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The Inhumans – Season 1 – The End

Yeah, I skipped a few of these.  I just didn’t really feel compelled to write much about the last few episodes.  I really tried to like this, and really wanted to, and I was pretty excited to know there was an Inhumans movie/show coming for the longest time.  The actual product was just so… underwhelming.  I can retread some of the problems I’ve mentioned previously.  The complete lack of super powers.  The unlikable characters almost universally across the board.  The constant retreading of the plot itself about oppression of the people, blah blah.  Maybe a little more showing and a little less talking next time.

It seems that this show was apparently done by the same guy who did Iron Fist, and I can certainly see that.  I didn’t hate Iron Fist like a lot of folks did, but it is definitely the weakest of the Netflix shows for a lot of the same reasons.  The best parts of Iron Fist were all the parts involving the Hand.  Everything with the Meachums and all the bull shit around Rand Corp, that was boring and repetitive and lame.  Basically, once again, too much boring talking among unlikable characters, not enough super powers and action.

You can also contrast The Inhumans with the other currently running super hero series, The Gifted, which is a little light on the powers, and uses a lot of “non effects” powers like memory alteration and invisibility, but it still manages to keep up action and keep things moving.  I think my biggest probblem with this show is that it felt like nothing happened.  We got 8 episodes, but it was 8 episodes of the Royal Family wandering in the woods and 8 episodes of Maximus talking about how he wants to save the people.  Contrast this with something like, Agent Carter, which had this mini series slot on ABC before, where all sorts of crazy things happened and the plot kept moving along and building.

Even with 8 episodes we really just don’t get much out of the characters.  Block Bolt spends the entire series looking grumpy.  Medusa just comes off as a push bitch for the most part.  Crystal pretty much just escorts the dog around, Gorgon and Karnak have some weird undertones to their relationship going on but it’s not clear if they are just in a  great buddies romance or if the writer’s just didn’t want to deal with gay mixed couple space alien romance.

Almost all of the human characters of the series ended up being throwaways, though bootleg Felicity Smoak has some potential to maybe transcend into SHIELD or something.  I doubt it but she’s one of the more likeable characters in the series.

As for the last few episodes, Gorgon gets killed then revived through a second Terra Genesis which causes him to go kind of crazy.  Everyone returns to Attilan where Maximus has wired the place to be destroyed if he dies.  The Royal Family urgently tries to evacuate the city, which seems to be deserted anyway, I mean maybe some more shots of a panicked populations or something would help.  For all the talk of “The people” in this show, we barely get to see them at all.

Oh and Triton shows up, kind of randomly.  You know, that guy that fish guy Gorgon was supposed to find in Episode 1.  He’s just sort of another Karnak, in the sense of he does some martial arts occasionally and is bald (and green).  Ultimately though, nothing is really resolved in the series.  Everyone sort of does things, and stuff happens, but there feels like there isn’t any purpose to the actions being taken.  There’s just something missing here, and I can’t quite put my finger on it.

Someone is optimistic about the future of the show however.  There wasn’t really any resolution as to what happened to Maximus or Attilan, he’s trapped there and the place is sort of collapsing but never really dies.  There was some sort of weird glowing thing happening on the throne itself, but we don’t know what.  There’s mention of some sort of larger enemy, but no details given.  The Inhumans are all on Earth now to start anew, maybe in a new hidden city or just by blending in with the population.  What I’m saying is, there was a lot of set up for more, I just, seriously doubt there will BE more, given how poorly this show has gone over.

The Inhumans – S01E05 – Something Inhuman Comes This Way

So, I was wrong last week,  I guess the Inhuman that Blackbolt and Medusa captured wasn’t the one who controls plants but an Inhuman named Locus, who uses echolocation to find people.  They did leave the other Inhuman from the prison behind though, which wasn’t super clear, because now Mortis has him captive.

