Braavos: Arya kidding me?
The best moments of this show, of course, have been homecomings. And even though Arya's return to Westeros hasn't quite happened yet, when she confronted Jaqen H'ghar in the House of Black and White, I was ready for something bad to happen to her, like how Oberyn Martell got his face bashed in at the last moment. But Jaqen, possibly to save his own life, told her that she was finally no one and gave her that third chance he said wasn't coming. She didn't want that anymore.
Instead, Arya confirmed her identity and said that she's Arya Stark of Winterfell and that she's going home. Little does she know that a lunatic with a fetish for dogs and castration is holding her house. (Speaking of which, thanks to the previews for next episode, we know that this year's penultimate episode, the one where all the major stuff always goes down, is going to be the Battle for Winterfell. I expect the Knights of the Vale to be the last-minute troops that swoop in and rescue everyone this time, à la Tywin Lannister at the Battle of Blackwater and Stannis Baratheon at the Battle of Castle Black.)
Arya's story was certainly the most satisfying of the night, and most of us knew that she was going to survive by going to see Lady Crane and getting the woman she spared to help her. Arya's advice at how to play Cersei should win Lady Crane a Westerosi EGOT, so there is another reason she should want to help her little friend. Thankfully, Lady Crane has a history of dressing wounds from the lovers she stabbed. Does this mean that Arya is going to have to forgive Cersei in real life, just like she forgave the woman who played her on stage? It's been amazing to see how this play was the thing that helped Arya realize what she really wanted all along was to avenge her family rather than forget about them in a haze of assassinations.
The showdown between Arya and Intern Emily (which, to remind you, is what I like to call her because she reminds me of the evil assistant Emily that Emily Blunt played in The Devil Wears Prada) was everything that we really could have hoped for. Intern Emily was stalking her down, walking slow and determined just like Robert Patrick skulking after Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator 2. The most disappointing part, though, was that we finally got to see Arya leap out of that window that was teased in all the trailers. We thought that meant she could finally, like, fly, but not really. She crash-lands pretty hard, falling down the stairs and spilling all the fruit in Braavos.
Ultimately it was her time as a blind girl fighting with a stick that saved her when she used Needle to cut down the candle in the little basement room where Intern Emily cornered her and cut her face off in the darkness.
We know that Arya is headed home now and there is no way that she can make it back to Winterfell in order to participate in the battle, so just what is she going to find? Will she join up with some people to fight the great battle north of the Wall? Will she hook up with the Hound and the Brotherhood Without Banners for a full-on reunion? Will her misadventures continue as she tries to cross some more names off her kill list? We know that she's headed home, but Winterfell is a long way from Braavos, and so much can happen in the interim.