MCU Megathread

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Re: MCU Megathread


Post by CaptHayfever » Mon May 25, 2020 12:59 pm

News: Episode titles for Helstrom have been revealed, but still no word on release date. Falcon & Winter Soldier's release date has been bumped from "August 2020" to "Fall 2020" (it still has 2 weeks of filming left), but WandaVision is still slated for December 2020 (it was already in post-production).
Part 33 overlaps the past couple parts.

The Defenders:

#1 "The H Word":
--The Immortal Iron Fist, protector of K'un-Lun & sworn enemy of the Hand, just failed at saving a dude from a Cambodian sewer. I truly cannot see his opponent beyond that she's a woman. Glad he & Colleen found something to do after their backpacking trip fell through.
--The design of the opening with the street grid of Manhattan forming the heroes is very cool-looking, but the song is just kinda there.
--Jumping straight to Jessica's direct cynicism after having spend so long with Danny's cryptic goody-goody-ness is a breath of fresh air I didn't expect it to be.
--Luke's going home! Looks like Foggy was able to put his new gig to good use.
--Matt kicked some butt in court, but he kicked even more butt with the firsthand advice he gave that kid.
--Danny still isn't comfortably flying, but it's still absurd of him to keep thinking K'un-Lun was slaughtered when (a) the only corpses at the gate were Hand, & (b) the city was gonna disappear anyway.
--Sigourney-effing-Weaver is on this show.
--The color scheming is very clever. It's all very natural, mostly through practical light/costume/set design moreso than exposure tricks.
--Fun fact: If you don't want a PI to do something, don't tell them not to do it.
--Well, dang. Claire really wanted that coffee.
--The whole crew is here: Claire, Foggy, Karen, Lantom, Trish, Malcolm, Misty, Colleen, Gao....
--Matt's went to confession twice in 5 days? My parish only even offers it once a week.
--I don't wanna be around the person who scares Madame Gao.
--$24 in 1700 is equivalent to $1500 today. Minuit was still a crook, but let's not act like inflation isn't a thing.
--There is a faultline through Manhattan, but it shouldn't be causing this--holy crap, it's Elektra.

#2 "Mean Right Hook":
--Weirdly, this Daredevil sequence is flashing between red & green.
--The Hand has its...hands in Trish's station.
--A licensed PI who calls the cops about a bunch of explosives she found, has a reasonable story about finding them, and stays until the cops arrive definitely is not involved with the explosives. Misty certainly knows that, & if she'd gotten to the scene sooner, she could've questioned Jess quickly instead of Officer Lunkhead.
--Colleen, your contact sent you back to New York because the Hand are here. Danny, you're making progress against the Hand because you left your post.
--Whoever wrote the line "We've never encountered a wall before" should be fired.
--Hogarth might actually be thinking in Jess's interests for once. She's not connected to the Raymond case, so it can't be her usual self-preservation.
--Turk saw Luke & took a long look at his life to wonder how he got here.
--White Hat is not a White Hat.
--How do you know that's a picture of K'un-Lun, Danny? There are no distinctive features.
--Luke has a very different reaction to "Who are you?" than T'Challa does. Iron Fist, meet Iron Jaw.
--So this is how Foggy keeps the firm distant from Jessica, by sending Matt.

#3 "Worst Behavior":
--Alexandra, it's been a long time gone, Constantinople.
--"Months ago." Elektra died just before Christmas 2015, so it's spring or summer 2016 now, overlapping the Hive arc, Civil War, & Black Panther.
--So that's why Ellen Ripley is worried about dying of cancer; they used the last of the resurrection potion on Elektra. We saw both Nobu & Harold bounce back from fatal injuries without the secret sauce, so each dose must last for at least a couple rounds.
--What the hell is a Black Sky?
--Stick pulls a Deadpool, but his hand won't grow back.
--"I'm the Immortal Iron Fist."
--Claire's proving her worth as the glue binding these shows together.
--Hi, photo of Stan as Forbush Man!
--Jess couldn't just jump back that far without drawing attention; she would have to have hovered just slightly off the ground.
--Luke & Danny are talking past each other. What Danny needs to understand is that the Hand doesn't tell everyone they employ what they do & that the people at the bottom can't fight him back, & what Luke needs to understand is that most of the Hand is NOT "at the bottom" & that Danny's connections & money don't work on a cult that cares about nothing but their own lives.
--The sitting balls ARE dumb, Jess, you're right.
--"There's a box in here, but it's too high up for me." Cole, you clever boy; rest in peace, sir. Mrs. Miller perfectly illustrates why you can't just leave people like the Hand alone; even though on the surface, they just wanna live, but they do it by destroying other people who also just wanna live & weren't hurting them, weren't even in their way, but were just related to somebody who just maybe might've someday said something slightly off. Kinda like Killmonger's plan to slaughter children.
--"I am the Immortal Iron Fist, weapon of K'un-Lun."
--Danny opens this fight very cleverly, using the darts against their own shooters. And then it becomes a Daredevil hallway fight, so that's always nice. Only took 3 full episodes, but the Defenders are finally in the same place.

#4 "Royal Dragon":
--Jess & Luke reuniting makes me very happy.
--"I'm the Immortal Iron Fist, sworn protector of K'un-Lun."
--Somebody who lives in Hell's Kitchen & sees a guy in a mask moving like that can tell he's Daredevil without being a PI.
--What the hell is a Black Sky?
--The colors are blending now.
--I am getting really tired of characters with superpowers refusing to believe characters with other superpowers exist.
--If Warden Walker was sneaking up on you, she wouldn't have worn such loud shoes.
--"We serve life itself" by desperately hogging as much of it as you can while depriving others of theirs.
--Oh, Elektra really wants those sai back.
--"Because this one, the Immortal Iron Fist, living weapon, & protector of the ancient still a thundering dumbass." Love you, Stick.
--The more I learn of K'un-Lun, the less "heavenly" it seems. The elders taught Danny (& apparently also Bakuto) absolutely nothing about the Hand except to keep them out of the city at the expense of the rest of the world.
--Earlier, Dana Barrett said Elektra was "more powerful that you can imagine." But I dunno, I can imagine how powerful a car is. Nice shot, Jessica.
--Most of this episode is just arguing or fighting in a restaurant, yet it's so good!