A lot of this episode focuses on Karnak and the resolution of his story line.  Last episode had Karnak being intimate with the girl from the pot farm, which seemed to trigger the guy running the place because he shot his partner.  Things open up this week continuing this plot line, only now Karnak is in the gun’s sites.  Karnak and his girlfriend escape but she ends up shot int he process.  They are somewhat rescued when the dude chasing them gets called off by his bosses who are on the way to pick up the drugs.  The drug lord, for lack of anything better to call him, ends up shooting the pot farmer and sends his goons off to capture Karnak to tie up loose ends.  Ultimately Karnak and his girlfriend get captured.

Meanwhile both Gorgon and Black Bolt’s group are both heading towards Karnak’s location.  Gorgon is alone so there’s not much going on with that front but Black Bolt, Medusa and Locus are having a sort of heart to heart discussion about how most of the Inhumans are upset about the caste system.  Locus is unhappy that her “purpose” is to find things and that’s all she gets to do, though she wants to do more.  She keeps telling Black Bolt that he needs to be a better leader.  Medusa points out that Maximus isn’t any better, since he’s also just using her to find the Royal Family.

There are a few vague flashback sequences, between Karnak and Gorgon.  Basically how Gorgon is always screwing things up and Karnak is always picking up the pieces.  It feels a little hamfisted and ends up sort of being a set up for later int he show when Gorgon gets to rescue Karnak and fix Karnak’s problems.  I think the biggest issue I have with all of this is that it’s very sudden.  Like the whole point is to sort of show the relationship between Karnak and Gorgon, in the past.  It just doesn’t work super well given how segregated all of the characters have been.  I kind of feel like this is one of the biggest problems I’ve had with this show.  The main characters never interact with each other.  Instead they interact with all of these random humans, random humans that feel more like obstacles than characters.

Anyway, Gorgon frees Karnak and during their escape they reunite with Blackbolt and Medusa.  Karnak’s girlfriend suggests that they need to leave and she will stay behind to get the police to arrest the drug lord and his crew.  Also, apparently during the run up to their encounter, Locus got shot, because she decides to die very suddenly, I guess her usefulness was exhausted.  Just another example of how forced a lot of the events on this show are starting to feel.

We also get a few bits of Crystal bonding with her human friend and Auran reuniting with Mortis and planning to hold the Doctor hostage in order to draw out Blackbolt.

I’m kind of starting to feel glad this show isn’t going to be long running.  I kind of like the idea but I’m not really liking the execution here much.  I’m hoping, now that everyone is together again, we’ll get more interaction and things will get better.  We still have a bunch of kind of powerless super powered folks.  Karnak still doesn’t have his foresight abilities, Medusa is still shaved, Black Bolt still can’t speak without obliterating everyone.

I still kind of feel like the future of this show is pretty obvious.  After the group reunites with Crystal and Lockjaw, after dealing with Auran and crew, they will return to the moon.  Maybe Maximus has managed to get powers via the Doctor, but essentially Black Bolt will just return and probably be a better king, after having some new experiences.  It feels kind of predictable and I don’t really see any other direction or twists, especially given the limited time left.

The Inhumans – S01E04 – Make Way for… Medusa

I have to admit, The Inhumans is stating to drag a bit. Ok, I’ve felt the same about other shows and they got better in the end, but this show just sort of feels like it’s not really going anywhere.

Medusa is supremely driven to reunite with Black Bolt, for… reasons, at this point I can only assume maybe he can somehow restore her hair. Karnak seems content to just sort of hang out with these guys growing pot in the forest. Not a lot is really moving along between Gorgon and Auran.

I think part of what’s feels off is the inconsistency with the “fish out of water” element. The characters are all either completely baffled or completed familiar with various Earth concepts. There isn’t really any in between. Medusa doesn’t understand why the cops are chasing her and Louise for speeding through a red light but seems to totally follow how the cops traced them down via Louise’s credit card and can master working through Louise’s computer. That sort of disconnect.

Most of this episode follows Medusa as she and Louise, an astronomer or something who detected the Inhumans coming to Earth, evade the police while trying to find Black Bolt. Kind of makes sense with the episode title being Make Way for Medusa.

