Previously: Black Bolt escaped from prison.
Make Way for… Medusa
Dani: The previouslies remind us that Lockjaw got hit by an ATV. (There’s other stuff, too, but I know you guys only care about the dog.)
Jessica: This is accurate.
Sweeney: Thank you for respecting our interests & priorities.
Marines: You are a true friend.
Dani: I try.
We open to Black Bolt and his helpful inmate buddy chilling in a helicopter, post prison-break. Their rescuer, Dr. Declan, explains that he’s a privately funded geneticist who wants to take them to his makeshift lab in the middle of nowhere. Man, if I had a nickel for every time some guy tried that line…
Declan grabs Black Bolt’s wrist to do a quickie DNA test, but BB stops him. He taps on Declan’s wedding ring and the doc is psyched to learn BB has a wife. He suggests she might be one of the Inhumans to whom he’s given sanctuary, and if not he’ll help him find her. Black Bolt looks wary. Or constipated. Warstipated? (J: All good guesses.)
On the ground, Medusa has Louise, the vacationing researcher, at gunpoint as they speed along, chasing the helicopter. Medusa has obviously never seen Pulp Fiction. But Louise has. (J: A+)
Mari: These people are really bad at not attracting police attention.
Dani: Moon. One of the Genetic Counsel dudes (Tibor) is walking with Max, complimenting him on how he handled Crystal’s departure and generally sucking up. Max snaps when Tibor says he didn’t have a choice about working for the Genetic Council, because it was his place in the caste sytem. Max says everyone abandoned him after his terrigenesis, and Tibor says no one had ever become human before. Max shoves him against the wall and chokes him, because Tibor was supposed to be his friend. Tibor croaks that he’s still Max’s friend. Max lets him go but wonders how long he’ll be his friend this time. Probably not long, if you keep choking him.
Sweeney: Am I supposed to care about this man at all? Am I supposed to care about Max more because he was abandoned? Because, my dude, we all saw in the magical flashbacks that you had murder eyes even before you got that human-ified terregenesis.
Jessica: A lot of people keep getting introduced, and there were a decent number of main people already. Also, I didn’t realize that Max was the only one whose supposedly failed terregenesis turned him human. What does it do to the other people who don’t get powers? Do they like, get things taken away, like they forget how to read or cook or something?
Dani: Also, didn’t we end the last episode with Max taking a crystal to the terregenesis chamber so he could go through again? What happened to that? Did he fail AGAIN? If so, I hope the Moon people have social media and meme him.
Back on earth, Medusa gets tired of being chased, so she leans out her window and shoots at the cop car, which careens off the road. Medusa checks the sky and then sticks her gun in Louise’s face again, menacingly accusing her of losing Black Bolt.
I get that the writers want to show how badass Medusa is, but nothing about this character has made me want to root for her. I kinda hope Louise punches her in the face.
Sweeney: Right. They’re sort of trying to play this off as a weird mix of “TOUGH GIRL!” and “But she’s an alien so she doesn’t understand things!” which is fine conceptually. In practice, though, we have no context for what Medusa actually understands. We understand the world as Louise does and since we haven’t been given a clear reference for Medusa, the supposed hero of this scene winds up looking like a fucking terrorist kidnapping the audience stand-in and sowing chaos in their wake.
Jessica: Yes, exactly! You two have hit it on the head. It’s the same problem we have with Max and his politics.
Dani: Oahu. Crystal yells at the ATV guy who hit Lockjaw. The guy says they were in the middle of the road, and Crystal gives him attitude about not seeing them. For some reason, ATV Guy wants to make sure she’s okay, but Crystal blasts him with her magic wind powers (??) when he steps closer. Instead of running away like a sane person, ATV Guy is just ZOMG AMAZED at Crystal’s abilities. He suggests they start over (why?) and introduces himself as Dave. He says it’s nice to meet her (wtf is wrong with you, Dave??) and Crystal brats about wishing she could say the same. Dave says he’s sorry about hitting her dog, and Crystal orders him to get a doctor. Conveniently, Dave has a friend who’s a vet tech and lives nearby. Crystal shouts at him, and Dave runs off to do her bidding. I hate this.
Jessica: Maybe Dave hit his head in the accident, too.
Dani: It’d make more sense than anything the writers have come up with.
Elsewhere, Louise pulls over the car and freaks out about Medusa shooting at the cops. Medusa argues back, and Louise tells her to stop pointing the freaking gun at her, because she’s not going anywhere. Of course she isn’t, because all the humans on this show are instantly and completely loyal to the Inhumans for no damned reason. (M: Louise, meet Dave.)