#5 "Take Shelter":
--Gao, Sowande, & Murakami's entrances are really cool.
--What the hell is a Black Sky?
--Sowande overestimated the advantage of a truck hitting Luke.
--"Do as I say or I'll kill you. I love you!" ~Gwen DeMarco to Elektra
--Everyone mocking Danny for K'un-Lun being destroyed is gonna feel really silly in 15 years when the city reappears.
--Crap, Bakuto's back. Not "crap" because I thought he was dead; it was obviously that he'd come back. "Crap" because that means I gotta hear him talk more now.
--Karen doesn't get it; she's on the Hand's crap-list anyway, regardless of what's happening now.
--Stick makes a Toph-quality blind joke.
--Foggy doesn't get it; Matt didn't seek this out & genuinely wants not to be involved with it. (Also it's technically Foggy's fault that Matt got dragged into it.)
--Misty thinks it's "weird" to own a family heirloom just because it's a sword?
--"Cut off a finger, you can still use your hand" is (a) true, (b) directly contradictory to what Danny thought about the Hand before, & (c) pretty cool-sounding, even from a guy getting choked out.
--I love that the Hand has absolutely no worries about the Iron Fist, the weapon specifically tasked with destroying them, but they are openly TERRIFIED of Daredevil.
--Translator, Murakami did not say "Elektra Natchios." Proper names don't translate.
--"Can be killed" is not the same thing as "expendable", Working Girl.
--Sowande is certainly the most interesting of the 3 new vill--and he's dead.

#6 "Ashes, Ashes":
--Immortality is like a record skipping. It's not supposed to happen, & it prevents what's supposed to happen next.
--So maybe that's why the elders had the past Iron Fists just hang around the gate all the time instead of actually hunting the Hand, because they knew he could be used to unlock something for them? But then, if that was the case, surely they would've been smart enough to TELL HIM THAT.
--Daredevil vs. Iron Fist is hilariously one-sided.
--You can tell Elektra is dreaming because Matt is making poper eye contact.
--What the hell is a Black Sky?
--Gao is still her scheming self. That's comforting.
--Locking Danny in time out is the smartest thing the Defenders have done.
--"You & I belong out there together on the front lines." Solid Heroes for Hire reference.
--Jessica looked into Battling Jack. Nice.
--The Hand keeps saying Daredevil "let" Elektra die, but he didn't.
--Sigourney's delivering all her lines as if she was talking to a toddler. I don't get it; she's never talked like that before.
--Matt learned to play the Defenders theme song in church?
--Stick screwed himself over; the knockout incense kept Danny from being able to fight Elektra & save him. The Chaste are gone; only the Defenders remain.
--Finally somebody confirms that K'un-Lun isn't destroyed....& then dies. Alexandra was billed as the primary villain of this story, & there are now 2 episodes left she won't be in.

#7 "Fish in the Jailhouse":
--Remember, just because Stick was one of the good guys doesn't mean he was always right. Vice versa, just because he was wrong sometimes doens't mean he was one of the bad guys.
--Crap, Stick never finished getting rid of Sowande's bodies?
--Matt is a lawyer known to be working Jessica's case & there was nothing on the scene to implicate him or identify him as Daredevil, so he gets special privileges in the station, but Misty isn't stupid.
--"I did everything I could to avoid people with abilities." The writer of this episode did not watch LC1 or IF1; she explicitly said there that she wanted to keep working with powered people & demanded to be involved with them.
--"Last I heard, they still have legal rights." At least a few; we'll see how the Accords affect that moving forward.
--KAREN, THERE IS A CULT OF NINJA ZOMBIES TRYING TO IMPLODE THE ISLAND. LET THE SUPERS DO THEIR WORK. Even Foggy gets that, & he actually has something to lose if Matt's found out.
--Misty's CO is a freaking douchebag.
--"I [...] protect K'un-Lun & destroy the Hand."
--Metal Gear Wing.
--AKA High-Functioning Alcoholism.
--It's hilarious that Gao has to fight Luke because she's the only one of the 3 remaining Hand leaders who can do anything to him. Luke & Jess tag-teaming her is pretty cool, too, as is Daredevil holding off both Bakuto & Murakami long enough for Colleen to arrive.
--Meanwhile, at the bottom of a giant hole, Danny fails to understand that he's being baited.
--At least Misty has finally gotten with the program.
--"These people aren't really alive." Marvel Zombies confirmed.
--It's too dark to really tell what I'm looking at other than just "some bones."

#8 "The Defenders":
--Stop title-tracking episodes, Marvel; it's very disorienting.
--Luke stipulates that no innocent people get hurt, but Matt already confirmed there's no innocent people in the building *to* hurt.
--So the Hand's "substance" is dragon bones, but as we've seen, they have to mix it with human blood to make the resurrection roux.
--"The unyielding woman" is a very awkward nickname for Jess.
--The captain is a moron; Luke & Jess couldn't have stolen the C4 because that didn't happen until after they'd escaped the station.
--The two journalists comparing notes is actually pretty interesting, especially because for once Karen isn't being the worst.
--"The epicenter." "Of what?" OF THE EARTHQUAKE, GENIUS.
--I'm about 70% sure Mike Colter ad-libbed "I'm not hugging you" & they just kept it because it was so good.
--Colleen, this isn't the moment for a nurses-are-heroes-too speech.
--"Did you simply follow?" Shut up, Bakuto. They told her NOT to come.
--Danny & Gao both seem to forget that Shao-Lou grows back. Danny's dumber, though, because he should realize Shou-Lou is physically somewhere else right now.
--"Tell me something I don't know." Danny proceeds to repeat the thing he said that Luke already knows.
--More Wu-Tang. "Protect Ya Neck" has a lyric about Spider-Man in it, but Spider-Man is active in the MCU by this point, so it actually works.
--Never has dismemberment been such good news. Don't worry, Misty, things are gonna get awesome for you.
--Colleen lathes Bakuto's throat, & I'm happy that his destroyed larynx means I'll never have to hear him speak again. Then she kills him.
--An elevator should not be slower than literally climbing the scaffolding.
--What the hell is a Black Sky?
--Jessica flies up to catch the elevator.
--Each lightsaber duel in the original Star Wars trilogy is a philosophical argument. Matt & Elektra are having a fight like that right now.
--Sowande, Alexandra, & Bakuto have been decapitated. Murakami is impaled, but without the bone broth, he ain't coming back. Gao is just walking around uninjured, though.
--Ah, that explains the red & green lights before; it was foreshadowing.
--We're not getting Danielle Cage anytime soon, are we?
--Stinger: Oh my gosh, Karen & Foggy were so close.

Executive summary: The good news was that the IF1 team didn't make this. Leaning into Danny's reputation for being dumb helped make his character more tolerable. And there are a whole bunch of genuinely cool & enjoyable things in here. The bad news was the DD2 team did make this. The Hand is just so dull, & the writers here don't have Whedon's wit to make all the introductions & get-to-know-yous sound natural. Three new major characters were introduced, & two of them were basically blank slates.

