“El Reino” or “The Kingdom” season 2 is the much-needed upgrade to the first season of the series. It wasn’t unnecessarily dragged out, and points were made where they needed to be made instead of saving it all for the ending. We especially appreciate the makers keeping the length of the series to six episodes since Season 1’s eight episodes felt like a bit too much. But on the other hand, as much as we enjoyed the flow of this season’s narrative, we felt a distinct sense of discomfort at yet another instance of the depiction of violence against women on-screen. We will elaborate more on that in our summary, but overall, what we saw in these six episodes was a messy ending to a messy storyline that was beautifully executed and felt painfully close to reality. We were also stumped at the number of love stories that were hinted at this time, with none of them meaning anything except maybe the one between Tadeo and Yaeli. We also don’t understand why Jonathan, as a character, was so underdeveloped when he should have played a far more pivotal role in the series. Either way, let us take a look at what happens to the characters in “The Kingdom” Season 2.
The Aftermath Of Emilio’s Presidency
Ruben Osario says that Emilio is not the president they thought he would be. Well, what did they think he would be like? Riots are breaking out across the country in protest of Emilio’s right-wing theocratic government, and people don’t want to see him in that chair. As for Emilio himself, he doesn’t understand politics, and clearly, neither does Elena. In the church, they could get anything done by claiming that it was the word of God, but the same tactic does not apply when trying to govern a country, and that is frustrating them. According to Emilio and Elena, they are the most powerful man and woman in Argentina, and that should be enough to do what they want. When that doesn’t happen, they are forced to resort to other measures. This especially escalates when Osario tells Emilio that he wouldn’t be able to implement any order without the Congress, the Senate, or the Judiciary, and he needs their support at all times. Emilio understands that his power is not his alone, but instead of being rational about it, he starts thinking of ways to turn things in his favor. Meanwhile, his detractors end up bombing his church, and though that doesn’t get a lot of media attention, Elena is furious, as she believes that whatever happens to the church reflects on Emilio and his presidency. But there is a bigger shock waiting for her, as she is not aware that Emilio is still pining for Jonathan. Emilio calls Jonathan the “messenger of God” and feels that his love for the boy is sanctioned by the Lord. It is this very perversion of Emilio and his short-sighted hunger for power that proves to be his downfall.
What Is Happening With Tadeo And Jonathan?
Tadeo and Jonathan are living a quiet life in another country, but that is disturbed soon enough when Tadeo starts raising his voice in protest of the injustices faced by the underprivileged. For example, a few boys burst open a dam due to the restrictions on water. One of the boys, Thiago, is captured and beaten to death by the police. When Tadeo speaks out against it, calling out the indiscriminate violence and the leaders who support it, he is recorded by the people around him, and the video goes viral. Emilio and Osario know where Tadeo and Jonathan are, but they have left them alone for now. However, as dissent against Emilio grows, Osario comes up with the idea of framing someone else as a “radical villain” to shift focus from Emilio so that they can have the freedom to pass some of their more controversial bills. But Emilio is focused on getting Jonathan back, and he comes up with a plan. It was Osario’s idea to edit Tadeo’s video to make it look like he was saying something else. Emilio shows the edited video to Julio and tells him to bring back Tadeo and Jonathan if he wants them to be safe. When Julio goes to meet them and tells them of the new developments, Tadeo tells him that he will come back to Argentina, but to spread his word and protest against the injustices, not because he is scared of what Emilio might do. And that is exactly what Tadeo does. He is popular wherever he goes since people believe in his goodness. Tadeo not only protests against the oppressive and theocratic regime but also brings cases to light that are often ignored by the media.
In “The Kingdom” Season 1, Tadeo was a naive man who looked like Jesus and absolutely believed in the goodness of Emilio’s church. The Tadeo we see in Season 2 is the stark opposite of that, and we don’t really understand the change. But all we know is that he goes from strength to strength, despite the best efforts of Emilio and Osario to discredit him. During a staged riot, Tadeo speaks up about how the people just have to refuse orders of violence. Tadeo’s words had an effect, and even the media that had been trying to paint him in a negative light felt helpless when the cameraman chose to broadcast everything Tadeo was saying without any heed to his bosses’ orders. But soon enough, a wrench was thrown into Tadeo’s journey.
Emilio’s family, despite their independent ventures, is affected by everything that is going on with him. When Emilio’s church is bombed, Celeste comes up with the plan to pretend to be seriously injured and sit in a wheelchair for show. The objective of this is to garner some sympathy and attention for the church. Meanwhile, they come to know that Magdalene’s church was doing far better than theirs. They were still small but were going steady. When Celeste and Pablo went to check them out, they found that Magdalene and Oscar had employed a singer who was as flashy as he was preachy, and that really attracted the crowds. The singer was named Bastian, and he used to have an affair with Celeste before she met Pablo. Celeste is annoyed, but that doesn’t stop her. She tries to stage a miracle by showing that it was Pablo’s powers and faith that were helping her walk again. But in the middle of this act, Bastian gets on stage with them and cleverly deflects some of the credit for himself.
