Tuesday, February 25, 2014

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

Just as a thought experiment, I decided to compile some of my thoughts from past episodes of Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. Let's see...
  • After watching this, I need to go get smashed. 
  • I wish I could have skipped this episode.... 
  • This episode was one big chunk of “meh.” 
  • This episode... ahem...  sucksucksucksucksucksuckSUUUUUUCKS. 
  • I want to assassinate this episode. 
  • This episode was improved enough that it wasn’t bad enough to mock, but not good enough to praise. 
  • As for the episode itself, it wasn’t bad. 
  • Look, it's called "Hulks on Ice." How good could it be? 
  • Good? No. Bad? Not necessarily. 
  • A good episode! The mind boggles! 
  • It sucks. 
  • All in all, a good episode. A very good episode. 
  • It wasn't anything super-special, but that's miles above what episodes like "All About the Ego" give us. 
  • Despite a few annoying elements, this was a good episode.
I'm noticing a trend. Looks like the episodes are improving! Let's see if that keeps up with episode 15, "Abomination."

I'll give the episode this, I've often thought of this show as an abomination.

Rick: "What's up, Hulkies?"

Rick, stop calling me that or we are seriously going to have words. Rick goes on to tells us that he's going to reveal more "mysteries of the Gamma Base." You know, Rick, the FBI is looking for traitors that have leaked far more information than you about military secrets. Why are you not locked up in the Vault? Anyway, first stop on our parade of military secrets is the "Hulk-Rocket," which appears to be not so much a rocket as an ICBM. She-Hulk is busy taking a wrench to it, as Red Hulk apparently wants to get it ready for launch. This leads to a few questions, but Rick seems to have a bit of a bug up his cloaca regarding Rulk and his secrets. Apparently, Rulk has decided that divulging military secrets to someone with 24/7 camera coverage isn't a smart move. Go figure.

Speaking of Rulk, he smashes a camera and tells Rick that the whole area's classified. This also happens to be the place where Rulk keeps all of his trophies and medals from the time he spent as a General. He reminisces about old times, but refuses to actually talk about anything.

Red Hulk: "Classified."

Sick and tired of Rulk's attitude, Rick goes and visits the Hulk, who's busy sparring with a four-armed robot. Hulk, despite being pretty intelligent, also seems to think that Rulk shouldn't be keeping secrets from his family of Hulks. Hey, Hulk? My dad was a tech guy in the Air Force. He was a secrets guy. How many military secrets has he told me or my sister? Not a single one. Because the oaths you take when you join the military are not null and void when you leave. Red Hulk, despite being a jerk, is not doing anything wrong. Hulk claims that secrets between family members causes trouble, and I disagree. That's not always the case; sometimes the truth coming out does more damage than when it was kept a secret. Families should be open and honest with each other, but FAMILIES DON'T NEED TO KNOW MILITARY SECRETS. There's a difference between "You should know that I spent the night in prison once" and "These are the nuclear launch codes."

Back in the episode, Hulk smashes up the robot, and Devil Dinosaur comes over carrying Skaar's Kaboomerang. Apparently, he's missing. The team searches for him outside, and call him up on his communicator, but there's still no sign of him. They pull up some video footage from a busted camera, and, back inside, they watch it. It seems that Skaar was practicing with his Kaboomerang when a large, scaly, spiky man attacked him from behind.

She-Hulk: "Who is that?"
Red Hulk: "Oh no...."
Hulk: "Only monster on the planet as strong as me: the Abomination."

When we return after the intro, the computer system is quickly overridden by an outside force, locking them out of all base functions. Their computer panel blows up in their faces, which isn't actually the usual Star Trek-esque exploding console, but explicitly stated to be a booby trap. The whole base goes into lockdown mode and Red Hulk deduces that Abomination is inside the base. With She-Hulk and Rick not up to speed, Hulk goes over the origin of the Abomination, which is pretty much adapted from the Incredible Hulk reboot film. Former government operative, got powers to destroy the Hulk, Hulk beat him. But the worst part, back when Red Hulk was human, he and the Abomination worked together at what is now the Gamma Base.

Red Hulk: "Before you ask, it's classified."

They get him to spill it, and Rulk reveals that he merely trained the Abomination... in every single anti-Hulk tactic and weapon ever devised. Uh oh.

A-Bomb: "I liked him better when he was classified."

After Hulk insists that Rulk can't solve this on his own, they (and Devil Dinosaur) head to the armory, where Abomination ambushes them with a tank. The team falls back, and get hit by an exploding trap.  The Russian voice of the Abomination taunts them from an unknown location, and Devil starts tracking Abomination's scent. Everyone but Rulk follows Devil and quickly get trapped by the Gamma Base defenses for a bit before breaking free. Abomination and Devil meet up, and Devil quickly gets punched out. The other Hulks find Devil's tranquilized body, and Hulk demands answers from Red Hulk, who has no more answers. What, were you expecting a secret anti-Abomination battle plan with diagrams, or what?

The team splits up to take out the power and get the secret stash of weapons. Hulk and She-Hulk take out the power, but She-Hulk disappears soon after. As she gets dragged away by the Abomination, she yells for help. Hulk runs after her, but falls into another trap: the garbage incinerator. He frees himself easily enough, and we rejoin Rulk and Rick. Rick asks the excellent question of "Where has Abomination been?" and Rulk decides it's need-to-know info... but also decides that Rick needs to know.

