INHUMANS Episode 4 Review: Bafflingly Slow

I’m waiting for that magical moment; the moment when the show clicks and everything that they’ve done so far suddenly makes at least a bit of sense to me. INHUMANS has crept along, letting each character take a single step per episode. Like the horrific 70th round of Monopoly, INHUMANS feels like it’s been on forever despite the fact that there have genuinely only been four episodes. This episode, officially marking the halfway point of this series, heavily contributes to Inhuman’s impeccable, yet unwanted snail impression. 

Continuing the animal comparisons, this episode sees the snake that is Maximus continue his schemes to fully take over Attilan. This human amongst Inhumans can’t take the idea of not having any powers when everyone else does, so he’s shown attempting to find a way to repeat his Terrigenisis. Repeating this process, which reveals an Inhuman’s inhuman genes, is seen as a massive no-no amongst the Inhumans’ community, so what does Maximus do? Well, of course he simply kills everyone who tells him no! What else would a child in an adult’s body do? 

Back on Earth, Black Bolt, the Inhuman previously known as King, is shown only slightly flustered from his seamless escape from prison. Now at the lab of Dr. Evan Declan, the mysterious Inhuman specialist, Black Bolt is still dead set on finding his wife, Medusa. Dr. Declan, who claims he can help find Medusa, attempts to perform some tests on Black Bolt. However, it’s revealed that Dr. Declan is none other than a pawn of Maximus, one who the wannabe King Maximus wants to use to kill Black Bolt! Spoiler alert, Maximus apparently knows everyone who’s ever existed, and he has them at his fingertips. 

On the opposite side of the island, Medusa is still on the hunt for Black Bolt. Now teaming up with Louise, an astronomy expert, Medusa is able to experience life from an informal, non-Royal perspective. This episode, which shines a light on Medusa’s backstory, shows a young Medusa learning of the execution of her and Crystal’s parents, accused traitors of the Inhuman royal family. A guiding light in the black hole that is Inhumans, Medusa breaks my heart in this episode. She’s so reliant on the royal family, but it’s a life that was basically thrown into her lap. So much of Medusa’s personality is explained in this episode, and as the only one getting anything done in this series, I couldn’t help but cheer when she and Louise figure out where Dr. Declan’s lab, and subsequently Black Bolt, is hidden. 

Once she arrives at the lab, she’s greeted by Black Bolt attempting to escape the uncomfortable clutches of Dr. Declan. However, before their reunion, Black Bolt is approached by Auran and Morbis, Maximus’ dynamic duo tasked with killing the royal family. Once Black Bolt is able to disable them, by creating a gas explosion through Morbis’ inventive laser vision, Black Bolt and Medusa kidnap an Inhuman with the ability to locate people, who they can use to find their family, and ride off into the sunset, 1950s style. 

In side plots that feel essentially forgotten and pushed to the side, Karnak and Gorgon are both still lost and alone. Karnak, who now works on a marijuana farm of all places, somehow develops a romance with a woman who helped hold him at gunpoint just a day before. Just as he begins to experience emotion instead of intellect in the most Tin Man way possible, one of his coworkers is shown digging a grave for everyone on the farm. Gorgon, on the other hand, is essentially shown as deserting what is basically a small militia following him and nothing else. Genuinely, that’s it. 

By stretching out the plot of this episode into several paragraphs, it feels almost as if I’m cheating. Though it feels monotonous at this point, my hope is that by explaining the plot in this context, one that explains tiny events with lots of attention, the baby steps that INHUMANS has been taking are easier to observe. It’s astonishing how a show can do so little with so much time, but with each scene featuring extended shots of characters simply thinking or unnecessarily grand shots of Hawaii’s landscape, it’s honestly not very surprising. 

Though it may be overly optimistic at this point, my wish for this series is for it to just pick up the pace. Each character takes a single step forward every episode, and though it may get the job done in the end, this feels like the exception to slow and steady wins the race. It’s still very possible for INHUMANS, who hasn’t finished burying its own grave. However, I’m afraid that next week you may be seeing me write this exact same review again.

Written by William Staton, INHUMANS Beat Writer 

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