'Game of Thrones': 'Eastwatch' serves up crabs and revelations

Ellen Gray, Television Critic

Updated: Monday, August 14, 2017, 6:56 AM

Emilia Clarke (left) and Kit Harington in a scene from Sunday’s “Game of Thrones.”

You know the drill by now: This post contains plot details from Sunday’s episode of Game of Thrones, “Eastwatch.”

Nothing in this season’s Game of Thrones has made me as happy as the hidden hyperloops that now apparently snake throughout Westeros, transporting our ever-dwindling band of characters around the Seven Kingdoms at the speed of, well, dragons.

(Infrastructure is so important to a society, even one engaged in civil war. And fantasy infrastructure is the best, especially when it brings together characters who’ve been too long apart.)

I loved so much about this episode, the season’s fifth: the return, at last, of Gendry (Joe Dempsie) and his meeting with Jon Snow (Kit Harington), the fraught reunion of Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) and his not-drowned-after-all brother Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), the way the ravens Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright) envisioned over the Army of the Dead briefly resembled an M.C. Escher print.

I remain less crazy about the actual dragons, or at least, about the way Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) chose to employ them in this episode, in which Samwell Tarly (John Bradley) unknowingly lost his brother Dickon (Tom Hopper), along with their father, Randyll (James Faulkner), and in a particularly unpleasant way.

There is a more Targaryen in Dany than I sometimes care to contemplate.

So. Much. Fire.

But now we know — not that most ever doubted — that there’s plenty of Targaryen in Jon Snow (Kit Harington), too. As the King of the North gingerly petted Daenerys’ dragon (yes, I know how dirty this sounds), I thought I heard millions of Jon-and-Dany shippers purring, too. (Lest we forget, Tyrion, too, seemed to have a way with the dragons. Anyone want to talk about that?)

And while Sam may not have heeded that not-so-random bit of research turned up by Gilly (Hannah Murray), I doubt we’ve heard the last about the Bastard of Winterfell’s hidden pedigree. (I would like to think we’ve heard — and seen — as much as we ever will of bowel movements at the Citadel, now that Sam’s dropping out of academia.)

But, hey, Queen Cersei (Lena Headey) is pregnant! By her twin Jaime, who looked shyly pleased, I thought, at being for once the acknowledged father. I wouldn’t begin planning that baby shower just yet, though.

Some other thoughts about “Eastwatch”:

The George R.R. Martin saga on which the show is based is A Song of Ice and Fire, and this week we got both, though not in that order. Week after week, we’re reminded of how much of Game of Thrones is about comparing leadership styles. Ser Davos (Liam Cunningham) is this week’s MVP, delivering Tyrion safely to and from King’s Landing and extracting Gendry in the same trip. And it’s cute how the hyperloop car that transported them all looks like just another boat. Fermented crab is the Viagra of Westeros? The women in the brothels of Flea Bottom put up with even more than I’d guessed. (“Is that pickled seafood on your breath, or are you just glad to see me?”) Having The Hound (Rory McCann) and Beric Dondarrion (Richard Dormer) join Jon’s ragtag band of White Walker-seeking brothers — which already included Ser Jorah (Iain Glen) and Tormund Giantsbane (Kristofer Hivju) — felt like the first installment of the Westeros remake of The A-Team. Arya (Maisie Williams) and Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) spying on each other from the shadows of Winterfell? I’m already over it. As for that hidden letter, the one where Sansa (Sophie Turner) seemed to be backing Joffrey, I see more sisterly misunderstandings ahead.

Your thoughts?

Ellen Gray, Television Critic

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