Inhumans is starting to heat up with the stronger third episode “Divide – And Conquer”, but can it continue it’s streak through a fourth?
(Spoilers: No, no it can’t.)
As is the tradition of taking the episode name from classic Stan Lee-era comics, this episode is named after the story arc in Amazing Spider-Man #62, “Make Way For… Medusa!”. (Even though the issue cover distinctly says “The Name of the Dame is… Medusa!”. Weird.) But can an episode all about Medusa pull it off after the loss of the character’s trademark powers?
(Spoilers: See above spoiler.)
Our episode starts inside the helicopter of Dr. Evan Declan. Utilizing the TARDIS effect, is much bigger on the inside than it seems to be on the outside. (I don’t think this was intentional.) Declan asks escaped prisoners Black Bolt and Sammy to put on their headsets, and explains that he is privately funded researcher, and he is looking to conduct voluntary experiments on Black Bolt. As Declan goes to give Black Bolt a DNA test, the king taps the scientist’s ring. Sammy explains that he is looking for his wife. Declan claims that he has given sanctuary to many Inhumans, and if his wife isn’t among them, he will help him look – he just needs to cooperate.
Below, his wife Medusa and her captive Louise Fisher are chasing the helicopter in Louise’s car. Medusa orders Louise to speed, blasting through a red light and getting the cops on her tail. Medusa puts a gun to Louise’s head and refuses to let her pull over. Medusa fires her blaster at a cop car, causing it to crash. She blames Louise for losing the helicopter. They pull over and Louise starts freaking out that Medusa shot at the cops. Medusa ignores her, gazing at the moon, and Louise realizes that Medusa is one of the energy bursts from the moon. She asks how many there are, and Medusa says there is an entire city. Louise mentions the moon rover being crushed by a hoof, and Medusa explains that it was her husband’s cousin Gorgon – he and her cousin Karnak are stranded with Black Bolt, and she needs to find them to return home. Louise has an idea, but it involves returning to her hotel and ditching the car.
On Attilan, Maximus is walking with the new head of the Genetic Council, Tibor. Tibor mentions that he doesn’t think he would have been able to keep his composure after Crystal abandoned the city, but that’s why Maximus is king and he is simply on the Genetic Council. Maximus takes offense to this, accusing Tibor of using the city’s caste system as an excuse for his place in the society. He reveals that they used to be friends, but Tibor abandoned him after his Terrigenesis rendered him human. Scared, Tibor apologizes and says that they are friends now, but Maximus wonders for how long.
In the woods, the man who crashed his RTV into Lockjaw chastises Crystal for being in the middle of the road, then notices Lockjaw and asks what it is. Crystal angrily replies that it is her dog. He says that if that is a dog, it’s the biggest dog he has ever seen, and Crystal question why he didn’t see them then. She uses her wind elemental powers on him, confusing and terrifying him, and she orders him to stay there. To start over on a new foot, he introduces himself as Dave. Crystal doesn’t care – she orders him to get a doctor. He explains his friends is a vet, and she demands he leave now.
In Declan’s lab, he tells Black Bolt that his DNA is not human. He scientifically explains why Black Bolt’s powers work, and admits he is terrified of him. He wonders how Black Bolt does it, since he has the power to accidentally kill everyone he loves. Black Bolt looks ashamed at this. He holds up Declan’s ring finger, and Declan agrees to look for Medusa. He goes outside and calls his benefactor, claiming that he has made an amazing discovery. He explains his findings to the private funder, who is revealed to be Maximus.
How many Earth connections does this dude have?
Maximus acts like he has never heard of his brother or his powers, and points out that a shout could destroy a city. He tells Declan that they have no choice but to kill Black Bolt as a preventative measure. Declan refuses, saying that if he can replicate his genetic code live, he can create artificial Terrigenesis. A world where Maximus can become anything he wants. If Black Bolt dies, his cell construction will degrade and his DNA will be useless. Inside, Black Bolt scrolls through photos of other Inhuman guests at the facility. None of them are Medusa.
At the weed farm, Karnak shows the still-unnamed grower (later to be revealed as “Jen”), how to efficiently irrigate their crop; on Attilan, they had little room for crops, so it was all based on efficiency. With that spirit in mind, Jen shows him how to efficiently harvest the marijuana plants. They share a moment of romantic tension. In the shack, Reno admits that he still doesn’t trust Karnak. Ted points out that he didn’t trust him or Jen either, but Reno still thinks Karnak is an unnecessary pair of hands.
