Invincible Season 2 Finale Review – “I Thought You Were Stronger”

The eighth and closing episode of Invincible Season 2 makes its emotional goals clear, nevertheless it doesn’t at all times comply with via on them. It’s a fairly stable episode that by no means slows down, and it brings Mark full circle to a brand new place of uncertainty, questioning his place not simply as a superhero, however as a human being. And but, it could actually’t shake the sensation of a lacking ingredient.

Maybe that ingredient is an concerned antagonist. The dimension-hopping, bulbous-headed Angstrom Levy (Sterling Okay. Brown) has a chilling presence, and he commits some heinous acts in opposition to Mark’s defenseless mother and child brother. However he additionally hasn’t actually been seen because the begin of the season – again in October, earlier than the present’s four-month hiatus – apart from the odd post-credit scene. In actual fact, Mark barely remembers him.

Levy’s grudge in opposition to Mark stems from the explosion of his mind-melding machine, with which he tried to share the data and consciousness of all his interdimensional selves. He ended up with all their recollections too, together with these of a genocidal Mark from numerous alternate timelines. So he has good motive to hate Mark (or not less than, the overall thought of Mark, somewhat than this Mark particularly), nevertheless it isn’t till Levy pushes our hero to his emotionally breaking level that he actually clicks as a villain. You possibly can, for those who have been so inclined, swap him out for just about some other earlier unhealthy man on Invincible (and even one we haven’t met) and the impact can be indistinguishable.

We’re proven glimpses of some enjoyable dimension-hopping, although Mark by no means actually appears in peril or like he’s exerting himself when he’s compelled to journey the multiverse – though Levy’s plan is to exhaust him earlier than their large struggle. There are zombies, dinosaurs, even a Spider-Man parody, Agent Spider (Josh Keaton, who’s performed the true Spidey throughout a wide range of tasks), however all Marks must do to flee every sticky scenario is float barely above the bottom. Maybe it’s for the perfect that these obvious challenges unfold principally off display screen, so {that a} good chunk of the episode can deal with Brown’s menacing efficiency.

Steven Yeun delivers equally stellar work, bringing Mark nearer to the brink of explosion the extra Levy threatens his household. By the top of their confrontation – set in an apocalyptic future – Mark’s desperation curdles into all-out rage. As he beats Levy to a pulp, blood splashes throughout his torso. The picture, from its framing to Mark’s posture, remembers Nolan pummeling Mark within the Season 1 finale, a horrifying callback that implicitly takes the younger hero to the one place he didn’t wish to be. He’s turn into a spitting picture of his father.

Mark’s subsequent disaster of religion is targeted just a little an excessive amount of on the act of killing, though we’ve seen him kill earlier than. Granted, he’s normally taken the lives of assorted monsters and kaiju, however even the episode’s framing leaves him with little selection, and the season hasn’t established any main dilemmas for him on this regard. Compared, the comedian sees Mark taking this step by killing a possessed Russ Livingston, who Robotic reminds him was simply an harmless host, making his dilemma a lot murkier. Perhaps the episode’s lacking puzzle piece is a extra advanced ethical conundrum, or not less than, a extra rigorous religious reckoning.

After some distraught wandering, Mark escapes this purgatorial dimension just a little too simply, with the assistance of a future model of the Guardians, although a phrase of recommendation from an older Atom Eve results in a very significant scene with current day Eve. Because the episode winds down – although not earlier than its one compulsory Robotic-Monster Woman scene, and its reveal that Dupli-Kate is alive – Mark bears his soul to Debbie about how trapped he feels by the stress of being a superhero, and about how his private life has fallen aside. When he catches a glimpse of Amber overhead, he doesn’t descend to talk to her (in spite of everything, he simply put her in mortal hazard final week), however he as a substitute catches up with Eve, one of many solely individuals who is aware of what he’s going via.

Nevertheless, when it comes time to come back clear about his emotions for her, he stops brief, tragically afraid of how getting near somebody would possibly endanger them. It’s, maybe, essentially the most heroic factor he’s ever executed – although he does take Eve up on her supply of utilizing her shoulder to cry on.

It’s a delicate second to finish an emotionally brutal season for Mark, though the episode leaves a number of threads with out decision, for higher or worse. There’s the traditional mummy enterprise, which doesn’t originate within the comics, however retains popping up a couple of times a season at key moments with out truly going anyplace. However there’s additionally the query of Nolan and Allen, who’re on the verge of becoming a member of forces in jail, because the finale ends on a very attention-grabbing notice. Whereas Mark has tipped over the sting of violence, and distanced himself from his cherished as soon as, Nolan seems to have reached a spot of religious reckoning: he loves and misses Debbie. It’s as if father and son have switched locations in some way, charting an particularly attention-grabbing roadmap for Season 3.