Doctor Doom is not very good at villainy. At least, that's the case in Avengers Assemble.
Think about it. His episodes up to this point had him trying and failing to become a threat by hijacking some Asgardian artifact and trying to bend it to his will.
|Or trying to prove that his... hammer was bigger than Thor's.|
And he would have gotten away with it, too, if it hadn't been for those meddling Avengers and their pesky Captain America. Dr. Doom thought he was using Cap as a pawn (IT IS A META-4), when Cap was engaged in some chessmastery of his own.
This episode could have been phenomenal. But it wasn't. It was good, but despite a good premise and a clever solution on Captain America's part, this episode falls a bit short of being "great." It's all in the pacing. Simply put, this episode has no pacing.
Whether it be the short stand-off at the beginning that kind of fizzles out, quickly cutting to the UN speech, or that slog of Cabal attacks that went on and on and on and just kept repeating itself, this episode never felt like it was building up to anything. Rather, things just kept happening.
Don't get me wrong, there was a logical progression to the events, but there was not payoff. Not even with the ending. Sure, it was clever, but it wasn't really that satisfying. Tension was building as Dr. Doom got away with Stark's data... only for the data to be a bit of malware that infected Dr. Doom's mainframe. It's leaning into a bit of deus ex machina territory.
Man, what is it with this show? I'm trying to compliment the character arc of the villain and the clever twist, and yet all I can really do is poke holes and nitpick. I mean, you know, more than usual.
But really, every single thing I watch comes down to a single important question.
Did I enjoy what I watched?
While Doom's character arc was progressing logically, and while the episode had a clever twist to the ending, the vast majority of the episode is just rinsed-and-repeated Avengers/Cabal fights. And for the rotten cherry on the sundae, Black Widow wasn't in this episode. Which is weird, because you'd think Nick Fury would want both of his Avengers agents on the job, not just Hawkeye.
Still, I've seen worse episodes, though such faint praise is kind of damning this episode.
Next time, we get to deal with Thor's daddy issues. See you then.