Medusa stares at the moon, and Louise surmises she lives there. (J: A bit of a leap, no?) She asks about the rover from episode one, and Medusa admits her husband’s cousin, Gorgon, has hooves. She says her cousin Karnak is here, too, and they all have to find each other and somehow get home. Louise says she has an idea, but they have to get back to her hotel room and also ditch the car.
Makeshift Lab in the Middle of Nowhere. Dr. Declan tells Black Bolt that his DNA isn’t human and also it’s more perfect than anything he’s ever seen because apparently plain ol’ human DNA is gross. He says some neural pathway in BB’s brain has supercharged his vocal cords, making them so deadly that a whisper in his sleep could kill his wife. Ha, I never thought about him talking in his sleep! My husband often laughs in his sleep, so I guess I’m glad his DNA isn’t perfect. (S: I can’t decide if it’s better or worse that they have acknowledged that this is possible and how utterly improbable it is that this hasn’t happened yet.) (M: I’m going worse.) (J: Black Bolt is just soooo special. He’s too perfect to do something like that *eye roll*)
BB gestures to Declan’s ring again, and Declan remembers his promise.
After the commercial break, Max tries to convince Declan to put down (kill) Black Bolt, but Declan declines because science. Declan wants BB’s DNA to cure cancer and stuff. Max’s murder-eyes light up when Declan talks about using the DNA to become anything he wants.
Jessica: I wonder when/how Max made all these Earth connections. Is it part of his coup planning? Just some side projects? I dunno.
Mari: Earth pen pals!
Elsewhere on the island, Karnak has introduced irrigation to the pot farming operation, because the one thing you lack in the middle of the Hawaiian rainforest is water for your crops, amirite? Pot Girl is impressed by Karnak’s mad farming skills and puts the moves on him while Reno the Psychopath watches from the shed and says he doesn’t trust Karnak. The other guy (Ted) says the extra help doesn’t hurt, which makes Reno stare at him all murdery-like.
Meanwhile, Gorgon and the Hawaiian Surfer Bro Freedom Fighters trek through the jungle. Gorgon carries the body of the bro who died fighting Auran and the others (whose name, hilariously, was Lucky). Gorgon says Lucky’s death was all his fault and he shouldn’t have allowed the others to join him. Head Bro argues because he is 110% committed to this complete stranger/alien. Sigh.
Sweeney: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Hawaii!
Dani: Hotel Room of Ideas and Car-Ditching. While Louise tries to track the helicopter, Medusa paces and demands she work faster. Louise sasses her, sarcastically apologizing for annoying Medusa with her unsolicited help. Good girl, Louise. Medusa starts messing with Louise’s stuff, and when she picks up a small, silver rocket Louise freaks out and demands she set it down. Carefully. Medusa does, but her face makes it clear she’s unaccustomed to being given orders.
Louise asks Medusa’s name and snort-laughs when she hears it. (J: Ha. Awesome.) She babbles about hair and marriage and being alone, which throws Medusa into a flashback of herself and Crystal as kids. They hold hands and walk through the halls of the palace. Everyone stares at them disdainfully, and Medusa assures Crystal it’ll be okay, even though it’s just the two of them now. She says they are all each other needs.
Medusa snaps out of her flashback and curtly tells Louise she’s always been responsible for someone, and I dunno she kinda sounds resentful about it? She looks out the window and sees several police cars pulling into the parking lot. Louise realizes she paid for her hotel room with the credit card she used for the rental car. Louise panics again, and Medusa chastises her for always panicking so easily.
Moon. Max tries to convince the Genetic Council to let him go through terrigenesis again, after he uses some theoretical genetic “key” to unlock whatever it is in humans that allows them to transform into Inhumans.
Sweeney: This is weird & confusing because the point is the humans who turn are also descendants of Inhumans and thus… genetically part Inhuman so IDGI???)
Dani: It’s so cute when you try to apply logic and canon to this show.
Tibor nixes the idea of re-terregenesis, saying it would be too dangerous. Max gets all up in his face and asks if he has his loyalty. Tibor says yes, and Max tells him to prove it.
After a commercial break, Declan shows BB some horrific photos of the Inhumans he’s “rescued.” Medusa is not among them.
Panic Hotel. Medusa and Louise bail, but when they’re almost to safety Louise realizes she forgot her silver rocket ship thing. She refuses to leave without it. Medusa is faster than Louise, so she goes back for it and will meet Louise at a different hotel.
