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Game of Thrones S04E06: "The Laws of Gods and Men"


Look, I love all Game of Thrones episodes as a rule, but "The Laws of Gods and Men" was my least-favorite episode of Game of Thrones in a while, despite a strong finish. There's just something about watching characters go to the bank to apply for a loan that isn't as exciting to me as, say, oh I don't know, people getting swords put through their faces. That's not to say the episode wasn't important, because every episode of Game of Thrones is important, but it's also important that I occasionally spend a Saturday going to Target to pick up kitty litter, and I wouldn't ask you all to tag along with me. 

In its more exciting goings-on, "The Laws of Gods and Men" continued Season 4's penchant for extended scenes by devoting a huge chunk of time to Tyrion's trial. And although it was just testimony after testimony pissing on Tyrion, these longer scenes really suck you in and bring things to life just by virtue of giving us more time to settle into them. I love scenes like that! We experienced a similar feeling at Joffrey's wedding in "The Lion and the Rose," and outside the gates of Meereen in "Breaker of Chains"; the extra time in one spot transforms Game of Thrones into a living, breathing entity rather than a whiplash sightseeing tour of Westeros hot spots. And now I would like to start a petition for HBO to make every episode four hours long, because one hour just isn't enough of what is genuinely becoming one of the best television series ever made. 

"The Laws of Gods and Men" also felt like a bit of a relaunch as we enter the second half of the season. The first half cleverly relied on the multi-episode arcs of Jon Snow's assault on Craster's Keep (which wasn't in the books), Bran's tie-in, Sansa and Littlefinger's incredibly revealing outing, and Dany's assault on Meereen to keep up the storytelling momentum. But with the mutineers dead and Meereen captured, it was time to kickstart some new plots while the main story at King's Landing continued to chug along with intrigue. That made this episode a little jarring, because there was no Bran, Jon, Arya, Sansa, Littlefinger, Brienne, or Pod—and given how invested I've become in Littlefinger's and Jon's stories, I was slightly disappointed. But that's the drawback of a series that's so expansive and rich with complexity; not everyone can be serviced at the same time. Oh well! At least you all know why I hate Shae so much.

Gather up your goats and let's discuss what happened in "The Laws of Gods and Men." 


"When Tywin is gone, who do you back?" —Davos Seaworth


UGH the bank! If you enjoy going to the bank, then there is something wrong with you and you should seek help immediately. Banks are horrible places that make money off of money. I still don't understand how they work, which is why I keep all my money under my mattress. Yep! Sixty-two dollars, all in nickels. But for some people, banks are absolutely necessary. Like when you need a loan to start a new pet-grooming business, or to make a down payment on a new wagon, or to fund a war for the Iron Throne. 

You only end up at the bank if you're desperate, and the bankers know that. So when Stannis arrived at Braavos's Iron Bank, the bankers made him wait for hours and then materialized out of a wall as if they were part of some Illuminati ceremony. They were already playing mind games with Stannis knowing full well that they were in power, and they continued their power-tripping throughout the loan process via Tycho Mestoris (guest-star Mark Gatiss, co-creator of Sherlock), who knocked Stannis down a few pegs by reminding him that his titles actually belonged to someone else and all but 32 of his ships are currently at the bottom of Blackwater Bay.

Davos saved the day as Stannis's hype man with a rousing speech about the frumpy guy's leadership qualities (ahem, really?) and rights to the throne while also reminding Tycho that when Tywin Lannister kicks the bucket, the throne will be in the hands of a prepubescent boy and a former queen who no one likes. I'm not sure that would be enough for me to dump a bucket of gold coins on Stannis's head, but it worked. Why wouldn't Tycho mention that the cash-flush Tyrells are marrying into the Lannister family (and debt), or that Stannis is a huge loser who already got his butt kicked while trying to take the throne? If the Iron Bank was in the business of loaning out finger nubs, then sure, give Stannis whatever he wants. But enough money to hire an army? Doesn't the Iron Bank know that willy-nilly subprime lending leads to massive delinquencies, which in turn results in the devaluation of attendant securities? I don't know what that means but I read it on Wikipedia, and what I'm actually trying to say is that giving a bunch of money to a guy who lives on an island and has no army seems like a risky venture. Anyway, I guess this means the Iron Bank can also pull financial support away from the Lannisters? 


"This is turning into a lovely evening." —Ramsay Snow


Yara Greyjoy led a boat full of Ironborn squidmen in an assault on the Dreadfort with the objective to free Theon from Ramsay's clutches. It did not go well. After penetrating the Dreadfort's walls and killing a host of guards rather easily, Yara was led to the kennels, where Theon, err, Reek was kept. Reek didn't want to leave with Yara because he's been brain-erased, and then Ramsay—sporting fresh wounds on his shirtless torso from a war with a sharp-nailed bed buddy—showed up to the fight. THAT was an entrance. Ramsay may be one of Westeros's worst citizens, but I can't help but love how vile and insane he is. 

