Yeah, we’re thinking Baba Yaga is back. Again. And he’ll be looking for vengeance in John Wick: Chapter 4. Unlike us, though, not everyone will be happy about that. The world’s most dangerous hitman has enemies in every corner of the globe. John Wick also still has some powerful allies to help him stand against the High Table, though. But who is on his side now? And how did his greatest friend become one of his biggest foes? Here’s everything you need to remember about John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum before John Wick: Chapter 4 arrives.
Why Was John Wick Named Excommunicado in John Wick: Chapter 2?
At the end of Chapter 2, John Wick killed Santino D’Antonio, a member of the High Table. That council consists of the 12 heads of the most powerful criminal enterprises in the world. John also murdered Santino at The Continental in New York, a consecrated safe space in the criminal underworld where violence is strictly prohibited. As a result of his actions, the High Table named John Wick “Excommunicado.” In the John Wick world, being Excommunicado means that a Continental member no longer has access to Continental services and privileges… Which also means they lose all protection from other members of The Continental.
The High Table also placed a large bounty on John Wick’s head, with assassins everywhere trying to claim it. He survived the initial onslaught in part due to The Continental’s head, Winston, who also angered the High Table.
Winston broke protocol when he didn’t have John Wick executed like he did an assassin who killed at the Continental in the first movie. Instead, he gave John a one-hour head start before the Excommunicado status became official.
John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum Characters to Remember Before Chapter 4
From characters set to make their return in John Wick: Chapter 4 to those who helped expand the franchise’s lore, these are the most important figures to remember from Parabellum (which translates to “prepare for war”):
The Adjudicator (Asia Kate Dillon)
The High Table sent one of its judges to assess responsibility and assign formal punishment to those deemed to have aided John Wick in John Wick: Chapter 3. Known as the Adjudicator, they also hired the assassin Zero to carry out those punishments and hunt down John Wick. Adjudicators speak with the authority of the High Table, but are not members of it, only servants.
The Elder (Saïd Taghmaoui)
The only person who sits above the High Table and can overrule it is the Elder. He lives in seclusion in an African desert and cannot be found by anyone. To meet him, John Wick had to wander those sands until near death, hoping the Elder would opt to find him. He did, and John Wick asked for reinstatement under the High Table. He said he wanted to live so he could remember his late wife Helen and the love they shared.
The Elder gave John one last chance to reverse his Excommunicado status in Parabellum. The Hitman had to swear to serve the High Table for life and to also kill Winston, who was refusing to resign as manager of the Continental. John Wick agreed and to show his fealty chopped off his ring finger and gave the Elder his wedding ring.
Note: George Georgiou will replace Tagmaoui as the Elder in John Wick: Chapter 4.
The Bowery King (Laurence Fishburne)
The Adjudicator also demanded The Bowery King abdicate his “throne” as leader of the underground New York City intelligence organization posing as unhoused residents. The Bowery King gave John Wick the gun and seven bullets he knew Wick planned to use against Santino. When he refused to stand down, the Adjudicator had many of his men killed, and Zero slashed the Bowery King seven times (for seven bullets) with a sword. The Adjudicator’s character will return in John Wick: Chapter 4.
One notable member of The Bowery to live was Tick Tock Man (Jason Mantzoukas).
The Director (Angelica Huston)
John Wick turned to The Director for safe passage out of New York to Morocco. She leads the Ruska Roma crime syndicate under the guise of a ballet. The Director is also “Jardani’s” adoptive mother, having raised and trained the orphan of Belarus and member of her tribe. She was reluctant to help him. But he presented her with a rosary and demanded she aid him. For doing so, the Adjudicator had Zero attack her theater, kill many of her men, and stab her through both hands.
Winston Scott (Ian McShane)
When John Wick arrived at the Continental to kill Winston, his old friend instead convinced Jonathan to unite against the High Table. The Adjudicator then “deconsecrated” the Continental. With it no longer a safe space from violence, the Adjudicator sent a full attack against the hotel.
Charon (Lance Reddick)
John Wick fought alongside the Continental’s concierge and his frequent dog-sitter, Charon, during the ensuing fight. The soft-spoken Charon revealed himself as a fearsome fighter with far more value to Winston than just running his hotel well.
How Did John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum End and Set Up Chapter 4?
With Zero dead and the attack on the Continental proving unsuccessful, the Adjudicator called for a parlay with Winston on the hotel’s roof. Much to the surprise of John Wick, it was there Winston apologized for his actions and swore fealty to the High Table. The Adjudicator realized his stand was a show of force to prove his worth and reconsecrated the Continental. But when she asked what they were going to do about John Wick, Winston said, “He has to die.” He then shot John Wick multiple times before the other fell over the side of the hotel, where slammed into awnings and fire escapes. The Adjudicator assumed the fall killed him.
But when she went to see John Wick’s body up close, it was gone. The worried Adjudicator then went back into the Continental to tell Winston to take care of it. She knew what John Wick’s survival would mean for them, both from Wick and the High Table. Winston said he’d handle it, but as she walked away, he said, “Baba Yaga.”
Tick Tock Man had taken John in a shopping cart to the Bowery King, who we find out is still operating underground at the end of John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum. There the scarred King asked an injured John if he was just as pissed off as him. John said he was, creating a powerful new alliance to take on the High Table.
Did Winston Really Try to Kill John Wick in Chapter 3?
Everything Winston said and did to maintain control of the Continental indicates he really did betray his friend. And most people would absolutely have died from John Wick’s violent fall.
However, John Wick wears bulletproof suit, and from point-blank Winston only shot him in his suit. If he really wanted him dead, wouldn’t he have shot John in the head? Winston would know as well as anyone you can’t risk letting John Wick live after you’ve tried to kill him.
Whatever Winston intended on that rooftop in Chapter 3 remains unclear, but we bet John Wick: Chapter 4 will have something to say about it.
Does John Wick Still Own a Dog?
Yes! His very good pit bull instinctively left the Continental and went running to John after his owner fell from the roof. He then accompanied Tick Tock Man as he wheeled John to the Bowery King.
Where Can you Watch John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum?
In addition to digital rentals and Blu-rays, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum is currently available to stream on Peacock and with certain Hulu subscriptions.
When Does John Wick: Chapter 4 Come Out?
John Wick: Chapter 4 releases in theaters on March 24.