Brief Thoughts On Inhumans, Episode 6

by Erik Amaya

 

If the point of Marvel’s Inhumans is to teach the royal family of Attilan humility by introducing them to sympathetic human characters, then the show is already over. Considering the inelegant way the program handles its plot points, simply dropping its core idea down a well is not the most surprising turn of events.

Which means I’m finally going to to talk about Crystal (Isabelle Cornish) as her storyline seems to indicate the end-all of human interaction is kissing. As she tells her hunky human pal Dave (Chad James Buchanan) constantly, she always expected Earth to be a hellscape because of the TV transmissions they intercepted on the Moon. She never expected it to be as beautiful as the island of Oahu.

Now, to be fair, the Hawaiian islands have +10 to charisma and a totally unfair advantage over, say, Manhattan. I’m sure Crystal’s appreciation of the planet would be very different if Lockjaw took her there or, say, a war-torn part of the world.

Instead, the princess received a dream vacation with a seriously handsome fellow who teaches her about being spontaneous and enjoying the waves. Of all of the show’s storylines, it definitely feels the slightest and suggests Crystal was only in the show because she comes with the package of intellectual property. And since she was some sort of obligation, little effort was put into her story besides a romantic subplot resolved by kissing Dave. Then again, it may just be a major failing of the character as she’s spent decades as someone’s girlfriend or wife. Add that with Inhumans shallow storylines and oddly swift pace and you get a character who underlines just how pointless the whole thing feels.

That said, Liv Hewson is great as the increasingly agitated ex-girlfriend Audrey. I think if the show was thirteen or twenty-two episodes long, she would’ve developed into a fan-favorite antagonist; constantly thwarted in her attempts to out Crystal and Lockjaw.

In fact, this episode, more than any other, suggests the show was probably developed with a longer first season in mind. Characters like Louise, Sammy and Declan all have way too much character for the way the show disregards them. In the episode, poor Sammy insists he can be helpful, but Gorgon and Karnak just wave him off the show. Well, presumably. I suppose he and the other supporting human characters may all get wrap-ups after the royal family deals with the coup.

Oh, yeah, the counter-coup subplot back in Attilan, went no where; another suggestion that the show was envisioned as more than an eight-week miniseries. Another example is the way the lower-caste fighters conscripted by Maximus were seemingly forgotten during Karnak and Gorgon’s raid on Declan’s facility. Other than Bronaja’s father Loyolis (Aaron Hendry) getting a Vulcan neck pinch from Karnak, there was nothing to be said there. Perhaps if the show had more time to breathe, there would have been a moment for Karnak to realize what was happening and how it serves Maximus’s plan. I suppose he could still sense that possibility when he’s done grieving for Gorgon.

Well, that’s assuming Gorgon is actually dead.

Eme Ikwuakor has consistently been one of the more charismatic performers on the show despite a storyline as undercooked as Crystal’s. Nonetheless, I had no reaction to Gorgon’s apparent death because I like the actor more than the character and because the death feels false. It’s very easy to imagine next week opening with Auran getting press-ganged into healing him. But if next week opens with Gorgon’s grave, I will be sad to see one of the better aspects of the show disappear.

Or, perhaps, that lack of reaction is down to the fact that the show simply has no time to develop characters. With six leads and a surprising number of supporting players, it’s really no surprise that deaths on this show have no impact. Imagine, for a moment, if we cared about Tibor (Ptolomey Slocum). That would — okay, that’s a silly thought. No one would ever care about Tibor.

But as we near the end of the Inhumans experiment, it is interesting to see the shadows of what could have been if the show was properly loved and constructed. Maybe there would be a genuinely sympathetic character on the show.

Inhumans airs Fridays on ABC.

Erik Amaya

Host of Tread Perilously and a Film/TV Writer at Comicon.com. A contributing writer at CBR, Fanbase Press, Monkeys Fighting Robots and Rotten Tomatoes. Voice of Puppet Tommy on The Room Responds. A seeker of the Seastone Chair and the owner of a Legion Flight Ring. Sorted into Gryffindor, which came as some surprise.