I've never been brainwashed or had my wee-wee cut off, so I can't say for sure, but television storylines about severe cases of Stockholm Syndrome seem like bull honky to me, and I find them hard to swallow. If I were Theon, every time I had to sit down to pee it'd be enough of a slap in the face to remind me of what happened, and that Ramsay wasn't the most gracious host. But then again, Theon was always one to think with his smaller head, so now that it's cut off, maybe he can't think for himself at all. Regardless, Theon has become an afterthought this season, because a passive character is an uninteresting character. I don't remember any of this from the A Song of Ice and Fire books that I read, so if was Game of Thrones' decision to keep Alfie Allen on the show just to make him a tortured prisoner who thinks he's a dog named Reek, then I think the writers should've just left him out. I mean, look at the "duh doi" look on this guy's face:

Snap out of it, man! I'm not entirely sure what the point of this scene was, but it could've been to set up an epic battle between House Greyjoy and House Bolton. However, that fight is the metaphorical NIT tournament to the March Madness that is the war for the Iron Throne. Also, if I'm sailing all the way from the Iron Islands to the Dreadfort (the two locales are on opposite coasts and not exactly a day trip), scaling castle walls, and engaging in close-quarters combat with dudes carrying swords and shields, I'm probably not going to run away from angry dogs. Just sayin'! 


"RAWWWWWWWR! I'm a dragon!" —Drogon 


Am I supposed to believe that the goat herder's kid DIDN'T see a dragon the size of a Greyhound bus in the gulch below him? It's pretty easy, kid. The things that look like rocks are rocks. The things that look like gigantic winged lizards are DRAGONS. This dumb tween also broke the first rule of rock-tossing: Look where you're throwing! It's dangerous to aimlessly chuck stones. You could hit a innocent bystander, you could topple some guy's elaborately staged dominoes piece that he's been working on for weeks, or you could anger a dragon. But instead of learning a life lesson by becoming a dragon snack, the kid lived and the poor goats had to pay for his reckless time-wasting. What a menace. I'd rather spend a week locked in a room with Roose Bolton than that dummy. 

We can thank him for initiating some great dragon porn, though, which is 80 percent of why we watch Game of Thrones in the first place. You could actually see the goat's face saying "Oh shit oh shit oh shit" as he tried in vain to outrun Drogon's fiery spew. I made a .GIF here, but the colors on the fire were all wrong and I don't know how to fix it. 

That scene segued into Dany hearing the problems of the Meereenese, the first of which was, "Your dragon barbecued my goats because my stupid kid threw a rock at it." Of course, the goat herder can't be too mad at Dany because she's his new ruler, but his message was clear: Put a leash on your flying reptilian terrors. And really, it's the LEAST she can do. Imagine if someone took over the top spot on your neighborhood council and let her bloodthirsty pit bulls run amok. Dany is a terrible pet owner, plain and simple. Are her dragons flying around doing whatever they please? Because let me tell you something, what they please is setting stuff on fire and eating livestock, and Dany's attitude is simply, "That's dragons for ya!" It's time to call in the Jackson Galaxy-equivalent from the dragon version of My Cat From Hell to teach Dany how to train her dragons! Meereen's famous Goat Stew Festival depends on it.

But Dany's problems extended beyond the random massacre of farm animals, and another citizen came to tell her that she'd nailed his dad up to one of those signposts even though he actively spoke out against the practice before Dany arrived. Now all he wanted was to take down his dad's corpse and give it a proper burial. Being a ruler is hard! Dany granted his wish after visibly wrestling with the idea that she may have over-generalized the slave masters of Meereen. And now she's in trouble, because you can't grant one person's wishes just because they came to you with a sob story when your whole platform is punishing slave masters. Honestly, we have no way of knowing if that guy who wanted to bury his dad was even telling the truth. Is Dany going to grant clemency to everyone now? Are all the bodies going to be taken off the signposts? How will people know how to get to Meereen without the rotting body of a dead slave master pointing the way? Now Dany will have to strengthen the infrastructure committee to build new signs. I don't ever want to be a leader, no thanks! You can't win. Dany is probably wishing she'd hopped on those boats and crossed the Narrow Sea instead of taking on the burden of dealing with everyone else's problems, and the line of 212 people waiting to be next indicates that the moaning of the people won't end soon. I told you, Dany! Get the fudge out of there! That place and all of Essos is a disaster.


"I demand trial by combat." —Tyrion Lannister


Finally, we're back to the small council meetings! These business gatherings should be nothing but drab affairs, but they always end up being way more entertaining than you might expect. Case in point: Oberyn couldn't be bothered to stand when Tywin entered the room because F him, and Mace Tyrell's sycophantic shlurping noises were cut off mid-sentence because no one, especially Tywin, cared what Mace had to say. Mace is only around to occupy a chair and do what Tywin says. Game of Thrones really shines when its characters are nasty to each other, and these small council meetings are filled with such instances. And when Tywin ordered Mace to get a pen and some paper, Mace took the menial job with misplaced pride and arrogance. Comedy! Anyway, Varys said he could get some of his little birds inside Meereen to see what Dany was up to, so let's all be very suspicious of any handsome gents who suddenly show up to mack on Dany. 

