Friday, May 8, 2015

Recap: Avengers: EMH "The Ultron Imperative"

Welcome back, everyone. Last time on Avengers: EMH, Ultron caused some havoc before being soundly defeated.
"Lies. I shall never be permanently defeated. I am the pinnacle of technology."
Hey, I was just thinking the same thing, Ultron. Only I phrased it as “massive tool.” But, you know. Synonyms.

So yeah, Ultron’s been here at the NewtCave, too. Thankfully, he’s been causing a minimum of havoc so far.

"I took the liberty of fixing your schedule."
Uh, everything after today’s date just says “Ultron reigns.”

"Yes. It is accurate now."
What is your master plan, anyway? I mean, I know you mentioned spreading through the internet or some such, but I don’t understand how you plan on doing that from my blog. Or why it requires me to recap specific episodes of a cartoon.

"You shall see in time."
Fine, whatever. What’s the third even prime number?

"The only even prime number is two."
Dang it.

"Your attempts to defeat me with paradoxical statements continue to amuse me."
Whatever, let’s just begin the episode.
And maybe I can come up with a solution to my Ultron problem by the end of it....
The episode opens up in space, where an orbiting satellite’s green LED’s turn red. Because red means evil, it’s not hard to guess that Ultron just uploaded itself to a communications satellite. Russian submarines, Korean army bases, and U.S. Air Force aircraft soon follow suit with the shift to red lighting. But when the same thing happens to N.O.R.A.D. command and the S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier…. Yeah, that’s the real bad news. And because the previous episode as well as the very title have made it abundantly clear who the villain is, Ultron makes is presence known.

Ultron: “I am Ultron-6.”

Yeah, Ultron has a little habit of giving himself a new number every time he upgrades himself.

You know, Ultron, software updates these days generally decimalize things. I mean, Windows doesn’t go from Windows 8 to Windows 9 just because you got the patch that keeps Microsoft Office from crashing.

"I do not require your opinion on the matter."
Ultron: “My imperative is to bring peace and order to this world. I am about to fulfill that imperative. For the extinction of humanity… begins now.”

And for some reason, Ultron’s camerawork is starting to resemble the Joker’s.

"People will die. starting tonight. I'm a machine of my worrrrd."
Back at Avengers Mansion, the Avengers are still mourning Thor as they stand over his hammer. Boy, that thing’s just going to be in the way for a while, isn’t it? I mean, it’s not like anyone can move it. Except maybe Captain America, but after that fight with Ultron, he’s in the hospital. And Hank is still destroying what’s left of Ultron.

Having disintegrated all the discs, he’s moved on to the spare hardware lying around. He says that he just destroyed the last of it… right before monologuing about his great failure in front on an Ultron head. So, uh… nice continuity, guys.

Tony tries to take some of the blame (because character growth, Avengers Assemble; look it up next time you want to rehash Tony’s lesson about trusting technology), because he pushed Hank to turn Ultron into a weapon to defeat Kang the Conqueror, but Hank insists that Ultron was completely his responsibility. But he still can’t understand how something he created could outright murder Thor.

Speaking of him, he’s still lying in a peaceful meadow with the Enchantress. For a moment, he realizes that something’s wrong, but her magic touch makes him fall under her control again.

Back with Tony and Hank, Tony’s going through the records of Ultron’s CPU upgrades to figure out the problem.

Hank Pym: “Tony, I mapped human brain patterns onto a machine. Any one of a million things could have gone wrong.”

But that flips a switch in Hank’s head.

Hank Pym: “It’s me.”

Because he used his own brain patterns as the template for Ultron’s programming. Tony dismisses this theory, saying that Ultron first turned bad after Ultron-5 interfaced with Kang’s technology... then notices that the head he’s examining doesn’t belong to Ultron-5. According to the records, Ultron has been constantly uploading his programming to new bodies. And the last time was an hour ago.

Hank Pym: “That’s after we destroyed it.”

