer him to her little butcher boy.  “Burn in hell!,” she replies.

While all this is going on, Beric’s friend runs over and prays to the Lord of Light to bring him back and whaddya know, IT WORKS.  Beric pops up like he was just down for a quick nap, instead of fatally stabbed.

Later we learn that Beric has actually died six times and Thoros (his friend) keeps bringing him back through this prayer.  When it was just Melisandre, I assumed that all this Lord of Light stuff was a bunch of bologna, but Beric is “living” proof that it’s actually legit.  Maybe Melisandre wasn’t so crazy after all (just kidding, she’s nuts-o and scares me).

Gendry has decided that he’s staying with the Brotherhood as Beric’s smith.  Arya is not having it, and I don’t blame her.  First Hotpie and now Gendry?  I don’t want to see Arya left alone.  Gendry likes the comradery that exists within the Brotherhood.  “I can be your family,” Arya says. “You won’t be my family. You’ll be m’lady,” he replies. You know, I never thought about a romantic connection between these two until this very moment.  It would have been nice to finally see a healthy Baratheon/Stark union.

Jon Snow – Snow and the wildlings are making their way to The Wall and they want to be prepared.  Luckily, they have Snow around to grill about The Wall’s defenses.  He reluctantly tells them there are 19 strongholds, three are guarded, and Castle Black has 1,000 men.  Giantsbane is suspicious and I don’t blame him.  I can’t figure out Snow’s game either, is he actually leading the wildlings to The Wall or is he still playing spy?  Plus, is it even possible that Castle Black has that many men, considering most of them were killed by White Walkers?

Ygritte comes to his defense when Snow’s integrity is questioned and then flirtatiously steals his sword (thank god flirting has changed, I don’t think I could make holding a sword look cute).  She runs into a cave with the sword and Snow, pretending to be annoyed, follows.  She begins to strip “You swore some vows; I want you to break them.”  With that we get what we’ve all been waiting for, a Jon Snow sex scene.  I’ve heard this was pretty disappointing compared to what is depicted in the book, but I’ll take what I can get.  Ygritte runs her hands through Snow’s hair and says, “You know nothing, Jon Snow” just as he makes his way downtown proving he does know a little something-something.

In the afterglow Snow seems happy, there’s something sweet about all of it.  Ygritte discovers that he was a maid, he realizes that she wasn’t.  She starts to discuss her past conquests and he’s all ‘no thanks, don’t wanna hear it.’  She then says she’s been “kissed by fire,” a term Wildlings use to describe red heads (also our episode title).  They playfully hop into one of the steamy cave pools for a bath.  “Let’s not go back,” she says. “I don’t ever want to leave this cave, Jon Snow.”  It’s an endearing moment.  What do we think?  Are these two falling in love?  Does Snow genuinely care for her or is she a cover?

Robb – Robb, Robb, Robb.  I hate to break it to ya buddy, but you can kiss winning this war goodbye.  The captured Lannister children are awoken when someone comes storming into their bedroom.  We are just as confused as they are, one even asks, “Is this the rescue?” before quickly being stabbed by Robb’s bannerman, Karstark and his allies.  Robb is furious about this; “They were boys!,” he screams.  No doubt, dealing with some of the grief he’s harboring for the “death” of his own brothers.  Karstark’s son was killed by Jaime Lannister during his escape attempt and Karstark is pissed that Catelyn let Jaime go.  As Robb scolds him, Karstark teases him for his leniency.  Robb orders Karstark locked away and his allies hanged.  One begs for mercy, saying he only watched.  Robb replies “This one is the watcher, hang him last so he can watch the others die.”   Damn.

Robb’s wife, mother, and uncle urge him not to execute Karstark.  They will lose the support of his men as a result.  But Robb is pissed, and isn’t he sexy when he’s mad?!  But Karstark teased him, he’s asking for this, he must set an example.  Robb has Karstark taken outside where he chops off his head, just like his Dad taught him in the first episode.  Sure enough, Robb loses Karstark’s men.  His forces are practically cut in half.  He certainly can’t storm Kings Landing now.  He decides the only option is to take Casterly Rock, the Lannister’s home.  But there’s a catch, he needs more men and he needs them from Lord Frey, the man whose daughter he was supposed to marry.  Good luck with that.

Robb is clearly unraveling; he’s losing his temper, his control, his men, his mother.  What’s next?

