When it comes to what is ostensibly a finale, generally there’s a feeling that you need to ramp up the stakes to show that “playtime” is over, and it’s time to get serious. Usually, this is done through the death of a major character. Now, I tend to find this tactic a bit of an easy copout, but when it’s handled with care and genuine heart, it can be incredibly effective. For “Chapter 4,” Lance Reddick’s Charon was sadly chosen to be that person. Speaking with /Film’s Vanessa Armstrong, screenwriter Michael Finch said it was one of the hardest choices in the script:
“The single saddest thing that I personally was involved with, was killing [Charon]. I think Chad [Stahelski] and Keanu [Reeves] felt it that we needed to give a jumpstart or catalyst to the action of the piece. [Charon] obviously isn’t entirely clean. Like everyone in this world, he functions in gray. He just happens to be a little closer to the light than some of the others. You genuinely like him as a human being because he’s a wonderful human being … The collective decision was that we need something to make us really f*****g hate this Marquis, and what is going to make us hate him more than this?”
The end result is certainly a success. Skarsgård’s Marquis can never come back from that betrayal, much like Alfie Allen’s Iosef Tarasov became instantly irredeemably after killing John Wick’s dog. Except here, the real-world grief may subconsciously make us hate the Marquis even a little more.