This was a pretty interesting week.
The Gifted seems to be pretty good at raising stakes and developing the characters through the plot which they, themselves, drive.
Gotham had more than a few surprises. I had no idea where they were going, let alone where they ended up!
And Inhumans had their season finale. I’m going to be honest, I think they spent too much time foreshadowing the future threat, and really reached to try and make things as dramatic as possible, and they took a step way back in making things campy again. About the best part of this finale is how the slot has now opened up again for the return of Agents of Shield, the fifth season, which will premiere on December 1st. So, just another couple of weeks! 🙂
1.06 “got your siX”
The Struckers may be part of the Underground now, but they’re still finding their footing with their situation, their new friends, and each other, all while the situation keeps getting worse and worse.
SS has already declared war on them after their humiliation, and that was before Turner was accidentally made to feel the loss of his daughter for a second time. Now the man is enraged, driving his people hard, breaking the rules he’s supposed to be bound by, and crossing that one line he was unwilling to cross before.
He calls Campbell, who, from the hollow-eyed, hound-tattooed man following him around, we can probably assume is the mind behind Hound, a fitting name as they turn people who are mutants into their dogs, and who has an abiding interest in mutant siblings like the Strucker kids. There is a reason they have such a thing as mandatory leave, partially to prevent debacles exactly like this. But Campbell apparently has some influence, he makes a couple calls and gets Turner fully reinstated. In exchange for information about Andy and Lauren Strucker. He really wants them. How much you want to bet he wants to see about turning them against each other as Hounds? And that’s the best scenario I can think of.
Wait… hounds, hounds, hounds… where have I heard that before? Ah! I remember! …sort of! It was in that old X-Men cartoon on Fox Kids, when I was little. There was this one episode that featured some nefarious person that both empowered and enslaved mutants, set himself up as a lord or something like that. The ones he took, using them as his enforcers, he called them hounds, if I remember right. Seems very like what’s going on here.
Either way, all the Underground knows is that somehow, suddenly, all over the place, there are mutants among the SS operatives, attacking them. Another regional HQ is hit, with only half of the people there escaping. They’ve nowhere else to go but to Thunderbird’s base, which is already overcrowded beyond maximum capacity. SS is attacking on all fronts and the Underground isn’t built for an all-out war, which this is rapidly becoming. They’ve barely been able to keep up as is, and now these Hounds are popping up, robbing them of their only edge.
If they want to survive, they need to adapt. They need to change how they do things. They’re in a war now, so it’s time to start fighting it.
That starts with Thunderbird fortifying the base, an effort he’s making good progress on even alone. It gives him time to think, and we learn, from what he says to Dreamer, that the X-Men chose him for this. The X-Men chose him! That is huge! The X-Men sponsored the Underground! They even chose a man to lead it, and small wonder why. He’s a soldier, he’s seen battle, he’s always put himself between danger and innocent people. When he was leading an effort to collect donations to help people affected by the 7/15 incident (also good, doing civic duty), he took a lot of hate, and when someone dropped a pipe bomb or something like that in the crowd, he ran towards it and made sure to toss it somewhere no one would get hurt, and sheltering the woman standing next to him from the debris. From everything I’ve seen, he was absolutely the right choice for the job.
Unfortunately, the X-Men are gone, as is the protection they offered. The war has begun, and the mutants are deprived of their best warriors and biggest guns. That’s a lot for one man to bear, so Thunderbird is definitely questioning himself right now. That’s actually good, if he were too certain, I don’t like to think what he’d lead the Underground to do. A little doubt can force you reexamine the situation and proceed with prudence. One just has to try and not be paralyzed by it, as inaction is sometimes the worst choice of all, and cripples the trust and loyalty of those who follow you.
And I’m not sure about that Dreamer woman. Having her around seems to be a double-edged sword. She bends and compromises a lot, and what she did to Blink might have saved the day a couple of times, but its also cost them Blink. She did not take kindly to what Dreamer did to her, nor should she have. The mind, the self, one’s memories, that is sacred ground not to be set foot on. But Dreamer did, and always does, and it’s already coming back to bite them.
