John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum
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I thought the season finale, "Mhysa," delivered the goods within the context of a show that saves its biggest moments for the second-to-last episode of the year.
Wagons are being circled. Birds are coming back to roost. Family and home were key themes in "Mhysa" - although, the episode makes clear, these things are luxuries, not givens, and they are not parceled out evenly among all takers.
"Mhysa," lets us lick our wounds and offers some uplifting moments to temper all that violence and nihilism (don't worry, there's still plenty of violence and nihilism too).
Game if Thrones ends season three on a mostly upbeat and forward-looking note.
This finale nicely set up a lot of cool stuff for Season 4, but it was also lacking some of the power and majesty of previous finales.
Following the trend established by the first two seasons of Game of Thrones, Season 3 packed a punch with the penultimate episode, while "Mhysa" quelled the lingering excitement and established a foundation for Season 4.
Usually when Thrones beats us up, the next week it comes back around with flowers and hugs and tries to act like everything is going to be okay.
Through three seasons of Game of Thrones, the finales have often felt less of a conclusion to the year we've just watched than a preview of what's to come. The big events happen in episode 9, and then the finale points the way forward.
This has been a fantastic season of Game of Thrones in which the show has come into its own, taking interesting risks with the source material and growing increasingly confident about its character development.
Happily, the broad and bracing "Mhysa" helped provide an answer. The motivation for Westerosi, high and lowborn alike, is the same thing that fuels big dreams and bigger alcohol consumption in our own realm: family.
It's impressive how the final installment somehow managed to live up to the previous exceptional episodes and provide a more than fitting cap to the most fantastic and fantastical season of Game of Thrones yet.
The penultimate episode of Game of Throne's third season was about despair... But the season finale was about hope -- hope in the form of Daenerys Targaryen, the last of her name, who has emerged as the show's conqueror and abolitionist.
Game Of Thrones is very much about the long game. We're ending in the middle of a book, for crying out loud, and it's not going to mess with that just to give us some fancy shocking ending.