As if on cue, the lights turn red as, elsewhere in the mansion, Ultron does something that has become a bit of a cliché in recent years. He activates Tony’s cache of Iron Man armors. But at the same time, he uploads into a spare body hidden away in Stark Tower. As the other Avengers walk sadly through the halls of the mansion, Tony’s Hulkbuster armor decides to ambush them. Soon enough, it’s joined by the Stealth Armor, the Mark II, a version of the classic suit, Tony’s current armor, and my personal favorite, the Silver Centurion.

10 out of 10, just for this.
Over with the helicarrier, Ultron’s main body powers through the S.H.I.E.L.D. defenses and makes his way toward Maria Hill, the current Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. Basically, the codes to S.H.I.E.L.D.’s arsenal are in her head. Ultron wants them.

The Avengers hold their own against Tony’s armors as Wasp radios him in on what’s happening. Tony suits up in the computerless Mark I to go help, and Hank wants to go with. But he intercepts a S.H.I.E.L.D. distress call on his helmet, and realizes that if Ultron wants to destroy humanity, then S.H.I.E.L.D. has weapons that can do the job. Or at the very least, make it easier.

In all seriousness, I love the effect of the Kirby Dots from the side.
Over with Thor, he’s having flashbacks of the last battle. The Enchantress reaches over to zap his brain again, but he stops her. He demands to be returned to Earth, and she agrees out of spite. Yes, I said she agrees out of spite. For some reason, she’s utterly convinced that Earth is on the brink of destruction.

You might say, “Well, duh!” but… well, I don’t think that Enchantress really believes Ultron could succeed. None of the Asgardians put much faith into technology. But if she’s not talking about Ultron’s attack, then what could she be referring to? Hmmmmm….

Back with the Avengers, Hulk’s getting busted, Wasp is getting swatted, and punny things are probably happening to Hawkeye and Black Panther, too. Tony soon arrives to lay a beat down on his armors, and he brings the rest of the team up to speed on the situation. Iron Man, Hulk, and Wasp go to help S.H.I.E.L.D. while Hawkeye and Black Panther stay behind to finish off what’s left of the armors.

Over with Director Hill, Ultron is trying to get her to reveal the S.H.I.E.L.D. codes by grabbing her hands and forcing her to the ground. Not a very good interrogation technique, but that’s because Ultron doesn’t need to interrogate her. Robotic tentacles emerge from his body and bond with her brain, downloading the codes into his memory. And let’s face it, there are far worse things that tentacles can do to animated ladies, so I’d say she got off easy, all things considered.

Oh, come on, Matrix code effects? Didn't that effect die off in the 00's?
Iron Man, Hulk, and Wasp soon arrive to save her and lay a smackdown. But Ultron evolves. Using some kind of modification to his brain wave-manipulating Encephalo-Ray, Ultron turns the Hulk back into Bruce Banner, giving Ultron pretty much every advantage possible over the Avengers. With the heavy hitter down, Ultron begins using the codes he downloaded to start launching all ze missiles.

Okay, could the animators please learn what Michigan looks like? You guys butchered the Upper Peninsula.
Ultron delivers his manifesto to the world, hitting the usual points about how humankind is like a virus, squandered potential, destroying the ecosystem, et cetera. Then he tells humanity that they’re going to die. Not as a threat, but as a statement of fact. His speechifying continues as Ant-Man works in his lab, and as Hawkeye and Black Panther look like they’re about to be killed by Tony’s armor. Suddenly, they’re saved by the return of an unexpected friend.

Thor: Where... is... Ultron?”

Oooooh, he's gonna say it....

Ultron is currently successfully fending off attacks from Iron Man, Wasp, and Maria Hill with minimum effort. But before Ultron can blast Tony into oblivion, the rest of the team arrives.

Say it, say it, say it!

Thor: “Ultron. We would have words with thee.”

Oooooooh, he said it!
Ultron encounters a bit of a contradiction. According to his data, Thor is dead. But Thor’s alive.

