“The Devil Had A Spell” This Week On Kingdom

Credit: DirecTV

We open this week with Christina lovingly shaving Jay’s mohawk back in while Jay just stares blankly into the middle distance, before meeting his own steely gaze in the mirror. It’s equal parts heartbreaking and terrifying.

The Devil: In Alvey’s case, it’s a toss-up between whether his Devil is Sean or alcohol! He gets out of jail in the morning and tries to give Sean a call – no luck! It goes straight to voicemail every time he calls – “You’ve got 30,000 dollars of my money, motherf***er, you’d better call me back!” Alvey’s suitably embarrassed by his behaviour, and Lisa’s pretty mad about it too! You’d think that’d mean Alvey would behave more sensibly, but apparently not! He takes Nate up to Fresno for his dodgy fight and honestly the whole thing is so awkward! Alvey gets hammered and has to be dragged back to the room by hotel security – you’d think Nate was the dad and Alvey was the dumb kid in this relationship! “I have taken more from alcohol than alcohol has taken from me,” says Alvey, quoting Churchill. Honestly, when we thought he couldn’t get any more embarrassing! He’s 50 years old, for goodness’ sake! An expectant father! Looks like he’s still got a lot of growing up to do!

The other devil back in town is Christina’s pimp! She goes to him for coke, which she even has the cash to pay for, but he takes a different form of payment and then hands over the drugs. He says he feels bad about it: “You were doing so well!” Like that makes it any better! And to top it all off, Christina’s still lying to Jay about work and about where she’s going! This is going to get ugly fast!

Food Glorious Food: Jay’s struggling to make weight – he’s on a diet of apples and peanut butter and a lot of water whilst Christina’s torturing him by frying bacon, and Mack’s shovelling burritos into his mouth! Honestly, his self control is incredible, but it’s not doing much for his inter personal relations. Jay’s acting out and snapping at everyone – which I guess is understandable on a perpetually empty stomach! He confronts Christina, though, about what she said to Laura. “Why would you mess with that?” he asks, plaintive. Christina denies any meddling, but Jay doesn’t look like he’s going to forgive her any time soon. “This house is too f***ing small,” he says, but he evades the question when Christina asks if he wants her to move out. This could all end up exactly as it was at the beginning if she leaves now!

Nate’s food issue goes the other way entirely! He cut down to 154 for the Fresno fight, but his opponent is at 161 – way over the 155 limit! – and nobody except the Kulinas seems to care! Unprofessional, sure, but also potentially pretty dangerous for our already delicate Nate! He stuffs his face back at the hotel room to try and beef up a little more, but the fight is a complete disaster! Every time Nate has the other guy on the floor, the ref stands them up, giving him the opportunity to give Nate a couple of nasty shots to the head! Alvey makes the call to pull Nate out of the fight – what a mess!

Daddy Knows Best: Lisa, doing her job brilliantly as usual, has got Ryan an interview with his dad to show the world they’re reconciling. Lisa won’t be there for the interview though – doctor’s appointment –  “It’s gonna be fine don’t even worry about it,” says Ryan. Like that’s any comfort!

I was honestly suspicious that Ryan’s dad was going to mess this up for him, but maybe I’m too cynical! The interview goes really well – the Wheelers are full of honest emotion, with Ryan saying his dad is the greatest man he knows, and his dad talking about how proud he is. Quote of the week from Wheeler senior: “Getting by is never an option if you can be exceptional.”

Lisa’s also spending time with her dad! Remember that phone call last week? Well, her dad comes over while Alvey’s in Fresno, and looks over the old people’s home investment and says it’s not so bad! The issue is that Alvey didn’t consult Lisa about it!

I’m so glad Lisa finally has someone to talk to about her baby! “I want to want this, but I don’t.” She says. “I feel like a selfish b*tch because I’m not wrapped up in this miracle.” Her dad offers some great support – it’s hard not to be selfish when all you’ve ever had to think about was yourself!

“It’s scary – especially when you’re doing it alone.” We know Alvey’s been trying with Lisa and the baby, but apparently not hard enough! “He’s not necessary, you know,” says Lisa’s dad. He wants her to come home to her family, and casually mentions he has a vacant condo in Wiltshire.

The episode ends with Alvey calling Lisa to tell her what happened at Nate’s fight – “I’m thinking Nate shouldn’t fight at all any more,” he says, and Nate’s the only one who would disagree with that call! When he tells Lisa he’ll see her tomorrow, though, she drops the bombshell that she won’t be there – she’s taken her dad up on his offer! “Ok, Lis, I’ll talk to you later,” is all Alvey says in response. I guess it’s good he’s giving her space, but what is up with these two? I thought their relationship was getting better?!

The only possibly lighthearted moment of the episode was when Jay offered to take Keith back to his place to get him out of the way of the interview! If we ignore Christina, high as a kite, in the background, Jay giving Keith a makeover made my day! Bald with a much neater beard is a good look on Keith!

The episode ends with “In Memory Of Larry Lauria” –  animator and dad to Matt Lauria aka Ryan. What a fitting tribute.

Sneh Rupra