Tyrion's trial took up the final 20 minutes of the episode and was a rather difficult watch given that Tywin is presiding over a witch hunt and we all know that Tyrion didn't kill Joffrey. The testimony came from a litany of witnesses gathered up by Cersei and the others who want to see Tyrion hanged. Ser Meryn Trant talked about an incident from Season 2, when Tyrion spoke up against Joffrey; Maester Pycelle made up some lies about his apothecary being raided and poisons being stolen; Cersei recalled Tyrion's tongue-lashings without mentioning any of her own and even stole some of Tyrion's own words; and Varys mentioned a fews times when Tyrion said things we were all thinking. It all felt like the trial was merely procedure and the guilty verdict was already a given, no matter what Tyrion said.

After a quick recess during which Jaime begged his father to spare Tyrion's life (we're currently back to Good Guy Jaime again), Tywin revealed that he'd always meant to save the Dwarf by sending him to join the Night's Watch. PHEW. Everything is going to be okay!

Except then something big happened. I've been telling you all about how awful Shae is for weeks now, and finally you doubters and misguided Shae supporters know the truth. She is AWFUL. The worst! Called as a surprise witness, she spouted lie after lie about Tyrion, saying that he and Sansa cooked up a plot to murder Joffrey as revenge for all the dead Starks. She may as well have cut Tyrion's head off herself. UGH someone shoot Shae into Blackwater Bay with a cement block chained to her neck. Throw her to the hounds with a 24 oz. Porterhouse wrapped around her waist. Dunk her in some Wildfire and shoot a thousand flaming arrows at her. Was this the last desperate and petty act of a woman scorned, or something worse? Was Shae always plotting against Tyrion, or was she that upset about being dumped that her next course of action was to commit perjury in the name of revenge? So uncool, Shae. 

With the tide turning, Tyrion WENT OFF on everyone in the room, unloading the weight that builds up over the course of a lifetime's worth of underserved persecution. Let 'em have it, Tyrion! "I did not kill Joffrey, but I wish that I had," he grumbled through a scowl pointed at Cersei. "Watching your vicious bastard die gave me more relief than a thousand lying whores!" He also made it pretty clear that he basically wanted to poison everyone in the room. That seemed like an ill-advised thing to say given that his innocence was on the line, but Tyrion had a plan. Abuse this shoddy judicial system's loophole! He demanded trial by combat, because a 50/50 chance is better than a zero-percent chance. 

Tyrion's howling monologue will go down as one of Game of Thrones' best, and Peter Dinklage acted his face off. I mean it, look at this screenshot of his face literally falling off:

So who does Tyrion choose as his champion? Bronn? Jaime? Whoever it is, if I were him, I'd make a request that the guy take an extra wild swing with a sword near Shae. 



WEEKLY POWER RANKINGS


Each week, I'll rank the episodes of Season 4 from best to worst. But remember, these are just my opinions! Feel free to post your own in the comments!

This week: Despite a thrilling finish, the first half of "The Laws of Gods and Men" featured some of the season's weaker scenes, as secondary characters embarked on moving their stories forward by mere inches. Okay, I'm giving the episode a harder time than it deserves, but it was decidedly less thrilling than previous episodes. Hey, one of these episodes has to occupy the last slot, and I'm going to pick the one where a guy went to the bank. "The Laws of Gods and Men" was still very good—especially during Tyrion's trial—but it was still a step behind the others.

1. "The Lion and the Rose" (Episode 2)

2. "First of His Name" (Episode 5)

3. "Breaker of Chains" (Episode 3)

4. "Oathkeeper" (Episode 4)

5. "Two Swords" (Episode 1)

6. "The Laws of Gods and Men" (Episode 6)



NOTES FROM THE RAVENS


– My favorite part of the episode? Seeing Braavos! And seeing Braavos in the opening credits! How cool was the rolling coin in the Braavos tinker-toy model? 

– In unnecessary nudity news, we got a scene with Salladhor Sahn recycling pirate jokes about shit-colored pants to some naked bath ladies. I do love the relationship between Davos and Salladhor, though. While Salladhor had his arms around the women, Davos snuck in a mention of Salladhor's wife, leading Salladhor to shoot him a look and say, "You're not my friend, my friend." 

– In other unnecessary nudity news, the intercut between Yara reading Ramsay's letter and Ramsay getting laid seemed like some unnecessary nudity! 

– In other other unnecessary nudity news, is there such a thing as unnecessary nudity? DISCUSS!

– Messandei is becoming Game of Thrones' version of Sigourney Weaver's character in Galaxy Quest. All she does is repeat what Dany says. What happened to the romantic sparks between her and Grey Worm?

– The most interesting thing to come out of the conversation between Oberyn and Varys was the reveal that Varys has aspirations for the Iron Throne. I had always pegged him as content to remain behind the scenes and be close to whoever's actually in power. 


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 6/26/2016

Season 6 : Episode 10

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In the book, Shae isn't even "dumped" by Tyrion, as she was in the series. So she really is just a b*tch. And FYI this episode ruled, Tim.
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* Dany's being too nice.

- She probably should have inquired why her dragon ate that man's sheep. Then she should have told him not to have a stupid kid and to be happy the dragon didn't kill the kid and him.

