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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Carlos Correa had a big home run Saturday night. Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

With four wins in a row, including the first two of this series, Houston had a chance to keep their momentum going to lock up a series win on Saturday in this four-game set. Although Texas would make it interesting late, the Astros would hold them off to get the victory.

Final Score: Astros 6, Rangers 5

Astros' Record: 23-17, second in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Luis Garcia (1-3)

Losing Pitcher: Dane Dunning (2-3)

Action in the first

After getting trounced the night prior, the Rangers managed to grab early momentum with a run to start the scoring Saturday night against Luis Garcia. It came after a one-out triple set up a sac fly, giving Texas a 1-0 lead. Houston quickly took control back in their favor, though, putting up four in the bottom of the inning on a two-RBI single by Alex Bregman and a two-run homer by Carlos Correa, making it 4-1 Astros.

The scoreboard went quiet after that inning, with both teams slowing down at the plate. Garcia put together a decent night, allowing just the one run over five innings of work, erasing some runners throughout the night. His final line: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 0 HR, 94 P.

Rangers tighten it up late

Bryan Abreu was the first reliever to enter for Houston, taking over for Garcia in the top of the sixth. He worked around a leadoff single, keeping it a three-run game, then returned for a 1-2-3 top of the seventh. Correa led off with a double in the bottom of the inning, setting up a two-run Kyle Tucker homer, extending his recent hot streak and the lead to 6-1.

Ryne Stanek took over on the mound for Houston in the top of the eighth but worked himself into trouble with a single and walk to set up a three-run homer by Joey Gallo to make it a two-run game at 6-4. He would manage just one out before a walk would prompt Dusty Baker to move on to Brandon Bielak. Bielak would allow a run while getting the final two outs, making it 6-5.

Astros secure the series

After a scoreless bottom of the eighth, Ryan Pressly would try to notch another save and close the door on the Rangers. He would get the job done, sitting the Rangers down in order, keeping Houston's winning streak intact.

Up Next: The finale of this four-game set will start at 1:10 PM Central on Sunday. Lance McCullers JR. (3-1, 3.10 ERA), fresh off of a recent gem, will look to continue his success for the Astros, while Kyle Gibson (3-0, 2.28) will try to stay perfect on the season for the Rangers.

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