Wednesday, July 29, 2009

TV RECAP: NBC's "Kings" Series Finale

Many adoring fans have been praying that this series will get picked up by a cable network like HBO or Showtime, and I think even though this weekend's episode was the series finale, there is still more story to tell.

King Silas
After being shot during a Gath-peace conference, everyone was led to believe that he was dead. But a visit from the rightful heir to the throne, David, inspired him to reclaim his crown. With his help, he was able to lead tanks to the castle and demand entry. After a tense standoff and a barely memorable speech from David, the soldiers allowed Silas to pass. David expected him to immediately call a truce with Gath and be the merciful king he was supposed to be, but instead he asked that his wife help him draw up a list of people who did not stay loyal to him so that he could seek revenge. He then took to the roof to have words with God, and get his official "ok" to continue his rule. He had promised David earlier that the next time God spoke to him, he would listen and heed his orders. Unfortunately, the thunderous sounds that emitted from the sky translated into "Let David be king!," and Silas was none too pleased, but he had Thomasina retrieve David to inform him of God's will. At first it seemed like he was going to yield to him and hand over the crown, even though David wasn't really that interested, but then he lost his mind temper and started accusing David of plotting against him with God as his traitorous accomplice. Too much wine? Who knows? It seemed abrupt and slightly psychotic, especially once he started beating David savagely. His final scene was with the Reverend, who at this point served as a ghostly messenger of God. Despite the Reverend's adamant warnings, Silas continued to declare war against God, and the Reverend responded by stating that the day Silas lays a hand on David is the day he'll die. I'm assuming he meant a different day or a fatal hand, since he had already laid his hand on him several times that day. (lol)
Potential Plot: King Silas seems to be going down the path of a king gone mad, driven to solitude not only by the Reverend's spirit but by Death itself (portrayed by Saffron Burrows of "My Own Worst Enemy"). According to Thomasina, he wants to raise Jack's future heir as his own and restart the royal family. If the series continued or even jumped ahead 10-20 years, and if his illegitimate son should survive by God's will, the new heir and he could battle it out, and create a struggle for the throne that never truly occurred between David and Jack. I would also have liked to have seen Silas put in the same position that he put the former king in, locked away and forced to give council when needed. It would've provided a nice juxtaposition—the rise of a new king and the fall of the old.

Prince Jack
I think the most heartbreaking scene of the entire series was when his mother carelessly informed him that his blackmailer/lover had committed suicide, and he had to pretend he didn't care. This is why I often pardoned him for all of his actions and rebellious behavior, and never really pitied Silas or Queen Rose for the things he did to them. However, when he spontaneously ordered the barbaric execution of a subordinate who questioned him in front of a room full of people, I started to waver on the "All Hail King Jack!" campaign. However, I was truly impressed when he didn't run from his father like his Uncle William did, and instead faced him like a man. It might've been the only thing that saved him. I love the way Thomasina stated his punishment for treason: "Your father wants for you a living death—to brick you into a wall with someone who loves you, who you can't stand the sight of, until you produce an heir." It was like she was his executioner. Plus, the fact that Jack felt the need to beg for a pardon, as though his punishment was equal to death, was pretty amusing. I mean, all he has to do is have sex. But I guess that's what they mean by, "There are some fates worst than death."
Potential Plot: He can never be king. I hope he's resolved himself to that after 1) the Reverend told him and 2) he couldn't even get the real crown for his impromptu coronation, which is a bad omen. I hope this only because I see David and Jack as a good team. David could rule the nation, while Jack ruled the army. Plus, I'm pretty sure David doesn't give a crap who he falls in love with, so Jack wouldn't have to hide his sexual orientation anymore. Of course, with this new regime there would be a little tension between him and Thomasina. And while I do like her, I'm sure there's a place for her in the king's dungeon if she should question it.

Captain David Shepherd
After the unconvincing theatrics he put on in the courtroom, trying to prove his innocence, he thought he had finally found a way to free himself when Michelle promised to be his alibi. But when she didn't show up, he felt betrayed and rejected her apologies and her heartfelt goodbye. I believe the Reverend's soldiers saved him when he was about to be executed. But instead of running away and never looking back, he went in search of Silas to help him reclaim the throne. However, he swore that once he was done, he would leave and never return. After he succeeded in infiltrating the castle and getting an unspoken pardon from the king, which oddly no one acknowledged, Michelle went to his apartment to apologize and suggest they run away together. I guess Silas summoned him before they could. From what I gathered, David was hesitant to believe his destiny because he's always seen himself as an instrument of the king and not of God directly. But after Silas pummeled him, he started to fight back and boldly declared "Maybe I should be king! Maybe I should!" Together, he and Michelle sought refuge in the Reverend's church and the Reverend appeared to them to offer council. He advised David to go to Gath for it would be the only place that Silas wouldn't search for him. Although, I'm not sure why. They never mention any other city besides Gath, so why wouldn't he go there? (lol) His last scene ends with a butterfly—the only source of color besides the sun in the dark gray woods that separate the two cities—following him on his pilgrimage.
Potential Plot: Well obviously we would've loved to see him, albeit nervously, take the throne. Silas always insinuated that he was a good man in the past, even though William, the queen's brother, implied that he used to be pro-war, so that would suggest that David would eventually transform into a hardened man. I definitely would've liked to have seen that character's metamorphosis. That's why the symbol of the butterfly is so important. The crown may turn you into a man, but there's no guarantee that that man will be just. That decision is his, and I wanted to see if David would make the right one. I don't like that they dropped the storyline of his mother patiently waiting for him in the lobby. I guess after the coup it was unsafe for anyone to be loitering around the lobby, but did he ever call her to tell her he was leaving? His entire large-family situation was neglected, and I think if he was the youngest brother he would've sought more council from them than he did.

