Kings: First Night
by Danny Gallagher, posted Mar 30th 2009 3:40AM
(S01E03) - "We make amends Silas; the pure, the unblemished for our sins."
Last week's episode seemed to have blown Kings' war wad early and left us with nothing worthwhile to look forward to other than a long nap.
Episode three, however, pumps the series full of B-12, beta blockers and a spoonful of blood thinner and gives it the energy and vigor it needs to be a pleasure machine once again.
"First Night" gets Kings back to makin' bacon by bringing back old enemies and giving them the ammunition to launch their own attacks. It also creates new ones who have the hate production capabilities of a mutated Darth Vader spliced with Paris Hilton and a dash of Dick Cheney.
This time, pretty, petty, party boy Prince Jack conspires to get media darling David Shepherd out of the news picture by using the power of partying to destroy his public credibility. When David gets bumped from Queen Rose's opening ballet night for a $100,000 donor, Jack swoops in and claims he's being pushed aside because of his feelings for King Silas' daughter Michelle. So, he flies in David's war torn friends from the front line for a night on the town where everything from the drinks to the dames all come the same way: cheap.
Jack always seemed destined to become Kings' chief douchebag. He is the spoiled son of a king who is interested only in power and privilege without pride or responsibility. He tries to undermine his own family and country for his personal gain. His spiked hair and club persona alone are the very definition of a raging douchebag.
This time however, he really becomes someone everyone with a heart will love to hate. For Jack, Dr. Jekyll has yet to discover that Mr. Hyde has his own Mr. Hyde. Jack not only feigns friendliness just to bring his enemy closer, but the brooding anger building inside of him from his closet relationship turns him against himself and breeds an even douchier kid who sees burning ants with a magnifying glass as just an appetizer for destruction.
He's also not the only tool in the belt. Queen Rose becomes another brooding villain in episode three. Rose stayed in the shadows for the first two episodes and didn't seem to do much more than make sure all of the tablecloths smelled of lilac and the chilled salad forks all at an exact 74 degrees Fahrenheit. Now, Rose has become an underminer who aims to cement decadence and extravagance in the name of political superiority, no matter the cost. She suddenly sees David as a hero whose star has shined too long and taken some of the shine out of her own. Something tells me Rose and Jack are spending some time scheming behind the tasteful velvet curtains that Jack probably picked out during his last antiquing tour for their "scheming room".
The war at home continues with King Silas and the secrets he keeps from his kingdom. His illegitimate son's condition worsens and pushes him farther from God in his personal pursuit of sacrifice. This is when the series becomes much more than just another political drama. It's a complex mesh of royal tragedy and modern moral melodrama. The story really knows how to suck you in when Silas constantly wants to know what he has to do to earn God's trust. Mind you, the show doesn't try or even strive to answer whether the God in question is the real world God who may or may not make the real sun rise and set, or some literary fictional god who mocks Silas with every struggle he creates for himself.
It's a useless and impossible question for a television show to even try to answer. What's more important is that morality and our intentions are as powerful as any law of physics and motion. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Let's hope the series has enough inertia so we can see all of those reactions before gravity takes over and drags Kings out of its time slot.