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From what little I could figure out on my own, the "excommunication" is basically an execution, like we've seen with the woman from the first movie, who decided to "do business on Continental grounds" which is against their rules. And then the Manager says he basically likes Wick and wants to give him one hour of grace period until the bounty on him starts.

But then why do we see everyone out in the streets with their phones out? Were they looking for some "John Wick kills the rules" spectacle? Or were they expecting to be part of the execution squad? Or was the meeting info leaked because of the $7 (or was it doubled?) million bounty before it was officially started and they came… why? What were all these mercenaries doing there?

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Just watched this last night.

From what I could see, the kill order associated with "Excommunicado" went out right then, but there was an hour timer on it before it became active.

The scene in the park where everyone's phones are getting texts, and they are all looking at John, is to show that everyone is against him now and they are all just waiting for that hour to be up.

This is why even though John is badly hurt, once he sees the texts coming in he starts running. He knows he only has an hour before it's free game on his life, so he has to do what he can to be prepared when that hour is up.

As to your second question as to what the mercenaries were all doing there, that is not really explained. It seems to be a continuation of the movies theme that these people are everywhere. It could be that some where there from the the earlier part where Winston causes everyone in the park to freeze (showing his control and power), and they were in the park already for that demonstration.

EDIT: Something extra I have found that might help, not sure on the validity of the sources since they are just entertainment outlets, but they seem okay.

From an interview with the Director http://www.empireonline.com/movies/features/john-wick-2-chad-stahelski/ Despite that final scene, not everyone is an assassin

"Less than 0.5% of the population [are assassins], I would hope! It was probably everybody in that world in Central Park. John Wick just killed more than a hundred people, and [Ian McShane’s character] Winston was just laying down. But the people in the final shot in the parks – they're not all assassins. You just don't know. I like ambiguity. It's like that Invasion Of The Body Snatchers thing – you just don't know."

From this it does sound to me like they deliberately brought all of the assassins into the park in order to project power against John. From an interview with Keanu, it seems part of the reason for that was to set up the dangers to the character for the 3rd movie.

http://www.cinemablend.com/news/1624509/what-the-john-wick-2-ending-really-means-according-to-keanu-reeves

Hope that helps.

  • I'm only really interested in why they were all there before the bounty was made public, at the start of the 1 hour delay. That first part is clear enough. It could be explained by the "time freeze" show of power, but I'd like a bit of proof either from the movie or staff commentary or blog posts. – user1306322 May 26 '17 at 1:32
  • @user1306322 I did some searching and added a few things, nothing concrete but does seem in line with what I was saying. – Majaii May 30 '17 at 14:02
  • I guess this is as good as it gets. – user1306322 May 30 '17 at 14:39
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    But the people in the final shot in the parks – they're not all assassins. I came away with that impression. Some people are looking at him. Some people are on their phones. Some people are on their phones and looking at him. Some people looking at him are doing so because he's limping and bloody. Some, though, are looking at him, and on their phones, because they're assassins. But which are which? The scene reflects that paranoia he'd be under. (To my mind.) – Grimm The Opiner Jan 8 '18 at 14:12
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There was no kill order associated with the Excommunicado. The kill order is from the High Table, while the Excommunicado is from the Continental. They do business together, but they are separate entities. But Winston is not out to kill Wick.

People seem to miss that point because Winston had Ms. Perkins killed. He didn't like her. He likes John so he is simply cutting him off, not killing him. That is even what he says when John asks him why he isn't dead: "Because I deemed it not to be". Basically, I don't want to kill you so I am just pulling your privileges.

The people by the fountain who turned to him and then left are just there to show how powerful Winston is and how utterly alone John is. As for the people when John is running away, that has nothing to with people waiting for the bounty. The bounty is already out there. The wait is simply for the Excommunicado. It might be Winston's way of giving him time to get help leaving town or to trade in his gold coins for supplies.

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