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The Inhumans – Season 1 – The End

Yeah, I skipped a few of these.  I just didn’t really feel compelled to write much about the last few episodes.  I really tried to like this, and really wanted to, and I was pretty excited to know there was an Inhumans movie/show coming for the longest time.  The actual product was just so… underwhelming.  I can retread some of the problems I’ve mentioned previously.  The complete lack of super powers.  The unlikable characters almost universally across the board.  The constant retreading of the plot itself about oppression of the people, blah blah.  Maybe a little more showing and a little less talking next time.

It seems that this show was apparently done by the same guy who did Iron Fist, and I can certainly see that.  I didn’t hate Iron Fist like a lot of folks did, but it is definitely the weakest of the Netflix shows for a lot of the same reasons.  The best parts of Iron Fist were all the parts involving the Hand.  Everything with the Meachums and all the bull shit around Rand Corp, that was boring and repetitive and lame.  Basically, once again, too much boring talking among unlikable characters, not enough super powers and action.

You can also contrast The Inhumans with the other currently running super hero series, The Gifted, which is a little light on the powers, and uses a lot of “non effects” powers like memory alteration and invisibility, but it still manages to keep up action and keep things moving.  I think my biggest probblem with this show is that it felt like nothing happened.  We got 8 episodes, but it was 8 episodes of the Royal Family wandering in the woods and 8 episodes of Maximus talking about how he wants to save the people.  Contrast this with something like, Agent Carter, which had this mini series slot on ABC before, where all sorts of crazy things happened and the plot kept moving along and building.

Even with 8 episodes we really just don’t get much out of the characters.  Block Bolt spends the entire series looking grumpy.  Medusa just comes off as a push bitch for the most part.  Crystal pretty much just escorts the dog around, Gorgon and Karnak have some weird undertones to their relationship going on but it’s not clear if they are just in a  great buddies romance or if the writer’s just didn’t want to deal with gay mixed couple space alien romance.

Almost all of the human characters of the series ended up being throwaways, though bootleg Felicity Smoak has some potential to maybe transcend into SHIELD or something.  I doubt it but she’s one of the more likeable characters in the series.

As for the last few episodes, Gorgon gets killed then revived through a second Terra Genesis which causes him to go kind of crazy.  Everyone returns to Attilan where Maximus has wired the place to be destroyed if he dies.  The Royal Family urgently tries to evacuate the city, which seems to be deserted anyway, I mean maybe some more shots of a panicked populations or something would help.  For all the talk of “The people” in this show, we barely get to see them at all.

Oh and Triton shows up, kind of randomly.  You know, that guy that fish guy Gorgon was supposed to find in Episode 1.  He’s just sort of another Karnak, in the sense of he does some martial arts occasionally and is bald (and green).  Ultimately though, nothing is really resolved in the series.  Everyone sort of does things, and stuff happens, but there feels like there isn’t any purpose to the actions being taken.  There’s just something missing here, and I can’t quite put my finger on it.

Someone is optimistic about the future of the show however.  There wasn’t really any resolution as to what happened to Maximus or Attilan, he’s trapped there and the place is sort of collapsing but never really dies.  There was some sort of weird glowing thing happening on the throne itself, but we don’t know what.  There’s mention of some sort of larger enemy, but no details given.  The Inhumans are all on Earth now to start anew, maybe in a new hidden city or just by blending in with the population.  What I’m saying is, there was a lot of set up for more, I just, seriously doubt there will BE more, given how poorly this show has gone over.

The Gifted – S01E05 – BoXed In

An important character died in The Inhumans and I couldn’t come up with anything I felt like writing about and skipped it. Yet here I am again with another installment of The Gifted.

One of the first thing that comes up is something I was left nagging at me from the last episode. Everyone returns to the base after the rescue, and Reed Strucker runs into Fade (the bartender) who immediately points out that Reed was working for Sentinel Services. This pretty much sets everyone on edge as they decide if they can even trust Reed.

Polaris and Eclipse are till out on their own trying to evade Sentinel. There was a really clever little moment where they worked together to take down drone flying above them, otherwise it was just a bit of bonding time. They encounter Agent Turner at a roadblock and take him hostage. Watching Polaris in action against Sentinel is so satisfying. Shades of Magneto all around, it’s great how effective her power is at quickly dispatching anyone with guns and body armor. Speaking of Agent Turner, we also get a flew glimpses at the past “Event” that’s been referenced a few times in the show, the event where his daughter died that drives him to stop Mutants.

