John Wick 4’s Post-Credits Scene Continues the Cycle of Revenge
Revenge is a dish best served in the post-credits.
“Tell me John, when will it end?”
The resounding question repeated throughout John Wick: Chapter 4 takes the franchise back to where it all started: revenge. But John Wick: Chapter 4 is less interested in taking revenge as it is in grappling with it — the vicious cycle of it, the sky-high body count of it, and the moment when one finally breaks free of it.
At the end of Chapter 4, John Wick breaks free in the most permanent way he can.
Warning: Spoilers for John Wick: Chapter 4 ahead.
A New Quest for Revenge
John Wick: Chapter 4 ends with John Wick’s (supposed) death, buried next to his wife Helen with a gravestone marked simply with “Loving Husband.” Winston (Ian McShane) and the Bowery King (Laurence Fishburne) look over his grave, accompanied by the pit bull that Wick rescued at the end of the first film. They toast to their dead companion, and the havoc he wreaked in his quest for vengeance over the past year (!).
But as we learned throughout the course of the John Wick movies, vengeance never dies. One of the unintentional victims of John Wick’s crusade was one of his oldest friends, Shimazu Koji (Hiroyuki Sanada) the manager of the Osaka Continental who was slain by their other longtime friend, Caine (Donnie Yen).
Caine had been blackmailed by the High Table’s Marquis de Gramont (Bill Skarsgård) to reenter the world of assassins and kill John Wick, or risk losing his daughter. But Koji has his own daughter to protect, Osaka Continental concierge Akira (Rina Sawayama), and refuses to step aside when Caine pursues John Wick through the Osaka grounds. It culminates in a one-on-one fight between Koji and Caine, the two dueling it out with swords and guns until, finally, Koji is killed. Akira witnesses the whole thing and rushes to her dying father while Caine solemnly walks away, warning her against taking vengeance. But he’s accepted the fact that she will anyway, telling Akira wearily, “See you soon.”
What Happens in the John Wick 4 Post-Credits Scene?
Having fulfilled his mission for the Gramont, even dueling John Wick to his death (but not before allowing John to use his final bullet on the Marquis), Caine happily returns to the Paris courtyard where his daughter seems to be eternally playing the violin. Carrying a bouquet of flowers in hand, he finally approaches his daughter, having kept a distance until now to protect her well-being. But as he walks toward her, a hooded figure approaches him through the crowd: It’s Akira, knife in hand and vengeance on her mind. The scene cuts to black before the two meet.
So what does this scene mean? Is there a spinoff on the way with Caine at the center, evading the vengeance he sadly knew was coming? Or will Akira be the new hero of the franchise, running from a chain of events that could unfold from her seeking revenge? The stinger certainly seems to leave the door open for as much.
But thematically, the scene comes to a much more interesting conclusion — especially for a franchise that started off with a man seeking revenge for a murdered dog. Revenge is a vicious cycle that never ends, until everyone is buried in the ground.