The other key development involved Black Bolt, Dr. Declan (the rich guy) does some tests on his DNA and finds some interesting anomalies (probably because Black Bolt is more purely Inhuman than the regular Earth Inhumans). He decides this may be some sort of key to figuring out why Inhumans change and unlocking this within humans. He then calls up Maximus to let him know what he has found.

Yeah, apparently the Mysterious Rich Dude was working for Maximus all along. Only Declan doesn’t seem to be in on the coup plot, he is just some sort of I dunno what. Maybe Maximus contacted him at some point int he past when Inhumans started awakening on Earth, I don’t know. Maximus wants Declan to kill Black Bolt except the Doctor refuses due to his findings. Maximus starts second guessing the need to kill Black Bolt as well, seeing an opportunity to give himself abilities and stop being human.

Oh and he finally kills the Genetic council. Well except for this one dude. They speak some about some past incidents they had together, it’s all kind of ominous while also being annoyingly vague.

Crystal teams up with the guy who ran into her and Lockjaw at the end of the episode. They pick up a local vet to take care of Lockjaw. Karnak has a few moments with the girl working at the Pot Plantation who is apparently really into him. It seems really convenient that all of the Inhumans have fallen in with random strangers who are willing to just give everything and are all super friendly. Like, beyond casual “oh I need to help this person in need”, we’re talking almost love at first sight level friendly. They also all seem really accepting of the awkwardness all of the Inhumans have around Earth culture. The show does acknowledge that the Earth Inhumans are fairly common knowledge, so being accepting of abilities is fine, but having special powers doesn’t explain a complete lack of knowledge on basic customs.

The show wraps up when Black Bolt and his fat Hawaiian Inhuman friend realize they are essentially just in a different sort of prison with Dr. Declan. They decide to make a run for it only to be confronted by Auran and Mortis. There is a brief confrontation before Medusa and Louise come driving in through the group. Mortis accidentally explodes a propane tank taking down Auran’s crew. Medusa and Black Bolt reunite and leave along with Louise, but not before stuffing one of the less injured members of Auran’s crew in the trunk (the chick who can control plants I think).

Oddly enough, they left his Inhuman buddy from jail behind. Considering everything that guy’s been doing for him, it kind of feels like a jack ass move by Black Bolt. Especially considering they watch Mortis recovering as they drive off and Auran is pretty much known to regenerate from death.

This all kind of goes back to that issue I mentioned early about inconsistency. Maybe I’m just reading too into it, but the whole thing just sort of feels off in some way.

The Inhumans – S01E03 – Divide and Conquer

After a bit of a real life out of town trip, I’m a little behind on a few things, but I’m still here for an Inhumans Write up on Episode 3.

So, just a random side note, somewhere between the first couple of episodes sand this third episode, everyone figured out how to use their wrist band comm links without pulling them off and talking into them.  Something that seemed kind of weird in the first few episodes.  Also apparently Hawaii is full of secret criminals.  The guys Gorgon palled up with int he first episode are all pretty well armed and Karnak stumbles upon a group of edgy land squatters growing a bunch of pot in the forest.

Auran, Maximus’ enforcer continues her hunt for the group on Earth, starting with Gorgon.  Maxumis sends her a few reinforcements including a mysterious Inhuman named Mortis who wears a mask has glowey eyes and generally comes off as extra sinister.  They track Grogon into and obvious trap, and after a short fight Mortis steps in and reveals his power, some sort of Cyclop-esque blast from his eyes/face.  Gorgon freaks out and flees with his newfound friends.

