The Royal Family make their final attack on Maximus the Mad. How does it end? Who lives? Who dies? Who cares?
Ken: Robbie… my brother… we’re finally done.
Robbie: And for all the show’s efforts to go out with a bang, boy was this a whimper. It wasn’t epic, it wasn’t particularly emotional, and it set up a lot of hooks for a sequel we’re never going to get.
But I suppose it’s fitting that it remains consistently disappointing. I really wanted this show to be good, but no matter how you look at it, what we got failed to provide any proper level of characterization, story, or growth that the series deserved.
Ken: I really don’t know where to start with this. Like, I could write the synopsis of what happens on a napkin. The Royal Family stop Maximus, but not in time to save Attilan, forcing a giant evacuation of the city to Earth. Oh and Gorgon is back, as we expected. I only watched it a couple of hours ago but it feels like it’s leaving my brain already. Where do you want to begin?
Robbie: Let’s start with Gorgon and Karnak, because I more or less called it, except it was even more lackluster than expected. It wasn’t so much “Gorgon’s on a rampage and Karnak helps return him to normal with the power of friendship” as it was “Gorgon was angry and running into things, and Karnak helped calm him down enough to run into the things they should run into.” It’s the oldest cliche since “Gilgamesh,” and even then they couldn’t do it right.
Just… what do we even do with this? It didn’t last long enough to have any proper drama, and everyone reacted the same way: “This is bad, Karnak, but we’ll talk about it later.”
Ken: I think they were so banking on this getting a second season that they felt they didn’t need to bother? Because the idea of Gorgon having to come to terms with literally coming back from the dead could be an interesting story, but it’s based around the assumption that we had interesting things happen prior to that plotline, and if you all have been reading these for the last seven weeks, you can make an assumption about that.
I guess the… big… confrontation is the one between Black Bolt and Maximus where we find out that Maximus was the one who tricked Black Bolt into thinking their parents were going to have Black Bolt experimented on, which unintentionally led to Black Bolt killing their parents. Oh. Oh no. I don’t know what to say about this revelation at all.
Robbie: I guess… why did their parents even leave the royal seal sitting completely unguarded on the throne so that anyone, including Maximus, could take it and sign documents in their name? I know he said he “forged” their stamp, but looking at the flashback, he clearly just picked up the little laser pointer from where it was sitting on the throne.
Now this does show another reason why Inhuman society sucks: they make a big deal about undergoing terrigenesis and how important it is to their culture, but if your transformation sucks, you get tossed in the mines forever, and if you become too powerful, they either lock you away or lobotomize you.
But of course, that leads us to the final showdown, brother vs brother, where Black Bolt uses all his wit, strength, and skills to… drag his brother into the bunker, lock him in it, then leave. Yeah, I think a quick death might have been more merciful, since he’s really just condemning Maximus to be stuck in there until he either starves or gets rescued for mysterious reasons by the next season’s villains. And since next season will never come, starvation it is.
At first I wanted to give the show credit for not having Black Bolt arrive just after Maximus undergoes a second terrigenesis, then emerges laughing maniacally and proclaims “I am the most powerful Inhuman in all of Attilan!” before they fight. But dammit, even that cliche would be more entertaining than what we go.
At least it was kind of cool to see Black Bolt finally speak and use his powers to topple the palace onto the bunker. That’s the best I can say about that.Continued below
Ken: To be fair, Maximus did note the bunker had provisions, that I remember at least, but yeah, I kind of get that Black Bolt couldn’t put himself through killing his brother. I get that. It’s just, in the show of underwhelming this just solidifies that. And the visual of Black Bolt using his powers wasn’t completely terrible, so there’s that.
The finale has the citizens of Attilan evacuated back to Earth after so long and Medusa makes a speech on how it will be hard, but they can change for the better. This got me thinking: …was it ever mentioned that they abolished the caste system? Like, I remember that Maximus’s bunker has supplies but I don’t ever recall that being formally addressed.
Robbie: I think they meant to imply it with Medusa’s speech about how Maximus thrust them into an era of change that they’d continue nonetheless, but it was never properly stated. But hey, this means that once again, Maximus was the one to actually abolish the horrible caste system.
It sounds like after Medusa met with “The Boss” (who we never actually get to see or hear anything about, so I’m not sure if it’s supposed to be a reveal they’re saving for season 2 or someone they were just too lazy to introduce) they made some sort of arrangement for the Inhumans who fled to Earth, but we’ll never get to know anything more about that.
