Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Game of Thrones Season 4, Episode 1

Well, a lot has changed in Westeros since last season's totally satisfying conclusion, in which the gang, having solved last season's big mystery and defeated the big bad, engaged in a leaping high-five and rode their caravans into the sunset while that Shin's song from the mid-2000's blasted out the tape deck. Including, apparently, the invention of denim? (See above image. Aside: WHY WAS THIS NOT A BIGGER DEAL?) The real question you've been asking yourself for three seasons is: How progressive is GOT? Well wonder no more. For the next ten weeks TJ and I will be turning the dials, running the numbers, and pushing the pens.
  • Tywin Lannister gives up Machiavellian machinations and being "The King's Hand" (giggle, giggle) in favor of a new career in artisnal jewelry. = +2pts (We see an empty storefront in an abandoned southern mall in your future...father.)
  • Jaime Lannister makes the mistake of sitting down for a nice conversation with Dad... = -5pts
  • ...and somehow emerges with a win. = +10pts
  • Oberyn Martell makes his bid for the Iron Douche by molesting a few whores (female and male) and stabbing a nobody Lannister in the hand. = +5pts (For reminding the viewers that Lannisters always pay their debts.... and, apparently, have terrible metacarpal awareness.)
  • Watching three dragons fight over a mangled goat carcass looks a lot like the way we used to fight with our cousins over who got to play with Snake Eyes when we were younger...or Tight Ship when we were older. = +6pts
  • Turning down a good plate of pigeon pie. = -3pts
  • Licking the finger of a person who lives in a congested city without any obvious running water or available hand sanitizer. = -1pts
  • Gold Finger was a putz. = +5pts
  • Cannibals. = +3pts (For, after three seasons, finally hitting for the depravity cycle: incest, rape, cannibalism, and bad personal hygiene.)
  • The Adventures of Lone Hound and Arya. = +3pts
  • "Fuck the King." = +2pts
Episode Score: +27pts
Season Score: +27pts

In typical GOT premier fashion, the first episode reintroduces the (old and new) characters and reminds everyone where they are and what happened to them. Bravo to the showrunners for grounding tedious exposition in actual character moments, which with a cast this large and a plot so sprawling, isn't easy to do. It's nice to watch a show where the people putting it together assume that you wouldn't be watching the first episode of the fourth season having not seen a single episode. More shows should take this note (cough, Walking Dead, cough) At this point, it's impossible to gauge where the show is going (apparently even if you've read the books), but we can say that as long as John Snow promises to renew his vow of celibacy, our eyes won't stray.

Score Technician: Sean McConnell

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