Friday, January 31, 2014

Recap: Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. "Red Rover"

Hey, do you guys remember the fact that the Hulks went and picked up a dinosaur a few episodes ago? In this episode, the writers did. Actually, let's discuss Devil Dinosaur for a second. As commenter Yusei has noted previously, Devil Dinosaur is not actually called Red Rover in the comics. This has led to the paradox of Devil having two names. And it's the one they made up and rarely use that forms the title of this episode. What does this mean? I don't know; I don't write the episodes, I just review 'em.

Red Rover, Red Rover, send good episodes over.
The episode begins with Rick's big blue face right in the camera. He tells the "Hulk-a-punksters" watching that he's up bright and early to play a joke on Red Hulk. But when Rick shows up to Red Hulk's bedroom with some warm water for bed wetting, he notices a conspicuous absence of both Rulk as well as Rulk's bed.

Elsewhere, a sleeping Rulk is being buried by Devil Dinosaur like a dog burying a bone. Now, I know for a fact that there's at least one paleontologist reading this who cringed at that last sentence. (You know who you are.) But as you may have been able to guess from the title of the episode, Devil Dinosaur will just be written like a big, scaly dog. Because "comedy." For the aforementioned paleontologist, weeping softly is both encouraged and recommended.

Anyway, Devil heads back to base, and Rulk bursts free and follows suit. Back at base, Devil Dinosaur enjoys a tummy rub from She-Hulk and Rick like the big, friendly puppy he isn't. Hulk even gets in on the fun by offering Devil a "treat" that appears to be whatever tips over Fred's car in the intro to the Flintstones.  Rulk bursts in and goes on a tirade about how Devil Dinosaur buries him every morning, apparently oblivious to the idea of locking his door. Either that, or Devil Dinosaur learned how to open doors like a Velociraptor. Rulk whips out a gun to go all Old Yeller on Devil, and we fade out to the intro.

Hulkstones! Meet the Hulkstones!
When the show resumes, Hulk disarms Rulk, who tries to get Skaar on his side by offering him "dinoburgers" when the deed is done. Skaar likes the idea until he realizes that he'd be eating his friend. The others gang up on Rulk, and he backs off. But he's far from done. In the cutaway, Rick elaborates to the camera about how Devil really likes Red Hulk, for whatever reason.

Rick: "...or it could be Devil sees Red as a fellow dinosaur. Or maybe a pet! That's probably it."

Later, Hulk and Shulk discuss with each other whether or not Rulk would actually follow through on his threats. Hulk doubts it and turns his mind to other things.

Hulk: "Speaking of pets, we have a new one to look after."

We then cut to the Leader, in his cell doing some math on a wall with a spoon, using mashed potatoes for ink. Hulk taps on the glass and taunts him, and the Leader reveals that he's keeping his mind sharp by planning escape attempts and villain alliances. And to think that I thought the Hulks had problems keeping secrets.

As the Leader eats, he starts trying to play mind games to get Hulk and Shulk on his side. They easily shrug it off and leave, Leader vows revenge, and Red Hulk tricks Devil Dinosaur onto the Hulkjet, beginning the actual plot of the episode. Rulk tries to drop off Devil in various locations, including a petting zoo (guess how that ends), a museum, and finally, an "isolated mountain forest" somewhere in Eastern Europe. He lands the ship, throws a tree for Devil to chase after, and takes off back to Vista Verde, leaving behind a sad dinosaur.

As Rulk flies off, looking forward to a good night's sleep, an incoming radio message informs him that's he's violated Latverian airspace. Flying drones launch from Castle Doom and open fire on the Hulkjet. Rulk takes them out easily, but is suddenly confronted by Doctor Doom in powered armor, who shoots down the Hulkjet.

Doctor Doom: "Welcome to Latveria."

Rulk wakes up strapped to a table as Doctor Doom plays a pipe organ. Doom complements the floating cameras, saying that even he watches Rick's webshow. (I guess I was right. Who else watches the Hulks on YouTube? Ultron?) Anyway, he zaps the Hulk with electricity and begins his evil plan. He unveils his giant robot and outlines his plan to power it with Gamma energy in order to have the power of the Hulk without turning into a monster himself.

