Last Thursday, Amazon Prime released the eighth and final episode of their hit animated show “Invincible” to audiences everywhere. Following an introductory season that took the world by storm with its gritty undertones and unique spin on the superhero genre, there seemed to be high expectations for an exceptional second season. Initially releasing the first four episodes of the second season back in the fall, Amazon allowed the ultimate half of the season to garner even more anticipation prior to its release in the past couple of months. Luckily, part two of the season delivered on all fronts.

Episode five of season two, the first episode of part two, aired on March 14, concluding with episode eight on April 4. The storyline picks up following a massive twist at the end of part one in which Invincible is reintroduced to season one’s primary antagonist, his father Omni-Man.

Part two opens with the titular character, also known as Mark Grayson (Steven Yeun), returning to Earth after rekindling a relationship with his seemingly changed father (J.K. Simmons). Before voyaging back to Earth, he brings his alien half brother, a Viltrumite-Thraxan mix eventually bestowed the name Oliver (Lincoln Bodin) by Mark’s mother Debbie (Sandra Oh). Much of part two’s main story stems from Mark’s struggle to be there both for his superhero organization and those who need him at home. In typical “Invincible” fashion, no punches are pulled in terms of the absolute brutality faced by Mark and everyone he holds dear.

Overall, the story is one of the strongest aspects of the latest entries in the series. The world-building is intricate and appreciated, and the writers’ indifference to killing off half of their characters makes the stakes of every battle feel real and tangible. There are twists and turns galore, and the patented in-your-face style of storytelling keeps the viewer’s eyes glued to the television. Despite a small lack of focus, season two of “Invincible” feels like an even more contained and developed storyline than season one, which is very much appreciated following what felt like a more staggered and episodic approach originally.

Complimenting the strong central plotline is fantastic dialogue, characters and, most clearly, voice acting. The cast is, to be frank, stacked. Yeun, Simmons, Oh, Seth Rogen, Mark Hamill and Jason Mantzoukas — the list really goes on. Each character’s voice is distinctly recognizable and fits their characterization to a tee. Because of this, dialogue really becomes a cornerstone of this surprisingly emotional animated show, allowing each interpersonal interaction to hold some serious weight in the eyes of the viewer. These actors and actresses know how to bring life to a script without even getting the chance to express these emotions physically, promoting a deep connection between the audience and on-screen events. The focus on dialogue is reflective of a style becoming more popular in the animated medium, and although the show is just as visually shocking, the script and readings stand on their own as a testament to the passion behind the “Invincible” creative process.

In terms of visuals, something must be said about the weakest quality of the second season, that being the animation. The first season was criticized heavily for its sometimes shoddy framing and speech animations, and the second season is no different. It gets a little frustrating, especially when the actual subject matter is so visually interesting. The execution just doesn’t seem up to par with the other aspects of the show, and it’s definitely something that could be improved upon moving forward.

Otherwise, there isn’t much to talk about in the way of what the production team got wrong in this second half. The show is unapologetically “Invincible” at its finest. Brutal fights, tense emotions and quick jokes make for a poignant entry in the show’s young lifespan. Season two part two adds upon an attention-grabbing first half and concludes in a spectacular manner. Everything season one does great, season two does just as well.

Overall: 4/5