Okay, so once again I will begin by reminding everyone that we will be using the Modified McShane Scoring System (MMSS) to rate this episode, which means once again we will be starting at a baseline of 5 out of 10, since this week we had tits but no dragons.
NYMERIA. WHUT WHUT. Oh, wait, her home planet needs her and she peaces the fuck out on Arya. Now, we all know the real reason for this is the show HATES making room in the cgi budget for the direwolves, which is why Ghost has been in doggy day care since the middle of season 6 and all the others are dead. BUT, in this case, I'm going to be a little lenient because it is actually consistent with the internal logic of the show. Arya did, after all, break up with Nymeria first, even if it was for her own protection. And who among us hasn't tried to pull that one on an ex-to-be once or twice? Honestly I'm just happy Nym popped back up, actually looked like the same wolfie, and only got written out instead of killed off. But yes, that was Nym being written out. Accept it. +1 (6)
See Yara. See Yara make a salient point about getting this conquest sheezy over and done with QUICKLY. See allies DISAGREE for reasons of This Makes Good Television. Aww, we don't want to hurt anyone in our conquest. What do you think happens with a siege? Where's Season 2 Bronn to explain this shit? Tyrion mentions Myrcella (good) seems to be not quite pissed off about it enough to yell (less good but whatever I guess, I don't hate hate this). Melisandre BUSTING OUT THE HIGH VALYRIAN (good) explaining the prince/princess thing in a lame, poorly written way like there was some passive aggressive resentment about having to included it (less good but whatever it IS book content). It does make sense that Ellaria and Olenna are WTF about their army seemingly doing all the heavy lifting of the siege, using the foriegners against Casterly Rock is logical. NO THEON LINES (bad). Dany logically expects Jon Snow to bend the knee when he shows up, could do without the hesitation and intended DUN DUN DUN of how the scene's end is framed, it's not like this is a really a stunner or anything. I'm gonna call this scene a wash. (6)
Cersei appeals to the reach lords to keep the dang foreigners from taking thur jerbs or something. Randyll Tarly raises the completely reasonable question of "hey you got a way to deal with these FUCKING DRAGONS right?" "We're working on it" does not inspire his confidence, nor should it, even if Qyburn says it. Jaime a little diplomacy and we get some LOL at his confusion over the names Rickon and Dickon, and let's be honest there's like 700 characters in the books we've alll done that one once. BTW it appears as though Dickon Tarly has been re-cast. I point this out because I care, not because you care. I'm sure you don't. I am the only person in the history of this forum who has given so much as a single fuck about Dickon Tarly (hyperbole). Anyway Randyll plays a little hard to get and throws a little shade at the Lannisters referencing the Red Wedding indirectly because REAL MEN KEEP THEIR OATHS AND STAB THEIR ENEMIES IN THE FRONT. I guess they're going to drag it out a bit but Tarly hides behind his oath to Tyrell and he's known Olenna all her life and etc etc. Jaime promises him Wardenship of the South and given the show's situation of the Tyrells being functionally extinct it makes sense, although really Tarly logically can bide his time here because there's no other real choice here is there. Anyway Tarly is well cast for Dickheadery and he feels true to the spirit of the book which ain't as common a feel as it use to be is it, boys and girls? I'm gonna give this scene +.5 for a good Randyl Tarly scene and Dickon inclusion [Dickon is so gonna die at some point so Sam can end up Lord Tarly at series end, you know it.] (6.5)
Damn that statue DOES look like Sean Bean. Blah blah Littlefinger trying to antagonize Jon Snow with Cat shat but what really triggers the wolf blood is LF talking about wanting to put his king in Sansa's North and IT IS ON. Jon Snow gets like Tony Montana when someone looks at Gina and PUTS HANDS ON LITTLEFINGER. All the good feels. Unfortunately Jon does not finish the job because LF is probably dying at the end of this season, not before. +1 point for the statue and for Fuck Littlefinger intruding on the Stark crypts again. (7.5)
Lots of people point out to Jon correctly that the Dany summons is likely a trap. Nobody mentions that it ALSO requires putting his ass on the line by going through hostile (i.e. Lannister held) territory so this is pretty crazy for Jon to even think about going. BUT, Jon is also right in that A] the white walkers are coming and we need dragonglass, so B] he doesn't have a choice but to risk it. Only he can meet Dany monarch to monarch and negotiate as equals. [also *Cough Cough* Northerners Live By The Old Way Especially Starks and that means D.I.Y., can we include that? No? well whatever]. Also, would you trust Tim McInnerny to talk to the dragon queen? No! She might call him "Darling" and he'll spend the rest of the scene twitching and spazzing out. Can't have that. Anyway, Jon is leading by example and from the front like a good northerner and yeah there's a good chance it's a trap but