Mr Robot s04E09 – Whiterose is Mr Robot’s Night King

You remember Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 3 The Long Night?

The episode in which the Night King was killed, leaving us 3 episodes to the finale without the great enemy everyone thought will be only defeated at the end of the show?

Well, also here we are left with exactly 3 episodes till Mr Robot’s finale, and as was in GOT so is here, fans still think the villain will be back and surprise us all.

Well, she ain’t gonna IMO, I believe she’s taken off the board, and we need to understand, same as in GOT, that this show is not about the ominous villain, or about fighting the great evil that wants to destroy humanity. The show is not about that. That was the red herring all along.

The show is about the complexity of human beings, about the dark side and the good side in one, and the battle among those sides for ones soul.

I believe that in the next 3 episodes, we are not going to talk about Whiterose, we are going to talk about the things Sam Esmail always hid from us in plain sight, but we were too blinded by the fascination of world domination and a time machine; a machine that was never really existed outside the sick mind of one, soon to be forgotten, Whiterose, and also in some misunderstanding fans minds that thought we are dealing with a sci fi show. What a joke.

In the next 3 episodes we are going to be dealing with the important things, things such as Elliot’s third (fourth? Fifth?) personality, about his struggle to somehow exit the Alderson Loop he’s stuck in now that he come to terms with himself and his childhood sexual abuse, about what the hell Elliot did last summer that is so devastating, and about Elliot fighting his demons within.

But whatever those things will be, one thing will be clear – that Whiterose is dead, thematically dead, finished, Kaputt, that the last scene of her was putting makeup in front of the mirror while the FBI (I am the FBI!) coming for her, and we the fans need to come to terms with that, and with what this show was all about.

Goodbye, enemy.

Mr Robot, Season 4, Episode 7 – A letter to Elliot

Let me apologize to begin with.
I’m sorry Elliot, and I’m ashamed of myself for not finding out.

It’s not the shameful feeling of “I’m such a great detective so I should have solved the mystery a long time ago.”
Not that shame.
It’s the shameful part of me that I thought had such great empathy to human suffering, the part that should have notice the screaming signs of a molested child.

Elliot, you called me a friend, for times you even thought me as one until you didn’t, and you were right, what kind of a friend would not have realized what you had to go through to become the dissociative disorder person you are?
I had to know that 90% of those that have this mental illness suffered of abuse in their childhood.
But I thought it was your mother, I thought as you told yourself, as you told me, that your father was your only friend.
I had to realize that your amnesia was part of your post traumatic stress due to being sexually abuse.

The signs were all there, I should have known better, I should have felt it in my guts that your mother abuse was not the whole case, that your reaction towards child sexual abusers is that of someone who suffered that kind of abuse himself.
That you telling your sister to hide in the closet when your father came home should have made my alarms go off, but unfortunately they didn’t.
That your mom telling you you should be happy your father is dead, is not an indication to how fucked up she’s been, but how fucked up your father has been.
That an adult that suggests a child to watch an R-Rated movie can not really have good motives, that grooming was really what was going on there.

Was me ignoring those (and great more) signs was because I was not as sensitive as I had me believe?
or was is it because I was too afraid to admit to myself that this is actually what is been going on all along?
That it was easier for me to turn my head the other way because I didn’t want to deal with sex abuse, with child molesting, with the implications of what this does to the soft soul of a child.

That I’m like a neighbor that hears screaming and shouting, and suspects that the The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane is being abused but does nothing because he saw her a few times put a smile on her face, so everything must be A OK.

Yeah right.

That I’m the awful person that left you, my friend, all alone, to dwell in your internal suffering, without telling you the core reason for that.
that instead I was waiting for some little bitch turning bully to get it out from you with a swing of his aluminum bat.

I wasn’t abused as a child, I must say. I was bullied at times, maybe had to deal with a rough neighborhood, but that’s it, and I thank my good fortune for that.

But over the years I personally got to know people, close ones even, that were sexually abused in their childhood, that their soul was forever damaged by what happened there behind those closed doors, and I helped them as much as I could to cop with that.

I thought it made me highly sensitive to someone who as a child was sexually abused, but maybe I was wrong.

Maybe in the end I’m still a coward that don’t want to hear about that dark part of humanity, that knows that once it is told to you by someone you know, there is no going back, and you have to deal with that, you have to help him deal with what was done to him, and you have to deal with what this revelation also does to you.

And for that I’m sorry Elliot.

Please forgive me.

Friend.

Legion S03E04 is the closest thing to Twin Peaks you’ll see on tv

“You think, as a filmmaker, you know what you’re doing, and then you watch an hour of Lynch’s work and you think: “I have no idea.”

This was said by no less than Fargo’s creator, Noah Hawley, two years ago.

Among other things, Hawley is also the creator of Legion, and friends this week’s episode (episode 4, third and last season) is the closest thing to David Lynch, and even more to the well-known episode 8 of Twin Peaks 2017, which you can see on the small or big screen.

I recommend all Twin Peaks and Lynch’s fans, to watch Legion, if you haven’t done this already, a work that is really a homage and an appreciation for David (not Haller) Lynch by another esteemed creator, Noah Hawley.