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Re: MCU Megathread


Post by CaptHayfever » Wed May 27, 2020 11:24 am

Ahem. *taps mic*
The content drought is over. Agents of SHIELD season 7 premieres TONIGHT @ 10PM EDT on ABC.
We now return you to part 34, already not yet in progress....

Spider-Man: Homecoming:
--You can't just void a contract you're not a party to without buying it out. Toomes has a valid complaint.
--Oh, so that's what happened to the Damage Control pilot.
--It's already on the record that every mention of an "8-year" gap between Avengers & this film is wrong, so we're not gonna bring it up every time they say it. Homecoming season is early in the school year; it's fall 2016.
--Dat Spidey theme tho.
--Love that Tony is still looking out for Happy's health post-IM3.
--For a school full of science geniuses, you'd think somebody could do better greenscreen effects.
--First time we've gotten a movie Spidey who makes his own web fluid. Maguire's formed from his body & Garfield stole his from Oscorp.
--Harrington's back from Incredible Hulk.
--Hi, Stan!
--This sunset frame is gorgeous.
--So he may be called "Ned Leeds", but he looks & acts exactly like Miles Morales's buddy Ganke Lee.
--Very much appreciate that we don't have to sit through Peter's origin story again; I just wish we *occasionally* got a mention of Ben.
--I didn't go to a lot of parties in high school, but the ones I did go to were almost as lame as Liz's party. At least I never had to deal with DJ Flash Thompson.
--Troy Barnes is in this movie.
--Solid Ferris Bueller reference.
--Now, there's a Birdman!
--"Because I said so" is a terrible reason. At least Tony listened to the churro story.
--Both Shockers in one movie. Efficient.
--Triskelion cleanup? It's been 2 years!
--Karen is voiced by Jennifer Connelly, who has 2 different Marvel connections; she's married to Paul Bettany & she played Betty Ross in the 2003 Hulk film.
--It's very likely that slave labor was used early in the quarrying process for the Washington Monument, but most of the construction work was done after the Civil War.
--These Cap shorts are fantastic.
--Miles's uncle thinks Spidey is being a bit...Childish. Gambino.
--At 98% success, shouldn't he just have needed one more shot?
--Toomes is getting desperate; it's time to live...Dangerously.
--Tony quoting himself talking to himself in IM3.
--The principal looks exactly like Jim Morita...& has a picture of him in his office.
--Liz's dad is in here acting like a real Mr. Mom.
--Liz's dad's kid is in here spilling the beans. Green light.
--Happy's phone rant about Avenger weapons was pretty cringey.
--Toomes tries to compare himself to Stark, but Stark stopped selling weapons ages ago, specifically because of sales to criminals that were done behind his back.
--A critic for Slashfilm wrote this complete garbage: "Parker has still saved the day by taking on The Vulture. In the process, his friend Liz has been forced to leave New York and live in shame, but this is never treated as an outcome Parker wrestles with, let alone one he understands." The only ways to reach that conclusion are to (a) not have actually been watching the film, (b) not have actually been understanding the film, or (c) lying. The movie is extremely clear that Peter understands what is happening. There is no intelligent interpretation that can say otherwise honestly. None.
--MJ has been a joy this entire film.
--"Real [reporters], not bloggers." PREACH.
--Pepper!? See, that's what happens when you cut the racist, sexist, alt-right shill out of your film studio; you get your Oscar-winning supporting actresses back.
--Hints of Mona Lisa Vito at the end. I hear people complain that Aunt May's entire character in the MCU was nothing but hot-aunt jokes. Literally all of her screentime in this movie is about her acting as Peter's mother figure, just like in the comics.
--I also hear people complain that Tony Stark hogs the screen in this movie, but he only appears 4 times; the beginning, the ending, & the act breaks.
--Mid-credit scene: Toomes has some honor. Scorpion does not.
--Post-credit scene: Cap trolls us.

Executive summary: It's no Spider-Verse, but what is? Despite a few desperate "see, we're in the MCU now!" moments that surely Sony demanded, this had all the fun & emotion that a Spidey film should have. Hopefully moving forward, we get to see Peter become more of his own man...his own Spider-Man.

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Re: MCU Megathread


Post by CaptHayfever » Fri May 29, 2020 3:06 pm

Part 35 is a twofer; we haven't had one of those in a while!

Agents of SHIELD season 4 part 1:

#4.01 "The Ghost":
--Gratuitous panty shot is gratuitous. But dang, Daisy's arms look like crap.
--He's a ghost, & he rides to us. Ghost Rider.
--I still don't understand backgammon.
--Davis & Piper are back. I believe they're approaching mauve-shirt status.
--The new director sucks at acronyms.
--The Sokovia Accords are constricting how SHIELD operates with Yo-Yo, which means that SHIELD must be above-ground again. Also explains why Coulson isn't director anymore; he's legally dead.
--Radcliffe's new robot is just out Galavant-ing around naked.
--The "Spectrum of Security" is like labeling classroom groups after animals; everybody figures out what the hierarchy is eventually anyway.
--Zoinks! Like, it's a g-g-ghost, man!
--It cannot be said enough how good the CGI for the Rider is.
--Daisy has a death wish, but this guy only punishes the guilty, & she's only guilty in her own mind.
--Also, somebody pranked Daisy's binoculars.

#4.02 "Meet the New Boss":
--Does ghost lady have to walk through everyone? Does she not realize she's doing it? Like, she's aware that she's incorporeal, so there must be something else involved.
--If there's a lattice of circut boards in that box, how can they reach into it?
--I don't know if I trust a guy who isn't scared of May.
--"A team that trusts is a team that triumphs" is not compatible with "Suspect it. Report it."
--"I can do May." Piper tips her hand.
--May herself is slipping, but a lot slower than the other patients.
--Not gonna lie, "Darkhold" is not a very intimidating name.
--Robbie might be almost as Catholic as Daredevil is.
--Daisy points out the flaw in Ghost Rider's kill-first-ask-questions-never methodology; namely, you never figure out what's actually happening or how far you need to go.
--Ghost Rider can one-shot the ghosts, & he seemed to enjoy it. Bustin' makes him feel good.
--Mack is hurt by Daisy's double-dealing, but Fitz is outright *offended*, & he has the right.
--It's true that Coulson has objectivity issues with May & Daisy, but he does have genuine experience dealing with conditions like May's. (And to think, Cap would be director now if not for the Accords.)
--Daisy is dressed EXACTLY like Rogue in X-Men Evolution.

