The Continental – Season 1 Episode 3 Recap, Review & Ending Explained

“Night 3: Theatre of Pain”

The final episode of The Continental opens with a drill inside the dojo. Winston and company are preparing for the epic surge on Cormac’s hotel with a clear plan for a takeover. It is expected that he keeps the key to the armoury (like all paranoid despots) on his person.

Mayhew is stationed outside the dojo keeping track of all the people going in and out. KD is among those who come around to look for Winston, although neither Lemmy nor Lou tells her anything. 

How does Winston win over Mazie?

Charon, meanwhile, was not playing a game. He is actually on Cormac’s side in this game and questions the bus driver who drove him around with Winston regarding his whereabouts. Winston has a meeting with Mazie. Without her army, there is no takeover. The game will end even before it begins. But he cannot win her over with money. So, he decides to tell her the story of how Frankie and his mother went to the bank when they took away their house and stood for her family.

As a symbol of Mazie’s ideals, Winston gifts her an abandoned bank and suits for her men. She agrees to help him. Lou is followed by Mayhew, but she knocks him out, not knowing that he is a police officer. She goes straight to Winston at the Rhodes Hotel to confirm what is happening. Cormac asks Charon to prepare his “funny fumes” as he prays to the Lord to return his “prodigal son” to him. It is key for him to find the coin press more than he needs to find Winston. 

The weird twins reach the hotel to finish him off. Winston tries to escape as Lou and Hensel are involved in a fistfight. But to his absolute rotten luck, he is stopped by KD in the lobby. She holds him at gunpoint but is hit by another marksman from Hensel’s group. He takes Winston captive and takes off with Gretel. KD takes refuge in The Continental using the coin in the dead marksman’s pocket. Even though she is hit in the face, KD wants to follow the rope till its end.

Just as Cormac is about to throw Winton off the balcony of his office, Gene snipes his men. Charon takes the shotgun from under Cormac’s table and points it at him, indicating that he did indeed take Winston’s offer. But for some reason, he isn’t able to kill Cormac, who is able to get away and promises to rain hellfire on them both. Winston’s plan kicks off as Miles and the others make it into the hotel. Yen, though, wants to take a detour and find the twins to avenge Frankie. 

What does Chen tell Lou about her father? 

Lou, who is still at the dojo, is warned by a small boy that Chen, the new Chinese overlord, is coming to kill her. But in reality, Chen and his henchmen stand outside the dojo to tell Lou a shocking truth about her father. He was not some idealistic, hardworking karate man; he was a henchman himself. In fact, the dojo belonged to some other family, whom he killed and took over. When Cormac activates the alarm – a red light that awakens in every mercenary’s room at the hotel – Winston knows it is show time. 

From there on in, the two groups collide with each other on Continental grounds, which is not anyone’s concern going forward. The sequence is not all out blazing gun-fu like the John Wick films but more sedated and quieter. Winston’s plan works almost perfectly as Mazie’s men mix in with the suited and booted assassins of Cormac. He himself thinks that Winston and Charon are cornered right outside the armoury. That is when Winston reveals his trick, and it suddenly becomes a matchup with everyone pitted against the other.

What is KD’s connection to Winston?

Cormac works his way out of trouble; so do Charon and Winston, who barely make it. But there is a string of dead bodies in their way. Lou had installed explosives in the dojo and blew it up with Chen and his men inside, killing them. Before they can go after Cormac, Charon and Winston are confronted by KD. She lets the former go, for some reason, and takes Winston into a room at gunpoint. It is then revealed who she really is. KD is the only survivor from the fire that Winston started at an apartment in NY. 

She saw her entire family burn right in front of her eyes and wants to put him through a similar situation. Gene, though, has other ideas. He takes a jab at her with his sniping skills and nearly misses her chest. Winston promises to help her out of this situation and injects her with a sedative. Cormac has disappeared into a secret room called the Operations Room. It is situated at a place where only two people can reach it, and one of them is dead. He makes an announcement to everyone in the hotel; a $2 million bounty for Winston and Charon’s head. 

What is the real reason Charon agreed to help Winston?

In a quieter moment, Charon reveals to Winston that he knew Frankie intimately. And it is because of him that he agreed to help Winston. Frankie looked out for young Charon like an older brother, something Cormac only professed to do.

The gunfight outside continues as neither group is able to take the upper hand. In an emotional moment, Lemmy is killed by Hensel with a bomb. But Lou and Miles get together to take him out in the art form they love the most: karate. Well, no. He is too strong for them, and the little Chinese kid saves the day by throwing Lou her father’s gun which she uses to kill the assassin.

Ending Explained: 

Winston and Co finally start gaining the upper hand as Cormac grows even more desperate and anxious. He wants Orson, the operator in the Room to initiate the Defensionem Protocol. This would lead to the destruction of the hotel, presumably. But Orson does not agree to his demands. Cormac bashes his head against the table and does so anyway. As Winston and Charon reach the 13th floor, the destruction has already begun. They find that Cormac is gone and the only way to stop the protocol is using Cormac’s hands to deactivate the countdown. 

Although Winston is able to catch Cormac before he can escape, it is KD, who walks up on them from behind and delivers the final blow. Cormac is dead but the protocol is still active. Winston uses the train next to him on the tracks to cut off Cormac’s hands and stop the countdown. Most of our main characters survive the night, with Lemmy being the only exception. Charon decides to stay behind and stand by Winston’s side as he takes over The Continental. But not before The Adjudicator arrives at the hotel and places it under interregnum. 

Where is the Coin Press hidden?

The High Table is impressed with Winston’s feat but does not agree with the outcome. The hotel was not his to take and now, he must face the repercussions. He gets off the hotel property and shoots her between the eyes. It is also revealed that the Coin Press has been in the trunk of the car where Winston and Frankie used to sleep after they were relegated to the streets by Cormac. It will now be safely housed behind the bank vault owned by Mazie and the Bowery. 

The Episode Review

Episode 3 of The Continental brings to a close the lukewarm miniseries. While it offered some gorgeous action set pieces and featured a banging soundtrack, the series did not meet expectations.

The final episode revolves around Winston’s takeover bid and it benefits from this focus. The plethora of characters at the creators’ disposal ensures that the action is always moving and has variety to it.

It is not just the singular element of guns that the characters use to gain the upper hand. All of this required complex choreography and strong-willed imagination, both of which are present. Despite the context, episode 3 still lacked a sense of urgency. The hammer of inevitability also did not play into the finale’s favour, preventing any notable surprises from grasping us. 

Even in the last episode when all hell broke loose, director Albert Hughes wanted to imbue the audience with his world-building endeavour. It went against the established John Wick formula of squeezing the story between action and more action. Although the effort itself is sincere, it just feels off-brand.

I really don’t want to be overtly critical of the series in general given its limitations. It can count as a decent expansion of the JWCU and viewed as a success in the grand scheme of things, but perhaps not as a standalone miniseries.

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