Previously: Thanks to Crystal creating lightning and some jungle shenanigans, the royal family is reunited, but Gorgon is dead.
Havoc in the Hidden Land
Sweeney: Auran, Declan, and the miners are fleeing the wreckage that killed Gorgon when they are cut off by Crystal and Lockjaw teleporting in their path. The rest of the royal family surrounds them, real pissed off about their betrayal but also, as is the theme, appearing to have learned nothing about why people would have very good reason to betray them. Declan insists that he is a scientist and that Auran killed his assistant, so he is innocent in all this. (J: Nice try, guy.) They ask Declan why he was even working with Maximus and through Declan’s frantic explanation Karnak realizes that Maximus’s coup was really about setting the way for him to go through terrigenesis again.
Dani: Yes, because overthrowing an entire government was definitely the easiest way to achieve that.
Marines: Becoming Earth pen pals with a scientist was the easiest way to achieve that, MAX. The rest is extra.
Sweeney: What little character Max has consists of being a certain variety of EXTRA.
Crystal says that the genetic council wouldn’t allow that, even without them there, but Black Bolt signs that they might have already been murdered, and Medusa asks how many more have to die.
The royal family somberly wraps Gorgon’s body up in a sheet while the miners, Auran, and Declan are tied up a few feet away. I guess all the saying-of-words happened in the cut or something because we get straight to hasty plan making. Black Bolt signs that he wants to send Maximus a message. Karnak asks what kind and after Black Bolt signs an answer, he tells Auran she brought this on herself before snapping her neck. Medusa screams “No!” after the fact like she is somehow surprised? Was she not paying attention to the sign language? Regardless, more of the same basic argument: Medusa says they can’t go around killing everyone (valid) and Karnak says there won’t BE a kingdom if they don’t do something (sounds fake).
Mari: Does no one know Black Bolt’s sign language EXCEPT they all decided it would be in their best interest to learn the sign for KILL??
Jessica: Devil’s advocate here- does it count as murder if they “kill” the person who can heal herself so much that she comes back from the dead? Also, Karnak, there won’t BE a kingdom if everyone in it is dead, sheesh.
Dani: So the message they’re sending Max isn’t really “we’ll kill you” so much as “we will temporarily incapacitate you and return you to your home”?? That’ll scare him.
Sweeney: In the throne room, Maximus is sneering some bullshit when Crystal and Lockjaw teleport in. She’s there to insist on a parley, in accordance with Inhuman law.
Back on Earth, Crystal tells them they’ve got a date and Karnak surmises that this is an A+ opportunity to attack. Medusa isn’t having this – the whole point is peace. She is tired of all the loss and feels like their family is being torn apart. Zoomy cameraman gets in close and dramatic music plays as she pleads with Black Bolt to…well, the “what” is not entirely clear, but I guess it’s “try to make peace.” Black Bolt signs something to her and she looks disappointed? Resigned? I’m not sure. She tells them that they have one more place to go, together. (J: Disneyland??) (S: I wish! Especially if Louise gets to come. Medusa & Louise do Disney!)
We return to the beach where the Inhuman from episode one – Triton – died. Black Bolt puts his hands on Lockjaw and does some sort of telepathic thing and then Lockjaw howls. Medusa sees something in the water speeding towards them and it turns out to be Triton.
Dani: Just imagine that conversation: “Hey, Triton, go to Earth to rescue fledgling Inhumans, and while you’re there make sure you get shot by traitorous guards, and then fake your death so my brother won’t know we’re onto him.” And they wonder why there was a coup…
Mari: “But Black Bolt, what should I do if I get shot dead?” “Be not shot dead, but still pretend that you are.”
Sweeney: “Also just hang out in the ocean for a while ’cause why not?”
Medusa is real pissed that Black Bolt kept this from everyone and as far as I can tell that is the only reason this plot device exists, but OK show. Black Bolt signs some more and Medusa translates even though most of them seem to be able to understand??? Regardless, they’re returning to Attilan in the royal bunker, a detail which seems to also be news to Medusa.