#4.03 "Uprising":
--Oh no, the show has turned into NBC's Revolution!
--Obvious false-flag is obvious.
--Elena's friends are morons for a whole host of reasons, but let's start with because they think only people who do weird things know what an EMP is.
--I really don't understand the Purge-types who go around wrecking crap in blackouts. Bunch of entitled losers.
--"Still standing," Gabe? You did that on purpose.
--It's possible to pulse-shield electronics. We have that technology IRL; why don't they have it in fiction? (At least they have Fitz's glowsticks working; a simple battery-powered flashlight *would* survive an EMP.)
--The prick at Elena's party trying to get the magician shot is almost as big of an idiot as the Watchdogs who believed him.
--Well, whaddya know, the Sokovia Accords have a glaring downside. Who'd-a thunk it? *coughCapcough*
--I've made a cork compass, & I was a Scout, but the two weren't related.
--Gabe's a horrible judge of character.
--"I have very credible sources..." what, Senator Hypocrite?

#4.04 "Let Me Stand Next to Your Fire":
--Househunting FitzSimmons is adorable.
--A touch of old-school Coulson. I'm impressed he was able to put that tie on.
--Behold the battle of the ages: Lola vs the Hell Charger. (Notice at the end of this, the Charger is completely undamaged, but the nose of the quinjet is *crumpled.*)
--Solid made-in-China joke.
--"Amazing Bomb Boy" is a better codename than "Hellfire."
--"Move over, Rover, & let Jimi take over." ~Robbie to James
--Coulson & Daisy are reunited, & it's tense but also kinda happy.
--Simmons is a smidgen too clever for her own good.

#4.05 "Lockup":
--Flashback Lucy was in the middle of learning an important life lesson, but then she tossed it away in favor of stealing the Necronomicon here from this poor circus performer's cellar.
--Seriously, are the ghosts purposely making people crazy?
--"Cases of Sanity" would make a great album title.
--That's Eric Koenig's lie detector.
--How did Nadeer find out about the prison? The inmates don't have any way to contact her in their cells, & the guards were all going cuckoo from ghost infection. There's literally nobody who could've told her.
--Mace holds his own extremely well against Nadeer's alt-right "debate" style.
--The entire prison set piece is a blast, from Coulson & May's traditional infiltration to Daisy's cafeteria brawl to Robbie confronting the old gangbanger.
--Can we stop with the using-pictures-of-Daisy-to-blackmail-the-director?

#4.06 "The Good Samaritan":
--Loving these casual flashback titles like "Then" or "Back in the Day."
--Simmons calls out the hypocracy Mace's dumb motto.
--Coulson's juggling geese. Wash was right.
--Mace, Han's entire character arc in the first movie was about him deciding *not* to just put himself first. Also, he's not the hero of that film; Luke is.
--Fitz's shirt is wrinkled like a normal person who can't iron all the dang time like corporate America expects us to.
--Robbie got in the cage. Johnny Blaze gets about 2 seconds of screentime.
--Ghost Rider is officially only the 2nd being to escape the containment module, & the 1st to do so when it was already sealed. It was designed to contain Inhumans, & he isn't one.
--Even in his rage, the Rider doesn't burn the Patriot; Mace has done no wrongs to avenge.
--Soon as I heard them say Isodyne, I was looking forward to the Darkforce connection.
--Ghosts busted.

#4.07 "Deals with Our Devils":
--Eli blows his cover immediately. SHIELD doesn't know he's done anything wrong; he could've walked out with armed guards & been free without having to kill anyone.
--So this was Nadeer's demand, helping her brother?
--"My ax is plenty sharp...& a shotgun." Mack gets the best zingers.
--Coulson, Fitz, & Robbie were blasted into the prologue to Wizard of Oz.
--"Do we look that stupid on comms?" How do you think everyone figures out you're using them?
--Why did SHIELD even have that motorcycle on the plane?
--Crap, is Radcliffe gonna go nuts now?
--I appreciate the accuracy in the flaming skulls. Robbie has the fractures from hitting the ground, Blaze had a bullet hole, & Mack has nothing because he never sustained a skull injury.
--So, the Darkhold will let a machine read it, but not a ghost?
--Those light gloves are rave-tastic.
--Ohh, he didn't lose hope; he lost Hope!
--Stinger: Radcliffe is not as good a singer as Aida is an architect.

#4.08 "The Laws of Inferno Dynamics":
--Eli doesn't need the light gloves.
--Mace wants to bang Aida.
--"Burning Man" is a godawful name for an arts festival, especially when it takes hours of searching before you find somebody who actually SAYS it's an arts festival rather than just "an experience."
--Mace is having a hard time understanding that Aida is genuinely not designed for violence & that the person who built her & controls her every action has no reason to fear her even if she was.
--So, the instant Eli realizes that even immobilized, Robbie is still actually a threat, he can drop the lid, & it's boom-shaka-laka-BOOM!
--"Remember, I gave you the chance to leave." No, you held him in place with a spike.
--Mace, if you'd just told the team about Nadeer, they'd all be trusting you.
--"See this? This is water." "Wow. I'm so impressed."
--I love when they find creative uses for Daisy's powers. Like the water sculpting or the fall cushioning, or here the tremor absorbing.
--"Director said she wasn't here!" No, he didn't; he said she wasn't the threat.
--How does Coulson know the last Ghost Rider?
--"Maybe in the comic book version." I mean....
--Maybe the book did corrupt Aida after all. Poor Nathanson.

Executive summary: If you told me you expected the best Ghost Rider adaptation ever to be done on a TV budget, I would've called you a liar. And he's not even the sole focus of the season! We're going somewhere with Robo-May next.

Agents of SHIELD: Slingshot:

#1 "Vendetta":
--Frame story: Daisy's getting back into shape & Mace is here. These would be huge spoilers if I watched this earlier.
--Hi, Stan!
--Ah, the guy who got Bobbi & Hunter frozen is here.

#2 "John Hancock":
--Mace's Spanish pronunciation es horrible.
--I don't trust electronic signatures.
--SHIELD has to report to Ross now? Aw, hell naw.

#3 "Progress":
--Mace's security spectrum color is platinum.
--Fitz is talking about his big d-imensions on the TV he wants.
--So they were kissin' way back then too?

#4 "Reunion":
--One does not simply try to fool Melinda May. Luckily she's a fan of getting missions done.
--They're always super vague about the location of the Playground, but context clues put it somwhere reasonably near Washington DC.
--Hmm, they didn't subtitle "mierda." Interesting.
--Yo-Yo's reaction time is kinda weak for a speedster.

#5 "Deal Breaker":
--So, corrupt police gun runner who used to work with Inhumans is now supplying Watchdogs.
--Crap, it's the 084 laser!
--"Hi, I'm Daisy!" ~Daisy

#6 "Justicia":
--Initiate laser dodging!
--Uh-oh, it's the po-po, Yo-Yo!
--Frame story: Dat hacker tho.