Sansa – Cersei is rather suspicious of the Tyrell family and she knows that they’re up to something, but she can’t present anything to her father without facts and who better to help than Littlefinger.  Sansa is watching Loras fight while hanging out with Margaery; all the action is getting her a little worked up.  She begins to quiz Margaery on when they might move forward with the arrangement with Loras.  Margaery says that she will plant the seed with Joffrey after the wedding.  Sansa replies that Joffrey is not going to go for this, he has too many reasons to keep Sansa close, Margaery assures her that Joffrey will do this because “it pleases her.”  What do we think?  Does Margaery have this much control over Joffrey?  It’s likely, the girl’s good at what she does.

Up until now, the wedding has been planned in secret.  After the fighting, Loras retreats to the bedroom with one of the male servants.  During pillow talk, he spills the beans about his upcoming nuptials.  Naturally, the servant is working for Littlefinger.  You would think that Loras, since he’s desperately hiding in the closet, would recognize that you can’t trust anyone in Kings Landing and should keep these things to yourself.

In one of the most uncomfortable scenes in this episode, Littlefinger and Sansa meet to discuss their plans to leave King’s Landing and the lies pour out like wildfire.  Sansa tells Littlefinger that they should stay in King’s Landing for his safety, Littlefinger pretends to be completely fine with it.  As the viewer, you know that he knows what she knows.  As if it wasn’t awkward enough, Littlefinger then makes Sansa kiss his hand. Buh.

But what will Cersei and the Lannisters do with this information…?

House Lannister

We open to our first House Lannister scene with the sellsword, Locke, presenting Jaime Lannister and Brienne of Tarth to Lord Roose Bolton.  If Bolton is still where we left him, then they should be in Harrenhal.  Lord Bolton turns ill at the sight of Jaime’s detached hand hanging around his neck and tells the men to get rid of it.  He also has Brienne cut free, apologizes for her treatment, and offers his protection.  Since this is the first time Jaime has been in contact with civilized people, he asks if there has been word of his family.  Bolton cruelly tricks Jaime into thinking that his sister (and lover) is dead for a second, but alas, she is alive and well and nestled safely with the rest of her family in the capital.  Lord Bolton then sends Jaime to receive treatment for his wounds.

Unfortunately for the Kingslayer, he’s living in the era of Game of Thrones, which means no science, no medicine, and definitely no Percocet.   Jaime is also being treated by a maester who was stripped of his chains.  Poor guy can’t catch a break.  The maester tells Jaime the rot has spread and it’s best to remove the whole arm but Jaime refuses.  The maester then removes what “rotting flesh” is necessary while Jaime denies himself milk of the poppy.  The next few seconds seriously made my blood run cold.  Thanks GOT writers, for the grossest scene of television I’ve ever seen.

We see Jaime one more time after his wound is treated.  His arm is wrapped and treated, and he’s (finally!) taking a bath.  He decides to take a bath with Brienne, even though there’s another available tub.  I cracked up as Jaime tells her that this one suits him just fine.  Jaime isn’t looking good, and it’s disturbing to see him sit there holding his newly amputated arm out of the water.

Jaime’s well enough to fight with Brienne though, and he starts mocking her about Renly.  Brienne shows him that she’s not afraid of him anymore but bearing herself physically.  Jaime seems somewhat impressed by her fearlessness and does something no one expects – he apologizes to her and offers a truce.  He tells her that he trusts her and he opens up to her so maybe she’ll trust him, too.  The next thing Jaime does is something I’ve been waiting for for three years – he tells Brienne the real story behind his slaying of the Mad King.

