In “John Wick: Chapter 4″, during a conversation with the Marquis, John Wick’s old friend, the visually impaired Assassin Caine, remarks that, now a fugitive, John has very few friends remaining in the world, and even fewer he could trust with his life. Winston Scott is not only the esteemed manager of the New York Continental, but also a close friend (almost like a father figure) of John Wick. In ” Chapter 3: Parabellum,” the excommunicado John Wick and Winston found a common enemy and joined forces to decimate the operatives sent by the High Table and managed to corner the High Table representative, the Adjudicator, into a parley. The deconsecrated New York Continental gets reinstated, and as a show of fealty to the High Table, Winston shoots John off the roof. However, he had accounted for John’s probability of survival before shooting him, and as a result, John later managed to survive the fall and escape. Unable to find the body, the Adjudicator warns that if the case of Winston’s aiding John is proven, there will be severe repercussions. In the fourth installment, the repercussions indeed exact a heavy toll, which motivates Winston to use his guile to once again turn the tides in his and John’s favor.
As the events of the fourth installment of John Wick’s lore unfold, we see John draw first blood by going to Morocco and killing the Elder, the leader of the High Table. A severely daring act like this not only confirms his survival but also sends the High Table rushing to find a new figurehead for the organization. One of the most significant members of the organization, a member of the French aristocracy, the sadistic Marquis Vincent de Gramont, gets selected to represent the High Table, and he wastes no time in sending his message to John’s collaborators. Winston and his loyal concierge, Charon, are summoned, and after a passive-aggressive discussion, the Marquis destroys the Continental hotel in front of them. Immediately after that, he relieves Winston of his duties as the manager and points his gun at him to end his misery, but shoots Charon instead. In his last moments, a dying Charon conveys his regards to the grieving Winston.
Winston was living on borrowed time, and he knew it since the moment John was left alive. He knew that the High Table would send their regards eventually, and he had to be prepared for death at worst. What the Marquis did, destroying a place that he had an emotional connection with and killing a friend like Charon, robbed him of the purpose of his existence. Winston deserved death for all the deceit, guile, and actions that have befooled people, but not a simpleton, an innocent person like Charon. Letting Winston live was also an assault on his dignity, as the world would think that being a coward or a turncoat gave him immunity. Humiliated and destroyed, Winston seeks revenge by collaborating with John once again.
As John returns to New York to pay his respects at Charon’s grave, he becomes aware of the Marquis and his motive for hunting him from Winston. John prepares to bring down the Marquis using the usual gun-fu, but Winston stops him in his tracks. John’s method of seeking revenge will inevitably draw more heat and end up killing him. In order to help his friend, Winston suggests a way through which John will be able to find the peace that he yearns for. He advises John to take advantage of the Old ways of the High Table, according to which John can challenge the Marquis in single combat, and he cannot possibly refuse the duel. But in order to challenge, the challenger must be from a family that has seats at the High Table. John doesn’t have a membership in his former family, the Ruska Roma, anymore after having torn the family ticket previously. Winston suggests John try to ask his family for help. John asks Winston what he gets from provoking John to get a reaction out of him, and Winston replies: revenge.
After John manages to earn the family crest, Winston uses his guile against the Marquis. Winston tactically announces John’s legibility in challenging Marquis in single combat and also targets Marquis’ ego a number of times by questioning his command and position in respect of the High Table. During the term declaration meeting of the duel, Winston lets the Table know that he demands to be reinstated as the manager of the Continental hotel and for the hotel to be rebuilt again as a second to John Wick in the duel if John manages to win.
Did Winston Get What He Wanted?
In the John Wick lore, if Bowery King tended to John’s physiological well-being by rescuing him a number of times and providing him with shelter, Winston provided him with psychological counsel from time to time. John’s companionship cost him everything, so the first thing he sought with the help of John was revenge on the Marquis. As John enters the duel with Caine (the Marquis uses the rules to choose Caine as his contender), he has not only his own but also Winston’s fate on the line. After Caine manages to make John collapse with three of his shots, the cunning Marquis gets ecstatic to deliver the coup de grace to an injured John. To the Marquis’ surprise, John had held off his last shot for the perfect opportunity, and befittingly, Winston managed to have the last say on Marquis before John finished him with a headshot.
John’s victory in the duel helped Winston get revenge, as did being reinstated as the manager of the to-be-rebuilt Continental hotel. But standing in front of the Sacre Coeur as Winston witnessed the experience of a lifetime—a duel between friends to keep their honor and earn their freedom—he is moved enough to overlook his own petty considerations for the moment. Assuming what’s to become of John as the wounds, both physical and mental, are too deep to be healed, Winston gets shaken and turns pale when John asks him if he’ll take him home. There’s a mix of gratitude, regret, hurt, and disbelief on his face. Winston was there from the beginning of John’s return to the underworld, and Winston stayed by his side at the end. In the end, Winston and the Bowery King visit John’s grave. Respecting his request, he has been buried at the side of his wife, Helen, with “a loving husband” engraved on the epitaph. As Winston takes his leave, he says dasviDAniya to the departed, expressing his gratitude to John for sparing him a cycle of revenge by taking it upon himself.