Each Saturday, Kevin from @tastienfilm_bad will be recapping the most recent episode(s) of Invincible and giving us insight into the comics on which the show is based.
107: We Need To Talk
Here it is folks. Invincible has been setting the table for weeks now, and we get a real doozy of an episode where everything comes to a head. Like a secret that festers for too long until it explodes out of you, this episode felt like a gigantic release. I for one, cannot wait to see how they stick the dismount (and more importantly when will we know if they plan on picking it back up??).
We open in a VERY awkward car ride back from Upstate U where Mark, William and Amber are sitting in some thick tension. Actually, the show really opens with an even more awkward situation of Nolan and Debbie about to have a long overdue chat. But last episode seemed to be the breaking point for Amber, and I was curious to see how they would resolve that here. In the comics she ends up being more of an obstacle in the way of Mark and Eve getting together ( something they might not be setting up as hard on the show to be honest) But Beetz has done some really great work with Amber and has turned her into her own person. So when Mark decides to come clean and show up to her second story bedroom window in full Invincible gear it is a beautiful reversal when she turns him down. She knows he’s Invincible already. Boys are generally clueless and his surprise at her knowing is telling. It was never about being a superhero, it was about lying to her, about not treating her with the respect of telling the truth, and she’s had enough. Really loved that scene.
This episode seems to be all about breakups and relationships evolving, changing, and ending. As someone who ended a long term relationship this week all I can say is, damn, I feel you Mark. Luckily mine seems to have ended on better terms than any of Nolan’s did in this ep.
Let’s talk about Nolan, shall we?
Nolan’s hubris far outweighs Mark’s (though it is earned, the man is very strong) and he can’t seem to deal with the fact that his plan of world domination has hit some snags. He finds out just what Cecil and his lackeys have been up to in terms of surveillance, and the first order of business is putting a stop to that. We get an, at this point, classic Invincicble bloodbath with more viscera and bone fragments than a morgue. He punches his way through enough skulls to find the secret stakeout in the house across the street and we sadly say goodbye to Donald, Cecil’s #2 as he nukes the house in an attempt to slow Nolan down.
Cecil pulls out the big guns in many ways this ep. Remember the calamari monster that Nolan fought off camera a few episodes back? Well that kaiju gets to come center frame here as it’s been revived, pumped full of steroids, and launched upon Nolan (and Mark)
Last week some homemade sewer robots gave Mark a run for his money. This week he was holding court with a giant Calamari Kaiju. Did I believe he could win? No, not really, and that is something the show is going to have to show me more of in season two. *DISCLAIMER* I am just going to manifest a season two by speaking as if it already exists. The power creep on the show could be adjusted just a little bit, namely have Mark actually win a fight here or there, and it would fix its only flaw.
Robot, or Rudy now, knows all about fixing ones flaws. His plan, something he had been concocting all season long, also came to a head in this ep (a LOT happens in this episode and it makes me smile) It is a WILD plan so let us break it down in some recappable bullet points real quick.
- Robot has a human flesh origin, but his body was unable to support his gigantic intellect and brain leaving him intubated in some kind of suspended animation from which he could control all the Robots that gave him his namesake.
- He wanted a body, to return to a more normal way of life, and it seemed that Monster Girl’s arrival inspired him and gave him a new reason to fight for flesh. He cannot do it on his own, however, and calls upon the Mauler Twins.
- Well, calls upon isn’t right. He breaks them out of jail
- Freed, but under a tenuous agreement of trading back scratches, Robot finally has the genetic scientists needed to clone his body.
- OK this is where the ethics department gets a phone call: Robot chooses a teenage form of his co-worker, Rex Splode, to use as the body. Why? Well he can tell that Monster Girl finds him attractive, and that cloning himself into a body more his age (30) would have terrible optics any time he and Monster Girl went out on a date. It’s a real sus age gap. But there is some sound, albeit twisted, thinking that went into it. The results are extremely mixed, the vibes not so great, and Monster Girl (and all the Guardians) needs some time to process.
- The scene in the comics when Robot transitions to Rudy is heartbreaking and beautiful. To me it reads as the death of one’s old self. The skin you have to slough off sometimes when you grow into a bigger, better person. It’s a freeing, exhilarating feeling but it definitely feels like somebody is getting left behind. The show does a good job with it, though it might feel a liiiiiiitle rushed in comparison to the comics. This transitioning and the feeling like the old Rudy is dead and this one is somehow different is emphasized by having his voice change from Zachary Quinto’s cold mechanical drone to the wonderful Ross Marquad (a wonderful voice actor who was also on The Walking Dead) There’s a bit of a Jason Mantzoukas rasp in it and definitely a bit more human swagger.
- Now with the transition complete, Rudy gets to work making the Maulers pay for helping him. We see that Rudy still has full control of all his cyborg friends, and can sick his robot pals on anyone he chooses. We also get Invincible’s version of Hulk-buster armor as a delivery truck maximizes into a gigantic version of Robot.
- I really love this story line in the comics, and the relationship that develops between MG and Rudy is one that kept me invested. I hope they continue to build upon this great foundation in the upcoming season two that is one-thousand percent happening.
Rudy isn’t the only voice Marquand does in this episode. Both involve reunions of flesh in some sort. I’m using the word “flesh” a lot in this recap, I apologize, sincerely. But the twins manage to put The Immortal back together again, eat your heart out Humpty Dumpty. First thing on Immortal’s very short to-do list is avenge his friends and kill the hell out of Nolan. The two fight with Mark battling the kaiju in the background. It is a heavyweight match and neither hold back. Marquand is all rage and fury, but it’s even more unsettling to see Nolan begin to crack. He’s held this smug tone over everyone the entire show, we can see him getting mad that it’s not working out for him as he expected. That makes him more dangerous than ever.
Nolan really tests the veracity of The Immortal’s name as he punches through his heart and rips him in two whilst hovering a few miles up. The whole thing, however, is caught on news video and we get some standard sickened reaction shots from those tuning in (everyone on Earth) At first there’s confusion as to what The Immortal is doing back, then shock/horror/fear/panic/disgust set in when they realize that Omni-Man might have just killed him all over again, this time live on camera. The jig? Oh it’s up. The cat? Out of the bag my friend. We are playing with different rules now as that fight changed the status quo and I can’t wait to see where it goes (in season two) Luckily, we still get one more episode before we have to wait for the inevitable season two of Invincible which is getting renewed for a second season as we speak (I am speaking about the second season of Invincible, which is definitely happening)
Next week, (not thinking about how much I will miss you, dear reader. Just ignoring that for now) we will cover the final episode and set up predictions, hopes, and dreams for the totally-already-confirmed season two of Invincible. Until then, don’t rip any immortal friends of yours in half while a news helicopter records it, you will regret it. Trust me.