Jaime takes us back to Robert’s Rebellion.  Jaime was serving on the King’s Guard for King Aerys II, and the day had come when Robert defeated Rhaegar at the Trident and was heading South to King’s Landing.  Tywin Lannister arrived at the city first and was waiting at the capital gates.  Jaime and Varys begged Aerys to surrender, but he ignored their pleas.  Instead, he listened to Pycelle who told him the Lannisters are friends of the city and can be trusted.  So Aerys opens up the gates and Tywin’s men enter and do what they do best – betray the crown and sack the city.  Desperate to save his king (as it truly does seem Jaime was loyal to Aerys), he once again insisted that Aerys surrender.  But Aerys wasn’t ready to give up.  Instead, he commanded that Jaime bring him Tywin’s head, and then he ordered his pyromaster to “burn them all.”  Jaime tells Brienne that Aerys had his men rig Wildfire underneath the city so he could literally burn all the men, women, and children of King’s Landing alive with one detonation.  Jaime asks Brienne if she would’ve kept her oath then, when she’s faced with murdering her own father and watching thousands of innocent people burn to death.  Jaime made his decision, and that was to save innocent people so he killed the pyromaster, then stabbed Aerys in the back as he tried to flea.  Brienne asks why Jaime never told anyone the truth, but Jaime insisted that the honorable Ned Stark would never have listened.  Ned found Jaime with his hand on the bloody sword, and that was all that mattered.  Jaime started to pass out and as Brienne caught him, she yelled for help for the Kingslayer.  The Kingslayer muttered one final phrase – “Jaime, my name’s Jaime.”

So Tywin was right after all.  Jaime does care what people think of him.  This scene leaves me wondering who Jaime Lannister truly is, and what he will become now that he’s no longer the best knight in Westeros.  I also am left wondering what will become of Brienne and Jaime.  It seems these two are on the cusp of a true friendship or perhaps even a relationship.  I love their chemistry, so I wouldn’t be disinclined for either of those scenarios to unfold.

The next Lannister action we get is a comical meeting between Lord Tyrion and the Lady Olenna of House Tyrell.  Together, these two characters are quite a treat.  Olenna starts off the conversation by demanding food from Tyrion’s servants.  “I always take figs mid-afternoon, they help move the bows.”  Well said, Lady Olenna.  She asks Tyrion what he wants.  He tells her that they need to discuss financial matters of the wedding, much to Olenna’s dismay.  She reminds Tyrion that it’s tradition for the Royal House to pay for the wedding but he insists that this wedding is too expensive and too extravagent.  Olenna chides back, “what good is the word extravagant if it can’t be used to describe a royal wedding?”

Tyrion tries to argue that the cost of war is just too much for the crown and this is where Olenna really puts Tyrion in his place.  She rattles off every single contribution that the Tyrells have made to the war effort, down to the very last horse.  It turns out the Tyrells have contributed quite a large amount to the war effort.  Nonetheless, Olenna agrees to pay for 50% of the wedding.

This scene really opened my eyes to the power within House Tyrell.  The Tyrells are rich and powerful, and they are also very smart.  And Lady Olenna clearly runs the show.  I think Cersei is right to be threatened by the Tyrells.

On a side note, Olenna makes fun of Tyrion for being so serious and focused on his duties and comments that she heard he was much more fun, and she’s disappointed that it’s not true.  It’s ashame she didn’t get to see Lord Tyrion at his finest.  I think these two could really be good friends.

The episode ends on another Lannister family meeting.  This time, Tyrion enters to find only his father and sister waiting for him.  Cersei Lannister seems oddly excited about something and Tywin Lannister does something that Tyrion isn’t expecting – he brings Tyrion into the fold.  Through the clever plot set up by Cersei and orchestrated by Baelish (I guess she does contribute to the family..), the Lannisters have discovered that the Tyrells are plotting to marry Sansa Stark to Loras, or in other words, steal the key to the North right out from under them.  Tywin is convinced that Robb will soon fall, and since Theon Greyjoy “murdered Rickon and Bran”, and no one can find Arya, Sansa is the heir to Winterfell.  In order to prevent this plot from coming to fruition, they need to find Sansa a different husband.

Cersei, Twyin, and Tyrion then prove that they really are portrayed by some of the most talented actors on television.  They convey the message that Tyrion will marry Sansa with LOOKS only.  It takes a lot of trust to allow actors to convey such an important message to the audience with no dialogue, but they do a phenomenal job.

Tyrion is shocked and angry.  He argues that poor Sansa has suffered enough, surely she doesn’t need to suffer him.  But Tywin is insistent and Tyrion has no choice.  Then Tywin drops an even bigger bomb on Mrs. Smug herself – Cersei will marry Loras Tyrell.  Cersei tries to argue that she is the Queen Regent therefore not meant to marry again.  But her father’s response is so cruel.  “You’re still fertile, you need to marry again and breed.  You’re my daughter, you will do as I command.”  Tywin’s plan seems flawless.  Through these arranged marriages, Tywin will have rights to Winterfell and Highgarden, therefore securing the reach and the North and securing the Lannister hold on Westeros.

