This week, Kings did its best Perry Mason impression, showing us the dangerously expedient Gilboan justice system and proving the old adage that any man who represents himself in court has a fool for a client.
With David under (false) arrest for treason, the royal family starts to fall apart for the tenth time this week. Eamonn Walker finally gets more than one line, Thomasina falls into a sappy subplot, and the last three minutes are enough to make you excited for next week. Almost.
This rigged-trial episode might have been tense, even riveting, if David was an ambitious statesman who had never engaged in outright treason but who was certainly ambitious for the throne. Then he would have had to stress his innocence while avoiding legitimate criticism. However, this would require David to have a personality. Instead, he maintains the sort of flawless beneficence you see in orphans in Victorian literature.
Luckily, King Silas and Prince Jack are around to pick up the narrative slack. Silas puts Jack in charge of a trial Jack knows is a sham, and Jack seems willing to fabricate evidence all day long, even though his enthusiasm always wanes in the face of David’s self-defense, which he does, in fact, insist on doing himself. (Oh, Lady Death, for this Silas will have to give up the crown?)
In Sudden Subplotlandia, Michelle falls ill. Sadly, it’s not fatal: she’s just pregnant. (No, really. This is all they could think to do with her, with only two episodes left.) Queen Rose takes up lioness duty instantly, forbidding Michelle to tell her father, since Rose has (correctly) judged that Silas hates David more than he loves Michelle.
Thomasina, randomly, feels badly about being asked to arrange the death of Jack’s false witness. Afraid she’s not a good person any more, she kisses that guard who had a crush on her six episodes ago. I thought Thomasina was more badass than this, and was pretty sure she was comfortable with the idea of arranging for people to go missing. Maybe this was back when the writing made sense; who can remember that far?
The Reverend gets a much more interesting dilemma, when William Cross approaches him with another offer to join the Society of Guys Who Want to Overthrow Silas. The Reverend tries to talk some sense into Silas, including a stunt where he blows out all the lights in a grocery store (nice trick!), but Silas is beyond listening. When Cross points out that if the Reverend feels like joining, Cross could get David out of the country, the Reverend’s direct connection to God is on Low Signal, and he agrees.
When the Reverend and Cross sneak David out of prison and offer him a free trip out of the country to avoid the gallows, David refuses (apparently if you run from a rigged trial full of fake evidence, you’re guilty?). Once safely back in prison, David warns Jack of the danger. Jack looks both surprised and appalled—those are his cohorts, dammit—but the glittering anime tears falling from David’s blameless blue eyes are making Jack feel a little guilty about the whole affair.
King Silas eventually takes David aside and explains to him, the way one would explain to a small child, that because everyone loves David best, Silas’s reign is threatened. David Twist silently vows to get scarlet fever as soon as possible.
And so, in the middle of closing statements, Jack breaks that case wide open, revealing himself—and King Silas—as big fat liars. Then, everything hits the fan.
Silas tries to run but ends up trapped in the building by protesters. His reign has turned! David gets dragged around by other people. (It’s symbolic, see?) And Jack makes a break for the fire exit, where he discovers that he has the loyalty of the guards for no discernible reason, and also that Uncle William has a gun for him to use! That’s going to go really well for somebody.
Please note that the episode title, “Javelin,” also makes an increasingly-rare Biblical reference, and is from a quote I pulled a few weeks back, when I thought Silas hating David would be set in motion before episode ten. Ah, those were innocent days!
The LORD therefore be judge, and judge between me and thee, and see, and plead my cause, and deliver me out of thine hand.
— 1 Samuel 24:15