Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Review: Avengers Assemble "One Little Thing"

You know, this episode got me thinking. Why is it that, in fiction, shrinking plots are always seen as fodder for comedy? Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, every other Magic School Bus episode, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Family Guy, Kids Next Door, etc.   It's actually a horrifying prospect if you spend any time thinking about it. Pym had an entire chilling monologue with horrifying visuals in Earth's Mightiest Heroes about the inherent dangers.

Including boredom.
What do we have here? "Comedy" mixed with shrinking's inherent horror. They mix about as well as peanut butter and dirt.

You know what? I'll start off this Review with a compliment. It's the least I could do.

For the most part, the one liners and banter are solid. Kudos to whoever wrote the dialogue. But the guy who wrote the plot needs to be a smidgen more creative. If these are the same guy, then I guess it cancels out. I'm not sure how much of this episode was Man of Action and how much was Jacob Semahn, but based on my past experiences, I'd guess that Man of Action didn't do much to make this episode better.

I covered a lot of the terrible logic, headscratching fake science, and continuity errors in the Recap. It'd be a bit redundant to go over it again.

But to summarize, continuity errors, made-up science that makes less sense than usual, real-world science done wrong, Falcon becoming an idiot for the sole purpose of making a plot happen, heavy-handed morals, and more problems than any other episode of the series so far. Including "Avengers: Impossible."

As for the "my mom doesn't know I'm an Avenger plot," even if it wasn't a terrible plot to begin with, the resolution was incredibly weak. If I were writing the episode, not only would she have known, but she would have revealed to her son that she used to be an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. herself, back in the day. It would have been a better reveal than Falcon being 17, you could have the two characters bond over common experiences (to resolve Falcon's earlier opposition to spending time with her in the tower), and it would have turned the episode's theme about keeping secrets on its head.

Wasted potential.

Don't lie.

Don't lie.

Don't lie.

Don't lie.

Don't lie.

Don't lie.

Don't lie.

And don't screw around with Pym particles.
That's what this episode feels like. The moral isn't so much taught to you as it is pounded into your skull with the strength of the Hulk.

Yeah yeah yeah, lies grow out of control. Pym particle metaphor. We get it. Morals do not need sledgehammers.

Mrs. Wilson (Cree Summer)

Honestly, she's kind of fun. I mean, she's a walking mass of generic "mother" tropes and cliches, but Cree Summer's performance gives some life to the character. She's sweet, motherly, hip, and will never be seen again.

Sam Wilson/Falcon
Falcon's 17!? What?

Why did that never come up before? How did he complete S.H.I.E.L.D. training when he's barely old enough to drive? It's not like he has Spider-Man's excuse. Falcon doesn't have any powers. He's just a normal guy. Sure, he's smart, but S.H.I.E.L.D. puts smart guys to work with science. At least, I thought they did.

Then again, I already once brought up the fact that tech guys in the real life military get the same basic training as the guys who go out and shoot people. So, in the interests of fairness, I have to give this whole issue a bit of a pass.

But I will say that the reveal that Falcon is only 17 years old is pointless.

Does it open up new story possibilities? Yes.

Will this revelation ever be mentioned again? No.

Wasted opportunity at the least, horrible misstep at the most.

Ant-Man (Grant George)
This isn't a very good introduction to the character. He was really only brought in to benefit over the Ant-Man film's production going forward, but really doesn't get to shine. He spends a lot of the episode being a bit of a jerk, and the rest of it cleaning up the Avengers' messes.

No wonder they bring him onto the team in Season 2. They need somebody with common sense.

Enough sense to stay away from the Avengers for most of the time.
This is the first animated appearance of Ant-Man in the series. And to put it simply, his costume sucks.

Well, just the helmet.
Mostly it's the fact that you can't see his nose. The lack of any sort of nose shape is disconcerting when coupled with the eye and mouth holes.

In Season 2, his outfit gets tweaked to something that looks much better.

Final Thoughts
Honestly, there's a few things to genuinely like about this episode. But like many others, I've found more things to hate about it. And yes, I consider it the weakest episode of the series. This episode has continuity errors, headscratching revelations, and the plot can only even happen because Falcon has suddenly become a massive idiot. I can't recommend this episode. At all. Avoid it like the plague.

Next time, Hawkeye gets an episode of his own. And he doesn't even have to share with Black Widow this time! See you then.


  1. Yes, This. First paragraph. Shrinking plots are some of my most hated cliches.

    So you got shrunk, Now everything can kill you. Wonderful. Objects, animals, even friends. Your family members can accidentally step on you, swallow you, or smash you thinking you're a bug. I. Don't. See. The comedy.

    1. Not inherently, no.

      I mean, you can make most any setting funny. But people seems to think that shrinking = automatically funny.

      And I think a lot of that is just because "Shrinking" SOUNDS ridiculous.