Summary: Phoebe tries to warn everyone about Rachel's impending arrival. Chandler and Monica have a rough day and end up having sex. Joey gets homesick. Ross and Emily's parents arrive and start quarreling.
The Good: This was a very funny episode and a strong way to end the season. The Gellers were a delight as always and provided a lot of great lines, with Jack Geller stealing the show again with some excellent jokes. Their arguments with Emily's parents over how much they are paying was very funny and enjoyable to watch. I really liked seeing Ross get caught up in the mess and being forced to sort it out. Chandler and Monica's storyline was great and served as a shocking twist that both excited me and surprised me. Their interactions after having sex were funny and I really like the idea of them getting in a relationship. The concept feels fresh and gives us something to look forward to seeing next season. Rachel and Phoebe were excellent as the outliers. Phoebe's phone calls were terrific comedy and I thought that the obnoxious man that Rachel sat next to on the flight was hilarious and I loved the callback to "we were on a break". Lastly, the final cliffhanger was a terrific ending to the episode. It seemed unlikely that Ross and Emily's relationship would last long as Emily certainly wouldn't be promoted to a series regular so I was curious to see how their relationship would end. The method they chose here was terrific as it smartly allows for two people who love each other to fall apart without making any of them behave poorly. It's also a great hook to get us to watch the season 5 premiere to find out what happens next. This is an example of a great cliffhanger between seasons as it doesn't feel cheap and has us excited for the next season.
The Bad: Nothing I would call bad.
Best Moment: The "riding the tube" joke was clever and made me laugh hard.
Character of the Episode: Jack Geller. He's too good.
Conclusion: This was an awesome season finale with a lot of humour and some exciting plot developments to develop some buzz which sets up season 5 nicely.
The season as a whole started off pretty strong and consistent. However a few weak stretches of episodes in the middle and ending of the season hurt it and prevented it from being a terrific season, even though it had the best episode of the series so far. As the series has gone on, there has been an uptick in the amount of weaker episodes per season. The series still remains very enjoyable and a few episodes still achieve greatness but the impressive consistency of seasons 1 and 2 have been lost. Despite this, season 4 was still a very strong season of comedy that I enjoyed watching.
Summary: The friends head to London for Ross' wedding. Chandler gets annoyed by Joey's tourist antics. Ross and Emily argue on what to do with the wedding when they discover the wedding hall Emily wanted is being torn down. Rachel realizes that she loves Ross and decides to go to London and tell him her feelings.
The Good: This was an energetic episode that felt like the first part of a season finale. There was a lot happening here with a consistent flow of jokes in every scene. I particularly enjoyed Ross' story as his conflict with Emily felt real and did a good job of including some fun humour. A couple of the jokes with Joey and Chandler are good.
The Bad: Unfortunately credibility is stretched to the limit for most of the jokes here. Chandler and Joey's story is mostly unfunny filler as Joey comes off as childish while Chandler comes off as pretty mean. Rachel's sudden love for Ross comes off as a forced conflict. It would have been nice to get some foreshadowing for this instead of Phoebe just conveniently saying that everyone knew about it. It's especially odd considering that Rachel was with Joshua around 4 episodes ago.
Best Moment: Ross' pants were a clever way to infuse humour into the Ross/Emily conflict that made me laugh a lot due to Ross' increasing frustration with Emily and then the pants.
Character of the Episode: Ross.
Conclusion: This was a fun episode that sets up the season finale nicely, though it stretched credibility which hurts its score.
Summary: The prisoners appear again and Rick wants to send them on the road. Hershel starts walking around on crutches. Walkers suddenly appear and attack. Lori, Carl and Maggie escape into the tunnels together. T-Dog and Carol escape together but T-Dog is bitten and dies. Carol's fate is unknown. Alarms start blaring and Rick, Daryl and the prisoners go to shut them off. Rick finds Andrew there and the prisoners kill him. Lori has to give birth in the tunnels but it doesn't go well. Maggie is forced to do a C-section and Lori dies in the process. Carl shoots her head. Rick learns of what happens and breaks down.
The Good: This was a great episode that featured some of the show's most powerful and heartbreaking scenes so far.
I was pleased by the initial discussion regarding the prisoners. I like that each of the characters got to make different suggestions for what to do based on what we know about them. I like that Rick was willing to listen to them but still follows his gut instincts instead of others when making these decisions. I thought the prisoners came off fairly well too and Oscar's comments regarding Axel's odd attempts to be friendly were pretty funny.