Oh, and we also got some last-minute plot detail about how Black Bolt told Maximus he (Black Bolt) didn’t want to be king when they were young, then he got some “super secret information only the king and Genetic Council” can know and changed his mind. Something about a threat from beyond they have to prepare for. Again, another sequel hook that will never come to fruition, leaving us to assume that the threat in question is something like the Chituari or Thanos, even though the odds of anyone from Inhumans actually appearing in an Avengers movie is pretty much zero percent.
Ken: Perhaps “The Boss” is something connected to S.H.I.E.L.D.? I don’t know who’s in charge of that since I stopped watching Agents a long time ago. But judging by the trailer I saw at the end of this it may have to do with the Kree since there were some of them there and the Kree did create the Inhumans (not that the show ever mentioned that aspect but hey! Why bother, right?)
The last bits to tie up are the humans. The good news is that we don’t see Dave or his ex girlfriend whose name I can’t be bothered to go back and check, which is nice. That leaves us to Doctor Declan and Louise. I don’t seem to recall much of Declan after he got thrown into the Terrigenesis chamber by an enraged Gorgon. That really seemed like all his contribution?
Robbie: I doubt “The Boss” is connected to S.H.I.E.L.D., at least directly, but the next season is indeed taking them to space; probably Kree-related, as you’re theorizing. Believe it or not, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is more accurate with the Kree creating Inhumans than Inhumans is, and the Inhuman characters on that show have significantly more depth and development than any we’ve gotten here. (After dealing with seven weeks of Inhumans, I cannot wait for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. to return, because even its weakest season was better than this.)
Declan was pretty unceremoniously taken out of the game. Not like his character was all that interesting anyways. And I’d consider the lack of Dave a point in the episode’s favor, because while it may leave Crystal’s “I want to leave and be with him” subplot unresolved (another thing they were planning on dealing with season 2, no doubt), that’s a price I’m willing to pay to not have to see any more of him.
Then we have Louise, who I guess was supposed to finish some sort of character arc in her last scene with Medusa? Because she’s willing to accept that going to the moon right now would be dangerous? Then she asks Medusa to at least scatter her father’s ashes up there, but for some reason needs to be told to “let go” as soon as Medusa agrees… I don’t even know what they were trying to do character-wise there.Continued below
Speaking of, we never saw Medusa scatter those ashes.
Ken: Another plot point that I’m sure was meant to be settled in the second season. That make no sense? Welcome to this show.
You know, at the end of this, I’m a bit tired. You know, I have given the Inhumans a lot more credit over the years. I could be seen as Multiversity Comics’ Inhumans Guy because I always saw the potential in them as a series and potentially a bigger part of Marvel’s lore. I went to bat for Charles Soule’s Inhumans run as -while flawed- providing the groundwork for a lot of interesting stories and characters and a creative team with great vision could make them work outside of the comic medium.
This was none of that and it’s really infuriating. It could’ve been something real good if the people who greenlit it gave a damn.
Robbie: Sadly, the lack of caring is evident throughout the season. While my knowledge of the “Inhumans” comics isn’t as vast as yours, I’ve still read enough to know that what this show has done is a disservice to the characters and the fans.
What we got were characters lacking in depth and development. The only growth they got were for flaws that we never saw them have long enough to actually care about them overcoming. Half of them were de-powered early on, and those that weren’t used them to less than spectacular effect. Decisions were made without reason or logic, and we were expected to root for them for no reason other than they were the main characters.
We were shown drab and dark glimpses of a world we’re somehow supposed to want them to protect, a civilization we’re supposed to want upheld that really kind of sucks. We were given plot twists that either came as no surprise, or made little sense at all. In the end, it didn’t give us a conclusion so much as it did a reprieve.
I would like to state, though, that this is not meant to be against the actors at all. We still managed to get some actually good deliveries and moments from them now and again, in spite of the material they had to work with, and I’m sure they tried their best to provide as good a performance as they could with the material and direction.
But Inhumans had an uphill climb to undertake after all the drama leading to its creation, and sadly, it fell short.
Ken: I want to thank you Robbie. I really could not have made it through this without you. And I’d like to thank those that have kept reading these and… “experiencing”? Yeah, sure- experiencing this with us.
Robbie: You as well, my friend. We may have suffered through this show, but we got through it as a team.
To all our readers, I hope we’ve provided some new insights, and perhaps a bit of amusement as we ranted away. Thank you for sticking with us, and I’ll be back with you when Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns.
And to the cast and crew of Marvel’s Inhumans… No hard feelings, right?