Each week, Dom from Talkin’ TV be recapping Netflix’s newest superhero series Jupiter’s Legacy, exploring the ins and outs of Mark Millar adaptation.
EPISODE 4 – All the Devils are Here, EPISODE 5 – What’s the Use?
We live in an age where the word superhero has become such an essential and crucial part of our pop culture that the smarter media companies have started to get into the celebrity of it all. Part of the reason why the Boys is such an international phenomenon is because it exposes the hypocrisy behind these corporation’s hold on us through the manipulation of our minds via these superpowered idols. While Jupiter’s Legacy is not nearly as cynical or nihilistic as The Boys, these next two episodes start to delve a little deeper into the psyche of our characters, as certain characters find themselves on an unstoppable train heading towards their destinations while others feel like they’re stuck in place, with episodes 4 & 5, entitled “All the Devils are Here” and “What’s the Use?”
“All the Devils are Here” pulls that neat little trick that a ton of shows since Lost coined it have been doing: showing the alternative side of an event from a previous episode. Focusing primarily on Sheldon’s daughter, Chloe (Elena Kampouris), who left the superhero life behind to use her powers in order to become a famous model. Chloe’s in the middle of a struggle we see too often with celebrities: a downward spiral, unable to handle the pressures of life despite maintaining a swanky job. She’s doing drugs, partying hard, but is also facing guilt from other superheroes that seemingly keep popping out of the woodwork to criticize her for her lack of care for her father’s work and the other superhero’s struggles against Blackstar in the premiere episode. While this is compelling, once again it set to the backdrop of Sheldon’s origin story in the 30’s to becoming the Utopian, which is becoming more and more frustrating as time goes on, as the main storyline seems to be the true B-plot while the flashbacks are starting to take more centerfold. The show is caught between what it wants its identity to be, and despite the still interesting plot threads, it’s starting to cause a lot of confusion which begs the question: is Netflix doing the Netflix thing of trying to cram everything into one season for fear the show’s going to get cancelled, a practice they’re becoming a tad bit too familiar with recently. Nevertheless, Chloe’s story this episode pans out pretty predictably, with her ending up getting with Hutch for…reasons. Sheldon’s storyline this episode, while again taking centerstage, is more set up as he wanders around Kansas in the middle of a dust bowl, searching for the subject of the visions he’s been experiencing, which leads him to a farm run by a delusional but more than welcome Red Forman! Kurtwood Smith’s cameo is short and entirely expository, but it’s always refreshing to see a veteran of TV making a reappearance.
“What’s the Use?” is when things really start to unfold. In the present day, Sheldon, somehow doing the dad thing of missing the fact that his daughter is now in a relationship with his former teammates son, kidnaps Hutch in order to see if he knows where George is, once again leaving us blank on the information of what happened to George in between the events the past storyline is leading to and the present day. On his off time, he has a casual conversation with an old man who is revealed to be one of his old enemies, weighing whether it might be possible that his methods are outdated. All of this is true backdrop material, as the storyline in the past is really starting to take centerfold. Officially convinced that his visions are not simply delusions, Sheldon is fully on his mission to find this mysterious island after receiving coordinates from Red Forman in the previous episode, recruiting everyone who he saw in his vision to accompany him on this journey. This includes Walt, George, Grace & Fitz, one of the factory workers screwed over by his dad. They’re skeptical at first, but hey, it’s the depression and money is tight, and Sheldon’s still willing to throw away the rest of what little money they have on this doomed expedition, so why not? It’s more of putting the pieces together, assembling the squad, getting the crew together segment you’ve seen a million and a half times before, but it doesn’t make it any less awesome, there’s a reason why it always works. Knowing that whatever happens to these guys, it’s going to end with them becoming superheroes plays into the whole mythological aspect that Mark Millar was going for with the original comics. Going on that journey of discovery, especially to an island? It’s corny, and it’s been done before, but there’s a reason why these types of story tropes exist in the best stories. While these certainly aren’t the strongest episodes, they’re still essential pieces to the puzzle, the full picture of which we are slowly coming to.
Reviews for the remaining episodes of Jupiter’s Legacy will be released on Friday.