TV Shows

Game of Thrones – “Book of the Stranger” (Season 6, Episode 4)

GOT S6E4.jpg

Hey, what do you know, I thought this was a pretty good episode! Well… I say “pretty good,” I mean “not bad.” Well… I say “not bad”…

We start off with Jon packing his things to go south. Dolorous Edd asks him the right questions – how can he leave? They are interrupted, however, by Sansa’s arrival. Now, the scene where Jon and Sansa reunite is a sweet enough scene, but it unfortunately turns into yet another example of just how poor the storytelling in this show is. So we have Sansa and Jon reunite, they hug, then they… cut to a “cute” scene where they’re laughing over meals and ale and Sansa’s apologizing to him for being a bitch to him years ago. Sorry, what? First and foremost, this show seems to have no qualms about putting in pointless filler expository scenes like Tyrion and Varys wandering about the streets of Meereen recapping what has happened in their storyline thus far, but the one moment where you actually need two characters to truly connect by discussing what’s happened to them, we don’t see any of that. I mean, I barely remember these two having any sort of interaction with each other back in season 1, so this would have been a good opportunity to let the audience properly connect with these two characters together by having them properly connect with each other based on things we’ve seen happen. Instead, we get Sansa apologizing for something that we never saw happen between them. When you’re inventing bullshit like that to make up a “cute” scene to generate audience pathos, you’re trying way too hard to fit a square peg into a round hole.

Davos also seems concerned about Melisandre a lot. Honestly, his character seems completely changed for no reason. And only now he’s asking what happened with Stannis? And Brienne shows up just in time to conveniently say she killed him. Eh.

“Uncle Petyr” arrives in the Vale – oh hey, we actually see him arriving in a carriage. No teleport this time (although it looks like he’s got his teleport back in the next episode). This was a fine enough scene. The Tyrion scenes this episode were also much better than his previous scenes this season; however, the show seems to think that he’s somehow this great emancipator (Benioff and Weiss laughably compared him to Abraham Lincoln) and seems to want us to like and agree with what he’s doing. Unfortunately, although he brings up the fact that Daenerys didn’t actually leave the masters with any alternative when she abolished slavery, he himself doesn’t give them any alternative. He simply says slavery will end in 7 years and that’s it. Huh? Tyrion definitely doesn’t have even an ounce of Abraham Lincoln’s intelligence or complexity as a character.

The High Sparrow gets another long-winded speech. This is getting exhausting. Seriously, they couldn’t give us a Jon and Sansa scene where they discuss their siblings (I mean, especially after Theon told Sansa he didn’t kill Bran and Rickon) but we have to sit through this shit week after week after week? These speeches sound so pompous – not in the sense of the character saying them, but in the sense of the people writing them who seem so sure they’re writing great material here. King’s Landing still bores the hell out of me.

Meanwhile, Theon has already arrived at Pyke. I’ll bet the next time we see Gilly her baby will still be a newborn. LOL. Yara keeps up the tradition of certain female characters on this show being bitchy and catty for no reason (see also: the Dosh Khaleen).  Over at Winterfell, Osha is killed by Ramsay in a terribly perfunctory scene. Did anyone not see this coming?

Back at The Wall, we get some comedy gold from Tormund crushing on Brienne. Sansa has been telling Jon to go to war on Winterfell, and conveniently enough, Jon receives the “pink letter,” where Ramsay claims he has Rickon. This was a fine enough scene.

Finally, Jorah and Daario find Dany and they concoct a plan together. We get yet another shit yeah Dany! scene, which is basically just a repeat of her season 1 ending. So now Dany’s immune to fire? And how the hell does that hut or whatever catch fire so quickly? Why were the Khal and other Dothraki talking about raping her when just a few episodes earlier they said she would be untouchable? Honestly, the Dothraki customs change more than Sansa’s character does every episode. Also, the CGI here when Dany steps out of the fire is rather terrible.

Overall, I did like this episode and did enjoy some scenes, but only while I was watching it – as is typical of this show, when I gave more than a moment’s thought to any given scene, its flaws would be revealed and the whole thing would begin to crumble under close scrutiny.

Grade: C+

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