The fate of Attilan is finally decided as the Inhuman series concluded this week. There is the sense, though, that maybe it could have led to a bigger battle that may or may not happen. Still, it ended with the inevitable showdown between brothers, and maybe a new future for Inhumans
The dome that covers Attilan and allows it to exist on the Moon is in trouble, thanks to Maximus (Iwan Rheon). He says he can keep the dome from collapsing, as long as he’s declared King. From there, it’s mostly Black Bolt (Anson Mount), Medusa (Seinda Swan), Karnak (Ken Leung) and Crystal (Isabelle Cornish) hoping to save the city. However, they also realize their people may have to go to Earth.
All though the episode, Maximus tries everything to keep his hands on the throne, even lying to himself about whether the people really want him. It’s also apparent he’s not doing this to change the caste system. He’s doing this because he’s been angry for years that Black Bolt took the throne after claiming he didn’t want it. Add the fact he got no powers after terrigenesis and the feeling he’s been dismissed by his own family, and its clear Maximus has done this for himself all this time.
However, the show still makes big stumbles, the biggest being deciding not to find out what would happen if Maximus undergoes a second terrigenesis. He’s about to do it with Declan (Henry Ian Cusick), but he gets killed by a raging Gorgon (Ewe Ikwuakor), who is still undergoing his second terrigenesis thanks to Karnak. It would have been interesting to see the result.
Medusa, though, thinks Maximus can stop this. She tries to reason with him, but he only points out how his decision to cut off her hair made her as “human” as he is. Actually, being in that position made her realize what it was like for Maximus. However, she also sees he’s trying to fill an empty void with a crown, but surely he cares about Attilan. He does, only if he’s in charge. She’s close to giving him a terrigen crystal to undergo the process, but at the last second she slams it against a wall. She’s beaten him again, without her hair, which says a lot. That’s enough for her, and Maximus. There’s no turning back now.
Seeing her explain the situation to her people makes Maximus even more upset, saying she’s just telling them fake news. Besides, he just got a vision from Bronaja (Ari Dalbert) saying Maximus will be the ruler and Black Bolt will be gone. That, however, may come true in countless ways.
The situation with Karnak and what he did to resurrect Gorgon gets out of hand as Gorgon becomes quite violent, maybe due to being alive again. However, Gorgon is still able to talk, and begs Karnak to help him. Karnak even admits he did it because he acted with his heart. He may feel ashamed, but that’s a good thing. Finding a flaw is one thing, but discovering a flaw could bean advantage is another. Gorgon is Karnak’s best friend, and there’s no flaw in that. Thing is, Karnak’s move takes a lot of the significance of Gorgon’s death. If someone has to die, make it stick to show there are real consequences. What happened to Declan did just that.
However, there’s still business on Earth. Medusa visits Louise (Ellen Woglom) at her place, and asks for help in resettling Attilan. This means talking to her supervisor at Callisto Aerospace, who thinks her story is silly. Then Lockjaw and Crystal show up, and he admits she may have a point. He’ll do what he can, which means talking to his boss. It’s not revealed who it is, but it’s a seed that could produce a new story. Louise wants Medusa to take her to Attilan, but when that is no longer possible, she wants Medusa to take her rocket charm with her dad’s ashes. That charm winds up buried in the rubble of Attilan. It’s also revealed Louise has all the terrigen crystals Medusa took from the kingdom.
Finally, there is the confrontation. Maximus knows he’s doomed, so he might as well confess something. He faked a message from the Genetic Council that it wanted to operate on Black Bolt’s brain because of his powerful voice, and even included forged signatures of his parents. That’s why he confronted them, said “Why?” and killed his parents. Maximus had hoped Black Bolt would run away, but it didn’t happen.
So what becomes of Maximus? He’s taken to the bunker, which will survive even if Attilan collapses. That is his kingdom now. To make sure, Black Bolt whispers “Goodbye, brother”, and collapses the front of the bunker.
Finally, the Royal Family is reunited somewhere on Earth with the other people of Attilan who seem to be all equal now, powers or not. As far as Medusa is concerned, Attilan still exists because its people are still around. It’s a belief that may sound familiar to anyone who’s gone to the movies lately. However, Black Bolt signs that they’re traded one enemy for another. That might mean the Watchdogs who don’t like Inhumans, or it could be someone else. Again, it’s a hint to something that could happen if these characters return.
ABC risked a lot introducing the Inhumans to TV. It had some good moments, but the poor start to the overall arc, and some potential story lines that got dropped or under-developed, really stalled its development. It would have been great to see Louise and Medusa debate more over their two worlds, or Maximus be more sincere in breaking the caste system. It would have also been great if Crystal was involved more rather than get distracted by a summer love.
If there is a future for Inhumans, it should get involved with Agents of SHIELD for a few episodes. That way, the characters can develop more, and it could support the idea of another limited series. After all, what if someone comes across Maximus, and promises a much bigger kingdom? Maybe the Kree, since they’ll play a part in new SHIELD episodes in a few weeks. They might even have some spare terrigen crystals.
For now, viewers of Inhumans can wonder about what could have been, and now try to figure out why Phil Coulson and his agents are fighting aliens rather than HYDRA.