Friday, May 1, 2015

Recap: Avengers: United They Stand "Avengers Assemble, Part Two"

Hey, readers! So, you’ll never believe who contacted me out of the blue!

"Hello."
It’s the Critical Cablebox! Longtime readers of the NewtCave might remember that I did some View Logs on his blog a couple of years ago. How’ve you been, CritBox?

"I can't complain."
So, I was just about to recap the second episode of Avengers: United They Stand. Care to join me?

"Unfortunately, no. I have some... system updates to run."
Ah, well. Don’t be a stranger.

"Oh, I guarantee you'll be seeing more of me sooner than you think...."
Anyway, previously on Avengers: United They Stand, an evil android named Vision was sent to kill Ant-Man, but only succeeded in hurting the Falcon’s nephew, the President of the United States, and Wonder Man. Let’s see if his aim improves.

I mean, it's not like his aim could get worse.
Scarlet Witch rushes over to the barely-alive Wonder Man, who grunts in pain. And if that blast was meant for Ant-Man… well, I was going to ask why Vision didn’t set his eyes to “kill” instead of “stun,” but you could just argue that Wonder Man has some degree of invulnerability to go along with his other generic Superman powers.

"I feel fine."
"No, you're not, you'll be stone dead in a moment."
Next, Tigra arrives and lunges at Vision. What I find odd is that she's no longer making the exaggerated grunting sounds, but is instead making tiger snarls. The only way it could get any more ridiculous is if she started making both sets of noises at the same time. And yes, I’m perfectly aware that I’m tempting fate when I say that.

Ant-Man goes over to tend to Wonder Man as Vision just... um, decides to watch, I guess. Wonder Man's alive, but he's not doing too well. So the averagely-built Ant-Man picks the beefcake up onto his shoulder and tales him to safety as Vision watches.

This image has just demolished by suspension of disbelief.
Vision: "Ant-Man must be destroyed."

You really aren't in any sort of hurry to fulfill that primary function, are you, Vision?

Scarlet Witch does her changing of the winds of destiny to the ceiling, which causes some kind of red mist to descend.

Wrong.
Vision merely phases through her inexplicable attack and zaps her with his eye beams. Scarlet Witch shrieks in agony as Tigra watches from a ledge above the action. Why is she up there? How is she up there? Never explained.

Tigra: “Come on, Wasp! You and me can take that droid scrub!”

She and Wasp leap back into the fray as she starts making tiger noises and her exaggerated grunts. Only in the 90’s, ladies and gentlemen; these sounds need to be heard to be believed.

Tigra pulls a complicated maneuver (which Vision just remains motionless for) to wrap a rope around the evil android and tip him over.

Vision: "You are quite agile."

No, you just have the reflexes of a mountain.

Vision: "But I change my density at the speed of thought."

You must think really slowly.

But while Vision's distracted, Wasp flies up and zaps him in the head, shorting him out.

That's what you get for being made out of conductive metals.
An indeterminate amount of time later, Wonder Man is hooked up to machines in the medical lab. But not even Hank randomly defibrillating the massive, meaty man seems to help. Suddenly, Hawkeye pushes his way past Jarvis to burst into the room.

Hawkeye: "I heard what happened. Wonder Man's gonna be okay, right?"

Yeah. He's gonna go to live on a nice farm with fields to run in and squirrels to chase.

Hank Pym: "No, Hawkeye."

Well, you didn't have to be so blunt about it.

Hank Pym: "He's dying... And I can't do anything about it."
Hawkeye: "Hold it! You're not blaming this on me!"

Um... As near as I can tell, you're right, Hawkeye. He isn't. Did we skip a line of dialogue, or what?

Hank explains that Wonder Man's physiology is unique, which means that whatever the problem is, it’s nothing normal. His mind is perfectly fine, but his body has apparently decided to shut down. But Wasp points out that there's a perfectly good body right there on the other operating table. Vision's. And with Wonder Man's death becoming more and more imminent, the idea of a little mad science is growing more appealing by the second.

Hawkeye acts as the voice of reason for once and starts going off about how randomly downloading brains into unknown technology is a monumentally stupid idea as Scarlet Witch erupts in heavily-accented outrage.

Scarlet Witch: “Stop, stah- weet. Hyou want to t-uh- to teek Wonder Man’s mind... en-en put it in… in that thing!? What geevz you thah right to do this, ehhhh!?”
Hank Pym: “What gives me the right? We save what we can of Wonder Man, in that thing, or he dies right now!”
Scarlet Witch: “Hank… save him….”

