Previously: Murder in the pot commune.
Something InHuman This Way Comes
Marines: There’s always a story about why we fall super behind our own schedules. This time, I rage quit this recap after I got halfway through the episode, WordPress crashed AND NO BACK-UP WAS AUTOSAVED. The prospect of rewatching and rewriting was grim. It still kind of is, but the good news is that it’s 4 episodes we have to do. We can do it.
Sweeney: I probably would have just forever quit at that point, so you’re a true champion. I admire your fortitude and grit.
Jessica: Seconded. Your dedication is noted and appreciated.
Mari: Karnak and Pot Girl Jen wake up in their tent. Karnak says some more of that awkward shit that is his brand, namely that he feels good waking up next to Jen, even though the post-intercourse endorphines have worn off, she snores in her sleep, and the second toe on one of her feet is crooked. The main take away for me, though, is that they had sex five hours ago so they got like what 4.5 hours of sleep? No. Got back to sleep immediately.
Dani: We at the Snark Squad understand the importance of sleep. Listen to us, people.
Mari: They don’t listen to me, which turns out to be a huge mistake because Murder Pot Guy Reno is waiting for them outside their tent, gun drawn. As soon as Karnak and Jen emerge, Reno shoots. Time slows down and we see that Karnak can see the bullet’s trajectory with his power. He manages to karate chop it out of the air, but it ricochets and gets Jen in the side. In the second while Reno looks down at his gun confusedly, Karnak grabs Jen and they run into the forest.
Reno chases them. Karnak and Jen find a convenient hole and jump down into it, except whoops! It’s the grave Reno dug for Ted. Jen starts to freak out, but Karnak covers her mouth. We hear Reno coming closer to them, shouting murder-y things like “sharing was never really one of my strong suits.” Me either, Reno, but that just means I don’t give fries off my plate or tell people when I have gum, not murder them. (D: But what if fries and gum are just like… gateway non-sharables??) (M: Nope, take it back.) Karnak throws a rock to lead Reno in the opposite direction. Then, Reno gets a call that someone, presumably a buyer, is on their way early so he has to scurry back to the compound. Karnak and Jen run.
Black Bolt and Medusa are cuddling in the back seat while Louise drives. (J: They are being that totally annoying PDA couple. I feel sorry for Louise. Like always.) Using his sign language, Black Bolt asks about what happened to her hair. Medusa says they should focus on finding their family, but Black Bolt insists. She tells him briefly about how Pulsus shocked her and Auran and some other guards held her down. Black Bolt sets his jaw extra hard and Medusa says she’s okay now. He needs to calm down.
Mari: This moment is interrupted by some pounding from the trunk from that one girl they kidnapped. Louise pulls over because she doesn’t want someone in her trunk any more. (J: I also have a theory that she just didn’t want to be awkward third wheel anymore.) Louise lets Locus out, and she says that Karnak is somewhere in that forest next to them. Medusa asks how she knows and Locus makes a aaa-aaa! kind of call that echoes back. That’s how she knows. Hokay, cool, ’cause that explains very little.
Louise says her car can’t go in there, which Locus thinks is fine because riding in that what’s-it-called sucks. Louise pointedly replies that trunks aren’t meant to be ridden in. Locus says it’s no different than the way they are usually treated by royals. On the one hand, fair. On the other, you came here to murder them. Black Bolt grabs Locus roughly and pulls her into the forest. Louise asks Medusa if she always treats everyone that bad and she replies, “Locus was here to kill us,” and gives a good (seriously, not sarcastic) little head tilt like GIRL. It’s great and again, a fair point, but also the answer to Louise’s question is probably “yes.”
As they walk through the forest, Medusa says they’ll find Karnak first and then Gorgon and then make sure Crystal is safe. Louise says her company is prepping a mission to the moon to “beat the Chinese” (um, to what?). (D: Sadly, there are many who would probably say to weaponize climate change, or something equally idiotic.) Black Bolt and Medusa don’t much like the idea of humans finding their home.
A comlink beeps. It’s Locus’s. She’s been hiding one. But not really like hiding it because these people should’ve assumed she had one. Medusa grabs it and answers. It’s Max, asking why Auran isn’t answering his calls. Medusa says hello, and Max is like “oh, great.” Medusa says Crystal better be safe and it seems like Max starts to tell her where Crystal is, but thinks better of it. Instead, he says that he would never hurt her or any of them. Medusa is like, “bitch, you sent a murder squad with someone actually named MORDIS on it.” Black Bolt signs a message and Medusa gives him a look like really? And Black Bolt gives a sign back that I’m 90% sure means SAY IT. So, Medusa tells Max that Black Bolt says that we he gets back home, he wants to have a few words with Max. That’s a real good threat a little bit wasted on the lingering shot of Max’s 50 shades of reaction. Max (finally) says he looks forward to the family reunion. (J: The trailers at the end of last episode were going crazy with this exchange. But in the moment, it doesn’t feel all that organic.) Black Bolt grabs the comlink and crushes it. Max yells for someone to bring him Tibor now.
