tek's rating: meh and three quarters

Inhumans, ABC
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This 8-episode series aired in the fall of 2017, prior to the fifth season of Agents of SHIELD. Like that series, it involved Inhumans, and it is part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But it has a backstory that isn't really explained. Based on "Agents of SHIELD," we have some knowledge of the origins of Inhumans on Earth, but the particular group of Inhumans on this show live on the Moon, in a city called Attilan. Their society consists of about 1400 people, descendants of Inhumans who moved to the Moon sometime in the distant past. I don't think the show ever said exactly when they moved there and built their city, let alone how they did it. But I get the impression they've been there for a good number of generations, since well before humans developed the technology for space travel, and certainly long before anyone on Earth started undergoing terrigenesis to become Inhumans. There's another mystery that is eventually hinted at, which involves the Inhumans of Attilan having some alien enemy, though it seems like this is a well-guarded secret that very few Inhumans are even aware of. I'm sure that mystery, and possibly the ones involving the Inhumans' long-ago emigration to the Moon, would be explained if the show gets renewed, but given its poor ratings and critical reception, that seems unlikely.

Anyway, at the start of the series, an Inhuman from Attilan, named Triton, is on Earth for some reason, being pursued by people who hate Inhumans (though I don't think they have any idea he's from the Moon). Triton is apparently killed, and while I had my doubts about whether that really happened or not, it doesn't really become important til near the end of the season. Meanwhile, there's a team of scientists who are coincidentally studying the moon, via a transmissions from a lunar rover with which they suddenly lose contact. That's because an Inhuman named Gorgon (the head of security and a member of the Inhuman royal family) destroys it when it bumps into the invisible dome surrounding Attilan. The incident piques the curiosity of one of the scientists, a woman named Louise. And later, Gorgon goes to Earth to search for Triton, I guess.

Now, I need to say that the Inhumans are led by someone called Black Bolt, who never speaks, because his ability is, like, having vocal cords that can cause terrible destruction if he utters a sound. He has a brother named Maximus, who doesn't have any Inhuman abilities. The people of Attilan undergo a terrigenesis ceremony in their early teens, I think, but the process doesn't always turn them into Inhumans. The ones without abilities become part of their society's lower class, forced to work in mines or whatever. But because Maximus is part of the royal family, he escapes that fate. Still, he deeply resents being a mere human, and not being king. So in Gorgon's absence, he stages a coup to claim the throne. It seems many of the guards are loyal to him, the main one being a badass woman named Auran (who had been trained by Gorgon). Most of the royal family gets exiled to Earth (Hawaii, to be more precise), but they're separated. Black Bolt is on his own for awhile. His wife, Medusa, is also on her own, but she soon teams up with Louise. (Before going to Earth, Maximus had shaved Medusa's hair off, which was the source of her own Inhuman ability.) There's also an Inhuman named Karnak (Ken Leung), who has the ability to, like, envision the possible outcomes of actions before taking them, which means he never makes mistakes. However, when he gets to Earth, he falls off a cliff and hits his head, which messes up his power. He soon falls in with a woman named Jen and a couple other guys, who are secretly growing marijuana. And he starts a romantic relationship with Jen. Meanwhile, Gorgon befriends some surfers or whatever. While all of them are on Earth, Medusa's younger sister, Crystal, is locked up, back on the Moon. Maximus tries to convince her to join his side. He claims to want to make society more fair for everyone, which is something Medusa and Crystal's parents had advocated years ago. But I think they were killed by Black Bolt and Maximus's parents, or something. (Some time after that, young Black Bolt's newly acquired power led to him accidentally killing his own parents.) Anyway, Crystal refuses to join Maximus. She wants to go to Earth and find her family, so they can all come back and take power back from Maximus. Oh, and Crystal has a pet dog named Lockjaw, who aside from being bigger than any dog you've ever seen, can also teleport... which is just one way the Inhumans have of traveling instantly between Attilan and Earth, but I'm not even going to get into the other method of transport.

Um... also I should mention that Maximus has an ally on Earth, a scientist named Evan Declan (Henry Ian Cusick), who has never actually met Maximus in person and has no idea he's from the Moon. But he's doing some sort of genetic studies of Inhumans from Earth that could help Maximus with his real plans, which aren't as egalitarian as he would have everyone else believe. Meanwhile, Crystal eventually manages to escape to Earth with Lockjaw, where she meets a guy named Dave. While their first encounter doesn't go so well, it soon becomes obvious that he'll become her love interest, and a reason to believe humans of Earth aren't as bad as she'd been taught all her life. Anyway, eventually the various members of the royal family find each other and work on their plans to return home and fight Maximus.

There are lots of minor characters and plot details that I'm leaving out, because mostly it's all forgettable and of little interest. And it's hard to really care about any of the main characters, let alone secondary ones. I do think Maximus had a good point about the unfairness of Attilan society, even if he ultimately didn't really care about that. And I think Karnak was a fairly interesting character, though he's more fun when his ability is actually working. And Louise was definitely a fun character. And whether the show gets renewed or not, I remain interested in seeing how any of the characters or events of this series might end up playing into the MCU as a whole, particularly "Agents of SHIELD." So, we'll see. I dunno. It wasn't a very good series, but... as long as it's part of something larger, it still has potential, I guess.


science fiction index

Marvel Cinematic Universe
Phase One: Iron Man * The Incredible Hulk * Iron Man 2 * Thor * Captain America * The Avengers
Phase Two: Iron Man 3 * Thor: The Dark World * Captain America: The Winter Soldier * Guardians of the Galaxy * Avengers: Age of Ultron * Ant-Man
Phase Three: Captain America: Civil War * Doctor Strange * Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 * Spider-Man: Homecoming * Thor: Ragnarok
TV: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. * Agent Carter * Inhumans
streaming: Daredevil * Jessica Jones * Luke Cage * Iron Fist * The Defenders * The Punisher * Runaways