Invincible Season 2 Episode 4 Recap (Spoilers)

Invincible Season 2 has been building to this! Episode 4 “IT’S BEEN A WHILE” was already guaranteed to be a banger, given the epic cliffhanger to Episode 3. Mark Grayson/Invincible (Steven Yeun) reunited with his dad Nolan/Omni-Man (J.K. Simmons) in the most unexpected of ways on the planet Thraxa, and fans of Invincible were left teetering on the edge of their seats for a week, waiting to see if Mark and Nolan reconnect, or get straight to the Invincible vs. Omni-Man rematch everyone has been waiting for.

In the end, as always, Invincible surprised us with how Season 2 Episode 4 went down. And if you think the cliffhanger of episode 3 was agonizing, the ending of Episode 4 – and the hiatus that follows – is going to be H E L L..

Invincible Season 2 Episode 4 Recap (SPOILERS)

(Photo: Prime Video)

Broken-Man – The episode opens with a flashback to the climactic ending to Season 1 – only this time we get to follow Omni-Man after he flies away from Earth. Nolan flew into the depths of space alone, with no apparent direction, until he eventually ends up at a black hole, and tries to kill himself by being sucked into it. At that moment a Thraxan ship appears and nearly gets pulled into the void – but Omni-Man saves the vessel and returns them Thraxa, where the Thraxans beg him to stay and be their protector. [NOTE: The song that plays during the montage is “Avalanche” by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds]

New Family, Who Dis? – Back in the present day, Mark confronts “Emperor” Nolan, and after some initial tension, father and son embrace in a hug. The moment doesn’t last very long, as Mark is still deeply angry with his father – including over the latest lie that brought him to Thraxa. After a brief tantrum, Mark tries to fly away – but he’s too far from Earth to make it. Nolan implores Mark to hear him out about the Thraxan plight; however, that explanation takes a sick twist when Mark is confronted with the fact that Nolan has a new Thraxan wife (Andressa) as well as a rapidly-growing Thraxan son, who is Mark’s half-brother. Mark’s “WTF?!” reaction leads us into the title sequence – then immediately back to Mark, so he can finish the expletive-laden rant.

Debbie Does Depression – Back on Earth, Debbie Grayson (Sandra Oh) is still wandering aimlessly, after taking the massive hit of being kicked out of her support group. Debbie visits Nolan’s faux grave, still struggling over what is real or not between them – with Mark being the only real benefit. It’s clear that Debbie is at her lowest ebb. [NOTE: The song playing over this sequence is “Olympus” by Blondshell]

Authentic Mauler – The Mauler Twins are back! After losing one clone (the original?) Mauler in Angstrom Levy’s explosive experiment back in Episode 1, the surviving Mauler creates a new clone of himself. Since the “original” is now easily discernable thanks to his Two-Face-style disfigurement, the clone Mauler immediately knows he’s the clone. With the hierarchy clear, it’s a new era of Mauler mayhem.

(Photo: Prime Video)

Donald Digs Into His Death – Donald goes to pay Debbie a visit – but she’s out doing graveyard therapy. Donald’s instincts lead him across the street to the ruins of the safehouse he used to manage while monitoring Omni-Man. When Donald finds his own glasses in the rubble, it confirms his suspicions that something is terribly wrong with his reality.

Brunch Date – Atom Eve (Gillian Jacobs) visits Amber (Zazie Beetz) and William (Andrew Rannells) at college, looking to reconnect with Mark after her emotional fallout with her dad. Since Mark is away in space, Eve agrees to hang out at her place in the city for the night before meeting William and Amber for brunch the next day.

Viltrum Is Coming – Back on Thraxa, Nolan tries to pacify Mark with an explanation that his new son ages rapidly and that they both have a mutual enemy in the Viltrumites who will be coming to punish Nolan for leaving Earth. Nolan makes Mark aware that the Viltrumites will come after him and his half-brother too, with the latter almost guaranteed to be executed as a ‘lower breed of lifeform.’ Protecting family and innocents alike are all Nolan thinks Mark needs as motivation – and he’s right. Mark ponders joining with this father – but it’s a moot point: the three Viltrumite soldiers that tracked down and killed Allen the Alien arrive on Thraxa.

Super Home Invasion – Atom Eve is sleeping at a Guardians of the Globe safehouse in the city when recurring C-list villain Kill Cannon shows up to steal when of Robot’s old power sources. Luckily, a fight is exactly what Eve is looking for.