Meanwhile, Medusa gets a change of clothes after practicing her breaking and entering skills, during the process she find a news paper with Black Bolt on the front page, giving her some much needed direction on where to search.  It’s too bad that a kingdom with fancy wrist communicators doesn’t have a text messaging system in place for it’s mute King to use.  Maybe this mess could have all been avoided.  Instead Black Bolt gets to sit around in prison.  he is befriended by another prisoner, who is operating under the order of another mysterious person who seems to be pretty well off.  The guards are angry at Black Bolt’s assault of police officers previously, and are doing their best to encourage the other inmates to harass him.  Unfortunately their plan doesn’t work out as the prisoners are all pretty happy about the cops getting beat up.  The guards instead antagonize Black Bolt directly, which results in a prison riot.  during the ensuing chaos, Black Bolt escapes with the help of his new friend, who reveals that he too is an Inhuman by melting a door.  They both escape in a helicopter with the mysterious rich guy just as Medusa arrives to watch them fly off.

Up in the kingdom of Attilan, Maximus basically orders Crystal to give a speech supporting him as king.  She blows him off, pretty expectedly, and she disables the guards before running off to make an off world exit along with Lockjaw.  Man, Lockjaw is terrible at his one job.  He just sort of teleports people to the general vicinity of where he needs to go.

So, you can kind of get an idea of where things are going, maybe.  The Royal Family spends some time on Earth and hopefully become better rulers as a result.  Maximus wants to be the voice of the people, but he’s kind of going about things in a very jackass sort of manner.  Some of the brief flashbacks we see suggest that Black Bolt didn’t really want to be king, meanwhile Maximus, who’s Inhuman power is apparently being Human, really wants to be king.  This story sounds kind of familiar, I’m not quite sure where from, I see something about a Thunder God and his Trixster brother, but I can’t quite place it.

Speaking of Thor actually, a lot of Thor takes queues from Norse Mythology.  Thor, Loki, Asguard, etc.  I know it’s based on the comics, but you can really tell there was, at some point, some sort of kooky generational change in the Inhumans story.  While Inhumans is more freshly in the spotlight of Marvel, it’s an older comic.  But you get names like Medusa, Maximus, Gorgon, Triton etc, that all clearly are listed from Greek mythology, but then you get names like Black Bolt, Crystal, and Lockjaw, that are all just sort of, goofy hero names.  Black Bolt’s name doesn’t even have anything to do with his power.  I suppose maybe the other good Greek names were taken (Heracles, Colossus, Cyclops, etc).  i don’t know, but I feel like there was an original Unhumans story that had all of these Greek names, then later they added new characters with these other names.

I’m still enjoying the show, but I can see where a lot of the complaints people have come from.  Almost none of the characters are likeable heroes, or relate-able in any real way.  All of the Royal Family is blindly loyal to Black Bolt who, if Maximus is to be believed is kind of a tyrant, though he seems likable enough.  He kind of keeps beating up cops and prison guards but he also is kind of out of his element a bit.  It’s not super clear what Maximus’ end game is if any one of these characters make it back to Attilan, he’s not really a match versus any of them, even with his guards.  Now that Lockjaw is back in play it shouldn’t take long for them to make a return either.

 

The Inhumans – S01E01&02 – Ramsay Snow is at it Again Edition

Despite that it seems the critics don’t care for it, I’ve been looking forward to The Inhumans premier for a while.  I’m not an expert on the subject, but from what I’ve looked into, there are essentially two kind of Inhumans in the Marvel Universe.  Well, they are all the same thing but sort of two factions.  There’s the descendants of Inhumans who were once on Earth, they turn unexpectedly when exposed to Terrigin.  In the comic this happened when a mist enveloped the world, in Agents of SHIELD this happened when the Earth’s water supply got contaminated.    In the MCU, these are Inhumans from Agents, Quake, Yo-yo, Hellfire, etc.

There’s also the descendants of the Inumans who fled earth years ago, living on the moon.  The Inhumans show deals with these Inhumans, specifically, the Inhumans Royal Family.  Black Bolt and Medusa are the King and Queen, Maximus, is the King’s brother, Crystal, Medusa’s sister and her giant canine companion Lockjaw and cousins Gorgon, Karnak and Triton (who is mentioned but doesn’t really show up in the first two episodes).