Then the episode devolved into chaos. Having the hope from Hershel walking around again being transformed to horror when the walkers attacked was a signature TWD moment. The tension escalated immediately and I was worried that the show would do something shocking by killing Hershel right after he had just recovered. Even though that didn't happen, two other central characters died in this episode which is pretty big. I heavily praise the show for making it feel like anyone can die at any given moment as it has led to these walker attacks having unbelievable amounts of tension. It's impressive that I was still nervous for the characters after T-Dog was bit because there was always the possibility that some other characters would face some extreme consequences.
This leads into Lori giving birth in the prison tunnels which was extremely tense. Eventually it became clear that Lori wasn't going to make it, and then the episode took a dark and tragic turn. It's impressive that the show made me feel so much from the death of a character I never liked. Lori's death was powerful because of the impact it had on other characters. Watching Carl witness his mother get cut open and die was brutal and worse was his cold decision to shoot his mom to prevent her from turning. It was a rough experience that succeeded hugely in hitting me hard with the depressing nature of the show. When the baby came out and wasn't making any sounds, I was genuinely afraid that the baby would be a stillborn and that Lori died for nothing. It was a horrific moment to watch and had me completely engaged the entire time.
But horror isn't enough to provide compelling television. We need some emotional engagement for it to really stick. And we got the emotional engagement through Rick, a character we do care about. Rick's reaction to Lori's death was heartbreaking, stemming from a terrific performance by Andrew Lincoln who conveys Rick's sadness really well. The scene made me genuinely feel sad and I really felt bad for Rick after everything he did to keep Lori safe in the prison. I really like the detail that Andrew is the one who caused this chaos. This makes it so it was Rick's decision to not outright murder Andrew that indirectly caused his wife's death. It wasn't because he lost himself to the world and became too dark, but rather he didn't go far enough to save Lori. It's a distressing story to tell and sets up Rick's character very nicely for change during the rest of the season.
I thought the Woodbury scenes were solid. I continue to like the Governor and the way he manipulates people. We got to see him manipulate Andrea and Merle in different ways that allows him to get what he wants for his community. While there are clearly hints of him being downright evil, he has been portrayed as a smart man who is willing to do whatever he needs to for his people. I liked Merle and Andrea's scene as well. The dialogue was good and I like how they touched on the fact that both of them were left behind by Rick's group.
The Bad: There were a few small issues I had with the walker assault. First of all, they appeared far too quickly for it to be realistic. It was a good reveal, but it made little sense. Furthermore, Maggie taking Lori into the depths of the prison was a bit dumb. Hershel and Beth stayed outside the prion, so why didn't they? It would have been much smarter. The death of T-Dog wasn't very impactful since we hardly knew him. Had he been given more character development in the show, the moment could have been much better. I wasn't pleased by Daryl's lack of reaction to Carol's apparent death. Surely he would have at least a small reaction.
Michonne continues to be bland. If she really wants Andrea to leave, why doesn't she just tell her that she thinks The Governor killed the military people? That should certainly help Andrea open her eyes to what Michonne believes is really going on.
The Unknown: Will Merle go find Daryl anyways? He doesn't seem like the kind of person to just listen.
What happened to Carol? Is she dead or still surviving?
How will Rick and Carl take Lori's death? How will that affect their characters?
Best Moment: Rick's reaction to Lori's death was extremely effective at making me feel something for him.
Character of the Episode: Lori.
Conclusion: This episode was very strong with good developments and some riveting moments. Some of the scenes here were the best that the show has ever done making this one of the show's better episodes.
Summary: Arya confronts Sansa about the letter she wrote to Robb. Sansa goes to Littlefinger for advice. Sansa sends Brienne away. Beyond The Wall, the fellowship of the throne are attacked by wights. Thoros is wounded and eventually dies but they capture a wight. The army of the dead chases them and surrounds them on an island. However, Gendry runs back to Eastwatch and sends a raven to Dany. The wights attack the group on the island but Dany arrives with her dragons to save them. The Night King kills Viserion in the ensuing chaos. Everyone leaves but Jon is left behind. Benjen saves him but dies in the process.
The Good: The production in this episode was great. Everything looked really good throughout the episode.
As a big "Lord of the Rings" fan, I did like the idea of making a "Game of Thrones" fellowship and I thought the character interactions in the first half of the episode were pretty good. Tormund and The Hound were consistently entertaining in their roles and their conversations with each other were good. I especially liked Tormund talking about Brienne to The Hound. Jon and Jorah had a pretty good scene as well and I'm pleased that they touched on Longclaw in their conversation.
I liked Tyrion's worries about succession regarding Dany. With her unable to reproduce, it makes perfect sense for Tyrion to put some thought into Dany's future and things that he may need to take care of.
Having the Night King kill a dragon was smart. Now Dany doesn't seem quite as invincible and the White Walkers are even scarier than before. The addition of an undead Viserion is bound to lead to some exciting moments down the road.