- Dany probably should have killed that son of a slave owner -- that man never once said or implied that his father wasn't a slave owner. He merely said that his father didn't like the idea of crucifying the children. And he has the gall to ask to properly bury his father.

She should remember that over 80% of her army are former slaves who are so loyal to her primarily because she's the Breaker of Chains. And aside from food and shelter, it doesn't seem she's even paying the Unsullied. The Second Sons perhaps are with her mostly because their leader wants to have sex with Dany. Kill that man. Take his property. Better house her people.

* Varys wants their to be someone good for the realm to be on the Iron Throne. But he's not even a Lord, he doesn't have an army, etc. He can't be the King.

* Is Varys still pro-Dany?

* Is Tywin actually not much worried about Dany or does he simply know that he can't currently afford a war against her.

* I think the Iron Bank would also know about Dany. They may know that Tywin currently doesn't have working gold mines. And obviously Stannis could marry into the Tyrell family. The Bank's long game could simply be more about having someone on the Iron Throne who may be able to keep it once Dany comes. Or it's simply about creating more debt for Westeros so that it's even more indebted to the Iron Bank.
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" Dany probably should have killed that son of a slave owner" - had to laugh at that. Wait til you see what happens.
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I waited for nearly two seasons for the moment when Dany learns what ruling means. And now we know:
When the shepherd (rightfully) complained about her dragons decimating his flock I immediately thought: And that’s how bureaucracy was born in Meereen. This won’t be the last incident of that kind and Daenerys can’t deal with all of them by herself. So here is her worksheet:
1) She has to enact a law or decreed where the amount of compensation is stated. And where the money for the compensation comes from (her personal treasury, taxes…)
2) She needs a staff that pays this compensation.
3) She needs a decreed where it is stated how to prove your claim for compensation.
4) She needs a staff that investigates these claims.
And suddenly we have the dragon-laws, the dragon-bureaucracy and the dragon-police. That’s how you have to rule a country.
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'Messandei is becoming Game of Thrones' version of Sigourney Weaver's character in Galaxy Quest. All she does is repeat what Dany says' - Err isn't she's supposed to? - she is Dany's interpreter after all. :-)
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regarding the scene of the ship sailing into Bravos under that huge statue...

Did anyone else imagine that statue being used to sink enemy ships that sail underneath it? The could drop barrels of explosives or oil from under the "skirt" and it would look like the statue was crapping on them!
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If I remember right that's exactly how it's described in the books. There are "murder holes" at the skirt.
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-- "was the reveal that Varys has aspirations for the Iron Throne"

I did not get the impression that Varys wanted to be the one actually SITTING on the throne -- just that he wanted to manipulate events enough to get a good person on that throne. And by someone who would value Varys' advice.

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-- "Am I supposed to believe that the goat herder's kid DIDN'T see a dragon the size of a Greyhound bus in the gulch below him?"

That was a pretty minor thing to get annoyed about. The kid wasn't close enough to the ledge to look right down, anyway. I thought it was a cool scene.

What *I* found odd was this wasn't a rampant problem by all 3 dragons and the dragon only took one sheep. And, that Danny didn't already have a plan in place for keeping her dragons fed. This was a surprise to her?? Really?

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Nope. When the goatherd is talking to Dany, he mentions that the dragons ate his entire herd.
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Yeah, I had a problem with them running from the dogs, too. I'd take the odds of sword in the hands of a trained soldier against an attack dog, any day. I can't see how parrying with a dog is any harder or more dangerous than against a trained fighter with a sword.

Unless there were many, many more dogs than they showed in the episode.

And, how do you outrun a dog, anyway?

This was probably the biggest mistake the episode made.

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They didn't run away because of dogs. They ran away because she realized Reek isn't her brother.
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Well, the show sure made it look like they were running from the dogs. Maybe it was a combination.
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Wait... Mycroft was co-creator of the Sherlock series? Interesting.

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-- "At least you all know why I hate Shae so much."

So, was that hate based on your prior knowledge of this betrayal? Because prior to this, I thought she was a pretty sympathetic character.

Hell hath no fury...
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Hopefully you've seen the finale now. My hateof Shae WAS based on prior knowledge of a betrayal but not the one you mentioned in your original comment. Now you see why I don't think she is sympathetic and I don't think she truly lived Tyrion. I couldn't say anything before because I didn't want to spoil it for anyone.
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Sympathetic character? Really? After the way she'd continuously whine at Tyrion whilst he was trying to keep her hidden and save her life?
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Less so, then, but yes. She appeared to really care about him. Maybe the first women to really do so. She was brave and couldn't believe she was in all that much danger. Her actions appeared to be more out of insecurity than anything else.

