Well. Uh. Okay, then.
Pluses, or, There’s a Few Things Happening Here
-First things first – from Drogon rearing up behind Daenerys to the final shots of Arya wandering through the apocalypse, this episode was gorgeous. Miguel Sapochnik and his DPs should win every Emmy and get all the credit in the world. They are Glen Coco, collectively, and Benioff and Weiss are both Gretchen Weiners. None for them. Bye! Plus 8,000 points.
-Honestly, we should have all known Dany would go batshit in this episode, because when we first see her, her hair looks like shit and she’s not wearing any makeup. These are the conditions under which a woman goes crazy. Girl, I’ve been there. I kind of get it. (Kind of). Plus 1,000 points.
-Varys is, as usual, a messy bitch who lives for drama, and since we all knew he would “die in this strange land,” this outcome wasn’t entirely unexpected. I definitely agree with the theory that he was trying to flat out poison Daenerys, but I was still sad to see him go. Bye, Eunuch. Bummed we never got your whole sorcerer story. Plus 2,000 points.
-That being said, did Varys’ Gossip Girl blast make it out into the world? I am dying to know. XOXO, please tell me (and have Kristen Bell do the voiceover, you cowards). Wash.
-Jon does not want to bang his aunt. THAT’S EXTREMELY NORMAL! Someone on this show is having a normal reaction to something weird!!!!! Plus 10,000 points!!!!!
-I know Tyrion should be ~*~loyal~*~ to his psycho queen but I do extremely love the through-line of him rescuing Jaime in return for his post-Tywin murder escape, and I really, deeply love their final moment together. The Lannister love is real, y’all (and not in an incestuous way this time). Also, Peter Dinklage and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau absolutely sell this scene. Plus 1,000 points.
-The very annoying behind the scenes feature (which, for this episode, mostly featured D&D waxing philosophical about how everyone on this show is a moron and how dead, burned child bodies are “visually interesting”) had VERY one cool fact – the crew for this show literally rebuilt Dubrovnik in the middle of Belfast so they could destroy King’s Landing without, you know, destroying a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The set is so convincing that my mother, with whom I walked the city walls and marble streets of Dubrovnik, was pretty convinced they shot it there, and honestly, I thought the same thing when I watched it. Way to go, crew. That’s an incredible accomplishment. (Also, this whole paragraph served as a humblebrag for me, a person who has been to Dubrovnik.) Plus 5,000 points.
-I am admittedly glad that Harry Strickland, First of His Boring Name, was executed very quickly. Plus 500 points.
-Cersei spends 88% of this episode drinking wine and angrily looking out of a window. While I understand this is a waste of Lena Headey’s raw, insane talent, I also respect that she got paid probably a million dollars to do that. As far as acting goes, that is a big ass goal. Plus 3,000 points.
-Arya and the Hound just kind of wander into King’s Landing and expend no effort whatsoever, and that feels right. Plus 300 points.
-Maybe this is an unpopular opinion, but the last moment between Arya and The Hound was lovely. He recognizes that she’s not worth this particular sacrifice, and she realizes he’s right, and I love this journey for the two of them. Plus 1,000 points.
-I laughed SO LOUDLY when The Mountain tossed Qyburn onto a rock and killed him like a child might chuck an unloved Beanie Baby across the room, and so did everyone watching with me. Plus 1,000 points.
-Also, Cersei just strolling away from Cleganebowl is a WHOLE ASS MOOD. Plus 500 points.
-Was Cleganebowl kind of anti-climactic? Sure. Am I glad that the Hound sacrificed himself to take down his zombie brother and ended his storyline? Also sure. See ya never, House Clegane. Plus 1,000 points.
-I’m not even bothering to address anything Jon does in this episode, except for that time he sexually rejected his aunt for obvious reasons, because otherwise, he does and knows nothing. Another wash.