The Bad: Unfortunately, this was easily the worst episode that "Game of Thrones" has ever done. There was an unbelievable amount of plot holes, clichés and gaps in logic which just added up more and more as the episode went on.
While I liked the idea of the fellowship, the idea of it is in total contrast with everything I loved about "Game of Thrones". The very existence of a group of heroes going on a quest is not in the spirit of the show and shows that the writers and showrunners and losing sight of what this show is all about.
The polar bear fight was very poor. First of all, the whole battle was practically pointless as it accomplished nothing and existed solely because the showrunners wanted a zombie polar bear (they actually said this on camera). Furthermore, the logic surrounding the battle was baffling. First things first, who were those redshirts that were killed? Were they people who joined up with the fellowship? I swear we have never seen them in any other scene. Or were they just random people who happened to be around? It's so forced and makes little sense. Furthermore, why did nobody do anything while Thoros was fighting the polar bear. The Hound was petrified, but what about everyone else? Were they too busy sipping on tea as they waited? Lastly, the polar bear wight was killed by a stab to the head. A polar bear WIGHT was killed by a stab to the head. If the dagger was dragonglass, then fair enough. But how would anyone be aware that dragonglass kills wights along with the White Walkers? They haven't done it ever before, so surely they should at least react to the bear getting killed by the dragonglass. Furthermore, Tormund attacked with his axe and it did nothing. Why would he refuse to bring a dragonglass weapon when it's the only weapon that would work? Same goes for Gendry's hammer.
This takes me to Thoros' death. Talk about a meaningless death. Deaths in this series have all existed for a purpose, but this one felt more like a "someone needs to die on this mission and we pick him" kind of death. I expect things like this from "The Walking Dead" not "Game of Thrones".
The next action scene was the scout party battle, and it was still terrible. First of all, the actual idea of a scout party is beyond stupid. What the hell are they scouting? There are pretty much zero people beyond The Wall currently, and the only reason Jon's crew were there was because they are idiots going on an idiotic mission. So why would the White Walkers need a scouting group. I'm fin with Jon killing the White Walker, but I'm not fine with every wight dying except one. How convenient!! How implausible is it that every wight doesn't die and that just one survives for them to take? It's downright unbelievable.
Then we get into the group running when the army of the dead comes after them. My first question is, what the hell was their plan of getting away going into this? Did they not plan any of this out? Did they seriously just charge an army of thousands of wights with no plan to escape? What a terrible plan. Logically, they should have had a method to get a wight and get out of there immediately. Yet they don't do this. They just waste time until the cold comes and then they run. But they don't even try to run back to where they came. They send Gendry to Eastwatch and everyone else just goes somewhere else for some reason and they get trapped on a frozen lake like incapable idiots. Why didn't they all run with Gendry and only send him ahead when it was clear that all of them were dead? Also, I think Dany would figure out they died when no word comes back from them, so Gendry running back should hardly be a concern for them. But nope, Gendry has to run back so that Dany can come back and save the day, so he just has to go regardless of how it makes no sense.
The actual retreat to the lake was really poor. First of all, the idea that the ice would break in a perfect circle around the island is dumb and extremely convenient for everyone to survive. Next, is the idea that the wights would surround the group. We haven't seen any intelligence from these things before, and they have only ever charged their enemy with intent to kill. Yet for some reason, these guys now have the wits to surround them on the lake before attacking them? That's inconsistent. Worse yet, are their random showings of intelligence later. They are too stupid to dodge a rock that The Hound throws, yet they are smart enough to notice that the way is clear for them to attack? What the hell. Also, why didn't all of the wights attack after that? Just one went out after seeing the frozen ice. Were the others just daydreaming? The writers weren't even trying to be consistent with wight intelligence.
The actual battle on the island was terrible, even worse than the polar bear fight. It was awfully nice of the wights to go like 5 at a time to the island while all of the others waited around. Whatever happened to the terrifyingly quick and vicious wights that were at Hardhome? Those wights would have crushed these guys in like 2 minutes. But we can't have that happen, so all of the wights are suddenly less threatening because the plot says so. Maybe you can make a case and say that the wights were smart enough to realize that the ice would break again if they charge, but that once more highlights the inconsistent intelligence flaw. The tease of Tormund's death was poor because the moment he went down, he should have died. But the wights have become incapable now and they don't kill him so he can be saved. I guess the wights just got tired from walking all the way to The Wall. The biggest issue with this battle was that it had zero tension. We were obviously killing time for Dany to come in for the save so that's what I was waiting for the entire time.
