Mark, we need to talk.
These four words by Nolan Grayson reveal a vulnerable side we’ve never witnessed from Omni-Man. This moment was the most vulnerable we’ve seen him in Invincible to this point. Yes, even more than after brutally killing the Guardians Of The Globe. Mark doesn’t realize is that his father lives a completely different life than him. It’s not only another planet, Viltrum, but it’s the world inside Nolan’s mind. Inside Nolan’s mind, it’s an insatiable need for control.
There are people we encounter in life every day that are control freaks. They can’t stand the idea of someone doing however they please. They also abhor a person who doesn’t have the same viewpoints as they do. It’s the person who wants the A on the project and you to thank them for it. When Nolan trains Mark, he expects the absolute best. Under the guise of fatherly love, he chides him for not showing the same discipline. When Nolan tells Mark not to help Titan in the fifth episode, he ends up being right on the surface. In reality, it’s a lack of empathy from Nolan’s perspective that was his concern. He finds the request “beneath” his son’s abilities. He talks about wanting to focus on the big picture. Omni-Man aims to conquer Earth.
Omni-Man is all about controlling the message and the narrative. When Debbie finds out that he killed the Guardians, Nolan doesn’t show remorse. He doesn’t even try to explain or give a justifiable reason for his actions. He attempts to use Debbie’s love for him against her, but what he doesn’t realize is that she and Cecil now understand who and what they’re dealing with. It’s only then that Nolan abandons the perfect mirage of a personality that he’s displayed.
Another example of having control and exerting that power and fear is Nolan with his tailor Art. He knows that Art discussed his extracurriculars with his wife. Nolan can easily kill him, but he casually has a beer with him and plays on his fear. He uses indirect threats to make Art understand his position:
One day it seems like you have all the time in the world, and the next it’s gone.
When Nolan rips through the government, it’s a loss of control at play. It’s in all of that death and destruction that we see a desperate, psychotic version of himself. The only thing holding him back from a complete loss is Mark. In his last gasp at being able to control his plan, his ideology, and most importantly, his son. One can assume that Mark won’t respond kindly to all of the horrors his father has inflicted. Great parenting happens when you start controlling yourself rather than your child. We can only fear that the only thing Nolan understands is control, but it’ll never be himself. In more ways than one, Mark will have to prove if he is Invincible or not.