EZMM 2020 Day 3.1: Kingdom Episode 2.02

It’s that time of year again! Time to celebrate the Resurrection with a weeklong plunge into all things zombie! Here’s the history: In 2008, Dr. Girlfriend and I decided to spend a week or so each year marathoning through zombie films that we’d never seen before, and I would blog short reviews. And simple as that, the Easter Zombie Movie Marathon was born.

For the curious, here are links to 2008, 2009 (a bad year), 2010, 2011, 2012 (when we left the blog behind), 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019.

In a shocking surprise, we learn in this episode that the Crown Prince (Ju Ji-hoon) also subscribes to Columbus’s Rule #1 – Cardio. I’d love to see a footrace between the Prince, Columbus, and Lance from Black Summer!

But seriously, this episode is nearly all about Prince Chang’s attempt to kill Cho Hak-ju (Ryu Seung-ryong) and after running like mad bastards across the Korean landscape, Prince Chang and his allies walk right into a trap. We also get some movement on a storyline I didn’t mention last time: The Queen (Kim Hye-jun) is still trying to harvest a male baby from the gaggle of pregnant ladies she’s taken in. Last episode nothing really happened, but after a dying woman and her baby are found by the police, all fingers are pointing to the Queen’s compound.

This episode drove home an important point for me. I am fully confident in saying that Kingdom is a consistently better, stronger show than Game of Thrones. While GoT had more memorable single episodes scattered throughout its run, Kingdom maintains a level of quality that is rare, especially in genre filmmaking. The horrors of what we discover about the Queen this episode would feel right at home on GoT, but here it also has emotional resonance.

Additionally, when Cho’s trap is sprung, we feel just how bleak things are with an intensity that GoT would take a season to build. The sacrifices that characters make are as noble and heroic as the villains’ actions are vile and despicable. I’m doing my best to avoid major spoilers here, but just let me say that we get a LOT of closure in this episode, while at the same time, opening up a LOT of other narrative possibilities.

I’m having a very hard time sticking to only watching one episode of Kingdom each evening. If it wasn’t for the Easter Zombie Movie Marathon, I’d have burnt through these six episodes in a day.

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