In the third episode of Kings, the kingdom of Gilboa braces for the upcoming peace treaty, but numerous matters complicate the ceremony. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Kings.
What the fuck is this show???
Peace and Prosperity
The pacing of this show is ridiculous in the best way imaginable. I can barely believe how much has happened in just over two hours worth of storytelling. Props to this show for getting me to believe how tense this moment in history was for these two nations and how delicate of an arrangement this was. That’s not an easy feat for a show that’s just barely gotten into its narrative. But there are so many small and large things here to communicate that intensity.
We see it in Rose’s insistence in perfection at the state luncheon. We see it in Thomasina’s demands to clear a flock of pigeons. We see it in Silas’s determined face. It’s everywhere: the perpetual war in Gilboa might actually be over, if only everything goes as planned. But nothing was going to go as planned, was it? I don’t mean that this was designed to be chaotic; the nature of these two nations and their respective desires were always going to lead to complications. When these kingdoms rely so heavily on war for this long, it’s not exactly easy to stop. At least to the ruling class, that is. One thing that’s clear from “Goliath” and “Prosperity” is that the people of both Gath and Gilboa have no real desire for war anymore. They want it over, and they want to move on now.
But that sense of hope clashes with the cynicism they’ve adopted, much like what we see in David’s mother. She used to those on top doing whatever they want and forcing those under them to deal with the most harmful ramifications. Who demonstrates that better than her? She spends most of this episode waiting in a line to receive a check for her dead son. Which she probably already did when her husband died years earlier! So I can’t blame anyone for their negativity. It’s what they’ve come to expect. That’s why David’s frequent optimism comes across as naïve most of the time, especially to the Gath general and some of those in Gilboa. (Well, some people, like Abner and Silas, view David as such a significant threat that they spend most of this episode aware that David will be assassinated by the end of the peace accord. SPLENDID.) It’s unrealistic of him to expect for progress to be made, so when it all falls apart, he blames himself. Yes, grabbing the leader of Gath may have been misguided, but the Gath general was always in this to lose. There was never any intention on his part to sign any treaty because he had no desire or need for it.
And that’s not the only secret at the heart of this drama.
First of all, what the fuck is Michelle’s vow? A vow of celibacy? To be with someone else? What would be so terrible that she’d avoid David entirely? Does her mother know about this, too??? WHAT THE HELL, KINGS???
But there’s no more chilling scene in the midst of “Prosperity” than the absolutely unreal reveal that King Silas lied to his entire kingdom by HIDING THE KING OF THE NATION HE CONQUERED IN A BUNKER FOR THIRTY YEARS WHILE THE REST OF THE WORLD BELIEVES HIM TO BE DEAD. Like, we are talking SAVAGE levels of fucked up here, and I cannot believe how casually all of this is dropped on us. Not only was the King of Carmel apparently publicly executed, but this act gave Silas a whole lot of power and respect. AND YET, HERE ABADON IS, ALIVE, AND IMPRISONED IN A CELL WITH NO WINDOWS OR GLIMPSE OF THE OUTSIDE WORLD. Why? Because Silas wants Abadon’s gold. And after William, Silas’s brother-in-law (WHAT THE FUCK IS WITH THIS SHOW CASUALLY REVEALING THINGS), makes good on his promise to drain the treasury of gold, it’s the perfect time for Silas to play his last card.
Y’all, Silas waited THIRTY YEARS to reveal that someone Abadon loved is still alive, and that there are “others,” and that the only way Abadon can find out who they are is if he gives up his gold. He waited thirty fucking years to emotionally manipulate this man. King Silas is TERRIFYING.
I think there’s a glimpse of the same terror in Rose, who continues to prove that as much as she loudly despises politics, she’s actually deeply entrenched in them. Her visit to William seemed so strange to me. Why her? How does she even know William? Why does she care? BECAUSE THAT’S HER BROTHER. I’m beginning to understand just how fucked up and manipulative this family is, y’all. Just look how easily she plays her brother by invoking his banished brother Andrew. What did Andrew do to get banished from court? Is it worth it to invite him back? WHAT IS GOING ON?
I really want to see more of Reverend Samuels because I feel like there HAS to be more to this character. Here, he does push David in a necessary direction – one where he begins to listen to the “signs” being sent to him – but what’s his role aside from this? I’m fascinated that he’s so openly defiant of Silas because… well, he’s still alive, y’all. How is he not dead yet? Fawkes was killed for far less. (I suspect that’s because the Reverend had too many followers for Silas to risk it.)
So I’m wary about the direction of this because Samuels is solely here for David, at least so far. At the same time, I admit that I’ve never seen a Chosen One narrative like this one where the Chosen One believes their destiny is to HELP SOMEONE ELSE. Holy shit, David genuinely believes in King Silas to bring peace to the world. And why shouldn’t he? He doesn’t know the ins and outs of the man’s life. He has no idea how messed up of a leader Silas is. All he sees is what Silas shows him: strength, power, and results. In that sense, I’d say that David is captivated by the king. He believes he can make the king better, all the while oblivious to the fact that the universe (God???) wants him to be the actual king.
I’m intrigued. Cautiously so, but this is fascinating!
The video for “Prosperity” can be downloaded here for $0.99.
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