It could have been an interesting episode this week with the Inhumans starting to question what they believe,and maybe understanding (but not accepting) what Maximus is trying to do. Too bad it’s ruined by some contrived scenes.
The episode starts with the morning after for Karnak (Ken Leung) and Jen (Jamie Gery Hyder). He’s surprised that she’s still with him because usually the women he’s with leave before the next morning. It may have something to do with his ability to find flaws, but they do discuss endorphins, Suddenly, Reno (Michael Trotter) points a gun at him. Karnak is able to deflect the bullet, but it hits Jen on her side, and they leave.
This relationship is actually pretty moving. Karnak tries to understand this new world, and Jen. He also tries to live without his usual ability to follow through with a plan with no doubt of success. Since his head wound a few weeks ago, that ability has been impaired. He even complains how Gorgon can get reckless, as seen in a flashback where he steals the flag the US planted on the Moon in 1969. While that’s a bad idea, at least Gorgon can lighten up a bit, while Karnak can’t even start a game of chess. The point is that Jen convinces Karnak that sometimes you have to take a chance, and that’s what they do when they head back to Reno’s illegal farm, only to find out he’s been killed by another drug dealer. Karnak does a good job fighting them off, but he’s captured.
Meanwhile, Black Bolt (Anson Mount) and Medusa (Serinda Swan) discuss what has happened to them so far, while Louise (Ellen Woglom) is driving. Now that the Inhumans are slowly reconnecting, Louise is becoming more of a third wheel rather than someone who show them some Earthlings can be trusted. She casually mentions her company is planning a moonshot “to beat the Chinese” and maybe Black Bolt and Medusa can be part of it in case they don’t find Lockjaw. This maintains Louise’s importance, but it looks like she may be moved to the sidelines.
At least Locus’ (Sumire Matsubara) capture finally explains why some Inhumans would help Maximus. She says she wanted to be a healer rather than the “finder of lost things” because of her sonar skills. Medusa says what she and Black Bolt do is “for the best of Inhumanity” even if the system is not perfect. Louise could have jumped in and said that those with and without powers should have an equal stake in Attilan, as we try to do here on Earth, but the show doesn’t do that.
Instead, Medusa explains why she was attracted to Black Bolt even though his parents banished hers, and how he’s been guarded for so long because of his power. One look at him, though, and he shows that maybe he’s lost touch a bit, and she’s worried change may be too risky. That also should be emphasized more.
As for Maximus, he doesn’t have any doubt about what he’s doing. He’s not even worried when Medusa tells him through Locus’ communicator that Black Bolt will soon have a few words with him (which can cause a lot of damage). Tibor (Ptolemy Slocum), though, wonders why Maximus took drastic steps to maintain power, and why he likes being called “my king”. Maximus says freedom can’t be just granted to the non-Inhumans, but should be earned. The way, it seems, is to express loyalty towards him. Otherwise, Maximus would tell the lower caste about something he’s discovered called a “city council” and “elections” (Attilan has only 1400 people). Maximus tries to justify his actions, even arguing with a statue of his father. It allows Iwan Rhoen to prove Maximus is no Ramsey Bolton. It’s still a clunky scene, showing him so desperate he’d try to convince a statue he’s right.
Still, it’s not as terrible as how the show is using Crystal (Isabelle Cornish). She’s in a bit of a romance with Dave (Chad Buchanan), the guy who accidentally hit Lockjaw two episodes back. He experiences traveling by bulldog (which she calls “folding space”) and tries to convince her to take a chance on life (and maybe him). By doing this, she doesn’t have a chance to get involved in the main story, keeping her away from the other Inhumans. At least when Daisy had her romance with Lincoln on Agents of SHIELD, she still played an important role. Aside from escaping from Maximus, Crystal’s barely had a chance to use her powers.
Auran (Sonya Balmores) doesn’t do too much this week, either. She is taken to Declan’s (Henry Ian Cusick) lab after the blast from last week, believed to be dead, Since she can heal herself, she eventually wakes and threatens the doc before he tries to see what’s inside her. They also find Sammy (Faleolo Alailima), the Inhuman with the hot hands. He almost escapes, but she plans to use him and the doc as a way to draw out Black Bolt. She wonders why Maximus wants Declan and Black Bolt alive. Maybe Maximus still wants to try genetic manipulation to be an Inhuman.
Back at Reno’s farm, Karnak is hung upside down and beaten by goons working for another drug dealer. They don’t believe his story that he’s from the Moon. However, Gorgon is there to save Karnak, and they’re also reunited with the Royal Family and Louise. Jen decides to leave, but tells Karnak they’ll always have Oahu. Unfortunately, the scene ends with a cliffhanger with Locus saying she’s been shot, and saying she knows where Crystal is right before she dies.
Then there’s an equally contrived post-credit scene: Tibor is confronted by some hooded figures, and he admits he has doubts about Maximus’ ability to rule. Fortunately, the hooded figures agree, and they ask for Tibor’s help.
One question: who are they? It should be revealed next week, which may include some key showdowns on Earth and Attilan.
Inhumans airs Fridays at 9 PM on ABC.