So, yes, I liked her. I thought she was in a very tough situation and was trying to make the best of it. Even at the end, I don't think she realized Tyrion was only saying those things to save her life.
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I still don't like her. But you make some good points.
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Hey book freaks......STFU! We don't fucking care what happens in the fucking books or how closely the show follows the books! It is COMPLETELY UNIMPORTANT AND IRRELEVANT and when are you spoiler spewers gonna finally figure this out!!!!!!!
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BOOK SPOILER ALERT: THE RED COMET SMASHES INTO WESTEROS KILLING 99% OF THE POPULATION AND CAUSING A HUGE PLUME OF DUST ENGENDERING AN ICE AGE IN WHICH THE WHITE WALKERS BECOME THE DOMINANT LIFE FORM OVER THE WORLD. THE END.
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This is by far the worst season of GoT. The story is progressing very slowly, we had to wait six episodes for Tyrion's trial and I bet it's gonna take another two episodes for the trial by combat to actually happen.
However, the worst thing of all is the writing this season! Unnecessary and ridiculous scenes and story lines are added to the show just to stall and for the writers to have "their way" with the story, a story which isn't theirs to begin with.
GoT is starting to show signs of being a typical Hollywood-like production. It followed the source material very closely especially in the first two seasons, during the third season some changes were made on a bigger scale but nothing too dramatic, however this season the writers are going berserk on the source material and it seems like they're doing whatever they please and that is NOT a good thing because the writing is just getting worse by the episode!
I don't get why they're trying to change a winning team?!
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have voted already 10 times in the poll and it is working, ....

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also u got Vary's conversations wrong... and its understandable as its in the books but not so much revealed in the series... Varys was keeping iron throne safe and realm stable for its rightful ruler to return..that is the dragon blood holders!!...you wud also see him doing somthing amazing in the coming series.. oh this trauma of knowing...came we have the GOT on netflix already!!

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bank scene is important coz it pointed out who is gonna die next!! and ah the stare between tyrion and tywin.. if there was ever a stare between two lions..and a dancing around accessing each other moves it was in that trial..
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If I had to guess a very, very dramatic turn of events for the result of Tyrion's trial by combat, I imagine Cersei manipulating events so that Jaime has to fight Tyrion. I bet she foresaw that Tyrion would call on Jaime and decided to take that option away from him preemptively. After that Tyrion decides that he wouldn't choose a champion at all, and would rather let his brother decide his fate. I then imagine Jaime somehow killing himself because, due to his honor and all, he couldn't bear the thought of killing his innocent brother.
But that's just me. And, no, I haven't read the books (in case by some crazy coincidence I'm right).
Oh, and somehow Shea also dies... hopefully.
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it wont be jamie!! spolers!!
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Um, how about putting the spoiler warning BEFORE the spoiler? sheesh.
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whats the fun in that...hopefully didnt name any :)
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So no one, not even Cersei considered "What if Tyrell takes the trial by combat rule?" Am I the only one surprised this loophole was even on the table, it would of been just as shocking if he'd said "I choose trial by pie eating!" [cut to Tyrion angry face]


Whoah GOT has it's own Colossus, first the war of the roses and now the ancient wonder, is there anything GOT hasn't pillaged from centuries of known and hypothesized history?

Of course the showing of Ramsay in flagrante delicto was necessary if you don't want the audience to ask "Why does this guy show up to battle shirtless covered in fork scratches, did he survive the same crash as Jack Shephard on Lost and the plastic forks from the dinner trays got loose during the loss of cabin pressure scratching his cheek and abs?
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Tim just can't appreciate a good episode. I really enjoyed this (especially as the currently top-ranked episode wasn't all that great in itself, merely being elevated by Joff's death).

Loved taking a peek at Bravoos, seeing an interesting turn for Greyjoys, and Dany learning her lesson about blind justice. But nothing could top the powerful trial scenes and memorizing performance by Peter Dinklage.
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FYI the Theon chapters were in the books. You don't hear from him until Book 4 (I believe) and all the chapters are entitled "Reek". All the stuff they had Ramsay do to him already was done in flashbacks in the book. The Reek/Theon stuff is not new. A lot of stuff happens that's really important later on (and I don't want to spoil in case it comes up) after Ramsay makes Theon into Reek. The Yara rescue scene is about right except for a few minor differences.
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It hink the Theon scenes are very important as it shows him getting his comeupance. He is so different from how he was during season 1 and 2 and it's ironic how all this never would have happened if he hadn't betrayed the Starks and tried to take Winterfell.

Also I don't believe The Red wedding would have happened because he would have been looking out for Rob and most likely would have seen the treachery in Roose Bolton that everyone else was blind to. Now he's basically Bolton's bastard's dog so his scenes show that Karma is a cold bitch in Westeros. Just ask Joeffrey and Danny's brother. Oh wait. They both suffered terrible, painful deaths.


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Can't stand the actress that plays Messandei. I know of her from and watched her in british soap hollyoaks. She was above terrible in it. She acts like she's reciting her lines with the script still in hand.

That style is more suited by the role she's playing but she still seems so wooden and unnatural.

Other than that, enjoyable episode. Real tense ending that made me wish it was Monday already!
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Tim Surette, this is your worst review this season so far.
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Peter Dinklage, that man deserves an Emmy!
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yeah indeed, again for him
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Wow i read about the whole article and I must say, I totally think the opposite of about everything in it.
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Mark Gatiss: More than just Mycroft!
Alfie Allen: Hope he's not a method actor when it comes to his nude scenes.

and

Peter Dinklage: Jersey boy showed them Brits a thing called "Act-ing", baby!
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Conley Hill's acting too was amazing I think, subtle but powerful.