Medusa grabs the rocket, but the police pound on the door a hot second later. She runs onto the back balcony as the police enter the room. I guess her hair isn’t her only superpower, because she manages to flawlessly jump two (or three?) floors sans injury.
Dani: Medusa meets Louise and asks her what was so important about the rocket. Louise dodges the question and Medusa is in disbelief that humans ever made it to the moon, with their gross DNA and clunky machines. Louise asks how they do it, and her face when Medusa answers “a teleporting dog” is pretty awesome.
Hawaiian Horse Ranch. Dave (ATV Guy) and Crystal have somehow moved a thousand-pound dog to some sprawling, beach-front ranch. It was pitch black when the ATV incident occurred and now it’s broad daylight, so either Lockjaw has died of internal injuries by now, or else he’s not all that hurt. Dave’s vet-tech friend turns out to be his ex-girlfriend (oh, good – MORE new characters!), who is naturally stunned by Lockjaw’s size. She asks Crystal if she’s been cross-breeding. Crystal acts like a spoiled brat and continues to snap at these strangers who’ve dropped everything to help her. Vet Tech says Lockjaw wasn’t injured too badly, which she can somehow tell just from looking. Crystal acts like Vet Tech is totally incompetent because Lockjaw isn’t instantly back to his normal self, and the number of characters I want to see punched in the face grows.
Sweeney: I was thinking guest appearances by Throat Punch Todd.
Dani: Change approved.
The Poke Shack. Medusa reveals a little more about life on the moon while Louise continues to search for the helicopter. There’s a cute bit where Medusa admits she’s the queen, and Louise is like no wonder you’re so bossy. She asks what the king’s name is, and when Medusa says Black Bolt suddenly Louise doesn’t think her own name sounds so bad. Louise is definitely my favorite character so far. A beeping tells us the helicopter has finally been located. Medusa grabs the laptop, and Louise tells her to wait right there while she tosses their trash. A cute worker guy asks how her day’s going, and Louise tells him it’s the best day of her life. Then she turns around and realizes Medusa has split, taking her laptop with her. Louise sad pandas and says it’s just like Space Camp all over again.
Max calls Auran, who says they’re closing in on Gorgon. He tells her he’s located Black Bolt, and Auran says killing BB is essential to “our” plan. Max takes umbrage to that and Auran quickly corrects herself. He tells her BB has to remain alive, but they’ll watch him closely.
Pot Girl (I think her name is Jen?) takes Karnak to the beach, telling him he spends way too much time in his head. She strips down to her underwear and tells him to do the same. He asks if Reno and Ted do this, and she says Ted does but Reno not so much. Karnak says Reno displays clear socio-pathological symptoms, but Jen just shrugs and says he’s a New Yorker.
Jen heads into the waves, urging Karnak to join her. Karnak hesitates, saying all the water is subterranean where he’s from. But, you know … hot girl in underwear. He makes his way into the waves as sexy music plays. Jen kisses him and he asks why. She says because she wanted to. Reno watches them like a total creeper, adding stalking to the list of clear socio-pathological symptoms he displays.
Back in civilization, Louise pulls up beside Medusa, who’s decided to just walk to the middle of nowhere in her stolen, high-heeled boots which somehow fit perfectly. (J: Yeah, Medusa’s better dressed in random-house stolen clothes than I ever am in real life.) She’s using Louise’s laptop as a tracker, and wait until she finds out how fast that battery runs out! Louise cuts her off and jumps out. They argue about Medusa’s crappy plan, because Louise is totally committed to helping this complete stranger who’s been nothing but rude to her. Medusa makes an offhand snarky comment about Louise’s toy rocket ship, and Louise launches into a lengthy, awkward info dump about it containing the ashes of her father, a scientist who desperately wanted to go to the moon but never did.
Medusa basically tunes out the entire story, then she calls Louise’s dad a loser who wasted his life. She says her father wasted his life, too, and both her parents died for their ideals. Louise thinks that sounds noble, but Medusa says it was just stupid. This throws Medusa into another flashback, where she and Crystal stand before the king and queen as they inform them their parents were traitors who led a revolution against them and have therefore been banished.
Back in the present, Medusa says she’s modeled her life to be the opposite of her parents’ lives. But Louise didn’t — she spent hers working for a company that gets people to the moon.
Sweeney: Indeed, it is always tough for noble criminals to balance the need to escape with the need to look cool doing it.
Dani: Back in the rainforest, Gorgon decides that Auran and the others will find them soon, and he needs to find Karnak. The Surfer Bro Freedom Fighters want to go with him, but Gorgon refuses because they feel like family and he can’t lose any more of his family. Uh-huh.
