The third episode of Invincible had a lot of surprises for the viewers. For starters, a major chunk of its running time was dedicated to Allen the Alien. He went back to the Coalition of Planets to inform them about Mark and how he could be helpful in their mission to take down the Viltrumites. Allen’s leader, Thaedus, had ordered Allen to find a mole within the Coalition whom he believed was leaking important information to the Viltrumites. Before Allen could find the perpetrator, he was brutally beaten up by a trio of Viltrumites and then killed by Thaedus, thereby hinting at the theory that Thaedus was the insider. Debbie started to heal by joining a “Spouses of Superheroes” survivor’s circle, but that backfired as soon as she revealed that she was Omni-Man’s wife. However, the haymaker came in the form of Nolan, who was the monarch of Thraxa. This was where he arranged a meeting with Mark after making him think that the planet was in grave danger.
Omni-Man Reveals Why He Needs Invincible’s Help
Episode 4 of Invincible Season 2 opens at the moment when a teary-eyed and blood-soaked Omni-Man left Earth. He apparently roamed around the galaxy, contemplating the meaning of his existence and everything that he had done on Earth. He was about to launch himself into a black hole—because all matter is turned into its subatomic elements in a black hole, which then becomes a singularity—and that seemed like the only way to kill a Viltrumite. But that was when Nolan noticed a Thraxan ship being pulled into that black hole. So, he postponed his plans to kill himself and chose to save the ship and return it to its home planet. He was about to leave, but that was when the Thraxans urged him to stay so that they could thank him for his superheroic act. In the present day, Mark nearly starts a fight with Nolan but then goes in for a hug because he has missed him, apparently. As soon as Nolan starts to talk, Mark remembers everything that he has done on Earth and how he has betrayed his own son and wife. He realizes that Nolan has lied to him yet again in order to bring him to Thraxa. So, he proceeds to leave the planet without listening to what Nolan has to say.
Nolan pursues Mark, and he tells him that even though he lied about the reason why the Thraxans are in danger, it’s true that the Thraxans are facing extermination. Since Mark is a compassionate individual, he agrees to hear him out. That’s when Nolan reveals that he has actually gotten married to a Thraxan named Andressa, and they have a son. Mark is understandably disgusted by this because Nolan didn’t offer any sense of closure to him and Debbie, and he’s now on a different planet, forming another family. What makes it worse is that Nolan calmly explains that it’s a thing that just happened, and now Thraxa is in grave danger because of that. Apparently, Viltrumites have this whole rule where they can crossbreed with species that are “equal” to them. If they breed with a species that’s deemed “inferior” to the Viltrumites, then they’ll be killed. Nolan has broken this rule by marrying a Thraxan, and that means the incoming Viltrumites are going to commit genocide. Nolan knows that he won’t be able to fight off the Viltrumites, and that’s why he needs Mark’s help. To be honest, this all feels pretty weird. I don’t think Nolan is capable of feeling for another race, and it just seems like an elaborate ruse to reforge the bond between Nolan and Mark because adversities bring people together, and, yes, Nolan is probably diabolical enough to do that.
The Viltrumites destroy Thraxa
Back on Earth, a depressed Debbie nearly kills herself as she is unable to comprehend the life she has been plunged into because of a genocidal alien. Donald shows up at Debbie’s house. Since she isn’t in, he inspects the destroyed piece of land lying right in front of that house and finds a broken pair of glasses that looks exactly like the one that he is wearing, which only means that he is still wondering why Debbie was so shocked to see him. The Mauler who survived makes a clone, and since half of his body is burned, it’s easy to identify who is the original and who is the clone, which is something the clones would argue about all the time to assert superiority. Atom Eve, who is in a bit of a moral pickle because of the consequences of her superheroic actions, reaches Mark’s college only to find out from Amber and William that it’s been a week since he jetted off into outer space to save a planet. Amber notices that Eve is visibly upset and offers to spend some time with her, but she urges her and William to go and attend their classes and promises to meet them later. Back in Thraxa, while Nolan is planning to train Mark to fight Viltrumites, the Viltrumite trio who butchered Allen land on Thraxa and begin tearing the planet apart. Nolan tells Mark to take Andressa and his son to a safe spot while he keeps the Viltrumites engaged.