The Goal and the Way – Game of Thrones Finale Review

One of the most important lessons that every person learns is that not only is the goal important but also the way reaching it.

One of the most important lessons that every person learns during his lifetime is that not only is the goal important but also the way to reaching this goal.

It’s this lesson that D&D, the creators of the series, did not internalize, but after the angry fan responses around the world and a negative record of 4.3 in imdb, they will soon learn.

And what do I mean?

It all starts with a meeting of the author George Martin with the creators of the series in his home, way before they began filming the last two seasons, and over coffee and pastries told them what’s the end he is aiming for in his books, an end to which he wants to arrive and they should arrive there as well.

But what he did not explain to them, or did not adequately explain, was the way to reach that longed-for goal, to that spectacular ending that would leave shocked, surprised but satisfied audience.

And that’s exactly where our pair of creators sinned, because for all their glory they are not George rrrr Martin, not David Lynch nor the Cohen brothers, they are just a great “coverists” but uninspired ones.

And the goal was, as in the army, divided into three – to turn Daenerys into the mad queen, to exile Jon beyond the wall, and to crown Bran.

Let’s see how they destroyed every fertile field of the road leading to the three goals that Martin had set for them.

We’ll begin with Daenerys for starters.

If you would ask anyone watching the series what Daenerys represents for them up until the fourth episode of the eighth and final season, they would tell you without hesitation that Daenerys, like Jon, is a representation of the good vs evil, the liberator vs the occupier, of life vs the cold death.

And, quite suddenly, for the average viewer, the fourth episode shown sparks of something else. Daenerys part gives an ultimatum to Jon, part begging him as if she were in a scene from a telenovela, that he must keep his dynasty a secret or else he would not be with her, as her only aspire in the whole world is to sit on the Iron Throne.

Mmm something is a little rotten in the state of Denmark, but okay, we keep going, it is still our beloved Dany isn’t it?

Then in episode 5, in a sharp transition of only one episode from sparks of a power craven she  becomes a full blown Genghis Khan in his worst days and decides to burn an entire city on its citizens! The innocent! After they surrendered!

I still tried to defend her motivation as fear, that she wanted to create a balance of terror so that they would not try to overthrow her, that for her it was a tactical move necessary to preserve the iron throne. So I said.

And there comes episode 6, and what do we discover? That our beloved Dany did not undergo a momentary nervous breakdown, yet undergone a personal transformation, quite overnight, from a tactical crazy to the Wicked Witch of the West who wants to destroy the whole world, not just King’s Landing, starting tomorrow.

The disappointment of the fans, not just Daenerys biggest admirers, was tremendous, and quite understandable as how can you watch seven and a half seasons of a character with a certain nature that makes a 180 degree personality transformation to the dark side in only one and a half episodes?

Again why is that? Because Martin told them she had to go crazy at the end, that’s the goal, that’s how it must end, but they don’t have the way, they know they have to come up with a logical route from point A to point B. But instead they come up with a crooked, clumsy line, which lost itself somewhere along the road and somehow reached the not awaited end which is the finale.

When you make such a radical change in a character, you have to provide enough foreshadowing so that you do not reveal what’s going to happen, yet slowly lead the viewers toward the recognition of the change that occurred in her, and here it simply was not. There was a single iron bat blow to a character to bend her to the scriptwriters’ wishes and their ultimate goal.

 

*** Breaking Bad Spoiler ***

Remember Walt’s wife telling him in season 4 episode 6, “You’re not some hardened criminal, Walt, you’re in over your head” and “A school teacher cancer desperate for money?”

Then remember Walt replies in the unforgettable phrase “I am the one who knocks!”?

This phrase is the ultimate foreshadowing that revealed to us what is really happening in the soul of Walter White, that there is a situation we do not read correctly, and he is not a good person who happens to be drug trafficking following the discovery of his cancer. And in the next seven episodes of this season and another 16 (!) in the next one this character will gradually be morphed to a narcissistic, megalomaniac, and greedy personality.

This is exactly how a change in a character and the attitude of viewers to it should be built, and because of that Breaking Bad will be remembered as an excellent series in every aspect and Game of the Thrones will be remembered as an excellent series until it went downhill.

* Till here Breaking Bad Spoiler *

 

Let’s continue with Jon – how reliable was it for you that Tyrion should convince him in length that Daenerys is an evil tyrant that should be assassinated? As Jon saw in his own eyes the destruction of an entire city with no provocation, and he heard Saruman’s speech in front of the Dark Armies (with the Babel fish in his ear probably because the speech was in Dothraki) how Dany was going to destroy every town in Westeros as she did in King’s Landing!

How reliable was it that Jon was in love with her? Where is the love story built between them? In a single sex scene last season? In some Disney’s Dragon’s flight they have taken together? After all, if he had really loved her, Dany would not have gone ballistic and thought that only fear was the right way. So please decide D&D, he loves her, and it makes it harder for him to assassinate her, or does not love her and that is not an issue for him.

How reliable was Arya saying to Jon: “I know a killer when I see one.”

Oh, really Sherlock? really? Not anyone with eyes in his head sees an insane killer in front of him now?

credibility level: your blind date is really as cute as you were told.