Meanwhile the Struckers work to earn the trust of the Mutant Underground. Mrs Strucker works to help Trader who was shot last episode. Andy volunteers to donate blood to the cause. Reed uses his knowledge from working as a prosecute to help them decode Sentinel Services radio signals and to help lead the Sentinel search parties away from the area. Reed’s mission requires Fade’s ability to become invisible to help but Fade’s not too keen on the idea. The plan pretty much goes off as planned without a hitch aside from the expected moment of Fade showing up late to pick up Reed. Expected because it fits the idea that “he doesn’t trust this guy maybe he will betray him but oh he didn’t really.”

Eclipse and Polaris are working on interrogating Agent Turner to find out how they are controlling Pulse. They aren’t making a lot of progress and get interrupted by the arrival of more Sentinel troops who surround the building. Blink and Dreamer join them in the warehouse (via Blink’s portals) so Dreamer can extract memories from Turner. Polaris holds off the breaching team of soldiers briefly but they start using gas which she can’t stop so they are forced to evacuate. Not before Dreamer gets some glimpses as to what’s going on in Turner’s head. Dreamer being pulled away from Turner early also seems to scramble his brain a bit.

Finally, Blink confronts Dreamer about the memory that was implanted in her head. She realizes what has happened after watching what happened with Turner and is understandably upset about it. Blink isn’t the only one with memory issues, we get a moment with Agent Turner returning home to his wife, he no longer remembers his daughter being killed.

There were a lot of very “predictable” moments in this episode, but they can’t all be 100% original all the time. There seems to be kind of a cadence going on where we have an episode that’s a bit slower then one that’s more action packed. It’s a pretty good pace. Also, what’s up with the human characters being the doctor/nurse in these sorts of shows. I guess it’s just an excuse to give a non powered person an excuse to help a super powered person.

 

 

The Gifted – S01E04 – eXit Strategy

Plot wise, this was certainly a pretty important episode but I can’t help but feel like it kind of stalled a bit in the first half, or more. Blink deals with the lingering fallout of the implanted memories, Eclipse meets with an old friend and interrogates a guy, the Strucker kids find a way to work together to focus Andy’s powers better. The ultimate goal is to hijack a convoy transporting Reed Strucker and Polaris between prisons.

There’s a lot of lead up to the action at the end, but it kind of feels like filler and it’s a little repetitious. We see the same sort of moments over and over with little plot movement.

Also kind of interesting though almost a side point, We get Trader, a mutant who makes himself invisible. I only find this notable because we’ve already had a mutant with this power in Fade, aka the Bartender guy. It kind of feels like a lot of times these sort of shows, and movies even, avoid duplicating powers like that, to avoid confusion. I mean it’s not unheard of, there are plenty of Mutants who share powers, it’s not just not super common in the TV/Movie world. Hell Polaris is almost a copy and paste job of Magneto in powers and personality. But then Magneto isn’t in this series.

Anyway, the meat and potatoes of this episode occurs int he last fifteen minutes, during the attack on the convoy. The plan, that we didn’t really get any insite into despite all of the build up goes completely sideways for reasons not immediately clear to our heroes. It turns out that Sentinel Services has a mutant named Pulse, who has the ability to disrupt other mutant’s powers. The Strucker kids are able to stop the convoy, but the plan to use Blink’s Portals and Trader as recon both fail.

Polaris and Reed bread free of their restraints inside the bus but the guards manage to beat them (literally) and keep them locked inside. Meanwhile, Thunderbird manages to subdue Pulse. Polaris notices that her powers have returned. Strangely, she’s apparently not quite as much of a copy and paste of Magneto as suspected. The bus and cage are lined with plastic. It seems her power can’t penetrate through plastic? It just seems kind of crazy that she can’t just rip the bus open at this point allowing for an escape. I guess she just isn’t powerful enough, because instead Strucker tells Polaris to rip the screws out of his knee replacement, which she does.

With their powers restored, they all make quick work of the escape. Blink makes a portal, Thunderbird and Eclipse rush to the bus to retrieve Polaris and Reed. It’s not really needed since Polaris breaks free on her own, stops the Sentinel soldier’s bullets, and disarms them. They all make their escape in an SUV.

