Oh wow. This was a big one for multiple reasons, folks.

Last week saw the first major time jump for HOUSE OF THE DRAGON, and in contrast, today’s picks up almost immediately where the previous episode ended. And in these two episodes, it’s shocking to think how far the show has come. It’s an exercise in productive storytelling that many shows could actually stand to learn from.

A great deal of ground is covered in this episode, and it’s because an event brings this grand dysfunctional family together in a way that hasn’t been seen since before Rhaenyra Targaryan had her first child. And when words haven’t been exchanged, but tension has been brewing for that many years, there’s bound to be quite a few explosions as the temperature reaches its boiling point. And this week’s episode was explosion after explosion.

The first has to do very much with the sins of these warring parents being passed down among their children, after, what was something of a breathtaking scene in the tradition of HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON. The second is an absolutely tense moment regarding the aftermath of the first explosion. And the third is both explosive and suspenseful while also, in a twisted way, perhaps being one of the few great and rare displays of kindness and mercy you’ll ever see on a show like this. An extraordinary moment of positivity in an episode, a series really, burdened with so much negativity (not that we don’t enjoy the drama behind said negativity, mind you).

All that to say, this is not only a crucially important episode and a turning point for the series, among several we’ve already seen in its short seven-episode run thus far, but also a highly engrossing and entertaining one. DRIFTMARK is, at its core, in a span of only 58 minutes, a microcosm of every reason we enjoy watching this tense, shocking, brutally, and brilliantly explosive series, as we did its predecessor. At the pace HOUSE OF THE DRAGON is going, this may, in fact, win the “Saul Goodman” award for latest series with the potential to outdo its predecessor (a less challenging feat to accomplish than BETTER CALL SAUL, mind you, but still lofty to say the least).

The only criticism I have: Please, PLEASE invest in better lighting, HBO!

Apart from that minor issue, you should definitely watch episode 7 of HOUSE OF THE DRAGON as soon as possible on HBO Max!

Mike Manalo

Born a Slytherin. Baptized into Marvel. Bitten by a Radioactive DC fan. And raised a Jedi, Mike Manalo is a silent guardian, a watchful protector… a Dark Nerd!

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