There’s a concept when you see a series or a movie called “Suspension of Disbelief”, that’s the space where the viewer is, as long as he manages to hold his mistrust of watching just tv, and still believes that that the things he sees on his screen are happening now. As long as the viewer is in this space, he can relate to what is happening on the screen, even when he knows that what he sees is fantastic and does not exist in our reality.

But there is a limit to this space. If you cross it the viewer’s mind stops believing what it sees on the screen, and in response any dialogue and scene seems to him unreliable, not as if he sees things that could have existed somehow, but sees actors, however good they are, who simply recite a script in front of a theatrical scenery and maybe some CGI effects and nothing more.

And that’s exactly how it felt in each of the scenes in the finale, some more and some less absurd, because this barrier is broken to pieces, when the characters do not act the way we expect them to behave, as we know them, and as we know the world works.

After all, how reasonable it sounds that Jon is removed from King’s Landing, and from the life of the Seven Kingdoms, after all the “he’s a Targaryen and a Stark” buildup, how the kingdom loves him, and how great a leader he is, and how he’s next in line to inherit the throne, while doesn’t even want it which means (according to Tyrian saying it later on Bran) he deserves to sit on it.

What a crazy eight seasons buildup of a character, and for what? So that in the end he would be sent to join the Night Watch, impotent now that there is no Night King, but it just existing, and Jon was going to join the free folk with his wolf, who quite frankly if I was her I would lift one leg and leave after his attitude at their last meeting? That’s what Jon deserves after he saved the entire kingdom from total destruction of a crazy queen, because one Grey Worm wanted his head and a second later left for Naath? How all of that supposed to connect in our heads?

A total script disaster.

And finally, the most horrific part of the episode, and perhaps of the entire series, the Dragonpit Summit, which chose Bran as the next king of Westeros.

First, what’s with the Comedians Club atmosphere guys?

Edmure Tully peaching while abruptly silenced and hit his sword in a chair as if we are watching Kramer in the Seinfeld Finale.

And then Sam proposes democracy and everyone laughs at him, which is clearly happened at a screenwriters’ meeting where one offered this solution and everyone was crack laughing, and some other Incompetent scriptwriter said – oh let’s put this In the script, it’ll be cool! Well, it’s not, it’s weird and shameful.

And finally Tyrion decides to do “King’s speech” of his own, designed to convince us viewers that Bran must sit on the (nonexistent) Iron Throne, because he has the best story of them all.

Here they just gone too far, this is a point where D&D told us, go to hell! We want to end this farce Martin stuck us with, he told us the goal is for Bran to rule the seven kingdoms, that’s what you’re getting, and dammit if the way there sounds illogical to you!

Bran says, why do you think I come this far? I’ll tell you why Bran, because Martin told you to come! And nothing else makes sense.

What a good story has the one who sat on his ass all season, literally, did not use a bit of all the abilities they gave him, and at the most critical moment for him, the Battle of Winterfel, the only thing the unsuccessful scriptwriters managed to let him do, is warg into ravens, gather intelligence and keep it to himself.

What did you do to deserve this Bran?!?

Remember that Tyrion told Bran in episode 4 this season that he is now the legal heir as Ned Stark’s only eldest son, but Bran says that “he will never be a Lord now,” and we get it as he is the three-eyed raven who removed himself from all human matters.

And Tyrion says he is jealous of him for his powers, but Bran says he is not – because he lives only in memories of the past.

So where does this dialogue work out with what happened at the summit? How can they think that we will not cross our barrier of disbelief and cry shame for making a fool out of us? I just do not understand what they had in mind in episode 4 with this dialogue when they already know the end game? Why do you include this contradictory dialogue? Only God knows.

If anything, Jon has the best and logical story – a Targaryen, who was raised as a bastard, was exiled to the Night Watch and eventually commanded them, resurrected by the god of light, fought great battles, risen to prominence till becoming king of the north, The queen’s hand, and finally the saver of the kingdom from her!

Who can compete with this story Tyrion? Really Bran? Or is the only story that competes with Jon’s story is the one Martin sold to D&D that Bran should be the King Of Westeros and they ate it and in a transitive way they tried to feed us with it too?

Because this is the true story of everything that happened behind the screen of the last two seasons, a story of no story, because there are no books of Martin, and we only have to hope that perhaps one day when they are published, they will do justice to this farce called Game of Thrones, as it deserves far more than the notorious David Benioff and D. B. Weiss.

Now after we had a good laugh we’ll move on to the artistic part, bonus holes in the plot:

How do you know that Jon killed Daenerys with a dagger? The Dragon took her, so who told about it?

How can grey worm and all the Unsullied kill anyone who opposes their queen, but take her murderer captive and not kill him on the spot?

How can it be that Tyrion does not appear in the (ridiculous) book song of ice and fire when he was the hand of the king, the king’s slayer, the Kin’s slayer, battles commander, etc, etc, etc? It’s a joke so not funny that it’s just plain sad.

Why does Sansa think the North should remain an independent kingdom as it was for thousands of years under Stark when the King now is Stark himself?!? What is the logic in that? And how is it that all the other lords beside her do not raise their voice and demand an independent kingdom too? Didn’t they not suffer in a war as her people? Is it so much joy for them to be under Bran the broken when even his sister does not want to?

