Inhumans: 1.02 Those Who Would Destroy Us
All the good and bad in Inhumans is made very apparent in the second episode. It's more entertaining than I expected it to be, considering the bad reviews from the US, but it is also lacklustre in places, when you look at the scale of the story the show is trying to tell. Most of the Inhuman city of Attilan looks dull and uninspired and there are far too many sweeping shots of the gorgeous Hawaii landscape to try and distract from the fact that not much happened this week.
Maximus attempted to cement his rule and try and force the captured Crystal to join his side, while Medusa, Black Bolt, Gorgon and Karnak found themselves in unfamiliar surroundings and attempted to locate each other. But there was little that stood out. Gorgon hung out with some chilled out surfer dudes while he waited for Maximus's forces to arrive but largely spent the entire episode sat on a beach, amusing as some of those scenes were. Karnak meanwhile fell off a cliff and found himself wandering in a giant circle. His character still remains hugely expositiony though; "I must find the king" he mutters as he sets off to find his king - did we really need lines like this? The dialogue is certainly where Inhumans falls down.
Stripped of her hair, we saw a more vulnerable and fierce performance from Serinda Swan as Medusa, as she tried to locate her husband and made her way slowly to the city. I didn't like the character at all last week, but her determination and courage shone through this week and her fight with stock villain Auran (Sonya Balmores) was intense. Medusa's sister Crystal remains totally uninteresting though, Isabelle Cornish trying her best but failing to deliver anything engaging about the captured royal. And Iwan Rheon is still a good villain but rather Ramsey Bolton-lite too. Perhaps if we had seen him actually massacre the council after they plotted to kill him, or shove Crystal over the balcony, we might have had something really meaty in the bad guy stakes.
But maybe that's the point; I still fail to see who the bad guys really are. Maximus isn't truly evil and seeing the humans mining away in cramped tunnels and then his uplifting speech to the masses you have to wonder if he is a much better leader for the people of Attilan. It's why I find it hard to feel sorry for the loss of their home and riches that Medusa and Black Bolt are suffering with now. Hopefully what happens here will be a wake up call for them.
Aside from the brief appearances of teleporting dog Lockjaw, the most entertaining part of the episode certainly had to be Black Bolt's travels in the city. Anson Mount has a terrific ability to deliver a charming performance in his facial expressions alone, from the intensity of his fight against the police to the bemused look on his face as he stole a new suit or got out of the handcuffs at the police station. It probably the best role in the show despite having no dialogue - and maybe that says something. Two week's in and it feels like the scripts need another draft or two.
I am certainly enjoying Inhumans much more than I thought I would. There are plenty of stronger superhero shows out there, the dialogue is risible and there isn't much tension, but despite all that, I am intrigued to see where the show goes next, certainly when the main characters meet up. If it can play up the alien strangers in a foreign land angle, it could be quite entertaining indeed.
The episode titles are a bit naff though...