Category Archives: recaps/Kings

KingsChat 1×05 – “Judgment Day”

Kings has made the big jump to the television graveyard that is Saturday night. I hope you guys are still watching. I was wondering, if Star Trek fans are called Trekkies, and Mad Men fans are called Maddicts, what are Kings fans called? Chumps? Oh, humor! But I digress…

This week we saw Judgment Day, in which King Silas chooses ten criminal or civic cases to preside over. This was only a small part of the episode, but I enjoyed hearing the names of the cases that were picked. These little glimpses the writers give of the world the characters live in have been really interesting to watch. I’d really like to see this show develop some sort of a mythos, much like Battlestar Galactica or Lost. Something to give us a little more history.

Of course, we were still dealing with the fall-out from David’s brother and the insurrection over Port Prosperity from last week’s episode. And if that one didn’t do it for me, this week’s sure did. I hate David’s family. If he’s not willing to support his idiot brother 100% in rebelling against the government, and then won’t do everything possible to get him off the hook afterward, he’s cut off! That little slap David’s mom gave him as she stormed out of the courtroom was just icing on the cake.

This week we were introduced to Andrew Cross, played by the forever-young Macaulay Culkin. He really didn’t have as big a roll in the episode as I thought he would, although I’m sure his character will be fleshed out later in the season. I’m not sure, but the way he was staring absently at that fork while he cleaned it with his napkin makes me wonder if there might be something wrong with him. Did anyone get what was with the shoe William found later in the episode?

With the cases against Reverend Samuels and Doctor Nayar, and then Silas’ visit to Vesper Abadon, I kind of saw this perfect storm coming together in regards to Silas’ relationship with God. While in the pilot, he was ready to be done with Him altogether, in this episode, it seemed like he was coming to terms with God’s role in his life. When Abadon tells him that, because he asked God to be king, he could never count on people being good to him for goodness’ sake, Silas wasn’t angry. It felt like it was something he knew he would have to accept, that he couldn’t change. He also seems ready to patch things up with Samuels, so I’m wondering which side the reverend will land on once William and Jack make their move against Silas.

Now, I know that, at the end of the episode, Katrina Ghent told Silas that she wanted a ministry because of all the “trappings” that came with it, but I thought there was maybe something more there she was just keeping to herself. At least, that’s what I was thinking. Since last week’s episode, she’s certainly turned into Jack’s lapdog, and playing a much more subservient role. Seems like she’s had a pretty big change of heart. Especially when she’s completely shuts Jack down at the end of the episode. And speaking of the prince, once Michelle realizes what he’s up to, that he’s purposely pitting her and David against each other, Jack tells her that with David, he’s fighting for his right to exist. He says he won’t let someone else’s ambition push him off into obscurity. Not after all he’s sacrificed. My question is, what the hell has he sacrificed? Isn’t this the guy who spends the treasury’s money on expensive watches and getting department store clerks to go down on his army buddies? Oh Jack, my heart bleeds for you.

A few more tidbit’s from the episode. Silas saved Ethan, which means that David’s family can finally be nice to him again. Michelle’s health care bill passed. It looks like she had a little help, and I’m wondering if it was Paul she was referring to at the end of the episode when she told David that they could never be together because of a promise she had made. I’m probably way off with that. More likely, it was something to do with the conversation she and Silas had in “Prosperity”. We also saw a little more of Jack’s affinity for men, which I’ve heard is going to be a big plot point in an upcoming episode. As in, Jack being a homosexual isn’t the only way to interpret his relationships. The suspense! Another great episode. The promo for next week was a little vague, so I’ll see you guys here after it airs.


KingsChat 1×04 – “Insurrection”

This week…

… David’s loyalties are torn when his brother joins the resistance after King Silas offers Gath the territory where David’s family lives.

I think we all saw it coming. In four short episodes, we’ve learned that David’s family doesn’t do much besides stand around with their hands on their hips acting indignant, so we knew Silas’ move was sure to piss them off no end. Of course, they didn’t disappoint, and by the end of the episode, we saw that things would never be the same between them and David.

Ethan: Hey David, thanks for getting me out of jail, and for getting Silas to not execute me… But, we all hate you now, so don’t come around here no more. We’re grateful, but, you know, still.

This episode saw some interesting developments. One was the introduction of Katrina Ghent (played by Leslie Bibb), who I’m not willing to write off as a plot device just yet. I could be completely wrong, but I’m guessing she’s going to play into Jack’s arc, now that she’s bought out UNN. But whatever she end’s up doing, I doubt the writers brought her in just to piss Jack off and look good doing it.

William continues plotting against Silas. I was actually surprised to see how far along he was. From the secret pow-wow he was holding, it looked like he had the backing of at least part of the military. And this was before the *gasp* shocking revelation that it was General Abner and not Reverend Samuels that alerted William to the raid. It makes you wonder if, in the end, Silas is going to have any friends left besides David and Thomasina. Now that Jack has officially thrown his support behind William, I wonder how fast things are going to start rolling. I have a feeling things will peak right around the season finale.

