Friday, May 22, 2015

Game of Thrones Season 5, Episode 3-6

Score Technician: Sean McConnell and TJ Geise

The nanobots have recovered from their Ultron induced revolt and they're ready to get back to HBO's Game of Thrones. What's been going on Westeros you ask? Sunshine and roses we imagine.

Episode 3
  • Marrying above your weight class. = +3pts
  • Not for nothing ladies, but King Tomnin, just so you know, is an "ery day, all day" kind of guy. = +16pts
  • Complementing your mother-in-law on how much your husband/her son likes to fuck. = -8pts
  • Agreeing to marry the sadistic bastard of the man who murdered your mother and brother, and who also happens to be so much worse than that. We couldn't come up with a better sitcom if we'd murdered an orphanage full of abandoned children and thrown some cats into a burlap sack and tossed it into a river. I mean, at this point, is the laugh track even necessary? = -10pts
  • Bree gives regales Pod with your standard GoT backstory. It's a familiar story that can be charted on a graph that looks something like this:

                                                                                                    = -3pts
  • Roose Bolton introduces Sansa to his son, Samwise Gamgee. = +5pts (Because who doesn't love a Sam.)
  • Gingers have it great in Westeros. Latrine duty? Might as well call it live happily ever after duty! = +4pts
  • Taking the pope on a shame walk. = +5pts
Episode Score: +7pts

Episode 4 
  • Throwing coins on the body of the guy whose boat you stole and whose face you punched out. = +2pts
  • Bronn being unable to hide his incredulousness at hearing that Jaime’s on a quest to return his “niece.” = +5pts
  • Sending the jolliest member of the Small Council to his doom so you can settle the national debt. = -8pts
  • Giving weapons and power to a group of religious fanatics knowing that their purification crusade would send your daughter-in-law’s gay brother to prison. = -15pts
  • Tommen couldn’t make an order even if he was next in line at whatever is the Westerosi equivalent of Arby’s. = -2pts
  • Sending your fire witch to rekindle Jon Snow’s lust for lily-white ginger flesh. = -4pts
  • Melisandre’s smug little grin after saying, “You know nothing, Jon Snow.” = -3pts
  • Stannis giving a fuck about his daughter’s feelings. = +6pts
  • Getting a not-so-avuncular kiss from your uncle in the darkened basement of your childhood home. = -7pts
  • Using your golden hand as a means of getting out of rowing a boat. = +2pts
  • Using your golden hand as a means of getting out of being decapitated. = +4pts
  • Using your golden hand as a means of getting out of burying a bunch of dead guys. = +2pts
  • Oberyn’s daughters fill the femme fatale trope with such gusto that one of them even has a bullwhip. We won’t hold that against them, though. = +6pts
  • Answering a “yes” or “no” question by throwing a spear through a guy’s head. = +5pts
  • Forcing your captor to remove your gag by humming as obnoxiously as possible. = +7pts
  • Disguising exposition as Tyrion’s Sherlock-esque deduction abilities. = +4pts
  • Being able to afford outfitting your goon squad with intricate golden masks. = +3pts (Gotta look good when you’re trying to bring down the government!)
  • The emotional rollercoaster ride leading up to the most likeable characters in Daenerys’ inner circle bleeding out amidst a pile of bodies. = +10pts for the fight, -20 pts for the outcome. Total = -10pts
Episode Score = -4pts

After the first three episodes set the direction for the season, leave it to the fourth episode to remind us that Game of Thrones loves nothing more than to kill a character just when their familiarity feels like a warm blanket. There will be no snuggling in warm blankets in George R. R. Martin’s winter!

It's all upside from here on out!

Episode 5

Right?! Upside...
  • Feeding the fat one to your pet dragons. = +5pts
  • Watching two dragons share a hot plate of BBQ. = +5pts
  • Letting an old man change your bedpan when you have a perfectly good squire capable of doing so. = -2pts
  • Making your own clothes. = +1pt
  • Outing your psychopathic lover to his soon to be bride. = +4pts (Normally, any kind of outing is a bad thing. But in this case the nanobots are calculating a clear exception.)
  • Making your stinky manservant wear a dress while serving wine during a family dinner. = -3pts
  • Telling your son that he was a rape baby. = -10pts
  • Proposing to your prisoner. = -2pts
  • The Stone Men of Valriya, because that's what Westeros needs at this point, more local color. = +3pts
Episode Score: +3pts

Upside... Hmmm, maybe next episode...

