Invincible Episode 6 Review: Episodic Storytelling At Its Best,
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Review: Invincible Episode 6 Is Episodic Storytelling At Its Best, With An Eye On The Larger Prize

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BY April 16, 2021

The streaming model of releasing an entire season at a time has spoiled audiences while taking away the suspense of a week-to-week model. However, Invincible is one of the many new shows these days that are reinvigorating the episodic model. Similar to WandaVision or The Falcon And The Winter Soldier on Disney+. Invincible makes great use of this model to create compelling episodes every week. The first few episodes of the new series focused on a larger threat and a larger story. However, the recent episodes have changed lanes to tell more individual episodes that are resolved by the end. This allows the show’s larger story arc to breathe while taking smaller moments to build up to it. And, as I’ll point out in this Invincible episode 6 review, lets the main character develop further, before taking on the big bad. Whoever that may be. 

Invincible Tells An Unconventional Superhero Origin Story

Invincible episode 6 review training. Image via Amazon Prime Studios.

One of the best things about Invincible’s week-to-week model is how it’s allowing titular character Mark (Steven Yeun) to get a cool origin story. As I mentioned in my Invincible premiere episodes review, the origin story of Invincible is more of a legacy story. The character is a second-generation superhero, who was anticipating this life for years. So the series skips the usual angsty conflict about having to pick a normal life vs. the superhero one. Which is usually the basis of most superhero origin stories. 

However, with this Invincible episode 6 review, I realized how the makers are doing something similar, but in a different way. The last episode was about Mark learning a very big lesson, realizing he can’t just take on certain threats all by himself. And doing so can threaten others’ lives, like in the case of Black Sampson (Khary Payton) and Monster Girl’s (grey Griffin) near-fatal injuries. Not to mention his own week-long benching due to his own injuries. The entire situation definitely gave Mark perspective, in the harshest way possible. So this episode, he lets Invincible take a back seat to Mark, as he focuses on his relationship with Amber (Zazie Beetz). 

Invincible Episode 6 Review Is About The Reluctant Hero

Invincible episode 6 review injury. Image via Amazon Prime Studios.

Going on a road trip with Amber and his friend William (Andrew Rannells), Mark wants to take things slow. But like a typical superhero, trouble finds him. This is the first time that Mark has to do what many superheroes have done throughout fictional history; choose to leave his friends, so his superhero alter ego can fight the bad guy. Obviously, in the aftermath, Mark has no explanation for his absence, creating even more conflict with Amber. This time, maybe for the last time. 

The genius of this episode is that it manages to do something that most superhero stories take seasons or an entire movie to do. It develops Mark’s character by making him realize the harsh truth of having to be a superhero, all the time. Even when he is actively avoiding it, Invincible is something he cannot be part-time. With his friends’ lives in danger, he goes through the same arc as that of Spider-Man in the second Sam Raimi movie. It’s a great arc, and it’s slowly developing Mark into a full-fledged hero. Presumably one he needs to be by the end of season 1, to deal with the ultimate threat. 

The Larger Story Beats Still Unfold In The Background

Invincible episode 6 review climax. Image via Amazon Prime Studios.

Another benefit of Invincible being an hour-long animated series is the room for storytelling. While most of the stories are about Mark, the larger plot beats still get to play out, without taking away from Marks’ development. The story of Mark’s mom Debbie (Sandra Oh) continues as she attempts to unravel a secret all on her own. By the end, she even has most of it figured out, as the episode ends with a confrontation and a looming intellectual cliffhanger. Then there’s also the mysterious story of Robot (Zachary Quinto). Despite his attempts at caring for and being by Monster Girl’s side, a larger mystery is brewing that we know nothing about.

The more ominously uplifting story arc of Invincible episode 6 is that of Eve (Gillian Jacobs). Her existentialist crisis continues as she finally decides to embrace her superhero alter ego. Leaving home, Eve decides to be a solo superhero, helping people and doing good. I can’t help but be scared at how incredibly optimistic and sweet her story arc is, given that these moments are usually followed by devastating tragedy. Or at least, that’s how other media has trained me to feel. Without knowing anything about the Invincible comic book, I’m hoping that Eve’s story doesn’t end in tears. Or something worse. 

Invincible episode 6 is streaming on Amazon Prime Video starting today. 

Featured image via Amazon Prime Video. 

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Shah Shahid is an entertainment writer, movie critic (so he thinks), host of the Split Screen Podcast (on Apple Podcasts & everywhere else) and filmy father on a mission to educate his girls on decades of film history. Armed with uncontrollable sarcasm and cautious optimism, Shah loves discussing film, television and comic book content until his wife’s eyes glaze over. So save her by engaging him on his own blog at BlankPageBeatdown.com or on Twitter @theshahshahid.

Amazon Prime StudioComic Book ShowInvincibleSteven Yeun

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