Invincible EP on [SPOILER]’s shocking return - and those two big deaths: “Terrible things can happen”

Simon Racioppa breaks down the jaw-dropping cliffhangers from Season 2, Episode 5 of the Prime Video series.

Melise (Dupli-Kate), Jason Mantzoukas (Rex Splode)
Melise (Dupli-Kate), Jason Mantzoukas (Rex Splode) /
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After yet another long break, Invincible is finally back on Prime Video. And the series wasted no time going as hard as it usually does in the midseason premiere, “This Must Come As A Shock.” In the episode – and spoilers past this point – not only does it look like both Dupli-Kate (Malese Jow) and Shrinking Rae (Grey Griffin) are dead, and Rex-Splode (Jason Mantzoukas) is about to get executed… In the mid-credits tag, Allen the Alien (Seth Rogen) is alive once again, and in fact, stronger than ever before after seemingly getting killed off in the first half of the season.

“Our characters are fragile,” Invincible EP Simon Racioppa told Bam Smack Pow of Allen’s return. “We’re dealing with giant, super-powered space villains who can tear people apart with their bare hands. And Allen is the unfortunate recipient of that. He does survive through some means that is explained in the show, but he could have died. Other people do, other named characters, other characters that you love are not going to make it through unscathed. I'm glad Allen sticks around because he's a fun character to write.”

In the first half of the season, Allen was ripped to shreds and left for dead by three Viltrumite warriors, the conquering alien race who is the overarching threat of Prime Video’s adult animated series. While he was kept alive by machines, they were turned off by Thaedus (Peter Cullen) the leader of the Coalition of Planets, a group dedicated to fighting back against the Viltrumite threat.

Fans freaked out, since Allen doesn’t die in the comics… And though it took a few episodes, we did loop back to an iconic moment from the books by Robert Kirkman, Cory Walker, and Ryan Ottley. It turns out that Thaedus suspected Allen would come back to life strong enough to challenge the Viltrumites. And not only that, the rebellion leader rips off his beard, revealing a mustache: he is the first Vilrumite to break free from the Empire.

So the good news here is that you’ve got a lot more Allen coming up as he aims to recruit Mark Grayson (Steven Yeun) to the cause, and now go toe-to-toe with the Viltrumites.

Invincible Season 2 Part 2
Seth Rogen (Allen the Alien), Steven Yeun (Mark Grayson) /

“Seth does such a great job with him and he is a fan favorite, but that's not the reason he sticks around,” Racioppa continued. “He sticks around because in the source material that's what happens. But yeah, I want our audience to feel like anything could happen and that we're not protecting characters just because they're main characters. I think they call it plot armor… ‘Oh, nothing terrible is going to happen to this character because they're the main character or they're a giant secondary character.’ And on our show that's not true. Terrible things can happen to main characters and dramatic things can happen to secondary characters.”

Those dramatic things include the cliffhanger that leaves most of the earthbound Guardians of the Globe seemingly dead, or in severely dire straits at the hands of the evil Lizard League. Dupli-Kate is unable to create, well, duplicates of herself in time, and ends up finding her last dupe ripped apart by Komodo Dragon. Shrinking Rae tries to stop him, but gets swallowed by the villain. And when she tries to grow to blow him apart… It doesn’t work, and she gets crushed inside his body, instead.

Oh, and with one hand missing, Rex-Splode is left about to have his brains blown out execution style by the Lizard League’s leader, King Lizard (Scoot McNairy).

We try to treat things realistically, and sometimes things go poorly for people, and if they do, they do,” Racioppa noted on the two (and perhaps three) apparent Guardians deaths in the episode. “So if you were fighting someone with superpowers and they tore you apart, you might be dead. Even in a world that has characters coming back from the dead. We've never shied away from that stuff. And Robert never did in the books, either. A lot of the consequences that in other comic books are kind of just issue deep and then the character gets healed or goes through a magical process and comes back… In Invincible, those things are permanent for the most part.

“And so we try to make the show feel the same way. We want you to know that our characters in this kind of world can be fragile and lives can be fragile.”

Invincible streams on Thursdays at 3 AM ET / Midnight PT on Prime Video.

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