Jay kidnaps his mother to help her detox, and Alvey learns the truth about Nate's attack.
Kingdom Recap
Credit: Nicole Wilder/DirecTV
S1 E4
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Kingdom is a show about people. Sure, they’re people with less than 10 percent body fat who probably have more anger issues that the average Californian, but they’re still just people—people who love their parents; people who want to be better; people who spend every second of every day fighting their demons; people who want to succeed. And that’s what this hour was all about: The people that they are, the things they want, and what they’re willing to do to get there.

We start with Jay doing a bit of shopping at a hardware store. He picks up some wood, a drill, some heavy-duty locks and quickly heads home to build himself a new bedroom door with more locks than any interior door should really need. When Nate starts to ask questions, Jay assures his younger brother that it’s all about safety. You know, because safety is an “illusion” and there aren’t nearly enough cops in Los Angeles. And considering that it’s up to the citizens to protect themselves, Jay has decided to give himself a new door, put bars on his own bedroom window and not do a thing to protect his little brother? Needless to say, it’s evident that Jay is up to something. And after he asks Nate to stay away from the house for the evening, Nate does his best not to pry.

Cut to Jay meeting his mother for lunch, where she admits that she needs to make a change in her life. She says she wants to get away from it all. But when Jay offers to have her stay with him and Nate, she claims that’s not enough. She’s thinking about moving out of Los Angeles and finally finding a clean slate. It’s just an idea she had, but Jay has an idea all his own. Instead of helping her decide on a new city to call home, he does what all caring sons would do and puts his mother in a sleeper hold and tosses her in his trunk, making sure to tie her hands. Turns out, the locked door and window weren’t to keep criminals out, but rather to keep his mother in. He’s forcing her into detox. (And it actually is oddly sweet.)

But that’s only step one of his process. Once mom is secure in his room, he heads over to her apartment to get some of her clothes. And as luck would have it, Terry also decides to stop by. Seconds later, Jay has taken Terry’s gun from him, taken off his own shirt (either to protect from blood splatter or simply to intimidate), and given Terry the beating he deserves. To be fair, Jay did warn him.

So with Jay out dealing with his mother, Lisa begins making calls to try and get him the fight she promised in the last episode. After getting suckered into drinks with Allison Castro, the investor chick, she finally gets in touch with a promoter who’s willing to take a chance on Jay. Enter Bucky Demarco, the sort of guy who drives around town in “Bucky’s Fun Bus.” That really says it all, doesn’t it?

At the gym, Bucky agrees to put Jay in a fight, but it will have to be at a welterweight, and it will have to happen in three days time. Also, there’s pretty much no money in it. But it’s a fight, and it’s all Jay is going to get at this point. It’s not exactly what Jay wants to hear, but for now, he takes it.

NEXT: Ryan meets a cougar

However, Jay isn’t the only one getting back into the fighting game. Alvey starts the hour by meeting with a guy named Garo to try and get Ryan Wheeler on his main card. After promising that “the old Wheeler” will show up to the fight—which is five weeks out—Alvey makes the deal. Only, he can’t help Ryan train today because he has to deal with Nate, who’s been dodging the detective. So with Ryan at the gym alone, where he and Lisa have their first real talk about how sketchy Bucky is, Alvey picks up Nate and takes him to physical therapy so that he can get his flirt on with Tatiana. From there, the two of them head to the police station, where Nate claims not to recognize the two gang members who attacked him.

Alvey, determined to get to the bottom of Nate’s problem, invites his son over for dinner, but only after he finishes training Ryan at the gym. The bad news? Ryan is no longer at the gym. After doing some intense conditioning on his own, Ryan heads down to a nearby bar to enjoy his first beer in years. And then that flows into him enjoying his first cougar in years (maybe ever?). Let’s just say Ryan’s physique is good for more than just fighting. However, his aggression does not lend itself to sex in public places. Well, not if you want to be discreet. Another important note: If Ryan tells you that you’re “f—ing hot,” he means it literally.

From there, Ryan heads back to the gym to get picked up when he runs into Alvey, who had a nice look at the security tapes, a.k.a. Ryan talking to Lisa. As Alvey puts it, he “knows all, sees all.” In other words, watch it, kid. But before Ryan heads out, Alvey tells him about the King Beast card. Ryan’s hesitant at first, but Alvey thinks having something to work toward will give him some drive and help him improve faster. That, and he promises to pull him if he’s not ready by the fight. Ryan agrees to trust the boss.

With that out of the way, Alvey heads home for his dinner with Nate. After Alvey asks Nate what he’s hiding for the 100th time, Nate finally tells his father what the gangsters said to him. In case you need a refresher, it was, “Tell your dad we said what’s up.” As for Nate, he’s ready for all of it to go away, Alvey included. Just like that, he walks away from a perfectly good plate of food and meets up with Tatiana for a night out.

Speaking of a night out, Lisa finishes the hour by grabbing drinks with Allison, only to talk about being surrounded by stubborn men and eventually, shut her down. Look, Lisa isn’t going to be bought and she’s not interested in what Allison is selling, so the bottom line is that they should have a good night “like a couple of f—ing flowers” and that’s it. Any questions?

By the end of it all, we’ve got Jay, the worried son who’s doing what he thinks is best to protect his mother; Alvey, the worried father, hardcore coach, and watchful boyfriend; Lisa, the businesswoman and good friend; Ryan, the (horny) fighter who’s still adjusting to life after prison; and Nate, the angry son and sweet young man. And let’s not forget Christina, the mother who loves her son and the drug addict who needs a fix. Put it all together, and it’s a show about all kinds of people who are passionate, loving, confused, angry, conflicted, and more than anything—complex.

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