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36 pt. font powerful, it would seem!
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Sorry...
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No worries, it was effective!
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Where the f... was Bronn ? D... it !
He could have beheaded Shae !
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Wow, Dinklage alone elevated that Episode...
finally something is happening!
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I like this episode though it could lose some unnecessary scenes, and
Peter Dinklage gave an amazing performance he deserves an Emmy for it
he really shines in this role
I didn't read the books so I'm just speculating here :
Tyrion is the smartest character in this show or at least one of the smartest, so he was going a long with Jaime's plan untill he saw Shae and heared her lies
( whether she was coerced or just for revenge),and that was the exploding point for him so he chose to go on his own terms demanding to be
trialed by combat and the obvious choice is his brother Jaime but here is the brilliance of his plan if the opponent is The Mountain he will chose Oberyn which will gladly jump at the opportunity to avenge his sister and whatever the outcome his father will not be happy about it
As for the scenes with Yara, Theon and Ramsay I think it's to show how far gone is Theon and Ramsy will use him to infilterate the House Greyjoy and make him his spy or even order him to assassinate his father by pretending that he came to his senses and managed to escape
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So... If Littlefinger smashed Sansa's necklace and threw it to the sea, how the hell did Master Pycell brought it back to Tyrion's trial in one piece? Scubadiving?

I'm still surprised no one has mentioned this yet! Great episode but this was a huge FAIL...
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He threw it on the boat with Sir Dauntus i believe. You'd be right in that if i'm mistaken.
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No he didn't throw it into the sea, he threw it on the corpse of Dontos in the boat and at the time I thought it was strange but now it's obvious he planned it so as to point the blame at Tyrion and Sansa as everyone saw her wearing that necklace and maybe use her as bargaining chip if he had to worm his way out of a tight spot with the Lannisters later
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I'm not entirely sure why he wants to point the blame specifically at Sansa. As he's now aligned himself with her, at least to some degree, it seems a bit odd.
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The necklace was thrown on top of Dontos' body, not actually into the sea.
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They moved the Iron Bank siding with Stannis way up from when it happened in the books - seems like a big mistake unless they are going to re-write his story very differently. (Which would be an even bigger mistake)
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From what I remember, we hear about this happening in book 5, but timeline wise it would have had to happen around now. Same thing with the Theon storyline.
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Are you mad?? That was SUCH a great episode!! That last 10 minutes or so was quite possibly my favourite Game of Thrones scene EVER! Hats off to Peter Dinklage, best acting I've seen on tv in a very long time.
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Peter Dinklage take a bow. That whole monologue was among my favorite Game of Thrones scenes of all time.
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People say stuff like that after every episode.

"This is the best Miss Sally ever!"
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I don't see your point. It was an awesome performance by Dinklage and is still among my favorite scenes of the show to date. Would you rather I'd wait 48 hours, sleep on it, make a pros and cons list and then post?
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Yup, you don't see my point. Oh well. . .
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I believe Varys' gesture to the Iron Throne was not an indication that he personally sought the Throne, but that the Throne was a metaphor for Power, and "without desire, one has more time to pursue Power"
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Spot on.
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yup. i agree.

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This time I have to totally disagree with Tim's review (excluding everything about Shae of course - damn that lying skunk!) but it's all right, to each his own opinion :) The thing I love most from the Asoiaf/Game of Thrones series is the vivid and "real" world it's able to create. It's not just the fighting or the sex or the intrigues; it's the slices of life of the common people, how they dress and how their societies work, how each city is so different from the others. The asoiaf books are full of these little gems (recipes, folk-tales, songs, etc.) and yes I understand than for some those are just annoying fillers, but I feel like they paint the story with much brighter colours. And in this case the Iron Bank introduction is actually useful to the plot because their gold will decide which side will win the war, as it always happened in our History too since the first modern banks of the Italian maritime republics in the Middle Ages.
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I hope skunk wasn't a typo cos it's damn funny.
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No, no, no. Not a typo
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What's fun is that Tyrion will choose Jaime, just like he would have in the Eeyrie, and then Tywin will be stuck. If Jaime wins, Tyrion goes free and we have an unhappy patriarch. If Jaime loses, Tyrion won't have an heir and we have an extremely unhappy patriarch. I can't even remember what happens in the books and I'm so pleased because I can't wait for next week.
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Sounds like an excellent strategy but would Tyrion really choose someone who's learning to fight with their left hand?
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Err, how's Tyrion gonna choose anything..
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It's his champion so he gets to decide, just like when he was accused in The Vale he chose Jaime. The only catch is that the person he chooses has to be willing.
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I recall that as a kingsguard you are not viable to be his champion. it should be somebody who is not a kingsguard or a wallman or smthing.
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:-0 Right, 0k.. Didn't realize, or I'm missing something; tnx!
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So I spent half the season waiting to see what Yara does, only to get a 2 minute scene of her infiltrating the Dreadfort, then running out again? I guess the point is to make us realise just how messed up Theon has become, or something, but that seemed really unnecessary.

