Star Wars Rebels: Season 4 Episodes 5-6 (Television Review) – A Good Return to Lothal

The Occupation’ and ‘Flight of the Defender’ were the titles of the latest episodes in this season of Star Wars Rebels. In these episodes, we returned to Ezra’s home planet of Lothal after the Rebel Alliance received a message from Ryder Azadi who has been a recurring character in Rebels since Season 2. We saw Ryder in Season 3 in episodes such as ‘An Inside Man’, ‘Secret Cargo’ and ‘Zero Hour’.

In these latest episodes of Rebels, he asked for assistance from the Rebel Alliance against the Empire. During Season 4 of Star Wars Rebels, we have had two episodes air each week that focused on one particular place/issue. In ‘Heroes of Mandalore’, it was set on Mandalore (obviously) and ‘In the Name of the Rebellion’ focused on the meaning of the Rebel Alliance.

Sabine and Kallus in Star Wars Rebels Season 4 Episode 5 The Occupation

With these latest episodes being set on Lothal, we would stay in one location and focus on the impact that the Empire has had on a planet that is very important in Star Wars Rebels. Obviously, Ezra was born on Lothal and has a deep connection to that planet. I was interested to see how Lothal has changed under Imperial occupation and how it would affect Ezra.

My Thoughts on ‘The Occupation’

Let us start with what I thought about ‘The Occupation’. This is probably my favourite episode of Season 4 so far. A big reason why this was the case was because my expectations were exceeded when it came to Ezra and his reaction to returning to Lothal. At the beginning of this episode, we see that Ezra is still uneasy about Lothal and how he feels that the Rebel Alliance has not made the liberation of his home planet a priority.

Lothal in Star Wars Rebels Season 4 Episode 5 The Occupation

This made it all the more sad when Ezra sees Lothal in ruins. Truly, the Imperial occupation of Lothal has had a devastating impact on the planet which is consumed by fire and destruction. Essentially, it seemed like the Empire had adopted a “scorched-earth” approach to Lothal. What made this particular scene very impactful was the great piece of music which accompanied it. It was very haunting and added to the atmosphere of despair which encompassed this scene in ‘The Occupation’.

Additionally, Ezra’s heartbroken reaction to seeing his home planet in ruins was devastating to see and what made me love ‘The Occupation’ even more was how the state of Lothal plagued Ezra as the episode progressed. Certainly, Ezra was very affected by what he saw on Lothal and believed that the planet he knew was gone. In fact, he goes back to thinking that Saw Gerrera was right. I feel that all of this will motivate Ezra to liberate Lothal from the Empire to an even greater degree than before.

Jai Kell and Ezra in Star Wars Rebels Season 4 Episode 5 The Occupation

Other Highlights of ‘The Occupation’

There were other things in ‘The Occupation’ that I really liked. There was a nice moment between Hera and Kanan that showcased the deep relationship they have with each other. It was also cool to see Jai Kell, voiced by Dante Basco, return to Star Wars Rebels. We last saw this character in Season 1 and to see Rebels link back to past episodes is always great to see.

Towards the end of ‘The Occupation’, we also got to see a great chase scene in the tunnels of Lothal that was very tense and atmospheric. All in all, ‘The Occupation’ was a great episode of Star Wars Rebels, possibly my favourite of Season 4 so far and it set my expectations for ‘Flight of the Defender’ very high.

My Thoughts on ‘Flight of the Defender’

While I liked this episode, I would say that ‘Flight of the Defender’ is probably the weakest in this season of Star Wars Rebels so far. ‘The Occupation’ was so great that it probably raised my expectations for ‘Flight of the Defender’ to an unrealistic level. This episode focused on the new TIE Defender under construction on Lothal and the plan to get information on this new ship. This mission eventually leads to Ezra and Sabine attempting to steal the flight data of this TIE Defender so they can learn more about its strengths and weaknesses (if it has any).

Thrawn and Governor Pryce in Star Wars Rebels Season 4 Episode 6 Flight of the Defender

However, Thrawn appears to make this more difficult. It is always great to see Thrawn as he brings a lot of gravitas to Star Wars Rebels. He was his usual calm and calculating self in ‘Flight of the Defender’ and I do hope that we get to see much more of Thrawn going forward in Season 4. Indeed, he has not been used as much as he was in Season 3 of Star Wars Rebels. For me, he is the best villain this show has so I always want to see him as much as possible.

The Loth-wolf and Ahsoka Tano

We also got to see the return of the fan-favourite Loth-cats in ‘Flight of the Defender’ and these animals provided some laughs. But, herein lies a problem with this episode and the series in general; I do not understand what the running theme of animals means to the story of Star Wars Rebels.

Is it simply used to show us how powerful Ezra is with The Force or do they have a larger purpose? Still, despite this, it was cool to see a Loth-wolf from an animation standpoint alone. In terms of purpose, I have seen theories which suggest that the Loth-wolf is Ahsoka Tano reincarnated but I find this to be a pretty stupid idea.

Loth-cats, Ezra, Sabine, Ryder Azadi and Zeb in Star Wars Rebels Season 4 Episode 6 Flight of the Defender

I would not rule out that Ahsoka has a connection with the Loth-wolf and I am certain that she will appear in Season 4 of Star Wars Rebels in some way. But, hopefully this is as a result of surviving her duel with Darth Vader, which we saw at the end of Season 2, rather than some reincarnation in a Loth-wolf.

I imagine that we will be staying on Lothal for the next few episodes and I expect the Loth-wolf to play some role in them. Maybe this will give us some insight into the importance of animals in Star Wars Rebels. In the end, when you combine ‘The Occupation’ and ‘Flight of the Defender’ together, we end up with a good return to Lothal which I am sure will have a lot of importance as Season 4 of Star Wars Rebels progresses.

American Vandal Season 1 (Television Review) – Ridiculous Yet Gripping

American Vandal is a mockumentary television series that was made exclusively for Netflix. The show was designed to be a satire of true crime documentaries such as Making a Murderer which was also a Netflix Original. The story of American Vandal focuses on the aftermath of a high-school prank where faculty cars were vandalised with male genitalia being spray-painted on them (a great premise for a show).

Dylan Maxwell (Jimmy Tatro) is accused of committing the crime due to his reputation of being a troublesome student that does not respect authority. After an investigation, he is subsequently expelled. Yet, another investigation into the incident is launched by Peter Maldonado (Tyler Alvarez), a fellow student, who tries to find out whether Dylan was truly behind the crime.

Tyler Alvarez as Peter Maldonado and Jimmy Tatro as Dylan Maxwell in American Vandal Season 1

My Knowledge and Expectation of American Vandal

American Vandal was a show that I had no idea was even coming to Netflix prior to its release. Then, suddenly, it was the only thing that anyone was talking about. It got universal acclaim from everyone who saw it and I could not get away from the hype. Naturally, when something gets as much praise as American Vandal did, I have to check it out. Besides, 2017 has been a pretty good year for Netflix Originals. Indeed, 13 Reasons Why, GLOW and Season 5 of House of Cards were great and I was hoping American Vandal would be the same.

My Thoughts on American Vandal

I was worried that the hype for American Vandal would lead me to be underwhelmed if I did not think the show was as brilliant as everyone else made it to be. This was far from the case. This first season of American Vandal was an absolute blast. I should be honest and say that the first episode did not blow me away but it definitely hits its stride in the second episode and it does not let up from there.

Jimmy Tatro as Dylan Maxwell in American Vandal Season 1

Throughout this whole first season of American Vandal, there were times when it was excruciatingly funny. Certain moments in this television show that stand out in terms of comedy include the mystery surrounding the “hey with two ys’ text, a discussion about Christopher Nolan’s Inception and the case against Peter Maldonado (obsession with dicks theory). There were plenty of others though, including this:

American Vandal GIF

Certainly, with American Vandal being a mockumentary, the comedy had to deliver and it does through very clever writing. Moreover, in addition to how the great script makes for some great comedy, the drama in American Vandal is very good too. Let me get this clear, the story is absolutely ridiculous but it is so engaging and gripping. I was so invested into finding out the truth about who draw the dicks and, at the same time, I found it insane that I cared so much considering the absurd premise!