Dany's attack did nothing for me and also managed to piss me off by being totally ridiculous. First of all, I don't have any emotional reaction to seeing dragons burn stuff so it has already lost my interest. The showrunners apparently think that we enjoy this show because dragons not because of all the other stuff that we actually watched the show for in the first four seasons when dragons weren't doing much. So I was pretty bored by the whole dragon attack scene, but then the boredom eventually turned to anger due to how dumb everything got. The Night King killing a dragon was cool, but why did he attack Viserion? Drogon was literally totally still on the ground but the Night King instead attacks the difficult target for some reason. Why would he not go for Drogon? Killing Drogon will also prevent any of the others from leaving which would cause all of them to die. Plus then the Night King gets a bigger dragon. It's a win-win for him to target Drogon. Also, if he is accurate enough to hit Viserion from that distance while he moves, that makes it even more ridiculous that he would miss Drogon when Drogon flew away. Also, if the Night King has such accuracy with these spears, why didn't he just rain them down on Jon's group on the island while they slept? They wouldn't be able to do anything about it and the Night King would save himself some trouble. Suddenly, the Night King has gone from terrifying villain to another idiot of a villain who is only terrifying and smart when the plot demands it. Also, I was displeased that the dragons never even attempted to attack the White Walkers with their fire. Shouldn't Dany really go after the main threat instead of the random army? Furthermore, it would be way more satisfying if the Night King killed Viserion while Viserion was trying to attack him.
The end of the battle was one of the worst conclusions I have ever seen. So Jon decides to fight the wights because... I have no idea. What was he trying to accomplish? What could he have done? Nothing! So just get on the dragon Jon, you idiot. I was downright angered by this decision because of how stupid, needless and out-of-character it was. Jon is supposed to be a heroic and selfless person not a suicidal fool. The save from deus ex Benjen was ridiculous too. Nice of Benjen to get under two minutes of screentime for him to provide the convenient save and die. That's just bad writing. Furthermore, that makes two deus ex machinas in one episode of this show. Let's not forget that this show was all about avoiding popular fantasy clichés in the first four seasons. To put so many cliches in this one episode is a literal spit in the face of George RR Martin as the poor man has to now watch his masterful works get slandered in the hands of incapable showrunners who have no clue how to provide a satisfying conclusion to this epic franchise.
And of course, I can't forget to mention the ridiculous time jumps that happened in this episode. Just how long were these guys on the damn island? Gendry pulled an olympic marathon by running to Eastwatch, recovered, sent a raven to Dany all the way on Dragonstone which is extremely far away, Dany read it, contemplated what to do, decided to help, flew north on dragons and found the exact spot where the group was. That must have taken several days of time due to the ridiculous distances that would have to be covered, and this entire time the group was just sitting on the island? That's extremely bad.
The ending of the episode with Dany and Jon left me annoyed and disappointed. First of all, I was disappointed in Dany's reactions to the dead army and the death of Viserion. Surely we deserved more of a surprised reaction from Dany when she first saw the army and the Night King. But the biggest offense here is her reaction to losing Viserion. She has commonly referred to the dragons as her children but she doesn't have a motherly reaction to her child's death. Instead she seems more saddened by Jon's apparent death which is just wrong. Furthermore, I was confused by Jon sayign he will bend the knee. Why? What changed from before that forced him to bend the knee now? He has no reason to do this and it's just as stupid as his decision to stay behind to fight.
Now on to the end of the episode. The chains came completely out of nowhere. Where did the White Walkers get them? More importantly, how the hell did they get them onto Viserion? Do not tell me the wights did it, because they were unable to go into the water 20 minutes before this scene. The most annoying part is that this seems like such an unnecessary plot hole to include. How hard is it to just make the Night King raise his arms again and have Viserion burst out from under the ice? Hell it would have made for a better reveal anyways, especially since I immediately figured out that Viserion was coming back as a wight after I saw the chains pulling him up.
And to think that I have written this many complaints without even getting into the Winterfell story. That one is just as bad as this. The showrunners are blatantly setting up for Arya and Sansa killing Littlefinger but they are doing it in a stupid way. They want us to be surprised so they are making it look like Littlefinger is playing Arya and Sansa against each other so that we can be surprised when they turn on him. It's too predictable and that makes it really tedious to watch. The issue of course comes from the fact that they don't appear to be faking it in their scenes. Why is it necessary for them to fake it anyways? In case Littlefinger has spies? If that's the case, how did they communicate this plan without him knowing anyways? The story is very poorly thought out.
It's even worse if it turns out that the two aren't faking it and are genuinely at odds. I didn't wait for them to reunite only for them to start fighting each other. There are so many other conflicts I would rather explore over a Stark family dispute. Furthermore, both characters come off poorly in this conflict. Sansa is foolish for confiding in Littlefinger and sending Brienne away. Arya is totally out of her league and unsympathetic for getting mad at Sansa over something so trivial. Her entire argument makes it seem like she never really grew up past her hate of Sansa at all. So either way this goes, the result is going to be unsatisfying. And it has to be resolved next episode where it will likely be rushed. How did this show come to this?