SYMBOLS! LOCKJAW! That was an 8 minute cold open.
Dog-Horse Ranch. Vet Tech says Lockjaw’s swelling is way down, which is good news. Crystal is like “COOL, let’s go find our family!” ’cause there ain’t no rest for the best dog. (D: These effing royals do not deserve this precious beast. Yeah, that’s right… I’m finally coming around on the dumb CGI dog.) (S: One of us! One of us! One of us!) (M: Chanting! Chanting! Chanting!) (J: Yay Team Lockjaw!) (M: Also team Chanting!) Vet Tech says Lockjaw is in no shape to be running around yet, so Crystal has to explain how Lockjaw transports. Vet Tech is obviously very unconvinced about all this talk of the moon and folding space, but Dave is fully on board. I think he’s mostly on board with how pretty Crystal is. Crystal tells Lockjaw to take them to where he took Medusa, invites Dave to get closer, and away they go, leaving Vet Tech alone and feeling crunchy.
Declan Research Field Lab. Declan is performing an autopsy on one of the Inhumans I’m assuming was part of the murder squad but I either never saw him, never noticed him, or forgot about him entirely. Declan is ooh-ing and aah-ing over his venom gland, right up until he punctures it and gets said venom on his gloves, which he has to quickly take off before he gets burned. (D: THAT’S WHAT HAPPENS when you go poking at Inhuman venom glands, my man.) We see that the body next to Venom Guy is Auran. She appears dead and badly burned, but I won’t cheer this time. I also won’t turn off the episode and walk away, no matter how tempted I may be.
Sweeney: But nobody would blame you if you did.
Jessica: Stay strong, friend.
Mari: Forest. Gorgon is looking for Karnak. He flashes back to Attilan. In the flashback, Gorgon is happily carrying an American flag. The American flag we left on the moon. It’s super bleached out on account of radiation, so that’s a nice touch. Gorgon finds Karnak and asks if he wants to play catch (with the flag?). (D: Pretty hard up for entertainment on the moon, I guess.) Karnak tells him he’s an idiot, explains that humans will notice the missing flag, and tells him to put it back. As Gorgon sheepishly leaves, Karnak says Gorgon would destroy Attilan without him.
In the present, on Earth, Gorgon finds the place where Karnak fell, cracked his head, and bled over rocks. Gorgon very seriously tells the trail he picks up not to worry.
Reno is wrapping up some pot. Someone enters the tent, and Reno pulls out his gun. Turns out it’s just the buyer, who very astutely and instantly asks where Reno’s partners are. For reasons that are beyond me, Reno tells the truth about killing Ted and how Jen and “face tattoos” ran away. Reno asks for the Buyer’s help to track them down. The Buyer asks to see Ted’s body, which is suspicious.
Sure enough, Reno leads them to the fresh grave and gets shot by Buyer for his trouble, conveniently landing in the grave himself. (D: Good thing he dug such a comically large grave!) (J: LOL.) (S: Also an inexplicably square and well angled grave?) Buyer tells some of his crew to bring the car around and pack up the pot. He tells the others to follow him into the forest to find Jen and face tats and murder them.
We see Karnak and Jen are still struggling along, but then Jen collapses. Fair, girl. I’d collapse after a lot of walking without the gut wound.
After a break, we’re back on Attilan in the Minority Report room. Tibor reports to Max, calling him “my king.” Max says he doesn’t have to do that, since they are old friends. He called him here to get a recommendation on what Inhuman they can send to Earth to finish what Auran started. Tibor is like “um, that’s forced conscription, not freedom.” Max says that freedom has to be earned and the royal family can’t come back and also BECAUSE I SAID SO and SHUT UP and CALL ME MY KING AGAIN. Tibor leaves him to overact a little more before we end the scene.
Dani: These exchanges are so painful. I wish they’d forget about the stupid moon and the rest of the Inhumans and just give us a Medusa/Louise buddy-cop sort of show.
Sweeney: I would definitely watch the Medusa/Louise buddy-cop show over “idk Max is a villain because he sneers lots of stuff and idk remember how this guy was Ramsay Bolton and don’t you hate that guy wowowow” storytelling.