Jessica: She’s definitely pissed because she’s not in the loop, but not about the fact that it seems to be a pretty terrible plan, which honestly is something she should be more worried about.
Sweeney: Indeed. Medusa seems to be getting closer to the mark – expressing anger and indignation at the right moments – but she’s still not feeling those things for quite the right reasons.
In the bunker, Medusa wonders angrily at why she never knew there was a royal bunker. She wonders how long this plan was in the works and how many details – her hair, Gorgon’s death – were all just “part of Black Bolt’s plan.” Her righteous anger is fair because none of this garbage appears to be part of a well calibrated plan that really demanded all this secrecy. I haaaate miscommunication plots and this is somehow worse? It’s a deliberate miscommunication plot? The best part, though, is Triton awkwardly trying to find somewhere else to be when there really isn’t anywhere to go and it is very hard to be inconspicuous when you are green. (J: True, his “whoops, what is that over there” move when Medusa walks up to BB is pretty hilarious.)
Black Bolt and Medusa do go off to a corner of the bunker, though, for some feigned attempt at privacy. Black Bolt signs some things and Medusa rages that lying denies them their dignity and that whatever other duties he has he also has a duty to her, as her husband. She says that her time on Earth has reshaped her perspective on how people perceive them and on her role. She doesn’t want to be merely an interpreter anymore, and demands to know the whole plan.
Dani: Are you sure about that, Medusa? Because I can almost guarantee you that the “whole plan” is a pretty fucking stupid plan.
Mari: Knowing ahead of time will only prolong the pain.
Sweeney: Ignorance is probably bliss where Black Bolt plans are concerned.
A bit later she is once again playing disgruntled translator role as she explains that they are preparing for war and that Triton is heading off to undermine an impostor. She doesn’t seem entirely into this so I guess “knowing the plan” is all that speech won her.
Elsewhere, Auran is waking up from being dead again. Maximus is there waiting for her. He explains the status of the parley and smarms about taking the high road. Auran seems to suddenly remember something and asks him about wanting to become Inhuman. He doesn’t think that should matter to her as long as she gets what she wants. She explains that she followed him because him overcoming his status as merely human was admirable. He gets very petulant about this, as usual.
As an aside here, part of what made Iwan Rheon’s portrayal of Ramsay Bolton so compelling was that even though the character is deeply fucking twisted and legit evil, he’s also human enough to have a range of emotional notes. This character is written with like 2. And that’s all he does. Episode after episode. It’s as if someone thought that a talented actor could somehow save that, but, like, there’s nothing THERE for him to do besides these same two notes, over and over. Forever. Until we all die here.
Dani: I saw people online saying they hated the first few episodes but then the show got better and better, and I’m like WHAT SHOW ARE YOU WATCHING??? The more I see, the more irritating these two-note characters become.
Mari: Dani, to be fair, I’m feeling better and better about being this close to the end.
Sweeney: Anyway, Maximus blathers on about how he’s gonna be an example to everyone by becoming the most powerful Inhuman ever. Auran secretly side-eyes him and clearly wonders what the fuck she got herself into. (M: Look elsewhere for sympathy, girl.)
Declan has his research briefcase open and is explaining his research to Karnak. He’s doing some sort of gene splicing which could allow someone to go through terrigenesis again – potentially with pre-selected powers. Declan’s not entirely sure what value he can contribute to a war, but asks if he’ll be safe there. Karnak gets his thinky face on and ominously insists that nobody is safe.
Later Maximus gathers before the people of Attilan to honor his beloved cousin Gorgon. He gives a very long speech that is the same old shit he’s monologued a few dozen times now. My family doesn’t understand me, etc., etc. He says that as they head into parley, he wants to set aside any more loss and let Gorgon be the last to fall.