Something of note, this series is only 8 episodes long, it’s essentially a mini series.  I have no idea if there will be any additional episodes or seasons, probably no one does.

The first episode works as sort of a set up for the various characters, you get a bit of a feel for how they interact and what their abilities are.  There is talk of the Inhumans who are starting to show up on Earth due to the water contamination, which is great.  I was worried a bit they may end up isolating this story off from the larger MCU and from Agents of SHIELD which has involved Inhumans in the larger plot for several seasons now.  I doubt it becomes a full on crossover, but I could see them doing some little nod at the end of the series with a cameo.  On the other hand, the Agents of SHIELD cast seems to be stranded in space somewhere as a set up for the next season, so you know, that’s a convenient excuse to stop Coulson and Daisy from showing up to say hello.

The episode wraps up by pushing out the core plot, the King’s brother Black  Bolt, played by Iwan Rheon, best known for his portrayal of Ramsay Snow/Bolton in Game of Thrones.  He’s shown to be “the voice of the people” who are unhappy with the strict caste system of the Inhumans society.  He also apparently doesn’t have any powers or abilities, and comments are made that he is only human.  I guess it’s sort of the a Squib of the Inhumans world.  At least they didn’t make him the castle janitor.  Being brother to the king in a society of powered people, even when you don’t have powers, has gotta be pretty nice.  Apparently not though, since he’s not happy and stages a coup.

I’d hate to say type cast, but Maximus feels very Ramsay Snow.  Not quite as crazy as Ramsay but the actor definitely seems to have found his niche as the fake sincerity, weak but manipulative bad guy.  He does a pretty good job of coming off as sinister while not being an obvious threat.  It’s not clear in this show how he managed to get the guards to side with his cause, I guess they all prefer to protect the masses than the royals.  Fortunately for the Royal Family, Crystal is quick thinking and uses Lockjaw, the giant bulldog with teleportation abilities to get everyone safely to Earth, specifically, to Hawaii.  Well, everyone except for herself.

The second Episode follows up with Maximus working to solidify his position and dispatching his agent Auran to take out the various members of the Royal Family.

It also takes the chance to explore more of the abilities and personalities of each of the members.

Gorgon, a strong fighter with horse hooves for feet was originally dispatched to locate Triton in the first episode.  He befriends some surfers on the beach where he is stranded.  Karnak ends up lost in a forest.  His ability isn’t super clear.  During the coup he is shown being killed after fighting some guards, only to seemingly do some sort of recalculating time rewind to return to life.  Later he is shown in the forest trying to calculate the best route out of the forest.  It seems like his power isn’t rewinding time but calculating and predicting.  The previous fight never really happened, he simply played it out in his mind and realized that the plan wasn’t the right path so he chose a different plan where he emerged victorious.  Apparently getting knocked on the head puts his calculations out of whack though, as he ends up walking in circles in the forest.

Medusa and Black Bolt get most of the action here.  Medusa’s ability is her hair, which is very long and can be used like tentacles.  Well, it was, until Maximus shaves is all off.  Once in Earth she starts doing her best to reunite with Black Bolt, though she is the first to be hunted by Auran.  Even without her hair she is a formidable opponent and manages to ambush and kill Auran.  I kind of wonder if her hair grows back at an accelerated rate.  Her entire ability rests on her hair, it seems like kind of a shame if she goes the entire series without it.  Side note, we also learn Auran’s power, she wakes up from her death and regenerates herself back to life.  Her death certainly seemed anti climactic after how much she was pushed up as being this bad ass tough enforcer.

Definitely the most entertaining path is Black Bolt.  Black Bolt’s power, is his voice.  His voice is so powerful that even a small utterance unleashes a massive wave of energy, so he doesn’t talk, at all.  It’s shown in a flashback that Black Bolt accidentally killed his parents with his voice at a young age, which is part of where Maximus’ resentment comes from.  He also seems to have the least understanding of how the human world around him works, which isn’t helped by his inability to speak.  He wanders around a bit before going into a store for a change of clothes, where he promptly walks out wearing said clothes prompting the police to be called on him for shoplifting.   During his arrest he accidentally lets out an “umpf” which obliterates one of the police cars.  He eventually cooperates with the police and they take him in to the station.  Frustrated by his lack of speaking, he finally gestures to them to lock him up.  They book him and put him in a jail cell.  I guess he figures he could get out any time and he’s probably safest in the jail cell.

