I watched “Brotherhood” after spending some time rewatching previous episodes of Kings, since the show has been off the air for a while, and it’s so complex that I thought it would be a good idea to refresh myself with the characters and setting. One of the things about watching shows as they air is that I sometimes have trouble keeping track of them; I’ve never liked the idea of reading more than one book at once, and I kind of don’t like watching multiple television shows at once for the same reason. Yet, if I waited for entire series and seasons to finish, I would get spoiled before I had a chance to watch them.
One of the reviews I recently read of Kings pointed out that each episode feels almost like a movie, which I think is really apt. The show has high production values (probably why it’s so expensive), and each episode is so rich and layered that it does feel like a self-encapsulated story. Yet, the medium of television also allows the creators to explore more complex story arcs over the course of a season, which is why I love television so much, and Kings does a great job of weaving in ongoing plots while also uncovering new ones.
“Brotherhood” reveals more of the tension between David and Jack, with the two men sent on a secret mission which turns out to be more complex than we first realized. It’s interesting to watch Jack struggle with himself and attempt to prove himself, especially as we saw David being anointed in the very first episode, suggesting that Jack is not meant to become the next king. He is so hungry for power and acceptance that it’s kind of sad to watch him.
I think that Michelle’s subplot was a bit overdone in “Brotherhood.” We get that she is supposed to be a model of compassion and humanism, a counterpart to her power hungry brother, but her scenes with the plague-ridden boy felt forced. Her constant compulsion to put herself in danger to protect the people comes across as more reckless and suicidal than dedicated.
The plague scenario in “Brotherhood” was also very interesting. Would it be possible to shut down an entire city like that? Would people really agree to confine themselves for 12 hours for the overall interest of the entire community? It’s interesting that even as society teeters, Silas’ faith in his people is borne out, yet even as his people obey him, Abner is betraying him.
(I’ll be reviewing “The Sabbath Queen” next week because I don’t really feel like spending the start of the first day of summer watching television! Happy summer, everybody. And happy Fathers’ Day to all the dads out there.)