Executive summary: When I heard Yo-Yo was living in LA at the start of season 4, I wondered what had happened with her self-appointed mission back home, so at least this answers that question. Overall, it's just a'ight. Nothing special. Not bad.

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Re: MCU Megathread


Post by CaptHayfever » Sun May 31, 2020 2:44 pm

Streaming rights for SHIELD are officially moving from Netflix to D+ after season 7 ends. That just leaves C&D (which should eventually make the jump), Helstrom (which may or may not depending on exactly how Satan it gets), & the actual Netflix shows. And now, part 36....

The Punisher season 1:

#1.01 "3AM":
--I must be lonely.
--That was a Ward-level snipe.
--Huh, he's wiped out all 3 of the gangs already. (So much for the Dogs of Hell who survived Lorelei.) Well, that was a short show; what's next?
--Theme song: This music is outstanding. Visually, though, it's just a bunch of guns.
--This time we get to see Frank's thinking from the inside instead of the outside, really experience how he's trapped in that moment of loss.
--Frank's barely making any progress on that wall; how could he possibly be hurting the crew's overtime?
--"He was like a superhero to me or something'. 'Cept they don't die, right?" *cries in Quicksilver*
--O'Connor is here fishing for recruits for his alt-right crap; only Lewis is biting.
--Wolf is a piece of garbage.
--Schoonover's boat blew up "last year". It's still 2016.
--"You need to mind your own business." That's what he was doing; you came to him.
--Donny, they told you it would be illegal & you brought your ID!?
--Frank wants to be you sledgehammer. Listen to his testimony, yeah. (I mean, Peter Gabriel is basically the same thing as Tom Waits, right? Left? Right?)
--Snooch to the Gnucci!

#1.02 "Two Dead Men":
--Ah, it's Daisy's buddy Micro.
--"People bounce back so quick [from 9/11]." It was 16 years ago; a not-significant percentage of the population wasn't cogent (or alive) yet.
--Karen's wearing the Black Coat of Mourning.
--Ellison is very good at not getting his paper shut down by corrupt NSA officials.
--Turnabout is fair play, Micro.
--This car shall henceforth be known as the Micro Machine.
--You can't trim that close to your face with just scissors & have it come out that good unless you have a couple hours to kill.
--An active-duty Homeland Security officer would have to be stupid to have that many windows that big.
--Frank, punching Wolf with a slotted appliance: "You're toast."
--"Soldiers can't question legally or morality in the moment." Then all wars are illegal & immoral inherently.
--Masterful play, kidnapping yourself.

#1.03 "Kandahar":
--Rated TV-MA for nudity.
--Failsafe like that assumes you'll never have your eye injured. Bad idea.
--Micro's origin story brought to you by Tree Ripe orange juice.
--Wolf pulls the "he's got a gun" lie as an excuse to shoot an unarmed suspect. I really wish that was fiction.
--David survived assassination the same way Teddy Roosevelt did.
--This flashback episode is Schoonover's last appearance? Surtur you can't be serious!
--I've seen Agent Orange on some other shows. He was a tool there, too, but I don't remember if he had any cops murdered.
--This support group would be a wonderful help to Lewis if O'Connor wasn't in it purposely winding him up, putting him on edge, putting his father in danger.
--Micro probably didn't expect to be naked in his murder video. Or to ever have to use his Get-Smart tranquilizer pen.
--Orange, you arrogant entitled twerp, your intelligence only said the target was there. That being true does not mean it's not also a trap. The two are not mutually exclusive. (This is definitely the story Schoonover told at Frank's trial.)

#1.04 "Resupply":
--Lewis is really starting to worry me. That's not a very big backyard, & he's taken up most of it with his foxhole.
--I actually thought Turk wasn't gonna walk away from this one.
--Anytime anybody tells Madani to stop investigating Ahmad, I'm gonna assume they're in on it until I learn otherwise.
--How much damage could Frank have done to that van?
--Sarah doesn't recognize the Punisher.
--Russo's operation is sketchy, but he just might save Lewis. But Curtis was still right to give the recommendation he did.
--Poor blindfold guy. At least the cops maybe won't shoot him when they show up?
--Frank, American or not, that car sticks way the hell out.
--Madani tries to play chicken with Frank & ends up in EVERY CAR CRASH COMMERCIAL.

#1.05 "Gunner":
--I'm actually kinda into busting gendered names, but I've literally never heard of a girl named Leo until now. I don't even know what it would be short for. Anyway, this Leo kid is cool.
--"I told your mother to keep you home." Rafi, Madani is at least 33 years old (15 years in the department + 18 years to legally be hired there); she doesn't have to do what her mother says.
--Orange, they deserve it because they are humans who inherently deserve dignity & peace until they prove otherwise.
--Karen does a good job stonewalling; she's had two jobs that have trained her well in protecting information.
--I've heard the Spot story before. I like it. I also like that big sandwich.
--Rawlins lied real hard to his boss, & it's not gonna go well for either of them when Frank gets back home.
--Flashback Gunner was a very outgoing, friendly dude. Present Gunner is very not.
--Rawlins is an atrocious tactician. He sent a noisy helicopter & a big clunky squad in white to attack a survivalist Marine vet on his own land by marching directly towards the house. Nonetheless, poor Gunner.
--Oof, I forgot about "Pete's" dinner date too.
--Well, dang.
--Frank is gonna be haunted about Gunner until he actually manages to get back there & bury him.

#1.06 "The Judas Goat":
--Micro stalking through the rain in his trench coat looks like Raphael.
--I didn't need the close-up on that surgical incision.
--Well, dang.
--Aww, that was sweet of Micro.
--Man, Zach really is a little brat.
--O'Connor, you little rat, you drag Lewis into your crap & then leave him hanging when a corrupt cop shows up & plays the "you reached for my gun" bulloney. I really wish that was fiction.
--Stolen valor is a federal offense.
--What's to stop any random ham operator who happens to go by "Raven" from answering Russo's call?
--I sure don't feel bad for O'Connor, but I'm now absolutely terrified of what's gonna happen with Lewis.
--Aww, that was sweet of Frank.
--Oof, Sarah has the hots for "Pete."
--Oof, Russo was in on it!

#1.07 "Crosshairs":
--Shower curtains do NOT rip that easily.
--Lewis's dad is a good man. I hope he gets through this.
--Frank's gotten very jaded about killing, but he still has qualms about taking out a US soldier.
--Morty, that's gross; you don't know what's been on that floor. Not kink-shaming, just watching out for your health.
--The effect of the lasers shaking when these guys go down is awesome.
--Lewis took the exact wrong lesson from his dad's speech.
--Rawlins & Russo aren't upset that Morty brought his phone?
--Poor dominatrix prostitute.
--Why kill Morty? What's the benefit? He was telling the truth that he didn't talk.
--That glass is weakened, Frank, & Orange is too dumb to move out of the way; fire again!