Overall, I found it enjoyable.  Some of the motivations could have been a little better fleshed out but how much does stuff really need to be spelled out in black and white.  It’s essentially a story we’ve seen before.  Honestly the real angle here is more that Maximus, at least insofar, is kind of in the right.  His methods could be a little less brutal, what with trying to kill his family and murdering a member of the genetic council, but leading a revolt of the downtrodden worker against the elites is kind of a noble cause.  Maybe his ambitious run a little too deep and he is deceiving the people.  Maybe Black Bolt and Medusa will see that they need to lighten up a little bit and allow a bit more freedom for the workers.  We’ll have to see how things play out over the rest of the series.

Review – Movie – The Incredible Hulk (2008)

Spoiler Free Thoughts and Review

The Incredible Hulk seems to be a really hard hero to get right for movies.  He’s had a few of them and even a live action TV series in the 80s.  The Incredible Hulk is sort of the redheaded stepchild of the MCU.  It came out just after Iron Man.  It’s technically sort of part of the MCU, but no one really remembers or cares that it’s part of the MCU.  Part of this confusion is the change in actors from the movie and his next appearance in The Avengers.  They traded out Edward Norton for Mark Ruffalo.  This particular movie also exists in a weird space since it’s technically a sequel to the 2003 Ang Lee film simply called Hulk.  The rumors and stories I’ve read are that Norton was kind of a bear to work with on the whole thing and had a hand in altering a lot of the script until it was much less of a sequel and more of a reboot.  It doesn’t really directly contradict Ang Lee’s Hulk, but it doesn’t reference it either.  This is also part of why they dropped Norton for Ruffalo.

A lot of the problem with Hulk is that the exciting part, IE the big green monster, is boring and hard from a story perspective.  He’s not really a hero, he doesn’t really go around saving people really, he just gets mad and rages, and hopefully he’s raging against someone more evil than he is.  The part that works for the story, Bruce Banner, is kind of boring from a movie perspective.  It’s not super easy to depict “inner turmoil” on screen, which is part of what makes the Hulk and Banner who they are.

This film also is treated by the greater MCU the same way it treats it’s Ang Lee predecessor.  It’s not really acknowledge, it’s not really rejected.  It does seem to be kind of a goto reference for the TV MCU though.  Ironic since the TV MCU is also ignored by the movies.  Daredevil and Iron Fist make references to the final battle in Harlem, Agents of SHIELD makes references to Emil Blonsky a few times.

It’s an alright film, but I kind of prefer the Ang Lee vision of Hulk and frankly, I don’t really like Edward Norton as Banner.

Synopsis and Spoilers

The plot starts off with Banner working and hiding in Mexico, working at a soda bottling plant.  He’s communicating with Samuel Sterns, a scientist in the states, anonymously working to find a cure for his Hulkness.  During an accident, he accidentally cuts himself and some of his blood lands in one of the sodas which ends up giving Gamma Poisoning to poor Stan Lee.  This leads the military to Banner’s location.  They recruit special forces agent Emil Blonsky to head in and capture Banner.  After some Fitbit advertisements where Banner’s heart rate keeps increasing during his escape from the military, he finally Hulks out and battles it out with the soldiers before making his escape.

Jealous of the Hulk’s power, Blonsky gets injected with some experimental super soldier serum to help beef himself up and help him go up against the unstoppable force that is The Hulk.  Banner returns to the states to meet up with his old girlfriend Betty Ross, daughter of General Ross, who is leading the military charge against him.  Bruce wants to recover the data from the original experiment that transformed him into The Hulk to better help Dr. Sterns  find a cure.  Unfortunately for Banner, the Military has been alerted to his presence.  Hulk rears his raging face again and makes short work of the military forces, including Blonsky, despite his newfound strength.  Hulk flees with Betty after The Hulk “kills” Blonsky.

