Throughout “Chapter 4”, the film’s characters ponder death much more than those who are constantly surrounded by death usually do. Winston tells the story of forest ranger Ned Kelly who calmly accepts his fate, Charon and Shimazu die with dignity and loyalty, Killa foolishly assumes he has immortality, and John, Winston and the Bowery King discuss their own epitaph. During this conversation, John declares what he wants on his tombstone: “Loving Husband.”
The choice is a manifestation of John’s true desire: to regain his freedom from the hell of the underworld and to become Helen’s husband, John, instead of “Baba Yaga” John Wick. After defeating the Marquis, John is granted this wish by Harbinger. Wounded but alive, Caine makes peace with John, and Mr. Nobody (with his dog) lives to see another day. Winston promises to take John home, the latter knowing he is facing his imminent end.
Yet although the reign of the High Table continues with new faces to replace those removed, John is free, the scales of justice balanced by the vengeful spirit known as John Wick. “John” is enjoying his last moments on Earth, his fate almost predetermined: when we meet this man in “John Wick,” he was already a human shell, Helen’s death had taken away his highest purpose in life. Even though he knew it would mean a second grave would be dug, he lived long enough for the spirit of vengeance to take possession of him and collect his debts.
As John basks in the sun on his face, it’s a reminiscent of the movie trilogy that Reeves and Stahelski first worked on together: the finale of “The Matrix Revolutions,” which saw a similar birth of a new day thanks to a sacrifice, a reboot. instead of a complete, apocalyptic erasure of the world.