Marvel’s Inhumans: Something Inhuman This Way Comes

Marvel’s Inhumans: Something Inhuman This Way ComesSeason 1, Episode 5 | Rating: 7/11 |

Inhumans is ramping up the action this week and focusing on Karnak. Since he has been separated from the rest of the royal family, Karnak’s ability to analyze and predict the future has been faulty at best. For the first time, he’s experiencing doubt and he’s stumbled into a ring of unstable pot growers. When one of the humans goes postal and starts shooting everyone, Karnak and Jen, the woman he’s become close to, go on the run together.

Karnak’s personal journey has been about accepting and dealing with uncertainty. The present-day scenes of him and Jen fleeing for their lives are intercut with flashbacks of him and Gorgon on Attilan. Karnak may be intelligent but he’s also an asshole. His ability makes him condescending and rude, so watching him outside of his element is extremely satisfying. But beyond the schadenfreude, you do see Karnak’s genuine love for Gorgon so when the two are finally reunited and Gorgon gets to save the day, you’ll find yourself wanting to cheer. Even moreso, when Black Bolt and Medusa show up.

After blowing up Auran and Mordis, Black Bolt and Medusa are together and they’ve taken an inhuman named Locus (Sumire) with them. Her power is the ability to locate people. She’s working for Maximus because before her terrigenesis she was on track to be a healer but her power turned her into a glorified bluetooth tracker. Although she’s completely right about the caste system and its imperfections, as Medusa rightfully points out, Maximus is still using her to track the royal family. And even as they debate the merits of Maximus’s rule, he’s forcing Tibor to find him more inhumans whose abilities will help him track down and kill his brother.

The debate of Royal Family’s rule vs. Maximus’s coup are at the heart of the show. Medusa’s parents were executed for sedition, yet she married Black Bolt because they bonded over being orphans. Maximus wants to free everyone from being forced down certain paths because of their powers yet he desperately wants powers himself. The contradictions are what makes Inhumans ripe for storytelling but the show hurts itself by falling back on some lazy writing choices.

The first one is Crystal. Now that she’s on earth, she’s met your typical, cute human guy and their entire arc has played out like a teen romance. It’s tired and a misuse of a character with an intriguing power set. With Karnak, the love story was a direct play on his introductory scene in the first episode where he rejects a lower caste woman because he projects into the future that their relationship won’t work. Giving Crystal a mundane teen relationship adds nothing to her character. The second issue is Louise. Louise is clearly supposed to be our Greek chorus. She’s the human who asks all the questions that we want to know the answers to … she’s also Felicity Smoak-lite. In addition to her resemblance to the popular CW character, she’s flighty and quirky and written in that way that supposed to appeal to fanboys because she’s pretty but awkward and wears glasses and likes science. In actuality, she’s annoying at worst and boring at best. The final issue is convenient or unrealistic moments to make a point or move the plot forward. In this episode, it happened twice. The first was Auran’s resurrection. At the end of the second episode, Medusa “kills” Auran but later we find out she’s not dead and still hunting the royals. This episode Auran resurrects again. If the inability to die is Auran’s inhuman power, it makes no sense that Medusa would have been surprised to see her again. Also if someone who can’t die was sent to assassinate me, I’d be far more scared than any of them seem to be when she’s around. At the very least, Black Bolt should be trying to incinerate her with his power every chance he gets. The second convenient plot point was Locus’s death. In a fight we don’t see on camera, Locus is shot and doesn’t tell anyone until she collapses with enough time to tell Black Bolt to be a better king before she dies. It’s a pitiful ending for a character who added more depth in her few scenes than Louise has in 5 episodes.

Now that almost all of the royal family is reunited, I expect we’ll be sprinting towards the conclusion of the series. Maximus is going to start to face opposition in Attilan as well as on Earth with his conscription of inhumans and the Royal Family will be taking the fight to him. Hopefully, as we head into the finale, the writers can side step some of these convenient plotholes and end strong.