The last notable thing, during the fight, Thunderbird notices a tattoo on Pulse’s wrist. Nothing more is said of it, but it’s clear it’s meant to be meaningful in some way. I’m sure there will be more to come.

 

The Inhumans – S01E05 – Something Inhuman Comes This Way

So, I was wrong last week,  I guess the Inhuman that Blackbolt and Medusa captured wasn’t the one who controls plants but an Inhuman named Locus, who uses echolocation to find people.  They did leave the other Inhuman from the prison behind though, which wasn’t super clear, because now Mortis has him captive.

A lot of this episode focuses on Karnak and the resolution of his story line.  Last episode had Karnak being intimate with the girl from the pot farm, which seemed to trigger the guy running the place because he shot his partner.  Things open up this week continuing this plot line, only now Karnak is in the gun’s sites.  Karnak and his girlfriend escape but she ends up shot int he process.  They are somewhat rescued when the dude chasing them gets called off by his bosses who are on the way to pick up the drugs.  The drug lord, for lack of anything better to call him, ends up shooting the pot farmer and sends his goons off to capture Karnak to tie up loose ends.  Ultimately Karnak and his girlfriend get captured.

Meanwhile both Gorgon and Black Bolt’s group are both heading towards Karnak’s location.  Gorgon is alone so there’s not much going on with that front but Black Bolt, Medusa and Locus are having a sort of heart to heart discussion about how most of the Inhumans are upset about the caste system.  Locus is unhappy that her “purpose” is to find things and that’s all she gets to do, though she wants to do more.  She keeps telling Black Bolt that he needs to be a better leader.  Medusa points out that Maximus isn’t any better, since he’s also just using her to find the Royal Family.

There are a few vague flashback sequences, between Karnak and Gorgon.  Basically how Gorgon is always screwing things up and Karnak is always picking up the pieces.  It feels a little hamfisted and ends up sort of being a set up for later int he show when Gorgon gets to rescue Karnak and fix Karnak’s problems.  I think the biggest issue I have with all of this is that it’s very sudden.  Like the whole point is to sort of show the relationship between Karnak and Gorgon, in the past.  It just doesn’t work super well given how segregated all of the characters have been.  I kind of feel like this is one of the biggest problems I’ve had with this show.  The main characters never interact with each other.  Instead they interact with all of these random humans, random humans that feel more like obstacles than characters.

Anyway, Gorgon frees Karnak and during their escape they reunite with Blackbolt and Medusa.  Karnak’s girlfriend suggests that they need to leave and she will stay behind to get the police to arrest the drug lord and his crew.  Also, apparently during the run up to their encounter, Locus got shot, because she decides to die very suddenly, I guess her usefulness was exhausted.  Just another example of how forced a lot of the events on this show are starting to feel.

We also get a few bits of Crystal bonding with her human friend and Auran reuniting with Mortis and planning to hold the Doctor hostage in order to draw out Blackbolt.

I’m kind of starting to feel glad this show isn’t going to be long running.  I kind of like the idea but I’m not really liking the execution here much.  I’m hoping, now that everyone is together again, we’ll get more interaction and things will get better.  We still have a bunch of kind of powerless super powered folks.  Karnak still doesn’t have his foresight abilities, Medusa is still shaved, Black Bolt still can’t speak without obliterating everyone.

I still kind of feel like the future of this show is pretty obvious.  After the group reunites with Crystal and Lockjaw, after dealing with Auran and crew, they will return to the moon.  Maybe Maximus has managed to get powers via the Doctor, but essentially Black Bolt will just return and probably be a better king, after having some new experiences.  It feels kind of predictable and I don’t really see any other direction or twists, especially given the limited time left.

The Gifted – S01E03 – eXodus

Man, this show is just killing it next to The Inhumans. I think a lot of it is that everyone gets to use their powers. The Inhumans have what, guy who can’t talk, bald chick with magic hair, guy who calculates with a concussion, and guy who stomps. The little opening bit of this week’s The Gifted between Polaris and Eclipse was just so great.

