Mark Watches ‘Kings’: Episode 8 – Blackout

In the eighth episode of Kings, SERIOUSLY WHAT THE HELL IS THIS SHOW. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Kings. 

Trigger Warning: For talk of homophobia. 

So much just happened, y’all, and this show continues to prove that I am not prepared for it. LET US DISCUSS IT.

The Blackout

Even thematically, the blackout itself is brilliant. If God said, “Let there be light,” then what happens in the darkness? What do these people do when they must spend a night in the shadows? The characters most affected by this all seek out their own secrets, either confronting them or keeping them hidden. But it’s also fascinating to think of the blackout in William’s turn. He shuts off the entire city’s power out of a gesture of solidarity to his son, who is denied invitation to the king’s birthday party. For him, it’s an act of power. For the others? Not so much, though how each of them choose to spend their time in the dark reflects heavily on who they are.

Jack / Michelle / David

I get what the show is trying to do with his character. We’re meant to see this society’s homophobia as a negative thing, and we’re supposed to sympathize with Jack as he seeks out the “truest” part of him in Joseph. It is admirable, and I do want to see more of this storyline. At the same time, there’s a deliberate attempt to parallel Jack/Joseph and David/Michelle. These characters use the cover of darkness to hide their true feelings from those who would have an issue with it.

While I get the logic behind it, it kind of irks me that this is done in a way that seems to lose sight of WHY these relationships must exist as they do. David and Michelle are secretive because Silas and Rose aren’t too interested in bringing David into their family. But it’s not the “forbidden” love that Jack is dealing with. David and Michelle can (and have) done romantic things in public. While they’ve been met with disapproval, it wasn’t the worst reaction in the world. With Jack, however? He risks a whole lot more because he’s gay. Being heir, his social standing, his reputation, possibly even his life: they’re all at stake. So I don’t feel all that comfortable with the parallel, even though I get why it happens.


Given that he stole from Rose a couple episodes ago, I’m bewildered by his gesture to her here. Was he genuinely trying to reconcile with her or does he have an ulterior motive? What was it that he did that was so unforgivable to the Benjamin family or the kingdom??? I NEED TO KNOW MORE.


I suppose that some of what I wrote in the last review is kinda hilarious given how Kings chose to greatly leap forward with the religious / supernatural elements of the show. There’s nothing hidden or subtle here. Through a devastating and eerie flashback, we learn of Michelle’s vow and the FUCKED UP way in which Silas allowed it to happen. It was surreal to watch this show take such a huge risk with their story, but I’m definitely onboard. I say that because those twist further explains both Michelle and Silas as characters.

I’ll explain. Silas is shown here as emotionally vulnerable as Michelle slowly succumbs to some unnamed disease. He’s portrayed as being closer to his daughter than he’s ever been. This is an intentional thing, since it demonstrates why he was so willing to speak with Death and bargain with her. Yes, the Death. EVEN I COULD HARDLY BELIEVE IT.

But doesn’t it make sense? Doesn’t it lend credibility to his paranoia and desperation that we’ve seen? He made a deal to cure his daughter, in exchange for willingly giving up the throne when the signs point to a new leader. But hasn’t he been fighting that the whole time? He’s deliberately ignored the signs prior to this or he’s pushed back against them. He feels entitled to the throne, more than ever before, and look where it’s gotten him. So when the darkness creeps in, Death torments him by reminding him of his promise. How does Death do this?

By looping the piano piece David was playing on the day his father died. SILAS HAS TO KNOW DAVID WAS CHOSEN. Right???

He also knew that Michelle’s prayers were not responsible for the miracle she experienced. And yet, he let her make her vow to serve God in all she did, even if it meant being unhappy and alone. That’s the promise she’s been operating under this whole time, and it sheds a light on why she does what she does. Of course she’d pursue the health care bill, and of course she’d stay in the hospital with Corey. She made a promise to God and she intends to fulfill it.

Gods, it’s all so messed up.

The video for “The Sabbath Queen” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

Mark Links Stuff

– I will be at Borderlands Books, Book Riot Live, and Windycon this fall! Check the full list of events on my Tour Dates / Appearances page.
– My Master Schedule is updated for the near and distant future for most projects, so please check it often. My next Double Features for Mark Watches will be Kings, season 1 of Sense8, season 1 of Agent Carter, seasons 1 & 2 of The 100, Death Note, and Neon Genesis Evangelion. On Mark Reads, Diane Duane’s Young Wizards series will replace the Emelan books.
- Mark Does Stuff is on Facebook! I’ve got a community page up that I’m running. Guaranteed shenanigans!

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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