John Wick 2 plot hole solved by director – Winston’s marker was cashed in during Chapter 3

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As fans gear up for John Wick Chapter 4, no doubt there will be plenty of rewatching of the first three movies alongside catching up for first-timers. The franchise’s most exciting cliffhanger so far has to be the end of John Wick Chapter 2. Keanu Reeves’ assassin had been declared excommunicado after executing Santino inside the Continental Hotel, which is totally forbidden in the underworld of the High Table. In the film’s final scene, manager Winston, played by Ian McShane, gave Wick a marker, saying “You might need this, down the road” before giving him one hour before a price on his head was declared to all the hitmen in New York.

Fans will remember the marker was introduced at the start of Chapter 2, when Santino approached Wick with one he’d give him. It’s a metal object containing a blood oath and after having helped the assassin retire, he was now calling in his debt .

So Winston has given Reeves’ hitman one too, but whose was it? At the start of Chapter 3, Wick chose to call up a different one he’d hidden in the New York Public Library. He ends up presenting this medallion to Halle Berry’s Sofia in Morocco, so what happened to the other one?

Without spoiling anything, it doesn’t come up in John Wick Chapter 4 either, but franchise director Chad Stahelski has shared where he believes Winston’s marker was used.

Speaking with Screen Crush, the John Wick director said: “We look at markers like a blank check. A marker means, ‘You’re giving me your soul.’ Like it’s good for one life — you risk your life, you take a life, you save a life. It’s good for one life.’ We thought it’d be cool if the final farewell from Winston to John was ‘Okay, just so you know how much of a father figure I am, I’m going to give you a blank check in case you need it. But only call it in if you need it. And that’s where we left it.”

Stahelski admitted it’s slightly open to interpretation, but shared exactly the moment in Chapter 3 when he thinks Wick called in Winston’s marker. The director added: “Well, Winston’s an interesting character. He’s always got an angle. So I think that Winston thinks John did cash it in — on the rooftop in [Chapter 3].” But there’s more.

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Fans will remember after the parley on the roof of the Continental, the hotel manager realises he has to kill Wick to have peace with the High Table but shoots him specifically into his bulletproof jacket, knocking him off the building to a bruised but not fatal landing.

Stahelski explained: “He helped John but not in the way John would have wanted. But it was the only way out. I’m fascinated by the idea of dilemma. Choices are always what define character, not skills. So we constantly, in every scene, we’re trying to put somebody in a bad choice. If you watch John Wick [Chapter] 4, hopefully every scene you go ‘There’s no good choice here.’ So yes, John needed help in 3, and Ian gave it to him. Just not in the way he wanted.”

John Wick: Chapter 4 hits cinemas on Friday.