But god DAMN, Peter Dinklage! That was absolutely amazing.
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Total. Brain. ****
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Oberyn was so good during the trial. He will probably turn out awful like all of them but so far he's becoming my new favorite character.
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Oberyn will turn out a total badass. He is the only player their that is impartial to Tyrion as almost all of them whants his head on the stakes.
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im a book freak, and just wanted to tell you that oberyn is a badass. basically, he's incredibly cool
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Basically, he's a tool? *whistle*
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This was my favourite episode of the season so far but for Tim it was his least favourite. How opinions can differ. :)
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I came here to say the same thing. Great episode, I loved to see the return of politics, instead of all the depressing hacking with swords.
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"so let's all be very suspicious of any handsome gents who suddenly show up to mack on Dany."

You mean liker the dude who already is, and has been since the previous season?

Oh, and I find it a little odd that you didn't consider that Shea was forced to come back? Honestly I figured she'd show back up in a box, if anything, after it was asked several times if she was ok and you didn't actually see her go anywhere. How or why she said those awful things is up in the air, but it's possible (maybe likely?) that she was coerced. But yeah, Shea is still lame, at the same time without her we wouldn't have gotten the rousing speech or trial by combat, right?
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Shae does testify against Tyrion in the books, she's Cersei's final and surprise witness: "No sooner had Tyrion taken his place before the judges than another group of gold cloaks led in Shae." (p. 387 - Storm of Swords 2: Blood and Gold). "'They've plotted it together.' she said, this girl he loved." (same page). Even, some sentences of her are the same in the book and the show.
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what is so stupid about Shae being forced is that in my opinion she would rather die than betraying Tyrion and she will. On the past she is confessing his devotion and love to him to the extent of giving her life. So why flip the coin on the trial? The rational reason here is Shae deliberately betrays Tyrion. I think the betrayal is caused by shift in alliances. There was no remorse on Shae's face when she was on the trial. Clearly she denounced Tyrion. This is the same thing I feel about Ned's beheading and the red wedding. Its all a matter of where your alliance lay at the moment.
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Wow, this show is getting unbelievably frustrating. Oh and there might be some tiny spoilers. First I have been waiting to see Braavos. But I don't care about the Bank. Our first seeing of Braavos was supposed to be someone, someone young, who has had a rough go of it for the last couple of years and that person gets to see Braavos first. And we get to experience that through their eyes. And what to do we get, we get Davos who has been there likely dozens of times and Stannis who is the grumpy wannabe king. Replacing what should have been with what we saw was in a word, bullshit. It should have been the other person. But noo. We need to have certain characters roaming around random fields because the character that person is currently with people like them together. And they want to delay the person for the finale, so that they can have this grand finale with a bunch of characters moving into their future roles. To that I say if you need to do that, there are plenty of areas you can focus on, you don't need to have that character roaming around a field, you don't need the big bag of nothing that transpired with Bran at Craster's keep. There are other characters that you can use and bring to the forefront that would move the story forward without sacrificing your precious reveals, and now expected big finales. If you can't do that as show runners either ask for more episodes to flush out thing so that you can not leave things out, or shorten the episodes so that you can deliver your story without the unnecessary filler. And get your freaking time tables set. Speeding up one character's arc, while dragging another is just bad.

Now saying that, I did enjoy Davos' speech. It was great and it was a great way for the character to step up. But really it was unnecessary and Stannis needs to start heading for a certain place.

The stuff with Dany was pretty pointless.

Tyrion's speech was fantastic. You could have just had the last part of this episode stand alone and it was better than the episode as a whole.

Not so spoilers


It isn't going to be the Hound vs the Mountain, sorry kiddies. It makes no sense. One, the Hound has never beaten his brother. Two, the Hound, for the past year has been living on scraps and has lost a lot of his strength. The Hound as he is now, would have been beaten by the man in the cave. Three, they don't know where he is. Also, no one wants a piece of the Mountain more than Oberyn. Oberyn is going to fight the Mountain.

It was a good episode. But the methods they are using to speed up some characters while slowing down others and really not just slowing down, nearly freezing in place other characters is a lazy way to go about telling their story.
Now my opinion may be skewed because I have read the books. But I would likely say the same thing even if I hadn't. There has been other shows that have done the same thing and it lessened the quality of their shows.
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To someone who has read the books likely you will have amounts of comparisons with the show. But to tell you frankly, no one really argues with this slowing and speeding up of characters except the book readers. You must consider that the show has no liberty of exploring every exclamation points and dots on the book. Its a condense version. If the producers have done some tremendous alteration its because this alterations fit the story in a condense form. As far as storyline is concerned, each character is given the exact amount of lines/scenes on the show. Although it will not be equal at all times but I'm sure that in future episodes there will be changes in importance as the writer and producers have done in 3 seasons.

As a avid fan, I don't really have qualms for diversions from the book. The important thing is the show continues to entertain the general viewers.