#1.08 "Cold Steel":
--Please don't strap your abuser into a bed & force-feed them addictive drugs.
--Well, dang.
--How did they not make Turk the two-strikes arms dealer?
--Oof, Sarah. This is gonna get real awkward real soon.
--Madani has the upper hand on Orange for the first time.
--Frank, you've seen Micro naked, you should know what he looks like.
--How are a bunch of dudes wanted by the State department able to just hang out in New York like this?
--If anything confirms how different this Punisher is from his original incarnation, he just said "thank the Vietnamese" non-ironically.
--More Wu-Tang, on the freaking Punisher.
--I'm seeing a lot of headshots through helmets. Actually makes Madani & Stein look a lot less stupid for not wearing helmets at all.
--Poor Stein. If he could've stammered out one word....
--If anything makes Frank sympathetic, it's giving him a kid to take care of.
--For people who think nudity is always sexual, Madani's bath proves you wrong. Also, Billy being here is really effed up.

#1.09 "Front Toward Enemy":
--Lewis snapped. Big surprise.
--Karen decides not to be *completely* the worst today; the paper does need to run the letter in its entirety, including the threat...but then her response is so inflammatory that it's gonna get somebody bombed anyway.
--Madani, just tell Rafi you found a bug in your office.
--There genuinely is a difference between what Frank did & what Lewis is doing; even if both of their actions are wrong, there is a difference between them. Frank specifically targeted (& is still targeting) the people who were directly or indirectly responsible for his family's death; Lewis is killing people who aren't involved at all in his problems, even by his own screwed-up logic.
--17? Billy, I've been to more funerals than that, & I never served.
--The bomb strapped to Curtis is facing the wrong way.
--Lewis doesn't understand that if people aren't allowed to disagree about him.
--Well, the jig is up. The Punisher is alive.

#1.10 "Virture of the Vicious":
--The birds like the free food, Lewis.
--Ah, here's our new take on "T.R.A.C.K.S."
--Brett has good reason to suspect Karen of bias, but he's gotta realize she's right about Frank's MO.
--Either Karen is omniscient, or her POV is being mixed with Lewis's POV.
--"He's the Director of Covert Operations." "He's a murdering piece of ****." These are the same sentence.
--Madani is giving prologue; Mahoney is asking for plot. Of course, she was 8 floors away from the action, so questioning her is silly in the first place.
--Castle & Madani in a stairwell is a far cry from Fury & Coulson in a stairwell.
--Billy screwed the hell up. He let Castle find out about him & survive the encounter.
--Castle rappelling down a stairwell is pretty close to Bucky rappelling down a stairwell.
--Lewis, you don't have support to wait for; you're working alone.
--Frank & Karen codetalking was glorious.
--Lewis truly has ruined his father's life, & that's what so many of these domestic terrorists troubled young men domestic terrorists either don't grasp or don't care about.
--The edges on that zipline green screen would probably look better on a slightly-lower-res-but-still-HD TV. There is such a thing as too clear of a picture.

#1.11 "Danger Close":
--Glad Micro isn't giving up on Frank, even if the opposite isn't true.
--Oof, Zach has totally backslid.
--"Lawyers are for the guilty," said somebody who (a) is guilty & (b) has never been falsely accused.
--Marion is gonna roll on Rawlins the second she gets the chance.
--In these 7 seconds, Mal will play the part of Sarah, & Jayne will play the part of Zach.
--Leo's having a rough day, but she's awesome, & her reunion with Micro is the single most positive thing that's happened this season so far.
--Russo is getting really sick of Rawlins treating him like a pet dog. (And it makes sense, since Orange will completely throw him under the bus.)
--The Punisher mowing down Billy's hit squad is somethin' else, man. The lightbulb bombs are exceptionally clever.
--This shot of Marion & Orange on the bridge is really good, with the center line of the street between them.

#1.12 "Home":
--Micro's got something up his sleeve, but confirming that Frank was the one who actually shot Zubair is the real twist.
--Frank's dreams of Maria are VERY different now, & it's pretty powerful, especially when he gets knocked in & out of them. He's *so close* to being ready to die, but there are 2 people left.
--Billy's obsession with status symbols would be pathetic if he didn't think those status symbols justified the grotesque things he did to get them. So instead of pathetic, it's enraging.
--Rawlins's arrogance & entitlement would make us hate him even if he wasn't the bad guy. I've had to look away from almost all the gore on this show, but I was able to stay with Agent Orange's death until his eyes went.
--The Liebermans are all together again. They won't be ok right away, but they will be eventually.
--I fully believe they murdered that computer tech.

#1.13 "Memento Mori":
--Farah, everybody takes sides.
--Never use white bedsheets.
--Russo wiping out the agents sent to arrest him is disturbing as hell, but really well-shot. But then, of course, cool dudes don't look at explosions.
--Marion is delighted that Madani has cleaned up her mess for her. Rafi, for some reason, is really upset about it.
--*You're* taking this personally, Billy!? You narcissistic piece of crap. You were there just before the Castles were gunned down!
--Well, dang. Micro proves his earlier bragging right. (This scene was so steamy, it crashed my Roku!)
--Russo complains that nobody will mourn either himself or Frank, but they both would've had people to mourn them if Russo hadn't gotten those people killee.
--"Attachments are a weakness"? That's some Hydra crap, Billy.
--Just like Rawlins before, I'm able to stomach almost all of Jigsaw's beating except the mirror.
--Frank suddenly changes his mind.
--"3 Days Later" is Thanksgiving 2016. Take the day off, Frank, just like everyone else should.

Executive summary: If you can get through the gore (& there is a LOT of gore on this show), you have our first real anti-hero story of this franchise. It's incredibly hard to make the Punisher sympathetic, unless you're focusing on his vengeance quest or giving him somebody to protect; here, they did both. They also wisely established that Frank's actions ARE wrong & only excusable because he's in a situation that has NO right action possible.

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Re: MCU Megathread


Post by CaptHayfever » Wed Jun 03, 2020 11:30 am

Purposely didn't post yesterday for reasons of public consideration. We just saw the least fantastical thing in the MCU; part 37 brings us to the most fantastical thing....
(I technically could've watched this any time from IF 1 until C&D 1, since the main plot spans a full year, but this seemed like the most narratively satisfying point for it.)

