Our fourth episode of HBO’s Game of Thrones begins with a living man bitching about being murdered, and by god the first scene with two living Starks in frame since Tonks and Rickon took off.
Noted: Tormund Giantbeard is fucking smitten with Brienne. And holy crap, Brienne completed a mission. And Sansa is a foot taller than Dead Snow.
And we are allowed a simple moment of warmth between siblings, in which the past is acknowledged and forgiven. And then we are on to Let’s Take Winterfell, since no one on this show can just say fuck it and make a fresh start.
Mel doesn’t look happy about her new mission parameters, and the talk between her and Davos is taking a dangerous turn before Brienne barges up, sword in hand, and takes credit for whacking the man they both so loyally and disastrously served. Davos and Mel can catch up on the rest of the recent Baratheon deaths later I suppose.
Back at the Vale, Robin Arryn is still a hapless veal calf, in spite of having shot up to the same height as Scratchy the Pimp. Robin’s fostering has had little effect on his general development, and Scratchy can still play him like a pennywhistle. So we get an uncomfortable scene which ends with the Knights of the Vale being roped into Scratchy’s latest double-cross.
In sunny Mereen, Tyrion is proposing a conservative solution, with gradual managed change. Tyrion is a pompous ass and well out of his depth. This is a gruelling scene, and plays like a lunch table of college freshmen discussing the need to raise the minimum wage. Then the hookers come out.
The Mereen city council is waiting below the stoop to call bullshit on Tyrion, who proceeds to ladle on further bullshit and get some of it on Grey and Missandei.
I’m trying to give Tyrion a break here, since he’s working with what he has, and that isn’t much. His brief is to keep a civil war from boiling over while two horny assholes scour the countryside for a woman who flew away on a dragon. He has no actual leverage against his well-funded enemies, and his legs are too short to make a run for it. All things considered, he isn’t doing that bad a job.
Up in the rocky scrub by Vaes Dothrak, we get cheap sexual bullying from Second Daario, and Jorah’s been outed as a Stone Man. Jorah has a terrible plan to sneak in and pretend to be merchants, which falls apart on first contact, since Daario is still wearing fucking battle armor. Jorah gets an ass kicking, but luckily Daario palmed his porno dagger while Jorah was thinking about what grayscale does.
Dothraki CSI is probably pretty crap, not that it matters.
Dany, meanwhile, is forming alliances within the First Wives Club, and whatever her plan is, it’s better than Jorah’s, which is his usual We’ll Die Trying idiocy.
Back at Scarhead Gitmo, Marge is on the outs with her pet centipede. So it must be a relief to be hauled upstairs to see the sun and get some backstory on the HS. Apparently success in the world of high fashion did this to him. That explains a whole hell of a lot.
Slow Loras, it turns out, is way too fragile for the dungeons. Though it looks like he’s getting way more smacking around than Marge. She’s wrong by the way; they’re letting her see Loras because they know they’ve broken him, and she’ll do whatever she can to save him.
Across town in Tommen’s office, the dolt Pycelle is clanking around passing out shitty advice. Which Tommen is susceptible to, since he is a gormless kid with a captive wife to worry about. Cersei is in a practical mood, and reminds Tommen that the HS doesn’t have an end game and just wants to do as much damage as he can for as long as he can. This shakes a little secret out of Tommen that Cersei can use.
In a super secret meeting with the two members of the small council who are not buffoons or ghouls, Jaime and Cersei sell a brilliant plan: Put the rescue of the Tyrell prisoners in the hands of the Tyrells. There’s no downside. If the rescue succeeds, great, and it solves the Scarhead problem for the crown. If it fails, and Marge and Loras don’t make it, that’s a Tyrell problem and no one gets to hang anything on the crown. It’ll be a bloodbath either way, but Lady O doesn’t give a shit.
Sailing towards the welcoming shores of the Asshole Islands, we see the earthly remains of Our Theon of Sorrows. Considering the welcome he got last time, he’s got a right to that expression of suppressed horror.
He in fact gets a rough welcome, again from sister Yara, but in the end he comes correct and we have the beginnings of an alliance.
And we get a brief, nasty scene with Barry the Bastard, hereafter known as Killer of Tonks. You can’t die hard enough, fucker.
A bit further north, we have a thoroughly awkward supper at the commander’s table. Tormund Giantbeard is making eyes at Brienne, who is having none of it.
And we get a letter of invitation from Killer of Tonks, who wants a fight.
If that “come and see” refrain sounds familiar, it’s from the King James version of Revelation, and the opening of the seven seals. “And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see. (Rev. 6:1)” Note that when Scratchy presented that bird to Robin, he also said Come and See. We are being promised something biblical here.
Back at Vaes Dothrak, it’s time for some callbacks. We get a brief primer on how Dany rose to power with Drogo, and how that went to shit. We get Khal Fuckface echoing Viserys’ smirking assurance to Dany that he’d let Drogo’s whole crew down to the horses fuck Dany if it got him an army. And we get a nod to the Battle of the Blackwater, with Dany’s having booby-trapped the temple with flammables.
And we get Dany striding through an inferno with a little Mona Lisa smile, watching men cower, flee, and burn. In the end, she emerges, like a beatific Carrie White, and all before her drop to their knees, including the two dipshits here to rescue her. Dany is back on her game. Everybody else better step the fuck up.