Inhumans: 1.03 Divide and Conquer
Well that was a truly awful episode of television. Despite all the bad press I'd heard about Inhumans prior to its UK airdate, the first two episodes weren't terrible. Sure they had a number of flaws but there was some entertainment value too. Divide and Conquer had no such redeeming features; it lacked tension where it should have audiences at the edge of their seats and it continued to expose the heroes of the story as the villains.
In fact, how can you feel sorry for these terrible people who ruled over enslaved humans who toiled in the mines their entire lives simply because they did not have the right genetic code? The most frustrating aspect of of Inhumans is that it tries to paint Iwan Rheon's Maximus as the show's big bad, but all we saw was a man who wanted to break apart the caste system and free the human slaves and, in flashback, neglected by his parents in favour of superior inhuman first-born Black Bolt.
Sure Maximus' actions might not have been pure, but it was the brat princess Crystal that was the truly horrible person. Did she really refuse to support the freeing of human slaves because she couldn't get her dog back? Frankly, I was more frustrated when she escaped; was I supposed to cheer that she had broken free from her imprisonment - a prison where she spent most of the time chilling out in her apartment listening to music? It doesn't help that Isabelle Cornish just isn't that good an actress, at least not in this role. I'm not sure what emotion she was trying to show when they arrived on Earth and Lockjaw was hit by a random dirt bike rider in the Hawaiian forest? Shock? Sandess? Oh, and the moment the biker removed his helmet, it screamed LOVE INTEREST. I'll eat my hat if this doesn't happen (of course, I'll have to buy a hat first).
And there wasn't much happening on Earth either. Karnak was involved in a random sub plot where he was captured by a bunch of illegal marijuana farmers. Frankly, every scene with Karnak was a bore. And as much as I like Gorgon, the coincidence of being saved by surfer soldiers with machine guns just in time to face off against Maximus's forces was ridiculous. The Inhuman goons were dull and uninspired, not helped by the dire performance from Sonya Balmores as tough woman Auran. Balmores is trying so desperately to be fierce and evil that it comes across as laughable. The evil-looking Mordis was cool though.
Medusa meanwhile, just wandered into someone's house, stole their money and their clothes - her attempts to gain money from an ATM by declaring that she was queen of Attilan was somewhat amusing though. The one story I enjoyed a bit was Black Bolt, mainly because of Anson Mount's expressive silent performance (he may be my favourite purely because he doesn't have to put up with a cliched script). I liked his kinship with Faleolo Alailima's Sammy, a fellow Earth-born Inhuman. But yet again, they had to deal with another stock villain in the over-aggressive prison guard who tried to play tough and fled the moment the fight broke out in the yard. Another terrible performance.
And I haven't even mentioned the random characters of Ellen Woglom's Louise, the scientist who has been hanging around since the first episode and now spent most of the episode hanging outside the prison and Henry Ian Cusick's Dr. Evan Declan who rushed to Hawaii for 'reasons' and helped airlift Black Bolt and Sammy from the prison at the episode's end. I think we were supposed to feel sorry for Medusa as she arrived too late to reunite with her husband - but then she took Louise at gunpoint; the entire ending lacked tension.
Quite frankly, I'd be quite happy if Maximus freed all the slaves and ruled Attilan forever. As for the Inhuman characters? I wouldn't be upset if Black Bolt and Gorgon survived the season but I couldn't give two hoots about the rest. Except the dog of course. Lockjaw is still amazing.