But the final straw for Blink is that Thunderbird didn’t tell her. He used her. She doesn’t know about the ultimatum he gave to Dreamer, or how Dreamer used the rescue effort as leverage to stave off the inevitable, but he did have part in what was done to her, after the fact. So she leaves. She’s just gone, looking out for herself again, alone, and leaving the Underground high and dry without her.
And that’s only the physical repercussions of what Dreamer does, there’s more about her that just makes me not trust her. She’s a little too flexible, I think, and selfish. She’s dangerous, and with how she makes a move on Thunderbird, it does not inspire confidence knowing that she’s right there to whisper her ideas into his ear, right when things are getting so desperate, during a time when the Underground needs to transform. Thunderbird might be able to guide that metamorphosis capably, but with Dreamer by his side, I am even more worried about what they might become.
Even if they manage to stay the good guys, the X-Men were only able to tell them that the war was coming. They couldn’t say who would win, and, in that particular aspect, my money would be on the humans, just for sheer weight of numbers, resources, knowledge, and underhanded tactics. And the more I hear about this 7/15 incident, the more I think it was a setup.
Another change in the Underground is how they’re starting to actively train their youth. It’s a good idea anyway, to help them control their abilities, but now they have to train them for war especially. They’ll be needing every fighter they can get, and the next generation needs to rise sooner rather than later. So, it falls to Polaris to begin training them, starting with the kids on hand, including Lauren and three others: a girl who controls water, a boy who shoots something (was that ice?) out of his hands, and another boy, Wes, who makes illusions like the air is a movie screen, and is quite clearly trying to get closer to Lauren. He’s doing a pretty good job of that, showing her a city she’s always wanted to go to… or, at least, a city, which turns out to be the wrong one but is beautiful nonetheless. 🙂
Cait, who wants to start classes for the kids, doesn’t know about that last part as of yet, but when she walks into the hall to find Polaris levitating a hammer or a saw blade at a teenager, especially her daughter, she flips out. She’s a mother, it’s her job to protect her children, and all she wants for them is normal, happy lives. But normal is relative. Right now, “normal,” for a mutant, is being outcast from society. That’s not just going to get better on its own. The mutants have no choice but to fight for their lives, and Cait is not protecting her daughter by insisting that she remain as helpless as possible. That never works. Safety is found in being the opposite of helpless, as much as possible, including increasing one’s own power, learning to work as a team, and developing relationships in a community that will protect you.
Cait’s not the only overprotective one, it’s Reed’s initial reaction too. With Blink gone, Thunderbird and the others need to find another way into a court house in Baton Rouge. Andy volunteers, and chafes at the restriction when his father automatically says no. He has a point, if the Underground loses to SS, the kids are just as screwed as the adults, if not more so (and he doesn’t even know about Campbell yet). It’s hard for Reed to take his son into danger, but he agrees to it, and the two of them go with Eclipse to perform a bit of thievery from a government-controlled building.
The three of them ride there and back in a big truck driven by one of their friends. They get stopped by an officer, but Eclipse absorbs the light so the officer can’t see them in the back. It’s a strain, and it makes Reed think to ask Andy about his abilities, if they hurt. For Andy, it actually feels good, and I can see why that would be, with the build up and release of energy and emotion. Reed reacts a little badly to that, and Andy reacts badly to that. He’s a kid, growing up, and he wants his father to be proud of him, like any son. So when his father wants to keep him from getting hurt, it feels like he’s telling his son not to be good at the one thing he’s good at. What else can he possibly do? He doesn’t realize yet that his ability is only what he can do, it’s not who he is.
Reed and Eclipse share some low conversation that night, not knowing Andy is still awake and listening. Eclipse is nervous about being a father, but he wants to be one, and looks to Reed for some guidance. Reed confesses that he still has no idea what he’s doing. He just starts with something basic, how nothing they can do will make you love them less, and then he just does the best he can. From one experienced father to a father-to-be, with a son listening in, that is exactly right.
The robbery goes exceptionally well. They have to change their point of entry a bit because the building is much better defended than they first thought, but Andy punches a hole through the wall well enough. He wants to come in with the grown men, but they both insist he go back to the car and wait there, much to his chagrin. They break into the right office, Eclipse retrieves the hard drives while Reed goes through the nice, organized files to grab the ones about mutants, racing the clock and the approach of law enforcement, barely getting out in time. Reed wants to leave it at that, and he recognized something about a picture on the wall, but Eclipse knows they have to cover their tracks somewhat, so he sets fire to the office. It goes off practically without a hitch.
