Inhumans: 1.07 Havoc in the Hidden Land
When you have the quality, scale and ambition of this week's Crisis on Earth X crossover and gritty, raw drama in the likes of The Punisher, it's baffling that a superhero TV show could be as bad as Inhumans. I haven't read the comic source material, so I can only imagine how frustrating an experience this must be for fans of these characters. For me, as a causal viewer and lover of superhero TV shows and movies, this is by far one of the worst things I have watched. In fact, I'm only sticking with the show purely because I committed to review the show - for better or worse.
And worse it is as the show enters its penultimate episode. There is so much potential here, that has felt squandered by six weeks of terrible scripts, poor performances, nonsensical storylines and frankly bad sets and CGI. Perhaps realising that (though that may give Inhumans too much credit), Havoc in the Hidden Land attempted some course correction, examining morality, conflict and attempting to show what these characters could really do. Sadly, it was too little too late; to say this was the best episode of the season is really an acknowledgement that there was a glimmer of the show's potential in parts, but it was still bogged down by all the rubbish that has made this arduous viewing.
The decision to suddenly give Medusa a moral conscience, campaigning for a better life and rallying against Black Bolt's ruthless decisions, is totally unconvincing. I suspect this may have been where the writers were taking the character, but she has spent several episodes being a cold, heartless, selfish and arrogant person. Done better, it would have made for a nice story arc, but instead it smacked of a desperate attempt to make the Inhumans the heroes of the story.
There was certainly an attempt to make sure the audience understood that Maximus was the villain. Sadly this was half arsed too; I've actually understood his motivations throughout the series; neglected by his family and treated as an outsider. Sure his decision to free the slaves wasn't a totally selfless act, but it was a good decision. But now, going back on his word to step down in exchange for a second attempt at terrigenesis, makes him seem like a petty fool. Oh well, I was with him to a point...
However, this week's episode did show a glimmer of hope as we got to see Karnak and a surprise return (though admittedly I had forgotten who he was) of Triton. Seeing Karnak replay his attack on the council chamber was the coolest moment the show had had yet, while Triton cutting a swathe through Maximus' guards to capture the leader was another exciting moment in an episode that was largely failing to raise the excitement levels.
Now that Maximus is a prisoner of Black Bolt in his underground bunker (that looks like a cheap storeroom), and the rest of the Inhumans are back on Attilan, we can at least get some form of resolution to this sorry tale. Oh and Gorgon is back - I liked the character but his resurrection feels trite after his 'heroic' battle last week.
But hey, next week is the end of Inhumans, so there's something to look forward too...