The second Kings episode was not without its flaws, and while I adored the crazed face-off between guest star Brian Cox and Ian McShane, I couldn't get past the soldiers' mall madness. Spoilers below!
This week in the kingdom of Gilboa, King Silas' son is out of control. We learned last week that Jack's penchant for men needed to be "iced down," if he ever wanted to sit on dad's throne, but you can't keep a guy from accessorizing. To get back at his daddy for kicking him out of the super-important peace talks dinner - which country mouse David was invited to - the son plots his revenge by "wasting some money."
I immediately thought: "All right, Jack - let's break out the hookers, cocaine and bottle service, and show these fellas a good time." But instead we got a shopping spree that would make the thigh-high ladies of Clueless jealous. And for some reason, it reminded me of this scene from another movie:
Update: Maybe I need to be more blunt as some of you have been commenting below, sorry for any confusion. Yes I knew this was an evil plot hatched by the brother-in-law, it was obvious and terrible and made me gag. It was as blatant as the previously mentioned movies with its mallet-over-the-head subtlety. Plus it was tonally terrible in comparison to the rest of the show, Zoolander out of place silly so much so that I refuse to take it seriously. This moment was my last week's crown of butterflies. Never again with the bad jokey "I know what I'm doing shooooopiiiiing sluuurpeeees, but it all has a meaning, get it, get it, wink, wink, nudge, nudge?"
Last week I gave Kings' pilot a pass for being a little obvious - it was a pilot, after all - but at least it was an absolutely gorgeous TV show with heaps of promise. This time around, the alternate-reality drama continued to deliver both the lovely angled shots, and the cheesetastic performances from the baby faced David. Including more of David's magical tears that can stop wars, heal baby birds and capture moonbeams. Some moments excelled, but at times the show got bogged down by taking itself too seriously.
David helped end the big war with Gath last weekend, which was what King Silas secretly wanted. So it's no surprise that Silas orders his execution immediately - wait, what? While I understand Silas' delicate ego around those who could threaten him, David's far too useful as a pawn to cast off so easily, and Silas is smarter than that. But apparently, not right away.
The peace talks begin in Gilboa, and the Queen is seen delivering orders to her army of servants and just making me fall in love with her Ice-Queen sensibility all over again. When David's presence is demanded at the peace-talks table, everyone throws a bit of a tiff.
They remind the farm-boy not to say a word - even though his ridiculous speech about brothers and murder, and being tired, just ended the war. Of course, the ruler of Gath absolutely loves David and forces him to get all chatty and spew out how, "he can't speak, so he's saying nothing at all about peace, except for these words right here." While the rest of the fantasy world groans under the pretentious weight of that sentence. But it works, and peace is restored... eventually, after more long speeches and tear-filled puppy eyes that stop guns, and soften the hearts of even the most hardened generals. Then David goes on to heal a bird with his tears, thus saving his own life from a sniper (you remember, because Silas wanted him dead).
In other plot points, the Queen's brother pulls all of the money from the Treasury, thus forcing Silas to go to the deepest darkest cell in the deepest darkest corridor and unlock the frumpy former king, Brian Cox. McShane and Cox then compete in a game called "who can who can arch his eyebrow the highest, whilst chewing scenery and giving crazy-face." McShane wins, and I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I rewound that moment again and again. I really think that Kings' success could hinge on the popularity of the guest characters, such as Cox and Macaulay Culkin (who was finally mentioned last night, as the son banned from court). So Silas wins this match, but I cannot wait to see when they'll put these two together again.
David and the King's daughter tried to resume their country mouse, city mouse relationship, with big sappy smiles and furrowed brows of understanding - but apparently she's made some sort of oath and therefore can no longer pet the country mouse at her leisure. I have no idea what this could be, or why this didn't stop her from making out with David in front of a crowd of people in the pilot, but perhaps she's a Nun, or betrothed to someone else? I'm not sure, and I'm not sure I care either, since this relationship was pushed forward and pulled apart way too quickly for my taste.
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern showed up briefly through out the episode being adorable whilst chasing around birds that were symbols of Jesus or God or hope or something. They end up saving David's ass and opening up yet another metaphor door on this show and competing with all the butterflies. But either way, more of these two please - they provide some comedy to balance out all the drama on Kings, and so far they've been pretty successful.
So that was that - I still don't feel invested in any of these characters besides the two bumbling guards and the Ice Queen. Hopefully, next weeks Jack-centric story can redeem him from last night's shopping abomination. Because in the real world, spoiled rich kids do dark things to bathroom attendants in filthy club basements, while silently weeping and hoping this will make Daddy love them. They don't go around buying everyone shiny watches. I'm still rooting for this series, and I still love the ridiculous dialogue they give Ian McShane (which he completely sells - who else can make "Two pens, one paper, we sign our names, we shake hands," sound interesting and compelling? Only McShane.)