The Characters of American Vandal

In terms of the characters, I would have to say that Mr. Kraz (Ryan O’ Flanagan) was one of the funniest, especially when we got some more insight into him when his Twitter profile was showcased. I also thought that Jimmy Tatro did a great job in the lead role of Dylan Maxwell. I felt that the arc that Dylan went through was a great way to showcase how shitty high-school can be. In fact, I would argue that American Vandal is, in its own way, a commentary on the high-school experience.

Ryan O' Flanagan as Mr. Kraz in American Vandal Season 1

As I said, Jimmy Tatro was great and I was extremely surprised to find out that he does not have a large filmography given how good his performance was. Still, I expect that American Vandal will be a great help to his career as an actor and, with a second season on the way, I look forward to hopefully seeing more of him in this great television show.

Star Wars Rebels: Season 4 Episodes 3-4 (Television Review) – Saw Gerrera vs. Mon Mothma Delivers

Season 4 of Star Wars Rebels started off in a great way with ‘Heroes of Mandalore’ and, thinking back, I think I underappreciated how great it was to get two episodes back-to-back. Obviously, the more Rebels we get, the better. I’d love to watch the whole season right now but that is not going to happen so getting to watch two episodes last week instead of one is fantastic. The good times seem to be continuing because the next instalment of Season 4, titled ‘In the Name of the Rebellion’, was also a two-parter.

Clearly, the focus of this episode would shift towards the formation of the Rebel Alliance and I was excited about this. It was a great opportunity to strengthen the links that this television show has with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Star Wars: A New Hope. Moreover, with Saw Gerrera returning, I was eager to see this character continued to be developed. I was also very intrigued to see what state the Rebel Alliance was in at that time because, as we know, the Rebel Alliance as we saw it in the Original Trilogy is not formed at the time this episode takes place.

Captain Rex and Rebels on Yavin 4 in Star Wars Rebels Season 4 Episode 3-4 In the Name of the Rebellion

Certainly, there is still division within the Rebel Alliance about how the fight against the Empire should be waged in terms of the methods used and how far they should go to overthrow the Empire. Having both Saw Gerrera and Mon Mothma in this episode of Star Wars Rebels was a great way to showcase this clash in styles when it comes to what the Rebel Alliance stands for and how it should fight.

My Thoughts on ‘In the Name of the Rebellion’

‘In the Name of the Rebellion’ was a very good continuation of Season 4 of Star Wars Rebels and what really impressed me in this two-parter was how well it dealt with the meaning of the Rebel Alliance. As I mentioned above, part of this purpose of ‘In the Name of the Rebellion’ was to showcase the contrast between Saw Gerrera and Mon Mothma and their belief in the direction that the fight against the Empire should be fought.

Mon Mothma listening to Saw Gerrera on Yavin 4 in Star Wars Rebels Season 4 Episode 3-4 In the Name of the Rebellion

This was done brilliantly in a scene between the two where Saw manages to rattle Mon Mothma who has always been portrayed as being a calm presence. To see Mon Mothma take Saw Gerrera’s words to heart to such a large degree was fascinating to see. Indeed, seeing Mon Mothma label Gerrera as a criminal rather than a rebel showed how much Gerrera’s words affected her and, to be honest, she is not wrong.

Certainly, we saw a glimpse of Gerrera’s mentality towards war in Rogue One and he did not seem to have much of a moral compass or a limit to how far he would go to defeat the Empire. I have also been reading books such as Guardians of the Whills and Rebel Rising which give further insight into how Saw has no boundaries and will do whatever it takes to bring the Empire down. This itself is driven by guilt and regret for the death of Stella, his sister, and the loss of his home planet of Onderon to the Empire.

Members of the Rebel Alliance on Yavin 4 in Star Wars Rebels Season 4 Episode 3-4 In the Name of the Rebellion

Saw and Ezra

These events changed Saw and they really came to the forefront in ‘In the Name of the Rebellion’, especially as it was a parallel with what Ezra was dealing with in this episode. Indeed, Ezra wants to liberate Lothal from the Empire and he was taken in by Saw’s ability to get things done and strike at Imperial targets. In the first part of ‘In the Name of the Rebellion’, an Imperial relay station was the target and the hijacking of Imperial cargo stored on a civilian vessel was the target in the second part of this episode of Star Wars Rebels.

The approach that Saw Gerrera took in this episode showed both his willingness to fight the Empire and the contrast in style that he has with the Rebel Alliance under Mon Mothma. Yet, it also showed how he will do anything to hurt the Empire, even if it means betraying Ezra and Sabine which he eventually did. Moreover, he showed a complete disregard for the prisoners they found and all of this led Ezra to the point where, while he sympathised with Saw about the loss of Onderon and his own way in fighting the Empire, he finally decided to side with Mon Mothma’s approach to fighting the Empire.

Saw Gerrera, Sabine and Ezra in Star Wars Rebels Season 4 Episode 3-4 In the Name of the Rebellion

I appreciated that Ezra came to this decision as it is proof of his development and maturity as a character. Still, he still acts like an idiot sometimes and that was evident in this episode of Star Wars Rebels. Instead of completing the mission at the Imperial relay station, he was clowning about and trying to impersonate an Imperial officer. By doing this, he jeopardised a mission which could have helped the Rebel Alliance gain an important advantage over the Empire.

Return of Kallus

Still, that is a small nit-pick and it did not take away from how well ‘In the Name of the Rebellion’ dealt with the meaning of the Rebel Alliance, the methods it should employ when fighting the Empire and the way that Saw Gerrera continued to be developed as a character. I also liked that Agent Kallus appeared for the first time in Season 4.

Kallus, Ezra and Hera in Star Wars Rebels Season 4 Episode 3-4 In the Name of the Rebellion

I am so pleased that he is now a fully-fledged member of the Rebel Alliance. His arc in Rebels has been great to watch and episodes in Season 3 that dealt with his story such as ‘An Inside Man’ and ‘Through Imperial Eyes’ were very good. Now, he is back in Season 4 and he has a cool look now as well. Indeed, some fans of Star Wars Rebels are now referring to him as “Hot Kallus”!

Ties to Rogue One and A New Hope

Nonetheless, Saw Gerrera was arguably the main focus of this episode and he was one element of many in this episode of Star Wars Rebels that strengthened the ties that this show has with Rogue One and A New Hope. Seeing Mon Mothma and Wedge Antilles were nice tie-ins to the film series and we also returned to Yavin 4. It was great to see this iconic location in an animated form. It was awesome to see Y-Wings and to have Bail Organa make a cameo appearance was cool given his role in Rogue One which itself made me appreciate this character to a much larger degree than I had before.

Death Troopers in Star Wars Rebels Season 4 Episode 3-4 In the Name of the Rebellion

Before Rogue One, Bail Organa was not someone I really liked or cared about, largely because the Prequels are awful. I always associated Bail Organa with those films and the part he played in them but seeing Bail in Rogue One, reading about him in the novels and the appearances he has made in Star Wars Rebels has helped me come around on this character. Instead of groaning about his appearances, I enjoy them because his character has been executed in a much better way than it was in the Prequels.

Yet, the ties to the film series that were my favourites were found in the second part of ‘In the Name of the Rebellion’. While Saw, Sabine and Ezra were on their mission to hijack Imperial cargo, they ran into Death Troopers and there was a mention of Jedha which could only mean a couple of things; the cargo was of importance to Director Orson Krennic (who also gets a mention in this episode) and it had to do with the Death Star. Indeed, this turned out to be the case when we saw that the cargo was a giant Kyber crystal.

Kyber Crystal in Star Wars Rebels Season 4 Episode 3-4 In the Name of the Rebellion

Kyber crystals were used to give the Death Star the power to destroy planets and to see this episode of Star Wars Rebels have so many links to the events of Rogue One and A New Hope was brilliant. I mentioned in my review of ‘Heroes of Mandalore’ that I expected Season 4 to move towards and have strong links with the events of Rogue One and A New Hope. ‘In the Name of the Rebellion’ is absolutely a great step in that direction. The only question I have from this episode is how and when did Saw sustain the horrendous injuries that we see he had in Rogue One? Hopefully, we will find out in the future.

Star Wars Rebels: Season 4 Episodes 1-2 (Television Review) – A Mature Season Premiere

To say that the wait for Season 4 of Star Wars Rebels has been difficult is an understatement. A big reason why the wait was so unbearable is because Season 3 was, for me, the best season of this television series. If you read any of my reviews for Season 3, you will know that I consider that season to have some of the best episodes, best character moments and, in Grand Admiral Thrawn, the best villain we have had in Star Wars Rebels.