The Unknown: Is Littlefinger being set up or is he actually playing the Starks against each other?
What will Cersei's reaction be when she sees the wight? I highly doubt that she actually helps Dany and Jon.
Having The Hound use the word "dick" was odd. I don't believe that word has ever been used before so I'm not sure that it exists int his universe. That could be a large inconsistency which perfectly highlights how sloppily the show is being written now. However, I may be wrong so I'm leaving it in The Unknown.
Best Moment: Tormund and The Hound talking about Brienne was entertaining.
Character of the Episode: Tormund.
Conclusion: This was an illogical, stupid and downright insulting episode. The show has fallen off a cliff in the last two episodes and no longer resembles itself. This episode was downright painful and sad to watch because it showed us how far the show has fallen.
Summary: Monica and Rachel throw a baby shower for Phoebe who is experiencing a ton of mood swings. Ross picks Joey to be his best man but Joey loses Ross' wedding ring.
The Good: There are some nice moments throughout this episode. I liked Rachel and Monica attempting to make Phoebe feel better about losing her babies. I thought that Joey, Ross and Chandler had some fun lines in their story. I especially liked them confronting the stripper in Chandler's office.
The Bad: Most of this was a bit dumb. Phoebe's mood swings are ridiculous and excessive which removes any potential humour from them. Monica and Rachel being afraid of their friend was pretty stupid for a story. I also thought that the moment where Monica and Rachel came up with the baby shower felt forced and unrealistic without providing anything funny. The guys' story had some issues too. For one, it didn't produce any particular funny moments and falls short of some of the better Ross/Chandler/Joey stories. The jokes surrounding the duck felt out of character for the show and weren't funny either.
Best Moment: I liked Chandler suddenly getting pressured by Ross and Joey over a wedding that he doesn't even think will happen.
Character of the Episode: Chandler.
Conclusion: This was a weak episode which is far below the standard I would expect from this show. Much like season 3 before it, season 4 is suffering from a much weaker back half.
Summary: Ross and Rachel visit their history when debating on whether Rachel should go to Ross' wedding.
The Good: The new scenes here were pretty good. I liked Joey and Chandler's conversations. I like that the clip-show was used to have Ross and Rachel each come to a big decision by the end of their flashbacks. I did enjoy seeing episodes from seasons 1 and 2 as they reminded me of how fantastic and consistent the show was.
The Bad: I don't like clip-show episodes. It's almost exclusively content that I have already seen which makes them relatively dull and boring. Furthermore, there isn't much to really discuss about episodes like this. It's a lazy waste of an episode to get from this show.
Best Moment: Joey and Chandler discussing about climbing Everest.
Character of the Episode: Chandler.
Conclusion: I'm not a fan of clip shows, so this was easily the worst episode of the series thus far.
Summary: Dany burns Randyll and Dickon when they refuse to bend the knee. Jaime is alive and returns to King's Landing. Dany returns to Dragonstone. Tyrion hatches a plan to bring a wight from the North to convince Cersei they exist. Jon goes on this mission himself along with the newly returned Jorah. Davos takes Tyrion to King's Landing to propose a truce with Cersei via Jaime. Davos meets with Gendry and brings him back to Dragonstone. Gendry joins Jon's group. Jon's group goes to Eastwatch where they encoutner the Brotherhood. The two groups unite and go beyond The Wall. Sansa appears to have a brewing feud with Jon. Arya investigates Littlefinger's chambers and finds a message but Littlefinger is aware of this.
The Good: This was mostly enjoyable from start to finish with a few good scenes but a vast array of flaws that hurt this (see: The Bad).
I really liked Dany's decision to burn Randyll and Dickon. It seems harsh and cruel, but such is the way of war. Dany will have to make tough decisions which polarize her followers and this is one of them. I really like that Varys and Tyrion are unsure of what to make of Dany doing this and are beginning to trust her a little less. Tyrion's reunion with Jaime was another excellent scene. I thought that the emotions were conveyed well from both men with Tyrion desperately trying to explain himself and Jaime expressing his anger. I also enjoyed Jaime telling Cersei that Olenna was responsible for Joffrey's death.
I thought the reintroduction of Gendry was well done. His interactions with Davos were good and I like the idea of him teaming up with Jon as two bastards with fathers who were friends. I was entertained by the scene with the two guards encountering Davos' boat.
The Bad: Sadly this had too many issues and that ruined any chance of this episode being satisfying. I thought it was a poor follow-up to one of the show's best episodes.