Red Hulk: "Oh, right, 'cause you're not a monster."

He suits up and begins to drain Rulk's Gamma energy. Meanwhile, at the Gamma base, a slightly comedic scene occurs where the Leader offers promises and bribes to a nodding Skaar, who turns out to have been listening to music the whole time. Even Matt Murdock could have seen that punchline coming from a mile away. The only important thing to note is that the Leader namedrops Skaar's homeworld of "Sakaar." Will we be getting a "Planet Hulk" adaptation? I don't know, I'm still trying to figure out what the heck a "Hulk-a-punkster" is.

Anyway, Devil Dinosaur comes across the crashed jet and lets out a mournful cry. Back at Castle Doom, Red Hulk's screams of pain alert Devil to his location. Just as Doom completes powering up his armor and bragging about his plan, Rulk leaps up and takes a good swing at the robot. As Doom retaliates, Devil Dinosaur rushes in and attacks the giant robot, knocking it down. Doom blasts Devil, and this angers Red Hulk enough to attack Doom's power cells, gaining back some strength before getting knocked down again. Doom takes this opportunity to taunt some more, and Rulk takes that opportunity to jump back up and absorb more of his stolen Gamma power, shorting out the giant armor. Rulk and Devil run off to steal one of Doom's jets and take off in a general Westerly direction.

Naturally, Rulk forgot to account for the security override, and the jet blows up over the sea. Doom, in his armor, (the big one, not the armor he always wears) checks the wreckage for survivors and finds nothing. He takes off back to his castle, and Rulk and Devil go back home in an Indiana Jones-esque red-dotted-line montage. They arrive back at Vista Verde after who knows how long, only to be attacked by Doctor Doom. Doom proceeds to attack the Gamma Base in his revenge against Rulk, and the rest of the Hulks join in the fight on their flying surfboards. Ah, those flying surfboards. Did I already make a "the 90's called" joke?

Anyway, the Hulks proceed to open up a can of Hulk Smash, but Doom manages to fight them off. That is, until they manage to knock him out of his giant armor and into the Gamma Base itself. Doom plans a hasty retreat, but the Leader notices him and pipes up.

Leader: "Brilliant plan, sir! Battling your way into Hulk's inner sanctum to liberate me!"
Doom: "And you are...?"
Leader: "The Leader!"
Doom: "The Leader of...?"
Leader: "The world? The conquest of humankind? You know, 'The Leader?'"
Doom: "...oh, yes. Ah, tell me, does the Hulk keep surplus Gamma reserves on hand?"

The Leader points him towards the nearby reactor, and Doom gets to draining it. The Leader squees and fangasms over Doom's Gamma powered armor, and starts babbling about an upcoming team-up, but Doom turns him down. You know, it's rare when a TV show has a guest villain come in and basically prove that the main villain of the show is pretty much a joke.

Skaar slices Doom cables with his Kaboomerang, and the Hulks thank the Leader for distracting Doom. Doom prepares to leave, but blasts Devil. Rulk jumps in front of the blast to protect Devil, and the Hulk crushes Doom's Gamma generator and throws him into the atmosphere where he no doubt asphyxiated. Devil wakes up the unconscious Rulk by licking him, and Rulk says that he couldn't let Doom hurt his "pal."

She-Hulk: "Your pal? After you threatened to grind him up into dinoburgers?"
Red Hulk: "Who, me? Naaawww. I just spent the last week looking for Devil after he wandered off and got lost!"

Hulk, in the cutaway, knows this is a load of dino crap, but is glad that Rulk seems to have taken a shine to Devil. After we see Rulk digging his way out of the ground again screaming "Not again!", the episode ends.

On with the review!


  1. Doctor Doom is playing a pipe organ. That is the single best thing this show has produced.

    1. The man can give Ganondorf a run for his money!

  2. "Who else watches the Hulks on YouTube? Ultron?"

    Why, Thanos of course! He watches it everyday in the hopes it will kill him

  3. Observation: Hulk and Agents of S.M.A.S.H. is the only show ever that stars Dr Doom but doesn't have a single episode with with word "doom" in it.

    - Faceless Enigma