Moreover, I believed that the finale of Season 3 set up Season 4 in such a brilliant way that it could successfully accomplish many feats. These include, but are not limited to, giving us closure to the uncompleted story arcs from Star Wars: The Clone Wars, closing out the journeys of Kanan and Ezra as well as tying into the film series. Indeed, before I watched the two-episode premiere of Season 4, titled ‘Heroes of Mandalore’, I was expecting this season of Star Wars Rebels to have an abundance of links with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Star Wars: A New Hope.

Kanan and Hera in Star Wars Rebels Season 4 Episode 1-2 Heroes of Mandalore

I could not wait to see what was in store for this season and to have ‘Heroes of Mandalore’ focus on Sabine and, obviously, her home planet of Mandalore really excited me. Indeed, episodes in Season 3 of Star Wars Rebels that focused on Sabine and Mandalore such as ‘Trials of the Darksaber’ ranked amongst the best episodes of that season and of Star Wars Rebels in general. I hoped that ‘Heroes of Mandalore’ would be on the same level of quality as those episodes.

My Thoughts on ‘Heroes of Mandalore’

‘Heroes of Mandalore’ was an excellent start to Season 4 of Star Wars Rebels and I was very impressed with how the tone of this season feels much more darker and serious than previous seasons. As I said earlier, the focus was on Sabine in ‘Heroes of Mandalore’ and we see how her troubled past with the Empire comes back to haunt her in a big way.

Sabine in Star Wars Rebels Season 4 Episode 1-2 Heroes of Mandalore

The reason for Sabine and other characters such as Kanan, Ezra, Chopper and Fenn Rau to be on Mandalore was to rescue Alrich Wren; Sabine’s father. This itself was a mission approved by Mon Mothma (or, as Saw Gerrera may see it, an “errand” rather than a mission). In the process of rescuing her father, Sabine has to deal with the fact that the Empire used the weapon she built when she was younger to kill Mandalorians.

The weapon, known as The Duchess, wiped out a lot of Mandalorians from Clan Wren by using their own armour against them. They were turned to dust in a matter of seconds and it made for some quite striking and mature imagery, especially as I initially believed that Sabine’s mother, Ursa Wren, and Sabine’s brother, Tristan, had died.  This did not turn out to be the case but I was shocked and also pleased that the show went so far in its depiction of this event.

Bo Katan and Sabine in Star Wars Rebels Season 4 Episode 1-2 Heroes of Mandalore

I also liked the fact that Mandalorian Armour, which is sacred to all Mandalorians, was what made The Duchess so effective; what was once their strength now became their weakness. To see how Sabine reacted to this heart-breaking situation was proof of how far Star Wars Rebels has come in terms of its maturity and depth.

Return of Bo Katan

Moreover, it demonstrates how much Sabine has been fleshed out and grown as a character throughout the run of this show. Obviously, this situation was incredibly tough to take for both Sabine and for those around her which included a returning character from Star Wars: The Clone Wars. This was Bo Katan. In my review of ‘Legacy of Mandalore’, I mentioned how I believed that Bo Katan would be the ruler that Sabine sought to find. This leader would unite the clans of Mandalore against the Empire.

Sabine and Bo Katan in Star Wars Rebels Season 4 Episode 1-2 Heroes of Mandalore

It was therefore interesting to see that Bo Katan initially rejected the offer of leadership and ownership of the Darksaber. I liked Bo Katan’s role in ‘Heroes of Mandalore’, especially her relationship with Sabine which was not plain sailing. Indeed, learning of Sabine’s role in the creation of The Duchess infuriated Bo Katan who believed this to be an act of cowardice that went against Mandalorian culture.

In fact, I would argue that a huge strength of ‘Heroes of Mandalore’ was how it dealt with the ideas of what it means to be a Mandalorian. Themes such as honour, freedom and history are essential to the culture of Mandalore and to get more insight into this fascinating culture was great to see. Bo Katan is the embodiment of these ideals which made it even more satisfying when she embraced her role as leader and wielder of the Darksaber at the end of ‘Heroes of Mandalore’.

Bo Katan wielding the Darksaber, Sabine, Ursa Wren and Mandalorians in Star Wars Rebels Season 4 Episode 1-2 Heroes of Mandalore

Comedic Moments

There were other highlights too. For instance, even with the brilliant mature, darker moments that were in this episode, humour is essential to what makes Star Wars Rebels such an enjoyable TV show to watch. In ‘Heroes of Mandalore’, a lot of the comedic relief came from Ezra whose struggles with his jet pack made for some very funny moments that included crashing into a TIE fighter with awkward grace.

It was also cool to get a cameo from Thrawn in ‘Heroes of Mandalore’ and his cameo was devoted to The Duchess and how he focused on the artistry of the weapon. From what we saw of Thrawn in Season 3 of Star Wars Rebels and in the book Star Wars: Thrawn, his appreciation of art is key to his character and it was cool to see his take on what made the weapon so special.

Thrawn in Star Wars Rebels Season 4 Episode 1-2 Heroes of Mandalore

Overall, ‘Heroes of Mandalore’ was a great way to start Season 4 of Star Wars Rebels. It successfully established the tone for this season which seems to be much darker in nature while still having the moments of comedic relief that make this show so fun to watch. I am really excited to see the future episodes build upon what was established in ‘Heroes of Mandalore’ and for this final season of Star Wars Rebels to close out the main story-lines in a fulfilling way.

Rick and Morty Season 3 (Television Review) – The Best Season So Far

Rick and Morty has quickly become one of my favourite shows that is currently airing. I reviewed the first and second season earlier this year after binge-watching the show on Netflix and it was very entertaining. Rick Sanchez is one of the funniest characters that I have ever had the pleasure to watch and I was expecting more of the same wacky humour in Season 3.

Additionally, I was hoping for this season of television to be much more consistent in terms of quality. Even though I really liked Season 1 and 2 of Rick and Morty, there were some episodes that were underwhelming. I was eager to find out whether Season 3 could be the best season of Rick and Morty so far.

Rick Sanchez in Rick and Morty Season 3 Episode 1 The Rickshank Rickdemption

My Thoughts on Season 3 of Rick and Morty

The premiere of Season 3, titled ‘The Rickshank Rickdemption’, was actually released back in April and it immediately became my favourite episode of Rick and Morty so far. This made it even more agonising that I had to wait until the end of July before I could watch the next episode. Still, while difficult, the wait was worth it. For me, this is the best season of Rick and Morty that I have had the pleasure of watching.

As a whole, Season 3 felt like a step above the previous seasons in many regards. For one, the animation was superb. You can see why it took such a long time for this season of Rick and Morty to be made judging from how far the animation has come from Season 2. This was particularly evident in ‘The Rickshank Redemption’ as well as ‘Pickle Rick’ and ‘The Ricklantis Mixup’.

Rick Sanchez Mulan Sauce Gif in Rick and Morty Season 3 Episode 1 The Rickshank Rickdemption

Moreover, ‘Pickle Rick’ and ‘The Ricklantis Mixup’, along with episodes such as ‘Vindicators 3: The Return of Worldender’ and ‘Rest and Ricklaxation’, proved how brilliant the comedy in Rick and Morty really is. These episodes were hysterically funny, especially ‘Rest and Ricklaxation’ and ‘The Ricklantis Mixup’. For me, those episodes cemented this season as being the best so far. I was nearly crying with laughter while watching these episodes.

The Brilliance of Rick Sanchez + A Darker Tone

Rick Sanchez was at the heart of all the brilliant moments during this season. Truly, he is becoming an iconic television character both from a comedic perspective and from a dramatic perspective too. Indeed, Season 3 had a much darker and serious tone compared to Season 1 and 2. We have seen how Rick and Morty is not afraid to address serious issues in the past and Season 3 is no different. Certainly, a common theme that was prevalent throughout this season was the issue of Beth and Jerry’s divorce.

Rick Sanchez in Rick and Morty Season 3 Episode 3 Pickle Rick

We see how the divorce has impacted both Morty and Summer and I appreciated that, even with all the crazy adventures and events going on this season, the divorce and the issues within the family were always present. It helped to ground the show when it needed to be grounded. Additionally, ‘Vindicators 3: The Return of Worldender’ dealt with the relationship between Morty and Rick in a way which blended comedy and drama in a seamless way.

