When last we left the Inhuman royal family, they were broken and scattered across an unfamiliar world, with little means of contacting each other. This episode begins by improving the situation somewhat, with a mysterious researcher named James Declan becoming aware of Black Bolt’s imprisonment on Oahu. Declan calls another prisoner in the facility and promises to help with his situation if he in turn helps look after Black Bolt.
For his part, Black Bolt is lost in the past, thinking of a conversation he had with his parents and brother back when he was a kid (and back when he could talk without annihilating everything around him). We see little Black Bolt declare that he doesn’t want to be king. Maximus, on the other hand, does, but is constantly reminded by his father that the rules of succession don’t work that way.
With a snap back to reality, the prison warden wants Black Bolt moved to the prison’s general population, in the hope that scary guys will beat him up and get him to talk. Trust me when I say this, guys — you don’t actually want Black Bolt talking to you.
After checking in on the king, we get a look at what the rest of Inhumans are up to. Despite Medusa’s best efforts, the ATM refuses to give her money just because she’s the Queen of Attilan, so she breaks into someone’s fancy house and gets herself supplies (including actual human clothes). Crystal is still imprisoned on Attilan, where Maximus is trying to get her to support his claim to the throne in front of the Genetic Council. Gorgon is still with his buddies from the last episode, who apparently fancy themselves guerilla soldiers. They want to help Gorgon with his fight, though he’s doubtful of their capabilities against Inhuman Royal Guards. Funniest of all, Karnak stumbles on a group of people squatting on public land in order to run a gigantic weed farm. Neither party in that situation can really understand what the hell the other one’s talking about.
Despite her brutal fight with Medusa last week, Maximus’ right-hand woman Auran is back up and running. Nevertheless, Maximus wants to send her backup, and decides to unleash the most powerful weapon in Attilan after Black Bolt. Mortis looks like the Gimp from Pulp Fiction with glowing eyes, and as we soon find out, he fancies himself quite a snarky one, making sarcastic comments as he and the rest of Auran’s forces trudge through the Hawaiian foliage. Doesn’t seem that scary, if you ask me. (Recap continues on page 2)
With all the pieces set up, the second half of this episode does give us some satisfying fight scenes. First up is Gorgon’s group against Mortis. After lots of hand-to-hand fighting, Mortis decides to take things up a notch and reveals his power: By lifting his mask, he can unleash a powerful blast of energy. He’s basically like Cyclops if the beams came out of his entire face rather than just his eyes. One of Gorgon’s friends is injured in the battle, so he ends things with a giant earthquake stomp and leads his buddies in retreat.
The other prisoner finally makes contact with Black Bolt and warns him that Inhumans are currently being persecuted on Earth. This will make more sense if you’ve been watching Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but suffice to say that in the absence of X-Men intellectual property, Marvel TV has been using Inhumans as their replacement for mutants — a superpowered minority whose troubles are meant to reflect real-world oppressions. He declares his intentions to help Black Bolt, but before he can, the two are separated by prison officials, and the Inhuman king is sent to the yard.
A hilarious scene ensues. The guards thought that the other prisoners would beat up Black Bolt, but they actually love him for beating up so many cops during his arrest. Enraged, the guards start attacking the prisoners, which starts a huge prison yard brawl. Black Bolt conducts himself well, taking down a few more guards before his friend finds him and they make for an escape. Surprise surprise — this guy is an Inhuman too, with the maybe-useful-but-maybe-not power of making his hands really hot. He uses this power to melt through the prison door so they can make it to Declan’s waiting helicopter. I kind of wish the creators had used that opportunity for a Black Bolt scream — I’m disappointed that the only uses we’ve seen of his voice so far are him painfully grunting and a flashback of him accidentally killing his parents, a scene that was probably supposed to be tragic but actually came off hilarious.
Speaking of tragic and hilarious, Medusa and Louise (that researcher who spotted Gorgon’s hoof in satellite imagery) arrive at the prison just as the helicopter takes off. Medusa holds Louise at gunpoint and forces her to take them after the helicopter.
Back on Attilan, Crystal subverts Maximus at the worst moment, telling the Genetic Council that “Maximus is king…. of no one,” before teleporting away with Lockjaw, who remains the best character in this series. Unfortunately, mere seconds after they land in Hawaii, some motorcyclist crashes into Lockjaw. Don’t know what that’s about, but I guess we’ll find out next week!