The trouble comes after. The cops manage to identify the suspicious truck and set a trap to box them in, and we see how relevant Andy’s angst and Lauren’s training are to this episode. Andy wants to just use his power to punch straight through the cops, but the two men restrain him, because tearing things apart is not always the answer. Right now, they need to trust their friends, their family, to help them, and they do. Polaris takes Lauren and Wes. The driver is instructed to just keep driving, no matter what, and he does, even stepping on the gas. Polaris stops the bullets the cops fire at the truck, Lauren creates a barrier that bounces the truck over the spike strips and road blocks, and Wes creates and illusion so the cops go in two wrong directions and everyone escapes. It was an interesting ride, as the truck bounced up and crashed down with three people in the back without seat belts, but they’re none the worse for the wear. 🙂
After, Reed and Cait kiss, and then Reed talks to Andy. He tells Andy something that every son needs to hear or he will assume otherwise: his father is proud of him. And he’s there for him, to help however he can.
Andy responds by opening up a little, and playing Monopoly with his father.
So, the odds are pretty stacked against the Underground, and getting worse by the hour, but they’re generally rising to the challenge. They’ve obtained precious information, which they spend the night combing through, and knowledge is power.
Unfortunately, remember that cartel woman who bought a piece of Eclipse’s soul in exchange for the info that helped him rescue Polaris? She gives him a call that night, and makes it clear that if he doesn’t do what she says, then she’ll just sic SS on them. She’s in a position of superiority over them, and they cannot afford that right now. So, I’m guessing that relationship is about to be brought to a head.
4.08 “Stop Hitting Yourself”
Ok, the very first thing I am going to say is, I think I know who the Pyg is. It wasn’t until someone else said it that I noticed, but that’s the thing about Pyg, he’s right in front of you every day and you don’t realize it. I think he’s the booking officer, the one who had a front row seat to watch every licensed criminal walk and every crooked cop strut around like they owned the place. Everyone talks to him, but nobody notices him. I’d bet he’s the Pyg.
Now, on to this week.
The women really kicked ass this episode, for the most part, and power exchanged hands on several fronts.
On Gordon’s front, he is given an offer which surprises him. In the wake of the disaster last episode, Bullock is not long for the captain’s seat. He messed up big time, and he’s not been at all dignified in the aftermath, retreating into the drink again. So, the mayor and commissioner are ready to replace him, and, oddly, they want Gordon to take the job. It’s not just putting someone who’s currently in good favor in charge, it’s a choice to depart from Pengun’s camp and move against him. If Gordon accepts, that is, and if he doesn’t, then he lets go of a chance to lead the GCPD against Penguin.
Penguin overplayed his hand last episode, and with one debacle, which Gordon stopped, undone his own tenuous legitimacy. But, still, when Gordon talks to Sofia Falcone about it, he realizes she’s the one behind it. He’s angry, but only partially at her. Part of him knows it’s the right move, and he’s furious that it involved stabbing Bullock, his friend and partner and confidante, in the back. Still, he would not have taken the job, I think, if not for Bullock’s shameful behavior this episode. Specifically, how he failed in his duties to his fellow officers, who trusted and needed him, and who he failed to even show up for.
Bullock had the unpleasant duty of attending the Bullet Hole Club. It’s where the officers who were shot in the line of duty, but survived, are honored. They go to a particular bar, and the captain gives them the bullet they were shot with. This batch includes half a dozen survivors of Pyg’s trap, including Officer Patel. Bullock is to hand her the bullet that he shot into her. It’s a daunting, awful, terrible thing, but Bullock asks Gordon to be there. Gordon agree, thinking it’s for moral support, but, really, Bullock was just getting him there so he could avoid it like a coward, by shoving onto his friend’s shoulders. Gordon shows, and the box with the bullets is given to him to give to the officers, Patel included, saluting each of them.