And how and how and how … but I’m tired of this series, I no longer have the strength to continue digging where everything is already hollow below, so So Long, and Thanks for All the Dragons.

Game of thrones S08E05: A reasoning for Daenerys’s actions

A lot of fans seems to object and argue that Daenerys did not have enough reason to go ahead and burn all those innocent people in King’s Landing, that it’s just D&D f$@&$ing it up again, that they say the hell with motives, and just want to get this over with.

Well, I don’t see it that way.

IMO she have a very good reason (in her own mind), and that reason is fear.

Think what will happen in her POV if she would just stop the war and try to keep her throne – no one really fears her – an evidence to that is the recent betrayals of Varise, Jon and Tyrion.

No one really loves her – Missandei is murdered, Jorah is dead, Jon don’t even want to kiss her for heaven sake!

She realized that the only way she could rule while Jon is a better contender then her for the Iron Throne, the only way to overcome the one that everybody seems to love and appreciate, is if she would inspire such fear and horror in everyone that they would have to obey her and be afraid to subvert and even think about replacing her.

Add to this the abuse she had suffered all her life, abuse that each of you would go mad of inflicted by it, adding to that (or part of it) all her loved ones were murdered and killed, and her horrifying dynasty that genetically inherited her craziness and madness for blood and fire, and you will receive an adequate answer to her decision to burn them all.

How my Game of Thrones Finale Prediction fared after episode 5, season 8

So, what did I predict and what not in my prediction of episode 5 in the Game Of Thrones published here, And what does it say about the finale

So, what did I predict and what not in my prediction of episode 5 in the Game Of Thrones published here, And what does it say about the finale

Let’s start with what I was wrong: I was wrong when I thought the Daenerys’s dragon would die, I thought John would come later in the battle, I did not specify that Varise would die and I overestimated Cersei’s military strength.

Regarding the main theme, I think I was on spot:

Daenerys did go crazy, becoming the mad queen, burned innocent people, when all she sees before her eyes are blood and fire.

It did became clear to Jon what his sisters told him – Daenerys is not fit to be the Queen of the Seven Kingdoms after the murder of innocents she has just committed, and yet he still fought for her for lack of choice.

As I predicted, the CleganeBowl did indeed materialize and Sandor Clegane did infiltrate King’s Landing, killed his brother and did die with him.

And finally, Cersei was indeed dead but in the hands of her brother and not by her brother (and so the prophecy kinda fulfilled?).

My prediction for the finale is still the same: Daenerys will confront Jon John, without any serious supporters (except perhaps gray worm) will try to kill Jon, and Arya (as we saw in this episode looking in amazement, anger and disgust at Daenerys’s brutal actions) will kill her, both for her brother and for the crimes Daenerys committed.

Jon sits on the Iron Throne.

The end.

P.S. Great episode! Probably the best episode of the season, though as it says above is mostly predictable 🙂

Game of Thrones Finale Prediction

This is the hat eating prediction for the remaining two episodes of Game of Thrones.

Let’s examine what we saw so far, and from that we will deduce what will happen in the two remaining episodes.

For a while we have been shown that Daenerys is going crazy, slowly becoming the Mad Queen, like her father the Mad King.
This was especially evident in the last episode when she wanted to burn the people in King’s landing and march with her battered and tired army against the advice of everyone around her who urged her to wait and lay siege.

Finally she seemed to agree to give an ultimatum to Cersei before she burns everyone there . As we all saw, not only did the ultimatum not bear fruit, but the strategic Cersei killed Daenerys and grey worm beloved Missandei.
This would lead quite surely, as Cersei wanted, to the merciless attack of Daenerys on King’s landing without waiting for Jon, for the murder of innocent people, when all she sees before her eyes are blood and fire.
This would play into the hands of Cersei, who without Jon’s lead would simply destroy Daenerys army, and probably her last dragon.
Toward the end of the battle, Jon will probably arrive, and what his sisters told him in the last episode will be clear to him as well – Daenerys is not fit to be the Queen of the Seven Kingdoms after the murder of innocents she has just committed.
Nevertheless he would join the battle, but even his tired forces would not be enough against Cersei, so salvation would have to come from somewhere else.

So what else did we see that could help us understand where salvation would come from? We saw in the last episode that Arya and the Hound are moving towards King’s landing, without a doubt their goal is to infiltrate it.
The Hound also told Sansa that he had he’s own objective, and we all know what this is – the CleganeBowl – the old fan theory will come to a conclusion when the two brothers of the Clegane family fight and the hound will kill his zombie brother (and be killed because the god of light left him alive for this purpose and he has to return his soul now that his goal is over), thereby opening the door to killing Cersei.

