Monday, June 10, 2013

The Idiot Box: Game Of Thrones 3x10 - "Mhysa" Review

Wow, that was...underwhelming.

Now, I know the finale was bound to come down a bit just coming off of the more outrageous than usual events of the previous episode, but I don't think that's the only reason why I feel just a little disappointed by how they ended this season. I even went out of my way last week to note how often the penultimate episodes are invariably so much better than the finales on this show, and I was still kind of shocked by just how much that was the case here. Whatever my expectations were as to how they would end it this year, either based on the scant spoilers I've gotten from book nerd friends or just based on how good the show has been up to this point, I think it was a reasonable assumption that we'd get more than...well, next to nothing really.

Don't get me wrong, its all good I suppose, or at least well written and well acted by Game of Thrones standards. I wasn't altogether bored and I'm enough of a fan that just having the little character moments strewn about was fun as far as it went. Its just that, well, don't tell me that this show has brought back Event Television in the digital age of binge viewing and then give me an episode that is collectively one big non-event. I know the kind of shocking moments like the birth of dragons or the arrival of White Walker armies that we've gotten in previous finales are ultimately just gimmicky stunts to keep us excited for the show's return, but that didn't make them less awesome, and they did that job. Seeing the show without something like that feels like I missed a scene somewhere, especially knowing that they had several options to go with from the books.

Even some of the stuff they did throw in that I was expecting to find really cool just seemed kind of slap dash and thrown together. The gloriously disgusting final capper to the Red Wedding that I alluded to last week shows up at the beginning of the episode as we find out how Robb Stark's assassins honored his memory, but its a blink and you'll miss it moment that if you don't know what's going on you might not even be able to figure out what's happening. I know I usually do more recapping in these reviews, but so little actually happened that I feel needs recapped. From what I gather, while the previous seasons have been closer to complete adaptations of books one and two respectively, a lot of the end of season three was apparently pushed back to season four, and it really shows here.

A lot of interesting things are set up for next season, and I'm sure it will all be great, but you know what? I'm not watching season four right now, and I was going to watch it anyway regardless. Don't just tell me all the great shit you're gonna do later and then just cut to black. Give me something big to go out on and whet my appetite. And no, a giant CGI crowd scene doesn't count, even if you arbitrarily have the dragons fly around to make it look more grandiose than it actually is. Oh, and I'm officially not a fan of Daenarys Targarian. This being one of the few story lines that I hadn't yet been spoiled on, I've been reserving my judgement this year as her character got more and more Mary Sue-ish, assuming that like all other characters on this show, they were setting her up for a massive fall. Maybe that's still in the cards, but at this point its too little too late, and if and when it happens, I'll just be spitefully happy to see her way too successful campaign come crashing down.

Look, I'm not saying it sucked, or that I'm giving up on the show. This isn't anything close to Doctor Who levels of lessening quality or anything. I just don't buy into the idea that the last episode was so insane that we needed to waste a whole finale giving fans time to breathe and collect themselves. There's no excuse for this kind of an anti-climax on a show so well known for being nothing but climaxes, and I mean that both in the sense of all the cool shit that regularly happens, and all of the resulting nerdgasms. I should never have to go to Wikipedia to remind myself of what happened in the last episode of a season a few hours after watching it. It should be awesome enough to have been burned into my memory. Is that really too much to ask?

I don't know, maybe I'm just the asshole, but that's that. See you next year, where all the cool shit we were promised this year will actually happen, and probably be really great, unless they push it all to season five just to piss me off.

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