Then he goes to see Bullock. After everything Bullock has done, taking money from Penguin, working with Penguin’s goons, siding with Penguin and ignoring Gordon’s urgent pleas, and leading their men to slaughter, this, this, is the one offense which Gordon cannot forgive. It wasn’t because Bullock was in a tight spot and had to make a decision for the good of others, it was because he was too afraid. It’s not an offense against the city, it’s simply a failure to do right by the men and women under his command. Trust is essential for a leadership position, and Bullock has finally done the one thing that proves him unworthy of that trust. It’s heart-breaking, but true.
So Gordon takes Bullock’s pen and signs the document which makes him Captain of GCPD Central. He looks Bullock in the eye and takes command. Bullock, of course, is angry, and warns Gordon that whatever the cost of him getting the job is, and there will be one, it’s going to be steep. And he storms out in disgrace.
Gordon then goes to Sofia and warns her. She may think she made him, but he disagrees. So now that they have both grown into their current positions of power and influence, and Penguin is on the outs, their alliance is ending. Sofia invites him in, but he refuses. She doesn’t have her claws in him anymore, and he strongly suggests leaving Gotham. Then he simply turns and walks away from her domain, the gate shutting behind him.
Meanwhile, same day, the siren girls are standing before Penguin, the Demons’ leader having brought the dispute between them before Gotham’s failing king. The man makes a good argument, they do play by Penguin’s rules and comply with the licensing system, which is also failing, but what good is that if these girls can just waltz in, rob him, and kills his men? Never minding how his men killed one of their own, so they really don’t have a moral high ground here. Still, Penguin is not in the mood to let anything slide these days, but the girls are momentarily spared by the arrival of some news.
Nygma has made a show out of introducing Grundy at the fights. Specifically, he’s parading around in a parody of Penguin, whom everyone hates, riling them up with anger. He might be stupid now, but he’s still a showman, and the crowd eats it up. Then Grundy sates their appetite for blood by slaughtering his foe, ripping off one of their arm’s and beating them to death with it. It’s a bloody, bloody circus.
Hearing about this, Penguin completely forgets one of the lessons of Rome: people are quelled by giving them bread and a circus, not by taking either away. He’s just offended and outraged, both at how he is being mocked and how Nygma is using even his stupidity to get a form of revenge. He has his clerk tell the sirens and demon, and there is a moment of silence before Selina snorts with barely-suppressed laughter as Tabitha, more successful at keeping it in, shoulders her to be quiet. But Penguin starts laughing as well, and the demon too, uneasily.
Then the man says one word: “Riddler.” The Riddler has a Penguin act. And that’s it, Penguin kills him. And assumes the debt the sirens owe, which, if they want cleared, they will go to the Narrows, watch Nygma’s act, and bring him to Penguin, promptly. Selina defies Penguin at that, asking what they’ll get in return, and Penguin goes on a long, insane rant on what he’ll not have all the criminals in Gotham do, and that is what they “get.” He also sends Firefly after them, with instructions to roast them if they fail.
The sirens go, as instructed, sharing info. Selina describes the fighting ring, which they used to use to settle their differences, a’la Code of the Narrows. Barbara just wants to get in, get Nygma, and get out. She and Tabitha are happy for the chance to get their hands on Nygma, after all their history, and Barbara addresses Selina’s concern about a potential trap with the news that Nygma’s gone stupid. Still, they should be ready for anything. And so they are, ready for anything… except the shocking sight which greets them on their arrival.
If Nygma’s act wasn’t shock enough, Solomon Grundy, the resurrected Butch, certainly is. The fact that he’s alive, walking around, strong, stupid, has both hands… yeah, definitely a surprise. Even in a town where people came back to life not so long ago, this one utterly destroys their composure. Tabitha follows Grundy after the fight, hoping to reunite with Butch. Meanwhile, Barbara sees Lee overlooking the fight, such as it was, and goes to catch up with her. Selina is left as the only one staying on point here.
All of that goes about as well as expected. Barbara and Lee exchange hostilities, Selina grabs Nygma practically without breaking stride, and… oh, Tabitha is able to get through to Grundy a little, showing him the scar of when she chose to lose her hand for him, which was a little better than expected, but then the other two girls come in with Nygma bound and gagged, and Grundy leaps to his defense. Things are about to get very messy when Lee steps in and keeps a lid on it just long enough for Selina to call on the Code of the Narrows: champion vs champion, winner take all.