Auran explains the terms to Black Bolt and then the royal family teleports in. Black Bolt and Medusa walk to meet Maximus who is also walking towards the center of the big open square where they are holding this shindig. Medusa explains the terms they came to offer: they reclaim their throne and Attilan returns to peace. In exchange, Maximus gets Declan and gets to become Inhuman again. Once Declan is escorted over to the other side, though, Maximus makes it clear he never planned to honor that deal. He insists that his “acceptance” was merely “rescuing a friend.” He now declines and reminds them that this is a parley and the people of Attilan would be appalled if they used this opportunity to inflict violence. But also… they all just watched you go back on a deal? This? Doesn’t???? Make sense???????
Jessica: There is literally no sense-making in this, but the worst part is how everyone on the sidelines just acts like this is not a big deal. Is the only rule literally “no bloodshed” and nothing about honoring your word, and no consequences for not doing that? Honestly it would have been less annoying/confusing if Maximus had just held his fingers crossed behind his back and yelled “Psych!” after he got Declan.
Sweeney: THAT IS ESSENTIALLY WHAT HAPPENED WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS SHOW.
In an apartment that is probably just Crystal’s set repurposed, Declan is looking out the window and marveling at Attilan. He geeks out about terraforming to Maximus when he comes in, but Max wants to get down to business. Declan explains that he has samples from lots of Inhumans. Maximus wants a list of all the powers these people had so that he can choose and then Declan can get to his gene splicing. Declan tries to insist that it’s not that simple and Maximus is all “YEAH IT IS BECAUSE WE’RE ON THE MOON OK?” He then speechifies about great historical moments.
They are interrupted by Auran explaining that there are some maintenance issues with water and electricity. Max asks where the maintenance crews are and she says they’ve been conscripted into the guard, at his request. She fears it’s somehow the work of the royal family, but Max insists that there’s no way they’re on the moon. He wants the old crews found and investigated.
Royal Bunker. Black Bolt is brooding about the failed parley when Medusa comes to comfort him. We flashback to when she first came to see him in The Quiet Room. After he killed his parents she went to gloat – that after what she’d suffered at the hands of his parents, it felt like karmic justice. But once she saw Black Bolt sitting there, she realized that they’d both suffered at the hands of forces larger than themselves. She says that the parley was the same – two people suffering the same pain. EXCEPT ARE THEY? HOW? How.
Mari: I mean, I hate (love) to keep making this about me, but the only people experiencing the same exact pain is EVERYONE WATCHING THIS.
Sweeney: As she is starting to insist that nothing is irredeemable, Karnak enters to say that she’s ignoring the larger context. (J: And apparently eavesdropping on your king and queen is ok now?) We don’t get to know what that is, though, because Karnak is really there to say that he reviewed Declan’s research and even though there’s a flaw (which Maximus will find out on his own) it’s one Karnak can fix and he wants to use it to resurrect Gorgon. Black Bolt and Medusa insist that this request is denied because of the presumed consequences of a second terrigenesis. As Karnak leaves, the dramatic music suggests he’s gonna do what he wants.
Royal Bunker. Medusa sits down with Crystal to check up on her. Crystal is having lots of feelings for the HUMAN that she just met 8 seconds ago. Medusa doesn’t quite say it, but as she speechifies about the nice things she saw on Earth, she clearly means that she misses Louise too. Probably I’m just reading things into this but Shhhhhhh don’t tell me that. (D: +1. Still totally waiting for Medusa to dump these loser royals and join Louise for some kick-ass adventures.)
Auran and Karnak haul Gorgon into the terrigenesis chamber. Karnak takes some of Auran’s blood with a high-tech syringe and then injects that into Gorgon. Auran admits that her powers might not be so strong anymore. She’s not sure if it’s true, but something Declan said warned her that whatever makes her “her” might not work anymore. Karnak sympathizes. (J: Bow chicka…. sorry.)