Way to pull a 180.

So, um… is Scarlet Witch his official next-of-kin? Is she the one who gets to decide if the plug is pulled? Are you even a medical doctor, Pym? Is this covered by Wonder Man's insurance? Why aren’t there any actual doctors on staff for this team? And most important of all, why is brain-downloading Plan A? Screw it. Let the mad science begin!

Seriously, though. Why aren't there any nurses on staff if they have nurses' uniforms?
Back at Ultron's base, where it seems to be perpetually dark and stormy, Ultron is trying to fathom how Vision could possibly fail. But then he realizes… no, I’ll let it come out of Ultron’s mouth.

Ultron: “But when he awakens, I can reach him… and use him to destroy the Avengers from the inside!”

If by, “from inside” you mean “inside their building,” then how does this differ from your last plan, Ultron? Or do you somehow already know that they're trying to turn Vision into a good guy?

As he monologues, he puts on some armor, bringing his total number of forms to three. (And somehow, those shoulder pads are still growing.) Back with the Avengers, Ant-Man shrinks down and begins his fantastic voyage into Vision's brain. He applies a bit of science to the robobrain, and the mind upload soon begins. All that's left to do is wait.

As Hawkeye ponders the worst, Jarvis informs the team that there's a man with a bird at the door. Tigra, still making tiger noises for some reason, runs up to the screen, tells the others that it's Falcon, then runs right back to where she was. Sweet Odin, this is blocked worse than an elementary school play.

Hank lets her be the one to greet him, and she finds him in the main study, looking at the pictures of Thor, Captain America, and Iron Man. Bizarrely, she feels the need to tell him who the most famous heroes in the world are. Actually, here’s what she says.

Tigra: “These guys? That’s Thor and Iron Man. They founded the Avengers along with Ant-Man and the Wasp.”

So, why didn’t you tell him who Captain America was? Or mention that the Hulk was a founding Avenger too?

Falcon’s bird, Redwing, lands on Jarvis and puts his wing around him. Jarvis is not amused. This is supposed to be funny. Actually, it kind of is.

"Stick with me, Jeeves, we'll be running this place."
"Jarvis."
"Whatever."
Falcon finally gets down to it and tells Tigra that while things might be a bit hectic, he'd like to accept the offer to join the team.

So, when was the offer actually made? We saw Mr. Sikorsky demand that Falcon become a member, but the offer was never actually made to Falcon onscreen. This would explain why Tigra waffles a bit before she explains that you don't just join the Avengers, they have to ask you.

Hawkeye shoots some arrows at Falcon, ranting about how no newcomer can fill his or Wonder Man's boots.

Tigra: "Hey, take it easy, Hawkeye. I invited the Falcon here!"

When did this happen!? When was any of this established? This is only the second time we've seen Falcon! When did Tigra talk to him? When was the offer made?

Is Andrew dead or not?
As Falcon and Hawkeye nearly come to blows, Hank's face appears on the TV to deliver the good news. Vision is waking up. He looks at Wanda and briefly recognizes her before Ultron's programming takes over and makes him starts attacking the Avengers. As per usual, he doesn't kill Ant-Man, despite that being his primary mission. Tigra tells the mansion computer to lock the mansion down as she, Hawkeye, and Falcon head down to the lab. After a quick fight, Vision get electrocuted once again. But as he snaps out of it....

Vision: "Hawk... eye? Is that... you?"

False alarm; Vision just thinks he's looking at Alan Alda.
But the flood of memories is too much, and Vision collapses once again. Over with Ultron, he's gloating over yet another plan to bring down the Avengers.

My God, the shoulder pads... they've been weaponized.
Ultron: "Revenge is a dish best... served... hot."

Way to butcher an ancient Klingon proverb.

Ultron and his new army of drones fly off to go wreak some hot revenge. Meanwhile, Wonder Man's body is in what appears to be the bacta tank from The Empire Strikes Back. As he gently bobs, Wasp is working some tests on the Vision.

Wasp: "Vital signs all appear normal. But... how do you feel?"
Vision: "Feel? No... Sense of touch. Sensation. Feeling. The quality of a thing as imparted through touch."

Yeah, Spock had a bit of trouble with that question, too.

Hawkeye comes in to talk to his newly-roboticized buddy, but the android is having a bit of an identity crisis.  While he recognizes the name "Wonder Man" as his own, he also recognizes the name "Vision."