there's a better chance that The Night's King is going to fuck up everybody's shit if they don't get dragonglass and that is (rightly) Jon's #1 priority. Sass-sa Stark and Lord Royce yell at him a bit instead of going off to have the private convo they should be having to seal LF's doom but whatever, Jon puts Sansa in charge. I'm sure this will work out wonderfully. Brienne is an extra this week instead of the Physical Manifestation of Sansa's Conscience so she does not remind Sansa and the audience that Pedofinger still being around is creepy as fuck. Davos and Jon roll out. I'm gonna give this + .25 because I thought it was okay but they could've gone into a little better detail and let Brienne flex a little and also Lord Royce is technically an ally of and not a vassal to Jon but whatever at least he got lines. (7.75)
HOT PIE HOLY SHIT. Time to be true to the books by having him spend a bunch of time talking about food and not advancing the plot. Oh, wait, he cut it short and talked about Armor Girl (a.k.a. Brienne) and convinces Arya to go north when she lets him know that Jon is running shit up at Winterfell now and Arya is appropriately "holy shit!" about it and decides to go north. How did Hot Pie know all this? Everyone in this show is on Westeros Instagram or whatever. Eh, I'm gonna go WASH on this because Hot Pie's dialogue seemed very inorganic and like one of us talking about the show rather than a character living in it but otherwise the scene wasn't terrible. (7.75)
Almost an 8? Seems kinda high, actually. oh HERE WE ARE. The Sand Snakes are talking. No, No, No. NO. As Stannis would say, a bad act does not wash out a good nor a good act wash out a bad, both must be repaid in equal measure. We must reward the show when it does good things and punish it for bad things. Sand Snake dialogue is a bad thing. - .5 for each one allowed to speak. All 3 said something, so that's - 1.5 overall. (6.25)
Qyburn HAS A CUNNING PLAN to deal with dragons. It's....ballistae. I think they already have these? bit underwhelming. - .25 point. Would be -.5 for the anticlimax but I do love me some Qyburn screen time. (6).
There, that feels more like it. Anyway, what's left, um, oh yeah, so they're really rushing on this greyscale cure thing, but at least they're setting it up logically even as they burn through it. Sam figures out that it's Jorah Mormont and there's his motivation. Namedrops Archmaester Pylos and his research on rare diseases, okay, so he's got the information. Archmaester Jim Broadbent informs Sam that Pylos died of Greyscale. LOL. Anyway, Sam somehow remains the World's Fattest Ninja and somewhere the spirit of Chris Farley looks on fondly. Sam answers Jorah's question of WTF (Night's Watch, Old Bear, etc.) and we're off. Sam starts picking off Jorah's afflicted skin and get lovely shots of yellow pus everywhere and lots of muffled screaming. BTW WHERE THE FUCK DID SAM GET RUBBER GLOVES IN A FUCKING MEDIEVAL WORLD. Oh whateverthefuck. So Sam is gradually skinning Jorah's grayscale away. Damn, you know who'd actually be really really useful to have around right now? RAMSAY.
- .5 for the anachronistic rubber gloves. -.25 for making me remember Poochie. +.25 for immediately remembering Poochie is dead. +.5 for the callbacks and logical progression and characters remembering AND caring about things that happened more than 1 season ago and the joke about the Archmaester who had a cure for grayscale dying of grayscale. Looks like that ends up a WASH. Oh, wait, no Gilly and no 5 Year old Infant to bother my sense of chronology. +.25 (6.25)
Okay, Grey Worm and Missandei. So we get a little insight into Unsullied training and Grey Worm used to be fearless but Missandei is his weakness because she gives him a fear now. D'awww. Honestly, as someone who does not have a lot of interest in this plot line and would rather this screen time go to other characters I kinda enjoyed this scene. And not just because of Tits, I have already figured that into the scoring. No, really, this was a decent scene establishing some Grey Worm motivation and it pays off with him finally opening up enough to show her his antipenis. I'll give it a +.25 because I liked it in spite of myself, but only a quarter point because it DID run too long in my opinion. (6.5)
Hey, HEY, HEY. Ellaria, I've been lenient on you as a character but don't fucking order Theon around like a fucking servant. And for that matter Yara you know you gotta stick up a little harder for your little bro here. Anyway this scene is our reminder that this is HBO so we're gonna get some lame sapphic double entendres I could've out-written when I was in 8th grade. Again, I think Gemma Whelan's comedy background takes a little sting out of some real stinkers of lines when Yara is on screen. Yara is a shadow of what I would have wanted Asha to be on this show but things could be a lot worse (spelled S-T-A-N-N-I-S). Anyway Yara explains to Ellaria that little bro is her advisor and protector and A] lol at Theon protecting shit B] hasn't Yara always been more "eh, he kinda sucks, but he's family and I'm fond of him anyway"? Well, I guess I'll chalk this up to more of her trying to build Theon's confidence back up. Also she really wants to bang.