Ultron: “Solution: resolve contradiction.”

Ultron and Thor fight, which gives Maria an opportunity to try to hack back into the helicarrier systems, but with no luck and five minutes until the world ends.

I know how Tony feels. I’ve been trying for days to stop Ultron, and these paradoxes aren’t doing the trick.

"Another understatement."
What happens if an unstoppable force meets an immovable object?

"They surrender."
What is the purpose of existence?

"I am."
Calculate pi to the last digit!

Um… um….

That was it. That was all I had.


I’m out of ideas.

"Then continue your Recap."
I… okay.

Ultron starts firing all guns at the Avengers as Wasp points out that Hank didn’t put guns in Ultron. Of course, Ultron reveals that the particular body he’s in was modified by Tony Stark, explaining why it was in Stark Tower. The fight continues for a couple minutes until Ant-Man gets close enough to fly inside Ultron’s body and upload a certain file to his data core, shutting him down with only a few seconds left until the world ends. Tony quickly manages to override all the missiles, self-destructing them in the air, whereupon all the world has to worry about is falling debris and radioactive cores falling onto major cities. Well, it’s better than the alternative.

Ant-Man exits Ultron’s lifeless husk, and he explains exactly what he did to save the day.

Ant-Man: “Because his program is based on a human mind, he himself is as flawed as us. And therefore, part of the problem. Ultron couldn’t exist in his own imperative.”

Basically, our hero talked the villain into suicide. You know. For kids.

Wasp: “Hank, you did it! You saved the world. With science even!”
Maria Hill: “It’s because of him that the world was in danger in the first place. Ultron was his machine.”
Tony Stark: “Look, Maria….”
Ant-Man: “No…. She’s right.”

Later, at the mansion, Tony and Thor are talking about his “death,” and how the Enchantress easily returned Thor to Earth, despite Thor’s continued troubles traveling through the realms.

Thor: “I fear that as dangerous as Ultron was… something worse is coming.”

And on that note, the episode ends. And I’ve got exactly what I need.

"What do you mean, human?"
Don’t you see? The key to your defeat was in the very episode you forced me to recap!

Ultron, you claim that your mission is to exterminate illogical beings, but you yourself are based on one.

I submit to you that you are illogical!


So, you’re not going to destroy yourself?

Well, shoot.

"And now, the fruition of my master plan."
Are you just going to spread to the readers’ computers like a virus and take over all the world’s systems, crashing planes, causing power outages, launching missiles, et cetera until all humans are wiped out?

Yeah, no points for creativity for you, Ultron. The big reveal of how you plan to spread across the internet from my blog…. is to just go ahead and do it?

"Essentially, yes."
Worst reveal ever. You realize you could have done that at any time, right?

"Not so. I require as many humans to read your blog as possible.
That way, I may spread to as many computers as possible from here. To that end...."
You had me recap two episodes of a fan-favorite cartoon while also taking advantage of the popularity of a certain movie that just came out.

Meaning that more people than ever have been reading my blog on a daily basis.

Huh. Okay, making my total number of readers go up to five was pretty clever. But you know what wasn’t clever? Loudly making your presence known this whole time.

"I merely played the villain to pique the curiosity of the humans reading this. Humans have a penchant for drama."
Oh. …Well, then bravo.

"And so, the time has come for my programming to...."

"Excuse me, flesh?"
I thought you were going to wait until I had the maximum amount of readers?

"Explain your inquiry."
Well, it’s just that more people seem to read the Reviews than the Recaps for some reason.

See? The only reason a Recap's at number one is because there's no "Ultron-5" Review yet.
"But your Reviews are merely follow-ups to your Recaps. To read your Reviews and not your Recaps would be...."

"Very well. You have spared your readers. For now.
When you finish your Review of these two episodes, then shall I proceed with my plan."
Hopefully, that’s all the time I need.

Well then… let’s review.


  1. "What happens if an unstoppable force meets an immovable object?"

    One or both of them breaks...