House Targaryen

This episode had only a few scenes with House Targaryen and no dragon sightings, so hopefully that means we will be in store for more next week.  But we still checked in wtih Daenerys, Jorah Mormont, and Barristan Selmy.

On a side note, I want to commend the writers for their fantastic transitions and historical references this episode.  It’s always tricky for Game of Thrones to balance the characters and their histories because their are 26 different lead actors and their stories don’t always intertwine.  But the writers cleverly described Robert’s Rebellion and then the conquest of the Targaryen’s, tying in the Lannisters and the Baratheons, before cutting to Dany and her army slowly moving west.  Good work, writers.

Jorah and Barristan are swapping stories about their war battles and adventures.  The conversation quickly changes tone as Barristan talks about serving two mad kings, and hopes to one day serve a ruler he can believe in.  He asks Jorah if he believes in Dany and Jorah responds, “with all my heart.”  Dany does seem to be a ruler with a cause, as she fights for freedom for the oppressed.  But the two advisors are clearly sizing each other up.  They each have reasons to distrust the other.  Jorah thinks Barristan’s loyality is questionable, as Barristan spent most of his life serving kings who overthrew the Targaryen’s.  Barristan distrusts Jorah because he knows that Jorah was originally with Dany on behalf of Varys, and only after spending time with Dany did he change his mind.  This is definitely foreshadowing for a conflict among the Queensguard and it’s ashame.  I think this bromance had so much potential.

The writers then show you a reason why Dany is the ruler to believe in.  She meets with the self-chosen officers of The Unsullied.  The one who is meant to be the leader takes off his helmet and reveals his name, Grey Worm.  Missandai informs Dany that after The Unsullied were cut, they were given names of vermon, like Grey Worm and Red Flea, to remind them of their place in society.  Dany tells The Unsullied that they can now throw away their slave name and pick their own, as a sign of their status as free men.  The way that the young officer responds moved me to tears.  He tells Dany that will keep his name of Grey Worm.  He reasons that his first name is a name of bad luck, as that was his name when he was taken to become a slave.  “But Grey Worm is the name this one had the day Daenerys Stormborn set him free.”  It appears Dany has won not only the loyalty of The Unsullied, but also their respect and admiration.   I also just want to point out that the Valeryian of Emilia Clarke and The Unsullied sounds so legitimate, it’s hard to remember they’re speaking a made-up language.

House Baratheon

We finally meet Stannis’ wife, and let me tell you, Stannis loves the crazies doesn’t he?  We meet Lady Baratheon as she’s praying to the Lord of Light. Stannis guiltily tells her that he has sinned, he has had an affair.  She’s surprisingly okay with it.  Turns out she’s under Melisandre’s spell too and the Red Woman has already filled her in.  She believes that its what the Lord of Light wanted, and therefore it couldn’t have been a sin.  She is happy that Stannis finally had a son, and that’s when we meet a few of his other children, his stillborns who are FLOATING in JARS.  They’re just hanging out, like decorations, like the Baratheon’s got them at Pier One.

His wife is surprised to hear that he’s here to visit his daughter too.  Wait, he has a daughter too?  Where are these people?  Does he keep them hidden?  His daughter is so sweet.  She has scarring from grayscale, a flesh eating bacteria that leaves behind a scaly texture on the skin.  She is ecstatic to see her father, but also wants to know about Davos.  Where is he?  Why hasn’t he visited?  Stannis tells her that Davos is a traitor and is in the dungeon, glad he sugarcoated it.

The little girl goes to visit Davos and brings him a book to help pass the time.  He explains that the book is wasted on him, that he can’t read.  She then decides to teach him.

Rock Paper Watch’s Top Quote of 3X5:

Jenn’s Pick – “My children,  you disgrace the Lannister name for far too long.” ~ Tywin Lannister

Elizabeth’s pick – “If I faint, pull me out. I don’t intend to be the first Lannister to die in a bathtub.” – Jaime to Brienne

Game of Thrones Recaps are authored by Jenn O’Mera (Lannister and Targaryen) and Elizabeth Bond (Stark and Baratheon).  Feel free to contact any author with feedback or questions.  Also, we know that some characters are not technically a part of any of the major houses, it’s easier to recap this way.