Monday, December 15, 2014

Recap: Avengers Assemble "Hulk's Day Out"

Trivia time!

I write some of these Recaps/Reviews out of order. And I don't just mean my little habit of doing an individual episode of a series, then starting over from the beginning. Sometimes, I put off the really crappy episodes until the week before I post the Recap. Sometimes I marathon several good episodes at once. This time, I need to repair my soul.

My Recap/Review of "Avengers: Impossible" was a while back for you. But for me? It was only fifteen minutes ago. Having been unable to secure a nuke to wreak justice on this episode (Why aren't you returning my calls, Obama?), I have decided to instead recap and review one of my favorite episodes of this series.

Shockingly enough, it's a Hulk-centered episode.

I swear, I'm not crazy. Or drunk. This is actually a great episode. Here, let me prove it to you.
It will all make sense.
The episode opens with Hawkeye tossing himself up a sandwich. No, really, tossing. He's throwing every ingredient over his shoulder to assemble the thing. Truly, he is the world's best marksman. Also, why are the sandwich ingredients just laying in a pile in the fridge? That can't be sanitary. Gordon Ramsay would shut it down in a heartbeat.

I just realized that Hawkeye looks a bit like Alton Brown. How appropriate that there's a fridge camera.
Suddenly, JARVIS informs him that an unidentified object is about to hit New York, so he and his sandwich get in the Hulkjet... Sorry, Avenjet Prime to deal with it. That's not a joke, I actually made that mistake when I first typed this Recap. I guess the Hulk-centrism of the episode confused me.

Turns out, the object is the Hulk, apparently pretending to be a meteor. Hawkeye cushions Hulk's fall with the jet, but there's a side effect to the impact.

Hulk: "Can't remember anything except... world's gonna end."

Now that's an intro. Roll titles.

Back at the tower, Falcon looks over the oddly-angular imprint on Hulk's face, and the other Avengers wonder what could have possibly hit Hulk hard enough to manage this.

Captain America: "Nothing. That's a very scary thought."

Iron Man holograms in, and they update him on the situation whiles he saves a Japanese oil tanker from sinking. Apparently, some weird weather's been going on. Where's Thor when you need him? Wait, where is Thor? Hmm....

Anyway, the team checks Hulk's room. Hulk remembers that he doesn't like anyone touching his glass figurines, Hawkeye ("Joke-Man") isn't funny, and that's about it.

Hawkeye: "Progress. Except I'm hilarious."

Cap suggests they retrace Hulk's steps, and Hulk's stomach gets all oogy. They find a receipt in his pocket, and head off to Yancy Street, where they find the ever lovin' blue-eyed Thing as well as a burning bowling alley. Thing unleashes his fists upon the very confused Hulk.

Hulk: "Don't hit me, rock face! I have a head injury! And maybe a temper!"

Cap hits them both a few times with his shield, and asks the Thing just what's going on as the weather worsens. Apparently, Thing and Hulk bowl here every week. This week, they got into a disagreement over whether or not Thing stepped over the line.

The Ever-Lovin' Blue-Eyed Rules Lawyer.
Thing: "Insults were exchanged, punches were thrown...."

I love how casual he sounds while describing this. Apparently, they busted a gas main, and the place went up. Thing claims it's the end of the world because there's nowhere else with size 47 bowling shoes.

Mission accomplished. Right? Wrong. The storms are getting worse and worse, even beginning to affect the tides. Hmmmmmmmm...

Thing says that Hulk took off with some "web-head." That's right, it's Spider-Man cameo time! He's running a hot dog stand. Apparently, Spider-Man took Hulk out for hot dogs, and the Hulk just dined and dashed. Spidey's here working off the cost of Hulk's lunch. Because the universe hates Spider-Man.

"Last time I ate one of these, I turned into a pig."
Spider-Man: "It was all hot dogs and rainbows. Literally."

There's a gigantic rainbow in the sky, and Hulk gleefully jumps into it with the Avengers following in the jet. As it turns out, the rainbow's a portal to another dimension. After a rough landing, they end up outside the cosmic halls of this angelic-looking guy named Glorian.

Captain America: "A very powerful, very respected, interdimensional craftsman. There's a file on him in Avengers Tower. You guys don't read the files?"
Hawkeye: "We gotta get you a hobby, Cap."
Captain America: "Reading files is my hobby."

As it turns out, Glorian and the Hulk are best friends. Glorian's the greatest creator in history, and Hulk's the greatest destroyer. They admire each other's craft. Okay, that's actually a stroke of genius. Kudos, writers. Honestly, I adore this plot point.

I also find the fact that he's doing the Galaxy Quest salute hilarious.
Apparently, Hulk was here earlier to discuss smashing and pick up his newest glass figurine. Then Thor came along, and they started arguing about who was stronger. Before they can figure out where Thor went to, Hulk throws up his thousand-hot dog lunch. And a parasitic squid-worm that starts growing bigger. They fight it, while Glorian gleefully watches.

Iron Man contacts the team, and tells them to come back to the tower, and they do. The storms are worse than ever. Tony scans the worm tentacle that Hulk brought back and finds some lunar dust. Getting an idea, he takes a holographic print of Hulk's bruise, inverts it, and it turns out to be a exact match for Thor's hammer.

This is almost like how forensics works.
Captain America: "So Thor hit the Hulk hard enough to give him amnesia?"
Hawkeye: "Well, if you're gonna hit the Hulk, you don't want him to remember it."

So Iron Man fills in the next part of Hulk's day. He and Thor had been in Tony's lab arguing about who was stronger, and Iron Man snapped at them to take it to the moon. So they did. Something's now wrong with the moon, and Hulk remembers what it is. Apparently, it's Cthulhu, and Thor's still fighting it.

A "Badun-Cylek," to be pedantic.
The others fly up to join him and start a-fighting. Luckily, the fight's in the "Blue Area" of the moon, which has breathable air. Before you ask, an alien did it. Anyway, there's a squid-worm inside the moon, breaking it apart.

Thor reveals to Hulk that the hammer to the face was actually the Hulk's idea. He needed a boost to get back to Earth and warn the others, so he had Thor hit him there. Hulk spots the figurine he got from Glorian being eaten by the monster, so he rips it apart from the inside out and throws it into space where it no doubt dies of its injuries. Hooray for senseless violence!

Hulk: "I know who I am! I'm the Hulk!"

But you know... I find this scene absolutely hilarious, looking back on it. When this episode first aired a long while back, I thought nothing of it, but hindsight can be hilarious.

"Listen, there are moments in every civilisation’s history in which the whole path of that civilisation is decided.
The whole future path. Whatever future humanity might...."
"...dammit, Hulk."
The team cools down later at Avengers Tower and reflect on everything they learned about the Hulk. But we get to see more. Hulk sets the figurine in his room, and we finally see what it is: Devil Dinosaur from Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.! This is accompanied by Hulk reminiscing about playing fetch with his pal. We also see a figure of the Watcher, who apparently spent an afternoon watching baseball with the Hulk on the moon. Finally, we see a unicorn figurine as Hulk reminisces about flying around on one. And with a sparkly rainbow, the episode ends.

Well. Hulk's a Brony. Fly on, Twilight Sparkle!
On that bombshell, let's review.

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