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John Wick 3: para bellum [Spoiler Thread]

Olof Jönsson

Tumto Lectis
Validated User
Put some steak in there! No, wait...

Edit: Okay, so actual content in my post...

Rewatching the previous movies, this is the way I see it.

The mafiya group Viggo had were newcomers in the fold, which is why he didn't quite get the Continental's importance. It's also why nobody cared that Viggo and his brother (in the first scenes in JW2) got their asses handed to them. They were "new money", so to speak.

I'm also thinking that Santino was unwittingly pushed into forcing John to work for him. Someone knew what John would do if he got screwed over, and that Santino, being an idiot, would do precisely that. If Santino hadn't betrayed John, an Adjudicator would probably have been sent, found out the truth from John, and Santino would have ended up doing the High Table a favor he couldn't weasel out of himself. But since Santino's ego was the size of a planet, someone probably just had to suggest to him that Wick was back. Going by his arrogance and inability to understand why Wick didn't want to do it, he's exactly the kind of dumbass who'd do it.

I don't think it was the Elder, or Winston (Winston doesn't seem the type for that kind of long-term, he does his trickery on the fly). I'm suggesting there'll be a new enemy in JW4, the one who underestimated the New York chapter and John Wick's sheer determination.

...I also think either the whole operation will crash down like a house of cards, no matter what else happens.
 
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Logos Invictus

Registered User
Validated User
Put some steak in there! No, wait...

Edit: Okay, so actual content in my post...

Rewatching the previous movies, this is the way I see it.

The mafiya group Viggo had were newcomers in the fold, which is why he didn't quite get the Continental's importance. It's also why nobody cared that Viggo and his brother (in the first scenes in JW2) got their asses handed to them. They were "new money", so to speak.

I'm also thinking that Santino was unwittingly pushed into forcing John to work for him. Someone knew what John would do if he got screwed over, and that Santino, being an idiot, would do precisely that. If Santino hadn't betrayed John, an Adjudicator would probably have been sent, found out the truth from John, and Santino would have ended up doing the High Table a favor he couldn't weasel out of himself. But since Santino's ego was the size of a planet, someone probably just had to suggest to him that Wick was back. Going by his arrogance and inability to understand why Wick didn't want to do it, he's exactly the kind of dumbass who'd do it.

I don't think it was the Elder, or Winston (Winston doesn't seem the type for that kind of long-term, he does his trickery on the fly). I'm suggesting there'll be a new enemy in JW4, the one who underestimated the New York chapter and John Wick's sheer determination.

...I also think either the whole operation will crash down like a house of cards, no matter what else happens.
I disagree with Viggo being the new money. My theory is actually the opposite - Viggo was the old school, entrenched criminal enterprise whose patronage is what funds everything under the Table, but the Table doesnt care whether he lives or dies as long as the money keeps flowing into their pockets. My theory is that the High Table are relative newcomers who organized around a set of 'ancient traditions' appropriated from the Nizari Ismailis and other assassin/saboteur traditions, swept up every power player they could and tightened the vice on the ones that they couldn't. The coin economy and markers probably existed before them, but once they controlled the minting process and centralized administration, they were pretty much unchallengeable. Viggo didn't understand the impact or importance because to him, the Table is basically just 'the help', and the Table didn't care about John's vendetta because they only care about organizations like Viggo's when the cash stops flowing.
 

Taraqual

Words words words
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I don't think either one needs to be the case. Viggo and Abram are just mobsters, Under the Table like everyone else. The Tarasov Mafiya was pretty powerful in New York, not so strong elsewhere, and Viggo owed fealty up to the people at the Table who oversaw the Russians. Like most mobsters, Viggo had some rights (exclusive contract to use John Wick's services, for example), but was not one of the big important players in the Table politics. He paid his dues and got to run his operation. He either didn't know or didn't care a lot about the rest of the assassin world because he didn't need to. He was aware of other assassins and the Continental, but did not attach particular importance to how they did things--he contacts Ms. Parker directly, rather than through Administration. He knows the Continental has rules, but is just willing to throw money at the problem of getting around them.

Abram had a box of cold coins where Viggo didn't, so maybe Abram was more connected to the High Table. He could have been the liaison with that world, or maybe he was just the guy who made the deliveries. Doesn't really matter; he didn't have access to one of the John-level assassins, at least not in time to matter. So he just accepted his fate.

Maybe the Tarasovs were part of The Director's organization, since she appears to be directly under The Table. She didn't seem particularly upset about their fate, so either they were pretty independent or she really just doesn't care about people like that. Or they had connections through families or allied mobs or something, which is how John got the gig with the Tarasovs.

