Karnak and Crystal learn to relax as the full family reunion draws ever closer
This week’s episode focused a lot on the friendship between Karnak and Gorgon, while everyone else mostly spun their wheels. But since Ken Leung’s Karnak is one of the actually compelling performances on this show (along with Iwan Rheon’s Maximus and Serinda Swan’s Medusa), it ended up being okay.
Things certainly started off well for Karnak, as he woke up next to his new human friend Jen. Their sunlit post-coital bliss doesn’t last long, however. While they were having fun, Jen’s paranoid partner Reno killed the third member of their trio, Ted, and threw his body in a ditch. Now Reno is loading his gun waiting for Karnak and Jen to emerge from their tent. As soon as they do, he opens fire, but he picked the precise wrong Inhuman to shoot at. Karnak goes into slow-mo and easily deflects the bullet with his hand — but you can tell he’s not used to fighting side by side with vulnerable humans, because Jen gets hit with the ricochet. As they stumble away they immediately trip into Ted’s freshly dug grave. That’s pretty terrifying for them, but they’re lucky that Reno falls prey to the easiest trick in the book: Karnak throwing a branch to confuse him about their location. They get further help in the form of Reno’s cell phone ringing — it’s their weed buyer, and he’s on the way.
Reno is hoping to use his buyer’s muscle to finish off Karnak and Jen for good, but this crew is understandably not too eager to team up with a guy who’s already killed one comrade. The buyer and his henchmen shoot Reno and dump him alongside his old buddy Ted, then set out to find Karnak and Jen for themselves.
They’re not the only ones looking for Karnak, however. Gorgon is also in hot pursuit. We see in flashback how Karnak was often the one to chide Gorgon for his ill-considered adventures (such as stealing the American flag planted on the moon and trying to play with it), but that doesn’t mean Gorgon will abandon his cousin now.
Also, the last of the Inhuman royals finally arrives in the vicinity of others. With Lockjaw finally healed, he transports Crystal and her new friend Dave to the beach where he once sent Gorgon and Karnak. There, Dave gives Crystal some essentially Hawaiian advice: Don’t worry too much about your family; we’ll find them soon enough, and in the meantime hang loose!
However, this reminds me: Where the hell is Triton? He showed up in the first five minutes of the pilot and literally has not been seen since. What gives? If they’re saving him for a dramatic return somewhere down the line, it’s doubtful most viewers will even remember who he is by that point. And if he’s dead, what was the point of dressing up poor Mike Moh in all that green makeup, with so little to show for it? (Recap continues on page 2)
As Karnak and Jen stumble through the woods, the Inhuman royal decides to put his abilities to medical use. Analyzing Jen’s wound, he easily gets the bullet out of her body without any further harm. As he tells her, this is because he never feels any doubt in his decisions. She points out that people without doubts are pretty scary and convinces him to try thinking with his gut — like Gorgon would do!
Karnak tries this approach, but it doesn’t work out super well for him. He ambushes the gang and takes down several of their members, but is unfortunately knocked out with a shovel and strung up like a piñata. He should leave the impulsive fighting to Gorgon — who, luckily enough, arrives just in time to deliver a well-timed earthquake stomp to the gang. They soon link up with Black Bolt, Medusa, and Louise, but unfortunately Jen decides to take her leave. On the plus side, a dying Locus informs the royals that Crystal is nearby, which means we might finally get our full-fledged family reunion very soon.
Back on Attilan, Maximus’ revolution is already souring. His forces have resolutely failed to finish off the other royals, so now the new king is desperate. Maximus changes tactics by instructing the apparently unkillable Auran to take prisoners at Declan’s facility and make Black Bolt come to them. He also decides to bolster his forces by conscripting random Inhumans. This is actually a pretty common practice after real-life revolutions, since new revolutionary societies soon find themselves beset by enemies, usually in the form of vengeful allies of the government they just deposed. In cases where people honestly believe the new society has their best interests at heart, this model has created some of the most formidable militaries ever seen (such as Napoleon’s Grande Armée and the Soviet Red Army), but Maximus has not delivered his subjects any real reforms to speak of, so his old friend Tibor warns him that this decision could instead have a devastating effect on morale. Maximus reacts badly to this criticism, but Tibor is soon proved correct when shadowy hooded figures approach him and declare their intentions to bring down Maximus from the inside. Something tells me this coup won’t succeed, since we still need an epic confrontation between Black Bolt and his brother at some point, but at least it should give Maximus something to do for a couple episodes.