Princess Michelle
She's never been a character I've cared for. At first she was feisty and standoffish, then she became this lovesick, indecisive, powerless princess. Her mother radiates power and I hoped she'd learn from her. While she did manage to spend a good minute being courageous enough to stand up to her brother (and the soldier who pointed a gun at her head), she couldn't muster the same courage to determine her own future. Her mother claimed that if Silas knew she was pregnant with David's child, he would kill the child—and probably even more so now that he knows God favors him. So her mother's master plan is to sentence her to a year of solitude for "her acts of treason in support of her brother," giving her enough time to give birth. I can't remember if they're going to give the child away or claim it's someone else's, but I just wish she would've told David during their conversation about running away together.
Potential Plot: I think we would've been shone an even more reserved version of Michelle over time as she slowly morphed into her mother, or she would've become eternally bitter and indifferent to the world. I would have liked to have seen David learn of his child and for that to inspire him to take his place at the throne. But most importantly, I would've liked to have seen her grow a pair. God gave her a second chance at life and she's totally wasting it.

Queen Rose
Throughout the series she was mostly used as a catalyst to nudge certain plots along, but she never really felt like one. She truly was her own character, and a vicious one at that. However, I could never nail down where her loyalties lied. Was everything she did for her kids, her king, or herself? I think in the end, they made it seem like it was for her kids, because she negotiated non-fatal punishments for both of her children. But I think most mothers would've tried harder to make their kids happy, to change the rules so that they didn't have to conform—well, that's what I'd do as a mom.
Potential Plot: I think, since Silas is prime to reassert himself as the king, she would've become extremely busy in trying to regain favor among all the important people of the city. However, I would've liked to have seen her lose some of her power. If Silas completely lost it, he might've invited his mistress and ill son to stay in the castle, and I would have liked to see what that would've done to her emotionally.

Reverend Ephram Samuels
He felt guilty for aiding in the wrongful deaths of many people in the city and for usually serving his ego instead of God. I thought he was doing a pretty good job though, considering who he kept company with. So on the day of Jack's coronation, he refused to attend, knowing that a refusal was punishable by death. He prayed at the altar, begging for forgiveness, and awaited his inevitable demise. However, as I've noted previously, he reappears later on as a spirit to guide David and warn Silas.
Potential Plot: I think that means that God forgave him and that he would now be used as a medium for God to deliver his messages to both the rightful king and the damned one. So it would've been nice to have him continue as a messenger.

Andrew Cross
Macaulay Culkin hasn't really been front-and-center since 2004's religious comedy Saved!, so it was a nice surprise when he showed up on the series as the queen's shunned nephew. However, I never really understood what he did to merit being banished from the city for what seemed like an unbearable amount of time. Nonetheless, I liked that he was an outsider, always watching on the sidelines and examining every situation—it seems now—in an unbiased manner. I don't know about you guys but I was totally shocked when he told Silas that he wanted to replace his son Jack. They didn't pursue that scene further so we don't know if Silas agreed or even entertained the idea, but that was totally out of left field. Here we were led to believe that Andrew was completely loyal to his father and would do anything for him. But the truth is that he has some odd fixation on the royal family, and is hellbent on becoming an important part of it. He'd even go so far as to renounce his own father.
Potential Plot: Or did he? It doesn't seem like William knew where his son had gone, since he was frantically searching for him during his escape, and Andrew even told the king where he could find his father, but what if this was all just a plot to eventually punish the king for banishing him? What if he really just wants to get in his good graces so that he can destroy him? What if he's a lot more like his father than he lets on? I guess we'll never know for sure, but I think I would've preferred the plot going in that direction rather than him becoming the king's lap dog. He could've even become the new enemy against the new younger regime. And we all know that while Sebastian Stan (Jack) isn't half bad at playing evil, nobody does evil like Macaulay (see The Good Son if you don't believe me).

Lastly, who else felt like they were left hanging after Thomasina kissed Security Guard Klotz? lol

For die-hard fans, noted that the series has potential to be saved by DirectTV. Get to Tweeting!!!

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