Invincible – Season 2 Episode 5 “This Must Come as a Shock” Recap & Review


Invincible Season 2 Episode 5 resumes with Mark gazing upon the destruction of the Thraxan city. This causes him to pass out.

Andressa and Mark’s half-brother is okay. Mark helps rebuild. Andressa quickly grows elderly, and she asks Mark to take his brother back to Earth with him.

Back on earth, Debbie has returned to work. Mark returns home after two months away with his baby brother. Debbie decides to help look after the baby so Mark can remain in college. Donald confronts Cecil about becoming a superhuman cyborg. Cecil comes clean and tells him the truth, and asserts Donald is better now.

Mark returns to college. Cecil confronts him there, upset that he’s been missing. While Mark was gone, the Guardians were almost defeated. Cecil plans to take Mark’s brother away.

Mark and Amber catch up with each other. Cecil informs the Guardians that Martians are approaching Earth. It turns out that they all know that Shapesmith is from Mars, so Shapesmith comes clean about killing the human Astronaut in order to get to Earth. Now they know that Sequids are coming to Earth.

Eve has returned home after accidentally injuring civilians in a fight. Rex visits her and tries to reassure her. He also has a favor to ask her. Cecil asks for Mark’s help in defeating the Sequids. After most of the Guardians take off, King Lizard attacks a military base. Martians destroy the space shuttle, so Atom Eve phases them into the Martian ship.


Rex, Dupli-Kate, and Shrinking Rae engage King Lizard and his fighters while the other Guardians fight the Sequids. King Lizard’s fighters tragically and gruesomely kill Rae and Kate. Rex manages to kill them but ends up kneeling helplessly as King Lizard holds a gun to the back of his head.

In the epilogue, Allen the Alien wakes up. He survived the attack against the Viltrumites and is stronger than ever. Thaedus turns out to be the only Viltrumite to rebel against the Empire. He tasks Allen with recruiting Invincible.

The Episode Review

Invincible is back, and firing on all cylinders. “This Must Come as a Shock” flows in a way that feels like a feature film but decides to end in the middle of the climax. It’s an undeniable example of the modern TV format bent on begging viewers to binge. So, waiting a week for the story to continue is going to be rough. That being said, fans have just finished waiting months, so this will have to do.

After watching Omni-Man commit unspeakable atrocities, it felt like a true gut punch to be faced with the idea of Mark forgiving him. More than that, it was nearly an existential crisis to consider that, compared to other Viltrumites, Nolan might be “good.” However, true to the talent these writers provide, Debbie is able to quickly put it all into perspective. Her character remains the heart and soul of Invincible, and the shining example of why this show transcends not just superhero content, but the average show in any genre or format.

Debbie choosing to look after Nolan’s new son was a shock, but the way she rationalizes it lies at the heart of what makes people good. She understands the evil and carelessness that puts people like her and Mark in these tough situations and chooses compassion. Mark’s relationship with Amber remains difficult and feels extremely real. It feels as though Amber has always struggled to accept Mark’s life. She deserves to feel more important. Also, Mark and Eve seem like a perfect superhero couple waiting to happen.

Shocking, indeed

Given the sci-fi technology that allows for the transfer of consciousness, cyborgs, and medicine from the far future, it’s hard to believe that there are no spacecraft with shields. That being said, the Guardians huddling within Atom Eve’s bubble in the vacuum of space was a cool moment.

The final fights in the episode felt incredibly dire. Kate’s death is brutal, especially because for almost a full minute, you can feel it coming. Shrinking Rae dying came as a surprise, and was also rather disgusting despite largely being left to the imagination.

The tension of the fights was built up in such a way that the abrupt ending hits like few cliffhangers have in recent shows. Invincible takes its time whenever it can so that in special moments, the story is able to take leaps forward in just a few lines, or in this case, in an epilogue. It’s fair to say fans will be happy at the show’s return, and eager for more.

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You can read our Season 2 Review of Invincible here!

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