Four episodes in and Inhumans is still trudging along. Picking up where we left off last week, Black Bolt and his jail friend have just made it into the private helicopter of genetic researcher James Declan, with Medusa and Louise following close behind in a car. Unfortunately, Medusa’s brilliant plan to follow a helicopter in a car turns out to not be particularly well thought out, and they soon get separated.
Black Bolt and his friend arrive at Declan’s facility, where we learn that, surprise! Black Bolt isn’t human. Declan is used to dealing with fresh Inhumans who are mostly human in their genetic structure, prior to being exposed to the recent Terrigen contamination on Earth. Black Bolt, on the other hand, is something else entirely. In fact, it sounds like you could say he’s the exact genetic opposite of Maximus. Whereas Maximus has completely human DNA thanks to his Terrigenesis, Black Bolt’s DNA is so perfectly Inhuman that it might hold the key to figuring out how Terrigenesis works at all — and how it might be replicated for anyone.
This is what Declan relays to his patron, who of course turns out to be Maximus. I must say, four episodes in, Maximus remains the most compelling character on this entire show. Back on Attilan, he has a run-in with an old childhood friend who now happens to be on the Genetic Council. This guy chides Maximus for not being more freaked out that his entire family is set against him, but maybe he doesn’t understand relationships that well; as Maximus points out, he abandoned the new king when the Terrigenesis made him human. Although he professes loyalty now, Maximus rightfully wonders how long that might last. For some reason, this entire scene is filmed at a canted angle.
Maximus understandably wants Black Bolt dead, but Declan protests that would rob him of the chance to explore the true king’s DNA, and see if it might hold the potential to making Maximus a true Inhuman. The Genetic Council is wary of this idea, since an experiment gone wrong could end up killing their new king, but Maximus is insistent. He now demands that his old friend prove his loyalty.
Lo and behold, the friend comes through. He summons a meeting of the Genetic Council, at which point Maximus sics his soldiers on them, wiping out the last possible opposition to his new regime. I mean, if you’re gonna have a revolution, you have to go for the jugular. Props where they’re due to Maximus — at least he has understandable motivations and acts on them in interesting ways. (Recap continues on page 2)
Having lost Black Bolt, Medusa and Louise retreat back to the latter’s hotel room just as police arrive looking for them. Medusa is sent back immediately to retrieve Louise’s precious rocketship talisman — not unlike the scene in Pulp Fiction where Bruce Willis has to go back to the compromised hotel room to get his father’s watch. But Medusa doesn’t even have to murder John Travolta to get out; she just makes it back to Louise with the rocketship, safe and sound.
As it turns out, the rocketship actually contains the ashes of Louise’s father — a scientist who spent his life working for the space program, only to be denied the chance to go into space himself in favor of more robust pilots. So Louise, in turn, has spent her life working for a company that promises her the chance to make it to the moon in the way her father never could. And now she’s found herself surrounded by people who actually live on the moon.
Most of the other Inhumans spend this episode spinning their wheels. Gorgon buries the friend who died fighting Mordis, and reflects on the fact that he causes damage anywhere he goes. Karnak gets tight with the female weed farmer, who soon takes him skinny dipping and even kisses him as she teaches him to pursue things he wants, not just what logic dictates. Lockjaw is still hurt, but luckily the guy who ran into him has an ex-girlfriend with veterinary skills, and he’s soon on the road to recovery, to Crystal’s semi-frustration.
Having figured out that Declan’s facility is not much kinder to Inhumans than their previous prison, Black Bolt and his friend make a break for it. They immediately run into Auran and her crew. When her bluff that she has Medusa in captivity fails to impress Black Bolt, Auran brings out Mordis, who is very much interested in having a power-off with the only Inhuman considered stronger than him. Unfortunately, Black Bolt isn’t game; instead, he releases a nearby gas pipe, so that if Mordis does want to use his blast it’ll ignite everyone.
For some incomprehensible reason, Auran orders him to do it anyway, and of course all her henchmen get knocked out by the ensuing explosion. It’s one of the biggest self-owns I’ve seen in some time. It would’ve been much better if Mordis and Black Bolt had actually pitted their powers against each other. I really can’t believe we’re four episodes in and the only examples we’ve seen of Black Bolt’s voice in action have been him accidentally grunting, and the flashback of him killing his parents. If you aren’t going to let him communicate OR show off his powers, what’s the point of making him your main character? Mordis seems like a total chump too. Who would be threatened by him at this point? All he’s done is make some surface-level sarcasms and brutally wreck himself for no reason. Some champion.
Luckily, Medusa and Louise show up just in time, and the Inhuman royals share a passionate reunion kiss. Afterward, Medusa shares the good news that Louise can help them track down the other members of their family. Thank god, because these human characters are really not doing it for me.