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The Ending of The Continental: From the World of John Wick, Explained
Night 3 of The Continental: From the World of John Wick has arrived and there's a lot to unpack!
Spoiler warning! The following contains major plot spoilers for The Continental: From the World of John Wick finale!
The third and final episode of The Continental has arrived on Peacock, and there's a lot to unpack from its 1-hour, 37-minute runtime — most of which is devoted to Winston and Co.'s storming of the proverbial castle. All the groovy developments of the last two weeks (the alliance building, the police investigations, and one dead cellist) have been leading to the satisfying fall of Cormac O'Connor that we all knew was coming.
So slide a gold coin across the counter and let's dive right into the finale!
What to know about the ending of The Continental: From the World of John Wick
Realizing that he's about to lose the battle to Winston (Colin Woodell) and his ragtag group of fighters, an enraged Cormac (Mel Gibson) decides to burn it all down by initiating Defensionem, a self-destruct sequence that will level the hotel — and all its secrets — within 10 minutes. He heads to a secret underground train tunnel beneath the building, where a plush escape pod is waiting to whisk him away from the impending demolition.
With no time to lose, Winston gives chase, quickly plummeting to the subterranean escape route via the hotel's garbage chute. Cormac gets the jump on him, though, nearly killing our cravat-wearing hero with an oversized wrench. Before Cormac can deal the final blow, however, he makes the grievous mistake of all egotistical villains: he starts to monologue.
"When you see your brother, tell him I sent you boys to torch that building because I wanted you to do something you could never come back from," he growls. "Put the taste of death in your mouth. That's how I make a soldier."
"You knew there was a family in there?" asks a furious Winston, suddenly learning that the guilt he's carried around since childhood (remorse over the act that tore him and his brother Frankie apart in the first place) deserves to be rested at Cormac's feet.
"I ordered it," replies the fleeing hotel manager, completely unaware that KD (Mishel Prada), the sole survivor of that deadly apartment fire, has just heard everything and leveled a gun at him. The erstwhile detective shoots him dead, her thirst for vengeance quenched after all these years. After a moment's hesitation, KD decides to spare Winston's life and turns away, throwing a "be seeing you" (an iconic farewell among contract killers in the John Wick films) his way.
With just seconds to spare, Winston dashes back upstairs and stops Defensionem with the use of Cormac's severed hand. He and Charon (Ayomide Adegun) share a relieved embrace as the blast shields retract and the hotel settles into a relative state of calm, albeit with dead bodies littered all over the place. The victors celebrate with a shot of vodka, toasting their fallen comrades: Frankie (Ben Robson) and Lemmy (Adam Shapiro).
Everyone comes away from the carnage with a little something for their troubles. Winston and Charon are now in charge of The Continental; Lou (Jessica Allain) and Miles (Hubert Point-Du Jour) are now the only gun-running game in town; and Yen (Nhung Kate) has avenged Frankie's death by blowing up Gretel on the roof. Heck, even Gene (Ray McKinnon) has won the affections of a lady hoping to take advantage of his botanical expertise, despite the fact that she just witnessed him sniping people all night.
The somber celebration inside the lobby is suddenly interrupted by hammering outside. The Adjudicator (Katie McGrath) and her cauliflower-eared henchman (series co-creator Kirk Ward) have shown up to take control of the building on behalf of the High Table. Despite being impressed at what Winston has accomplished, The Adjudicator states plainly that the hotel was not his to take. What's more: it was she who stopped Defensionem from taking place — not him.
"If your brother would have just done what he was instructed to do with the coin press, you would not be in this very unfortunate situation," she continues, seemingly implying that she was involved with the whole mess from the start. With that said, we still don't know anything about the mysterious organization calling itself "The Nile," or what they planned to do with the stolen press.
Maybe a second season set in the '80s would help answer those dangling mysteries?
Winston seems un-phased by the newcomer's brusqueness, revealing that he has plenty of leverage over the High Table in the form of the stolen press (turns out Frankie hid the item within the trunk of the car where he and Winston would sleep as kids). He's left it in the care of Mazie (Zainab Jah), who will keep it safe in the abandoned bank he gifted to the Bowery, whose agents gained entry into the hotel ahead of the raid by minting their own coins.
This helps explain why the High Table has given Mr. Scott so much free reign over the decades. He's been lording this invaluable object over their heads all this time. Naturally, The Adjudicator starts to get a little miffed, telling Winston that he doesn't "even register" to her superiors. "They won't speak to you."
"They will now," answers Winston, who whips out a gun and shoots The Adjudicator in the head without warning. She falls to the ground and her mask comes loose, revealing the grisly visage beneath. Her bodyguard may be brutish, but he's not stupid. He backs off, allowing the new manager to step back inside. Ace Frehley's "New York Groove" carries us home as the camera pans up to the top balcony, sometime later, where Winston enjoys a dirty martini and surveys his hard-won kingdom. As he turns away, the same red bird seen in the first episode lands back on the railing — a beautiful harbinger of bloodshed yet to come.
Will there be a second season of The Continental?
As much as we'd love to confirm that the prequel will return for a sophomore season, there haven't been any official announcements from Lionsgate or Peacock. With that said, Albert Hughes (executive producer and director of Nights 1 and 3) would love to continue the saga of a young Winston Scott with a second season taking place in the 1980s.
"I'm thinking music first,” Hughes told IGN over the summer. "And thinking about the second British invasion of music, and 1984 was a big year. And so, we just have these moments where we dream, whether or not there's going to be a second season. Who knows whether I'm going to be invited back or Kirk's going to be? Who knows? But we just geek out over the '80s, and we actually have a plan for what would happen in the '80s. So that's exciting."
Hughes has also voiced interest in a second prequel centered around "the grandmother" of McGrath's disfigured Adjudicator. “I would like to see a story like that superimposed in 1930s Weimar, Germany maybe. Even if I didn’t make it, I would like to see that,” Hughes told NBC Insider during a recent interview.
The Wick franchise will continue next summer with the release of Ballerina on June 7, 2024.
How to watch John Wick spinoff The Continental?
All three episodes of The Continental: From the World of John Wick ("Brothers in Arms," "Loyalty to the Master," and "Theater of Pain") are now streaming exclusively on Peacock. John Wick Chapters 1-3 are also available on the service.
The platform currently offers two monthly subscription plans: Premium ($5.99 a month with ads) and Premium Plus ($11.99 a month with no ads and download access for certain titles). If you're currently a student, you can enjoy the Premium plan for just $1.99 for an entire year.
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.