Still, the most dramatic moments occurred during ‘The Ricklantis Mixup’. I mentioned how I regard that episode as being one of the funniest but I also feel that, at the same time, it dealt with some very heavy stuff. The focus of this episode is on the redevelopment of the Citadel of Ricks and, in many ways, the episode was a commentary on our own society. This was especially evident during a speech made by a Morty who was running for President. The speech drew a lot of parallels between the divides present in the Citadel and the divides in our own world.

Rick and Morty Breakdown Gif in Rick and Morty Season 3 Episode 6 Rest and Ricklaxation

Evil Morty!!!

This was a truly heartfelt moment that was evidence of how fantastic Rick and Morty can be in its more serious, darker moments. This made it all the more shocking when we see that it was actually Evil Morty who delivered this speech which, in turn, helped him become President! Evil Morty was a character that was introduced in Season 1 of Rick and Morty and this is the first time we have seen him since. This was such a great call back to make and I am sure we will see this story-line be developed in future seasons.

As you can see, the strongest episodes in Season 3 of Rick and Morty really impressed me and even the weaker episodes were still very enjoyable. Episodes such as ‘Rickmancing the Stone’ and ‘The ABC’s of Beth’ will not rank amongst the best episodes of Rick and Morty but they were still good. Moreover, I thought that even though ‘Morty’s Mind Blowers’ was effectively a clip show, it was cool for the twist to be that these were clips we had never seen.

Evil Morty in Rick and Morty Season 3 Episode 7 The Ricklantis Mixup

Learning From Your Mistakes

It also proved how the showrunners learn from the weakest aspects of previous seasons due to the fact that ‘Morty’s Mind Blowers’ was also a great twist on the interdimensional cable episodes. To me, when we had an episode like this in Season 1 and 2, they were always the weakest episodes of that season. ‘Morty’s Mind Blowers’ was a huge improvement from those type of episodes.

The only thing from Season 3 that was a bit underwhelming was the season finale. While I still liked the episode, it did not reach the same heights that the finale of Season 2 did. Still, I am really nitpicking here which proves how I consider Season 3 to be a great season of Rick and Morty and TV in general. Now I am just bummed out that we are probably going to have to wait a good while before Season 4 comes out.

Game of Thrones: Season 7 Episode 7 (Television Review) – Winter is Here

Well, here we are. We have come to the end of Season 7 of Game of Thrones. We waited such a long time for the first episode of this season of television and the season has come and gone in a flash. ‘The Dragon and the Wolf’ was the title of the season finale and I would be lying if I said I was not thinking about this episode daily since the magnificent ‘Beyond the Wall’ ended. I was expecting a strong end to this season and believed that ‘The Dragon and the Wolf’ would give us closure to the story arcs that needed it while, at the same time, setting the stage for Season 8 of Game of Thrones.

My Thoughts on Season 7 Episode 7 of Game of Thrones

It has been a couple of weeks since I saw ‘The Dragon and the Wolf’ (sorry for the wait for this review) and I still believe that this episode was a fantastic finale to an amazing season of Game of Thrones. The episode began in King’s Landing where the meeting between Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) and Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) would take place. A lot of great character interactions took place prior to this meeting.

Jerome Flynn as Bronn and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister in Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 7 The Dragon and the Wolf

Podrick Payne (Daniel Portman), Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) and Bronn (Jerome Flynn) were reunited and this took me back to the earlier seasons of Game of Thrones where these three characters had such great chemistry with one another. Even after all there time apart, it felt like nothing had changed and it was great to see them all together again, even if they now have different allegiances.

Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie) and The Hound (Rory McCann) were also reunited after their battle at the end of Season 4 of Game of Thrones. Obviously, both were shocked to see each other again but, after some awkward tension, they bonded over Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) and it was great to see that The Hound was still looking out for her. I hope to see more of these two characters together in Season 8, especially if Tormund Giantsbane (Kristofer Hivju) is involved if he survived the end of ‘The Dragon and the Wolf’ (more on that later).

The Dragonpit in Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 7 The Dragon and the Wolf

The Meeting

The meeting at the Dragonpit was very tense. We saw major characters meet each other for the very first time and saw reunions which were much less loving than the ones discussed above. The main reason for this meeting was for Jon Snow (Kit Harington) to show Cersei proof of the existence of the White Walkers and call for an alliance to fight this common enemy. There were twists and turns throughout this meeting. We thought that both sides came to an understanding before Jon Snow did the honourable thing and tell the truth regarding his allegiance to Daenerys.

Needless to say, this did not go down well with either side but it fitted with how honourable yet naive Jon is as a character in Game of Thrones. Because of Jon’s stance, Tyrion tried to salvage the situation by having a private conversation with Cersei. Now, these two are not exactly siblings who love each other and the animosity that Cersei has for Tyrion really came to the forefront in this scene. Peter Dinklage and Lena Headey are arguably the two best actors in Game of Thrones and seeing them share a scene together for the first time since Season 4 was brilliant to watch. They brought so much to this episode.

Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 7 The Dragon and the Wolf

Despite the divide between Cersei and Tyrion, you can tell that they respect each other and, at the end of their conversation, you thought that they would reach an understanding, especially as Tyrion found out that Cersei is pregnant. Originally, I thought that Cersei was lying about her pregnancy but, after watching ‘The Dragon and the Wolf’, it does seem that she is legitimately pregnant. This seemed to be the driving force for Cersei to form an alliance with Daenerys to combat the White Walkers.

Cersei Always Lies

However, we found out later in ‘The Dragon and the Wolf’ that she was playing everyone for fools, including Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau). Indeed, seeing Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbæk) flee after seeing the White Walker was all an act. His true purpose is to sail to Essos to recruit the Golden Company who are mercenary soldiers that will serve Cersei and they will not get involved in the war against the White Walkers. Instead, her plan is to let both sides kill each other which, in her mind, will leave no one left to oppose her.

Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark in Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 7 The Dragon and the Wolf

Evidently, she is still playing the Game of Thrones which just confirms how deranged, irrational and, to some extent, mad she has become. Her inability to see the wider picture will be her undoing and we have seen that already in the fact that her decision was the final straw for Jaime. Finally, he has left Cersei and is heading to Winterfell. In doing so, he is doing both the right thing and fulfilling the promise to fight the White Walkers. I am really interested to see his role in Season 8 of Game of Thrones.

Redemption for Theon

A character whose role in Season 8 of Game of Thrones could be very fulfilling is Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen). His scene with Jon was a fantastic character moment for him, especially as it was a big factor for him to find some courage and embark on a mission to save his sister, Yara Greyjoy (Gemma Whelan). While I do believe that this will lead to his death in Season 8, I am more relieved than pleased that Theon has finally regained some pride after all his deserved trials and tribulations. The journey he goes on in Season 8 of Game of Thrones could finally end his story on a heroic note.

Aidan Gillen as Littlefinger in Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 7 The Dragon and the Wolf

One story-line in Season 7 of Game of Thrones that ended on a fantastic note was the story at Winterfell. ‘The Dragon and the Wolf’ gave us such a brilliant conclusion to this story-line since Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) finally got what he deserved; death. I have previously predicted that Littlefinger would die this season and that Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) would have a role to play in his demise. Indeed, Bran confronted Littlefinger regarding his betrayal of Ned Stark (Sean Bean) in Season 1 of Game of Thrones which put the final nail in Littlefinger’s coffin.

What Caused Littlefinger’s Demise?

For me, the key to Littlefinger’s demise was the conversation that he had with Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) in this episode of Game of Thrones. Littlefinger teaching Sansa about his “game” proved that Littlefinger overplayed his hand as it led Sansa to figuring out the truth. She applied the rules of the game to Littlefinger and it played into the conversation in the hall at Winterfell where she states that while she is a slow learner, she learns. She finally understood that Littlefinger was pitting her against Arya and the twist in the hall was brilliant to see.

Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen and Kit Harington as Jon Snow in Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 7 The Dragon and the Wolf

Obviously, Sansa made peace with Arya off-screen and they conspired with Bran to finally play Littlefinger for a fool. I have to say, seeing Littlefinger go out in such a pathetic and snivelling manner was a perfect way for this character to bow out of Game of Thrones. He finally fell off the ladder and it filled my heart with joy. Moreover, the conversation that Arya and Sansa had towards the end of ‘The Dragon and the Wolf’ was also very fulfilling, especially when they were reminiscing about their father. While these two never had and never will have a close relationship, you can see that the mutual respect between them is very strong and it will be good to see these two as a united force next season.

