Why did Nolan beat the crap out of Mark?
Foolishly, Nolan believes that Mark will pledge blind allegiance to Viltrum and help his father overthrow Earth, despite the fact that Nolan’s lived his entire life on the planet and all the people he loves live there, too. Nolan tries to explain to Mark that, as a Viltrumite, he will outlive his human friends and family by hundreds of years, and that it’s not worth getting attached to inferior beings. Unsurprisingly, Mark refuses to help Nolan on his mission and instead fights to stop him, to no avail.
On one hand, Nolan pulverizes Mark because he’s resisting Viltrum and its grand plans. But on the other, he’s trying to beat sense into his son and show him the insignificance of the human race by murdering hundreds of people on a whim and soaking Mark in their blood. It’s a truly twisted form of tough love that he learned from his wickedly Darwinian upbringing on Viltrum, and it clearly isn’t swaying Mark in his valiant stand for the planet he calls home.
Why did Nolan stop beating the crap out of Mark?
In the middle of Nolan’s shocking, brutal beatdown of his son, he’s stricken by a memory of one of Mark’s childhood softball games. Nolan was perturbed that he had to watch his son play a trivial game when he could be out doing more “important” superhero things, but when Debbie opens his eyes to the value of their son’s wide-eyed perspective on the world, he’s awakened to the beauty of humanity.
In the flashback, he’s holding Mark up to the sky after he hit a home run, his missing front baby teeth making the moment all the more wholesome. Then we’re violently snapped back to the present, where Mark is lying in a pool of his own blood, missing his teeth for an entirely different reason. When he asks Mark what he will have left in 500 years when everyone he loves is dead and gone, he replies, “I’d have you, dad.”
Nolan ultimately shows Mark mercy and abandons his post on Earth, shedding a tear as he breaks through the planet’s upper atmosphere. Against all logic, it seems that Nolan does have real feelings for Earth and its people after all, fight as he may to suppress them.
What is Cecil up to in the labs?
After fully recovering from the severe injuries sustained at the hands of his father, Mark is approached by Cecil who asks him whether he “still wants to be a hero or not.” With Omni-Man gone, the planet will need a new primary protector, and Cecil thinks Mark would be a fine replacement.