Season 1 Episode 5
That Actually Hurt
Official Description – Feeling confident in his new abilities, Mark risks a team-up with a local villain to take down a crime lord, while simultaneously juggling school and a new relationship.
In the opener, Titan commits various destructive acts including confronting several men in a warehouse. However, he also performs small kindnesses for his victims. It becomes apparent that he is a man at odds with his own behavior and this becomes his character arc throughout the episode. Academy Award winning Mahershala Ali brings a humanity to the character Titan that makes you root for him.
Later, we see Mark’s evolution as a superhero. After having powers for around three months, he has become confident to the point of cockiness. Also, while training with his father, we see that he is learning to use ruthless means to bring out about his desired results. We also see him struggle in his school work and relationships due to his time spent saving the world. In a moment of levity, the show pays homage to a favorite 90s era TV show that is worth noting.
Debbie Grayson is also featured heavily in this episode. Her growing mistrust of Nolan, leads her to conduct an investigation of her own. The more she suspects of his involvement with the previous Guardians of the Globe, the harder it is for her to hide her dismay. I feel an extreme empathy for her character. She has the difficult role of guiding a son she cannot completely relate to, and staving off the condescending influence of the man she loves.
When Titan contacts Invincible and asks for help taking down Machine Head, he looks to his parents advice. The two different parenting approaches and temperaments are on full display. It is here that Debbie’s influence is highlighted, and I can’t help wondering what role she will play in future episodes. We also see signals of Nolan’s true nature that will play a pivotal, if obscure, role during the episode.
When Mark and Titan confront Machine Head, chaos ensues. Eventually, the new Guardians of the Globe are called in to assist and a new enemy shows his strength. However, during the battle, a tragedy occurs that forces the Guardians to re-evaluate the way they interact as a team. And finally, a surprising villain takes the forefront.
Meanwhile, Eve deals with family trouble and Amber struggles in her relationship with Mark. Robot makes a surprising deal. And a deadly plan from the Global Defense Agency is revealed.
This episode is all about revelations and humility. The new Guardians of the Globe are arrogant and believe that their new position means they are the best, and do not have to work for their achievements. When they are proven wrong, I practically cheered. It was both satisfying and heartbreaking to see their struggle. And I look forward to seeing the character growth that develops from all of them.