‘Kingdom’ Series Finale Recap: A Broken Alvey Wins Final Fight After Losing Nate
Kingdom on DirecTV ended yesterday after three seasons telling the story of MMA fighter Alvey Kulina and his sons Jay (Jonathan Tucker) and Nate (Nick Jonas).
KINGDOM SERIES FINALE RECAP
In the last episode, Nate finally comes out to his father, who let’s say does not react well. Nate ends up upset and gets into a fight with a bouncer at a bar, where he gets shot in the struggle. The final episode reveals that Nate does indeed die from his wounds. “It was important that it felt like one of these freak accidents or moments of violence that Nate has had in his history where the consequences become very real very fast,” Jonas told EW. Show creator Byron Balasco added, “I wanted there to be real consequences for Alvey in terms of the mistakes he made as a father and as a man. You have to be mindful of the way you treat the ones you love because you do not always get a chance to go back later and fix it.”
Alvey is distraught about his youngest son’s death and gets into a fight himself. “He knew that I loved him,” Alvey cries to Lisa. “I know he did. I know it. He knew.” We get to a flashback of Nate’s funeral, where Jay, Christina, Alvey, Jaun, Mac, Ryan, and Lisa all mourn. The scene gets its power from the lack of dialogue, and just lets the imagery and music tell the story.
After the funeral, we’re shot back to the present day, with Alvey working out in the gym. Again, we’re taken to a dialogue-less flashback, in the bar right after Nate was shot. Alvey cradles Nate in his arms and Jay holds the gun that shot him, upset. Back to the present, Alvey chooses Ryan to be in his corner over Jay, mirroring the season 2 episode where Alvey chooses to corner Ryan over his own son.
Later we see Jay and Christina pack up Nate’s things and donate them to the local LGBTQ center that Nate gave a check to just a few episodes ago. The pair head to the ocean to drop flowers in the water, and Jay let’s himself be cradled by his mother for comfort.
Back in the sauna with Alvey, he gets hit with another wave of memory. It takes us, and him, back to when he returned to his own mother’s house after Nate’s death. He wants to grieve, but also has to plan the logistics of a funeral, and feels the weight of his own betrayal of his son. “I don’t know what I said,” Alvey cries to Jay. “I don’t know. He was sitting right there.” Leaving the sauna, Ryan gives Alvey a pep talk, but not the one he needs.
Ryan and Jay meet up, with the news that Alvey came in under weight. The scene could have easily become sappy, as Jay clearly needs Ryan for comfort. But the characters remain true to themselves, and Jay cracks a joke to cover his grief. “I’m not going to do anything to hurt myself, so you don’t have to worry about that,” Jay finally tells Ryan. But he’s not ready to face his father.
When Christina comes to talk with Alvey about Nate’s clothes being donated, this is when Alvey really breaks down for the first time. His guilt overrides him. “I was looking in his eyes when he died, he was so f–king scared,” he tells her. “He was like a little boy, I swear to Christ he looked like he was 6 years old again. He looked like our child, he looked like a baby… I couldn’t f–king help him.”
Another flashback comes, this time a conversation between Alvey and Jay after Nate’s death. Jay is seething because he blames his father for what happened. “He’s the only one who gave a s–t. I wouldn’t be talking to you without him. I wouldn’t even be alive,” he yells. “I f–king used him to stay alive. And he asked you for one thing, for one moment he wanted you to know who he was, he wanted you to pull him in and say, ‘Relax son, I got you, son.’” Alvey tries to defend himself, sputtering, “I didn’t know what he was saying to me. I just needed a f–king minute.”
At the finale fight, Jay goes to the cage to speak about his brother, and goes off-script for the better. “My brother, Nate, and me were raised by wolves. I became one, but my brother did not… Nate was kind, he was courageous, he was brave, he was loyal, he was unrelenting, and he was an absolute savage in this cage,” Jay says, before changing gears. “My brother was also gay, which I think a lot of you knew. So if you have a f–king problem with that, I think you should stand up right now and speak.” No one does, and Jay calls them out. “For all of you who talked s–t, who made my brother’s walls around him rise up, f–k you. Stand up. Step into this f–king light. And then sit the f–k down because he still would whoop your ass.”
Then Jay jumps out of the cage and Alvey jumps in, in the end winning by a split-decision. Alvey dedicates the fight to Nate, and Jay rushes into the cage and hugs his father, this time being the source of comfort. The series ends with the camera on Alvey’s back as he runs through the crowd to the showers. Even just from his back, it’s clear that Alvey is so wrought with emotion, waiting to breakdown once he’s alone. And once he finally makes it to the stall, and falls down, and we go out to his heavy breathing.