Mari: In the forest, Jen is back on her feet so IDK why we had to watch her collapse. She sits and says her gut wound hurts, which yeah. Karnak does something to her back which blocks the pain nerves to her side. He then takes a look at her wound, blaming himself for not seeing this coming. He tries to figure out if it would be better to dig out the bullet, cut into her back to get it out, or…. he’s got an idea. Jen asks WTF he’s doing, and Karnak makes a heavy handed, “you’re just like my cousin Gorgon!” reference. Because being distracted by human things on the moon and wondering what the guy you met 24 hours ago is doing to your bullet wound are totes the same.
Karnak uses her fingers to like punch the bullet out? IDK. It happens quickly and the bullet is out so hooray. (J: He literally punched the bullet out!) Karnak next wants to use some leaves to suture her up, but Jen says no because she conveniently has a sewing kit in her back pocket. Yes, seriously. Because “we are always tearing holes in our tents.” Hokay, Jen. Whatever you say.
Jen thinks they should call the cops after they get her sutured up. Karnak doesn’t want to do that, on account of people in authority usually react badly to people who are different. He instead suggests going back to camp to ambush Reno. Before he’s fully finished suturing Jen up, and before he can consider any flaws in his plan, they hear something rustle in the distance and take off running.
Declan Lab. Declan and his colleague have run DNA samples on Venom Guy and Auran. He notes that Auran’s DNA is showing degradation, just in time for her to come back alive. We watch her wave her hand over her face and completely heal the burns on her body. Her stylish hair cut even… heals. (D: Okay, now THAT is a power worth having.) (S: 10/10 would recommend.)
Is it just my luck that my least favorite character can resurrect?
Karnak and Jen are back at the commune and we have yet another long chat about how Karnak can’t see the outcome to any of his plans anymore and it totally sux. Karnak makes the second heavy-handed, “like my cousin Gorgon!!” reference, this time being like, “you want me to be reckless??” Jen says yes and promises to have his back. This sends Karnak into a flashback of the same day we saw from Gorgon. Gorgon has finished putting the flag back and Karnak tells him again how thanks to terrigenesis, he will forever be making messes and Karnak will forever be cleaning them up. Gorgon smiles that at least he’ll have some fun. Karnak, meanwhile, has been sitting in front of chess board this whole time and hasn’t made a move. “Even when you are playing games, you are stuck doing nothing,” Gorgon says.
Dani: This is obviously just a set-up so reckless Gorgon can save/clean up after cautious Karnak for once, but do they HAVE to keep hitting us with the anvil of storytelling to accomplish it?
Mari: Apparently, yes.
In the present, Jen and Karnak head towards the pot tent.
Declan Lab. Auran is talking to Max via comlink. Max reveals that he’s working with Declan, but won’t say much more. Auran keeps prodding, and wants to know who Max is going to send next to help her, but he just wants a “yes, my king,” which Auran gives grudgingly. (J: Aw, she didn’t even get a chance to say “Maximus” first.)
Mordis and Plant Girl are still walking through the forest and they’ve got Helpful Inmate tied up in vines. Helpful uses his hot hands to burn out of the vines and run away, but Plant Girl wiggles the ground, trips him up, and ties him again. Mordis gets a call from Auran. He tells her where they are, that they lost Black Bolt, and that they have Helpful Inmate captured who, surprise, has abilities and claims to have helped Black Bolt break out of prison. Auran says to bring Helpful Inmate to her and the music crescendos A LOT like this is very exciting.
Sweeney: IS IT, SOUNDTRACK MAN? IS IT?
Mari: Commune. Karnak and Jen have found it empty. She’s taking a load off her gut wound. Karnak is looking around for weapons, from garden hooks to a little log to some longer pieces of wood that look like bamboo. He starts twirling the sticks around impressively, all set to some cool guy music, but stops when he notices that all the pot has been packed up. They hear some vehicles approaching and hide inside the tent. They watch as the buyer crew start loading the pot.
After another break, Karnak tells Jen to sneak out and hide while he takes on the Buyer Crew.
Lockjaw drops Crystal and Dave off somewhere near the ocean.
Dani: Damn, Dave is trying REALLY hard to score with this chick. Settle down, Beavis.
Mari: Karnak readies to fight. He hears Locus’s shriek nearby, which distracts him for a second and gets the attention of the Buyer Crew. Fighting happens with sticks. Karnak manages to take them all out, it seems, but one of the crew gets back up and gets Karnak into a choke hold. Jen comes to the rescue, threatening to set the pot on fire with her lantern. Karnak tells her to do it, and she does, which distracts all their attackers. Well, almost. Buyer himself shows up and knocks Karnak out.
