Invincible review: Episode 204, “It’s Been A While”

Image: Invincible/Amazon Prime Video
Image: Invincible/Amazon Prime Video /

It feels like Invincible has only just returned after its long hiatus, but it’s time for the midseason finale already! The show is currently balancing tons of storylines, including threats from outer space threats and multiverse-hopping mad scientists. In this week’s episode, Mark has a reunion with his father, who was last seen abandoning Earth after their long and brutal fight.

Here’s your weekly SPOILER warning.

Image: Invincible/Amazon
Image: Invincible/Amazon /

It’ll come as no surprise that the bulk of this episode is taken up by Mark and Omni-Man. The episode opens by flashing back to what happened to Nolan after he abandoned Earth. We see him travelling through the cosmos, alone and lost. I loved this sequence. No words are needed. Some of the shots are absolutely stunning.

Eventually, Nolan ends up at a black hole where he saves a group of Thraxan aliens from being sucked in and killed. As a result, the Thraxans take him back to their planet and ask him to be their emperor.

Fast forward to today, and Nolan appears to be a changed man, not that Mark believes him. There’s still a lot of tension between them; Mark doesn’t know whether to hate him or love him. It turns out that, no, Thraxa isn’t being destroyed by meteors. Rather, Nolan needs Mark’s help for another task. Since Nolan defected from the Viltrumites, he’s expecting an attack on the planet at any moment, and he desperately needs Mark’s help to defend it.

At first, Mark is hesitant to remain on Thraxa to join the fight. He has Earth to defend, after all, and he doesn’t owe his father anything after what he’s done. Regardless, he ultimately chooses to remain, but only to help the Thraxans, not his father.

We also learn that Nolan is building a family on Thraxa. He’s got a new wife, Andressa, and a son (currently unnamed as Thracian culture dictates that children choose their own name when they come of age). That’s right, Mark has a half-brother… and he doesn’t know how to feel about it. I mean, his father has forgotten about his wife on Earth and moved to another planet to start a family. Mark has every reason to be upset.

Viltrumite vs Vilmtrumite

A trio of Viltrumites arrives quicker than Nolan expected, and it’s up to Mark and Omni-Man to hold them off. What follows is one of the best fights we’ve seen on the show so far. In typical Invincible fashion, it’s outrageously gruesome: blood, guts, teeth, and everything else is spilled. Heads are crushed. Eyes are popped. Limbs are sliced off. All the classics.

Mark was certainly not ready for a fight like this. He looks totally out of place against the Viltrumites. The Viltrumite he finds himself against is Thula, who has a blade attached to her hair which she uses to slice Mark, opening up his guts at one point. It seems Mark is still fighting like he does against the people of Earth. He never fights to kill. However, Nolan tells him that the only way to defeat the people of Viltrum is to kill them, there’s no other way.

Eventually, they are able to defeat all three attacking Viltrumites, but both Mark and Nolan are left barely breathing. Any other hero would be long since dead. They may have come out on top in the fight, but they are far from winning the war. A Viltrumite ship arrives to carry them away. While Nolan is given a death sentence, Mark is made to return to Earth with the task of taking over his father’s original mission: to prime his planet for a Viltrumite takeover.

Atom Eve

Back on Earth, Atom Eve is still trying to be the hero she wants to be. By night, she’s fighting all the people that Mark would’ve fought had he been around. She encounters Kill Cannon, one of her arch-enemies, and they wage battle. Her powers are so cool and versatile. One minute she’s using a shield, then she’s flying, and then she’s throwing beams at him.

They eventually find themselves fighting on a city bridge where a car gets thrown off. Atom Eve is left with a conundrum: does she keep fighting Kill Canon or save the people inside from drowning. This scene was very similar to the bridge scene in The Amazing Spider-Man; there was some inspiration there for sure.

By the time she takes down Kill Canon and saves the couple from under water, she appears to be too late. It’s a harrowing moment you rarely see in superhero shows, where the hero tends to get a happy ending.


I feel like Invincible needs Debbie’s storyline. It’s something grounded and real on a show that’s so larger than life. It’s a fantastic depiction of grief. She visits Nolan’s grave and flicks through old photos of Mark and Nolan, wondering how he could’ve turned out to be a monster after all this time.

She gets a visit from none other than Art Rosebaum, the superhero costume designer. At this point she is totally broken. Everything she loved has gone and she is left alone. This episode was crying out for an emotional beat like this.

Donald and the Mauler Twins

There are a couple of other side stories in this episode worth mentioning. First, let’s talk about Donald, Cecil’s right-hand man. Donald is coming to grips with who he really is; remember that Donald died in season 1, but is back this season with no explanation. He’s as confused about this as anyone. It looks like he may be a cyborg, although he still retains all his emotions from before.

What’s going on there? I suspect Donald’s story will continue to develop going into the final four episodes of season 2.

Finally, we catch up with the Mauler twins, who are back from their disastrous foray into the multiverse to help Angstrom Levy. They very much fill a comic relief gap in the episode. Their endless argument to figure out who is the superior twin is so fun to watch. Now, we may finally have a superior twin, after one of them poisons the other to take the mantle once and for all. Not only that, but is seems like the superior twin may reproduce several more twins, all there to serve him!


What an amazing midseason finale! This show has a little bit of everything: heart, gore, intensity and adventure. It’s a dream come true for any superhero fan. Sure, it may suffer a little from the absolute gluttony of things going on; Angstrom Levy, Allen, and the Martians don’t even get a mention in this episode. Even so, the things that do happen are always amazing.

We’ve only got four episodes left in season 2, and the won’t air until 2024. I’m really curious to see how much it can wrap up or whether some storylines will be pushed back to season 3. The new year can’t come quickly enough!

Episode Grade: A

Next. Invincible review: Episode 203, “This Missive, This Machination”. dark

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