Battle Beneath Thraxa – Mark gets Andressa and his half-brother to safety in some caves beneath Thraxa. He learns that the average Thraxan lifespan is only one Earth year – though his half-brother is aging at a slower pace than that. He also hears the softer side of Andressa fell in love with Nolan after he saved her ship. They make enough of a connection that when the largest Viltrumite soldier, Lucan, shows up, Mark battles to protect his dad’s new family. Lucan proves to be even more ruthless than Nolan, and Mark is quickly overwhelmed until his dad saves him. Nolan and Lucan have a savage tussle that ends with Nolan disemboweling him with a karate chop and running him through with a stalagmite for good measure. Omni-Man and Invincible regroup and prepare to fight the other two soldiers.

(Photo: Prime Video)

Good Hero Work Keeps Going Wrong – Eve battles Kill Cannon on a bridge but things go awry when the arrogant young heroine lets a car with two elderly bystanders fall off the bridge. Eve dives in and saves them, but they still end up severly injured. Eve can’t handle another case of her hero work going wrong, and is left in emotional crisis.

Trip Down (Bad) Memory Lane – At home, Debbie is going through the catharsis of pulling photos out of her family albums, when she’s visited by hero costume designer Art Rosenbaum (Mark Hamill). A photo of Mark riding a bike makes Debbie recall how Nolan flew off to save someone during the riding lesson, while she actually succeeded in teaching Mark to ride. Art finally gets through to Debbie after pointing out that she was always a strong person (even without powers) who helped cover Nolan’s shortcomings and probably helped save Earth via her love of him. She was never dependent on Nolan, or weaker than him – quite the opposite. It’s exactly what Debbie needs to hear to finally find her resolve and truly move on.

Donald Sees Death – Donald can’t let go of his curiosity and hacks a computer archive terminal in the GDA building to see the security footage from the safehouse on the day he died. Needless to say, he’s left shaken.

Battle For Thraxa – On Thraxa, Nolan is feeling more emotion about the death and destruction the Viltrumites are causing and he’s both furious at and bewildered by it. He lashes out at Mark, demanding to know why empathy is desirable when it feels so bad. The philosophy debate is interrupted when the final two Viltrumite soldiers show up for Round 2 of battle. The fight is brutal; at one point Nolan takes Mark aside and chastises him for not fighting like a true Viltrumite, demanding he unleash his full fury and killer instinct.

(Photo: Prime Video)

Mark fights the female soldier (with her razored hair braid) and finally starts to lay some true smackdown on her. In the end, though, he’s still too soft: Nolan slaughters his opponent, but Mark hesitates with the killblow and ends up getting stabbed. Nolan brutally finishes the female soldier and saves Mark, but Lucan shows up (carrying his own guts) and takes Nolan out with an earth-shattering drop kick. With every Viltrumite down, Luca informs the empire that the mission is a success. Mark awakes injured and immobile on Thraxa just in time to see his dad being carted away by the Viltrumites. Nolan begs Mark to remember the good he did for Earth – and to read the books he wrote. It’s clear the books hold some important knowledge for Mark to find.

[An Ending Montage plays, set to the tune of “I am Yesterday (feat. Gracie and Rachel)” by Zoe Boekbinder. It teases some cliffhanger endings for Donald, Eve, and Debbie.]

Debbie Independent – Debbie gets her groove back by formally breaking all financial ties with Cecil, the GDA, and Nolan’s estate. She puts Nolan’s belongings out on the curb for pickup, including his collection of novels.

Hate Saying Parents Are Right – Eve is scene riding a bus and ignoring the scheduled brunch (and message queries) from Amber and William. We see her enter her parents’ house again, in seeming surrender to the fact that she’s not the capable adult she thought she was.

Man or Machine? – Donald goes into the bathroom of the GDA and takes the drastic step of cutting into his own arm with a knife, like a scene out of Terminator. At first, the pain and blood confirm his humanity; however, when he looks at the knife, the tip is impossibly bent. Donald realizes he’s not quite human – but Cecil’s sudden beck-and-call over comms just quickly gets him back on the job.

(Photo: Prime Video)

New Manager, Earth Outpost – Mark is visited by Viltumite General Kregg (Clancy Brown). Kregg says the victory in battle has earned Mark a chance to be part of the Viltrumite empire. When Mark starts to refuse, Kregg brutally and concisely explains that Nolan is going to be executed for desertion, and Mark is now the new Viltrumite agent in charge of preparing Earth for peaceful conquest. If he does not, the Viltrumites will come to Earth and wipe out billions of humans. Mark is wished good luck, and left bleeding into the Thraxan soil.

Things Are The Way They Are – The end credits scene sees the Two-Face Mauler betrayed and poisoned by the clone. Apparently, physical proof that there’s an original is a deal-breaker, and the clone stands over his dead twin exclaiming that “Sometimes things are the way they are for a good f***ing reason.” Hopefully, that means a return to the classic Mauler Twins formula!

Run The Jewels -To close out the end credits we finally get a track from fan-fav music group Run The Jewels, titled “the ground below”.

(Photo: Prime Video)

See you for Invincible Season 2.5!