-Arya’s beautifully shot video game avatar journey through a broken King’s Landing was poignant and perfect. For a character whose entire path has focused on death, Arya has always been a champion of the innocent, and watching the citizens of King’s Landing perish under dragonfire gave her a new and horrifying perspective on war – hopefully, it’s one that will fuel (pun intended) her desire to “kill the queen,” considering we have one episode left and Daenerys absolutely sucks now. My girl Arya, the clear hero of the entire show, might survive one too many explosions in this episode, but she rides away on a literal white horse and seemingly has a new mission. The only exciting thread this episode set in motion is what Arya might do next. Plus 5,000 points.
Total: 48,300 points / the actors and directors did a good job!!! really!!!!!
Minuses, or, I Am Dreading the Finale
-Wow, wow, WOW did I hate that extremely heavy handed “previously on” where they superimposed every bad omen about Daenerys on her post-Missandei-moment shot from the last episode! Way to spoil the not-surprise! Minus 3,000 points.
-Wow, Euron is still here! Fun! Minus 2,000 points.
-Okay, so, let me get THIS straight. Last week, a bunch of wobbly ship dragon-launchers could take down one dragon with literally no issue, and this week, Drogon just torches everyone instantly and doesn’t get hurt in the slightest? Okay. Sure. What are the rules, though? Minus 3,000 more points.
-Is this show really trying to tell me that Cersei has been cutting her hair using a mixing bowl as a stencil for three seasons? If so, rude. Minus 5,000 points.
-All right, let’s deal with this. Daenerys’ post-bells rampage is the worst. It’s the worst fucking thing. She was always going to become a Mad Queen – she loves burning people alive and is honestly kind of a nut – but this shift was completely unearned as it was portrayed, and it was framed as if her not getting Jon Snow’s icicle made her into a sudden lunatic. There were so many good ways to make Daenerys legitimately insane, and this arc wasn’t one of them. Have them kill Rhaegal during the siege! Have them kill Missandei later! I don’t know, literally anything else!! This was just NOT. EARNED. AT ALL. Daenerys is a vengeful crazy person, sure, but she has always fallen on or at least adjacent to the side of justice, and now she’s just killing innocents for fun. This is stupid and unearned and sexist and terrible. I don’t know how else I can express this. I hated this abrupt arc. That’s it. Dracarys or whatever. Minus 10,000 points.
-Euron is still an idiot! Super fun! Minus 500 points.
-The whole fight between Euron and Jaime is so incredibly stupid that I kind of don’t even want to get into it, but the stupidest part by far is that Jaime is miraculously able to just walk away despite having two huge stab wounds (even though, as we’ve learned, having gaping stomach wounds doesn’t matter if you’re a series regular). That’s the stupidest part. The stupidest part wasn’t even when Euron looked right into the camera and said “I’m the man who killed Jaime Lannister.” THAT’S HOW STUPID THIS WAS. MINUS 5,000 POINTS.
-Wait, so Jaime didn’t come back to kill Cersei?! He came back for a hug???!?!?!?!?!?!?! OIADJOSIDJAOSIDJOASIFJOAISFJOASIDAOSIFXLKLDKFJLFJOIWES MINUS 10,000 POINTS
-Right from the start, Cersei was the most interesting villain on this show and one of the most dynamic characters. They cast Lena Headey, a powerful and intimidatingly talented actress, to play her, who pulled off her performance even while she was stuck with a wig that, according to her, looked like a goddamned turnip. Besides the Night King, Cersei was the show’s ultimate Big Bad, which is really saying something considering that the Night King was thousands of years old, made of ice, and only killable under extremely specific circumstances. Cersei was frightening and inscrutable and vicious, but she was still human, and there were so many endings for her character arc that would have been deeply and entirely satisfying. Not one of those endings was her and Jaime getting crushed by rocks in a basement. Cersei, your hair sucked and you were a grade A bitch, but this show did you so, so dirty. Please accept my apologies and please don’t come back from your rock grave and kill me for calling you a bitch. Minus 20,000 points.
Total: 58,500 points / I’ve invested almost a decade of my life into this show
I want to know how this whole thing ends, but at this point, my faith in Benioff and Weiss is seriously dying. That’s pretty much all I’ve got right now. Tune in with me next week, when we can just be done with this trashcan fire. Dracarys!