I was extremely unsatisfied with Bronn and Jaime escaping so easily. First of all, there is no logic to any of it. Apparently Bronn swam for what looks like a good mile with Jaime, coated in armour and with one hand. I can't buy this would happen at all. Furthermore, it feels like a cheap way to have Jaime escape from Dany's clutches. It's annoying to see the show stage an epic battle last episode only to wuss out on dealing with the consequences of a Lannister defeat. Speaking of consequences of the battle, I was displeased for all of the logistics glossed over. How many casualties were there and how big of a loss was it? The only answer we got was "there wasn't a full accounting". What a cop out. Also, apparently the gold somehow got to King's Landing before this which we should have been told in the previous episode so we could understand the stakes better.
I wasn't pleased with the scenes on Dragonstone either. Jon touching the dragon is cool, but also stupid. Jon should be afraid of dragons at this point, so I find it impossible to believe that he will take the risk of touching the dragon. That Daenerys lets him do so is even stupider, as she surely wouldn't risk her dragon accidentally roasting the King in the North. I didn't like Jorah's return either as it was rushed and that robbed us of the emotional reaction I was expecting. Furthermore, Jorah immediately leaves Dany again which makes no sense to me.
Tyrion's plan with the wight capture has to be one of the dumbest things this show has done. Not only is it a tremendous risk to meet the undead army head-on, but the plan is so unlikely to actually work. First of all, risking the King in the North for this mission is just inexcusably stupid and I'm sure it's a forced way to get Jon to encounter the White Walkers again. The actual plan is idiotic because it counts on Cersei being reasonable enough to take the threat seriously when there is proof that it exists. The issue of course is that Tyrion of all people should know more than anyone that Cersei will not listen to reason and will likely try to stab Dany in the back anyways. It's inconsistent and stupid. Lastly, what is keeping Dany from going on this mission? Is it so important to her that she keeps her base on Dragonstone? It's unexplained why she can't leave.
While I liked the scenes in King's Landing, they were implausible to the highest degree. The first issue coems from the time jumps that are made here. Apparently Davos can row to King's Landing and back before Jon even leaves for Eastwatch which is incredibly dumb. It took Stannis a long time to make the trip with large ships, so it's inconsistent for Davos to go back and forth so quickly. Furthermore, the idea that Bronn would risk everything for Tyrion by having him meet Jaime is extremely stupid. How did Tyrion get in contact with Bronn anyways? It's poorly written. Furthermore, the guards scene was unfortunately quite pointless and it feels like a waste of time in an otherwise packed episode.
I didn't like the Winterfell story either. I have no interest in watching Arya and Sansa come in conflict after spending years apart. Both women come off as petty and annoying as they come at each other's throats. Of course this may all be a plan to frame Littlefinger, but if that's the case, Sansa and Arya are way too good at acting. Naturally the writers don't care about that though and they just want to surprise us when they turn the tables on Littlefinger. Lastly, I was unsatisfied with Arya following Littlefinger. She can wear faces, so why isn't she using that power more? It is literally perfect for this situation.
The Unknown: What will happen beyond The Wall? I get the feeling that the plan won't go as expected.
Apparently Cersei is pregnant now. How will this come into play? Didn't Cersei's prophecy say that she would only have 3 children?
The clever show decided to reveal some essential information through Gilly. Did we just get confirmation that Rhaegar and Lyanna were in a loving relationship? Apparently Rhaegar annulled his relationship with Elia judging by what Gilly said, which is very interesting. Does this mean that Jon is a legitimate Targaryen?
Where will Sam go now? Back to Jon?
What was written on Littlefinger's letter? What is his plan for Sansa and Arya? Are they aware of what he is doing?
Best Moment: Tyrion and Jaime's conversation was the most emotional part of this episode.
Character of the Episode: Gilly.
Conclusion: This was a fun episode to watch but there were so many flaws, it's almost hard to believe. There is a good story in this episode somewhere but the execution was very poor and failed to capitalize on any of the story's potential. This was a disappointment.
Summary: Ross reveals that his wedding will take place in a month and Rachel starts to freak out. Chandler gets annoyed when Joey starts snoring loudly in his sleep. Monica and Phoebe have fun wearing wedding dresses.
The Good: There was some really good stuff here. Rachel is always spectacular when she is overreacting and that was the same here. Watching her estrange Joshua was really entertaining and it was written fairly well throughout. I really liked the final joke with Rachel answering the door in her dress only for it to be Joshua instead of Chandler. I really liked how the central Rachel storyline tied into the Monica/Phoebe and Chandler/Joey storylines too. The best moments from those four characters came when they were interacting with Rachel.
The Bad: The side stories felt like bland filler and didn't accomplish much. They weren't very funny on their own either. Joey talking in his sleep looked really bad and Chandler came off as an asshole at some parts of the episode.
