We did it! We made it to the end of Marvel’s gag reel! They saved the worst for last, with the writers barely bothering to try to make this episode hang together and make sense. They also diabolically threw in new plot information from out of left field, just in case this torture device gets reviewed.
Hold your noses and read on.
We pick up right where we left off, with Black Bolt confronting Maximus in the royal bunker. Except the writers got drunk in between, and forgot that the two men were alone, so this week the whole family is there. Why not? Let’s say that invisibility is now a temporary talent.
Maximus has rigged Attilan’s protective dome to collapse if he doesn’t press his palm into biometric sensors in the control room, and do some other stuff, every hour. That seems like a stupidly short amount of time, no matter how you slice it, given the way kings tend to get busy, or kidnapped, or the like, during crises and whatnot. Maximus is usually smarter than that, but his intelligence level has dropped as his paranoia level has risen, and the end of the season has approached. Plot-driven character traits for the lose.
Maximus also started the season proclaiming his goal to move everyone in Attilan back down to earth. And we have Eldrac, that nifty people mover that acts like a built-in, complaining transporter. So why didn’t he just pick a remote spot and take everyone there, along with everything they could carry, as soon as the rest of the royals had left the building? Or at least begin construction somewhere? It wouldn’t have been hard to find a remote spot and send some of the strong and stealthy inhumans out to steal yurts and food to get the new Attilan started.
Black Bolt and Medusa decide to try to stop the dome collapse, but also prepare to evacuate. Maximus inexplicably just stands around most of the episode, while everyone else hates on him and tries to look busy. He’s still waiting for Black Bolt to concede defeat, and is blinded to everything else. He doesn’t even want the people to evacuate, never mind his previously stated goals.
Medusa remembers Louise exists, and figures that she can use the earthling again, so she, Crystal, and Lockjaw teleport down to NASA where Louise is back at work. They convince Louise and her boss that The Boss, their coy name for the president of the US, should offer a homeland to the inhumans of Attilan.
Louise’s boss is shocked to find out that inhumans exist and Louise knows them. That seems ridiculous in the universe where the Avengers and the Sokovia Accords exist. It also seems doubtful that the US government would just happily acknowledge the inhumans’ sovereignty and offer them an embassy to hang out in. They might wake up in the morning and discover they’re in a prison camp.
Meanwhile, back on the moon, everyone else is running around looking for people to lock up or fight with. Gorgon has come back to life as a mindless beast. He destroys the terrigenesis room, including the booths. Gorgon kills Declan without ceremony, and his body is left where Gorgon threw it.
No one gives a fig about the innocent scientist they manipulated, kidnapped, and murdered. He’s just a human. Actually, I hope that Black Bolt and his gang of thugs wake up in a prison camp instead of a sanctuary. Maximus’ ambition and insanity become more understandable every minute.
Karnak ends up locked in a giant bowl-shaped room with Gorgon. Karnak is able to get Gorgon to remember a little, and calm him down, a little. Gorgon tries stomping his way out, but Karnak insists that it won’t work. He designed this room to withstand the most powerful weapon on Attilan, Black Bolt’s voice. Gorgon only takes about 4 stomps to break through. Karnak’s powers apparently weren’t that great, even at full strength.
Triton has no personality, and seems to mainly be Black Bolt’s hitman. He runs around fighting guards and… well, he just spends his time fighting.
Maximus gets one last prophecy from Bronaja. It doesn’t matter how many times Bronaja doesn’t tell Maximus the full truth about a vision, Maximus will still go back to him. He’s crazy stupid in love. This time Bronaja says that he saw Maximus alone as the undisputed king of Attilan, with Black Bolt gone. As the dome is crumbling around them and the populace is preparing to evacuate, any idiot can see how that’s going to turn out.
Auran also basically tells Maximus she’s done with him, but he refuses to see it. The man who was cunning enough to get his brother to kill his parents, get everyone else in the royal family exiled, and turn most of the royal guard to his side, can’t figure out how to go any further with his plan. Since then he’s gone in circles.
Oh yeah, at some point in Black Bolt’s endless marching Maximus around Attilan and holding him hostage in various rooms, Maximus confesses that, while the genetic council did write a letter suggesting that Black Bolt be lobotomized, his parents never approved the procedure, and never would have. Maximus forged their seal. He thought Black Bolt would run away from home, leaving Maximus as heir to the throne, not kill their parents.
Call me crazy, but that sounds to me like Maximus told a terrible lie. Black Bolt still made the decision to kill his parents, not Maximus. As Maximus said, Black Bolt had other options. Like, maybe, talking to his parents about their decision first, in which case he would have discovered the lie. Maximus isn’t great, but Black Bolt still comes out as easily duped and prone to murdering even those closest to him, just like now. Not my choice for king. I’ll take the self-serving liar, still, since that describes almost all politicians anyway.
My real choice of leader is Auran, the only person who seems to be rational and to care about the people. She might be trustworthy enough to start a democracy.
Finally, the dome is about done with its collapse, so everyone needs to get out for reals. Black Bolt and Maximus are the last two left. Black Bolt takes Maximus to the royal bunker, which Maximus seems to have known about all along, and leaves him there alone. He stands outside in the plaza and speaks the words, “Goodbye, brother,” to collapse the building around the underground bunker, so that Maximus has no way out. The bunker is stocked with enough supplies to last for years, so Maximus will be able to live there alone for a long time.
The royals put on their magically restored original outfits, and address their people, telling them it’s the start of a new era on earth. But Black Bolt still has a secret. Some kind of major enemy is coming. And the Attilan throne lit up with a coded message just before it was destroyed.
Of course Black Bolt wouldn’t share the knowledge of this threat with anyone, so that the kingdom, and now earth, could prepare for it. As king, he needs to bear the burden alone. He can’t handle the pressure, so he’s going to assume that his voice will be weapon enough to stop the enemy. Because ignoring trouble has always worked out for him so far.
If the bad guys are smart, they’ll rescue Maximus and turn him into a double agent. They should make him big promises (that they don’t intend to keep) of what they’ll give him when they’ve killed the rest of the royal family.
I don’t ever want to see a remorseful Maximus. He’s the character who started out as the Only Sane Man, but the insanity and unfairness of the situation slowly drove him into madness and villainy. He has every right to his villainy, and I’ll cheer his every victory.
His family isn’t made up of heroes fighting for what’s good and right. They are violent, lazy, entitled jerks who are fighting to maintain the status quo and their easy lives.
Good news! Agents of SHIELD will be back in three weeks/ December 1st! In SPACE!! Mac is already brushing up on his space movie references. Elena is finally a regular. Lance Hunter is back in some capacity, having lost his wife to Seth McFarlane and deep space. Fitz is worryingly not in the promo they showed after the Inhumans episode, but Blue Man Group appears to be stationed on the ship.
Agent Coulson of SHIELD is here, and he’s come to save us. It’ll all be okay now.