Forest. Locus uses her call again and says that Karnak is close. Louise is curious about her gift and asks if she’s like the royal finder. Medusa is quick to say yes and also defend the society they live in with all their strictly enforced roles. Locus objects, Louise agrees, and Medusa concedes that everything is far from perfect, but they are trying their best. Locus says at least Max is trying to change, and Medusa points out that Max forced her to come here and essentially be the royal finder. Locus just stares back like “shit. I didn’t think of that.”
Jessica: Louise is going to drive herself crazy trying to get a straightforward understanding of Attilan, its royals and its politics. At best, it’s a circular path.
Mari: We feel you, Louise.
Black Bolt is clearly frustrated by this conversation. Medusa says that they don’t understand because BB has been guarded for so long. Maybe it’s time for everyone to know him like she does.
Jessica: That was my first thought too!!!
Mari: Whisper-murder makes me think of Fifty Shades, so this descent into bad things is complete.
Tibor brings Max the list of lower-caste abilities. Max examines it and finds that Bronaja’s father is there. Tibor says that Bro-papa has a level 8 strength and is the only who thought it an honor to be drafted. Everyone else was not happy about it.
Jessica: I like to think that everyone in Attilan with powers gets their own Pokemon-like card of themselves. Like, “ooh, see that, I’m level 8, fighter class!” Then they hand them out to friends and family like graduation photos.
Mari: Max repeats his thing about earning your freedom. Tibor says that some Inhumans might wonder if all this is for the good of Attilan or the good of Maximus. This is clearly not something Max wants to hear, so he sends Tibor away. And then he starts to talk to the statue of his father in the throne room. For real. I’ll spare you. (D: If only the writers were so kind…)
In the forest, Gorgon sees a fire. He starts to charge, but then stops and wonders WWKarnakD? He then walks slowly in the same direction.
At the Pot Commune, the Buyer has Karnak strung up upside down. Buyer wants to know who Karnak is working for. Karnak tells him the truth: he’s an Inhuman from the moon. (J: Dude.) That gets him whacked with sticks by the Buyer Crew. Gorgon shows up and uses his mighty hoof to wobble the Earth, knock the Buyer Crew out and free Jen and Karnak.
Dani: Wow, look – the tables were turned, and Gorgon saved Karnak’s butt. I never saw that coming!
Mari: Jen tells Gorgon that Karnak talks about him a lot (in 24 hours, or whatever…) and this earns a genuine, sweet smile from Gorgon. Karnak thanks his cousin and off they run.
Jen can’t run very far, though. Gorgon says retreating isn’t his style anyway. Karnak says it’s good to have Gorgon by his side again. Gorgon can’t believe how nice Karnak is being. Gunshots at the commune get their attention, but seconds later, Medusa, Black Bolt, Louise and Locus come out of the trees. They all hug and say nice things about each other. Gorgon lightly hits on Louise. Jen breaks it up to suggest they get out of here before she anonymously calls the cops. BB is like OKAY BYE. Karnak asks for a moment, though. He basically asks why Jen is breaking up with him after 24 hours, or whatever. She tells him it isn’t like that. It’s just that sometimes life takes you in different directions after 24 hours. She kisses him goodbye and leaves while his family looks on in wonder.
Suddenly, Locus collapses. Because she was shot? And she didn’t say anything? And nobody noticed? And now she’s about to die? (D: *side-eyes these writers forever*) This is so stupid that her touching last words, asking Black Bolt to be the king they deserve are lost. She manages to tell them all that Crystal is on the island, but dies before saying where.
Jessica: I kind of like the poignancy of the last thing anyone says to her is demanding she find something, but like, seriously, what the hell just happened? It’s so confusing that I really can’t trust that it was intentional by the writers. That was the worst plot-servicing way to kill someone ever. Just… ever.
Mari: Back on Attilan, Tibor is cornered. He thinks it’s by Max’s men, so he’s like, “I’m sorry that I point out all the flaws in Max’s plan!” Which is great, because these are actually rebels, so they know now that Tibor has a little rebel in him. They ask for his help unseating the false king of Attilan. Maybe just try your assassination attempt during one of those times he’s giving 27 facial expressions to the camera!
Dani: For the love of all that is holy and good, somebody please assassinate this guy already!*
*not the first time I’ve said that this year
Next time on Inhumans: The royals take on the murder squad in S01 E06 – The Gentleman’s Name is Gorgon.