Thursday, August 13, 2015

Recap: Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. "A Druff is Enough"

Space. The final frontier. These are the voyages of the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. Their continuing mission: To ignore brand new plots. To seek out mediocrity and stagnation. To boldly homage Star Trek episodes that have been homaged many times before!

...Wait, didn't I make that joke at the beginning of this season? Ah, whatever. Star Trek homage.

It's always "Mirror, Mirror" this and "The Trouble with Tribbles" that. Why no love for "The Enterprise Incident"?
NewtCave log, Stardate: Thursday. The Hulks are still in space.

...Wait, didn't A-Bomb make that joke at the beginning of this season? Geez, maybe I shouldn't go so long between Recaps.

Speaking of A-Bomb, he's expositing to the camera that the SMASHers find themselves in the Large Magellanic Cloud today, meaning that this whole time, the Hulks have been outside the Milky Way. Which makes me wonder what the Guardians of the Galaxy were doing guarding a planet that wasn't within the galaxy.

I'm just saying, if they want to branch out, maybe they should call themselves the Guardians of the Universe?

"We wanted to, but these little blue guys threatened to sue us for copyright infringement."
Either way, it means that the Hulks are now about 50 kiloparsecs away from Earth, a distance that takes light about 163,000 years to travel. And that’s about how long the average episode of Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. feels.

A-Bomb was a bit of an idiot earlier, so no change there, and steered the ship into a meteor belt while trying to fly the ship. So now the others are making him repair the damage. Skaar’s helping, but he’s a bit distracted by a sound coming from a nearby asteroid. And somewhere, Stephen Hawking finds himself spontaneously shedding a tear.

Anyway, he spots a furry little creature, which a helpful caption informs us is a titular Druff.

I'm sure it's supposed to be cute....
Back in the ship, Red Hulk is getting a bit impatient for the wormhole that supposedly leads back to Earth once a decade.

She-Hulk: “Even if we wait, this shortcut will cut years off our journey home.”

And if Star Trek: Voyager taught us anything, they’re not going to make it home any time soon. Or maybe the writers got tired of having the Hulks be lost in space.

There’s some more exposition about how they have to turn Leader in for framing them for the crime of destroying Vista Verde, and I’ll just save my ranting on that matter for when they actually get to Earth.

Anyway, they get an incoming transmission, and it’s Ronan the Accuser, who has suddenly decided to be a recurring villain after getting humiliated in the "Planet Hulk" two-parter. Ronan is delivering a message that basically amounts to “Hey, if you see the Agents of S.M.A.S.H., turn them in.”

Ronan: “Worst among them… is the one called ‘Hulk!’”

No, A-Bomb’s the least tolerable one, in my opinion. But yet, Ronan starts going on and on about how the Hulk is so terrible because he lies.

Ronan: “He is without honor!”

What are you, a Klingon?
Ronan goes on to declare that if the Hulks don’t turn themselves in, then he’ll have no choice but to invade Earth. Because I guess genocide is the “honorable” thing to do. So now there’s a race to beat Ronan to Earth to prevent its horrible destruction. So naturally, we cut back to A-Bomb and Skaar trying to coax the Druff out of hiding. Because that's what we want to see when the stakes are high, apparently. It takes a liking to Skaar and starts rubbing against his leg.

A-Bomb: “Cuddle factor of 9!”

Shut up, Neelix.

A-Bomb: “He reminds me of Devil Dinosaur. I sure miss him. What do you think Devil’s doing right now?”

I sent this picture to my sister. Her response: "Ew. Also, no."
Luckily, the wormhole opens and Hulk gives the order to get back to the ship so they can go. A-Bomb asks if they can keep the Druff. Hulk vetoes that because the Druff might be dangerous. A-Bomb "tries" to leave the thing behind, but finds that one snuck aboard the ship with him. So instead of doing the sensible thing and throwing it out the airlock, he hides it in a maintenance panel.

She-Hulk begins the approach to the wormhole, but multiple systems start failing, necessitating some quick rerouting of power from the weapons to the engines. But even so, they crash on a giant meteor. And to make things worse, the wormhole closes in an hour. The Leader offer his help to the SMASHers, which makes Hulk suspicious. After all, why would Hulk's sworn enemy offer his help?

Leader: “Because so far, everything we’ve encountered out her so far has wanted to eat or blow us up. All of us. And I refuse to perish beside you.”

Hey, I like this guy’s standards.

So, desperate, Hulk frees the Leader, warning him not to try anything funny. Meanwhile, Red Hulk gives his take on the situation.

Red Hulk: “You ask me, this rust bucket’s infested with gremlins.”
A-Bomb: “Ehhh, gremlins?”
She Hulk: “Old Air Force lore. Little creeps who rip up the insides of planes.”

Gotta say, this wasn't the William Shatner reference I was expecting to make today.
A-bomb investigates where he left his “Little Devil,” only to be followed by the Leader and the others. The Leader’s scanner indicates that whatever is in the panel behind A-Bomb is causing the ship-wide failure, so he investigates, finding chewed-up wires. A-Bomb grabs Skaar and goes off with him to look for the Druff, which Skaar finds by his smell, barking and pointing like a dog.

Because of course he does.
They find him chewing up some wires behind another panel while the other SMASHers help reconnect some power cable. The Druff, not Skaar. While they others are distracted, the Leader places a mysterious call. One of A-Bomb's cameras captures footage of it happening. That footage will not become important.

As the power gets restored, Skaar makes a discovery. There’s more than one Druff aboard. While he and A-Bomb give chase, She-Hulk tries to fly into the wormhole. These two plot threads collide as Skaar chases a Druff onto the bridge. A-Bomb tries to explain that they snuck onboard themselves.

Leader: “You… you brought Druffs onto my ship? Druffs are the most dangerous vermin in the galaxy!”