The crowd loves this idea! Tabitha is the best fighter in the sirens right now, and she’s hoping to get through to Grundy, though Barbara highly advises her to take the spiked club into the ring with her. Watching from above, Lee remarks to Cherry that the two combatants used to be lovers, so what if Grundy goes easy on her? Won’t matter, Cherry says, because what Penguin wants, Penguin gets. Even Lee feels a bit for Nygma right then, a man who thinks his life is at stake and he’ll probably win, not knowing he’s doomed either way. In the middle of the fight, Tabitha is trying to talk Grundy down, but he isn’t having that, hitting her so hard it draws blood, even making to rip her arm off while she scream’s Butch’s name, before she grabs the club Barbara is offering and hitting him in the head. That does the trick. He stumbles, and his mind and vision start to clear a little. He hesitates, remembering pieces of his memory, and for a moment, he is Butch again.
Unfortunately, Tabitha realizes he said her name just a little too late, knocking him out. And not only does Butch become Grundy again, but he goes unconscious too.
So, the Sirens win, but victory does not go according to plan. Tabitha is kneeling over Butch, trying to bring him back, but Selina has to pull her away. Barbara has Nygma, and knows it’s time to retreat because the crowd is angry enough to tear them to pieces for the sake of the de facto ringleader of their circus. Firefly makes her presence known, though, and crushes Barbara’s hopes that she is their to help, because, whether or not they’ve succeeded, they didn’t make the deadline, so Firefly is just going to roast all four of them, including her old friend Selina. Grundy gets up again, but cowers before the fire, which there is plenty of. In fact, Firefly hates the Narrows she comes from so much that she’s keen on burning the whole thing down, with all the stinking people inside.
The Lee says a line (she gets melodramatic under pressure) and shoots Firefly’s fuel tank, sending her flying. Firefly, down. Lee, up, standing there, calm, like a queen. Cherry tries to assume control of the situation then, mentioning how Penguin’s going to be angry, to which Lee responds by revealing her collusion with Penguin, informing on Nygma, much to everyone’s outrage. Cherry’s on the defensive, then, and defends by attacking everyone as “scum” (which, yes, they pretty much are, loving a circus that leaves people dead every day) and pointing to the sirens as the problem, working for Penguin.
Barbara solves the situation at hand by simply shooting Cherry in the head and announcing that the sirens no longer work for Penguin.
And the crowd erupts in wild cheering.
Fickle thing, the anger and joy of a mob. It can turn on anyone in an instant. Which, Selina leads their departure, just in case the crowd decides they want a little more bloodshed. Tabitha follows, promising to come back for Butch, while Nygma helps reassure Grundy that the fire-lady can’t hurt him anymore.
In the aftermath, Lee is examining Grundy. It seems she’s become a healer with a gun. And much more. The crowd is strangely silent, all of them looking into the ring. Lee asks Nygma what’s going on, even as the man realizes it himself: they’re acknowledging their new leader. Lee thinks he’s referring to himself, but Nygma corrects that very quickly: it’s her.
Lee is shocked. She’s no leader, she didn’t want this, or choose it, and she didn’t do anything to take it, so Nygma explains: she heals their children, stitches up their warriors, slew a fire-breathing monsters, and helped topple the local queen. Stuff like that resonates with people on a very deep level, especially people who have been so beaten down that they crave a leader to help them rise again.
Lee was just telling Nygma earlier that he was being stupid with his parody of Penguin. Penguin would hear and take it out on the cheering masses, but Nygma didn’t care. But Lee does care. Even at her worst, she cares about them. And she told Nygma that he couldn’t just put himself up in front of them and then abandon them, so she understands the weight that’s falling on her shoulders. She doesn’t want to accept it, but, as Nygma says, if she doesn’t, someone else, will, maybe another Cherry, maybe someone even worse. She’s the best they’ve got.
Lee doesn’t even know where to begin, but Nygma, diminished though he might be, is not entirely stupid, perhaps he’s even slowly recovering, is able to give her a starting point: make them happy.
