Friday, September 22, 2023

Inhumans Crumbles Under a Failing Structure

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“Havoc in the Hidden Land” is the 7th episode of Marvel’s Inhumans.


Auran and her group are being chased the Royal Family, who quickly catch and subdue them. Declan is questioned about his collaboration with Maximus, and Karnak deduces that Maximus wants to go through Terragenesis again.

That following morning the Royal Family continues to mourn Gorgon while contemplating what to do next. Black Bolt wants to send a message, so Karnak snaps Auran’s neck. Medusa is shocked, but Karnak says she will come back and that sending her body will send a message to Maximus. Medusa disagrees, stating that killing Maximus would bring Black Bolt down to his level.

On Attilan, Crystal returns with Auran and her team. She tells Maximus that Black Bolt request a parlay. Maximus ask why, and Crystal says because of Gorgon’s death. Maximus agrees, and Crystal departs. Maximus is happy that he is finally getting what he wants.

Who is this guy again?

On Earth, Medusa and Karnak continue to argue about what to do about Maximus. Medusa knows more than anyone what he is capable of, but doesn’t want Black Bolt to go down that path. Later, the Royal Family teleport to a beach, where they are reunited with Triton, who is alive. Triton relives that he and Black Bolt should set up a meeting place in advance in case anything goes wrong during his mission. Medusa tells him about Gorgon’s death.

Black Bolt has Lockjaw teleport them all to the Royal Bunker. Medusa is upset that Black Bolt never told her about any of his plans. Medusa tells Black Bolt that she will not just be his interpreter and that as husband and wife, they have to work together. Black Bolt says he is planning for war and sends Triton to undermine Maximus.

Auran finally revives, and Maximus tells her the plan to parlay. Auran asks if his true motivation behind the revolt is to become Inhuman and Maximus asks why she cares if she gets what she wants. Auran replies that she followed him because she admired that he became king despite being human. Maximus takes this as an insult but claims that everything will change when he goes through Terragenesis again.

In the Bunker, Declan explains his research to Karnak but wants to know why he is here. Karnak says that Black Bolt must have brought him for a reason.

Maximus addresses the people of Attilan in regards to Gorgon’s death. Maximus says he grieves that they could never have been closer and that he could never see Maximus for who he truly was. He remarks that this plagued the entire Royal Family and that now they all are paying the price. Maximus hopes that the parlay will end the killing.

Long time, no see.

The time for the parlay arrives. Black Bolt tells Maximus that since they are family, he will let him go through his second Terragenesis, but in return, Black Bolt and Medusa get to reclaim their throne and that he will not be punished. Maximus accepts. Some Royal Guards escort Declan away. Maximus then goes back on his offer, warning Black Bolt not to hurt him because the people are watching. Black Bolt threatens to kill him the next time they meet.

Declan and Maximus discuss his Terragenesis. Maximus wants to choose his powers from the Inhumans Declan’s researched on. Declan is hesitant to begin so quickly because he doesn’t know if it is safe, stating that Maximus could die. Maximus explains how Terragenesis is the defining trait for Inhumans and that Declan will bring in a new era with his research. Auran arrives, telling Maximus that there has been trouble with power and water lines, stating it could be a loyalist or even the Royal Family. Maximus doesn’t believe they would stay and has Auran send maintenance down to work on the issue.

In the Bunker, Medusa recalls to Black Bolt about how when they were young, she saw that they were the same because they were both in pain of losing their parents. Medusa states that this is the same thing that she saw today at the parlay and that nothing is redeemable. Karnak says that this viewpoint ignores the context of the situation. Medusa retaliates that they are all responsible and need to make the right decision when the time comes. Karnak says Declan’s research has a flaw, but that he can fix it and wants to bring back Gorgon, even though it’s dangerous. Black Bolt forbids it, stating the possible negative side effects.

Later, Auran arrives in the control room to meet the maintenance crew but finds Karnak instead. Karnak persuades Auran to switch sides, but Auran doesn’t know how she can help. Karnak says he needs her DNA.

Back in the Bunker Medusa and Crystal have a heart to heart. Crystal misses Dave and the simplicity of Earth, stating she wants to have a life with him.

Auran and Karnak prepare Gorgon to go through a second Terragenesis. Karnak injects Auran’s DNA into Gorgon. Auran informs Karnak that her powers are degenerating. Karnak says he understands. Karnak performs the Terragenesis, but it doesn’t appear to work. Auran tries to console Karnak. They hear people approaching and flee, leaving Gorgon behind.

