If you were ever worried about how Kingdom would handle Lisa’s return to the show, this episode should’ve put you at ease. Handling an event as traumatic as the loss of a child, even within a fictional realm, is tricky enough, and it’s only made trickier when you’re asking an actor to relive something they experienced in real life. But both Kiele Sanchez and Kingdom showed such courage and integrity in the way they handled Lisa’s return. Somehow, they managed to stay true to her character while also staying true to her trauma. And it was nothing if not powerful.
We start the hour with a flashback to the night Lisa lost the baby. After spending an evening at the orchestra — listening to her mother’s favorite song — with her father, Lisa collapses on the way to the car. And if that wasn’t heartbreaking enough, the first thing she says is, “Call Alvey.” That’s our first sign that perhaps Lisa did want Alvey by her side throughout this journey.
In the present day, Lisa’s listening to that same song — her mother’s favorite, now ruined for her — while sitting alone in a hotel room, drinking. And that’s when she texts Alvey to say, “I’m here.” Alvey responds to set up a meeting as he’s on his way into Roxanne’s office, where he signs the settlement agreement and officially says goodbye to $150,000. Well, not all at once. Roxanne worked out a structured payment plan.
However, that’s the only plan she’s going to work out today. Alvey tells her they’ll play tonight by ear — translation: he’s waiting to hear from Lisa — before heading back to the gym for his private session with Alicia. Or is it a private session with Ryan?
Ryan, ever the alpha needing to piss on his territory, finds out about Alicia’s 2 o’clock and decides to call Alvey and move his session due to a “doctor’s appointment.” As for what time he needs? You guessed it! 2 p.m. And because Alvey has bigger things to deal with, he tells Ryan to sort it out with Alicia, which of course he doesn’t do. So by the time Alicia shows up at the gym, Ryan gets to assert himself as the king while Alvey asks her to wait to train. That being said, Alvey gives her twice the amount of time he gives Ryan. And the thing you have to love about Alvey is he’s going to be straight with you. So when Alicia asks if he realizes Ryan did it on purpose, Alvey tells her like it is.
Considering Ryan’s a world champion and Alicia’s won two fights, Alvey gives her a quick reality check before telling her to shut up and keep her head down. Once she puts a belt on her waist, THEN she can train as much as she wants (though Jay would probably argue that’s not always the case).
Speaking of Jay, he’s spending a very dark, very relaxed morning with Ava at the motel when Nate stops by. Nate tries to convince him to start training again — considering his rematch with Ryan is only six weeks out — but Jay seems to think he has time. Jay apologizes for his “condition” at Nate’s fight, but when Nate brings up Christina, things go south. If she wants him home, why isn’t she at the motel? That’s Jay’s mindset. Seeing there’s no getting through to Jay, Nate tries a blunt approach, telling him to pack his s–t. He’s coming home.
When that doesn’t work, Nate pleads with his brother. “You’re gonna f–king die in here and I need you. Do you hear what I’m saying to you? I need you. Please come home.” In this moment, Jay’s lucky he’s wearing his sunglasses, because they let him pretend he’s not nearly as affected as we all know he is. But for now, he heads back inside and promises to call Nate later.
And although Nate might not know it immediately, his visit did work. A few hours later, Jay is cleaning up the motel room, going for a run, and informing Ava it’s time for him to get back in the gym. By day’s end, Jay — with Ava in tow — has made his return to the gym, which is not to say it’s pretty. But it is a start.
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Elsewhere, Alvey meets up with Lisa, who tells him she’s seeing a psychiatrist who specializes in miscarriages. But after Alvey — struggling with how to act around her now — turns down some day drinking to train, he gives her the gym update: Ryan and Alicia are annoying, Jay’s in a downward spiral, and Nate… well, Nate’s good. (Of course.) And cue the moment we all knew was coming: Lisa tells Alvey she’s ready to come back.
Alvey informs her of the money situation, for which she agrees to take less off the top if she’s given 25-percent ownership in the gym. But Alvey’s still not sure if it’s right for her — in other words, he’s thinking about that $200,000 check her father wrote him. Lisa wants it to be a business decision, so she heads back to her hotel room and tells Alvey to call her when he’s made his choice (though that doesn’t happen nearly as quickly as she’d like).
NEXT: Nate has a new roommate