But who would it be? We currently left with two prophecies.
The first is for Arya to shut brown, blue, and green eyes. Since only green eyes are still left to “shut” and Cersei’s eyes are green, she is one of the candidates to kill her.
But we have another prophecy, given to Cersei herself by the Maggy the Frog – that her brother will kill her.
I do not think they will give a “double” to Arya – killing both Cersei and the Night King. While Jamie is the one who stormed towards King’s Landing last episode, leaving Brienne crying, and I bet that he went out not to join Cersei but to be the one who would kill her (and his son in her belly).
After Jaime kills his sister, her army  would collapse and spread to all corners of the wind. And after the smoke of the war disperse, Tyrion, much like Jon, would understand what Varys had told him –  kingdom above all, and Jon is the one who should be the king.
Daenerys who both wins and defeated at the same time, who remains without a dragon and without a strong claim to the crown, without advisers and supporters, will undoubtedly confront Jon for breaking his oath not to tell about his heritage to anyone, and in an act of despair and lack of choice will try to kill him, her former lover.

Remember the remaining prophecy of Arya to shut green eyes? Well, Daenerys’s eyes are green (not like the books where they are violet), and Arya will have to kill her to save her brother.

And so will come to an end two prophecies and one CleganeBowl, and Jon will sit on the Iron Throne, not because he wants to, but because there is no one else who could sit there in his place.

The end.

Game of Thrones S08E03 – The Battle of Winterfell – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly in the Long Night / Battle of Winterfell, episode 3, season 8 of Game of Thrones

The last episode of Game of Thrones was an episode with mixed feelings for me; There were a lot of moments that I loved, perhaps even more so that I didn’t like, and one that stands out that really harm the whole episode, and on that later on.

The Good

The battle. I must admit I enjoyed it. It was the longest battle ever filmed, in terms of shooting days (11 weeks of night shots) and in terms of the final cut – between 67 minutes net and close to 82 gross devoted entirely to the Battle of Winterfell. Before that, the longest battle belonged to the lord of the rings, the battle of Helm’s Deep, Which lasted 40 minutes.
From a purely artistic point of view, it was a good epic battle, one of the memorable moments, for example, are the Dothraki fire swords fading away in the distance.

lights out

The ominous feeling that accompanied it for the viewers and the warriors waiting for their turn to fight was of pure terror, of death reaping the best cavalry in Westeros, sheer horror that caused Khaleesi to abandon the glorious battle plan ambush with dragons to the Night King to reach Bran, but to join the battle prematurely.

the dead are here

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other memorable and wonderful Hollywood style moments, are the lying on the fence of the living dead for the greater bad,

The great despair among us the viewers and the warriors in the fortifications as the Night King resurrected all the dead

dragons diving

 

The dragons’ dive into the clouds

 

 

 

goliath

David and Goliath Tale of sticking the dagger in the eye of the biggest giant in the battle by Lyanna Mormont the youngest woman in the field

 

 

And finally, the enormous tension built at the end of the battle when the Night King walks slowly toward Bran.

His walk in slow motion while a wonderful original melody plays, perhaps one of the best in the series, accompanies him, a melody that squeezes your throat as you know that all bets are off, there is a slim chance if any that anyone is getting out of this alive, and only two choices remain -Kill the Night King, or everyone dies.

And this is the moment to move to the second part

The Bad

The Battle. Yes, again the battle because what else do we have in this episode?
Artistically it was already said to be overwhelming, but otherwise it was simply bad.
Let’s think about what forces we had and how each one of them “scriptly” harms the battle.

We’ll start with the dead – can you please decide what you are? Are you the dumb zombies of The Walking Dead hanging around in the library, slowly walking down the corridors, frightening little girls to death? Or you are the undead from World War Z (The movie, not the book) that sprint madly, and climb like ants on the walls of Jerusalem, sorry Winterfell?

jumping wallwalking dead

This ambivalence which first describes them as such and later as something completely different, in the very same chapter, just to combine different genres of cinema in a single battle, harms IMO the experience.
And if there are already The Waking Dead zombies, and if you have already awaken dead in the catacombs, then frighten the whole shebang, awake familiar dead! Maybe Rickon, or Liana, or even Ned Stark (a little Sleepy Hollow there but what the heck :)), and create horror in the viewers eyes and those who have to kill their brother or father, something that the Walking Dead do every episode and a half.

Let’s continue with the living – why don’t you die already?!? Why was it that only the red shirts , except for Theon and a half Jorah who are not really interest anyone, died?
Where, excuse me for the phrase, the screenwriters’ balls? Why not kill Brienne? She got her knighthood; she’d can put the keys on the table and leave. Why not Grey Worm? What more can he contribute? Why not kill Davos the poor soup dispenser? And who the hell is Ed? I had to scratch my head and resort to google to remember who was the man killed guarding Sam. The same Sam that in all respects was supposed to be with the children and the dwarf in the burial caves and not wildly and miraculously survive while numerous zombies trying their best at him.

sam and ed

In short, it seems that ever since the spirit of Martin’s command has left us at the end of the fifth season, the screenwriters of the series have chosen typical Hollywood cowardice and preserve the main characters of the series which is ending soon, so for what? It’s not The Games of Thrones we are used too unfortunately.