“Drinks on the house!”
…yep, that’ll do it!
So, Lee is a local queen now, the ring is her turf, and Nygma is the jester, whispering advice in her ear.
Finally, over in Penguin’s corner, he’s ranting to Sofia about his recent troubles, but she can’t be there for him all the time. She has an orphanage to run, after all. For what it’s worth, though, she offers him some advice: he needs a hobby. Her father kept chickens so he had something that wasn’t business to do with himself. When things got to be difficult and the pressure mounted, he spent time with the chickens, taking a step back, clearing his head, and coming back stronger for it. Penguin has been lashing out all over the place, he’s incredibly unstable and dropping bodies, and she might have a point: he needs something else to do so his stress is relieved a bit.
After she leaves, Penguin notices some kids bullying a small boy, wedgie included. Then he sees the boy pour gasoline on their backpacks and light a match. He intervenes then, calling the boy over, asking what he means to do with that. The boy, apparently unable to talk, draws a fire on his notepad. Penguin says he can’t do that! They’ll know it was him!
So, Penguin spends the day coaching a young boy in the art of revenge. He advises him to use his bullies’ own friendship against them. They’re both flunking math, so he shares answers with the girl, who then comes to his defense and attacks her friend when it seems – it’s a lie this time – that the boy just gave him a wedgie. Revenge: complete.
After, Penguin tells the boy, Martine, I think it was, that friendship is a lie and a weakness.
Sofia arrives to find Penguin teaching the boy how to kill someone with a knife, thrusting up, under the ribs, into the heart. She’s there when his clerk, Mr. Penn, arrives with a mountain of bad news: the sirens failed to grab Nygma, Firefly was incapacitated, and the mayor has, at his own discretion, appointed Gordon to the rank of Captain. That is, as Penguin says, quite a lot to awry in one day, especially in one hour.
Mr. Penn flees an angry Penguin, and Sofia is there to offer comfort. See, she says, there is more to life than business. She finally makes a wrong move, and chooses a wrong word, at exactly the wrong time. That was the wrong thing to tell Penguin, and she used the word “friendship,” which Penguin just finished teaching a little boy is false, it’s a way to destroy people. It blinds you to what is right in front of you. And Penguin, at last, sees Sofia.
He’s finally on to her.
So, recap: Gordon takes the power of the GCPD from Bullock, because Bullock failed his comrades; Sofia takes the legitimate city from Penguin through the mayor; the Sirens cut ties with Penguin; rule of the Narrows passes from Cherry to Lee, with Nygma and Grundy at her side; Sofia has risen, but she just lost both of the most influential men she had her claws in, because Gordon doesn’t need her anymore and Penguin is wise to her act, so she just lost both of the feet she’s standing on without even realizing it.
Wow. The city turns on a dime. A single day alters its course.
1.08 “…And Finally: Black Bolt”
And we have the season finale.
Maximus’ little plan, apparently consists of telling the system to cut power to the force field bubble that protects Attilan from the unforgiving void of space. Unless he countermands that once every hour (was he planning to sleep at all?) in the central control room, the shield degrades, the bubble collapses, and Attilan dies, along with everyone in the city. So, they can’t kill him.
Black Bolt’s initial plan is to drag Maximus to the control room and force him to maintain the shield, but he also sends Medusa and Crystal to get ready for an evacuation, as a last resort. That first plan fails, as they all get separated from each other, Bolt gets lost in the tunnels, and he emerges with Maximus in the middle of some of his followers.
So, Maximus escapes, and it seems the royals are losing as Karnak is captured, and a feral Gorgon as well, though he kills Decklan first. Maximus loses any chance of becoming Inhuman, but the seer-boy tells him he will be the undisputed king of Attilan, and Black Bolt will be gone.
The two captured royals, Karnak and Gorgon, are put in Bolt’s isolation chamber together, and Karnak is barely able to bring Gorgon back to some form of sense before his cousin kills him. Karnak is faced with how selfish he was in his choice, bringing Gorgon back from the dead only because he wanted him back. So, it falls to him to take responsibility, to stand by Gorgon’s side and look after him, help him through this ordeal… but first they have to escape and survive. Which Gorgon does by simply smashing through the wall. Simple, but effective!
