Kingdom Season 1 Episode 5 “Eat Your Own Cooking”: My Unsolicited Review

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This week’s episode of Kingdom seemed to encompass a theme of “expectations and disappointments.” We also returned to the actual MMA world this week, which we haven’t seen since the pilot episode. Nick Jonas also had his very first sex scene, much to our delight (NSFW GIF alert)… so, all in all, really good episode.

The episode started with a monologue from Alvey, seemingly addressed to an invisible but very receptive audience, with everything but Alvey’s face in darkness. However, as it ended, and light became more visible, we found Alvey in one of his cages, dressed bloody clothes, and speaking to the two thugs who had jumped Nate earlier. One of the guys was clearly dead, the other bound and gagged. As Alvey gave the final strike, he jumps from sleep and we find out the entire scene had been a nightmare dream. Despite finding the scene horrific and grisly, I must admit that I was incredibly disappointed that it was just a dream. Not only was I happy that these two violent thugs were having justice served to them, it was amazing seeing it delivered by Alvey in the fashion that it was.

Alvey seems haunted by the dream, but not because of its content. He’s apparently upset that he can’t actually do what he dreamed of, because he’s now old enough to consider the consequences of his actions. We also find out that he has been having problems sleeping, worsened by the fact that he isn’t taking his sleep medication. When Lisa points out how tired and stressed he appears, he brushes it off, focusing instead on the fact that the two of them have plans to meet with Lisa’s father… a date that Lisa seems less than thrilled about.

The relationship between Lisa and her father, we see, is strained… made worse since the death of her mother. Her father is clearly displeased with the life decisions that she’s made, voicing his disappointments in smiling, passive-aggressive statements. Despite this, the lunch date goes well enough – so much so that Alvey and Lisa’s father subsequently make dinner plans in spite of Lisa’s absence. During their boys’ night out, Lisa’s father becomes incredibly intoxicated, and in a burst of drunken rage tells Alvey that he is too old to be with Lisa, and that this isn’t the life that Lisa’s mother would have wanted or expected for her.

Nate’s relationship with Tatiana, his personal trainer, quickly evolved, with the two of them becoming intimate after their night on the town. Frantic texts from Jay, insisting that Nate return home, forces Nate to flee right after his and Tatiana’s deed is done, making her feel cheap and ditched, though she says it jokingly enough. Later, however, when Nate has to cancel his session with her because Jay requires that he stay home to look after their mother, the situation is further complicated and Tatiana ends their relationship – professionally and personally.

Ryan’s bizarre relationship with Keith continues, with Keith displaying his highest level of attachment to Ryan to date – becoming visibly upset when Ryan has to leave for the gym. He is only able to be comforted when Ryan promises that they will complete one of Keith’s jigsaw puzzles when he returns. This relationship between the two of them started off charmingly enough, with Ryan trying to instil a greater level of confidence in Keith. Now, however, it just seems incredibly unhealthy… bordering almost on obsessive. For his part, Ryan, who so far has always been portrayed as calm, snaps on a photographer who won’t leave him alone at the gym, and later passes some of his frustration on Keith, who doesn’t seem to be grasping the lessons of confidence: “placing his dick on the table” to grab what he wants in life. When Alvey realises how much that Ryan is struggling, he convinces Lisa to pay him a visit and there, Ryan admits that the fact that his parents won’t have anything to do with him is deeply affecting him. Unfortunately, their bonding session is brought to a terribly crude halt when Keith interrupts them by literally putting his dick on the table in front of Lisa in an attempt to indicate to her that he finds her attractive. A bewildered and humiliated Ryan ushers Keith away, who is very confused as to how he’s done anything wrong when he was only following Ryan’s advice. The best part about this scene was how casually Lisa took in the entire incident, politely declining Keith’s offer, while his penis lay bare on their table.

The real star of the week was Jay, who finally got to compete in a fight once again. Despite his injured hand – beating up his mother’s pimp, Terry – and a very rocky start, he was able to beautifully claim the victory of the fight, hopefully bringing about a better industry perception and reception to his name.

Like I said, this was a really good episode. I still find it as engaging and interesting as I did the first time I saw it – perhaps even more so, now. And I quite like the build-up, as I’m convinced that something huge is going to happen eventually. You can bet your butt I’ll be tuned in.

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