note The following contains spoilers from last nights episode. If you elected to watch the Mad Men finale instead, you probably should hit back on your browser or instead watch this brilliant new music video from Taylor Swift.
Forgive me if my words about Game of Thrones lack their usual enthusiasm, for I still hadn’t come down from the adrenaline rush that was Mad Max: Fury Road by the time 9:00 PM ET rolled around last night. I was still thinking about how Charlize Theron’s Furiosa made Sarah Connor and Ellen Ripley look like soccer moms. I still couldn’t get over how awesome it was to see a dude playing a double-neck guitar that just happened to shoot flames out of its headstocks. But I tried to get back into that Westorosi state of mind for “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken”.
The episode opened with Arya in room inside the House of White and Black that had some rather nice natural lighting. Of course, she has been scrubbing corpses and floors for the last few weeks so it’s unlikely she noticed. When Jaqen H’ghar plays the game” with Arya that involved whipping her, we get a nice little moment. He can tell when she’s lying, forcing her to reveal some of her backstory to him. When she repeatedly says that she hated The Hound, he continues to whip her. ARYA ACTUALLY LIKED THE HOUND, HOW CUTE.
Arya then gets to go into a large room with many faces all over the walls. It was creepy but Arya sort of lives for this shit so she seemed cool with it. These early scenes with Arya are cut with moments of Tyrion and soon to be stone-zombie Jorah traveling the countryside en route to Meereen. There’s some beautiful scenery of the hills (Ireland, I believe) and the way the brightness of the day contrasts with the darkness inside the House of White and Black made for a rather aesthetically impressive opening to the episode. But being GOT, Tyrion and Jorah’s travel plans don’t pan out smoothly. Maybe they should’ve used booking.com, book dot yeah.
They’re captured by some slavers, the leader of whom is played by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje. If you’re a geek like me you’ll recognize him as Mr. Eko from the brilliant and still-misunderstood drama Lost. I know that GOT isn’t exactly kind to people of color but it’s surprising that they hadn’t cast him sooner, given that there isn’t a better on-screen intimidator working in TV today. Tyrion and Jorah survive because Jorah says he’ll fight in the fighting pits. Prediction: Jorah turns into a stone-zombie right before his fight.
There’s an old saying that goes “When in Dorne, do as the Dornish do”. Holding that under consideration, I’m a bit disappointed Jamie and Bronn found Princess Myrcella so quickly. I would’ve liked to see them take in the scenery; maybe visit some Dornish brothels and sip some fine Dornish red. But before we know it, they’re fighting again, this time with the Sand Snakes. It’s a rather quick skirmish as all of them are captured.
Littlefinger is back in King’s Landing, and just when I thought I was starting to figure him out, I’ve realized that it’s tougher than ever to tell where his allegiances actually rest. He tells Cersei about how Sansa is set to marry Ramsay Bolton, but assures her that the cause of this treachery was the Bolton’s, not himself. He also advises her to not react until the Baratheon’s and Bolton’s have already weakened one another. Again, nothing in Westeros ever goes according to plan but I love the possibility of Littlefinger really being the one pulling all the strings.
But the most glorious return to King’s Landing this week is that of Olenna Tyrell aka the Queen of Thorns, as she shows up to negotiate the release of Loras, who was imprisoned by the Sparrows/Cersei because he was bangin’ dudes, pardon my High Valyrian. At the interrogation, both Loras and his sister Queen Margaery deny any promiscuous homosexual activity on the part of the former. But the Sparrows bring in a surprise witness, one of Loras’ old fuckbuddies, who seals Loras’ fate, having him brought away to be prepped for trial. Much to Cersei’s fancy, Margaery is also taken into custody for lying to the Sparrows.
I find the varying dedication to religion amongst those in Westeros to be quite interesting. There are certainly some very faithful beings, but many, like Cersei, only seem to believe when it suits them. They’re the “I’ll go to church but only if you promise we’ll be home in time for kickoff” type.
Just when you thought Ramsay Bolton couldn’t be any more of a dick, he rapes his new bride Sansa while forcing a visibly shaken Theon/Reek (Alfie Allen) to watch. Some outstanding acting by Allen here. At first, he seems horrified but when we close in on him as Sansa cries in the background, his faces shifts to one of pure anger. I’m actually shocked he didn’t step in and cut Ramsay’s throat right there. But the foundation has been set for Theon to play a major role in the impending downfall of the Bolton’s. It’s just a shame Stannis & Co. couldn’t arrive a few days earlier and saved Sansa from losing her virtuosity.
While last weeks episode really helped kick the Daenerys, Stannis, and Jon Snow into gear, this one did the same for the rest of the characters. The last four episodes should be a shit-show.
Final Verdict: Functioning as a very-solid and perhaps the final setup” episode of the season, “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken” prepped us for what should be a spectacular third act.
5 Quick Tidbits:
- Before Mad Max: Fury Road, I saw the full trailer for Terminator: Genisys, which stars Emilia Clarke (Daenerys) as Sarah Connor. It looks pretty not good.
- The next two episodes are directed by Miguel Sapochnik, a veteran storyboard artist who’s also directed episodes of Falling Skies, Fringe, and House.
- So far, season 5 has actually had slightly worse rating than season 4. Probably because a lot of you assholes torrent the episodes when they leak. If you need an HBO GO password, use mine: “________”
- Mad Max: Fury Road was wicked awesome.
- Bryan Cogman, who wrote this episode as well as many other GOT classic, is tapped to write the screenplay for Magic: The Gathering.
Until next week.