The Throne Room

5 thoughts on the final episode of Game of Thrones

So I went back and watched every episode of this season so I could have full context for the finale. Were there some soft spots? Yes. But overall I think the criticism is over the top. It's become cool to say how much this season sucked. I think it is more a product of social media and the fact so many people watched the series. All in all, I found it satisfying. Here are five thoughts on the finale:

1) Wow. What acting

Peter Dinklage is the best actor on the show. The first 30 minutes were about him. (Until we saw evil Dany). She has plans to burn the world. And now we see the opponents. Tyrion walked away from Dany, angering her and setting him up as a bad guy, but he also convinced Jon as to the right path. Dinklage was at his best in the final episode. Throughout the series, he, Jon and Dany had the best characters. He went out in style.

2) Bran?

The three-eyed raven wound up on the throne, elected by a group of nobles. He allowed Sansa to keep the north as her own realm. It almost felt phony seeing the north men cheer her on as "Queen in the North," but it was a solid finish.

3) You know nothing, Jon Snow

It was perhaps the most fitting ending to any character to have Jon return north of the wall with the wildlings, ghost and Tormund. His story arc ended with a perfect finish. That was always where he belonged. I know a lot of people were upset that the Targaryen reveal amounted to nothing, but I always hoped for this ending for Jon.

4) Crazy Dany

Dany's ending was unfortunate. The hope was she would bounce back from last week and try to make amends. Instead she planned on burning more of the world, and Jon had to stop her. It was a shame, but no one else could have done it. Her story seemed to end fairly abruptly. If there is one criticism here, it is that she went out with a whimper, not a bang. Her death came off as maudlin, and the dragon flying away with her was a bit much. But it was a poignant moment when Jon finally killed her.

5) And now my watch is ended

Did anyone feel like there were too many perfect endings? That the show put a bow on everything? Tyrion is hand of the king. Sansa is Queen in the North. Arya is traveling West of Westeros. Jon winds up home, All in all, I liked this finish and liked this season. Was it perfect? No. But was it better that people give it credit for? Absolutely. We have devoted almost 10 years to these characters, and the goodbyes were bittersweet. Time will tell how the show will be judged, but I don't think the ending was as bad as most people.

Whether you liked it or not, Game of Thrones finally ended last week. Never fear, however, there are lots of choices out there to whet your TV appetite. Here are five shows I have binged recently that are worth your time.

5) Lucifer (Netflix)

Where it airs: Netflix after three seasons on Fox.

Number of seasons: 4.

Why it's worth watching: Tom Ellis is amazing as Lucifer Morningstar. He leaves hell and runs a night club in Los Angeles and then starts helping with solving crimes. At its heart it is a detective story, and a little formulaic. But the acting and characters are amazing, and with the backdrop of the supernatural, it takes on a life of its own. No season 5 has been announced yet, but season 4 on Netflix was awesome and if there is no season 5, it ended very well. There is still room for more story, though. There are some annoying characters, but it's not Ellis, D.B. Woodside (Amenadiel the angel). Lesley-Ann Brandt (Maze the demon) and Rachel Harris (as a shrink). They are funny, poignant, unpredictable and the driving forces behind the show.

4) Hap and Leonard

Where it airs: Netflix after three seasons on Sundance.

Number of seasons: 3.

Why it's worth watching: James Purefoy, Michael Kenneth Williams are fantastic in this action-packed look at 1980s East Texas. (The villain in season 1 is one of the best you will find). It deals with racism, crime and violence and each season is terrific in its own right. Unfortunately Sundance canceled it after three seasons, but the ending works and the good news is Joe Lansdale is still cranking out novels and they are also well worth your time.

3) Sneaky Pete

Where it airs: Prime Video.

Number of seasons: 3.

Why it's worth watching: If you like con movies - the Sting, Diggstown, etc., this is for you. They have managed to keep it fresh (season 3 dropped this month). The acting is solid, especially Giovanni Ribisi. Everyone in this show has secrets, and they all have interesting stories to tell. Ribisi carries it well, and season 3 might have been every bit as good as season 1, which featured Bryan Cranston.

2) Bosch

Where it airs: Prime Video.

Number of seasons: 5.

Why it's worth watching: Titus Welliver is a Los Angeles detective who lives, works and does everything on the edge. He is always in trouble for something he has done, and always outsmarts everyone. He is not unlike an American version of Luther, which is one of my all time favorites. There are some other memorable characters, most notably Crate and Barrel (Gregory Scott Cummins and Troy Evans), but Welliver carries the show. Season 5 dropped recently and it is worth catching up. If you like police dramas, this is one of the best you will find.

1) Rake

Where it airs: Prime Video.

Number of seasons: 5.

Why it's worth watching: Make sure you get the Australian version. (There is also apparently an American version). Clever Greene is the ultimate degenerate lawyer, brilliant but self-destructive. No matter what, he always comes out on top. The last half of season 4 and first half of season 5 gets a little soap opery, but the finale of season 5 is perfect. Richard Roxburgh plays Clever, and he is easy to root for no matter how badly he screws up. Was a pleasant surprise and one of the most fun shows I have seen recently. Even though the story ended perfectly, I wanted more.

Some all-timers you might have missed

BBC has a couple brilliant shows, Sherlock (featuring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman) and Luther, which has Idris Elba. Sherlock might be done, but Luther just dropped a new season which will be available in the US in June. Firefly (14 episodes, one standalone movie) and Banshee (four seasons) are in my all-time top 5. And of course, the new Rick and Morty drops in November. The first three seasons were pure brilliance.

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