Best Moment: The "woopah" joke was really funny and was the best interaction in the episode.
Character of the Episode: Rachel.
Conclusion: This was another solid but unspectacular episode. It had funny moments but nothing in particular stuck with me after watching it. It seems like every season of "Friends" after the first is destined to have a stretch of weaker episodes in its back half. Hopefully this season can end on a high point.
Summary: Arya returns to Winterfell and meets with Sansa and Bran. Littlefinger tries to win Bran's trust but Bran reveals he knows the things that Littlefinger has done. Bran thanks Meera and she leaves. Dany and Jon grow closer as Jon shows her some cave paintings of White Walkers. Theon returns to Dragonstone and reunites with Jon who is suitably angry. Dany takes Drogon and her army and attacks Jaime and Bronn's group on the Roseroad. Bronn injures Drogon with Qyburn's scorpion. Jaime tries to attack Dany and is nearly killed. Bronn saves him and throws him into a lake.
The Good: This was an outstanding episode. There were a number of strong scenes throughout the episode culminating in one of the show's very best battles.
The scenes at Winterfell were all extremely strong. Arya's return was genuinely emotional especially since she had spent 3 entire seasons wandering Westeros in an attempt to go home. Now she is finally back and it feels really good. I love the callback to season 1 with Arya having to get past two guards who don't believe that she is who she says he is. It was a nice way to bring everything together. The reunion with Sansa was a lovely moment. I love that they were both able to cast aside the past where they always bickered with each other and viewed each other as fully grown women, and most importantly, as family. I also love Arya mentioning her kill list which Sansa didn't believe only for Bran to reveal the truth.
Speaking of Bran, he's more interesting than he has ever been. I thought the scene with Littlefigner was terrific. I really like the idea of Littlefinger trying to win over Bran since he is the technical heir to Winterfell now. I was intrigued by the scene all the way through, and I was genuinely surprised when Bran quoted "chaos is a ladder". Bran is a total wildcard now and I'm excited to see what else he knows. The ensuing scene with Meera was terrific too. His cold goodbye to her was sad and did a good job of demonstrating how much Bran has lost himself after last season. I also really liked Bran's awkward attempt at kindness when he gave Arya the dagger.
Arya and Brienne's spar was really enjoyable. It was choreographed nicely and was a good way to show us how much better Arya has gotten at fighting after her training in Braavos. It also helped present a very real threat to Littlefinger, who may have to do something out of the ordinary to survive (see: The Unknown).
The scenes at Dragonstone were also very good. I'm interested by this apparent Jon and Dany romance which was slightly hinted at last episode but I wasn't sure that they were heading in that direction. Now it seems very apparent that they are heading towards a romance. I thought the cave scene was done very well and it was nice to get the characters to bond. The reunion between Jon and Theon was very good. This season has been filled with reunions and they are all great. This one wasn't a heartfelt one but was instead very tense. Jon had plenty of reasons to be angry at Theon and it was good to see him let out the anger.
I also liked Davos talking with Jon about his relationship with Dany. The "good heart" joke was funny as he is very clearly attracted to Missandei.
This takes things to the battle at the end of the episode. And what a battle it was. First of all, it looked spectacular as expected. The dragon assault was awesome and the CGI looked absolutely incredible. The cinematography was wonderful too throughout the episode. I especially liked the longshot with Bronn as he struggled to get to the scorpion. It was like Jon's longshot only even more intense and chaotic.
The battle works so well because there are tons of characters we care about involved. I was extremely worried that Dany, Bronn or Jaime were about to take heavy losses or even die in this battle. It had me on the edge of my seat the entire time and ratcheted up the tension to an insane level. Bronn firing at Drogon and Jaime charging at Dany had me speechless and completely invested. I also thought the emotions of the battle were really well done. Bronn deciding to risk his life, Tyrion watching his men die and Jaime make a foolish decision and Dany fearfully riding the wounded Drogon were all powerful moments that got a reaction out of me through all of the intense action.
The Bad: I forgot to mention this in my last review, but it doesn't feel right that Tyrion was outsmarted by his siblings. After all, he has always been the smart one while Cersei has been positively stupid at times and Jaime is no genius tactician.
The ending cliffhanger is a bit annoying with Jaime sinking. It's obvious he won't die from drowning.
Like every battle, there were a few logic gaps here. I don't have an issue with Dany finding the army. After all they are travelling in a long line from Highgarden to King's Landing. She would be hard-pressed to miss them. The issue I do have is on how she got her army to the mainland. Yara's fleet just got decimated by Euron. So how did Dany transport an army to the mainland without boats? That makes no sense. The next major issue comes from the battle itself. I thought it was incredibly stupid that Dany burned all of the gold and the food. Logically, she would take it for herself and use it, but instead she burns perfectly good supplies. If she attacked with only a dragon, burning the supplies would be smart. But since she totally outmatched the Lannisters army, surely she would just kill them and take the food for herself.