The opening was this little flashback moment between these two, talking about when they first discovered they were mutants. Eclipse was talking about how he doesn’t like having to hide and his powers and Polaris talks about how she loves it. She also shows off how she can fly due to her magnetism ability and steel toed boots. She really subtley shows just how much she is like another Magnet powered mutant that any X-men fan should know. They also have this little moment where they accidentally create a mini Aurora, due to the interaction of her magnetism and his light. It’s cute, it really shows off the characters and their relationship and it worked really well as a scene.

We get a glimpse of the Redhead’s (Dreamer) power. Thunderbird wants to train Blink on how to use her powers with little luck and Dreamer suggests she could implant some memories that could help her focus better.

The Struckers sneak off to meet with a layer friend of Kate’s. She wants to try to fight back using legal means, but the Mutant Underground doesn’t want anything to do with it, too risky because they will probably just get betrayed. The MU wants to storm the jail and free Polaris and Reed.

Meanwhile, Reed is being set up by Sentinel Services to “escape” and get back into the Mutant Underground. He meets up with the bartender from before when he met with Eclipse as a way into the MU. He seems to be having some second thoughts when Agent Turner mentions treating the Underground like any terrorist organization. These second thoughts are amplified when he meets a mother and child also taking a trip tot he Underground with the Bartender. It culminates with him confessing to wearing a tracker and leaping out of the moving van.

Meanwhile, Polaris tests her limits by tearing the door off of her jail cell, despite the shock collar she is wearing to suppress her powers. It kind of feels like maybe she should find a way to rip the collar itself off.

The neighborhood discovers the Struckers are hiding out with Kate’s friend (apparently a brother or brother in law) and they come to storm the house and take the kids. Thunderbird and Aurora help them escape in a truck with the locals in pursuit. Dreamer, against Thunderbird’s wishes, implants memories in Blink to encourage her to be able to use her powers to help the others escape. Specifically a memory that was once Dreamer and Thunderbird, not Blink instead. Basically, telling Blink she and Thunderbird are lovers, so she can focus on saving him.

I have to say, this show is really shaping up to be pretty good. I think a lot has to do with the special effects, something a super hero show really needs. Even Agents of SHIELD sometimes feels like it could do a bit more with the super powers at times, take Ghost Rider for example, he was cool, but he showed up hardly at all and for very short periods of time when he did. Granted, this show has nothing to that level yet and I get that the effects are “expensive” especially for TV, but it’s really a necessary evil when dealing with super powers.

The Inhumans – S01E04 – Make Way for… Medusa

I have to admit, The Inhumans is stating to drag a bit. Ok, I’ve felt the same about other shows and they got better in the end, but this show just sort of feels like it’s not really going anywhere.

Medusa is supremely driven to reunite with Black Bolt, for… reasons, at this point I can only assume maybe he can somehow restore her hair. Karnak seems content to just sort of hang out with these guys growing pot in the forest. Not a lot is really moving along between Gorgon and Auran.

I think part of what’s feels off is the inconsistency with the “fish out of water” element. The characters are all either completely baffled or completed familiar with various Earth concepts. There isn’t really any in between. Medusa doesn’t understand why the cops are chasing her and Louise for speeding through a red light but seems to totally follow how the cops traced them down via Louise’s credit card and can master working through Louise’s computer. That sort of disconnect.

Most of this episode follows Medusa as she and Louise, an astronomer or something who detected the Inhumans coming to Earth, evade the police while trying to find Black Bolt. Kind of makes sense with the episode title being Make Way for Medusa.

The other key development involved Black Bolt, Dr. Declan (the rich guy) does some tests on his DNA and finds some interesting anomalies (probably because Black Bolt is more purely Inhuman than the regular Earth Inhumans). He decides this may be some sort of key to figuring out why Inhumans change and unlocking this within humans. He then calls up Maximus to let him know what he has found.

Yeah, apparently the Mysterious Rich Dude was working for Maximus all along. Only Declan doesn’t seem to be in on the coup plot, he is just some sort of I dunno what. Maybe Maximus contacted him at some point int he past when Inhumans started awakening on Earth, I don’t know. Maximus wants Declan to kill Black Bolt except the Doctor refuses due to his findings. Maximus starts second guessing the need to kill Black Bolt as well, seeing an opportunity to give himself abilities and stop being human.

Oh and he finally kills the Genetic council. Well except for this one dude. They speak some about some past incidents they had together, it’s all kind of ominous while also being annoyingly vague.