Even more, Medusa took all the terrigen crystals to Earth with her. No matter what happens, she asks Louise to look after them until she can come back for them. Louise accepts that burden, and she helps Medusa and Crystal secure a place to evacuate to when they flee Attilan. That involves going to her supervisor, showing him that they’re legit, and having him call “the boss” for help. He agrees, partially because this mysterious boss will want exclusive access to the incoming Inhumans.
Quick question: who is this boss? My first guess is Tony Stark, but who knows?
Crystal also secures the help of that Inhuman trapped in a wall that makes portals. The first time we met him, he was reluctant to help Auran because what he does hurts him (and she threatened his family) but he does not hesitate now. He will help. He will evacuate all of Attilain, well over a thousand people, if necessary.
Karnak takes one look at what Maximus has done to the shield, and concludes that it’s probably going to fail in due time anyway, because Maximus doesn’t actually know what he’s doing. It’s just a matter of time.
So, with a route and a destination secure, Bolt and Medusa address the people of Attilan, revealing what Maximus has done, and promising to continue the era of change, but in a more positive directions, and not in Attilan. It’s time to go, and with the city shaking and falling to ruin, on the verge of destruction, no one argues. They just flee for their lives. Attilan will die, but it’s people will survive. (hang on, didn’t we just see that in Ragnarok?)
Gorgon runs off for a bit, but Karnak catches up to him. He persuades him to come, to run away and live.
Medusa tried to persuade Maximus to do better than he was, in exchange for a terrigen crystal, but Maximus refused, so she broke it. That is the final end to whatever was between them.
Medusa also took just a moment to pile some rocks in the rock garden, and place the ashes of Louise’s father in the heart of it. He finally made it to the moon to stay.
Auran abandons Maximus when the latter refuses to safeguard their people properly.
As everyone evacuates, the royals assemble and take Lockjaw back to Earth. But Bolt stays to settle things with Maximus. Brother to brother, they talk, failures both of them kings and failures, they talk. Maximus finally reveals a truth he’s long concealed. He forged a document saying their parents and the Genetic Council were going to lobotomize him. Maximus thought Bolt would just run off to Earth and leave the throne free for him to take. But instead, hurt and betrayed, Bolt went to his parents and asked, “Why?” He killed them, and they never had the chance to defend themselves. All this time, all that pain was built on a lie.
Maximus also felt that Bolt had betrayed him. His brother said he’d never take the throne and leave it for Maximus, but then, after their parents, suddenly changed his mind. There was a reason for that, and all of this, this grand debacle, is because the true reason was concealed. Secrets upon secrets, carefully guarded, have brought them to this, and all that this bloody quarreling has done is open them up to a greater danger, a true enemy soon to return. That is what Bolt was guarding against with his intractable approach, his refusal to take their people to Earth in the first episode.
I’m guessing the enemy they refer to is the Kree. If not, I will be quite surprised.
With secrets revealed, Maximus stands ready, and alone, to die. Instead, Bolt punches him in the face and drops him off in the royal bunker. He locks the door behind him, Maximus inside with air, food, and water to last for quite some time, and buries the entrance with his voice. All of Maximus’ ambition and potential, and it has brought him here, trapped in one room, forever in darkness. He is, indeed, the undisputed king of Attilan, a dead kingdom, and his sentence is to remain in it for the rest of his days.
That done, Bolt flees the destruction, only to find his way out broken and shattered. But the Inhuman in the wall shows his face, in a lingering fragment, bidding Bolt to hurry. He dies with the city, but he gets Bolt, the last man out, to safety just in the nick of time. The bubble collapses, the city falls apart, finally visible as a ruin, it’s last king trapped forever in its very foundations.
And that is when the Kree symbols on the empty throne glow.
On Earth, the royals stand before their people, having only lost Maximus in this entire fiasco despite how Triton was supposed to have died in the opening moments of the show and Gorgon died as well. They face an uncertain future, one in which the way they have done things will no longer work. And Bolt confides to Medusa only that they’ve traded one danger for another. But for now, their people have returned to the land of their birth. So, as Medusa says, “Welcome home.”