The Continental: Winston Scott’s Major John Wick Choice, Explained

Peacock’s ‘The Continental: From the World of John Wick’ (or simply ‘The Continental’) is a prequel/spin-off to the modern blockbuster action films in the ‘John Wick‘ franchise. It revolves around a young Winston Scott (Colin Woodell) in 1970s New York as he gets embroiled in a conflict with the High Table and rises to power as the titular hotel’s general manager. Despite the prequel taking place decades before the mainline films, a moment in the first episode provides deeper meaning to Winston’s major choice, greatly affecting the narrative of the third and fourth installments. Hence, viewers might want to discover how ‘The Continental’ affects Winston’s major choice in ‘John Wick’ films. SPOILERS AHEAD!

What Does The Continental Reveal About Winston Scott’s Past?

Winston Scott is a major supporting character in the mainline ‘John Wick’ films, focusing on the titular former hitman’s quest for revenge and fight against the enigmatic High Table. In the prequel series, Winston’s past is greatly expanded upon as we learn more about his rise to power. In the first episode, it is revealed that Winston had an elder brother, Francis “Frankie” Scott, who fell into a life of crime while protecting his younger brother. Years later, Frankie steals a coin press that sets the course for his and Winston’s reunion. After finding Frankie, Winston demands answers about Frankie abandoning him as a child.

Later, Frankie exclaims that he cut ties with his brother so that Winston would not be forced into a life of crime like him. In short, Frankie was trying to protect his younger brother. He explains that Winston will come to understand the emotional weight of making the tough decisions to protect your loved ones, even if it means facing grave consequences. The same idea is later demonstrated when Frankie sacrifices himself so that Winston and his wife, Yen, can escape from the goons sent by Cormac O’Connor (Mel Gibson). While the dialog about protecting your loved ones seems like a throwaway line, it holds deeper significance within the franchise, particularly Winston’s major choice years later.

How Does It Impact Winston Scott’s Major John Wick Choice?

In the ‘John Wick’ films, viewers see an older, much more seasoned Winston Scott with actor Ian McShane (‘American Gods‘) in the role. In the four mainline movies, Winston, the general manager of New York’s The Continental, aids John Wick (Keanu Reeves) in his quest for revenge. Later, when John is labeled “excommunicado” for breaking the High Table’s rules, Winston allows John to escape and gives him an hour’s head start before calling in the High Table. John’s decision to kill Santino D’Antonio on Continental grounds and Winston’s choice to let John flee greatly impact the franchise’s overarching narrative, setting up the third and fourth installments.

Although the first three films slowly establish the idea that Winston and John share a close friendship, the fourth film reveals that Winston actually considers John like a son. As a result, Winston’s choice to let John flee makes sense. However, the prequel series provides further insight into Winston’s unexplored familial relationship with John and his choice to go against the High Table and risk everything to protect John. Winston’s decision mirrors that of his brother, Frankie, whose sacrifice emphasizes the same idea. The rest of the three-part series will likely see Winston trying to avenge his brother’s death.

Ultimately, through his quest for revenge for his loved one’s death, Winston will likely come to realize the weight of making a tough choice to protect those he cares about. Winston would then make a similar choice years later to protect his son John from the High Table. At the same time, Winston also sympathizes with John’s quest for revenge after his wife’s death, having gone down a similar path himself. Hence, the prequel closely ties in with the mainline films’ idea of going to great lengths for the sake of your loved ones. Consequently, it allows the series to explore a never-before-seen side of Winston while staying true to his character and choices as seen in the movies while providing deeper layers of emotional meaning to the franchise’s overall theme of found family.

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