I'd be willing to bet that in this setting, most criminal groups have someone they report to, who reports up, and so on until you get into The Table's direct sphere of influence. But an average street dealer in a neighborhood chapter of a group probably has no clue what's going on, except that every now and then you'll hear rumor of a total badass wiping out an entire mob by him or herself, and if you're smart, you'll keep your head down and pretend you didn't see anything even if it happens right in front of you.
 

Count_Zero

Game Master
Validated User
Abram had a box of cold coins where Viggo didn't, so maybe Abram was more connected to the High Table. He could have been the liaison with that world, or maybe he was just the guy who made the deliveries. Doesn't really matter; he didn't have access to one of the John-level assassins, at least not in time to matter. So he just accepted his fate.
Viggo had some coins in the Church Vault.
 

Olof Jönsson

Tumto Lectis
Validated User
I disagree with Viggo being the new money. My theory is actually the opposite - Viggo was the old school, entrenched criminal enterprise whose patronage is what funds everything under the Table, but the Table doesnt care whether he lives or dies as long as the money keeps flowing into their pockets. My theory is that the High Table are relative newcomers who organized around a set of 'ancient traditions' appropriated from the Nizari Ismailis and other assassin/saboteur traditions, swept up every power player they could and tightened the vice on the ones that they couldn't. The coin economy and markers probably existed before them, but once they controlled the minting process and centralized administration, they were pretty much unchallengeable. Viggo didn't understand the impact or importance because to him, the Table is basically just 'the help', and the Table didn't care about John's vendetta because they only care about organizations like Viggo's when the cash stops flowing.
Except that goes against everything in the first movie where Viggo tells Iosef the story of how he gained his position of power. Viggo founded his criminal empire five years before the first movie when John did a huge job for him that was considered impossible.

And yeah, both Viggo and Abram had gold coins, as mentioned by Taraqual and Count Zero.

What Taraqual describes is basically what I meant by "new money", he had gotten a chunk of the city but didn't get the responsibilities and rules that came with it. If John hadn't killed him, I'm betting Viggo's days would have been numbered anyway due to him ordering a hit done on Continental grounds.
I'd be willing to bet that in this setting, most criminal groups have someone they report to, who reports up, and so on until you get into The Table's direct sphere of influence. But an average street dealer in a neighborhood chapter of a group probably has no clue what's going on, except that every now and then you'll hear rumor of a total badass wiping out an entire mob by him or herself, and if you're smart, you'll keep your head down
Pretty much. Which is what I meant by Viggo being new money. He hadn't had the time or opportunity to learn how everything worked in the big leagues yet.

Speaking of, I find the conversation between John, Winston and Santino at the end of JW2 fascinating. Winston's trying to talk John down, and Santine is dumb enough to goad him on. Which, ironically, is what caused the Bowery King to give John the gun in the first place - he knew Santino was dumb enough to make a power grab anmd start a huge bloody gang war, even with his seat at the Table. Santino was literally too dumb to live.
 

ogier300

Registered User
Validated User
What Taraqual describes is basically what I meant by "new money", he had gotten a chunk of the city but didn't get the responsibilities and rules that came with it. If John hadn't killed him, I'm betting Viggo's days would have been numbered anyway due to him ordering a hit done on Continental grounds.
Was it Viggo who ordered the hit done on Continental Ground, or just that Ms. Perkins decided to do the job there because she figured she'd have an advantage on John Wick there. Sort of how Ernest decided starting 20 minutes early on killing John gives him a leg up on the competition.

The implication is that the bounty on John is high enough to provoke non-standard engagement rules.
 

Xander

Registered User
Validated User
If there are any life insurance companies under the High Table, they're probably pretty annoyed.

"Sir, John Wick-related claims are at 250 this month and rising..."
 

Count_Zero

Game Master
Validated User
Was it Viggo who ordered the hit done on Continental Ground, or just that Ms. Perkins decided to do the job there because she figured she'd have an advantage on John Wick there. Sort of how Ernest decided starting 20 minutes early on killing John gives him a leg up on the competition.

The implication is that the bounty on John is high enough to provoke non-standard engagement rules.
Viggo offered a bonus for those who are willing to attempt the hit on Continental grounds, and when he confronts Marcus one of the things he holds against him is not attempting the hit on the grounds of the Continental (though - admittedly he probably suspects that he came to John's rescue.)
 

Taraqual

Words words words
Validated User
Except that goes against everything in the first movie where Viggo tells Iosef the story of how he gained his position of power. Viggo founded his criminal empire five years before the first movie when John did a huge job for him that was considered impossible.