We briefly see Atom Eve chilling out in Robot’s old workspace. However, when Killcannon breaks into the place to steal a device made by Robot, Eve is forced to fight him. The fight bleeds onto the streets and causes collateral damage, causing an elderly couple to nearly drown in the river. Eve manages to neutralize Killcannon and dives into the waters to save the couple. When she brings them out, they don’t seem to be breathing, and a severely distressed Eve pleads with the EMS officials to tell her that they are alive. The ramifications of her actions in Chicago are already on her mind, and it’s possible that two people dying on her watch are going to break her. While all this is happening on Earth, Mark and Andressa have a brief heart-to-heart on Thraxa. She says that Thraxans have a life expectancy of one human year. Hence, everything between her and Nolan has happened very fast. Nolan’s genes have allowed their son’s aging to slow down. But even that is at risk due to the Viltrumites. As if on cue, one of the Viltrumites enters the cave where Mark and Andressa are hiding and tries to kill them all. Nolan shows up out of nowhere and pins the Viltrumite to the wall. He tells Mark that there are two more out there, and they’ve to kill them before everything is finished. When the father-son duo gets to them, though, they find out that the Viltrumites have eradicated all the Thraxans except for Andressa and her son.
Will Mark become the next Omni-Man?
Debbie goes through old family photos, and that’s when Art shows up to check how she is doing. As she starts talking, she brings up the topic of nurturing Mark in Nolan’s absence because he is always away doing superhero stuff. Art uses that to make Debbie realize that she has never really needed Nolan to get through life. Debbie has always been on her own, and she has done a good job of looking after Mark. In addition to that, Art says that Nolan has had it easy because of his superpowers, while Debbie has overcome the hurdles of life without any superpowers, and according to Art, the latter is much more inspirational than the former. This prompts Debbie to confront Cecil and tell him that she doesn’t need the money that she was getting as compensation for what Nolan had done. She thinks that it’s Cecil’s way of having a hold on the Graysons and keeping Mark under his thumb. Debbie wants to be free of that burden, and she compels Cecil to stay away from her and Mark. Donald goes to the archives room to check out the footage from the house in front of the Grayson household, and he sees himself getting killed by Omni-Man. This understandably shocks him to the core, and he immediately rushes to the washroom to cut open his hand and check if he is actually human. He does draw blood, but he notices that the tip of the knife is bent, which means that his skeleton or his skin isn’t organic. In a world full of superheroes, having an android employee isn’t particularly surprising. What is surprising is that Cecil didn’t reveal it to Donald. What would’ve happened if Donald knew that he wasn’t actually human? Was the original Donald someone close to Cecil? Was Donald his son, and that’s why he wants to maintain the illusion that his son is still alive? Well, we have to wait until 2024 to get the answers to those questions.
In Thraxa, Nolan and Mark take on the two Viltrumites in one of the most impactful fight scenes I have seen in this show. The way the whole thing is edited shows the visceral nature of the brawl. Nolan manages to kill both of the Viltrumites and although Mark puts up a good performance, he ends up getting stabbed. When they think it’s all over, the Viltrumite that Nolan thought he had killed in the cave shows up again and apparently breaks Nolan’s spine. Before dying, the Viltrumite calls in the cavalry.
At the end of Invincible Season 2, episode 4, Mark wakes up to see a one-eyed Viltrumite hovering over him. He addresses himself as General Kregg. He tells Mark that Nolan is going to be executed for breaking Viltrumite rules, and Mark has to go back to Earth and convince the planet to bow down to the Viltrumites. Mark is free to kill a handful (read: thousands) of people to get the job done because if he doesn’t, and the Viltrumites arrive there and see any form of protest, they are going to kill millions of humans. So, essentially, Mark is supposed to act as the new Omni-Man and help with the Viltrumite expansion.
During the mid-credits scene, we see the Mauler clone killing the burned Mauler because he was being bullied by the latter way too much. But coming back to the Mark and the Viltrumite conundrum, I think this is a brilliant way to end the first half of the second season of Invincible. I also think this is the best episode of the season 2 so far. The first three episodes were fine, but this one really sets things into high gear. It’ll be interesting to see what Mark does. His first priority is to secure Andressa and her son. Then there’s the issue of getting back to Earth. And then he has to start thinking about protecting Earth or submitting to the Viltrumite agenda. Additionally, he has to save Nolan if he can’t save himself. But Nolan is a genocidal maniac. So, should he really be saved? Also, saving him from a Viltrumite prison sounds impossible, especially for Mark, who is still struggling with unlocking his Viltrumite genes. The Coalition seems like a lost cause because Thaedus is a turncoat. Therefore, it does look like surrendering to the Viltrumites is the best option. However, Mark, Cecil, and the Guardians aren’t losers, and they’ll find a way to protect Earth or die trying.