Bruce and Betty finally meet up with Samuel Sterns, who was able to formulate a cure, but possibly a faulty cure.  They administer the cure to Banner and afterwards General Ross, Blonsky and the military show up yet again and take Banner into custody.  After Ross heads out with Banner, Blonsky forces Dr. Stern to inject him with Banner’s blood.  The super soldier serum and the Hulk blood have a negative interaction and Blonsky is transformed into the classic Hulk nemesis, Abomination, who starts rampaging through Harlem.  General Ross agrees to let Banner go because the Hulk is the only one who can stop The Abomination.  After the two brutes trash out the city, prompting Wilson Fisk to leverage his power to rebuild things in his vision for control (no wait, wrong show), The Abomination is defeated and things come to a close.

Banner is later shown to be living in seclusion again and Tony Stark shows up to talk to General Ross in vague terms about the Avengers.

How it’s Connected

Aside from Robert Downy Jr’s cameo at the end, there’s not a whole lot else that comes up later.  There aren’t any references to The Absorbing Man in the first movie, there aren’t any Infinity Stones or much SHIELD even.  The events that take place in Harlem are mentioned in the Netflix Defenders shows some, primarily because those shows mostly take place in and around Harlem.  Though I find it kind of odd that the major event everyone talks about is Hulk and not, you know, the literal alien invasion and Avengers.  The Super Soldier serum theme is here, that of course relates to Captain America, Agent Carter, and a few bits in Agents of SHIELD.

Thoughts on What’s Next

There hasn’t been a straight followup for The Hulk, he shows up again in the later Avengers films and the upcoming Thor Ragnarok, but nothing new in terms of a solo film.  There is/was clearly some plan though, during the scene when Samuel Sterns turns Blonsky into the Abomination, he too gets infected by the Hulk Blood and his head starts mutating.  In the comics, Samuel Sterns is a smart dude with a big head villain named Leader.  Someone was pushing for this angle, though at this point it’s clearly gone nowhere.

Final Notes

The Incredible Hulk is an ok though pretty forgettable part of the greater MCU.  It’s not an awful movie, it just sort of, is.  Hulk is just sort of a hard guy to really do justice in film.

Recap – Agents of SHIELD S04E19 and 20 – Out of the Frying Pan Edition

Yeah, I’m slacking, I skipped last week.  It’s not even that I missed the episode or didn’t have time, I just, didn’t do the write up.  Like I mentioned a bit in the Episode 18 Recap, while I enjoy the trip down memory lane, there just feels like not a lot is actually happening here, so I’m pretty much just glossing over Episode 19, though more and more Fake Ward seems to understand what’s going on.  I still really want him to pass into the real world.

Which seems possible and likely.

Episode 20 sees what is essentially the culmination of The Framework.  AIDA completed her project and becomes a real girl, though she still seems to have some sort of crazy yet to be explained abilities.  Everyone else except Mack finally wake up and free themselves from the dream.  Mack, pretty expectedly, opted to remain in The Framework, with his daughter Hope.  Daisy didn’t seem to push him too hard, or even take the route taken with Fitz where they just knock him out and drop him in the portal.  I guess she just sort of assumed they could free him from the Outside, though given previews for the next episode, that may or may not happen.

Speaking of Daisy, I was really expecting some sort of Matrix moment involving either her or Coulson, basically,, killed in The Framework, but because they realize it’s fake, they “wake up” and don’t actually die.  Especially considering Daisy was holding the portal open using her Quake Powers (didn’t we do this plot once already).  I figured there wouldn’t be any way for her to pass through the portal while also holding it open.  Apparently the writers couldn’t figure this out either, since it just sort of cuts away and she wakes up.

