THE THRONE ROOM

Game of Thrones season 8, episode 4 recap

HBO

An interesting episode, with one big death. Let's dive in:


1) Distrust grows

The beginning of the episode was about healing after so many friends were lost. But Dany's desire to take the iron throne at all costs is beginning to sow seeds of distrust. Varys and Tyrion are having their doubts. Sansa believes the troops need rest. With just two episodes remaining, the stage is set.

2) Cersei is just smarter

Dany's tactics from a military perspective continue to be questionable. She got another dragon killed, and Missandei captured. Cersei and her allies have been a step ahead from the beginning. Simple question: Why did she not circle around and hit the Greyjoy ships from behind after the anti-dragon weapon worked? She could have toasted the fleet without risking Drogon. Instead, she lost yet another battle.

3) Jamie comes full circle

Jamie's character arc has been amazing. From absolute turd to likable, and it all centered around Brienne. The fact that they finally hooked up was predictable. But for Jamie to leave her to return to Cersei, to once again go back to being a turd...the entire character change seemed to be erased. We still have to think that his story is still to be determined.

4) Adios, Missandei

Another second-tier character bites the dust as Cersei executes Missandei. It serves as a plot point in that now the wrath of Dany and Grey Worm will be impossible to stop. Cersei's arrogance is born of victory after victory. She believes she is going to win, to the point she enjoys killing Missandei. It would be wholly unsatisfying, but at this point do you believe she won't win?

5) Big betrayal coming?

The episode set up something big for next week. Does Varys betray Dany? Will Tyrion? Does the Golden Company betray Cersei? The battle for the Iron Throne will likely be settled next week, and we still have no clue who it will be. Cersei? Dany? Jon? Dany's strategy has been terrible. Why not just dispatch Arya to assassinate Cersei? No battle, no war. Easy surrender. Instead we are likely to see another battle and thousands of innocent deaths. Cersei was always the biggest threat, more so than the Night King, because she is smarter than everyone else.

My only main beef is with the pacing of the show. Too many scenes are dragged out, while others seem rushed.

Still, this was a solid episode, and hopefully the next will be even better.

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A WEEKLY REVIEW OF CRENNEL'S COACHING

Now my job: Texans out-Patriot the Patriots

Texans take down the Pats. Photo by Getty Images.

Every dog has its day. A broken clock is right two times a day. All the clichés about it being better to be lucky than good can apply here with the Texans 27-20 win over the Patriots. In a matchup that broke a record for the oldest combined age for opposing head coaches, 141 years old, Romeo Crennel beat his former boss Bill Belichick. There were other narratives at work here, as well as a few things (good and awful) that the coaching staff did.

First thing I saw that I liked was the spread and no-huddle on offense. If you've been following this series of articles, you know I've been on this train quite a while now. This allows Deshaun Watson to find the matchup he likes, exposes the defense because they can't sub, takes advantage of Texans' speed at receiver, and creates a tempo most defenses can't keep up with. Not to mention the spread is the offense Watson operated in at Clemson. 28/37 for 344 yards and two touchdowns of production from Watson was enough for me to say they need to have this as their M.O. moving forward.

Tim Kelly called a great game. He used the short, quick pass game in lieu of the run game. This also helped since Laremy Tunsil was out and Roderick Johnson had to play at left tackle. This offensive line is not very good at run blocking. Hence, why Watson was again the team's leading rusher with only 36 yards. Almost all of those were on scrambles. By going spread and no-huddle, Watson can take advantage of man and zone coverages to extend plays or scramble because most teams won't spy him. Even when they do, he makes them look silly.

Not everything was on the up and up. The defense continued to look like booty juice. Cam Newton threw for 365 yards and Damiere FREAKIN Byrd torched them for 132 of those yards! When I heard the quote from Crennel that defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver is getting the most out of his guys, I found it laughable. To double down on that, Weaver was quoted as saying, "This narrative that's being painted like my guys aren't disciplined and running around blocks, quite frankly and to put it bluntly, is bull---t!" Sorry guys, but you're both wrong. This defense can't fight its way out of a wet paper bag if you gave them knives. The worst part about it is that the offense's best chance at success sets the defense up for failure. Their hurry up scheme leaves little time for this porous defense to catch its wind. If they could get some turnovers or just off the damn field and get stops, it would help the offense.

With six games left, their three games outside the AFC South (Bengals, Lions, Bears) are all winnable. The two matchups against the Colts and the season finale against the Titans will prove to be their biggest tests. However, this is the same team that has four one possession losses. 3-7 could look a lot different if the offense stepped up against the Browns, or the defense made stops against the Steelers, Vikings, or Titans. Let's hope they can build off this win and salvage whatever they can of this season.

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