John Wick agreed to kill Winston to reverse his ex-communicado status in Chapter 3 - Parabellum, and to reaffirm this, cut off his finger for the Elder, yet when presented with the choice, he chooses not to kill Winston, which as I see, renders him cutting off his finger was for nothing. is that correct?

The adjucator acts on behalf of the High Table, and deconsecrates the Continental in New York City. This basically opens up Winston's, Charon's, John's, and his dog's life to the mercenaries sent on behalf of the High Table.

So what I don't understand is why John can't just kill the adjudicator?

It's not like he's waiting to re-negotiate with the High Table or strike a deal with the adjudicator, and it's not clear if he knows what Winston plans to do. He's already marked for death globally, and the deal to re-consecrate the Continental doesn't pull through until Charon and John clear out the first wave of attackers,alongside Zero.

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    Not a full answer more a theory, but in all three films, we never see John kill someone who is not actively trying to kill him, the adjudicator is merely a mouth peice a clerk, it would be like getting angry at the checkout girl because the trolley's wheel was dragging, if she raised a gun at him, then yeah he'd kill her in a hearbeat, but it is the high council he wants dead, she is nothing to him. and killing her wouldn't solve anything May 21, 2019 at 10:14
  • It's part of the mystique which is the only thing these movies have going for them.
    – Mazura
    Sep 22, 2019 at 23:39

2 Answers 2


The Adjudicator works for the High Table, which in turn works for the Elder (the "one above the table" referred to in the film).

The point of John's trip to get to the Elder is to hope that the Elder will overrule his excommunicado status. Instead he finds himself with the choice that he can be killed, or take the job on of killing Winston, after which his status will be changed, plus he has to lose a finger to "prove" he's committed to following through. John wants to live, above all, so that he can continue remembering his wife, so he accepts the task and puts his mind to achieving that goal, reaffirming his loyalty.

He makes his way back to the Continental, still excommunicado and therefore still having to fight his way through everyone to get to Winston. The Adjudicator is also based at the Continental, and shows up once John has gotten to Winston. This would be the first opportunity John actually has to kill the adjudicator.

He doesn't really have a chance to take this opportunity because he handed his gun back to Winston while saying he wasn't going to kill him. At which point she turns away and makes the call to deconsecrate the Continental and arrange for the team to attack. At this point, there is precious little time to prepare for the coming assault, so John's focus is on surviving that rather than taking out the adjudicator, which wouldn't really help anything in any case as she's already made the call.

His next real chance comes at the end of the film on the rooftop, but

Winston shoots him and knocks him off the roof, where he's found by one of the members of the Bowery (and probably sets up a revenge sequel for Chapter 4)


I disagree with the other answer because if you watch the scene after he saws no, the adjudicator's theatric, dramatic turn away, and walk up the stairs is painfully slow as they stare on. It was obvious that it was a plot hole and they had plenty of time to just point and shoot and kill the girl before she dialed the number or left. I assumed a plot coverup would be that 'she is untouchable because she is part of the high table but that still doesn't make sense since they both declared disobedience just before.

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    I don't think it's a plot hole: John and Winston know that killing the Adjudicator wouldn't solve anything, the high table would just send someone else. At least now they know when the attack will come, and sooner may indeed be better as it leaves less time for other assassins to arrive on the scene.
    – Arkku
    Dec 5, 2019 at 16:38

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