And yeah, both Viggo and Abram had gold coins, as mentioned by Taraqual and Count Zero.

What Taraqual describes is basically what I meant by "new money", he had gotten a chunk of the city but didn't get the responsibilities and rules that came with it. If John hadn't killed him, I'm betting Viggo's days would have been numbered anyway due to him ordering a hit done on Continental grounds.
I forgot Viggo had gold coins, but that shouldn't be surprising to me. He was involved with the underworld after all, even if he wasn't fully steeped in the lore.

I don't know if Viggo would have been punished for breaking the rules. He never went into the building, he never shed blood in there himself. Perkins did that herself. The Continental, especially with Winston in charge, appears to be most interested in punishing the transgressor. What Viggo might have noticed if Perkins had succeeded--or had he lived longer than John allowed--was that he would get a cold reception at the Continental or be told its services are no longer available to him.

Pretty much. Which is what I meant by Viggo being new money. He hadn't had the time or opportunity to learn how everything worked in the big leagues yet.
I can see that. The Tarasovs wanted to make the move to be the real power in the city, John wanted out from Under the Table. They had worked together before (presumably thanks to The Director) and had some relationship. Viggo's and John's big ask both involved something almost impossible, probably killing every member of a rival mob or taking out a problematic big bad guy, maybe even an uncooperative High Table member who had pissed off other High Table members. If they win, Viggo gets the higher position he wanted, John gets out. (Why? Don't know--later movies might explain that.)

John gives Santino a marker in order to get the things he needs to succeed. Possibly access to or cover for taking out a High Table member, or someone very important to the High Table. Viggo, not entirely understanding that side of things, just thinks John's got to kill more people than anyone should be able to kill by themselves.

And John succeed, because John Wick. And Viggo might have no reason to learn more about the Table's workings after that, except how much he needs to pay to keep his position.

Speaking of, I find the conversation between John, Winston and Santino at the end of JW2 fascinating. Winston's trying to talk John down, and Santine is dumb enough to goad him on. Which, ironically, is what caused the Bowery King to give John the gun in the first place - he knew Santino was dumb enough to make a power grab anmd start a huge bloody gang war, even with his seat at the Table. Santino was literally too dumb to live.
Too ambitious and arrogant, I'd say. Gianna understood things better than Santino did, and one of those things was the necessity of restraint. Santino decides he can't wait any longer and does stuff that probably would have gotten him killed if not for John Wick doing it first. Like, if John had finished the marker and walked away without a retributive contract, would the rest of the High Table have protested Santino's action directly? Send an Adjudicator, or maybe even a John Wick after him? If John had refused the marker and either ran away or gotten killed, would Gianna or the rest of the Table have let Santino live much longer for the attempted assassination?

But he was too arrogant at the end. Thought he'd won when he hadn't considered how long he could really stay there. If he'd tried to conduct business by running his operation on The Continental grounds, would that put him in violation of the rules? If he'd stepped outside to make the necessary calls, could he be killed? If the rest of the Table decides that this is breaking the spirit of the rules, can they just excommunicate him, or deconsecrate the hotel long enough for one of the dozens of assassins in there to do the job?

I think Santino's lifespan would have been short with or without John Wick. He just went with the shortest possible lifespan by trying to screw over John.
 

Olof Jönsson

Tumto Lectis
Validated User
Santino also had no clue why John Wick returned to his house. He literally thought it was because the house itself held nostalgia for John (due to being fancy), when it was in fact the memories of his wife that did.

And when I say Viggo would have faced punishment, I do mean they would likely have demanded a service of him - either a maiming like in JW3 (if they found out he literally demanded his assassins do work on Continental grounds, and no, I doubt they would care that it was because he suspected Marcus saved John, they'd go by the letter of the rules, not the spirit), or he would have been excommunicado (John being excommunicado wasn't why people hunted him in JW3, it was because of the Santino contract which was still on).

What I find fascinating is what Santino's mute assassin found in him. The man was an arrogant ass. She didn't strike me as someone to find that attractive, and yet she was all smiles and flirts with Santino and upset when she failed him. Most likely he did her some grand service that she thought he did to be good to her, and he just saw her as a disposable tool as with everyone else.

Anyway, back to JW3. I loved Dacascos' character, Zero. A literal fanboy with too many chanbara movies in his head. Constantly saying they were the same, and didn't get that he and John had very different views on killing. He was like a shonen protagonist who wandered into the wrong genre. :LOL:
 
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