Invincible season 2 episode 8 review and recap - I guess he wasn't stronger after all

A whirlwind of cosmic brawls, moral dilemmas, and dimension-hopping chaos awaits. Will Mark emerge stronger or shattered?

Angstrom Levy
Angstrom Levy /

Invincible's season 2 finale, "I Thought You Were Stronger," is here, signaling a pause in my weekly reminders to make sure my anxiety medication has been refilled.

Season 2 as a whole was a crazy rollercoaster of emotions, dimensions, and good old-fashioned fights that would leave even the sturdiest of heroes breathless. This wasn't just another superhero show finale - it's a high-flying, dimension-hopping, jaw-dropping wrap-up that has everything from zombie apocalypses to philosophical debates with dino-intellectuals. Yes, you read that right.

With season 2 ending, you can rest assured knowing that not only are we getting a third season, but it's already in the works. Thank the Maker.

So, let's dive into the madness, shall we?


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

The episode starts off with Nolan, a.k.a. The Asshole or, as most know him, Omni-Man, flexing his escape artist muscles and breaking out of space Alcatraz, only to be greeted by the Viltrumite version of a welcome wagon, helmed by General Kregg, who's basically the grumpiest cheerleader you'll never want to meet. They’re all about executing Nolan, but, plot twist, it’s not for escaping - it’s because he’s fit for a Viltrumite trial. Talk about tough love.

Meanwhile, in a less deadly part of the universe, a local jogger becomes the unsung hero of the episode, unknowingly setting the stage for the chaos to ensue, all while jamming out to Fatboy Slim. I admittedly sang and danced to the song myself. Little did he know, he was about to be upstaged by Mark, our main man, Invincible, flying home to confront his new arch-nemesis, Angstrom Levy, who’s got a death grip on Mark’s mom and baby brother. Family reunion gone wrong, with a side of get-your-hands-off-these-two-precious-characters-before-I-punch-the-screen.

Cue the interdimensional insanity as Mark gets whisked away to a world where dinosaurs didn't skip on their eloquence lessons. Just as Mark begins contemplating the menu options for T-Rexes, he’s yoinked back, only to crash a Spider-Man wannabe's fight and then, yet again, zapped through dimensions like he’s collecting frequent flyer miles. I can only image how your head feels after being zigged and zagged through portals with no warning.

Back on Earth, Angstrom's having a full-blown existential crisis, threatening to make home renovations with Debbie and Oliver in the most villainous ways possible, all the while the tension grows so much it's actually palpable. This is something Invincible has always been amazing at - making us feel the cheer panic, loss, sadness, and brokenheartedness of its characters. A show so brutal knows how to play with its audience's feelings and emotions like a piano prodigy wows with their talent - Invincible is hard to match when it comes to the emotional grip it holds viewers in. Mark, in a desperate attempt to end the cycle of portal ping-pong, tries to reason with Angstrom, appealing to the sliver of sanity left in him. Spoiler alert: it doesn't go well.

Invincible Season 2 Part 2
Angstrom Levy /

After more dimension-hopping shenanigans, including a zombie horde and a dystopian neighborhood watch, Mark’s mom, Debbie, tries her hand at villain therapy, with... mixed results. The way I stood up, finger pointed at the screen, screaming something along the lines of "DON'T YOU DARE TOUCH A SINGLE HAIR ON DEBBIE AND/OR OLIVER'S HEAD, YOU [insert awful expletives here]!" as soon as Angstrom's attention turned to these two innocent souls. Sure, Debbie manages to crack Angstrom's villain exterior but at the cost of her arm's structural integrity. Ouch.

In the multiverse montage of the year, Mark bounces between dimensions like a cosmic pinball, rubbing elbows with cavemen and a Batman who probably regrets his branding choices. The MCU should be jealous of how fun and aesthetically pleasing this show made it look. Eventually, he makes it back home, looking like he’s been through a cosmic blender, only to find his mom and brother in a standoff with Angstrom, Debbie's arm totally broken, and her face bruised like a forgotten tomato in the bottom of the grocery store stand. It really wasn't pretty.

The final showdown is less of a battle and more of a dimension-spanning brawl that ends with Mark unleashing his inner Viltrumite on Angstrom, leading to a victory that feels a lot like defeat. It made me feel both happy that Angstrom met his end after repeatedly telling Mark that he was stronger now and could take his hits, but I also cried for Mark's loss of innocence and his desperate struggle with feeling like he did the right thing while slightly turning into his own father. The boy was in complete shock. Yes, boy - let's not forget Mark is still a 17 or 18-year-old college kid. Thinking back to where I was at that age, mentally, I don't know how I'd deal with having just murdered a man by way of an aggressive knuckle massage to the face. He sees his strength and how much it resembles his father's own strength and powers, and he's disgusted with himself. He doesn't want to be a Nolan Jr. Sure, he's good-natured (unlike all the other Marks we meet during this episode, which begs the question - is Mark truly supposed to be evil yet this one is stuck in a blip of a dimension?), but everyone has their limit, and Mark just learned his. As the dust settles, we're left with Mark, wandering the wasteland, pondering the moral cost of his pyrrhic victory.

Randomly, we're shown a couple of tomb raiders in ancient Egypt unveiling a tomb with a... pharaoh's cursed ghost? He must possess a man's body to be unleashed and, since he's greeted with women instead, they call him sexist. They're interrupted by the boom of Mark flying around trying to clear his head and process things, and we see he's very much affected by how things have unfolded. He is saved by his friends from the future, because he was apparently gone for 20 years and becomes someone he really doesn't like while his world gets plummeted by baddies (I can only assume the Viltrumites take over and Earth doesn't like that very much). Before they send him back in time and home, Eve tells him she's loved him for a long time and that he needs to tell his Eve that he either does or doesn't so she can move on with her life. Ugh. Yep, I'm not over him and Amber breaking up yet, and I don't think he is either.

Invincible season 2
Credit: Courtesy of Prime Video /

Cecil, as usual, does a lot of the emotional heavy lifting when it comes to Mark. He assures him he's nothing like his father, that he's a good person. Again - I'm waiting on the day we all get to see the ugly side of Cecil's calm demeanor, but I hope I'm wrong so I can keep on liking the man. He's a good man. He's got the hardest job in the world and I wouldn't want it.

Surprise - DupliKate is not actually dead. She surprises the grieving Immortal in his isolated cabin in the Artic tundra, and they hug it out. I'm happy for him, he was really down over losing Kate. And in a twist no one saw coming, Nolan finds a prison buddy in Allen the Alien, and the episode closes on a cliffhanger that promises more cosmic drama, moral quandaries, and maybe, just maybe, a bit of interstellar romance. Also, Nolan saying he thinks he misses his wife only made me want to punch his face even more. I don't think he's ever going to be redeemable in my eyes, and I don't think I'm ever going to like him. Heck, he might be one of the only bad guys I genuinely despise.

So, did Invincible stick the landing in its season 2 finale? Let's just say if you were looking for a calm, wrap-everything-up-in-a-neat-bow finale, you were probably watching the wrong show. But if you were here for the chaos, the heartbreak, and the sheer unpredictability of it all, then "I Thought You Were Stronger" delivered in spades.

The second season of Invincible kicks ass, takes names, and reminds you to take your anxiety meds. Excellent season for an excellent show.. Camila Domingues, BSP. Invincible season 2 overall score. Invincible. A+

Season 3 has some big, dimensionally unstable shoes to fill, and we can't wait to see how they top this.

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