Kings Review: "First Night" (Episode 1.04)

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The cast of Kings seems to be acting out two shows. The older cast is trapped in a West Wing storyline while the younger set is entangled in a Gossip Girl episode. This week’s episode was no different. Kings, however, manages to eke out a common thread of sacrifice between the two stories. Silas has spent his life without his true love and Jack recently accepted that he will have to do the same.

Silas’ two worlds collide when he is forced to leave his wife’s side to be with his dying illegitimate son. Kings have heirs, not children. It is rare to see Silas acting simply as a father and not as the King. His family knows that the crown is such an important part of Silas and he seems incapable of turning it off around them. Jack is little more than the good-for-nothing heir and Michelle is a just another health care lobbyist constantly pleading on behalf of the masses. Silas is only able to a father to his youngest child because that child can never be his heir.

Silas is never more human than when he is away from his palace. Time spent with his mistress and illegitimate son is dubbed “Serenity” by his secret service. God, however, has decided that an undeserving Silas must sacrifice his serenity. In order to save the life of his gravely ill son, Silas is forced to never see him again. By walking away, the last ounce of humanity in Silas has been stripped away and the crown becomes his life.

While Silas was walking away from one son, his other son was doing his best Chuck Bass impersonation. This week Jack, like his father, was forced to leave love behind. Silas was able to calmly reconcile his duty and his sacrifice but a heartbroken and rage-filled Jack immediately gets into a fight after tossing his boyfriend into the street. Then, due to his ever-growing jealousy of David, he sabotages David’s relationship with Michelle. It’s a little hard to take a villain seriously when the most devious thing he’s done thus far is take daddy’s credit card and go on a spending spree but Sebastian Stan effortlessly manages to make Jack more than just a spoiled prince who often does childish things.

Kings successfully managed to showcase two mirroring stories of a father and son this episode without dumbing-down for the audience. The quality of the show is improving each week while the ratings steadily decline. I fear the show may soon become a sacrifice to the ratings gods.

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