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How The Continental Ending Sets Up the John Wick Films
They don't call it a prequel for nothin', folks!
Spoiler warning! The following contains major plot spoilers for The Continental: From the World of John Wick!
Despite its title, The Continental: From the World of John Wick is not about the founding of the killer-friendly hotel. The show is actually more of a psychological character study, exploring how the fan favorite Winston Scott (famously played in the hit films by the great Ian McShane) came to be its longtime manager. As the character has said multiple times throughout the franchise, he's been a loyal servant of the High Table for over four decades.
So how exactly did he come to be in that position? We get an answer to that question across the prequel's trio of super-sized episodes (all of which are now streaming on Peacock).
How does The Continental prequel set up the John Wick films?
The younger version of Mr. Scott (portrayed by Colin Woodell) pulled off the impossible by assembling a trusted team of able-bodied fighters — including a man on the inside (otherwise known as Ayomide Adegun's Charon) — in a brazen bid to topple the regime of the establishment's previous steward: the hot-headed Cormac O'Connor (Mel Gibson).
This crazy plan worked, placing Winston at the heart of the High Table's outpost in one of the largest, busiest, and richest cities in the world. And while Winston is quite comfortable in his position of power in the movies, he didn't originally seize control of The Continental for the sake of gaining influence.
He really did it to avenge his older brother, Frankie (Ben Robson), who was murdered after stealing a High Table coin press. That's important to note since Frankie left the press behind for his little bro to find, and find it he does — hidden away in the trunk of the car where the impoverished Scott brothers would often sleep once their mother went off to work for the night.
Rather than handing the valuable object back into the hands of the ancient criminal cabal, however, Winston keeps it as leverage, which helps explain why he's so used to doing things his own way in the films — whether it's refusing a direct order from newly-inducted High Table member Santino D'Antonio (Riccardo Scamarcio), giving John (Keanu Reeves) an hour's head-start before declaring him "Excommunicado," or threatening an Adjudicator (Asia Kate Dillon) with continued resistance.
If push comes to shove, he can truly put his money where his mouth is and make life very difficult for the High Table, should they ever threaten the sovereignty of his kingdom. Still, he could only push them so far and ultimately loses his advantage in Chapter 4 when The Continental is demolished. Before all that, though, he made his position abundantly clear in the late '70s when he gunned down an Adjudicator (Katie McGrath) in cold blood — an act that presumably earned him the begrudging attention (and, more importantly, respect) of the High Table in the first place.
Aside from the coin press, Winston also made an ally out of the Bowery, that omnipresent network of homeless spies and killers spanning all of Manhattan. Makes you wonder if that particular prequel revelation was derived from the end of Chapter 3 when Winston makes a rather cryptic comment: "My allegiances run way beyond this building." The Adjudicator fires back: "We are the High Table!" Not missing a beat, Winston replies: "And we... are New York City."
How to watch John Wick spinoff The Continental?
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Want more original Peacock content in the meantime? Be sure to check out Twisted Metal, Killing It, Bel-Air, A Friend of the Family, Poker Face, Joe vs. Carole, Mrs. Davis, MacGruber, and Based on a True Story.