They put the crystal in the chamber and wait as dramatic music plays. After a bit, they open the door and Gorgon is nonresponsive. Auran reminds him that it takes time, but shortly thereafter Karnak insists that it didn’t work. (D: Auran has way more than a tiny syringe-full of her zombie DNA and it just took her HOURS to come back… maybe wait more than five seconds?) Auran says that maybe death has a purpose and they need to come to terms with it.
They hear people coming and it is time to fight or flee. They decide to flee separately. Karnak closes the chamber door on Gorgon and runs away. (M: Surely… no one will notice him there…) (J: GREAT PLAN GUYS.)
We see Declan and Maximus approach the chamber aaaand it’s empty! They get ready to do the thing and Maximus hands Declan a terrigen crystal and I just want to REMIND EVERYONE that in the ESTABLISHED FUCKING LORE FROM SHIELD, if that thing broke around Declan it would KILL HIM. Whole it’s fine, and probably in the chamber it’s fine, but the point is that he would need to be real dang careful with it.
Dani: Haha, like these writers care (or even know) about canon.
Sweeney: ANYWAY, Maximus laments that this unceremonious affair is not how he imagined this happening – his whole family was with him the last time he did this. Declan tries to cheer him up by reminding him that this makes him the first of a new generation. But then they turn back around and Gorgon is in the chamber again? (D: I think there were two chambers? Wasn’t there a girl who did her terrigenesis at the same time as Bronaja and got butterfly wings or something?) (S: OK yes this makes sense.) Before they can spend too much time thinking about this, a guard comes to warn Maximus that the surveillance is now completely down.
Outside, there’s alarms and mild panic. A hooded Triton watches as six guards escort Maximus back to his room, information that he’s stealthily relaying back to the bunker. Medusa warns him to be careful and he sets off to take down Maximus.
Jessica: No explanation as to why they sent the guy who’s supposed to be dead out in public.
Dani: Because they are SO GOOD at planning things?
Sweeney: The Guy Who’s Supposed To Be Dead successfully kills two guards without being noticed at all and manages to get a third while they’re trying to figure out what’s going on and wrongfully accusing little old ladies in hoods. They duck into a hallway where Triton easily takes out the other three, but not so easily that Maximus doesn’t have a chance to flee. Not for long, though. Triton does a big majestic jump from very high and backs Max into another hallway where they do some hand to hand combat that ends with a big jumping-flip-kick thing from Triton. Mostly I think that there’s a fight scene choreographer who was like, “This show is trash, so just let me have fun???” and everyone went, “Yeah, sounds good.”
Mari: And, if I had the chance to knock Max the eff out, I too would do so with pizazz.
Sweeney: Maximus says that Triton is supposed to be dead before they jump cut to Triton tossing him into the bunker. Maximus brats that they can’t keep him locked up like a prisoner. Except that they are? Anyway, Black Bolt emerges from the shadows and roughs Maximus up a bit. During this, though, Max reveals that he has enacted a failsafe for the protective dome that only he knows how to operate. If he dies, the dome collapses and all of Attilan follows shortly thereafter. But, like, Black Bolt can do what he wants. (J: Tina Fey-level eye roll happening right now.)
And that’s the end. One more, you guys. One more.
Jessica: This may have been the worst episode yet. And that is saying something.
Dani: Do all the writers have a background in daytime soap-opera writing? Between all the fake deaths (first Aurun, then Triton, and now Gorgon) and Max’s super-contrivancey “failsafe,” I wouldn’t be surprised if the finale is just Max revealing that he’s actually the evil twin of the real Maximus, who he murdered but who will also miraculously come back to life. This. Show. Is. Ridiculous.
Mari: On the bright side, if all these writers do moonlight in soaps, there is a chance ~*it was all a dream*~
Next time on Inhumans: The sweet, sweet end in S01 E08 – ….And Finally… Black Bolt.