Elsewhere, Gorgon blames himself for Lucky’s death. Holo says that his decision is on himself, not Gorgon, and they stand with him. Gorgon is surprised to find himself caring about a human, and says that if Mordis is still with Auran, it won’t be a fair fight. Holo says that that doesn’t mean they can’t win. As Auran and the Royal Guard search for Gorgon, Locus uses her echolocation to look for him. Mordis complains that the sound is annoying, pointing out that they are on an island and the Royal Family isn’t going anywhere.
In Louise’s hotel room, she is working on tracking the air traffic via her laptop as Medusa paces and goes through Louise’s stuff. She is impatient, and demands Louise look faster. Medusa picks up a small rocket-ship trinket, and Louise orders her to put it down carefully. Louise asks her name, and Medusa tells her. This amuses Louise because of the idea of someone named “Medusa” having no hair, which upsets Medusa, and she tries to refocus the conversation on finding her husband. Louise says that she never married; for some reason, no one asked her, but she’s okay with being single. Medusa remembers herself as a teenager, reassuring her kid sister Crystal that even though they are all alone, they are all they need.
(I’ll let young Crystal’s poor acting slide because she appears to be under 10 years old. Young Medusa returns from the pilot, and as a teenager, she has no excuse.)
Medusa tells Louise that she has always been responsible for someone. Medusa looks out the window and realizes that they are being tracked, and it clicks for Louise – she rented the car and paid for the hotel on the same credit card. She starts panicking, and accuses Medusa of being from the moon. (Correct.) They need to leave immediately. As the police talk to the proprietor and gain access, Medusa and Louise escape. Louise remembers that she left her rocket-ship trinket in the room, and Medusa tells her to meet at their designated space; she’s faster than Louise. As Louise steals some hats and sunglasses from the pool area, Medusa rushes back to the room and grabs the trinket as the police knock on the door. Medusa jumps off the balcony to the ground below. She meets up with Louise, who gives her her disguise. Medusa remarks that she has no idea how humans made it to the moon on a rocket-ship anyway – she used the more sensible option, her sister’s teleporting dog.
On the throne, Maximus asks Tibor if it is possible to go through Terrigenesis a second time. Tibor tells him that there are no mistakes in Terrigenesis. Maximus says that humans have been experiencing a lesser form of Terrigenesis on Earth, and if he unlocked the key of what causes this, he could go through it again like it was the first time. He asks the Council’s blessing in allowing him to undergo the Terrigenesis again. Tibor refuses to allow it, and he asks if he is speaking on behalf of the Council or himself. Tibor says this is merely for the King’s safety and well-being, and Maximus asks him to prove his loyalty.
At Dave’s farm, his doctor friend Audrey shows up. From the get-go, it is clear her and Dave do not get a long. Crystal asks Audrey if she is really a doctor, and she says after she passes nine more exams. She asks who Crystal is, noting that she is wearing Dave’s clothes. Crystal says she is not from here, she’s from Attilan. From the moon. They take Audrey to the barn, where Lockjaw is resting. Audrey is astonished by his size, but examines the wound (while she and Dave bicker about love – turns out, they are ex-lovers.) Audrey says that he will need time to rest once she is done, and Crystal is upset that Lockjaw isn’t better now. And Audrey calls herself a healer! Audrey goes to her car for supplies, noting that Crystal is “such a princess”. As she leaves, Crystal asks Dave how she knew she was a princess.
Outside a restaurant, Louise continues tracking the helicopter as she and Medusa eat something unidentifiable but delicious-looking. Looking at a satellite of the moon, Louise wonders why they can’t see Attilan. Medusa says it is covered with a reflective dome. Louise asks Medusa’s job on Attilan, and she says queen. No wonder she is so bossy. They successfully track the helicopter, and Louise quickly gets up to toss their garbage. She returns, but Medusa has already left with the laptop.
In the forest, Auran pages Maximus and tells him they are closing in on Gorgon. Maximus says he knows where Black Bolt is, but they unfortunately can’t kill him yet. He says they need to keep an eye on him. Auran tells Maximus to focus on ruling Attilan and leave Earth to her.
