A king is broken in “King Breaker Pt. 2,” as Atlantis crumbles from a comparatively meager assassination attempt. Black Panther and White Wolf learn the true meaning of positive familial bonds, Attuma connects with his inner slavering war beast, Elanna gets an unexpected promotion and Hawkeye is still an outrageous fusspot on this touching episode of Family Matters.
1. Burial at Sea
Attuma bares more of himself in this episode than we’ve ever seen before, from his sick lime-green throne room, replete with giant shark bones and columns that look like Elder Things, to his martial prowess and capability to feel love Attuma stole the episode. Dan Donohue invokes Leonard Nimoy in Attuma with a buttery-voiced coolness and explosive outbursts that suits the character about as well as it deserves. He gets a good couple of fight scenes in, jumping around like a barbarian and zapping everything with his blaster trident before his heart grows three sizes that day and he declares peace on Earth. It’s a total bummer that his chest gets opened up by Killmonger and kicks it, but it does mean that Elanna, an original character, gets a pretty big spotlight for someone that just showed up in the previous episode. Attuma’s got some big flippers to fill so Elanna’s war machine has a lot of cool potential to develop and change her character.
2. The One That Got Away
Zanda’s plot is a bust when Hunter manages to dispose of the bomb meant to kill Attuma and start a war. The war is still pretty much declared when it’s all said and done but, for the moment, Zanda is devastated that her plan didn’t work out perfectly. Surprisingly, for such a short amount of time, we get a little deeper of a look into Zanda as a character. By nature, she’s usually pretending to be someone else so we never get much of the actual character until now. Here, we find out a little about her vanity and egotistical views on classism (I mean, she is a princess after all). I guess she also has super strength now or something because she’s got a mean haymaker that crumbles stone or terrazzo or whatever Atlantean walkways are made of. Despite falling to her obvious death, I’m sure we’ll see Zanda again soon, posing as someone else and acting wildly out of character to great effect.
3. Catch of the Day
Killmonger still plays it cool and aloof with everyone as if he’s such hot shit that he hasn’t been beaten and captured three times previously. After escaping and treating Tiger Shark like some JV second-stringer, Killmonger is so up on his high horse that he feels spicy enough to murder the Khan of Atlantis and blow the place up. He totally accomplishes his goal but his reward is a joint Panther/Wolf ass-thrashing and fourth capture. It’s becoming more and more clear that Killmonger doesn’t so much have any real plan, he just needs to hang around and show up when things go to hell for T’Challa, which is a daily likelihood. Now that he’s en route to Wakanda, it’s only a short while before he and Bask meet up and depose T’Challa as ruler so they can nuke the planet.
4. Tides of War
Now that Attuma is deep-sixed, it’s the newly christened Queen Elanna’s royal duty to be obstinate towards Panther and develop sudden violent hatred for him over something he had little or nothing to do with! It all did seem to be going a little too well what with the various peace treaties considered and new bridges built, so I’m glad the show isn’t going to chicken out and not give us at least the prelude to the Atlantean invasion of Wakanda. Elanna allying herself with Tiger Shark is…unexpected, but it does bode well for the ensuing savagery of a Tiger Shark led Atlantean army. I just hope that Orka is safe and well-taken care of. It can’t be easy to get fired after just getting promoted.
5. Chum Bucket
Now that the Avengers are aware that Cap’s not just a pile of ash anymore, the general morale seems to have taken a turn for the better, and even Hawkeye is shrieking less than he was previously. Since they’ve got a nice new emotional head space, maybe they can figure out what the hell happened to the real Black Widow and maybe bring in literally anyone else in the roster that isn’t totally sick to death of T’Challa for whatever arbitrary reason. Clint’s useless with his roasted mummy hands, let’s get Ant-Man and the Hulk in here or something. Though unlikely, it would be great for a little more time away from the Avengers, they’ve yet to really improve any story line they’ve been in since the first episode and mostly serve as a distraction from this being T’Challa’s story which has been plenty entertaining in its own mythos.