Another central figure who remained alive, and maybe it’s a pity, is Bran. Bran, maybe you’ll want to explain to all of us what on earth you did in battle? How exactly did you help? How is “Warging” into the ravens contribute in any way to the success of the battle? Perhaps you heated, not just your chair but also the Night King on your ass? Or it was just fun for you to fly and laugh at all us from above?

bran

It is simply unbelievable how they took one of the most mysterious and powerful characters in the series and all they gave him to do in the final battle between light and dark is to act as bait in the shape of a scarecrow for the Night King. I am sure that each and every one of the viewers expected that Bran would do something, use his powers, serve as some kind of a twist to the defeat of evil, but no, we received dumb, blind and meaningless looks from him. It was simply a scriptical failure. Perhaps the only good thing that came out of this is that he would continue with us for the next few episodes which he contributes in them from his power and wisdom, but I doubt it, because the time for mystical wars had ended and given way to the political warfare .

We can also talk about the interruptions in the battle that were mainly the futile talks in the burial caves, tops them is the kitsch conversation between Sansa and Tyrion.
We can also talk about the bad tactics in the battle, about the squalid waste of the cavalry – why did Khaleesi suffer so much all the seasons and brought them over the sea? To be used cannons fodder? really?
We can talk about the misuse of excess air support on the side of Jon and Daenerys (as opposed to the excellent use of the Night King), about no use of maneuvers, no flanking, no brilliance in the fortifications, a real battle plan of ten-year-olds in a sandbox. With the insane budget they got to shoot his, how difficult was it to bring a military adviser who would have made it clear to them the proper use of the forces they had?
But they apparently preferred “coolness” over combat readiness and it’s a pity.

And finally let’s talk about the ending of the episode and actually ending the arc of the War of Ice and Fire.
It was a surprise, I admit, that Arya was the one who finally killed the Night King, despite the Deus Ex Machina of the thing, but it also felt an anti-climactic and another scriptical miss and I’ll explain why.
As mentioned above, the course of the battle eventually led us to realize that there were only two options left – to kill the Night King or they all die.
When we know that the courage of the Screenwriters long ago left the series, there was actually a single reasonable possibility in our head which eventually came true – the Night King must die.
The surprise was not the “If” he would die but “how” he will die, and this is a much more minor surprise.
This is in contrast to Ned Stark, who is facing the guillotine at the end of the first season, when we are certain (well, those who did not read the books) that there is no possibility of killing the main character in the series, and bam he dies.
This is also unlike the Red Wedding, where no one was prepared for the main characters dying in Crazy betrayal, and when it did happen our shock was complete and whole.
But perhaps even the “how” was a miss, as for two episodes Arya reminds Gendry, like a stressed Amazon customer, to prepare her already the weapon she designed herself. And aside for some glimmers, again “cool,” of that sword in battle, it did not help forward the plot in any way.
Would not it be wiser that that mysterious weapon would have been used to kill the Night King as some premonition of Arya?
For example, if the Night King instead of grabbing her by the hand would had grab the weapon itself, but since Gendry had built it with a blade from each side at her request, one blade would have mechanically fall off from the other end, and with it Arya would stabbed the Night King instead of pulling a Michael Jordan hand replacement on us?

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I do not know, it’s a pity again.

Perhaps we can take comfort in that she did use her faceless ability to hide as a White Walker…

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And now it is  time to move on to the third part, on which the entire internet was churning and frothing

The Ugly

The Darkness. How many people talked about how dark the episode was, how bad it was to watch it, so bad that in whole parts of the battle one could not figure out who was against whom, who was dead, who was alive, what was going on in the clouds and mist (Which can be seen clearly in all the posts attached to this post)
The MVPs of the episode were clearly Melisandre and the Dragons for lighting the scene a bit.

I think the problem was twofold – on the one hand the directors, it may not be their fault, but it is their responsibility to examine how this episode is seen by the viewers on television, a basic thing to do after investing so much time and money to create such a dim atmosphere .
And if you do not know how to make a dark episode that looks good too (see Battle of Helms Deep Which took place at night but was still seen as excellent even in ancient DVD,

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Or the mind mind blowing episode 8 of Twin Peaks 2017 , where the darkness in it intensifies the terror and malice and not overshadowed it)

 

just don’t do it, or at least increase the brightness for God’s sake!

On the other hand, the problem was with the television providers, who were not prepared for the quality that would be required of them, compressed the picture to the point of pixelation and blackening of large parts of the battle to keep the load on their streaming servers.

And maybe the blame is on the viewers that we did not buy OLED screens beforehand, extinguished every possible source of light in the house, and stood with narrowed eyes in front of the screen? 🙂

תוצאת תמונה עבור ‪game of thrones brightness increase‬‏

 

So, in conclusion, what’s left? One Night King Arc is over, and we were left with a final Arc of Games of Thrones.
I wonder if they could end these two arcs in the last chapter and not leave us with only those who claim the crown.
After all, even the plot line of the Night King has not really finished – what about the Azor Ahai? The promised Prince? What is the background of the Night King? How did all the prophecies concerning him come true if at all? How did Bran and the three-eyed raven play a role in that?
Perhaps they left all these questions open to answer in the series prequel coming hopefully soon starring Naomi Watts .
And maybe it’s good that we stayed with three episodes dedicated only to the political games of the throne, that’s the series name after all, but as one who read the books long before the series aired, I will always think of it as “A Song of Ice and Fire“…

Games of Thrones S08E03 body count prediction

[Edit: out of the below prediction only Theon and Jorah came true. Wanna know why? Read The Good, the Bad and the Ugly in the Battle of Winterfell].