Dog-Horse Ranch. Vet Tech has left, so Dave and Crystal watch Lockjaw snoring. For no discernible reason, Crystal now believes Lockjaw will be fine, and she says she’s grateful. Dave high-fives her, and Crystal looks stunned. She says no human has ever touched her before, which is pretty impressive considering her brother-in-law, Max, is human. (M: But also, I wouldn’t let him touch me either.)
Jen and Karnak return from their swim. Jen asks Reno where Ted is, and he says he went into town for more beer. Jen takes Karnak into her tent, and Reno watches them murderously.
Makeshift Lab. Black Bolt and Helpful Inmate are disturbed by the photos of the other Inhumans Declan gave them. Helpful Inmate wonders if they’re being held captive, a suspicion that’s confirmed when BB finds a syringe and a vial that Helpful helpfully recognizes as poison. (J: Was that one of his powers, or is he just a natural chemist?) They’ve traded one prison for another.
After the commercial break, we’re back on the moon. Max walks with Tibor and drones on about the Genetic Council and social order and omg I’m so bored with Max and his speeches. (S: MAKE THEM STOP.) Meanwhile, the rest of the Genetic Council has gathered in the ceremony room. They’re surprised to see the terrigenesis chambers set up and are also totally not expecting the armed guards who arrive and beat the crap out of them. Cut to Max telling Tibor that he’s banishing the Genetic Council. The people of Attilan will no longer be forced to live the life to which they’re destined. Tibor is taken aback and eventually just asks Max if he can forgive him for his betrayal when they were younger. Max says forgiveness is overrated, so I guess not. He heads to the now-empty terrigenesis room, crystal in hand, and approaches the chambers.
Sweeney: Another SHIELD continuity sidebar, but before the crystals seeped into the ocean and caused exposure in a super contrived low dose form, shattering the whole crystals around non-Inhumans murdered them, sooooooo I’m just gonna leave that there so you can all know my rage when the show inevitably violates the established rules of the universe that it can’t decide if it wants to uphold.
Dani: Back on earth, Black Bolt and Helpful Inmate sneak out of the Makeshift Lab. They don’t get far before they run into Auran and her gang. Auran tells BB she has Medusa, and they’ll kill her if he doesn’t come with them. BB steps toward her, so Auran quickly calls for Mordis. Black Bolt retreats when Mordis threatens to lift his scary scarecrow mask. Then BB turns to a conveniently located gas tank and opens the valve. He nods at Helpful Inmate to run away, which he does. Auran says it was a smart move, since they’ll all go up if Mordis strikes. But apparently she doesn’t care if everyone dies, because she tells Mordis to do it. (S: Can her healing powers withstand a fucking explosion??? Why isn’t she queen?) Mordis reaches for his mask just as Thelma Medusa and Louise come racing in. Medusa opens her car door into Mordis, which knocks him to the ground. It also knocks his helmet back, and he shoots his flamethrower gaze right at the hissing gas tank. Everything explodes. Great plan, guys.
Black Bolt surveys the wreakage and finds Locus (the echo-location girl) coughing and gasping. He pulls her to safety and then spots Medusa getting out of the car. They run to each other as the touchy-feely music swells.
Mari: It was also like 3 episodes and a day. I’ve lost my car keys for longer than that.
Dani: I think we’d all rather be watching you reunited with your car keys, honestly.
BB gestures to Medusa’s shaved head, and she just says “Maximus.” BB proves that murder-eyes run in the family, but Medusa assures him she’s okay, which is the important thing. She says Locus can help them find their family, so BB loads her into the trunk of Louise’s car. Mordis groans nearby, and his glowy eyes flicker back to life. They skedaddle before he sees them. (J: And Black Bolt doesn’t just cough in his general direction to kill him…. why?) (D: Because REASONS.)
The episode ends with Karnak and Jen in her tent, getting busy. The camera pans out and we see Reno digging a bizarrely large grave that’s hilariously close to the tents, and Ted lying dead beside it. RIP, Ted.
Overall, I think the pacing of this episode was an improvement over the previous ones (except for the Max parts which are soooooooooo boooooooorrrrrinnggg). My biggest pet peeve now is how every human they encounter is just instantly dead-set on helping them. But I’m not very familiar with this canon – is that part of their powers? Attracting humans to do their bidding?
Jessica: And so many new characters are being introduced, I hope this pace doesn’t continue because I doubt I will be able to keep up.
Next time on Inhumans: Max makes more speeches in S01 E05 – Something Inhuman This Way Comes