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Inhumans

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 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.

 

The Inhumans – S01E01&02 – Ramsay Snow is at it Again Edition

Despite that it seems the critics don’t care for it, I’ve been looking forward to The Inhumans premier for a while.  I’m not an expert on the subject, but from what I’ve looked into, there are essentially two kind of Inhumans in the Marvel Universe.  Well, they are all the same thing but sort of two factions.  There’s the descendants of Inhumans who were once on Earth, they turn unexpectedly when exposed to Terrigin.  In the comic this happened when a mist enveloped the world, in Agents of SHIELD this happened when the Earth’s water supply got contaminated.    In the MCU, these are Inhumans from Agents, Quake, Yo-yo, Hellfire, etc.

There’s also the descendants of the Inumans who fled earth years ago, living on the moon.  The Inhumans show deals with these Inhumans, specifically, the Inhumans Royal Family.  Black Bolt and Medusa are the King and Queen, Maximus, is the King’s brother, Crystal, Medusa’s sister and her giant canine companion Lockjaw and cousins Gorgon, Karnak and Triton (who is mentioned but doesn’t really show up in the first two episodes).

Something of note, this series is only 8 episodes long, it’s essentially a mini series.  I have no idea if there will be any additional episodes or seasons, probably no one does.

The first episode works as sort of a set up for the various characters, you get a bit of a feel for how they interact and what their abilities are.  There is talk of the Inhumans who are starting to show up on Earth due to the water contamination, which is great.  I was worried a bit they may end up isolating this story off from the larger MCU and from Agents of SHIELD which has involved Inhumans in the larger plot for several seasons now.  I doubt it becomes a full on crossover, but I could see them doing some little nod at the end of the series with a cameo.  On the other hand, the Agents of SHIELD cast seems to be stranded in space somewhere as a set up for the next season, so you know, that’s a convenient excuse to stop Coulson and Daisy from showing up to say hello.

The episode wraps up by pushing out the core plot, the King’s brother Black  Bolt, played by Iwan Rheon, best known for his portrayal of Ramsay Snow/Bolton in Game of Thrones.  He’s shown to be “the voice of the people” who are unhappy with the strict caste system of the Inhumans society.  He also apparently doesn’t have any powers or abilities, and comments are made that he is only human.  I guess it’s sort of the a Squib of the Inhumans world.  At least they didn’t make him the castle janitor.  Being brother to the king in a society of powered people, even when you don’t have powers, has gotta be pretty nice.  Apparently not though, since he’s not happy and stages a coup.

I’d hate to say type cast, but Maximus feels very Ramsay Snow.  Not quite as crazy as Ramsay but the actor definitely seems to have found his niche as the fake sincerity, weak but manipulative bad guy.  He does a pretty good job of coming off as sinister while not being an obvious threat.  It’s not clear in this show how he managed to get the guards to side with his cause, I guess they all prefer to protect the masses than the royals.  Fortunately for the Royal Family, Crystal is quick thinking and uses Lockjaw, the giant bulldog with teleportation abilities to get everyone safely to Earth, specifically, to Hawaii.  Well, everyone except for herself.

The second Episode follows up with Maximus working to solidify his position and dispatching his agent Auran to take out the various members of the Royal Family.

It also takes the chance to explore more of the abilities and personalities of each of the members.

Gorgon, a strong fighter with horse hooves for feet was originally dispatched to locate Triton in the first episode.  He befriends some surfers on the beach where he is stranded.  Karnak ends up lost in a forest.  His ability isn’t super clear.  During the coup he is shown being killed after fighting some guards, only to seemingly do some sort of recalculating time rewind to return to life.  Later he is shown in the forest trying to calculate the best route out of the forest.  It seems like his power isn’t rewinding time but calculating and predicting.  The previous fight never really happened, he simply played it out in his mind and realized that the plan wasn’t the right path so he chose a different plan where he emerged victorious.  Apparently getting knocked on the head puts his calculations out of whack though, as he ends up walking in circles in the forest.

Medusa and Black Bolt get most of the action here.  Medusa’s ability is her hair, which is very long and can be used like tentacles.  Well, it was, until Maximus shaves is all off.  Once in Earth she starts doing her best to reunite with Black Bolt, though she is the first to be hunted by Auran.  Even without her hair she is a formidable opponent and manages to ambush and kill Auran.  I kind of wonder if her hair grows back at an accelerated rate.  Her entire ability rests on her hair, it seems like kind of a shame if she goes the entire series without it.  Side note, we also learn Auran’s power, she wakes up from her death and regenerates herself back to life.  Her death certainly seemed anti climactic after how much she was pushed up as being this bad ass tough enforcer.

Definitely the most entertaining path is Black Bolt.  Black Bolt’s power, is his voice.  His voice is so powerful that even a small utterance unleashes a massive wave of energy, so he doesn’t talk, at all.  It’s shown in a flashback that Black Bolt accidentally killed his parents with his voice at a young age, which is part of where Maximus’ resentment comes from.  He also seems to have the least understanding of how the human world around him works, which isn’t helped by his inability to speak.  He wanders around a bit before going into a store for a change of clothes, where he promptly walks out wearing said clothes prompting the police to be called on him for shoplifting.   During his arrest he accidentally lets out an “umpf” which obliterates one of the police cars.  He eventually cooperates with the police and they take him in to the station.  Frustrated by his lack of speaking, he finally gestures to them to lock him up.  They book him and put him in a jail cell.  I guess he figures he could get out any time and he’s probably safest in the jail cell.

Overall, I found it enjoyable.  Some of the motivations could have been a little better fleshed out but how much does stuff really need to be spelled out in black and white.  It’s essentially a story we’ve seen before.  Honestly the real angle here is more that Maximus, at least insofar, is kind of in the right.  His methods could be a little less brutal, what with trying to kill his family and murdering a member of the genetic council, but leading a revolt of the downtrodden worker against the elites is kind of a noble cause.  Maybe his ambitious run a little too deep and he is deceiving the people.  Maybe Black Bolt and Medusa will see that they need to lighten up a little bit and allow a bit more freedom for the workers.  We’ll have to see how things play out over the rest of the series.