Karnak and Jen wander through the woods, and she asks which way they should go. Karnak says that depends on the destination, but Jen doesn’t see why they need one. They reach the beach and Jen begins to strip, asking Karnak to join her. He strips, and asks if Ted and Reno swim. Ted does, Reno does. Karnak points out that he exhibits sociopathic tendencies. Jen goes in the water, and Karnak admits he can’t swim but follows her. She kisses him. He asks why she did that, and she says she wanted to.
Louise drives up by Medusa and says it’s a good thing she had “Find My Computer” enabled. Medusa tells her she has what she needs, and Louise gets pissed. She cuts Medusa off with the car and gets out. She tells her that the rocket-ship carries the ashes of her dad. All he ever wanted was to see the moon, and then NASA picked pilots instead of scientists as astronauts. Medusa tells her he wasted his life, just like her parents. They died for their ideals, but growing up she’d much rather have parents. She flashes back again, to then-king Agon and his wife Rynda telling her and young Crystal that her parents were banished. They run away. In the present, Medusa tells Louise that she spent her whole life trying to be the opposite of her parents. Louise says she spent her life trying to be like her dad, and now she works for a company that can reach the moon, so Medusa could see her family again. Maybe humans aren’t all that bad. Louise tells her that Medusa can’t walk there – and she has a car that she stole. She has broken more laws today than ever before, and all for Medusa. Medusa decides she likes Louise and they go.
Now for a quartet of short, dumb scenes.
As Gorgon and his mercenary surfer friends walk through the woods, Gorgon says they need a better plan – Locus will find them. He needs to backtrack to find Karnak, and he needs to do it alone, without the mercs. He can’t lose more “family”. Ugh.
At the barn, Crystal remarks that Audrey sure left fast, but Lockjaw is starting to look better. Dave goes to high-five her, and guides her hand to it. She is confused, but seems pleased. No human has touched her before. Ugh.
At the crops, Karnak and Jen return and asks where Ted is. Reno suspiciously says he went for beer, then watches creepily as they enter Jen’s tent together. Ugh.
At Declan’s lab, Sammy and Black Bolt wonder out of the blue if Declan is holding the other Inhumans captive. They find a vial of poison, and Sammy concludes that they traded one prison for another. Ugh.
Back on Attilan, Maximus tells Tibor that the Council must be exiled in order for society to grow, and for Inhumans – for Maximus – to achieve their true purpose and lives they were meant to live. This is intercut with the Council arriving to a meeting called by Tibor, but confused when he doesn’t arrive. They are beaten by guards and hauled away. Maximus is able to bring Tibor around to his side with fear, and Tibor asks if he can forgive him from when they were kids. Maximus refuses.
Maximus and Sammy escape the facility, when the Royal Guard sneaks up on them – Locus, Auran, Mordis, Flora and Sakas. Auran points her gun at Black Bolt and lies that she has Medusa, and if they do anything she dies. She calls for Mordis. He comes around the corner and asks if Black Bolt is willing to test the theory that he is the most powerful Inhuman on Attilan. He goes to remove his mask, so Black Bolt breaks a gas line and signals for Sammy to leave. Auran realizes that if Mordis removes his mask he will blow them all up, and orders him to do it anyway. Medusa and Louise drive up out of nowhere and hit Mordis, knocking his mask loose and causing an explosion. As Black Bolt pulls his unconscious enemies from the fire, Medusa runs up and they embrace. He feels her hair, and she says Maximus did it but assures him she is okay. Locus starts to come to, and they lift her into Louise’s trunk, noting that she can help find the others. Mordis starts to wake up, and so they leave.
In Jen’s tent, her and Karnak make love. Outside, Reno digs a grave to bury Ted. But why?
Now for my thoughts. This episode is a bit of a slog, and is definitely a step down all around from what we’ve seen before – and that’s coming from someone who has relatively enjoyed the series so far.
I think Karnak’s relationship with Jen is promising, if done right. The idea of a carefree spirit who doesn’t over-analyze things is a great foil to Karnak. I’m not so sold on the idea of Dave and Crystal, however.
I give this episode a low 5/10.
I do have high hopes for the promising next episode, as it is directed by Kevin Tancharoen – known for excellent episodes of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the drunken master fight in Iron Fist. Man knows his fight scenes. I don’t think Inhumans is winning any hearts over with this episode; let’s hope the second half of the series steps it up.
Stay tuned next week for my review and recap of episode 5: Something Inhuman This Way Comes…