Episode 6

Alas, what joy does this episode hold?
  • What better way to showcase Arya’s corpse-washing skills than with a montage? Girl, we want a montage! = +2pts
  • Just when you think you’re bonding with your assassin roomie over the time she killed her stepmom – psych! = +3pts
  • Arya: “...wot?” = +2pts
  • Jaqen confirms with his beatin’ stick what we knew all last season: Arya loved The Hound as much as he loved her. RIP, The Adventures of Lone Hound and Arya. = -5pts
  • That “Oopsy-daisies!” moment after you accidentally reveal to your kidnapper that his dad is dead. = +4pts
  • Tricking a little girl into drinking poison does sound like a test along the road to becoming an assassin, but that doesn’t mean we have to like it. = -4pts
  • Arya can’t run away out of the Hall of Heads. = +5pts
  • “The dwarf lives until we find a cock merchant.” = +15pts
  • Some people are double-crossers. Others dare to triple cross. Littlefinger? The motherfucker is a straight up duodecuple-crosser. = -6pts
  • The anticipation of seeing the big bald guy chop someone up with his big bald guy axe. = +4pts
  • Jaime and Bronn looking like they’re recreating their favorite scenes from Ishtar. = -4pts
  • The split-second when Biggy Baldy almost cut someone in half… = +5pts
  • ...but that someone was Jaime Lannister. = -5pts
  • The smile on Bronn’s face after getting one last jibe in before being detained. = +6pts (We’ll be sad when he’s inevitably chopped in half or gutted or drowned or whatever.)
  • If Littlefinger is a duodecuple-crosser, then Cersei has to be a centuple-crosser. = -8pts
  • Tommen’s doofy expression when they haul his wife off to the clink. = +2pts
  • A snowy, nighttime wedding would almost be serene if it wasn’t between Sansa and Ramsey. = +2pts
  • Reek referring to himself as Theon Greyjoy. = +3pts (There’s hope for him yet!)
  • We’re just going to leave this here to sum the episode’s ending. = -100pts 

Episode Score = -79pts
Season Score = -21pts

For those of you who visit Progressive Cinema Scorecard’s website exclusively for your Game of Thrones recaps, you may not be aware that the final scene has caused quite a stir (though you can probably understand why). For those of you who are reading this after the shock has worn off, the following questions are peppering every article about this scene:
  • In a culture that triggers at the R-word, did we really need to see the ever-victimized Sansa forcibly lose her virginity in front of her on-again, off-again brother?
  • Did we really need another lesson in just how bootlicked Theon is to Ramsay?
  • Was it necessary to further demonstrate that Ramsay, a man who takes pleasure in flaying people alive, murdering the boring, and smiling creepily, is so psychopathic that he force himself upon his bride?
The answer to these questions is no, probably not. We all knew that Ramsay would do something terrible the moment he got Sansa alone, but there was that glimmer of hope that Theon might stop it from happening. He didn’t, and no shower can wash off the squick.

This isn’t the first time that both Game of Thrones and A Song of Ice and Fire, or pop culture in general, have dealt with rape. But, (spoiler alert), Sansa isn’t raped in the books – the decision came solely from the showrunners. In a time where some of the Western Civilization’s elected officials haven’t quite made up their minds about whether not rape is 100% bad, watching Sansa go from a woman hardened by her experience to a woman dehumanized by her groom’s sadism seems in such poor taste that even the unfeeling nanobots know that this wasn’t necessary to the plot.

Telling the story of a rape victim is one thing, but rape should neither spice up a mostly (well, until this season) dull character like Sansa, or make all the sweeter Ramsay’s inevitable suffering at the hands of Sansa herself, Theon, Brienne, Littlefinger, Stannis, Jon Snow, the elderly chambermaid, Roose Bolton, Hodor, or whoever it is that guts the bastard.

Let’s get it straight, HBO. Rape is for the real world to deal with; Game of Thrones is for dragons and swordplay and laughing at cock jokes.

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