It’s “Happy Hour” This Week On Kingdom

Credit: DirecTV

The title of this episode is “Happy Hour.” And for once, it’s actually kind of happy?

That is until the last five minutes, because of course.

We open on Alicia and Alvey’s parallel morning routines, which foreshadows their interactions later on. Picking up right where the last episode left off, Alvey’s hungover: Lisa sits at the kitchen table and reads back to him the ill-advised comment he drunkenly left on Mario’s blog. Alvey argues that nobody read it, but the fact is that his (admittedly hilarious) outburst has gone viral.

“Know your enemy, tough guy,” Lisa says. She clues him in: “The enemy is yourself.”

Meanwhile, Laura and Jay are trying to figure themselves out. It turns out that she has some serious baggage, too — she still lives in a house that her ex, who she was with for five years, pays for. Jay can’t wrap his head around it — are they sleeping together? Laura insists they aren’t, but Jay isn’t super convinced. (As an aside, Jay continues to be the light of my life. He drinks out of a tiny espresso cup and looks thoroughly out of place getting brunch with his uptown girlfriend, but he tries.)

Alicia is at the gym, texting an absent Ryan in between reps. He doesn’t respond, but it’s because he’s taking care out of his dad, who doesn’t have any illusions about why Ryan is there. Hint: it’s guilt, not love. At least Alicia is having a good day. Alvey notices her working and decides to take her into the ring. She’s nervous, and frustrated with herself, but she impresses him. He even has her spar with Jay for a bit, to test her out.

Speaking of Alicia and Jay, I can personally confirm that they are the cutest friends after. Jay and Alicia take a lunch break together to rest. Alicia asks after a still-unresponsive Ryan, and Jay tells her not to sweat it. “I don’t sweat it,” she laughs.

“Damn right,” Jay tells her. “Alicia Mendez sweats no man.”

During this little respite, Lisa lays on Alvey’s office couch and he rubs her feet, sympathetic. This has no bearing on the plot, but it’s necessary to include because it was cute-kitten-video heartwarming.

Anyway, it turns out Alvey’s invited Mario to the gym to apologize, which kind of kills the moment. Mario is a skinny hipster with big glasses, and he’s not too interested in what Alvey has to say. Alvey manages to keep his temper in check — is it just me, or is he mellowing out? — and gives Mario the tour. Mario writes another article, but Alvey decides to leave it be. He’s done being angry. Definitely mellowed.

This is where it goes south.

Nate gets himself a fight in Fresno without the green light from anyone in the family — he’s clearly been coming apart since his ex found out about his sexuality. Christina’s old abuser comes to her job just to intimidate her, and it really throws her off: she ends up going to a hotel that night, falling back into sex work.

Jay loses his temper with Laura for being so secretive about her ex, and she kicks him out. That’s the thing about Jay: he’s not a bad guy. It’s just that nobody ever taught him how to love someone without suffocating them.

Alicia has been offered a sponsor, and Alvey finally wants to train her, but we find out she sleeps in her car with a knife in the seat beside her. Suddenly it makes sense why she wants to impress Alvey and hang out with Ryan and even get close to Lisa and Jay. She’s lonely.

The episode ends with Ryan and his dad. After the two drank the day away together, Ryan wakes up after the sun has gone down and goes through some memorabilia in the garage. This turns out to be a big mistake. Guilty, he goes out for a run: when he comes back, his dad is awake, sick from drinking. Ryan apologizes for being gone, and promises his dad that he loves him, but his dad doesn’t have time for lying: “Ryan,” he says, as the screen goes black, “That’s enough.”

Conclusion? Yikes.

A filler episode, but nonetheless a productive one. Kingdom has really found its characters this season, and I’m loving them.

Emily Suazo