Maximus and Declan arrive at the Terragenesis chamber. Declan has already inserted the DNA in Maximus, who needs to only enter the booth to complete his second Terragenesis. Maximus reminisces about his first Terragenesis, remembering being surrounded by people who loved him and that he wanted this to be his victory. Declan says that this is, with Maximus the being the first of a new generation. Before Maximus can enter the Terragenesis booth, he notices Gorgon in another. Maximus is then informed that the control room has been shut down, blocking them off their contact.

Here, this is how you smile.

As Maximus is moved to safety, Triton watches, informing Black Bolt and Medusa of his movements. Triton takes out Maximus’s guards and takes Maximus to the Royal Bunker. Black Bolt confronts Maximus, but Maximus warns him that if he kills him, that the dome protecting Attilan will lift, killing everyone.

In the Terragenesis chamber, Declan admires one of the Terragenesis crystals when suddenly the lights go out. Declan hears raged breathing behind him, and turns to see Gorgon, alive, but changed.


This week’s episode of Inhumans had the return of two characters: Triton and Gorgon. All I can say about Triton is I really don’t care. It’s hard to when the character was barely introduced in the pilot and then is never seen again until the plot needed him. The whole reveal that Triton was hiding as a part of Black Bolt’s greater plan coincides with a bigger issue that show has with the plot, characters, and pacing, which I will get to. As for Gorgon, after his death was used for the sake of the plot, bringing him back only to become a violent zombie is just worse. The show could turn this around, but I doubt it.

Crystal, you can’t marry someone you just met.

Unlike previous episodes which focused on a single character, “Havoc in the Hidden Land” was more of a plot (though I use that word lightly) driven episode. Despite the utter uselessness of her character, skipping over Crystal is a key example of a problem that the writers have with sidelining characters and idea’s when they are no longer useful to the plot. What’s different about Crystal is that she actually is a main character, but barely has any affect on the plot or characters outside of being Lockjaw’s owner. The episode tried to give Crystal some character be revealing that she had a hard time making friends on Attilan, which is why she wants to return to Earth, but why wasn’t this established earlier?

Since the beginning Inhumans has had an issue with revealing information an episode too late. Crystal wasn’t the only character whose motivations were finally divulged this episode. Auran confirmed her reasons for following Maximus and Maximus revealed his greater plan to create a new generation of Inhumans. Perhaps the writers wanted to use these slow reveals to keep the audience on their toes, but the execution of these reveals has been terribly handled, that more often than not characterization has suffered for the sake of plot.

I just can’t take the mansplaining anymore.

Only a few episodes ago Medusa was willing to go to any lengths for her family, including killing. Suddenly, she wants to show mercy. Auran, who finally received some development, flipped her allegiance just as quickly because apparently she had a relationship with Gorgon before the coup. Which makes sense, since she was a part of the Royal Guard, but, once again, should have been brought up sooner. Also, it makes little sense that she would team up with Karnak who at the beginning of the episode snapped her neck without any warning.

Everything about this show, from the characters to the plot, is so ham-fisted in that I can only conclude that writer’s never cared about the structure of the story as long as they hit the right plot points. But if the writer’s don’t care, then why should the viewers? You can’t present an idea or character choice and just expect the audience to accept it without some logical reason behind it. Just because this is a show about superheroes doesn’t mean the fundamentals of character or plot development don’t still apply. Suspension disbelief should only be needed in regards to the characters superhuman abilities, not the character’s choices.

Marvel’s Inhumans has been crumbling under its own poor structure since the very beginning, and it’s very unlikely it will be able to lift it up for the season finale. With the way things have gone, this season could very well be it’s last, which I doubt anyone would be sad about that. Until next time, stay awesome.

A few miscellaneous:

  • This episode by far presented the most violent death of Auran, even if it was bloodless. Karnak killed her with such mercilessness that it was downright disturbing.
  • Why is Crystal so in love with Dave when she literally just met him? I don’t know how things are done in Attilan but maybe go on a few dates first honey.
  • Triton’s only returned to be used a tool for Black Bolt. Anybody could have taken his place, and it would have made no difference.
  • What was editor thinking with laying the Medusa and Black Bolt flashback scene over them in the bunker? It was like a cheesy 80’s music video.

Images courtesy of Marvel/ ABC Television Studios


  • Gabby

    Recent college graduate who's just trying to figure out what to do with her degree, while simultaneously reading as many books as possible.

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