R + L = J

Still, the only thing that we were talking about after this episode ended was the fact that R + L = J is finally 100% confirmed, i.e. Jon Snow is a Targaryen. The revelation came about once Samwell Tarly (John Bradley) arrived at Winterfell and reunited with Bran. They put their knowledge together and, in doing so, they realised that the foundation of Robert’s Rebellion was a lie and we found out that Jon Snow’s real name is Aegon Targaryen, named after Aegon the Conqueror.

Viserion Destroying The Wall in Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 7 The Dragon and the Wolf

Indeed, Jon is a true Targaryen and, in this sense, he has a much stronger claim to the Iron Throne than Daenerys. Of course, as all of this is playing out, we see Jon and Daenerys getting together. I am confident that, once Jon discovers the truth, this will cause issues with Daenerys despite the common goal they have of defeating the White Walkers. Daenerys’ whole purpose throughout Game of Thrones has been to rule Westeros and once that is under threat, she may react in a negative way or lose purpose which could lead to her death next season.

The Wall Is Breached

While the inevitable revelation will be a huge shock to many, I hope that everyone will come together to fight the White Walkers. This better happen after seeing The Wall come down thanks to an undead Viserion at the end of ‘The Dragon and the Wolf’. While I suspected this was going to happen for quite some time, it was still awesome to see and it sets up Season 8 of Game of Thrones so well. The more I think about it, the more I believe that Season 7 was Part 1 to Season 8’s Part 2 and it just sucks that we now have to wait more than a year for the last season of Game of Thrones to arrive. Still, ‘The Dragon and the Wolf’ ended this fantastic season of TV in a brilliant way.

Game of Thrones: Season 7 Episode 6 (Television Review) – ICE DRAGON!!

The time between ‘Eastwatch’ and ‘Beyond the Wall’, the latest episode in Season 7 of Game of Thrones, felt like an age. I was coming up with crazy theories about what would happen, incessantly worrying about the fate of characters and expecting a tense episode. While every season of Game of Thrones has always had me at the edge of my seat, Season 7 has taken that to another level. Seeing as we are nearing the end of this show, I have no idea where the story will go which is such a relief after years of fearing book readers. Indeed, I do not have to deal with book readers who could threaten to spoil major events because we are all on the same page now.

Yet, the fact that this episode was leaked throws up other ways to get spoiled, only this time it was the fault of HBO. I miraculously managed to not know anything about what happened in the penultimate episode of what has been so far, for me, a near-flawless season of Game of Thrones. In my opinion, there has been a perfect blend of spectacle, character moments/development and pacing which previous seasons, while all brilliant seasons of television, have not achieved to the degree that Season 7 has. Obviously, this meant that I had very high hopes for ‘Beyond the Wall’.

Kristofer Hivju as Tormund Giantsbane and Kit Harington as Jon Snow in Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 6 Beyond the Wall

My Thoughts on Season 7 Episode 6 of Game of Thrones

‘Beyond the Wall’ really impressed me. Again, we got great character interactions, tense action and outcomes which have set up the final episode of Season 7 of Game of Thrones very well. The primary focus of this episode was on Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and his squad of legends that embarked on a seemingly impossible mission to capture a White Walker. I loved how a big part of this story-line was establishing relationships between the characters who went on this expedition.

In this aspect, the highlights for me were the interactions between Jon and Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen) and between Tormund Giantsbane (Kristofer Hivju) and The Hound (Rory McCann). The conversations between Jon and Jorah had a lot of depth considering the connection they share with Jeor Mormont (James Cosmo). Jon was the steward of Jeor while Jorah was Jeor’s son. Seeing Jon and Jorah share their experiences and have Longclaw, Jon’s sword that belonged to Jeor, play a key role in one of their conversations was very poignant.

Kit Harington as Jon Snow and Iain Glen as Jorah Mormont in Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 6 Beyond the Wall

Tormund and The Hound

While the moments between Jon and Jorah had depth, the scene between Tormund and The Hound was just pure comedy. The dialogue in this scene was awesome. I have been dying to see these two together since this season of Game of Thrones began and I was not disappointed. The way they “bonded” over Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie) was brilliant to watch and I am certain that we will see this blossoming relationship continue seeing as both characters survived this episode.

In fact, Thoros (Paul Kaye) was the only notable human casualty of ‘Beyond the Wall’ and he was always the most likely to die. Moreover, his death made the most sense. In the back of my mind, I always feel that anyone can die at any time but, unlike some other Game of Thrones fans, I am extremely pleased that most of the squad survived. Honestly, I do not understand why people are upset that the brilliant characters in this squad survived. People argue that there was no cost to pay for this mission but that is not true. While there was a lack of human death, one death had much more of a impact to the story going forward than any human death could (more on that later).

Rory McCann as The Hound and Kristofer Hivju as Tormund Giantsbane in Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 6 Beyond the Wall

Obviously, we knew Jon would survive because his story is not over. I feared for Jorah, Tormund and The Hound but I should admit that I would have been very disappointed if they died. Indeed, I would have considered this to be my first negative experience with this season of Game of Thrones. The reason this would have been the case is because they would have exited the show with unresolved story-lines. Jorah, Tormund and The Hound still have a part to play. You cannot just kill characters for the sake of it. If they died, then I feel this would have been done just for shock value and not for the purpose of moving the story forward. In reality, this would have been detrimental to the story. This is especially true if Jorah died because his relationship with Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), for me, does not have enough closure for Jorah’s death to feel earned.

While I feel Jorah will eventually die, dying in ‘Beyond the Wall’ would have been too soon as he just reunited with Daenerys in ‘Eastwatch’. In terms of The Hound and Tormund, both characters still need to reunite with Brienne for completely different but meaningful reasons. Tormund was very close to a horrible fate but The Hound saved him which further solidified their relationship. This itself needs to be developed if for nothing else than comedic purposes because their chemistry in ‘Beyond the Wall’ was electric. More importantly, The Hound, from a dramatic standpoint, has unfinished business with his brother The Mountain (Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson) and Arya Stark (Maisie Williams).

Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark and Maisie Williams as Arya Stark in Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 6 Beyond the Wall

Arya and Sansa

Despite more important events happening elsewhere, Arya and Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) also had some scenes together in ‘Beyond the Wall’. It appears the scheming done by Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) is working and it shows how, when he is seemingly backed into a corner, he still manages to play everyone for fools. Now, without a doubt, this aspect of the episode has been the most criticised. This triggered me to an extent which I did not think was possible. I have seen the writers of Game of Thrones take a lot of heat from fans who believe this part of the episode was forced, poorly executed, a betrayal of the characters etc. I could not disagree more. Bear with me because this next part will seem like a rant but I must get this off my chest.

I mentioned in my review of ‘The Spoils of War’ how their reunion seemingly signalled their ability to move away from their past animosity. However, this is not the case. While this is extremely frustrating to watch, it does make sense. Yes, they should not be acting with each other in the way they are. Indeed, I was screaming “YOU ARE BETTER THAN THIS” at the TV but this was not down to poor writing/storytelling. Instead, what is happening between Arya and Sansa is a brilliant way to reinforce how deeply flawed, prideful and immature these two characters still are despite the traumatic experiences and character development they have individually gone through.

Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark and Gwendoline Christie as Brienne of Tarth in Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 6 Beyond the Wall

Yes, their individual experiences have meant that they have gone through individual growth but their relationship has not. Arya and Sansa have not seen each other for years. The last time they were together, there was a lot of animosity present and there was a clash of personalities between the two. Additionally, their relationship was not built on good communication. Because each believes that their own experience is worse than anything anyone else has gone through, they will obviously not be open-minded enough to consider the other’s experiences, let alone share it with each other in a safe, loving environment which clearly is not there.

Undoubtedly, it is frustrating to watch but it is easy to say this as the viewer and label it as bad storytelling. We know that if they were just honest with each other then a lot of the tension and animosity that is present would begin to slip away. However, we have to remember that, despite the individual growth that Arya and Sansa have gone through, they are still young, flawed people who have outdated views on each other which are hard to change when you have not communicated in years. It makes sense that they revert to type when it comes to their past relationship because, essentially, they are picking up where they left off. When you think about it, they are effectively still teenagers and, as we know, teenagers are never the best communicators.

