Inhumans - S1E8: ...And Finally, Black Bolt - Review: A Finale That Should Be Final
...And Finally Black Bolt – With Maximus refusing to cancel the security failsafe, Attillan begins to crumble and leaves the Royal Family desperately trying to evacuate their people to safety. Gorgon struggles to find himself after his 2nd Terragenesis.
As finales go, this does has some strong story points. It is most definitely a clear and defining ending with huge implications to the future which gives grounds and relevance to its preceding events. There’s also a clear notion of influence and change on certain characters such as Medusa stepping out from her King’s shadow and Karnak’s acceptance of Gorgon. Yet as a finale, I found it having a major issue. Although I was being told the stakes and drama involved by various characters, I rarely felt them. The fate of Attillan felt obvious from the early goings, which meant a lot of the episode felt like going through the motions. Even some intentional surprise twists fall completely flat for being based on the minor detail of an early episodes flashback that most viewers will have to remind themselves actually happened. Despite taking place in almost real time, there’s rarely any sense of urgency to the episode either. There’s no classic sense of simultaneous events as different characters fulfill their part in the big plan. Instead, it’s a much more plodding chain of sequential events.
A number of setups from the last episode felt wasted too. The hint of Gorgon undergoing a more monstrous transformation was one of the season’s best. Gorgon was a poor character so let him go out in a blaze of glory as a mortified Karnak is forced into a desperate fight with his cousin while grappling with the notion that he created this monster.... that would have been epic. Instead, the show foolishly tries to recover Gorgon’s character for future seasons resulting in little more than an uninspiring, “you’re still in there” monologue from Karnak. Then there’s getting Louise to the moon which would have been comedy gold as she geeks out on everything in Attillan. While we do get a nice moment of her father’s remains making the trip, Louise stays benched for the entire episode, being little more than a brief middle man/woman. What was the point in building her involvement throughout the season for such a small role in the climax?
Okay, let’s not be completely negative here because there were positives to this episode. Triton delivered another good fight sequence. Some of the final confrontations between Black Bolt and Maximus were also decent as Iwan Rehon comes clean on all the sibling rivalry and jealousy with some nice teases over whether or not Black Bolt will kill his brother. The visual effects or the city in peril looked good fine by TV standards and final shot of The Royal Family addressing their people looked rather cool.
So to the final question; while The Inhumans have been saved on screen have they been saved off-screen? Should they get future seasons? There’s clear embedding towards a looming greater evil and the ending does make an interesting new direction for the show but the point I keep returning to is this: For all the positives more Inhumans could offer, when you consider all the great spin-offs and linked shows they could make from Agents of Shield, then Inhumans should not be chosen ahead of them. Whether that’s more Agent Carter (Peggy, you’re still our gal), the Hunter & Bobbi spin-off they’ve tried to launch or a Ghost Rider show, there’s a lot of things people already want to see rather than having to prove the value of something else. In the end, although I have enjoyed parts of the show, Inhumans feels like it has been made out of little more than the obligation to its prior place on the MCU film schedule announcement. Trying to crowbar in such big concepts as a secret alien city on the moon without disturbing any existing MCU continuity has turned what could have been a fun concept for a show into endless workarounds and excuses. Unless they’ve got one hell of a Terragenesis planned for Season 2, this show should be given the royal goodbye.