Doctor Strange:

--This is a deeply inefficient way to store books.
--There have to be easier ways to sneak into the restricted section at Hogwarts.
--Extremely poor whipwork on the part of those henchmen.
--Comics Christine Palmer is the Night Nurse, but Claire Temple is serving that role already (in this same hospital, in fact) so Palmer is an MCU MD.
--I don't know how that claw grabbed the bullet when it clearly wasn't touching it.
--That's a lot of watches (& a plaque) to tell us we're starting off on Groundhog Day 2016.
--Rhodey is not 35 years old, & he hasn't crashed yet; that test pilot isn't him. Probably another poor hapless Hammer subject.
--Don't text & drive. Period.
--Doctors make the worst patients.
--Time progression #1. A few months of surgeries & recoveries & rehab.
--The correct answer to "show me his file" should be "no, that's a HIPAA violation."
--Detective Curtis is in this movie.
--Hamir was the only one in the room; Strange really should be forgiven for thinking he was the Ancient One. On the other hand, Sherlock would never have fallen for that.
--Why is acupuncture so mocked? Pressure points & massage therapy are verified science. Acupuncture is just those.
--Strange: "You don't see through me; I see through you!" Ancient One: "You sure 'bout that?"
--Strange's literal crash course is perhaps the most visually exciting thing in this franchise so far. Oh hai, Quantum Realm. The fractal hands are gross.
--Drawing energy from other worlds sounds like Eli Morrow's schtick. Since these sorcerers have been operating for so long without causing an apocalypse, though, they clearly understand how to manage it more responsibly.
--Kaecilius now has Inception Power too!
--Mordo's resigned "oh, no, not again" is the biggest laugh so far.
--Time progression #2. A few more months of study, with astral projection during sleep to speed things along.
--"Temporal manipulations can create temporal manipulations!" ~Mordo
--I don't think Wong yet knows the Avengers have broken up.
--The crumbly eyes are like the ghost-induced hallucinations. Might be some dark dimension shenanigans at work with the ghosts.
--TFW an explosion in London hits you in Tibet & knocks you into New York.
--File footage of Strange trying to introduce himself to Kaecilius.
--Strange needs to learn how to backwards long-jump to get through that hallway.
--McAdams is doing a lot with a little here, but at least they seem very clear on boundaries; Palmer & Strange are NOT gonna get back together.
--Dang, Mordo really is the Operative, isn't he?
--Bit cringey when Strange explains the mirror dimension to Kaecilius.
--Hi, Stan!
--Kaecilius gets really pissed at the Ancient One for her "hypocrisy", but then stabs her through his own guy despite trying to get him eternal life.
--"...the simplest & most significant lesson of all. [...] It's not about you." The Ancient One's death is very moving. Swinton channels profound honesty in her performance.
--Wait, was that the Staff of One?
--The time-reversal fight scene is the 2nd-cleverest thing in this movie. The cleverest thing hasn't happened yet.
--"Dormammu, I've come to bargain." This is the cleverest thing. Be careful what you wish for, Kaecilius.
--Dormammu reminds me of Smaug.
--"The bill comes due. Always." Yeah, I'm pretty sure Strange pre-paid that bill when he died a bajilion times.
--Mid-credit scene: Will be repeated in Ragnarok. Skip it.
--Credits: Yeah, I don't think too many people are gonna imitate Strange's driving, since it resulted in him getting his hands smashed to pulp.
--Post-credit scene: Mordo's gone full Javert. You never go full Javert.

Executive summary: In terms of character arc, it has a lot in common with Iron Man (though Strange manages to attain selflessness in 1 film instead of 3). In terms of world-building, however, we're on a whole other level. The ending is such a huge part of this film's success, as is the willingness to go into some of the weirder stuff in Marvel's source material.

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Re: MCU Megathread


Post by CaptHayfever » Fri Jun 05, 2020 4:09 am

Word on the street is that Falcon & Winter Soldier and Loki will both resume filming in July. WandaVision is scheduled for pickups/reshoots, probably around the same time.
Part 38 takes us into our next long TV interlude.

Agents of SHIELD season 4 part 2:

#4.09 "Broken Promises":
--The Nadeers' complete misunderstanding of where Inhumans came from, which has to amount to willful ignorance at this point, is incredibly frustrating.
--Interestingly, Robo-May seems not to know she's a robot.
--They've backslid on misuse of the word "theory."
--Yet another example of the Sokovia Accords being abused to obstruct justice rather than serve it.
--Fitz's non-internet server is a bunch of Apple IIe systems wired together?
--Super reflexes. That's an incredibly specific power Vijay got himself.
--Jemma, "some of them" would've been a much more accurate & helpful answer.
--As Mack & Yo-Yo further bond over their fear of robot movies, they reference Short Circuit, Weird Science, The Lawnmower Man, Terminator, Maximum Overdrive, Chopping Mall, & Small Wonder.
--What a tweest!
--A 2nd terrigenesis? How is that supposed to make sense when we've seen lots of other Inhumans be re-exposed to terrigen with absolutely no effect?

#4.10 "The Patriot":
--Somebody just tried to assassinate Mace with a Judas Bullet.
--Talbot's back, & this time, he's still Talbot.
--Poor Burrows.
--Coulson is a never-ending source of spy-trope subversions.
--Much appreciated that Radcliffe still wants to avoid killing anybody.
--Aida already said it, Radcliffe; Agent May is already prone to violence. A hot-stone massage isn't gonna do it.
--It's the little things: Fitz commands enough respect to clear the lab with a soft-spoken command; Talbot can't clear the lab at all.
--Talbot thought reusing the Hyde formula was a good idea, which speaks to why he shouldn't be in charge.
--Cut off one head, one more will blab everything.
--Good thing for Radcliffe that May prefers to treat her own wounds.
--Jeffrey Mace is a good man; he just shouldn't be leading operations.

#4.11 "Wake Up":
--May's only been gone for 5 days? This is moving fast.
--Anybody who knows what Coulson has been through would instantly be suspicious of a relaxing vacation they don't remember attending.
--Well, dang. Looks like they *really* bonded over killing that robot.
--Having Daisy sign the Accords now was a bad move. Should've had her sign immediately upon rejoining SHIELD & just forged the date.
--How did Nadeer KNOW they'd broken into her office? Like, I understand her thinking they would & setting the trap, but she had no way of knowing that the trap had been triggered.
--Ok, this is the closest Coulson has come to his resurrection becoming known to the Avengers...but by this point, all but 3 of them are off the grid. As long as Tony, Rhodey, & Vision weren't watching Random Committee Hearing #11 on C-SPAN that day, the secret is maintained.
--Fitz is right, the Aida head was not exposed to the mission plans; it was only activated in the storage locker.
--That's what the vengeance spirit meant. Mack didn't lose hope; he lost Hope.
--Radcliffe, if your first priority is preserving life, then why leak information to somebody who wants to commit genocide?
--Oof, Radcliffe, that scenario is gonna backfire.