Aidan Gillen as Littlefinger and Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark in Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 6 Beyond the Wall

Additionally, Arya is bending the truth to fit her own agenda and outdated views. She saw Sansa’s heart-breaking reaction to her father’s death which completely rebukes Arya’s theory that Sansa had any part in it. Furthermore, Arya’s claim that she would rather die than serve the Lannister’s is a bit hypocritical when she did exactly this to survive by serving Tywin Lannister (Charles Dance) in Season 2 of Game of Thrones. But again, I do not think this is poor writing/storytelling. While frustrating to watch, it is just emphasising the flaws in these characters who we hold in such high regard. I have faith in the writers to bring satisfying closure to this story-line whether it is in the final episode of this season or in Season 8.

If this does happen in the next episode, I feel as though Bran Stark (Issac Hempstead Wright) will be the key to calling out their petty squabbling and bring an end to Littlefinger’s successful exploitation of the natural tension that is and always has been present between Arya and Sansa. So that is my defence of the scenes involving Arya and Sansa which I thought were very compelling and tense. The story Arya told Sansa about her father, Ned Stark (Sean Bean), was fascinating and touching. It showed the amount of love Arya had for her father and further strengthened the argument that she would be easily influenced if she believed Sansa had a role in his death. This itself was the central point to their clash in this episode of Game of Thrones.

Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister and Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 6 Beyond the Wall

A Clash Between Daenerys and Tyrion

Daenerys and Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) also clashed in ‘Beyond the Wall’. In my opinion, Tyrion rightly confronted Daenerys over her recent actions and this was such a compelling scene. Daenerys was acting in a very paranoid way, accusing Tyrion of conspiring against her. While she has her reasons to feel this way due to Tyrion’s strong connections to Westeros and his brother, Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), it is insufferable. We know that Tyrion is not a snake and he is not at a stage where he feels Daenerys needs to be stopped. Hopefully, now that she has seen The Night King, she has more perspective and will learn from her experience of losing a dragon.

Yes, her dragon Viserion was killed by The Night King. Daenerys took her three dragons to save Jon Snow and his squad who were trapped by the White Walkers. I have to say, prior to Daenerys’ epic rescue, the last stand that was made by the squad was brilliant. Seeing wave after wave of White Walkers come at our heroes was so nerve-wracking because the situation seemed so hopeless. I knew Daenerys would arrive to come to their rescue but I did not know if everyone would survive by the time she arrived. As I previously said, I am thankful that they all did and seeing the dragons save the day was awesome. The visual spectacle mixed with the incredible music composed by Ramin Djawadi left me punching the air with joy.

Dragon Burning White Walkers in Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 6 Beyond the Wall

An Undead Dragon

Still, the death of Viserion was more impactful than any human death that could have occurred in this episode of Game of Thrones. This is because he now serves The Night King. We have a White Walker Dragon!!! This changes everything and heightens the threat of the White Walkers to a much larger degree than before. I feel that this is all going to come to a head in the finale of Season 7. We also saw Benjen Stark (Joseph Mawle) sacrifice his life to save Jon Snow at the end of ‘Beyond the Wall’. While I would have loved to see their long-awaited reunion be a bit longer, it was still emotionally satisfying enough for me.

Another aspect of ‘Beyond the Wall’ that has been criticised is the time jumps. As I have mentioned in my previous reviews of Season 7 of Game of Thrones, the time jumps do not bother me. What is minutes for us could be days or even weeks in Westeros and I do not understand some fans’ problems with this. I mean, do they really want episodes that just show marching or Daenerys flying her dragons over Westeros. We are reaching the end of this television series. We do not have the time for that sort of fluff.

Viserion Becoming A White Walker Dragon in Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 6 Beyond the Wall

It would not give the momentum we need to push the story forward. Plus, we have no problem that the Lord of the Rings Trilogy tells a story spanning thirteen months in nine hours. Nor do we have a problem that the Original Star Wars Trilogy tells a story spanning four years in six hours! All I am asking is that people be consistent in their arguments. We have had six seasons of Game of Thrones to get us to a stage where momentum and pacing are key and I am so pleased that Season 7 is getting us where we need to be in a concise, fast-paced manner.

Stubborn Expectations Are The Problem

In the end, I feel as though the problems that some fans of Game of Thrones have had with elements of Season 7, and ‘Beyond the Wall’ in particular, are down to expectations. We build up our expectations and what we feel should happen in an episode or season of Game of Thrones so high that when our predictions/wishes do not come true, we get too disappointed. This is regardless of how great the events that actually transpired were. Over time, I feel as though ‘Beyond the Wall’, which I already love, will be much more appreciated by the fans. For me, it continued the great blend of character moments, spectacle and pacing we have seen so far in Season 7. Moreover, it has led to us to the final episode of this season of Game of Thrones which I am dying to see.

Game of Thrones: Season 7 Episode 5 (Television Review) – Reunions!!!

Game of Thrones continues to prove how it is a class above any other television show that is on right now. I am still thinking about the spectacular final 20 minutes of ‘The Spoils of War’. I was on the edge of my seat throughout and it left me desperately waiting for ‘Eastwatch’, the latest episode in Season 7. Honestly, this whole week has felt like a year and this proves how much of an event Game of Thrones is. I could not wait to see what would happen next in this incredible story.

My Thoughts on Season 7 Episode 5 of Game of Thrones

Eastwatch’ was not the right title for this episode of Game of Thrones. In ‘Dragonstone’, we were only at Dragonstone for the final moments of that episode. The same thing happened in this episode. We were only at Eastwatch for a very short time. Apart from the misleading title, I could not find anything to fault in this episode. While it is a much different episode than I was expecting after ‘The Spoils of War’, there were so many great moments in this episode, especially for the hardcore fans.

Field of Fire in Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 5 Eastwatch

Let’s start at the beginning. Obviously, I knew that Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and Bronn (Jerome Flynn) would be alive but I was surprised that they were not captured. Honestly, I liked that this happened, especially as we would see Jaime’s tense relationship with Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) continue. Additionally, the reunion I expected to happen between Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) and Jaime eventually came to be (more on that later) so I was not disappointed that this did not occur at the start.

Tyrion and Daenerys

Speaking of Tyrion, I found his role in the beginning of ‘Eastwatch’ to be very compelling. Seeing the discomfort he was in when walking through the ash-laden field and the way he struggled to get through to Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) was a great way to show how he is still deeply connected to Westeros and the life he previously lived. Moreover, it continues to prove that Daenerys is going down a very dangerous path.

Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister and Conleth Hill as Varys in Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 5 Eastwatch

Her decision to give every Lannister soldier an ultimatum to either join her or die was such a contrast to her previous ability to inspire people to follow her through hope rather than fear. The clash between Tyrion and Daenerys in this scene showed how different their views are in terms of the best way to conquer Westeros. As ‘Eastwatch’ progressed, we saw Tyrion and Varys (Conleth Hill) have their own discussion regarding their concerns about Daenerys. I always love it when these two characters are together in any episode of Game of Thrones and this scene was both funny and important from a story perspective too.

We continued to see the relationship between Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and Daenerys develop in ‘Eastwatch’. Indeed, seeing Drogon approach and connect with Jon was a key moment in this episode of Game of Thrones as it gives us even more confirmation about Jon’s Targaryen heritage (more on that later). Additionally, you could see the surprise in Daenerys when this happened but any affection that she developed for Jon after this scene was overshadowed by her reunion with Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen).

Drogon and Kit Harington as Jon Snow in Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 5 Eastwatch

Return of Jorah

This reunion was extremely heartfelt. After all the ups and downs this relationship has had, it was great to see Daenerys and Jorah come together again in a very loving way. While Jorah will probably always remain in the friendzone, it was a loving reunion. Still, I was screaming at the TV later in the episode when Jorah decided to leave Daenerys to take part in Jon’s mission beyond The Wall (more on that later). He just got back!! Still, their goodbye was, once again, heartfelt and emotional. I just hope that they will be together again soon because Jorah is a great character and I want to see more of him with Daenerys in the future. I want his journey to continue although I fear the worst.

A reunion which was much more tense was the eventual meeting between Tyrion and Jaime. Now, as you read above, I was expecting this meeting to happen earlier in the episode and under much different circumstances. However, I am very happy about how Tyrion and Jaime came together. It was a very intimate scene and you could feel the pain in both characters about how they came to this situation. You could see the love they have for each other and I feel as though their relationship will be pivotal in future episodes of Game of Thrones.

Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister in Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 5 Eastwatch

I thought that Cersei Lannister would crucify Jaime for meeting Tyrion. However, she acted in a completely different way from what I was expecting. Clearly, Cersei and Jaime were already at odds from an earlier scene regarding both the hopelessness in their ability to defeat Daenerys and the truth about who killed Joffrey Baratheon (Jack Gleeson). I thought the clash they had in this scene would continue when Jaime told Cersei about meeting Tyrion but I was wrong. Cersei was calm and collected yet quietly angry when she told Jaime to never betray her again. Additionally, I think that she is lying about her pregnancy and the only reason why she said this was to keep Jaime on her side which will not last.

Gendry!!!

While Tyrion had his own reasons for being in King’s Landing, Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham) also had priorities. Indeed, this led to another reunion in ‘Eastwatch’ which was a brilliant piece of fan service. After a four-season absence, Gendry (Joe Dempsie) is back. He stopped rowing!! I was like a giddy kid when it clicked for me that we were going to see Gendry, the bastard son of Robert Baratheon (Mark Addy), reunite with Davos and Davos’ rowing joke was such a great nod to the fans.

Joe Dempsie as Gendry in Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 5 Eastwatch

Back in Winterfell, Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) is still being a sneaky snake. While I do believe his downfall is near, Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) fell into his trap. The goal of this was to obviously divide Arya and Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner). Indeed, we saw the tension between the two in one scene of ‘Eastwatch’ where Arya confronts Sansa about her motives and loyalty to Jon. I feel as though they will unite against Littlefinger eventually but he is doing his best to create chaos and keep climbing that ladder.

A Crucial Discovery and Revelation

For me, the most important revelation that occurred in this episode of Game of Thrones happened at Oldtown. The conversation between Samwell Tarly (John Bradley) and Gilly (Hannah Murray) revealed even more about Jon’s lineage, before Sam rudely cut Gilly off. We learnt that Rhaegar Targaryen had his marriage to Elia Martell annulled and he married someone else in secret. Clearly, this is Lyanna Stark who is Jon Snow’s true mother. When we consider this and all we have seen so far, we can strongly suggest that Jon is not a bastard. He is a true Targaryen and, in turn, he has an arguably stronger claim to the Iron Throne than Daenerys. This was told in such a subtle way yet its relevance is monumental.

Hannah Murray as Gilly in Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 5 Eastwatch

Additionally, seeing Sam man up and leave Oldtown again proves how far he has come from his shy, timid days at The Wall. Speaking of The Wall, we end ‘Eastwatch’ at that location but not at Castle Black. As we previously discussed, the final moments of this episode of Game of Thrones were at Eastwatch. Jon Snow made the decision to leave Dragonstone and form a small party who would go beyond The Wall . Their purpose was to capture one of the White Walkers so they could take it back to Cersei and prove their existence in the hope of forming a temporary alliance.

Jon Snow left Dragonstone with Jorah, Davos and Gendry in tow. They met with Tormund Giantsbane (Kristofer Hivju) at Eastwatch and this squad was improved even more with the inclusion of Beric Dondarrion (Richard Dormer), Thoros (Paul Kaye) and The Hound (Rory McCann). Seeing the legends in this “Magnificent Seven” going to capture a White Walker left me so excited, especially with the fact that Tormund and The Hound are together. The amount of fun we could have seeing these two characters interact with each other was such a great prospect to think of when it comes to the next episode.

Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen and Iain Glen as Jorah Mormont in Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 5 Eastwatch

A Ridiculous Plan

That being said, this plan is so f*****g stupid. I will say that from a story perspective, it is great. From a decision-making perspective that was made by the characters in this show, it is dumb. Capturing one of the White Walkers?!? Are you insane?!?!? This is a suicide mission! I am so worried for everyone involved in this mission because some of my favourite characters are now in a lot of danger. I have no doubt that some if not most of the squad will die in the next episode, no matter how painful it will be to watch (If Jorah dies, I swear I wi……).

As I previously mentioned, the only thing that I would contest about this episode of Game of Thrones is that the title was misleading. Apart from this, I have also seen other fans of this TV show get annoyed about the time jumps this season but it has not bothered me in the slightest. Throughout this show, time jumps have, for me, always been necessary to push the story forward. Moreover, what we consider to be minutes in the show could be days, weeks or even months in the timeline of Westeros. ‘Eastwatch’ was a great way to set-up the final two episodes of Season 7 and I am sure it will be emotional (If Tormund dies, I am goi…).

Game of Thrones: Season 7 Episode 4 (Television Review) – Daenerys Strikes Back

The Spoils of War’ was the title of this episode of Game of Thrones and, despite this episode unfortunately being leaked early, I avoided spoilers and resisted the temptation to watch it early. I must admit, this was very tough to do, especially as I have been waiting for what seems like an age to watch this next episode in what has been an incredible seventh season of Game of Thrones. For me, ‘The Queen’s Justice’ ranks amongst the best episodes of this TV show and I could not wait to see what would develop in ‘The Spoils of War’.

My Thoughts on Season 7 Episode 4 of Game of Thrones

Obviously, the only thing that anyone would and should be talking about after this episode of Game of Thrones was the final 20 minutes. What an incredible way to end ‘The Spoils of War’. We see Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), the Dothraki and Drogon completely lay waste to the Lannister Army. In turn, Daenerys has finally gained a meaningful victory against Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey). While this battle helped to push the story forward, the technical qualities of this battle were the real highlight.

Game of Thrones has made a habit of giving us brilliant battle sequences. Whether it was The Battle of the Bastards or Hardhome, this television series has always pushed boundaries and the battle in ‘The Spoils of War’ is no different. For me, the cinematography was absolutely superb. Some of the shots in this battle were breath-taking and seeing Drogon obliterate the Lannister Army and turn soldiers to ash was awesome to experience but there were other highlights.

Drogon in Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 4 The Spoils of War

Indeed, the scene of Bronn (Jerome Flynn) in what was effectively No Man’s Land was impressive from a film-making perspective. This was because it was filmed in one take which was similar to what we saw with Jon Snow (Kit Harington) in ‘Battle of the Bastards’ in Season 6. Plus, this scene was elevated since it is great to see Bronn at any time as he is one of the best secondary characters in Game of Thrones.

Additionally, seeing the charge of the Dothraki from their viewpoint was a cool moment and I give a lot of credit to director Matt Shakman in crafting what, in my eyes, was a cinematic triumph. Moreover, it ended the episode on a cliff-hanger. While I believe they are alive, the fate of Bronn and Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) was uncertain after they just escaped a horrible fate at the hands of a wounded Drogon. I expect that they have survived and will be Daenerys’ prisoners of war which could make for some interesting character developments in the future.

Jerome Flynn as Bronn in Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 4 The Spoils of War

While the final 20 minutes of ‘The Spoils of War’ completely overshadowed everything else that happened in this episode of Game of Thrones, there are many things that we must discuss. Firstly, we must talk about how Daenerys is continuing her stubborn ways. She is still insisting that Jon should “bend the knee” and, to be honest, I am finding it more and more insufferable. Her proclamation that Jon needs to rethink his prideful stance is completely hypocritical.

Jon Has Purer Intentions Than Daenerys

Granted, they are both stubborn but I find Jon’s intentions to be much purer because he is trying to save humanity whereas Daenerys just wants to conquer Westeros. Daenerys is going down a dangerous path and I feel as though the only one who will be able to guide her back on track and remind her of her own pure intentions will be Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen). I am anticipating a very emotional reunion between these two characters very soon and I hope it will have a positive impact on Daenerys and her relationships with those around her.

Maisie Williams as Arya Stark and Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark in Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 4 The Spoils of War

While that reunion is to come, ‘The Spoils of War’ gave us another Stark reunion. Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) and Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) were reunited and it is the first time that we have seen these two characters together since Season 1 of Game of Thrones. I was very pleased with how this episode handled their reunion which itself was reserved and respectful rather than emotional. We must remember that Arya and Sansa did not have the best relationship growing up. However, they have gone through so much that any animosity that was prevalent in the past has seemingly gone.

Arya was also involved in one of the best scenes in this episode of Game of Thrones. Her sparring with Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie) was such a cool moment as it reinforced how deadly Arya potentially is and showed Sansa that Arya is not a little girl anymore. Plus, her reference that “No-one” taught her how to fight was a brilliant call-back. Jon and Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen) were also reunited but this was much more tense and cold than Arya’s and Sansa’s reunion although Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) did his best to inject some soullessness.