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No I get that it has to be a condensed version of the story. And that plays with certain characters. It really does, and in many ways it benefits the characters. The thing with Davos at the bank was fantastic. But they are delaying certain characters, and they are keeping them in a stasis of sorts that neither pushes the character or the plot of the story further. And that is intentional, it is deliberate. So one could ask themselves why? And if you take a look at the history of the series you see that the runners of his show like to go for it on the finale. And if they keep this certain character in that stasis until the finale then that is likely the only reason for them to do. Now I am not psychic, but if that character doesn't move to where they are supposed to be by the finale then I bet I can guess their finale moment. And that, for me, lessens the quality of their product. It is no different that Kurt Sutter not wanting to kill off Clay when the story called for it. If all they are doing is waiting to put that in for the big finale then they need to get on with it because if they kept that character's story speed up with the rest of the characters it wouldn't in the least lessen the quality of their product. There is plenty of content to make a great finale, but to me it just looks like they are being greedy in their want for really big things for the finale.

It might not be intentional, it might just be the way they are writing the story. But either way it just seems off.
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I hope he chooses Jamie as his champion....please....
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He won't because he doesnt want Jaime to be killed. Jaime is like a swordman in training now. He was a Syrio Forrel, but now he's practically a caveman banging things with his club. Not to mention it would be a conflict of interest for him to choose either side.
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Tyrion doesn't hate his brother enough to have him killed
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I definitely can't agree with the ranking. And I'm convinced at this point that the ranking thing doesn't make any sense. Game of Throne is such a fantastic serie and making a ranking among episodes is just painful to see.

Ok, this episode is less dramatic or story-telling than the other episodes of this season but it's still excellent especially for the trial part. And I like the way they shoot this season with extended scenes other than jumping from one story to another every less 10 minutes.

And I also don't agree with the definition of "secondary characters". Each character in this serie is just as important as the others (maybe not Sansa or Shae, god I want to strangle that whore), and even the brainwashed Theon counts.

Some random thoughts:

- Davos succeeded in persuading the iron bankers that the fact Stanis is younger than Tywin, they sould give him the money. So the bankers aren't that smart, aren't they? We all know that in Westeros, everyone could die instantly, especially those whose name starts with Lord.
- That bathing scene might have been unnecessary but the acting of both Ramsey and Theon's just perfect.
- Tyrion finally showed up after 30 minutes, which means about 100 minutes counting from last episode. It's just way too long!! But the ending of the trial makes it all up. It's just epic.
- it's defintely tedious being a queen of a big city, especially when you have three giant dragon pats at the same time. I really think she should come over her water phobie and sails to King's landing!
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Lmao @ strangle! xD
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I have to disagree with this review. This episode was all about power, who has it and how they use it. I really enjoyed the scene with the bank as it showed who really has the power over the Kingdom. Not the leaders of armies that are trying to take the throne, but the ones that hold the money. It showed that the bankers don't really care who sits on the throne, kind of like a loan shark. I wouldn't be surprised if they have it written in fine print that if you don't pay they will send big men with bats to break your legs.

The scene at the council was perfect as Vary's discribed Dany's new military poweress and the fact that she has 3 dragons. With Obreyn's refusal to acknowledge Tywin's status and Tyrell mistakingly thinking he has a place of power. Perfect!

It also showed how psychologicaly and physically abused Theon i s suffering at the hands of Ramsey. Ramsey's power over Theon is through fear and manipulation and it is not surprising that he would react that way. His mind and body has been traumatized so badly that reality has become lost to him. Sadly we see this kind of abuse today when we hear in our news about victims of domestic violence, molesters, kidnappers, and child soldiers. These criminals use the same fear and munipulation tactics to gain psychological power over their victums.

I could go on and on about this episode and each characters power position, but that would take a whole other article to write. I have read the books so maybe I have an advantage that I know what's coming next and seeing the lead is exciting. However even if you haven't read the books you can feel the momentum building in this episode. So much so that my fiance (who hasn't read the books) was ready to throw something at the TV, because the episode wasn't long enough.
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This episode was waaaaaay better than last week's. I'm surprised by Tim's ranking, but it's all a thing of taste.

I like this new extended scenes tradition they are starting this season. They should keep it up!
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I agree. It makes the show more like the books.
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Tim marked this episode as worst , i must go and watch it right now. As most of time i disagree with his point of view. :D
He also think there should not be any more super hero shows like Flash. :D
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I thought this ep. was pretty good, and I liked The Flash. Some time we agree. Some time we don't.
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Did you really forget Amanda Pays and her accent? (Lolz)
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i m talking about new flash , not the 90s one.
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Never knew there was a new one.
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its coming this season
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yeah eye know, but still :-s
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I agree, this wasn't a great episode. Tyrion's trial was the best part.
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"And now I would like to start a petition for HBO to make every episode four hours long, because one hour just isn't enough of what is genuinely becoming one of the best television series ever made."

Yes please! Although, part of the problem might be the longest opening credits of any television series ever made...1:45. What's going to happen by season 6 or 7 when more of this world is revealed and the map gets even bigger? A 3:40...4:15...5:00 open? Craziness. Still love it though.
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"[..] and the map gets even bigger?" - until it bursts like a balloon. :-p
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They could do 1:00 per continent, sounds fun. Plus the composers'll get to drag out the music even more.
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no no no ... this episode was one of the best. I laughed throughout!
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I clapped and laughed throughout the entire trial. episode 6 sould be at least at the top 3
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