The Unknown: What happens to Jaime and Bronn now? Will they be prisoners? Perhaps Bronn will be executed?
Will this Dany and Jon romance become a full-on storyline?
What does Littlefinger do next? I suspect we may be hearing that he has some urgent business in The Vale that he must attend to now that he is surrounded by threats in Arya and Bran.
Best Moment: There are so many moments to pick in this episode. I'll go with Jaime's final charge towards Dany. I really feared that he was about to die there.
Character of the Episode: Dany.
Conclusion: This episode was excellent. Tons of powerful moments capped off with a spectacular battle made this a true series highlight. Even though the way this show works has changed over the past few seasons, this episode proves that this series can still be incredible.
Summary: Andrea and Michonne see a helicopter crash and investigate. A group comes by and the two hide but they are found by Merle. The two are taken to a community called Woodbury which is run by a man called The Governor. Both women are distrustful but The Governor convinces them to stay for a little bit. There is a survivor from the helicopter crash who leads The Governor to his group of survivors. The Governor kills all of them and takes their supplies.
The Good: This was solid for the most part. It may not have been the most exciting episode to watch (see: The Bad), but the direction that the show has chosen to go is potentially extremely interesting.
I thought the scene at the site of the helicopter crash was very tense, and was the most exciting moment of the episode. I was on the edge of my seat as I was nervous that The Governor's group would discover Michonne and Andrea while also being nervous that Andrea and Michonne would do something rash since they weren't aware that everyone is infected. The ending reveal of Merle being with the group was terrific and got me pretty excited for the upcoming scenes in the episode.
The reintroduction of Merle was well done and his character remains as vile and obtuse as ever, which is a certain improvement on most of the other bland characters in this show. The new characters were pretty solid too, with the highlight being The Governor. I thought David Morrissey was a good casting choice and he helped bring The Governor's complexity to light. Evidently, The Governor appears to be a sort of mirror for Rick who is another man doing his best to lead his people. But like Rick, The Governor is still living in this world and is forced to make tough choices, like the one to kill the military group to take all of their supplies. I like that The Governor has been portrayed as a grey character, and judging by the final scene, he has many more layers to him that we have yet to see.
The community of Woodbury is really good. I like that the show is exploring the potential of a new community being formed in the wreckage of the world. I appreciated the small size of the community, as it felt very realistic and it didn't at all feel like a stretch that this place could exist. It makes sense for survivors to flock to a leader, and The Governor happened to be placed in charge of this community.
I was pleased to learn that the walkers don't need to eat. I hope that Milton can be used to provide us some more information about walkers in the future.
The Bad: This show still struggles with its characters. We have known Andrea for over 2 seasons and yet she hardly has a character. Spending an hour with an underdeveloped character like her is really dull and that hurt my enjoyment of this episode. The show also failed to meaningfully develop anyone aside from The Governor which meant that there was no character journey to make this episode a little more enjoyable. I tend to really enjoy episodes which focus on one single character and storyline, but there needs to be an emotional journey for the episode to succeed.
Michonne's character was awful in this episode. We hardly know her, so this was the opportune time for us to get more acquainted with her and so we can care for her character. yet we only get one scene to characterize her which hardly tells us anything about her. So far, she is boring, unimaginative and dull. That can't be the result of a character who just had an entire episode to grow and develop. Her decision to not trust The Governor is totally unearned. Why doesn't she just agree to sit around for one day to figure out more? Surely she is smart enough to understand that if he was going to kill them, they would already be dead.
The Unknown: I see some huge potential for this story. The idea that there are characters in two different communities being developed can be a really good one and it can lead to some complex emotions if both groups come into conflict. But I'm nervous that The Governor will simply be portrayed as evil for the sake of it which will sacrifice these emotions. Also, I don't trust this show to have capable enough character development to make this story work, which is a red flag. With 16 episodes in the season, I hope to see better character development, but these first three episodes haven't delivered in that regard. Let's hope for the best with this story.
What other secrets are there in Woodbury? What else is The Governor hiding? What happened to his family? Why does he keep a collection of walker heads?
Best Moment: Merle's return was a delightful moment.
Character of the Episode: The Governor.
Conclusion: This episode did a good job of introducing a new community and that was interesting. Unfortunately it didn't do much else and lacked in character development which made this a rather dull hour to watch. I like the direction this episode went, but the actual episode left a lot to be desired.
Just a university student who loves to watch TV. And criticize it like hell.