Crystal teams up with the guy who ran into her and Lockjaw at the end of the episode. They pick up a local vet to take care of Lockjaw. Karnak has a few moments with the girl working at the Pot Plantation who is apparently really into him. It seems really convenient that all of the Inhumans have fallen in with random strangers who are willing to just give everything and are all super friendly. Like, beyond casual “oh I need to help this person in need”, we’re talking almost love at first sight level friendly. They also all seem really accepting of the awkwardness all of the Inhumans have around Earth culture. The show does acknowledge that the Earth Inhumans are fairly common knowledge, so being accepting of abilities is fine, but having special powers doesn’t explain a complete lack of knowledge on basic customs.

The show wraps up when Black Bolt and his fat Hawaiian Inhuman friend realize they are essentially just in a different sort of prison with Dr. Declan. They decide to make a run for it only to be confronted by Auran and Mortis. There is a brief confrontation before Medusa and Louise come driving in through the group. Mortis accidentally explodes a propane tank taking down Auran’s crew. Medusa and Black Bolt reunite and leave along with Louise, but not before stuffing one of the less injured members of Auran’s crew in the trunk (the chick who can control plants I think).

Oddly enough, they left his Inhuman buddy from jail behind. Considering everything that guy’s been doing for him, it kind of feels like a jack ass move by Black Bolt. Especially considering they watch Mortis recovering as they drive off and Auran is pretty much known to regenerate from death.

This all kind of goes back to that issue I mentioned early about inconsistency. Maybe I’m just reading too into it, but the whole thing just sort of feels off in some way.

The Gifted – S01E02 – rX

The second episode of Fox’s The Gifted picks up right where the last left off.  Our band of mutants has just returned to base via Blink’s portal and Reed Strucker is being interrogated by Sentinel Services.  Polaris is still in prison.

There is a brief flashback moment of the Struckers in the past bowling, a mutant girl is being taunted by some other kids and accidentally released a blast of wind on the bullies.  Reed suggests that the girl has committed a serious crime and that the girl and her father should leave.  It’s kind of a nice little moment to show how Reed, despite his job at the time being kind of anti-mutant, he still cares.  I also kind of wonder how long until they reveal that he already knew about his kids carrying the X-gene, or even that he himself is some kind of mutant.

The base crew is mostly tasked with stabilizing Blink, who, after over exerting herself during last episode’s escape, us kind of out of hit, having some kind of seizures and creating random portals.  Kate Strucker and Eclipse head to a hospital to try to get the medication hey need.  There is a pretty nice throw back moment where they use the bullet wound Eclipse received in the first episode as an excuse to get into the ER.  It seems there are also mutant friendly hospitals, since the doctor doesn’t have a problem with Eclipse and his glowing light blood.

Meanwhile Polaris tries to befriend a mutant who looks like a girl version of Caliban from the movies.  She also get attacked by some other inmates and thrown in solitary.  Why is it in TV and movies the person being attacked ends up being the one thrown in solitary confinement?

Blink continues to have issues with her powers, she keeps opening a portal to the same point which is increasingly being filled with cops and SWAT.  Lauren Strucker is able to use her force fields to close the portals each time but it becomes more and more difficult.  Eventually she is unable to stop the portals, Andy steps in and sends a psychic pulse to stop the cops but he also knocks Blink in the process which causes complete chaos and portals all over.  Kate and Eclipse return during the chaos and are able to administer the medication to stop Blink from destroying the place.

The interrogation efforts of Reed Strucker don’t really go very well for Sentinel Services.  They don’t really have anything major to charge him with and Strucker makes it clear he just wants his family safe.  He is also offered a deal, to save his family in exchange for the Mutant Underground, though we don’t get to hear the outcome of the deal.

Things close up with some scientists looking into some historical news involving Mutant siblings and having interest in the Strucker children.  Some sort of vague set up for a future plot.

Overall not a bad episode, though there isn’t a super clear direction yet on where things are headed int he long term.

On one last note, at one point there is mention of the Mutant Liberation Front.  This isn’t super notable at this point other than the Mutant Liberation Front is to X-Force as The Brotherhood of Mutants is to the X-men, so to speak.  X-Force isn’t a thing yet int he X-men Movieverse yet, but Deadpool 2 is going to feature Cable and Domino, who, along with Deadpool, are all members of X-Force.   Chances are, there will be something there, eventually, though possibly as some future stand alone X-Force film.

