Omi-Man’s ultimate homicidal postal moment at the end of Invincible season one was always going to have immense ramifications extending beyond Mark a breath away from dying. What I appreciate from “A Lesson For Your Next Life” is that it approaches Where I Really Come From’s final moments from an extended range of levels. A key is not glossing over the extensive damage and deaths that occurred within the city of Chicago. Not only do they have to rebuild, but they live in fear that Omni-Man could come back at any point with little to stop him.
Mark has so much to consider from a personal level and his alter-ego, Invincible – some of that is out of his control. The father he knows as Nolan is gone forever, and a home is broken. Deborah has to sit and know her years-long marriage was a lie, and her husband thought of her as a pet. Other than Olga, whose spouse was murdered by Omni-Man, she is the only person she can confide in, ironically because Mark has another series of obstacles to forge through. As a superhero, Invincible returns to the spot where he almost died, and a month feels like years of pain.
With his world-saving ventures, he’s not out front and perhaps as cocky as he was in the first season. As he tells Samantha/Atom Eve, Mark is afraid of potentially becoming his father one day. Besides trying to keep his anger in check when talking to Cecil, the episode has an interesting way of laying out the potential. It may have thrown people off seeing Invincible teaming up with Omni-Man to take over Earth at the beginning of “A Lesson For Your Next Life.” However, it’s chilling and valuable for the other story brewing in the background. In this alternative universe, Invincible has been practicing paralyzing people, and Omni-Man makes a flippant comment about it.
Imagine if that team-up ever occurred. Mark could have all the best intentions in the world, but the possibility remains. It's about intention. It’s why a resurrected Immortal gives Invincible the side eye (can you blame him?), and Cecil is quick to either put Mark on ice and then on a “short leash” with the Guardians of the Globe. What if the massacre happens again on their watch? It’s unfair, but you can see why people feel like they do.
That’s where Angstrom Levy’s inclusion comes in teaming up with The Mauler Twins in the range of the multiverse. I understand there might be some multiple-dimension fatigue in sci-fi, but Invincible attaches it to the main story well. Levy is particularly intelligent and operating from a good place in trying to stop these instances of Invincible and Omni-Man destroying universes and perhaps taking the good from each one to help others. In theory, it’s very noble of him and funny he would have to go to the twins for help with the machine.
Removing the helmet was not smart and, in hindsight, an oddball choice for such a character to make– even if he objected to the clones of Mauler nearing killing Invincible. The deformed version of Levy is here to become the main villain, but it also slips into the theme of Invincible being guilty by association. Even with Mark briefly celebrating getting into college with Amber, it’s short-lived because he feels like he had a hand in these mass atrocities. It will be intriguing to see how the show navigates this after the period and if Mark can hit the reset button with the threat consistently over him and so closely related.