Speaking of Samuels, if he wasn’t the one warning William, what was it he was looking at on top of that building? Any guesses? All I got was the Gilboan flag. If you noticed something else, please, set me straight.

One last thing I was thinking about last night, if both Queen Rose and Thomasina have noticed that Silas has been distracted lately, I’m wondering if he’ll end up going back to his mistress. I’m not ready to bet money on it, but the show does follow certain religious themes, and repenting and swearing off certain sins, only to go back to them later would fit in with that. And while we’re on that subject, Rose told Silas that he always seems refreshed when he comes back from the countryside. Does she know more than we might think? Maybe they have a sort of don’t ask don’t tell Tony and Carmela sort of relationship. It’s food for thought.

If you saw the teaser for next week’s episode, you know that Macaulay Culkin is coming in as William’s exiled son. That guy’s 28 years old, but when I saw him it was like Home Alone all over again. That guy doesn’t age.


KingsChat 1×03 – “First Night”

Here’s the synopsis of “First Night,” from the official website…

King Silas makes a sacrifice to save the life of his illegitimate child, while Jack, who has ulterior motives, takes David on a wild night out.

The Queen and Jack are ramping up their campaign against David. Jack I can understand, but I’m not exactly sure what Queen Rose has against him. Taking away his ticket to First Night was pretty [RickJames]cold-blooded[/RickJames], and I’m thinking that her meddling in Michelle’s relationship with David is eventually going to blow up in her face. For the time being, Michelle seems content on pouting when her mother does something she doesn’t like, while more or less staying in line, but it’s one of those things where you know it isn’t going to stay that way. My guess is that as things get rockier for King Silas, he and David will become closer allies, and Michelle will support him over her mother and Jack (not to mention William Cross and CrossGen (I love witty names)).

So tonight, Jack takes David out for a night of general debauchery. After Jack said that he couldn’t even begin to tell David how batshit crazy the Shiloh party scene was, I was half-expecting to see some Nicholas Cage in 8mm type thing where people snort cocaine off of strippers’ chests while fornicating each other. But dancing under red mood lights is pretty crazy too, I guess. We caught a little glimpse of Jack’s relationship with his “boys.” I wonder if, after having the smack-down put on him by his dad, he’s going to try and swear his lifestyle off. I imagine that when it hits him again, it’s going to hit him hard.

Every time I see Eamonn Walker, he looks about a foot taller than the last time I saw him. After Silas had him brought out to the woods to “seek council,” I’m wondering if the two are going to patch things up. Silas’ mood also seems to have changed a lot from the premiere. First, he tells Reverend Samuels that God could more or less get bent, and now he’s dumping his illegitimate family. I thought it was a pretty gutsy move and showed how serious he was about getting back in control of things. That entire last scene was pretty moving, I thought.

With every episode I see, I’m amazed at the show’s production values. I’m sure Kings must cost a fortune to produce, so I will say again, tell your family, your friends, people you go to work and school with, to please, please, please watch this show. I had another dream last night. In this one Future Hiro came back and told Peter Petrelli that, in the future, something horrible had happened, and it was all the Heroes’ fault! Dammit, Future Hiro comes back every season! And NBC is STILL ordering more episodes! Help save good television!

KingsChat 1×02 – “Prosperity”

After a small delay, KingsChat is finally up. Here’s the official synopsis from the Kings website.

When David is blamed for the failed peace talks with Gath, he takes extreme action to get the two sides back to the negotiating table. Sunday’s episode was up and down. David’s role in bringing the Gath military to the peace table.

Was it just me, or did Sunday’s episode seem a little clunkier than the premiere? A lot of the dialogue felt a little stiff, and David’s entire arc seemed muddled. I’m not sure what he did to piss off the Gath (Gathian? Gathites?) delegation. It looked like they were looking for an excuse to leave before he did anything – on a saide note, I enjoyed Mark Margolis as the King of Gath, although every time I saw him all I could think of was, “You wanted it… you got it… Toyotaaaaaaa…”. Anyway, I’m hoping the show doesn’t turn into a How-Will-David-Save-The-World thing every week. I don’t really think it will, but I do know how easy it is for series to settle into overused conventions. Heroes, we’re all looking at you.

As someone who cries every time he thinks of Deadwood’s premature cancellation, it was nice to see Ian McShane back with Brian Cox. Cox, who was really laying the Marlon Brando impersonation on pretty thick, played Guggenheim, who I’m assuming Silas deposed before taking control of Gilboa. Silas keeping him around and in prison for no other reason than to piss him off created a really interesting dynamic, and whatever Guggenheim saw in that photo probably guaranteed that we’ll see him in future episodes.

