Inhumans Review: Divide and Conquer (Season 1 Episode 3)

After the widely criticized pilot episode can the Inhuman royal family come together to save themselves as well as their series?

 

On Marvel’s Inhumans Season 1 Episode 3, the Royal Family continues to look for each other while avoiding threats from the mainland and their Inhuman homeworld. Meanwhile, Maximus continues to try to establish himself as king. Audiences are also given a slight glimpse into the childhood of Black Bolt and Maximus.

Kindness of Strangers

The main theme of this episode seems to be members of the Inhumans finding unlikely human allies on earth. An interesting development since the first two episodes focused on how out of touch the Inhuman Royal Family was with their own people they are now being forced to learn and rely on the help of the common people of Earth to get home. Maybe this will paint their perspective of their own homeworlds people?

While in prison Blackbolt meets Sammy, someone contacted to get Black Bolt out of prison. It turns out Sammy is actually a NuHuman (guess that is what Marvel calls this subgroup of Inhumans now) with lava powers that were created in the aftermath of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. He informs Black Bolt that Inhumans have gone missing and helps him escape with the help of a helicopter provided by Sammy’s mysterious contact, Declan (played by Hawaii’s own Henry Ian Cusick).

Sammy ask Black Bolt how he acquired his powers and one of his questions is “bitten by a radioactive bug?” now this is a cute reference to Spider-Man but that reference works for us because we know the origin of Spider-Man as a fictional character. The problem is Spider-Man a hero that exists in this universe, nobody aside from Peter and his friends no this very detail. Getting powers from a radioactive animal comes from his mythos and our knowledge of it. It appears to be a cute wink to the audience but also breaks the reality of the universe slightly.

Medusa’s storyline finds her breaking into an unseen wealthy family’s home. Seriously. I know a show with a giant teleporting dog allows for a certain level of disbelief but it is hard to imagine this high-class home doesn’t have a security system. For what it is worth, Serinda Swan has a very touching scene. A pure visual scene with just the music, the actress by herself and the set design to sell it and she pulls it off. She also continues to sell her love for Black Bolt as she almost makes it to him and as she cries his name out you feel the heartbreak in her voice. She finds herself crossing paths with the NASA scientist from the pilot who is so irrelevant I can’t tell you her name or a single thing about her.

Gorgon has teamed up with some Hawaiian survivalist that also have military training. It’s not quite clear why they want to help him, except by some weird connection to Hawaii once having a king to fight for. Are the creators trying to draw some parallel between Hawaii and Atillan? If so that seems like both an odd and poorly planned out idea.

Karnak stumbles onto a pot farm where he is held captive. One of the farmers wants to kill him while the others think he is just a madman and thinks they should let him go. They eventually decided to make him a part of their work since he informs them he wishes to stay. Since his head injury has left his powers of perceiving danger and finding weakness damaged he is left questioning his place in his family. What good is he to them now? What can he offer? A sweet sentiment that the actor tries to sell but, like Medusa losing her hair in the first episode, we didn’t get to know him with his powers so it feels like a rushed development for him to not only question his place in the family but decide he doesn’t want to return.

The weak link is certainly Crystal. Isabella Cornish tries to play the royal as liberated and charge but comes off bratty. It should be easy to come off as sympathetic when you are acting opposite the guy who played one of the vilest villains in television history but she does drop the ball. Hopefully with her and Lockjaw (yay, giant puppy!) finding their way to Earth she is given more chances to develop her character.

Secret Weapon

Maximus sends down some additional help for Auran in hunting down the royal family. This includes an Inhuman who can control plants, some unnamed and no powers showed Inhumans, and their secret weapon named Mordis.

Mordis is hyped up as the second most deadly Inhuman behind only Black Bolt. He has a design that is, in theory, cool and at first is interesting but the more they show of him he looks more like a giant rag doll in a burlap sack. It also isn’t helped that he is written like a rebellious teenager trying to act cool. Yet his power is quite destructive in that removing his face armor triggers his entire face to launch an optic blast! Think of him like Cyclops from X-Men, but more dangerous since it involves more than closing your eyes but concealing one’s whole face!

Family History

The pilot gave us a quick glimpse at a young Medusa visiting Black Bolt but here the viewer is treated to actual scenes of young Black Bolt before he gained his superpower. The scenes between young Black Bolt and Maximus has vibes of young Thor and Loki. Unlike Thor though we see Black Bolt’s hesitation to become king and questioning the system. It does plant the seeds for an interesting development of what made Black Bolt accept being king and does he really want the throne or is he, as Loki said “burdened with glorious purpose”

This also helps develop Maximus lofty ambitions and begins to plant the jealousy and hatred he has for his older brother. It appears he isn’t doing this for the good of the people like the pilot painted him as, but more of a jealous younger brother envious of not just the power Black Bolt wields as the king but also an Inhuman.

Final Thoughts

Now that the show is passed it’s much-hyped and widely talked about pilot (which for some reason Marvel wanted to be treated more like a film than an actual television series) it appears that Inhumans is starting to find its footing. It’s starting to develop the leads more, even if it is a bit rushed, and humanizing them by bringing them into contact with more people. An intriguing mystery is now set up with where Black Bolt is going, and how the family will come back together sets up for some decent television.

 

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What did you think of Inhumans Season 1 Episode 3? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

Inhumans airs Fridays at 9/8c on ABC. Follow The TV Type on Twitter!

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