John Wick: Chapter 4 Post-Credits Scene Opens New Book
If you left early, John Wick: Chapter 4 didn’t end the way you thought it did…
This article contains John Wick: Chapter 4 spoilers. The spoiler-free review is here.
They actually killed John Wick. The Baba Yaga. The Boogeyman. Death Made Flesh has now at last himself crossed over. Apparently. That’s certainly what we’re led to believe before the ending credits of Chad Stahelski‘s John Wick: Chapter 4 roll, with Keanu Reeves’ preternaturally bespoke, god tier assassin taking a bullet somewhere in the guts while dueling old frenemy Caine (Donnie Yen) for his freedom.
Admittedly, we don’t see someone stand over Wick’s body and confirm there’s no pulse. He just lies down, and then there is a gravestone. Make of that what you will, but for patrons who became misty-eyed over the loss of Jardani Jovonovich (he really did have a lot of nicknames!) and then left when the credits rolled, we have good news: While John may have finally been reunited with his lost wife and puppy, the story appears far from over…
The John Wick: Chapter 4 Post-Credits Scene
If you stay until the very end of the three-hour movie, you are treated to a tantalizing and ambiguous endnote. While Wick is officially dead, his longtime friend Caine appears free and happy. The blind killer was still able to see all of his debts absolved by the High Table after delivering a fatal blow to Wick, and is at last able to put down his sword and replace it with a flower of peace. Literally, he is carrying a bouquet on a European street as he approaches his daughter Mia (Aimée Kwan), looking like a proud father while she plays the violin.
But not all accounts are closed. While Caine has supposedly filed away his ledger with the High Table, and certainly with John, there remains one person he is permanently in the red with: Akira (Rina Sawayama), the daughter of the Osaka Continental manager Shimazu Koji (Hiroyuki Sanada).
Banking on the fact that in a three-hour movie, audiences may forget details from the first hour, the post-credits scene is a reminder that no story is really over until we’re in the ground. John might’ve had reservations about killing his old friend, but young and vengeful Akira does not. She was there that night when in an epic sword fight, illuminated only by the soft glow of neon lights, the blind Caine managed to kill her father in a throwback to samurai duels. Already badly injured herself, Akira knew she could not avenge her father during the moment he fell. Yet even Caine acknowledged he’ll be expecting her. And she warned John Wick, too, if he did not kill Caine she one day would.
In the post-credits scene it looks like that one day is today, with Akira approaching the blind and smiling Caine on a crowded street, a knife emerging from her sleeve, a look of determination on her face. Does she get her revenge, and does Caine follow John into the grave?
It is entirely left up to the viewer to decide. This is fitting because Caine and John debate briefly, in their own laconic ways, the nature of life and death, both wondering what comes after. It might be apropos for the pair to likewise be reunited sooner than Caine might’ve expected. Also in a strangely civilized underworld obsessed with oaths, honor, and blood debts, Caine killed Shimazu, a man who unlike Caine never abandoned his friendship to John, even when it cost him his hotel and his life. Akira was introduced to be a true heir to her father’s ways, and by rights should be able to avenge him. Now that Caine has fulfilled his obligations to the High Table, his daughter will be safe without him, though orphaned much like Akira.
… But on the other hand, Caine did warn Akira that he’d keep an eye out for her. In which case, could she really so easily get the drop on Yen’s master assassin? Even in a crowded street? Even with his guard down? He’s been blind for years, but still is aware enough of his surroundings to kill what seemed like hundreds in this movie.
That enigma is also an opportunity for the future. John’s story might be over, but Sawayama is a rising star of music and film and could potentially lead her own film. And a film about her versus Donnie Yen’s Caine, the man who helped turn Chapter 4 into a three-hour epic and who ultimately put John Wick in the ground… well that could be but the first chapter in a book all its own.