The last episode S08E02 was one of farewells before the big battle, and to all of us I think it’s quite clear that many of the characters we love (or hate) are going to die in the upcoming episode – the battle of Winterfell.
I will try to enumerate those characters and the probability of losing their lives:

Brienne – very likely after being called a knight to become a martyr and die on the battlefield.

Tyrion – there is almost no way he will die because his lost honor must be restored after he has missed out on his assumption on his sister, Cersei. A premonition of his comeback as the wise advisor can be seen in his conversation with Bran to obtain information that will no doubt help to save the day, and in what Mormont says to Daenerys about she trusting him again.

Arya said she is not afraid of death in the last episode, had lost her virginity before the battle, and now has a pretty good chance of dying an heroic death, but we need to remember that she did not complete her killing list, so maybe it would save her from dying just yet.

Jaime – still has the need to confront his sister (and probably kill her according to the prophecy of the Maggy the Frog given to Cersei) So I would give him a low chance of dying.

Jon / Daenerys – the two main characters, almost certain that will live up to the last episode, and the last confrontation between them.

Tormund – it seems to me that he and his Giant tales are a goner, I don’t see any need of him in any arc, and will probably die an heroic but useless death defending Brienne.

The little girl from the soup – she’s a goner. No seriously, why does the Onion Knight need to hand out soup before the battle? Doesn’t he have more important things to do? Polish some sword? Help with the fortifications? something?

So his end is Nigh, I don’t see any future that needs his help, maybe if the Night King can be killed by a bowl of soup to the head, but I doubt that.

who else? Sansa? I do not think she should die in the next episode; she has another role to play probably in times to come.

Sandor the Hound Clegane still needs to meet his brother for a final showdown so there’s no way he’s dying on us here.

Podrick probably sang his last song.

Gray worm I believe will turn to a white worm.

Jorah Mormont wobbles for me, because he might have given his Tyrion deathbed advice to Daenerys.

Samwell Tarly most certainly will not die, as he has much to contribute with all his gathered wisdom, if you count the number of episodes left (3) the end of the Night King will not happen here, so his future is quite assured, especially that he is the incarnation of GRRM, and we do not want to kill him yet (before he completes his series, What’s up with that Martin, don’t do Robert Jordan on us, you hear me?)

Bran, Bran is really hard to guess if he lives or die, because everything falls on his shoulders. If he falls now it’s a completely new roll of a dice for everyone on Westeros with quit certainly a sour outcome in the end. King’s Landing which didn’t appear in the last episode, cannot vanish from the next one also IMO, and my bet on a twist in which the Night King continues to Kings Landing alone, leaving his troops to handle Winterfell. But if I’m wrong and the Night King does fight Bran, the chances of Bran coming out of this alive are pretty low (with a Theon guarding him, which regarding him I’m sure will finish his role in the upcoming battle, maybe even while defending Sansa).

So, let’s summarize?

Dead for sure: Brienne, Tormund, Theon

Almost certain death: The Onion Knight, Podrick

Swinging: Arya, Bran, Jorah, Gray Worm

Low chance of becoming dead: Sansa

Most certainly not gonna die: Jon / Daenerys, Tyrion, Jaime, The Hound

Forgot someone? What’s your prediction?

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No regret, No remorse, in Better Call Saul Season 4 finale

Better Call Saul Season 4 finale Explained

The long-awaited finale of Better Call Saul’s fourth season was not a shocking, amazing, or even particularly exciting episode, but it was one full of insights.
Insights on the nature of winners and losers but more than that on the nature of mistake, remorse and atonement. Not as shown to us by society and religion, this being the preserve of losers as we shall see, but insight into how mistake, remorse and atonement work for,or rather are manipulated by, the winners.

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The first one to arrive at the insights desk is Christy Esposito, one of a convoy of high school students, from whom the only impression we glean is from their appearance – suave ties, fashionable shirts, neat hairstyles – and NOT from what they have to say – In fact we don’t hear any one of them speak a complete sentence, and we soon learn why.

Christy, like all the other students, wants to win a HHM scholarship, but she comes clad in a somewhat scruffy dress, sporting an unflattering hairstyle, and worse than those a mistake of her own making- shoplifting; but hey, she regretted it, she even wrote an essay on how that mistake sparked her interest in the law and how a career in law could give her the chance to atone for that mistake.

The outcome? the Shiny Happy Students win the scholarship as had been effectively decided before they spoke a single word – Christy aside, they were all successful and perfect, so why spoil it by choosing someone with genuine substance?
Our geek inevitably loses, there is no scholarship in her future, for her the gates are shut, but why?

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Here comes Jimmy to the rescue to explain how the real world works: in the real world they dangle the carrot in front of your face, telling you that there is a chance, that there is hope, but the truth is that in the real world, behind the beautiful masks and the shiny offices on the 35th floor , they will never forget the mistakes you’ve made, they will never let you enter their glamorous and phony world, because if they did what would that say about them? That they are not perfect, that mistakes are permitted, that you can repent and atone, but in their eyes they are perfect, they do not make mistakes and there is no atonement for mistakes and there never will be, not for Christi and not for Jimmy.
or rather…

The second person to reach the Insights desert is the tragic hero of the season, Werner.