The Inhumans – S01E03 – Divide and Conquer

After a bit of a real life out of town trip, I’m a little behind on a few things, but I’m still here for an Inhumans Write up on Episode 3.

So, just a random side note, somewhere between the first couple of episodes sand this third episode, everyone figured out how to use their wrist band comm links without pulling them off and talking into them.  Something that seemed kind of weird in the first few episodes.  Also apparently Hawaii is full of secret criminals.  The guys Gorgon palled up with int he first episode are all pretty well armed and Karnak stumbles upon a group of edgy land squatters growing a bunch of pot in the forest.

Auran, Maximus’ enforcer continues her hunt for the group on Earth, starting with Gorgon.  Maxumis sends her a few reinforcements including a mysterious Inhuman named Mortis who wears a mask has glowey eyes and generally comes off as extra sinister.  They track Grogon into and obvious trap, and after a short fight Mortis steps in and reveals his power, some sort of Cyclop-esque blast from his eyes/face.  Gorgon freaks out and flees with his newfound friends.

Meanwhile, Medusa gets a change of clothes after practicing her breaking and entering skills, during the process she find a news paper with Black Bolt on the front page, giving her some much needed direction on where to search.  It’s too bad that a kingdom with fancy wrist communicators doesn’t have a text messaging system in place for it’s mute King to use.  Maybe this mess could have all been avoided.  Instead Black Bolt gets to sit around in prison.  he is befriended by another prisoner, who is operating under the order of another mysterious person who seems to be pretty well off.  The guards are angry at Black Bolt’s assault of police officers previously, and are doing their best to encourage the other inmates to harass him.  Unfortunately their plan doesn’t work out as the prisoners are all pretty happy about the cops getting beat up.  The guards instead antagonize Black Bolt directly, which results in a prison riot.  during the ensuing chaos, Black Bolt escapes with the help of his new friend, who reveals that he too is an Inhuman by melting a door.  They both escape in a helicopter with the mysterious rich guy just as Medusa arrives to watch them fly off.

Up in the kingdom of Attilan, Maximus basically orders Crystal to give a speech supporting him as king.  She blows him off, pretty expectedly, and she disables the guards before running off to make an off world exit along with Lockjaw.  Man, Lockjaw is terrible at his one job.  He just sort of teleports people to the general vicinity of where he needs to go.

So, you can kind of get an idea of where things are going, maybe.  The Royal Family spends some time on Earth and hopefully become better rulers as a result.  Maximus wants to be the voice of the people, but he’s kind of going about things in a very jackass sort of manner.  Some of the brief flashbacks we see suggest that Black Bolt didn’t really want to be king, meanwhile Maximus, who’s Inhuman power is apparently being Human, really wants to be king.  This story sounds kind of familiar, I’m not quite sure where from, I see something about a Thunder God and his Trixster brother, but I can’t quite place it.

Speaking of Thor actually, a lot of Thor takes queues from Norse Mythology.  Thor, Loki, Asguard, etc.  I know it’s based on the comics, but you can really tell there was, at some point, some sort of kooky generational change in the Inhumans story.  While Inhumans is more freshly in the spotlight of Marvel, it’s an older comic.  But you get names like Medusa, Maximus, Gorgon, Triton etc, that all clearly are listed from Greek mythology, but then you get names like Black Bolt, Crystal, and Lockjaw, that are all just sort of, goofy hero names.  Black Bolt’s name doesn’t even have anything to do with his power.  I suppose maybe the other good Greek names were taken (Heracles, Colossus, Cyclops, etc).  i don’t know, but I feel like there was an original Unhumans story that had all of these Greek names, then later they added new characters with these other names.

I’m still enjoying the show, but I can see where a lot of the complaints people have come from.  Almost none of the characters are likeable heroes, or relate-able in any real way.  All of the Royal Family is blindly loyal to Black Bolt who, if Maximus is to be believed is kind of a tyrant, though he seems likable enough.  He kind of keeps beating up cops and prison guards but he also is kind of out of his element a bit.  It’s not super clear what Maximus’ end game is if any one of these characters make it back to Attilan, he’s not really a match versus any of them, even with his guards.  Now that Lockjaw is back in play it shouldn’t take long for them to make a return either.