Hawkeye: "It didn't work."
Hank Pym: "I never said he'd be Wonder Man."

No, you just heavily implied it. Isn’t that why you did this operation in the first place?

Hank Pym: "But there is something of Wonder Man inside him!"

At Wanda's urging, Vision explains that remembers that she's important for some reason; but he doesn't exactly remember why. After Vision expresses regret over attacking them, Hank chalks this up to a win.

Hank Pym: "That's a human emotion! Don't you see? That's Wonder Man talking!"

Hawkeye dismisses this, but attentions are soon drawn to Ultron's drones attacking the mansion. Hank activates the outer defenses, but Ultron starts powering through. The mansion's computer can't identify Ultron, and neither can Hank, despite seeing his rather distinctive face on the monitor. But Vision remembers Ultron, and seeing his creator sparks memories in the android. After Vision fights some programmed urges, Hank realizes that whatever's attacking now must be behind Vision's attacks.

Everyone runs off to fight, save for Hawkeye and Vision.

Hawkeye: "They don't want me."
Vision: "You are wrong. Hawkeye. They want you. And. They need you."

The pep talk from somebody Hawkeye hates works, for some reason, and we get to see the armor transformation sequence to pad out the running time. Vision's programming continues to reboot to factory settings as he manages to escape his bonds. Ultron finally blasts his way through the defenses, where the Avengers are waiting for him.

Ant-Man: "Pattern-K Formation, go!"

And despite this being Falcon's first mission, he knows exactly what to do in "Pattern-K Formation."

"Simply perform an aileron roll on his six, drop the payload, then pull a Crazy Ivan to reconvene."
"You lost me after 'simply.'"
A little bit of teamwork and a few bombs later, and Ultron is still immensely unfazed as drones make their way to Simon in the lab. Vision emerges from the mansion to save Ant-Man, which Ultron apparently ignores as he taunts his creator and drops hints about his identity.

Ant-Man: "It can't be; Ultron was destroyed!"

Well, that didn't stop him from showing up in Avengers Assemble without any explanation.

Ultron zaps Hank, who quickly turns into a giant and back to block the attack.

"Quickly! Everybody just stand here and do nothing!"
Hank exposits about what almost everyone present already knows; Ultron was built to save the world.

Ant-Man: "To serve humanity, not destroy it!”

Ultron gloats for a bit about how he's the greatest thing on Earth, perfect in every way, a paragon of self-induced evolution, blah blah blah. The other Avengers decide to jump him, and Ultron tries to command Vision to attack. But Ultron responds with an energy blast, doing more damage to his creator than anyone else so far.

Vision: “You created my body. But the Avengers recreated my mind.”

If only you could just fire a missile at Ant-Man and leave before Vision can attack you again.
But it's not like you have built in missiles oh wait.
Ultron vows revenge and flies away. As the Avengers head inside the mansion, they discover that Wonder Man’s body is gone.

Hank Pym: “This was Ultron’s plan; to take Wonder Man’s body. This was all a diversion!”

So why was he so fixated on simply killing you in the beginning? Why wasn’t Simon the primary target? Why was Ultron after a limp and lifeless body that he didn’t even know was limp and lifeless? How come not a single bit of the plot makes sense?

Scarlet Witch screams in anguish… but enough of that, Vision and Falcon get to have an induction ceremony in the morning! Complete with new armor for Falcon and a shiny belt buckle with the Avengers logo on it for Vision. And I think you’ll all agree that’s more important than going after a kidnapped teammate. At least Hawkeye looks suitably bummed about the whole thing. He’s over in the corner looking at a picture of himself, Captain America, and Wonder Man.

Hawkeye: “I wouldn’t have been an Avenger without Wonder Man… and I’m not gonna rest until I find him.”

"Why can't I quit you?"
Hank assures Hawkeye that they’ll do everything they can to find his boyfriend teammate, and Hawkeye is let back on the team.

Hank Pym: “You were never out, buddy.”

Yeah, he totally was. That’s why you’re handing him back his Avengers badge.

Anyway....

"I've finished."
Finished with what?

"I'll tell you after the Review."
Oh, okay. Then let's review this 90's-fest!

3 comments:

  1. This show is so 90's it hurts

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    Replies
    1. Yeah... but I can't help but love it.

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    2. Yeah, it's kinda good in a dumb kind of way

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