In Kingdom‘s pilot, I remember one of the moments when I realized how great it was going to be was the montage of Jay shooting up while Nate cut weight. I’m a big believer that montages can create some of the most powerful moments on television. They’re such an affecting storytelling tool, but they have to be used correctly. And this show does it better than any other on TV.
Now almost at the end of season 2, we revisit that original montage, though this time, Jay’s in the ring while Christina (purposefully?) overdoses on heroine. From the song blaring “I’m gonna go out in a blaze of glory” to the mirror images of Christina shooting up and Jay closing his eyes, this montage is yet another example of what this show is capable of. It’s one of the strongest moments in one of the series’ strongest hours.
Speaking of, the hour kicks off with Alvey saying goodbye to the guns we watched him buy just eight episodes ago while Jay and Ryan are once again cutting weight. With 10 hours to weigh in, they’re spending their day in the sauna, pretending they’re in warmer (and colder) places, eating and drinking everything in sight, and occasionally, motorboating a renaissance-fair chick, as one does.
But just when they think they know what hell feels like, Slaughter Water sends Alicia a new car, and they get to take a break to watch Alicia bounce around screaming with joy. So while Nate — Nate! — gets Alicia in check and informs her that today is about Jay and Ryan, they return to the sauna and catch each other up on their love lives. Yes, Alicia big-timed Ryan. And no, Jay can’t believe it. (Meanwhile, I can’t believe that watching these two cut weight is so enjoyable.)
Over lunch, Lisa informs Alvey that everything looks fine with the baby for now, but there is one thing he should know: She’s moving to San Francisco to raise her child near her family. And the fact that these two go from friendly couple to angry enemies in half a second is exactly why she feels the need to leave.
Elsewhere, Christina has decided to look for an apartment. Actually, she’s already found an apartment that she loves, and she has the money to pay for it. What she doesn’t have is a previous address or good credit or an employment history. And after she makes the mistake of not only interrupting the landlord during sex, but then proceeding to offer him an envelope of cash, there’s no hope for her…unless, of course, Alvey agrees to co-sign.
Spoiler: Alvey’s no longer willing to put his neck on the line for his ex-wife, leaving Christina feeling helpless.
Also feeling helpless is Jay. Still in the sauna, he tells his brother, “If anything ever happened to you, I’d kill myself.” Specifically, he’d take pills and drift off in the woods. Or maybe he’d do it on a sea cliff. Either way, he wouldn’t blow his brains out — another pilot callback of sorts — because he wouldn’t want to leave a mess. It’s both a light-hearted and fiercely dark moment between brothers, but it ends with Jay’s admission: “I don’t know what’s going to happen with mom, but you, I need you safe. I’m really proud to be your brother.”
Finally escaping the sauna, Ryan realizes that things with Alicia might not be so “chill” anymore? He’s confused. But he’s not confused about the fact that, when he gets a call about his father’s kidneys failing, he has to go be by his side. With only 4 pounds left to lose, Ryan heads out with Alvey’s blessing to find his father at his house, looking worse than ever, undergoing dialysis. As his father puts it, “Hell keeps adding circles.” He tells Ryan that he won’t be able to make his fight, but Ryan promises to record it for him so that they can watch it together afterward.
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So while Ryan fears that he might be getting close to the day when he’ll have to say goodbye to his father, Lisa informs Jay that it’s time to say goodbye to her, at least for now. She tells him that she’s moving to San Francisco, and he’s nothing if not supportive. Jay is finely tuned and ready to fight, which means Lisa can focus on the baby. However, I, for one, will miss these two because this scene is magical.
Alicia, on the other hand, is less supportive. To be fair, she asked Lisa about her pregnancy on day one, and Lisa swore it wouldn’t affect anything. Lisa still claims it won’t change things. After all, she does own a phone. But it seems Alicia’s letting the free car get to her head…until Lisa informs her that she’s going to have to return it. Just like that, Lisa is back in boss mode, and Alicia is left to stomp off with whatever dignity she has left.
NEXT: Ryan says goodbye to Lisa