John Wick is famous for a series of action films and has also been attributed to creating a cultural revolution. The franchise has been a force to be reckoned with since it first hit cinemas in 2014, thrusting Keanu Reeves back into the spotlight.
The fascinating storyline, intriguing world-building, and next-level fight choreography are just some elements that make “John Wick” a game-changing affair. The new chapter of John Wick is right around the corner, and now is a great time to take a trip down memory lane.
Before jumping on the 4th installment, the people need to be updated about John Wick, Winston, The Continental, The Bowery King, Charon, The High Table, Excommunicado, Gold coins, and Markers.
Let’s dive into the franchise to jog your memory.
1. Who is John Wick?
Also known as Baba Yaga, John Wick is the most skilled killer the world has ever seen. Because of his intense abilities, he spent much of his adult life as a gifted assassin, but at one point, he decided to try and walk away from the game for good.
John wanted to retire from hitman life to settle down with his soon-to-be-wife, Helen. But before that, Tarasov’s head Viggo gave him an impossible task: kill all his enemies in a single night. Which Baba Yaga did because he rules.
However, Wick’s retirement plans were cut short after Helen died from an undisclosed terminal illness.
He was pulled back into the world when the son of a powerful Russian Mafioso killed his dog (gifted by Helen) and stole his car. It made him pursue the blood-thirsty quest for vengeance.
2. “If you want peace, prepare for war”: John Wick’s journey to The Elder
As John Wick travels by boat to Morocco, a new emissary of the High Table enters the mix. The Adjudicator arrives in Manhattan to discuss the consequences of John’s actions since Santino called in John’s marker.
Every person who helped John receives severe punishments that involve mutilation, while Winston goes into hiding to avoid the sentencing.
In Casablanca, John meets with Sofia, the manager of Morocco’s Continental Hotel, who doesn’t look happy to see him or his marker.
But John had helped Sofia get her daughter into hiding years before, and she’d made a blood oath to him. Sofia and her two German shepherds finally agree to allow it, which involves going to Sofia’s old boss Berrada who tells them how to find the Elder.
Sofia drives John out to the desert where he’s supposed to walk until he can’t walk anymore and wait for the Elder to find him.
After he does, John agrees to be back in service to the High Table for the rest of his days, with no exceptions.
“I have served. I will be of service,” John says before cutting off his ring finger — with his wedding ring on it — and offering it as a tribute to the Elder. John is officially back now.
The veteran Ian McShane plays him. Winston is one of the essential characters in the John Wick franchise. He is a vital ally of the titular hero. He lives in New York and owns the hotel The Continental.
He is a very influential figure in the assassination world and has displayed very little patience for most individuals unwilling to play by the rules. The biggest twist in John Wick 3 and the most peculated plotline for the 4th installment involves Winston too.
The unexpected twist at the end of John Wick saw Winston shooting John Wick, which seemingly sent him plummeting to his death as he fell off a building. He did this to keep his place and please The High Table. Indeed, John Wick 4 will explore this storyline bringing in more unexpected twists.
4. The Continental
If you haven’t figured it out by now, The Continental hotel is a home base and neutral ground for those in the assassin game. It’s a global franchise with establishments in major cities worldwide, and each one provides its clients with specific services catered to their craft.
The golden rule that must never be broken is that business must never be carried out on the grounds. The punishment for violating this rule is death. Unfortunately, John Wick can’t help himself following the events of John Wick: Chapter 2 – which catapulted him into the main plot of John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum.
5. The Bowery King Connection
In the John Wick universe, it often feels like most people aren’t what they seem, which extends to homeless people in New York. Rather than being simple vagrants, they are part of a vast network that reports to a single leader: The Bowery King.
The Bowery King keeps up with the goings on in his city through these individuals and his use of carrier pigeons. His complicated relationship with John Wick has been one of the franchise’s highlights.
In John Wick 3, it seemed as if Zero had killed The Bowery King on orders from Adjudicators. As instructed, he slashed The Bowery king with his sword seven times.
It looked like the leader of New York’s underground was dead, but the cuts weren’t as deep as they seemed. The Bowery King appeared underground at the film’s end, and the 4th Installment might explore his fight with the High Table.
The most exciting prospect for John Wick: Chapter 4 is seeing more of The Bowery King’s world. We might get to know him better, as he could spring into the action himself.
6. The High Table
People who haven’t watched the previous versions but are planning to watch the new one must wonder what The High Table is.
The High Table is a 12-person council of crime lords that oversees the criminal underground. Admittance into the High Table can only be inherited from a robust, established crime family member.
The High Table will likely have a more significant stake in the conflict than John Wick and The Bowery King. They let Winston off the hook for the absence of a corpse for Mr. Wick. However, The Adjudicator isn’t dumb and has probably told their superiors that John will still be a concern.
Charon is best recognized as the helpful concierge at The Continental and is a long-time employee of Winston’s.
Also, a friend of John Wick’s, he operates as any concierge at a hotel does. His job involves checking clients into their respective rooms and taking on tasks within his purview.
Of course, his jobs tend to be a bit more “heightened” given The Continental services’ exclusive clientele.
Like the other lead characters, Charon made it out alive in John Wick: Chapter 3, and we will see more of him in Chapter 4.
After Wick kills Santino at the Continental, he is excommunicado-declared persona non grata and relieved of access to all the Continental’s services. The High Table places a bounty on his head that effectively pits every assassin against him.
You need to know about this to understand all future references.
9. Gold Coins
The gold coins are the vague, somewhat inconsistent currency John and other assassins use to procure various services within their underground networks.
Gold coins have been used for things disparate as bar tabs, corpse removal, lodging, and weapons upgrades.
All these services typically have an exact fixed cost, which seems illogical. However, this speaks to the franchise’s intent to focus on the power of the individual instead of accrued wealth for better services.
10. The Significance of Markers
Marker is a larger coin that signifies a blood oath between two assassins.
When a killer needs a massive favor from somebody, they give the other person a marker, which looks like a palm-sized coin with a small door in the middle.
Behind this door is a surface split in two, and the person requesting the favor leaves a bloody thumbprint on one side. This signifies that they will return the favor upon request.
In John Wick 2, John owes Santino a blood oath, as Santino helped John complete Viggo’s impossible task. All blood oaths are tracked and supervised via the Continental.
About John Wick : Chapter 4
John Wick 4 is an American neo-noir action thriller film and the fourth installment in the John Wick franchise. The franchise is created by Derek Kolstad and stars Keanu Reeves in the role of a retired legendary hitman John Wick.
John Wick must avoid run-ins with The High Table and survive long enough to complete his mission, along with the help of The Bowery King, who was left for dead by The High Table and now is helping John Wick take them down.
John Wick 4 released on March 24, 2023.