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Invincible season two's ending was a bit of a let down - but I loved it more because of that

I respect the attempt at something unique

Invincible season two episode eight screenshot
Image credit: Amazon Prime Video

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After an unreasonably long wait for the final episode of season two, Invincible fans had high expectations for how Mark’s newest adventure would end. The previous episode’s cliffhanger, with Angstrom Levy reappearing suddenly after barely being mentioned for most of the season, set up what was meant to be the big final confrontation of the season. The payoff wasn’t entirely there, but I still loved Invincible season two’s ending for at least trying something a bit different.

Warning: We’ll be delving into spoilers for Invincible season two’s final episode from here on out, so be warned.

Despite being billed as the main antagonist of season two, Angstrom Levy played a decidedly small role in the overall plot. He was a big part of the first episode then showed up sporadically throughout the season before setting up the final confrontation in episode eight. A confrontation that, while dramatic, was over surprisingly early in the episode’s runtime, leaving Mark and Debbie to deal with the fallout.

Compared to the ever-looming threat that Omni-Man presented in season one, Levy is certainly a step down in threat level for Invincible. Even Mark admits he barely remembers the encounter with Levy in episode one and, considering the long break in episodes during the season, he probably wasn’t alone. The sudden shift in stakes from global to personal is jarring, more so because Mark defeats Levy with a good chunk of the episode left. The ending for this season of Invincible feels underwhelming on almost every level.

But that is why I enjoyed it so much. Because this season isn’t about Levy, who was never a physical threat to Mark. It is about how Mark reacts to killing someone for the first time and, more importantly, his decision to stop trying to live a double life. The show is willing to let us stew in Mark’s dilemma and the anguish he feels at his own failure to win without taking a life. It foregoes the epic, ground-shattering, Chicago-destroying finale from season one for something more personal. The writers and showrunners had the guts to subvert our expectations and deliver something small and intimate.

There are plenty of reasons to walk away from the Invincible season two ending feeling disappointed. It was largely there to set up the events of season three when it comes out. It didn’t deliver the kind of obvious threat that season one had. It wasn’t memorable or memeable or spectacular in the way we wanted, but I loved it for the attempt to give us something unexpected. It trusts that you care about these characters enough to invest emotionally in their story, even when the fate of the world isn’t on the line.

In an industry that loves to play it safe, I'll take something unique that falls just short of greatness over something that never tried to be great in the first place.

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