This week we get a surprise visit from a familiar Marvel face, as well as the return of one of the Avengers most feared enemies.
We’re at some shady super-secret facility, as a bunch of armed guards are alerted to a threat in their midst, but they cannot see it and from what they can hear over their radios, it sounds like it’s taken out their first line of defense. Suddenly, a caped figure appears, and the soldiers guns seem to be useless as someone called “The Professor” takes them all out. The figure steps up to a tube full of glowing liquid. The figure is whom we’ve come to know as Vision, and he is located at the Weapon X facility. His acquired target is adamantium, and his next stop is the Avengers Mansion.
In Wakanda, Captain America, Hawkeye and Thor pay a visit to T’Challa to see if Cap’s broken shield can be repaired. T’Challa reminds him that this isn’t his first rodeo when it comes to vibranium, so there’s more than a fair chance that Cap might be in luck. But he’s not just here for the shield. He asks T’Challa to come back to the Avengers. “And who is leading the Avengers, Iron Man? He abandoned you all in your hour of need.” Apparently Tony is working out some of his issues offscreen, and they try to agree that the Skrull Invasion definitely hit them all where they lived. “The world needs to know they can trust us again.” Clint is definitely not keen, because he also disappeared during the Skrull Invasion. T’Challa agrees to fix the shield because he considers Cap his friend, but his allegiances are still focused on Wakanda. (I mean, he is kind of the sovereign over one of the more advanced countries in the world. They could cut him a little more slack. :)
Back at the Avengers Mansion, Jane Foster and Jan are having some girl time while Jane treats Jan’s injuries from the Skrull battle. Horror movies, popcorn, battle wounds, it all seems like a pretty good sleepover. But Jan knows she’s just here because a certain God of Thunder has returned. “Not listening…does he ever talk about me?” The ladies continue with their movie when suddenly Vision comes through their screen. He’s after Cap’s shield, but it’s not in the mansion. “I am the vision of my master’s plan for the future. Tell me the location of the shield or your life will be terminated in ten seconds.” Jan, as always, is defiant. “No one breaks into the Avengers mansion and gets away with it.” (Except Black Panther.) Jane stops him before he can crush Jan and tells him that they took the shield to Africa. “Find Captain America, in progress. Objective override, terminate all opposition.” He pulls out a beam in the wall, and the room comes crashing down on Jane and Jan. Vision finds the quinjet and obtains the codes to get past Wakandan air defense.
(You know, if anyone cared about getting the Hulk back, all that could have gone a little differently. No, I’m not bitter.)
Back in Wakanda, T’Challa and his scientists are working on getting Cap’s shield put back together, and T’Challa is basically showing off how awesome Wakanda is. We also get some nifty little trivia bits; the vibranium used in Cap’s shield was mined in Wakanda and sent as a gift by T’Challa’s father back in the 40’s to President Roosevelt. But Clint’s too busy ogling the Dora Milajae and being really bitter about T’Challa leaving the Avengers to care. He starts talking about the arena where anyone may become king of Wakanda in trial by combat. “I was thinking, I’d make a pretty good king, because I stand by my friends. I don’t just cut and run at the first sign of trouble. I think I should be king of Wakanda.” Clint, no. Clint just stop where you are. T’Challa says that the old ways were ineffective and continues to basically ignore him. Clint whips out his bow and starts to challenge him when a Dora Milajae gives him a stick to the head. “He neglected to issue the proper challenge.” Cap and Thor just stand there, looking amused. Just then, a quinjet is reported as having passed through their air defenses. Cap pulls out his Avengers card and orders it to land. The quinjet lands and Thor steps inside. “It’s empty, there’s no one here.” Vision descends from the ceiling and phases his hand through Thor’s torso, throwing him out of the jet. Damn.
Vision locates the vibranium mine and quickly takes out everyone in his way, including Cap and Black Panther. There is an excellently choreographed and animated fight between Vision and Wakandan soliders, that actually, for some reason, reminds me a lot of Predator, wherein he snatches people out of thin air. After being thrown around some more, Thor decides to throw down. “Enough of this game.” he says before pelting the jungle with lightning, hoping to catch Vision somewhere in the crossfire. But lighting and fallen trees just seem to pass through him.