SPEAKING OF BANG, the cabin shakes like the deck of the U.S.S. Enterprise and Theon does his best to get thrown across the screen like Ensign Chekov and EURON IS HERE. Get a nice underwater shot of the ram smashing the hull and the boarding ladders are out and it's time for GAME OF THRONES COMBAT. And you know what that means. Night time, so lighting so poor that you can't tell the sides apart as The Black Shirt Team battles The Very Very Very Dark Grey Shirt Team. Euron does a terrible job of being the new villain on the show as he proceeds to KILL TWO SAND SNAKES. Everybody's going to love him now. Spear Spice gets run through with her own spear and Whip Spice gets strangled with her own whip. The latter is hung from the prow after the battle (which is not much of a battle, Yara and Theon's boys mostly get REKT) while the former is nailed to it. Holy shit this feels like an apology from D&D for putting these terrible takes on the Sand Snakes in the show. HOISTED BY THEIR OWN PETARDS. Pinch Me. The only problem is getting the audience to hate and fear Euron because everybody gonna love him now.
UNLESS HE KILLS YARA. Anyway, Ellaria and Dagger Spice are captured alive below decks by a couple members of Euron who appear to actually have tongues but whatever. Euron gets a hold of his niece and holds her in standard hostage position and challenges "the cockless wonder" to come get her. Having glimpsed ever so slightly at a certain fragment of spoilers I am expecting Yara to bite it and figured Euron would slit her throat as soon as Theon took one step forward and he was hesitating because he knew that.
Aww, poor Theon. The "cockless" thing triggers him, tears, drops the sword, and he dives over. Fuckin' A, Theon. So I guess this is going to be his thing this season. He's gonna regress back to Reek days for a bit here until whatever metaphorical mcguffin motivates him to fight again (even though he shanked a good half-dozen dudes during the battle. Not that it was much of a battle, other than Yara and Theon and even Bad Pussy doing their own work Euron's crew were pretty dominant). Show ends with Theon floating on a log and getting a good eyefull of the dead Sand Snakes and I breathe a little sigh of relief that a third body is NOT added to the shot. To hell with Grey Worm, it is THEON who truly needs some "it's okay that you don't have a dick you can still be a good man" pep talk from Coach Missandei.
A BIG +2 POINTS for the Ironical Demise of the Sand Snakes. NO DEDUCTION for making Euron a de facto goodguy via killing the Sand Snakes because fuck it, someone had to do it. Only -.5 for Theon regressing because I think (hope) this is going to lead to something and in my headcanon Yara was dead if he took a step towards Euron with blade in hand. And hopefully it involves Yara's rescue and/or survival and putting some dramatic irony into her pronouncement of Theon being her "protector" early in the scene as he finally lives up to it. No deduction for the illogic of Euron not gutting his niece like a fish right then and there solely because I don't want to that to happen and I will forgive bad D&D logic when it works in favor of my fanservice. Though if they just yank my chain and kill Yara off at the start of next week I'm going to be doing some serious score adjustment here.
So that's, um, 8? Kinda surprisingly high. I'll chalk it up to just being relieved Yara isn't killed off (yet).
Oh wait. I can take a point off for Varys not mentioning Jorah by name when explaining "yeah I sent assassins after you because King Robert commanded it but I also made sure to send shitty ones and warn Jorah they were coming so he could take them out before they got to you" because that would've been a very prime chance for Clarke to do some emotion that isn't Killbot. -1 for glaring missed opportunity to shine in the details.
7. I guess 7 is my final score. Again, higher than I expected. Welp, can't argue with the data. This is a highly scientific system after all.