The real long term consequence here will be that everyone remembers the events from within The Framework.  For Coulson and May, it’s just sort of an odd sort of memory, for Fitz, it seems like it’s kind of fucked him up again, since he now suddenly realize just what he did to Agnes, among others.

I also wanted to mention how great it was for Radcliffe to get his redemption, and how it worked in the overall sense pretty damn well.  Being betrayed by AIDA and seeing the end result of his dream twisted and used against him really made his change pretty convincing.  He was always pretty misguided in his efforts but seemed to mostly mean well.  I mean all he really wanted was to created the perfect VR world for himself and Agnes to live out their days.  Hell that was pretty much the entire point of AIDA originally, to let Agnes live on as a robot.

So it seems there are two episodes left, let’s get some predictions.  It’s been mentioned around the news outlets that Ghost Rider will return for the final episode, which seems like it’s probably going to end up being a showdown with AIDA and a rescue mission to retrieve Fitz.  Next Episode, based on the previews, looks to be mostly a lot of escapes.  Coulson and May on the sub get to escape from the Superior and the apparently sinking sub.  Mack gets to maybe escape from drowning in the real world if he decides to escape from The Framework, maybe he drowns but creates a new body with the machine AIDA used, though considering that machine is on the sub that’s sinking, that might be hard.  There’s also the need for the rest of the remaining SHIELD agents on The failing Zephyr, Simmons, Daisy, Yo-yo and the other flunkies, to escape the impending attack by The Superior’s planes.  Of course having Quake now awake could make short work of that.

The main things that seem up in the air, aside from if there will be a Season 5.  How will Mack get rescued.  I can’t imagine they kill him off permanently.  Maybe Mack dies and the real world end of the transfer device gets destroyed in the sub, but Fitz is able to build a second one, bringing Mack and Hope back.  What role will Ghost Rider play?  I have a feeling it will mostly just be some sort of muscle along side Daisy and Yo-yo to deal with AIDA.  Lastly, will Fake Ward find his way out of the Framework and return yet again for a new season as another different character.  It’s actually kind of a fun and pretty well done gimmick.

Agents of Hydra S04E18 – Return of The Bus

I’m not sure why but there have been a lot less promotional stills for these episodes lately.  I really need to find an effective way to take my own snapshots it seems.  I’m trying to get these a bit shorter though at least, so I don’t need as many images to go with them I suppose.

It helps that these episodes lately, while good, just feel like not much actually happens.  Given that it’s all Fake and in the Framework, it’s easy to dismiss it as ultimately not important.  I mean thing happen, important things, like the end of this episode, is pretty important to the real world, but there’s just a whole lot “look how things are all backwards!  ZANY!”  I like it, it just makes for a mediocre plot summary.

Anyway, the main event in this episode was of course the return of a long lost early character from the series.  One that I didn’t expect.  Yes, we get a return of The Bus.  Before The Zephyr, there was The Bus, alas it was destroyed while attacking a Hydra base, I think, it’s been a while.  It seems that in classic Framework fashion, The Bus has had it’s one major regret changed, resulting in an alternate life.  in this case, instead of being a giant bad ass plane, The Bus is now, a school bus.

I don’t know if it was actually intentional, but I loved that they stole this bus and kept calling it The Bus.

Oh yeah, and Triplet came back from the dead also.  They went on a mission to rescue a mystery operative which I figured would end up being Lincoln or Robbie Reyes or maybe Mike Peterson (Deathlok).  Turns out it was Trip.

We also got a nice fight with May and Mace, in the end Mace won despite May being juiced on on super soldier serum.  Lady Hydra (orders the troops to fire missiles on the structure containing everyone and Mace sacrifices himself to save everyone.  It’s such a bittersweet way to go, given how ultimately fake everything is.  His sacrifice seems to wake May up however, that and the children being rescued from their brainwashing and hydra missiles.  The episode ends with May bringing Daisy a Terragin crystal allowing her to regain her inhuman powers.