Back at the mansion, Jane pulls herself out of the wreckage, but Jan’s unconscious and too small to give CPR. In Wakanda, they decide that Vision must be after the vibranium, because, in short, T’Challa basically says it’s always about that damn vibranium. Vision obtains the vibranium ore, which is a nifty purple, and is about to get the precise composition of Cap’s shield when Cap, Thor and Black Panther appear in the mine entrance. Obviously, Cap’s not about to turn over the shield. “Attempting to analyze your continued defiance.” TChalla uses x-ray tech in his cowl to analyse Vision. “This is no man we face, this is a machine.” They attempt to take him down again, and it’s still pretty useless. “You have already lost, and yet you fight?” Finally, T’Challa gets one hit in using his vibranium daggers. When Vision realizes they figured out a weakness, he locates the shield and hijacks the vibranium cart, while attempting to cave in Thor, Cap and Black Panther. At the mansion, Jan comes to and uses her Avengers card to warn Cap, but it seems to be buried in rubble.Vision reaches the arena, and locates the shield, but is distracted by a certain purple arrow. He turns to see Clint smirking at him. “Hi there.”
Clint fires every arrow he has, but it has no effect whatsoever. Finally, he uses one to drop a giant statue on Vision. Jan contacts him on his card. “Clint, you good?” “Always. I found your Vision guy. Just dropped a big rock on him.” he says proudly while Vision phases through the rock unharmed. “And it didn’t do anything to him whatsoever.” Vision destroys Clint’s bow, which only serves to really piss Clint off. He tries to fight him hand to hand, but it’s useless and he flings Clint to the ground like a toy. Vision has everything he wants- the shield, the vibranium ore, and his opposition has been neutralized. “Probability of success- 99.99%” At that moment, Cap, Thor, and Black Panther arrive. T’Challa asks them to slow him down while he does something. Apparently “slow him down” means “let him beat you up.” When Vision reaches in to grab the pieces of the shield, Black Panther turns on the vibranium ray, which erodes his arm down to a core skeleton, and fuses Cap’s shield back together. T’Challa kicks the shield back over to Cap, and the four of them finally begin to fight the increasingly damaged Vision.
The “probability” of Vision’s success decreases as each of them uses their skills and weaponry to destroy him. Before Cap can finish him off with the SHIELD, he phases back in to the rock to save himself. “Your plan was sound, Black Panther.” Thor says. “A plan I could not have initiated without my teammates. My fellow Avengers.” Everybody should be hugging here but they’re big muscular superheroes, so of course they won’t. Clint puts a hand on T’Challa’s shoulder, and T’Challa immediately twists it around his back. “I guess you can still be King of Wakanda.” Awwwww.
Jan wraps a bandage around Jane’s arm in the wreckage of the mansion. “Jane, I know you;re a paramedic and you’re totally fearless, which is awesome but…maybe you should reconsider dating a superhero. It might be bad for your health.” Jane doesn’t say anything and just frowns.
Vision walks through an underground tunnel, severely damaged. He enters some sort of superlab and kneels before someone sitting in a chair, their back turned to him. He tells them that the Avengers stopped them from completing his initiative. The chair turns to reveal an old foe- noneother than the super-homicidal robot himself- Ultron. “I designed you to be my ultimate vision of destruction. But it matters little.” All he needed was the vibranium alloy to make himself indestructible. Soon, no one will be able to stop hm.
Admittedly, Vision is a character I don’t know very much about, with the exception of A.) He’s an Avenger and B.) He had a thing with Scarlet Witch. But I thought the execution here was pretty well-done, and Vision managed to come off as actually menacing for a lot of the episode. EMH seems to do really good with these villain-turned antihero-turned hero, like Wonderman or Black Widow or even characters like Hank Pym and Hulk. Shades of grey work really well on this show, and while I wouldn’t say that Vision is an impossible character to execute on the screen, he’s certainly much easier than, say, Guardians of the Galaxy or something, they managed to work in both the cold robotic side of vision as well as hints of a very human side- mostly his annoyance that he couldn’t destroy the Avengers.
Apparently the team is still working out a lot of kinks from the Skrull Invasion- Tony is “working out his issues” which can only portend badness, there was some unresolved tension between Clint and T’Challa, which worked itself out nicely by episode’s end. Carol was nowhere to be seen, probably doing SWORD stuff, Hank is just….still gone, and Bruce Banner is still in the clutches of General Ross, probably being tortured or something else horrible, and no one seems to be real bothered by that. I know I keep bringing this up, but it needs to be resolved. For a show that’s all about teamwork and coming together despite the odds, they seem to be pretty unbothered by people just coming and going. But now we got Ultron to worry about, and since he’s come the closest to ending the world in previous episodes, things are about to get ugly.