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Kings – Insurrection
Kings just gets better by the week. This week’s episode was about Silas’s political acumen and the plot to subvert his rule. I don’t have too many comments other than “this was an awesome episode,” so I will let the story speak for itself in a detailed recap.
Silas makes the announcement to the public that he is not merely giving back the Port of Prosperity to Gath in order to secure peace, but also all the lands north of the river–including the land where David Shepherd’s family farm is located. David is visiting his family when the announcement is made, and they implore him to talk Silas out of giving away their home, the land their father and brother Eli died for. David confronts Silas, who is certain of his course and forces David to prove his loyalty: “Do you trust me?” Silas asks him; “Yes.” “Then you will go to the Port of Prosperity and talk to the people protesting there. The fact that your family’s land is part of this exchange for peace will make you more believable when you say you support my decision.” So David goes to Port Prosperity to deliver the king’s message and try and talk down the protesters, who have threatened to shut down the port.
Prince Jack asks his uncle William for a favor to help him make up his mind about taking part in the plot to overthrow Silas. He is put in control of the media network William owns, and immediately sets about to undermine his father’s image by broadcasting coverage of the growing protest in Port Prosperity.
William approaches Reverend Samuels with a meeting about the group who seeks to replace Silas with a new king. The reverend seems reluctant to commit himself, maintaining that the next king shall be appointed by God and not by the hands of men.
Silas, in the meantime, surly and out of sorts–seemingly because he no longer goes to the “countryside”–is urged by his queen and his assistant to take a break. Since he maintains that he knows no such place as Serenity, he instead goes fishing. There he is approached by socialite Christina Gent, who wants to buy a ministry position. She would want someone else to actually do the work of it, she says; she simply wants to regain her reputation in the media–from trophy wife bimbo to the respect that should be accorded to one of the richest women in Gilboa. Silas says he has no openings at the moment but also seems to respect her gumption…and her offer to “overpay” for such a position.
Meanwhile, back in Port Prosperity, David’s words fail to sway the protesters. In fact, his support of the king’s position incites a riot. He is struck in the head by a rock, and his brother Ethan is shot. In looking after Ethan, David is swept behind the barricade of what has become a full-blown insurrection against King Silas. David is sent out with a message for the king, that the protesters will shut down the port if he does not rescind his promise to give up the lands north of the river. Cameras from Jack’s station are capturing the news, which Silas keeps ignoring. “We will not be drawn in,” he insists at each report of escalation.
Until Princess Michelle takes it upon herself to do something. She goes to Prosperity and goes inside the barricade to meet with the insurrectionists. Alone, having ordered the police to keep David Shepherd from escorting her. Her offer to the insurrectionists is merely that if they surrender now she will publicly grant them amnesty in the name of the king, and Silas will honor it. They have a better idea, however: using Michelle as a hostage to get what they want from her father. Ethan protests, but is overruled by the other men…and perhaps not entirely opposed to their tactics.
Silas immediately orders troops to Prosperity to extract his daughter–to kill every man there if that’s what is necessary to get her out alive. The cameras at Jack’s station keep rolling…until Christina Gent comes in, having just bought all the network’s stocks in a “hostile takeover or whatever it’s called” at Silas’s request–the price of a ministry seat for her is the freedom for Silas to use whatever force he must to save Michelle. This move prompts Jack to call his uncle and join the coup. He will be the next king and support their bid for it, he promises.
Silas arrives at Port Prosperity and puts a team of snipers in place to shoot every man in the shed with his daughter, who was chipped years before and who is therefore differentiated from the other figures. David begs him for the chance to talk them down–his brother Ethan is in there, after all–and Silas gives him two minutes before the snipers shoot anyone who is standing. David is able only to provoke a fight with his brother that ends with the two of them fighting on the ground and therefore safe from the snipers’ bullets. One of the insurrectionists was not killed instantly and raises a gun to Michelle from where he lies on the floor. David steps in front of her, but is saved from being shot by Ethan shooting his erstwhile partner. David’s bravery moves Michelle (clearly, he has redeemed himself for that photographed kiss).
At the same time, back in Shiloh, Reverend Samuels drives up to the conspirators’ meeting address and sees the flag of Gilboa flying high. He takes this as a sign that Silas’s kingship is safe from this threat and does not go in. Inside, William Cross receives a text message telling him to get out and escapes from the building just before Silas’s swat team busts in and shoots all the other conspirators.
Silas offers David an explanation of what had happened: he had been watching the protesters, including Ethan, for weeks because they had been planning a full-blown rebellion from the beginning, and had not sent David to Port Prosperity with any hope of success. Ethan, Silas says, will stand trial for treason–and the only reason he’s being given a trial instead of a direct execution is that he shot the man aiming at Michelle. David escorts Ethan to the family farm, where the door is shut in David’s face. He made the choice to stand by his king, and his family has cast him off for it.
We also learn in a discussion between Silas and his top military adviser that he wanted to use the turmoil around a rebellion to draw out those who sought to overthrow his rule–the only surprise was that neither Reverend Samuels nor William Cross were caught. The episode ends with Silas’s adviser explaining to William that he warned him because Silas is no longer the king he once was and that he wants to see the coup succeed.
I really liked the interplay of Silas’s deviousness with the expectations of everyone around him. I also liked the idea of Silas being a less effective king because he is trying to be a “moral” king who no longer keeps a mistress. Interesting conflict there between what is right and what is best for his people. In all a great episode that is finally showcasing how intricate and multi-layered this show can be, now that the set-up has been established.