The introduction of Cox’s character also provided a way for King Silas to spit in the eye of his brother-in-law, after he pulled CrossGen’s gold out of the treasury. Now, he’s… well, we’re not sure what he’s doing. Sitting in his office twirling his mutache from the look of it. When Queen Rose took a break from organizing state dinners to come in and mentioned bringing back his son, who was exiled from the King’s court, well… suspense! All I’ll say is that I’ve missed Macauly Culkin, and I’m sure you have too.

One last thought. I know it’s only two episodes in, but Kings isn’t doing so well in the ratings. Because the show needs to turn that around, and quick, if it has any hope of being renewed for a second season, please, I beg you, tell your friends about this show. I keep having these dreams where, in the future, all we have to watch is American Idol, CSI: San Antonio, and reruns of Joey. Think of the children.

“We give up what we want when we want power.”

For every Office or 30 Rock NBC gives us, they also give us two Knight Riders and a Crusoe, so after tonight’s premiere of Kings, I’ve got my fingers, toes, and other assorted body parts (two of them?!) crossed that the network sticks with it. Like Art Linkletter, I heartily endorse this product.

For those who haven’t heard anything about it, Kings is a modern, soap-opera style take on the David and Goliath story. It centers around David Shepherd (wink wink, get it?), who rescues the son of Benjamin Silas, King of Gilboa, after he’s taken hostage during Golboa’s war with the neighboring country of Gath. As reward, King Silas brings David into the world of high society and government intrigue. If that sounds like a lot to take it, it really is, and that’s what makes the show so exciting. It seems like with the rise of DVR and the changing face of broadcast media, more and more networks are playing things safe, and are, for the most part, really shying away from doing anything big and innovative. Kings is both. And with my beloved Battlestar Galactica coming to an end next week, and Lost following a year from now, it’s great to see a show so completely swing for the fences.

If for no other reason, people should tune into the show just to watch Ian McShane walk around and talk for an hour. McShane, who put the words hooplehead and c**ksucker in all our vocabularies as Al Swearengen on HBO’s Deadwood, fits in perfectly here. Especially because much of the show’s language seems to be a mix of Shakespeare and the Bible. McShane serves as the patriarch to a promising cast. Christopher Egan as David – who also looks a lot like Heath Ledger – plays the small town boy who’s just been thrown into the big leagues without looking doe-eyed and disingenuous. Sebastian Stan, plays Silas’ son, Jack, who’s jealous of the attention being thrown on David by the press and his father is sure to develop into one of the show’s main villains is brooding without resorting to that, “My name is Syyyyllaaaarr!” tomfoolery that’s ruined Heroes. There was a lot set up in tonight’s episode, and the cast was able to pull it all off without it feeling forced or unrealistic. And as far as the cast goes, Kings has some great guest spots lined up. Brian Cox, Leslie Bibb, and the triumphant return of Macaulay Culkin, to name just a few.

Eamonn Walker plays Reverand Ephram Samuels, whose character gives us a glimpse of how big a part religion is going to play in the show. Not in a way that makes you feel like you’re being preached to, but something that will help move the story along. I’ll try not to ruin anything for those who haven’t seen it, but a prophesy Samuels makes seems to have very real implications by the end of the premiere.

Of course,  I’ll say this and the show will be canceled next week, but I really think Kings has a good chance of sticking around for a while. It really seems to have snuck in under the radar. I think that will probably work in its favor, unlike other shows – 2006’s much-lamented Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip comes to mind – that are so completely over-hyped that if they aren’t overnight successes they’re declared failures and gone before they have a chance to find an audience.

Kings also has a serialized element, and judging from the first two hours, is handling it a lot better than any of the Lost rip-offs we got during the diasterous “serialized shows make money!” 2006-2007 television season. The premiere has already left us with a lot of questions. What’s up with King Silas’ other wife and son, whom we caught a glimpse in the first episode? What’s his relationship with Crossgen (who seems to be financially propping up Gilboa), what do they do, and how did they put Silas in power? When NBC ordered Kings to series, creator Michael Greene was said to have already mapped out the show’s 13-episode first season. It’ll be interesting to see how Greene, a veteran of NBC’s Heroes, lets all these plotlines play out.

Just a few things I liked about tonight’s episode…

  • The royal historian. I thought it was an interesting idea that they record everything Silas does, down to his day to day activities, like they’re writing their own scriptures.
  • Whoever’s in charge of the music. There’s a scene toward the end with King Silas watching a Gilboan counter attack with his generals on either side of him. The entire thing was scored beautifully.
  • Austeria, another country they make mention of. I’m really interested to see more of this world’s politics. Wondering if any countries or governments we recognize will ever show up.

I set this one up as more of a formal review just to kick things off. But in the coming weeks I’d just like to do a quick recap with a few highlights just to start some discussion, so stay tuned. If anyone has any thoughts on tonight’s episode, post them here.