Having no other choice, Celeste and Pablo poach Bastian for their own church. Magdalene is furious, especially when she sees that her mother won’t support her simply because she chose to break away from the family and do something of her own. As for Celeste and Pablo, Bastian is making moves on both of them, and they might temporarily have the more successful church, but they are certainly not walking on its path.
It has been Ruben Osario’s greed that has led to things as they stand. He was the one who decided to put Emilio in the running for president, despite his past, as he was only concerned with his own ambitions. But they have all come back to haunt him now. Osario sees Remigio everywhere he goes, as he is unable to get over the memory of killing him. Osario is the coldest character alive, but it looks like his sins are catching up to him. There is an element of divine justice that the series has played with, be it in the cases of Jonathan and Tadeo or Osario. His father is in a home and has recently started having visions of a man with a rope, which alerts Osario to Remigio. He tries to speak with a psychiatrist about it, the same one who is treating his father. He wants their sessions to be private and is willing to compensate well for them. But his visions just keep getting worse. What had started with just Remigio has escalated to all the people who might have been killed by his actions. Additionally, Osario is obsessed with his therapist, and he keeps an eye on her through a CCTV he has installed in her house. In fact, he takes the liberty to go to her house whenever he wants and without her knowledge. One such time, as he is watching her sleep, she wakes up and is scared out of her mind. When she tries to escape, he sexually assaults her while strangling her.
We had spoken before about the depiction of violence against women on screen. The thing to understand is that, in a society where that is so prevalent, should we not question its relevance to the story, especially when it seems to just be present for the sake of eliciting a reaction from the audience or giving the character a particular direction? Violence against women on screen is often used as a tool for directing the emotions of the audience, even when it doesn’t add to the story. Think about it: we already have plenty of reasons to hate Osario, who enabled a pedophile. Why did we need to see him do what he did to his therapist to justify his ending? The media needs to start understanding women’s safety better if the world is to make any progress.
‘The Kingdom’ Season 2: Ending Explained – Is Emilio’s Coup Successful? Is Tadeo Dead?
Remembering Osario’s words about having people of his own, Emilio, with the help of his chauffeur Daniel, makes an army of his own to carry out his mission. They kill a trade unionist and a female rights lawyer, as both of these people are considered to be against the conservative ideals of the church. This army is called the Praetorians, and they have wreaked some serious havoc. While they were initially suspected of being associated with Tadeo, that was debunked soon enough when his speech against violence was broadcast on television. But later, Elena encourages Emilio to take control of the narrative with the truth that the Praetorians were working for him. He would need to justify it, of course, but Emilio had to position himself as a powerful individual instead of as someone who was a part of the system. Emilio listens to her and, in a press conference, takes credit for the Praetorians. However, he lies that Tadeo was complicit with Remigio in the child sexual abuse at his church, and he wants Jonathan rescued from him. Elena is furious as Emilio will not let go of his perversions.
On the political front, Osario understands that Emilio is planning a coup against himself to gain complete control of the government. But he interrupts it by telling Daniel that he wouldn’t last long without him by his side. It works, and the coup is interrupted because Emilio still trusts Daniel implicitly. Meanwhile, Jonathan and Tadeo have been successful in revealing the truth to the world: that it was Emilio who was the abuser. When a broadcast is cut off where one of the boys is talking about his experience, Tadeo gets on stage and confesses that he was also a victim of Emilio. He had just gotten the words out when he was shot dead. But the damage has been done. The world knows about Emilio, and he is forced to resign. As he is sitting alone in the church, deserted by everyone who ever gave him importance, all he can turn to is his wife. He lays down in her lap as they both wait for the police to come and arrest them.
Meanwhile, Magdalene and Oscar are relatively safe, as their assets are in Magdalene’s married name. As for Celeste, Pablo, and Bastian, they plan on stealing the money hidden in the church walls to escape from there. Coming to Osario, his visions have gone from bad to worse, and he is driven to the point of insanity and hospitalized immediately. As for the country, it is under siege, and the Congress is suspended. As the police march the roads, students write on the walls that Tadeo is still alive. It could mean that his legacy lives on through the members of his group, or it could mean that Jonathan will finally step up now.
“The Kingdom” was about the pitfalls of a theocratic government, though behind-the-scenes politics became a stronger part of the narrative than anything else. Even then, it remains a thorn in our side that despite there being Jonathan, Tadeo was projected as the messiah. It is a creative decision that we are struggling to make sense of. Additionally, couldn’t the writers have come up with better scene fillers than potential cheating partners for Julio and Ann. They could have given Roberta more screen time, or they could have added some more layers to the church wars between Magdalene and Celeste. After everything, Julio and Ann went through to keep each other safe and be together, to the point that they kept Emilio’s perversions hidden from the world, the hints in the narrative of straying from each other is rather off. But on a positive note, “The Kingdom” Season 2 was sharper and far more engaging than its predecessor, and we might have just called it flawless if they had not included the assault scene. Otherwise, it is an okay show that would have benefited from a better start.