Isaac Hempstead Wright as Bran Stark, Maisie Williams as Arya Stark and Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark in Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 4 The Spoils of War

Bran the Soulless

Honestly, Bran has become heartless. His demeanour, his blank expression and the way he just disregarded Meera Reed (Ellie Kendrick) was so surprising to see. After everything she has done for him, for Bran to just give an emotionless “thank you” shows how his role as the Three-Eyed Raven has sucked all the humanity out of Bran. Still, the way he completely shocked Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) by saying “Chaos is a ladder” was brilliant. Littlefinger is not someone who is caught off guard but he was stunned when Bran said this.

Littlefinger said “Chaos is a ladder” to Varys (Conleth Hill) in Season 3 of Game of Thrones and Bran should not know about that. If Bran knows this through his powers as the Three-Eyed Raven, he must know everything that Littlefinger has done which could be a fascinating story element going forward. The conversation that Jon and Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham) had with Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) could also be relevant in future episodes, especially if it could lead to tension with Daenerys.

Isaac Hempstead Wright as Bran Stark and Aidan GIllen as Littlefinger in Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 4 The Spoils of War

Once again, ‘The Spoils of War’ continued the trend that Season 7 of Game of Thrones has established. This is in regard to giving us spectacular moments while not sacrificing meaningful character development in the process. We only have three more episodes to go in what has been a terrific season of television. I am certain that there are more twists and turns to come, especially when it comes to the White Walkers.

Game of Thrones: Season 7 Episode 3 (Television Review) – Advantage Cersei

Dragonstone’ and ‘Stormborn’ have been brilliant episodes to kick-off Season 7 of Game of Thrones. Everything has been set-up for this season of television to be fast-paced, thrilling and, as it progresses, something which will leave us prepared for the war to come against the White Walkers. Yet, character development has not been sacrificed in the process. I could not wait for this blend of thrilling moments and character development to continue in ‘The Queen’s Justice’, especially as we would finally see Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) meet for the first time.

My Thoughts on Season 7 Episode 3 of Game of Thrones

Without a doubt, ‘The Queen’s Justice’ is the best episode of Season 7 so far. Indeed, it might be one of my favourite episodes of Game of Thrones. The episode started with a reunion between Jon and Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage). I loved the interaction that these characters had with each other. You can see that Jon and Tyrion have a lot of admiration and respect for each other and they have a great rapport which I am looking forward to seeing more of.

Kit Harington as Jon Snow, Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister, Nathalie Emmanuel as Missandei and Liam Cunningham as Davos Seaworth in Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 3 The Queen's Justice

Still, the main event was Jon and Daenerys meeting each other for the first time. I have wanted this since I started watching Game of Thrones. I cannot imagine how unbearable the wait has been for book readers, some of whom have been waiting since the mid-90s! This scene did not disappoint. I was enthralled seeing these two characters together and Emilia Clarke and Kit Harington brought their A-game to this scene.

I also loved the fact that this meeting was filled with so much tension. Indeed, Daenerys came across as very arrogant and I started to get really annoyed with how she was handling this meeting because, as a viewer, I know that this meeting is pivotal to the survival of Westeros. Still, I understood how Jon’s warning of White Walkers and The Night King would come across badly to those who have no understanding of such things and how his refusal to “bend the knee” would not come across well to Daenerys.

Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen and Kit Harington as Jon Snow in Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 3 The Queen's Justice

Respect

However, I was pleased that, despite the tension in this meeting and the issues that Jon and Daenerys had with each other, there seemed to be respect between the two by the time ‘The Queen’s Justice’ ended. Moreover, Daenerys’ decision to allow Jon to mine Dragonglass and make weapons out of this material is crucial for any successful outcome in the war to come against the White Walkers. I hope that the relationship between Jon and Daenerys will continue to improve and flourish as Season 7 of Game of Thrones progresses.

A character who is quickly becoming one of my favourites in this TV show is Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbaek). He is so confident and flamboyant that he is a joy to watch which is remarkable for someone who is supposed to be a villain. His conversations with Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) are hilarious and a certain line left me howling with laughter. It was a great moment of humour. You can tell that Pilou Asbaek is having a great time in the role and, while I think he will die soon enough, I want to enjoy his performances for as long as possible.

Pilou Asbaek as Euron Greyjoy in Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 3 The Queen's Justice

Cersei Lannister

‘The Queen’s Justice’ was, for me, clearly about Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) who went to a different level in this episode of Game of Thrones. We saw just how evil she is. Now, there are some who have sympathy for Cersei……are you f*****g kidding me!?!? I have never, ever felt sympathy for her. Don’t get me wrong, I respect Cersei a lot, Lena Headey does a great job portraying this character and Cersei has gone through some bad things. But you cannot say that she does not deserve it.

Throughout Game of Thrones, she has shown herself to be a horrible, spiteful, selfish, cruel human being that is beyond redemption. ‘The Queen’s Justice’ proves this in spades. The punishment she bestowed upon Ellaria Sand (Indira Varma) and Tyene Sand (Rosabell Laurenti Sellers) was awful. Granted, these two are not entirely innocent. However, I felt that their fate was a bit OTT yet it completely fits Cersei’s thinking. It was a very powerful scene which gave us more confirmation that Cersei has no morals and no mercy.

Indira Varma as Ellaria Sand and Rosabell Laurenti Sellers as Tyene Sand in Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 3 The Queen's Justice

The End of Olenna Tyrell

Additionally, she does not care in the slightest if anyone finds out about her twisted relationship with Jaime and the events of this episode have put her in a very advantageous position in the War for Westeros. Indeed, Cersei has managed to get the backing of the Iron Bank and take out the threat of House Tyrell. Yes, sadly, Olenna Tyrell (Diana Rigg) is no more. I mentioned in my review of ‘Stormborn’ how much I have loved Diann Rigg’s performance as Olenna Tyrell. She was one of my favourite characters in Game of Thrones and Olenna remained a bad-ass to the very end.

Her conversation with Jaime Lannister was a brilliant way to end this episode of Game of Thrones. For one, it proved that, despite his flaws, there is good in Jaime and that he is a likeable character when he is away from Cersei Lannister. Unlike her sister, he showed mercy to Olenna by giving her a quick painful death through poison. This showed how different he is from Cersei and the respect that he has for Olenna Tyrell. Though, I am sure he regretted his decision after learning from Olenna’s final words that she was the one behind the death of Joffrey Baratheon (Jack Gleeson), his son.

Diana Rigg as Olenna Tyrell in Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 3 The Queen's Justice

This was such a great way for Olenna Tyrell to end her time in Westeros. Even in her final moments, she still manages to have the last laugh and, potentially, worsen the relationship between Jaime and Cersei. The reason why this could happen is because Cersei firmly believes that Tyrion was responsible for Joffrey’s death. I feel as though she will not believe this latest revelation, simply because she is so determined to kill Tyrion that anything which could weaken her position in this matter will be disregarded as lies. I feel as though this will be a point of contention between Jaime and Cersei in the future and it could ultimately push Jaime further away from Cersei.

Reunions and Goodbyes

Obviously, the things that we have discussed above are the main talking points of ‘The Queen’s Justice’ but there were other great things to take from this episode of Game of Thrones. I thought the reunion between Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) and Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) was nice, even if Bran was a bit robotic and cold with his interactions with his sister. The complete opposite could be said for the scene involving Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen) and Samwell Tarly (John Bradley).

Isaac Hempstead Wright as Bran Stark and Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark in Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 3 The Queen's Justice

I have really appreciated how, in such a short amount of time, these two characters have built such a great relationship. They both have incredible appreciation and respect for each other. Obviously, Jorah is in debt to Sam after being saved from a horrible fate. However, Sam’s connection to Jeor Mormont (James Cosmo), Jorah’s father and former Commander of the Night’s Watch, is a driving factor in how poignant their relationship has become. I hope to see more of these two together and to also see Jorah reunite with Daenerys as I am sure he would be a valuable asset from a military perspective which is something Daenerys desperately needs.

Varys (Conleth Hill) and Melisandre (Carice van Houten) had a very interesting scene. For one, it showed the disdain that Varys has for Red Priests/Priestesses such as Melisandre. More importantly, it confirms that Melisandre still has a part to play and her proclamation that both herself and Varys must die in Westeros was very foreboding. I am interested to see how this plays out as well as the other arcs that have been established. Overall, ‘The Queen’s Justice’ continues to progress to Season 7 to a point where it is becoming one of my favourite seasons of Game of Thrones.