"I'll tell ya in a sec, Rick, I'm playing Flappy Bird."
Apparently, Abomination went on a rampage after his defeat, and they froze Abomination at the bottom of the ocean. Rulk tells Rick not to watch as he puts in a weapons code, so Rick films it instead. Pretty sure that'll get you sent to Gitmo in real life. Rulk grabs a gun that shoots Kevlar/Adamantium nets, and nets up Rick for his own saftey before going off alone to look for Abomination.  Hulk, meanwhile, is interrogating the Leader, who offers info in exchange for freedom. Hulk just taps on the glass to his cell, which reverberates and echoes painfully around the Leader's cell.

Leader: "I'll say only that I'm not the one you shouldn't be trusting...."

Rulk runs down the corridors as he verbally spars with Abomination.

Abomination: "Soon enough, Red Hulk. Or should I say... General Ross?"

Uh, was that supposed to be a reveal? Because everyone either knew that going in or had it figured out. Heck, I've kept it as an unmarked spoiler because I assumed that the show assumed we knew. Maybe this is for the benefit of people who didn't get the brazen hints, or maybe this episode was supposed to come earlier in the series. More on this we I get to the review portion.

Rulk spots a shadow around a corner and follows it, finding... a small figurine of a man in a dog suit with a mustachioed face taped to it? Um... okay. I can only assume that (what with the mustache) this is supposed to represent General Ross... but what the heck does this mean? Has Abomination been leading Rulk around like a dog on a leash? Is that the implication? Whatever this means, Rulk grabs it, activating a taser trap that also explodes. Rulk starts glowing red hot and ditches the gun. A-Bomb, meanwhile, breaks through the hardest substance known to man with his spikes, and frees himself before rushing off to save the others... right into the Abomination, who mops the floor with him.

Clothes? At least he's got more modesty than Rick. To be fair, he probably doesn't have a cloaca.
Abomination: "You're small and weak."
A-Bomb: "You're big and ugly."

A-Bomb's invisibility gives him a momentary advantage, but Abomination's camo-vision goggles turn the tables again. Rick shouts for the other Hulks, and the green one himself shows up, finding nothing. He contacts Rulk, who says that Rick's safe, and Abomination hijacks the transmission to reveal otherwise.

Hulk: "Leave my friends alone! This is between you and me!"
Abomination: "You don't get it, Hulk. I'm not after you. I want revenge against the man who made me a monster! General Ross! The Red Hulk!"
Hulk: "Say... what now?"
Red Hulk (cutaway): "Big mouth! Am I the only guy around here who can keep a secret?"

Wait, so Rulk being General Ross was supposed to be a secret? ...No, I'll save my full rant for the review portion.

But we get more reveals. It seems that turning Emil Blonsky into the Abomination was done on purpose in order to recreate the Hulk! ...yeah, we've been over that in this episode. This episode sucks at reveals.

So Hulk gets gassed by the base defenses, and Rulk finds A-Bomb, Skaar, and Shulk tranquilized in the reactor room... alongside another secret: the Anti-Gamma Bomb. Strong enough to destroy half the country, irradiating the other half. Rulk and Abomination get into a fist fight. Abomination considers Rulk a traitor for joining with the Hulk, but this is moot. Rulk gets tranquilized. Hulk comes in to save everybody, and Rulk fills him in on the bomb. He gets to work freeing the Hulks while Rulk laments, and they figure out that Abomination plans to ride the Hulk-Rocket to safety. Hulk goes to take care of Abomination, and Rulk gets to work with freeing the others and disarming the bomb.

Hulk and Abomination fight, while discussing the finer points of betrayal, and Abomination activates the launch sequence. Meanwhile, She-Hulk figures out that Rulk was hiding the bomb in the rocket the whole time. Rulk grabs the whole bomb and makes his way toward the rocket.  More Hulk on Abomination fighting, discussion on forgiveness, and Rulk joins in against Abomination.

Hulk: "I gave you an order!"
Red Hulk: "I ignored it. Forgive me later."

But Abomination activates the rocket and flies away, with both Hulks grabbing on to rescue him from the bomb. Hulk kicks away Red Hulk for his own safety, and offers one final offer of peace to the Abomination, telling him about the bomb in the rocket. Abomination kicks away the Hulk, not believing him, and the rocket blows up.

Hulk: "Think he's gone?"
Red Hulk: "No way."

Back at the Gamma Base, the team confronts Red Hulk about why the Hulk-Rocket was classified. You know, besides the bomb.

Red Hulk: "I thought it'd be fun to launch on the 4th of July! Give the whole country a fireworks show!"

Yes, nothing says "Happy 4th of July" like launching off a nuke. Later, Rulk looks over a picture of himself with the other Hulks at his trophy case. Hulk comes over and starts giving the moral of the day, and Rulk punches him in the face for it.

Red Hulk: "Shut up."
Hulk: "Should've seen that coming."
Hulk (cutaway): "Red's changed more than I thought he had. But I can still beat him any day of the week. And that's not secret. Hulk Out."

You know what else isn't secret? My thoughts on this episode. Here they are, for the world to see!

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