Invincible season 2 episode 6 review: It really ain't that simple, is it?

Who would have thought that one of the best episodes of a brutally gory show would actually be one where emotional damage is being dealt instead?

Zazie Beetz (Amber Bennett), Steven Yeun (Mark Grayson)
Zazie Beetz (Amber Bennett), Steven Yeun (Mark Grayson) /

The show that loves to hurt its audience by breaking our hearts with surprise deaths and problems has out done itself and decides to deal some heavy emotional damage instead.

Let's take a deep dive into this emotionally heavy episode and talk about everything - from events that take place to what this episode really means.


Invincible Season 2 Part 2
Steven Yeun (Mark Grayson), Sandra Oh (Debbie Grayson) /

Where do I even start to unpack this behemoth?

It picks up right where we left off - King Lizard holding a gun to the back of Rex's head. And he pulls the trigger. I never really cared for Rex but, after his last visit to Eve's place and trying to cheer her up, I kind of thought he would be on the path to redeem himself. Instead, bang.

Yes, I'm aware now that it does not kill him, but for the bit of time we do think he's toast, I was pretty upset over this. Losing all 3 guardians at the same time, in the same battle sucks. Except Shriking Rae isn't dead either - thank the Maker. Rest in bits and pieces, Kate. You drew the unlucky card on that one. Her funeral was depressing. Watching Immortal grieve for her in such a way, especially after having lived and loved for lifetimes, really tugged at my heart.

But that's what this episode is all about, isn't it? "It's Not That Simple" completely dives into the emotional warfare our heroes go through, unseen to those around them. Mark is constantly torn between saving the world and trying to live a normal life - go to college, spend time with Amber, take care of his new little brother... It's hard. Life is hard as it is for those of us who weren't born with superpowers, it's even worse for those who have such a heavy sense of responsibility. This episode unmasks the pain of being "special". Whether it's our heroes or those whom they love that are directly affected, their presence makes things a little harder for some.

Invincible season 2 part 2
Gillian Jacobs (Atom Eve), Steven Yeun (Mark Grayson) /

Amber and Mark both reaching out to individuals who they feel they can trust to talk about their feelings speaks volumes for where they are mentally. It's easy to brush off normal-life worries in superhero shows - what are they complaining about, they have awesome super powers? But episodes like this one really shine a light in the darkness that can consume them emotionally. Mark doesn't want to be like his father. He doesn't want to leave Amber alone over and over to go to space and solve alien problems, put his life on the line, and watch his brethren die just to come back to Earth an even more damaged person and play house until the next intergalactic crisis. The constant switch of responsibilities and duties and mindsets is exhausting and Mark is now getting the full swing of that.

I know that many think Mark and Eve belong together and sure, I can see why you think that. Eve is made to be more likable than Amber, she's made for us to want them to be together. But I think Amber and Mark are the kind of couple we need to allow to exist. They're good together. She's patient and understanding of his life as a superhero, his past, his bloodline. She knew what she signed up for when they got together, and she loves him. She loves him for who he is. The more I watch the show, the more I find myself rooting for them to work their problems out and make it last, and the less I want to see Eve come in and replace Amber by his side.

Another part of this episode that really touched me was Debbie. She not only named Nolan's purple baby, but she named him Oliver after Mark's grandfather. She's changing diapers, chewing his food for him, taking care of him, and vetting babysitters to keep him safe and away from Cecil. Part of me feels she had been yearning for a new start. This is a weird situation to consider as a new start, but I think she's holding on to this as if she's trying to try and bring some normalcy to her life. Maybe it reminds her of better times, times when Mark was a still baby and Nolan wasn't an asshole publicly. Maybe it gives her something else to focus on other than her pain, which is ironically caused by the same being who produced little Oliver.

Oliver also calls her Mama, and she doesn't flinch or correct him. I found that equal parts sweet and worrying. It's sweet because the boy is innocent - his father is the bad guy, but the child doesn't have anything to do with it. It's worrying because I just worry for her mental health. As a mother myself, one who went through a divorce and the whole grieving package that comes with a marriage you worked hard for dissolving in your hands, I can only imagine where her mental health is. I just hope she's doing this because she can and because she wants to, not because she feels like she needs to. Oliver is innocent, but she doesn't really owe him anything.

Invincible Season 2 Part 2
Andrew Rannells (William Clockwell), Steven Yeun (Mark Grayson) /

Speaking of Omni Man - Mark finds out his dad might not be a complete piece of crap after all. Mark sits and reads the stories his father wrote, very Star Trek-themed stories about missions in faraway planets where he and his fellow Viltrumite comrades failed, with a lot of them dying, realizing that his father was actually trying to inform him of Viltrumite weaknesses in order for him to eliminate the Empire. What the hell is the game with you, Nolan? Are you really trying to get rid of the Empire or are you with them? Do you even know what you want?

I swear, human or Viltrumite, men are the worst. No offense, guys.

Rick is back, and Donald is shaky. This is screaming "Robot uprising incoming" to me. It's literally only a matter of time. With Rick back and with basically a new robot body, just like Donald, this could hint at a bigger picture - will Cecil be trying to fix and bring back everyone he can with these morally gray methods? Are we going into "replacing humans with robots and hope nobody including the robots themselves notice" territory? What's next - will he try and bring back dead superheroes that way as well? I do admire and respect Cecil - the man has the hardest job in the world. He's got a good head on his shoulders and I firmly believe he means well at all times, even if his methods make you think otherwise. I would not want to be in his shoes - ever.

We do get to see our friend Allan the Alien again. Seth Rogan was literally born for this role. His whole interaction with Immortal and Invincible in space is perfect, and I am just elated that his death was also a fake-out.

"Immortal: "I'll kill you!"
Allen: "We just met!""

"It's Not That Simple"

Allen tells him about Thaedus and how he thinks Mark is an integral part of the rebellion against the Empire, but Mark is clearly torn between his human side and superhero side. I am so glad Allen exists in this show. Too bad he doesn't exist in real life.

Invincible season 2 part 2
Khary Payton (Black Samson), Ben Schwartz (Shapesmith) /

We see Nolan being detained in a Viltrumite prison somewhere in space, and the Viltrumite are not dumb. They know what he's capable of. After a brief attempt of trying to appeal to his brutal side, saying his execution doesn't have to happen if he just remembered all the work he's done for the Empire, the guard loses his patience and insults Earth. Nolan is quiet the entire time. In his eyes, you can clearly see a plan forming and the gears going.

And just when we think this episode would end on a bittersweet yet non-anxiety-inducing manner, surprise!

Turns out Rus Livingston brought someone home with him, and not in a fun way. He starts to choke and coughs out a Sequid who had been apparently hiding out inside his body, waiting for the perfect moment to attack and take over him once again. And it did just that.

SIGH. This show is my weekly reminder to make sure I have enough anxiety medicine left.

All in all, this is one of the more raw and emotionally heavy episodes in the second season so far. Nothing Earth-shattering happens, no big battle goes down - but we see our heroes and those close to them deal with the aftermath of their fighting. It's rough. It's really not that simple.

Tune into Prime next Thursday for the third and penultimate episode in the second half of Invincible's second season.

Next. Invincible: J.K. Simmons hopes he can get back in the studio with Steven Yeun and Sandra Oh for Season 3. Invincible: J.K. Simmons hopes he can get back in the studio with Steven Yeun and Sandra Oh for Season 3. dark