King's Landing: Now it's Cersei's turn to wait while her father Tywin scribbles mysterious messages. She looks as annoyed as Tyrion back in the premiere. She claims she wants to know if Tywin is doing everything possible to get Jaime back. But that's an excuse for the visit -- she knows he is.
She really wants the same thing as Tyrion. She's trying to get love from a father who looks and acts like Monty Burns. She's equally as unsuccessful.
"Your legacy that you love so much more than your actual children," she snipes. You can tell she rehearsed that line (Cersei, that is -- of course actress Lena Headey rehearsed it; and it's a nice trick to make a line that was rehearsed sound like your character rehearsed it).
Tywin gives his daughter an opportunity to prove her value despite her womanliness: "All right, contribute." Then she starts going off with her transparent insecurity about Margaery manipulating Joffrey and blows her shot to impress him. "I wish you knew how to manipulate him," he says. "I don't distrust you because you're a woman. I distrust you because you're not as smart as you think" -- which marks the second time a family member has called Cersei not very bright this season, and that must annoy her.
Cersei says Tywin should try stopping Joffrey from being so out of control himself. And Tywin gives a bone-chilling: "I will." There was a Reddit thread last week urging J.J. Abrams to consider Charles Dance for a Star Wars villain role; I upvoted it.
Outside: Lady Olenna has a chat with Varys. "You here to seduce me?" she teases. "What happens when the non-existent bumps against the decrepit? Question for the philosophers." Ah, so nice to have Dame Diana Rigg classing up the joint.
Varys wants to hurt Littlefinger by helping Sansa Stark. He's trying to plot a few chess moves ahead. He sees Littefinger on the cusp of gaining a lordship in the Eyrie and scheming to steal away Sansa Stark. He thinks Littlefinger could potentially go from a Small Council adviser to gaining the Vale and control of the North if he has Sansa and Robb Stark falls. "Littlefinger is one of the most dangerous men in Westeros," Varys says. "He would see this country burn if he could be king of the ashes." Nice.
They hatch a plot that's paid off in the next scene. Margaery visits a praying Sansa, who won't reveal what she's praying for. Describing all the sadistic things she's doubtless begging the seven gods to inflict upon Joffrey would be foolish (though I still wouldn't put it past her revealing everything if Margaery had brought some lemon cakes).
Turns out, Margaery has something even better than lemon cakes -- she casually proposes Sansa wed her brother Loras, like it's no big deal at all. "We would be sisters you and I, would you like that?" In response, Sansa gives a tearful pucker-face nod. I'm such a wuss -- Sansa's weepy longing for a possible happy ending got me misty.
In fact, Sansa's so excited she doesn't even care that Margaery is the one doing the proposing instead of Loras. Though I suppose for this task, Margaery is probably the more convincing of the two.
Now we enter the home stretch. Three big scenes, and the last one is huge.
Craster's: The Night's Watch burn the corpse of one of their own, Bannon. The men blame Craster for not giving Bannon enough food. "Never knew Bannon could smell so good," one says (eww, cannibalism hunger pangs!).
Craster gnaws on a gross piece of meat and recommends the Lord Commander cut the throats of his wounded. "Whose throat you gonna cut, old man?" one of the men boldly says. The Lord Commander realizes things are getting out of hand and tells the men to wait outside.
The conversation gets more tense when one of the Night's Watchmen call Craster a "bastard." This infuriates Craster -- his mother was a Wildling and his father was a man of the Night's Watch who abandoned him as a child (not entirely unlike how he abandons boy babies in the snow). "Go sit in the cold with empty bellies," he says, seemingly the only person in the room oblivious to how much danger there is in the air. The Night's Watchman calls him "a daughter-f---ing Wildling bastard," and then all hell breaks loose.
NEXT: Time to annoy fans of a certain other show