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August 22, 2014

Kings: Judgment Day

by Danny Gallagher, posted Apr 22nd 2009 2:56AM
Macaulay Culkin on NBC's Kings
(S01E04) - "What's the point of having power if you don't use it?"

The inevitable has slowly become reality. NBC has shuffled Kings off to a Saturday time slot, affectionately known in TV watcher circles as the "death slot." Kings has now been left in that barren viewer-less void of TV's unwanted to rot in the hot sun of the shunned. Does anyone else smell bacon burning?

It's a shame really. Last Saturday's episode was able to give the series a good kick in the ass, even after the last episode felt like an action packed opus setting itself up for a shark jumper.

"Judgment Day" has turned Kings from a simple game of "Candy Land" where the good make it to the land of sugary goodness and the evil end up stuck in the Chocolate Swamp to a complex mesh of chess where the pieces are allowed to move each other.

Prince Jack continues his reign of douchebaggery by trying to undermine the kingdom's hero-boy David Shepherd in a very interesting position. David's brother, Ethan, faces treason for kidnapping King Silas' daughter. The King's annual Judgment Day, the aristocracy's answer to a Supreme Court, is David's only hope of getting his family's respect back and keeping Ethan's disembodied head from becoming a royal lawn ornament.

Jack seizes the opportunity to not only pit David against the King but also against Princess Michelle, David's one true love, in one fell swoop. The villains really know how to ramp the evilness to 11. Jack and William Cross' moves and scheming go for a mouthful of jugular every time and carry the familiar smell of J.R. Ewing, which is a strange combination of brimstone and Old Spice.

The downside so far is definitely David. He seems blissfully ignorant of everyone's efforts to undermine and destroy him, almost to a Manuel from Fawlty Towers level of fault. His heart is always in the right place, but his head constantly seems to be somewhere else. The big pair of blinders he has on would make even the most timid TV watcher scream at their plasmas to watch out for the knife Jack has reserved for his back. He's either turning a big cheek to the evil that surrounds him in the hope he can win them over or he's dumber than a bag of dead birds. He's blonde and an employee of the government, so I'm more apt to go towards the latter.

The episode also brings Mr. Cross' exiled son, Andrew (played by Macaulay Culkin), back into the kingdom. He barely gets enough screen time to see exactly how he fits into all of this mess. Is he another enemy seeking revenge or will he become a new ally for the throne? The discovery of a black pump in his old bedroom has set up a rather surprising/disturbing twist in this power grabbing tale. I hope that for the sake of my lunch that power will be the only thing Andrew tries grabbing in the next episode.

The episode also features a great deal more humor than expected. It breaks up the tension and haze nicely from scene to scene as tiny, funny segues linking the whole thing together. Silas' constant hunger for real food from his nagging wife makes for some good jokes and leads to another great exchange with Vesper (played by the wonderful Brian Cox), Silas' captive king and closest royal advisor. They aren't the kind of funny that can make you lose bladder control, but they offer the right dose of humor to break up tense moments and improve the flow. It's nice to see that such a serious show people with inflated egos and puppet master syndromes can find ways to not take itself so seriously.

In fact, I think every episode of 24 could be improved by letting a pig walk through the background.

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Riley Freeman

great show im gonna miss it.

April 22 2009 at 9:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Daune Calovini

The black pump was his aunt's (the Queen). She was looking for it in the kitchen during an earlier scene. The nephew either has some weird fetish or compulsion to steal. I'm sure that has something to do with why he was banished in the first place. He's creepy.

My question is this... I never fully understood how Jack got captured in the first place. There was some sort of machination. Was it a set up to cause the war, or was there someone in the administration who wanted him dead?

April 22 2009 at 2:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Daune Calovini's comment
Tri

The King set him up because Jack fails to live up to the Silas' idea of what his successor should be (Jack being gay is a major issue for the King)

April 22 2009 at 3:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jffm

I suspect Andrew's transgression was considerably more serious than something as harmless as cross-dressing or benign as kleptomania. My guess is he is obsessed with the queen to the point of stalking and perhaps attacking her.

And Silas was very much pained by giving up his second family, but both that and killing the injured dear were part of his perhaps misguided attempts to make peace with his God.

April 24 2009 at 10:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Margarette

I'm not sure I understand what you're referring to with that black pump. I thought it may have meant that he either wears women's clothing or he killed a woman and took her shoe. What are you talking about with the grabbing business? Because it sounds a little homophobic.

April 22 2009 at 12:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mj

While the first episode was a tad boring, the rest have been pretty good. Ian Mc is an awesome actor, with that voice, and who can use facial expressions better than anyone. At first he seems like a nice guy, then the bad starts appearing, yet he is great with his other family, until he dumps them without looking back. The scene where he kissed the injured deer then snapped its neck was so like the scene in Deadwood, when he killed the preacher, to stop his suffering. I don't think people are quite ready for this show, in this age of reality shows that are rotting the brain.

April 22 2009 at 9:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mark Adams

NBC is pulling an ABC, by now removing KINGS completely from its schedule. They say they'll run it out this summer. Yup, sure they will. They'll replace it with more reruns, just what we need.

April 22 2009 at 8:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
David Marcoe

It would work great as a comic series. That's about the only hope for it surviving in any form.

April 22 2009 at 5:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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