"Tell me, do they still sing songs of the Great Druff Hunt?"
Leader explains that Druffs consume electricity and multiply, meaning that is shaping up into a weird mix of “The Trouble with Tribbles” and Gremlins. Also, Druffs multiply when something hits them, meaning that smashing them is useless.

Multiple Man called. He wants his powers back.
After hijinks begin to ensue, Ronan’s ship suddenly appears to block the way to Earth and start firing lasers and launching fighter ships. Taking a page out of Han Solo’s book, the Hulk tells Jen to head back into the asteroid field for cover. After we break up this tense moment with a lame cutaway gag, things aren’t actually looking too bad. Red Hulk is managing to blow up a few enemy ships, and most of the Druffs have been stuffed into the Leader’s hamster ball prison. After a gag where Skaar tries to eat one and gets zapped in the attempt….

I love the look on his face. It's like he's embarrassed by what's happening. And he should be.
Leader laments that the Druffs will be their doom. A-Bomb insists that they’re just doing what comes natural, which gives Hulk the idea to shut down the power.

Hulk: “If the Druffs eat energy, then the only way to stop ‘em is to starve ‘em!”

Okay. What about life support? Air? Gravity? No? Not going to bring any of that up? Why am I not surprised?

She-Hulk is tasked with finding a place in the belt to hide. In an odd return to the “webshow” dynamic that was missing since they blurred out Peter Parker’s face, A-Bomb explains that there weren’t any cameras outside the ship, so he’s using old footage to fill in the gap.

Okay, you know what? This is funny. I'll admit it.
They end up inside an asteroid.

Hulk: “Good idea to hide in this cave, Rick.”
A-Bomb: “I saw it in a movie once."

Yeah? And how'd that actually work out for them, Rick?
She-Hulk shuts down all the power (except for gravity and air, but whatever) and the SMASHers get to work rounding up the rest of them so they can eject them into space. A-Bomb gets them all into the same chamber and prepares to eject them… when he wonders if just dumping them and running is the right thing to do to the little guys. The obvious answer is “yes,” and even Skaar points out how much of an idiot A-Bomb’s being.

Skaar: “First lie make ship crash. Second lie doom Hulks for good.”

"Skaar has eaten books. And even Skaar think you're being a moron."
Meanwhile, Ronan continues his search for the Hulks while taunting them over the communications channels. A-Bomb comes in and claims that he took care of the Druffs. Although Skaar looks a bit unimpressed with A-Bomb, so we can assume otherwise. But all attention is on Leader when the ship suddenly launches an emergency flare.

Leader: “Don’t look at me! Must have been a short circuit….”

The ship gets caught in Ronan’s tractor beam as Ronan messages them that unless they surrender, Earth will be destroyed with a black hole generator. I imagine they got the technology from Spock after the destruction of Romulus.

With Earth at risk, Hulk surrenders to Ronan. Once aboard Ronan’s ship, the SMASHers unleash their cunning plan: Attack. They attack the Kree soldiers, who apparently never expected the Hulks to fake a surrender. Now that I mention it, faking a surrender is looked down upon here on Earth. Just saying, the Hulks are using dirty tactics usually ascribed to villains.

But even with such dirty pool being played, they manage to subdue all the Hulks with their energy whips. The Leader comes out and asks for his reward for turning over the Hulk, leading all the SMASHers to vow revenge in their own way. The reward that Ronan will give to the Leader isn't money or glory, it's the planet Earth. Because handing over an entire planet to a fascist dictator is more honorable than lying, I guess?

The Kree soldiers go to search the ship, leading A-Bomb to start spinning a yarn about not letting the Kree get their hands on the Orb of Truth. In a cutaway, A-Bomb explains that they helped the Guardians of the Galaxy take the Orb to a peace conference last Christmas. Or as he says….

A-Bomb (cutaway): “…in another episode that you really should watch. It was awwwwwesommmme!”

So… that episode he’s referencing hadn’t even officially aired by the time this episode came out, though you could find it online illegally.

Did A-Bomb just tell us to pirate this show?
A-Bomb tricks the Leader into opening the cargo hold to prove him wrong, causing all the Druffs to spill out everywhere.

Sounds a bit familiar....
They get into Ronan’s electronics, and Ronan blames the Leader for everything. The Hulks end up escaping back to their own ship, but not before the Hulk delivers a speech to Ronan about how he only lied about helping the Kree because he realized helping them would be wrong.

Hulk: “And that doesn’t make me a liar!”

Hulk gives Ronan’s hammer to the Druffs, and they all escape, leaving the Druffs in Ronan's ship.

"Where they'll be no Tribble at all."
After a close call, they escape into the wormhole successfully and stick Leader in the bathroom as punishment. A-Bomb apologizes for causing the whole problem and Hulk forgives him because the episode's almost over. Red Hulk and She-Hulk, however? They start prepping knuckle sandwiches and chase him through the ship.

Hulk (cutaway): “One lie always leads to another. And another. Sooner or later, the truth’ll catch up with you.”

And with A-Bomb’s cries of pain and protest, the episode ends. And now I'll discuss my own cries of pain and protest.

6 comments:

  1. To be fair, that episode also aired in for example, Poland. Maybe A-Bomb wants us to move to Poland.

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  2. Yeah, I forgot about the fact that overseas viewers tend to get episodes early. So I'll concede that he might be telling us to move overseas to catch episodes early, which I can assure you would not be worth it.

    Still, A-Bomb never exactly specified HOW to watch an episode that was left unaired in many regions....

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  3. You know, kind of unrelated, but you should do something special for the last HatAoS episode like... I don't know... having A-Bomb trying to take over your blog

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    Replies
    1. Rest assured, there are special plans for the final Agents of SMASH episode. ;)

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