Marvel’s Inhumans Improves in “Divide and Conquer”

Marvel’s Inhumans, “Divide and Conquer” Plot Summary:

Maximus (Iwan Rheon) continues to hunt the Royal Family in Hawaii. Meanwhile, scientist Louise Fisher (Ellen Woglom) looks for a connection to the destroyed Moon rover and the strange phenomena on Earth.

I will definitely stand out as an ardent defender of Marvel’s Inhumans. Was showing a truncated premiere in IMAX a mistake? Yes, but most TV would look amateurish on such a big screen. That doesn’t account for all of the premiere’s sins, but it wouldn’t have gotten quite as bad a rap if it just premiered on TV, though it would still have the disadvantage of being downgraded from a movie to a TV show.

As I said in my premiere review, the character Maximus intrigues me. He’s clearly the villain, yet he’s far more multidimensional than other Marvel antagonists. He seems more in the right than our supposed heroes. You might think that’s a problem, but perhaps we don’t know the bigger picture, or maybe his intentions are good but he’ll grow increasingly tyrannical, forcing the Royal Family to redeems itself and reclaim the throne. It’s clear from the flashbacks that he’s always envied his brother. That might be his tragic flaw.

Not to sound like a broken record, but Karnak (Ken Leung) also stands out again. While the premiere established him as an analytical cynic, “Divide and Conquer” shows a completely different side of him. His explanation of his tattoos was surprisingly emotional. My only criticism of his storyline this week is I don’t see him hanging out with a bunch of cannabis-or-whatever growers going anywhere.

Medusa (Serinda Swan) and Black Bolt’s (Anson Mount) plotlines are pretty low-key this week, but the brief action scene with Gorgon (Eme Ikwuakor) makes up for it, even if the islanders’ reason for siding with him is questionable. And at least now characters’ paths will start to converge. I image Medusa and Louise’s conversations being awkward. We also don’t know what’s up with Dr. Declan (Henry Ian Cusick). Hopefully he’ll enlighten Black Bolt.

If this episode were my first introduction to Inhumans, I wouldn’t get the hate. The premiere was rocky, but it’s coming together slowly. Let’s see where the journey takes us before we cast final judgment.

Rating: 7 out of 10 (Good)

Aaron Sarnecky is The Pop Break’s Television Editor and covers Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., among other things. He is a TV/Film grad of Rowan University and the fraternal twin of staff writer Josh Sarnecky. He probably remembers that show you forgot existed.