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October 4, 2015

Kings: Insurrection

by Danny Gallagher, posted Apr 6th 2009 7:45AM
Christopher Egan on NBC's Kings
(S01E04) - Lives are more important than livelihood.

A major political leader's daughter has been kidnapped by militant insurgents and only one government insider can save her. Throw in a pair of electric nipple clamps hooked up to a car battery and a ticking clock, and it sounds like you've got an episode of 24.

This, however, was last night's Kings. Episode four takes a seemingly innocent decision to give Port of Prosperity to rival Gath and almost turns the whole affair into the white hot embers of a growing civil war within Shiloh.

King Silas' decision to give Gath the Port of Prosperity returns to bite him in the ass when its residents don't like their leader's use of eminent domain. So Silas puts our hero David Shepherd back in the spotlight to quell the growing insurgency and test his loyalty.

It's no coincidence that Port of Prosperity is also part of his family's land, part his father died protecting in Shiloh's last war. Lil' Davey has to choose: be a company man for the king or a man for his family. His answer does more damage than good, which is like comparing World War II to a child's birthday party where the clown shows up two hours late and drunk.

Meanwhile, Jack still wants to undermine his father for ignoring him all this time with the help of his aptly named brother-in-law, William Cross. This time, he wants to take control of the nation's major news media network that has been under Silas' thumb. Jack aims to turn the tables on him by airing more fair and balanced news that makes his old man look bad like airing footage of the growing turmoil in Port of Prosperity in between footage of that chipmunk that can water-ski and the latest Paris Hilton sex tape. After all, this is a cable news network.

He accidentally broadcasts footage of Michelle, his sister, walking into a hostage situation with David's brother, Ethan, who created a groundswell of support for his protest against the king just as David arrives to quell the fire. That's going to make their next Thanksgiving get-together awkward.

And where is mighty King Silas in the middle of all this? Is he spending time with his mistress and illegitimate child in the hopes of achieving "Serenity"? No he gave them up to save face with his queen. Instead, he's out fishing. Is this guy the King of Shiloh or the Sheriff of Mayberry?

This episode defines Kings' strongest ability. It took some tied-up ends from previous episodes and unraveled them into completely new problems. Kings has really surprise me with the way each episode finds new issues and plotlines for their characters out of previously solved ones. Each episode might have a happy ending, but it will end up being a happy ending that will take more than a towel to wipe away.

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Han Solo

So...it it just me or are Christopher Egan (David Shepard)

and Chad Faust (the 4400)

Separated at birth?? They even SOUND alike.

April 06 2009 at 4:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Han Solo's comment

Not just you. Thankfully, while one is annoying, the other is passable.

April 07 2009 at 3:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

He didn't give up his mistress and child to save face with the queen, he did it to get back in his God's good graces. Do you even pay attention to the plot? This was last week! David may be the good guy, but sometimes you have to do something unpleasant to achieve good results. The King didn't hand over PP just for a lark; he did it for peace. geez.

April 06 2009 at 3:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I have to agree with Ryan: this review is more of a general recap that doesn't touch many of the details. Seeing the complexity of the plot for this show, it almost seems warrented that a more in-depth review be conducted, as a lot of symbolism I had hoped to hear discussion about (smokestacks, David's family betrayal, etc.) has not even been mentioned.

April 06 2009 at 10:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Adam's comment

Oh, that reminds me. I didn't understand why Reverend Samuels, upon seeing the smokestack and the butterfly flag, chose to leave the scene. What was the symbolism of the smokestack/flag that I missed, please?

April 06 2009 at 10:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What Jason said. This is a HBO series accidentally being shown on NBC. Ian McShane continues to prove why he's one of the best actors on TV (and long overdue for some Emmy recognition of same). I'm also enjoying the acting of Allison Miller, who plays Princess Michelle, and of course, Eamonn Walker playing the Reverend Samuels.

April 06 2009 at 10:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to David's comment

Hi David. First the smoke and the flag were being blown in the same direction. Then, as if by divine intervention, the smoke slowly drifted the other way while the flag was still being blown to the right.

Samuels saw that as a sign, rightly so. Me? I would've been freaking out. Haha.

April 06 2009 at 11:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Huh, ok. Thanks Ryan.

April 06 2009 at 11:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

No mention of William Cross's cabal, Reverend Samuels and the smokestack, or the final scene with Abner? You covered all the setup, but didn't want to mention the amazing payoff with Silas?

April 06 2009 at 8:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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