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Werner made a mistake and he knows it.. He ran from his job to meet his wife for a few days, but it was, after all, for a just cause, true love, for true love is the greatest thing in the world (Except a nice MLT—a mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich, where the mutton is nice and lean and the tomatoes are ripe).

When Mike catches up to him at last, Werner is sorry, of course, for the damage he caused. Surely Mike can understand and forgive, let him see his wife at least, it’s true love for God’s sake!

But Werner does not understand that this is not the magical world of Inigo Montoya, this is the ruthless world of Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul.

Here in this world, in the real world, once you make a mistake, “Nothing you can say or do will make anyone trust you again” as Mike says to him, in  slightly different words than Jimmy, but with the same underlying message – there is a mistake -> there is  remorse -> but there is NO chance of atonement.

The denial of atonement in the law-abiding polished world of HHM means politely shutting the door in your face, but in the criminal world the shutting of the door is proverbial and is as final as it gets, a single bullet in the head delivered by Mike in a dark, dark desert.

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And  last but not least to arrive at our Bureau of Insights is the hero of the day, our very own Jimmy.

Jimmy has every reason in the world to repent and atone– he hurt his brother, his own flesh and blood, he was suspended from the bar following his actions and the hearing committee chose to prolong the 1-year suspension. And why? Because he was not sincere, because he did not express remorse for his brother, because he did not ask them for atonement.

So here we all are, finally ready to hear Jimmy asking for forgiveness, kneeling before the panel, demonstrating the sincerity they so needed to see in him and pleading for atonement.

All is foreseen, and freedom of choice is granted” is written in the Mishnah, the Jewish oral Torah.

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But before we all crowd together for the walk of atonement , we get a foreshadowing scene where Kim arranging the notes for Jimmy’s appeal: “Take a look,” she says to him, “The problem might’ve been starting with remorse”, maybe it’s better to start with “the law, plans, then remorse“.

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It is possible that Kim struck the heart of the matter – remorse – but is it the order in which that remorse is presented that really matters, or maybe it’s something else …

I can say whatever I want” Jimmy tells her, “to the board I’m still “that guy””.
But then something occurs to Jimmy. “What if Chuck does the talking for me?” So, he’s saying, perhaps his  brother’s letter about him, those kind words from the victim of his mistake will give him the atonement he so seeks?

So that’s the answer? That’s how you atone for your mistakes?

By utilizing a juridical seance of praise and forgiveness from the victim of your mistake, as we were swindled into believing until virtually the final moment of the Series?

The penultimate scene gives us  another insight, maybe the most important of all, it’s the scene in which Jimmy disillusioned by this idea, because Jimmy is smart, smarter than us, who are still held captive by the shining religious fantasy that there is atonement in this world.

Christy was a wake up call for Jimmy, and he wants us to wake up too and acknowledge certain facts about our world – in the real world when you make a mistake and regret it there can be never be atonement, even with a thousand letters of praise from dead brothers.

No, the logical method that Jimmy devises to solve the problem of atonement is simple but brilliant. Make a mistake, have NO remorse and instead blame the victim of your mistake – how judgmental he is, how you could never live up to his standards, how he got under your skin, how he could be a “son of a bitch” (a little giggle from the committee) – dance the victor’s dance on his grave and add a touch of self-pity to the mixture – look at me, I’ll never be as moral as he was, buhu, buhu, buhu – and oh then, receive the desired atonement. So there is a mistake – > there is NO remorse -> there is atonement.

After all, there is a word that we did not hear Jimmy utter once in his speech to the committee, a word that once said by someone it will deny him of his atonement, would have turned him from a winner to a loser.

The word is regret, the word is remorse –  forget  it, strike it from your lexicon and only good can come of it, for yours and Jimmy’s sake.

Jimmy got his lawyer’s license back, because as he told Christy, winners do not play by the rules, winners cut corners, the winner takes it all as the song goes, and now he adds the winner, in his soul, never regrets..

In the final scene of the episode and the entire season, Jimmy finally takes all the masks off, he no longer needs them, he managed to dodge the bullets, he beat the Matrix we are captured in, and now his name can finally be changed from Jimmy McGill to Saul Goodman irrevocably and absolutely, the transformation is complete.

It’s all good, man” Saul tells us

And jubilant, as jubilant as we have seen Jimmy, sorry Saul, in the whole series.

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So, is the religious insight of mistake, remorse and atonement wrong, and Jimmy’s jubilant and unremorseful way  the correct one?

We may have thought that, if we didn’t know how this all ends, depicted in the black and white scenes starring Jimmy as Gene, in those scenes that take place after Breaking Bad, that show us the fate of Saul Goodman, thus providing us with the answer to the familiar question of the so called loser religion, a question that is asked in Psalms, 14: 3,
How long, Lord, will the wicked,
how long will the wicked be jubilant?“…

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[Proofread by Miles Stewart, thanks!]