With a bigger bounty on Mr. Wick by the High Table, Keanu Reeves‘s menacing Baba Yaga has lesser allies and more assassins to kill in John Wick Chapter 4. The fourth installment from Chad Stahelski does not swing and miss – currently boasts a 90-plus audience and critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Sadly, its bold ending indicates John Wick indeed went out with a bang but did he? Here’s a recap of the character deaths, the shocking post-credits scene and what it could mean for the John Wick universe.
Warning: The article contains major spoilers for John Wick Chapter 4
Was John Wick really killed off from the wounds he dealt fighting Caine in John Wick Chapter 4? that remains the main question on every fan and critics’ mind. While the movie’s premiere which kicked off with rave reviews was supposed to be a day to cherish for the film crew – the untimely demise of Lance Reddick had left a scar on the cast, especially Keanu Reeves who seemed distraught when addressing The Wire‘s famed actor’s death. Surprisingly, Lance Reddick‘s character as Charon is also killed in the first act. The hotel’s concierge dies due to New York Continental hotel manager Winston’s (Ian McShane) failure to stop John.
Charon is shot by Marquis Vincent de Gramont (Bill Skarsgård) and the High Table member also destroys the New York Continental hotel. Though the consequences are directly a result of Chapter 3. The opening sequence of the fourth film shows Mr. Wick licking his wounds hiding under the Bowery King’s shelter and later traveling to the deserts of Morocco to kill The Elder of the High Table.
The Harbinger (Clancy Brown) informs Winston that the New York hotel has been condemned by the order of the Marquis. At this point, it’s clear that Marquis is the judge, jury and executioner since being handed that power by a decree signed by the twelve members of the High Table.
What little allies Mr. Wick has left are also turned against him, Caine – an old friend is forced back into retirement to take out the Baba Yaga. The blind assassin is reminded by Marquis of his agreement with the High Table, “We give you a name, you give us a life or we take one,” which also seems to be one of the theme points of the movie as it is the single motivator pushing Caine to kill John Wick.
How does Baba Yaga die in John Wick Chapter 4 and other character deaths such as Shimazu explained
Speaking of extremes, John reaches out to another hotel manager, Shimazu (Hiroyuki Sanada) of Osaka Continental – perhaps the only friend capable of helping him. Unfortunately, when Caine leads Marquis’ forces to Osaka, Chidi (Marko Zaror) deconsecrates the hotel which causes an all-out assault between the two sides.
After falling back due to Marquis’ assassins overwhelming the hotel – Shimazu is killed off by Caine in a sword dual but the blind assassin allows his daughter, Akira (Rina Sawayama) to survive. Winston later educates Mr. Wick to kill Marquis in single combat, as per the age-old tradition of the High Table. However, it requires John to revisit a page from Chapter 3’s Parabellum – to pay a visit to the Ruska Roma and win back his familial ties with them.
The ticket to be accepted back by the Ruska Roma requires John Wick to assassinate Killa (Scott Adkins), the man who killed Katia’s father (Natalia Tena). Killa controls the german branch of the High Table so John is taken inside in a captured state by Klaus, an assassin who strangely communicates like Marvel’s Groot.
After an impressive action set piece – Mr. Wick kills Killa and takes his golden teeth as proof to the Ruska Roma. With his family’s ticket – Jardani challenges Marquis to a single combat, cowboy style. Though he accepts, Marquis nominates Caine to fight in his stead.
While Caine objects, Marquis offers him Victoriae fiducia – killing John Wick would free Caine and his daughter from the High Table’s hold. The final fight between the two friends feels like there could be no winners or losers with both Mr. Wick and Caine being forced into the circumstance by the High Table.
John Wick Chapter 4 post-credits scene hints at another female-led spin-off with Rina Sawayama
In a western-Esque gunslinger shootout, John Wick and Caine face each other. Sadly, the Baba Yaga falls to the ground when the third bullet is fired by Caine. Marquis takes Caine’s spot in the dual to fire the final shot. But to his surprise, he fails to realize John Wick didn’t the pull trigger – ultimately leading to Mr. Wick putting a bullet between Marquis’ head.
With Marquis dead, John is informed by the Harbinger that the High Table will hold up their end of the bargain and grant him freedom. Staring into the sunrise, Johnathan delves into the fond memories he spent with his wife and slowly loses consciousness.
It’s presumed The High Table did sadly manage to kill John Wick but the most feared criminal organization still lost against him, which allowed the feared assassin to die as a free man.
All good things come to an end and Chapter 4 wants audiences to believe that Baba Yaga is dead. In fact, John Wick’s name is engraved on a gravestone and is shown buried next to his wife. The Bowery King also questions Winston, “Where do you think he is, Heaven or Hell” to which the Continental hotel manager replies, “Who knows”. Their cryptic dialogue does indicate some hope that John may have purposely faked his death to live out his life away from the High Table’s radar.
Meanwhile, the John Wick Chapter 4 post-credits scene takes away Caine’s happy ending. While he is shown walking up to his daughter, Akira is also shown approaching him with the intent to kill. It’s unclear if Akira killed Caine or if it would be explored in a John Wick spin-off centering over Rina Sawayama’s character set in Osaka.
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