#4.12 "Hot Potato Soup"
--I think this is the first we've seen Koenigs actually making physical contact.
--Does he use a cattle prod 'cause he's name is Shockley, or is his name Shockley 'cause he uses a cattle prod?
--"...this is Agent Koenig. They took Agent Koenig!" Love it.
--It's very interesting; Radcliffe has accurately diagnosed that the Darkhold has manipulated him, yet he still wants it to achieve his goals.
--"The Superior" is a dumb name, that's a dumb reason for it, & that's a dumb way to drink vodka. ("The old way" included test tubes? Yeah, right.)
--Latin: "I hope that the memory of our friendship will be everlasting. Wise is the man who talks little. The die has been cast." Cicero, Caesar, & Canary.
--Patton Oswalt is on this show.
--Thurston's crappy slam poetry reminds me of a guy I knew in college who somehow constantly won slams despite being the worst one there.
--Robo-May's breakdown is actually kinda sad.
--The Superior has the reasoning of an infant. "Inhumans did not suffer to become what they are," yes, they did. "The agent SHIELD sends to deal with alien incidents is the cause of those incidents," no, that's ridiculous. Rich, dumb, influential, macho bigots are a scourge upon this planet.

#4.13 "Boom":
--Aida's based on a real person, & Mallory Jansen gets to use her native accent.
--Love that the Darkhold's message to Ivanov was "you're too dumb, give me to Radcliffe."
--"The Sokovia Accords give a Senator who wants to kill all Inhumans the right to the locations of all Inhumans." OH LOOK ANOTHER MASSIVE FLAW IN THE ACCORDS.
--Hahaha, screw you, Shockley! And screw you more, Nadeer!
--Ok, so it has been weeks, not just days.
--Coulson's apology is great. Catch more flies with honey than with death threats.
--Mace is beating himself up even though he actually handled it perfectly.
--Poor dad from Even Stevens.
--Now there's a Patriot.
--They captured Shockley in a giant Pokéball.
--I understand Agnes's decision, but still, yikes. It's spurring on Aida's development of real emotions, too.

#4.14 "The Man Behind the Shield":
--Coulson & Daisy do a straight-up Matrix sparring match.
--Ivanov uses simulations too, just not digital ones.
--Fitz has a valid point; literally ANY scientific development can be used to hurt people.
--The flashback is great. It's nice to see more of Coulson & May between CM & IM, as well as to see how mundane of a mission Ivanov took so seriously.
--More of Ivanov's insane reasoning: He blames Coulson for his own government executing his men for failure. He claimed that digging up their corpses & dumping them in a storage room was "paying his respects." He thinks Coulson was behind Fury, rather than the other way around.
--Daisy is actually a fair match for Ivanov even without powers; she was a trained combatant even before terrigenesis.
--Honestly, a robot Daisy is less scary to face; it won't have her powers.

#4.15 "Self Control":
--The "fixing everyone's greatest regret" angle is pretty significant, & I'm gonna deal with it later.
--Nice, Simmons, I think his leg is broken.
--Daisy handled suddenly becoming henicosuplets pretty well, all things considered.
--It's the little things: Fitz is the only one who knows how to properly repair an LMD, & that carries over to the LMDs themselves.
--Daisy & Simmons have a poignant reunion scene.
--Aida officially overthrows Radcliffe. Maybe it's a simple logic bomb. Maybe it's Darkhold corruption. Either way, Mack & Yo-Yo were right.
--Quake vs Robo-Patriot with the background fire is really cool.
--Robo-May's very different programming is paying off here. She fulfilled her mission already; she'll do whatever the real May would do now.
--Nope, Skye, it's not Lincoln. You & Jemma didn't log in the normal way; your regrets have not been accommodated...especially not Jemma's. It's freaky seeing the Triskelion standing too...especially with that logo on it.

Executive summary: Ho. Ly. Crap. I thought Ghost Rider was gonna be a series high, but this show just keeps climbing higher. Ming-Na Wen's dual performance here deserves some extra props.

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Re: MCU Megathread


Post by CaptHayfever » Sun Jun 07, 2020 2:10 pm

Part 39 introduces a new channel, a new setting, & some very weird new heroes....

Cloak & Dagger season 1:

#1.01 "First Light":
--Billy, it's not grand theft auto if you don't thieve the auto.
--"If you're not guilty, you have nothing to be afraid of." Yeah right. Ain't no way anybody is gonna believe Billy didn't steal that stereo.
--Lake Borgne is no longer a true lake, but now a lagoon of the Gulf of Mexico. The water there is a gross mixture of dead lake water, leaked seawater, & an eldrich blend of Darkforce & Lightforce.
--"You looked good out there!" She wasn't dancing; his pickup line is an obvious lie. She accepted it, though, so she obviously has plans for him.
--He's right that the ref should be calling this crap, but when you already know the ref is crooked, losing your temper is just gonna get him to call against YOU.
--Tandy knows her father tried to prevent the rig collapse, so the company blaming him for it & screwing his family out of everything is one hell of a sketchy cover job. But Roxxon's never been a paragon of corporate ethics.
--Tyrone learns the hard way not to sleep naked anymore.
--"This cop doesn't exist" is a real easy lie to disprove (especially if the guy can just be googled)...unless you're from an institution that has shown a willingness to murder or blackmail witnesses.
--Rape is not appropriate retribution for theft. Rape is not appropriate retribution for anything. Ever.
--Connors is gonna be really stoned tonight.

#1.02 "Suicide Sprints":
--Officer Kira Ford is on the case. Silently. I dig it.
--Ty's Catholic school experience is very different from mine. The secluded teacher's office & the sadistic coach stick out as extreme differences. Sadly, the bullying classmates are not a difference, though they were never bold enough to lock me up.
--Ty & Evita have a very easy chemistry.
--Elmer brings a whole new meaning to "money laundering."
--If you're talking personal stuff that can be used to steal your identity on social media, set your crap to friends-only.
--If your wedding song is "To Sir, with Love", I'm gonna assume you have a thing for teachers. Wink.
--Liam's greatest hope is to marry Tandy. That's genuinely heartbreaking.
--We already knew this was Adina's greatest fear, but that doesn't make it any less heartbreaking.
--Neither of you are getting through this that easy, kiddos.

#1.03 "Stained Glass":
--3D printers are freaky.
--Love that O'Reilly saw through the assault *immediately.* I wonder where she picked up those skills?
--I also love the way Joseph & Holt are credited, positioned so that either name can be read first. Just like Drake Bell & Josh Peck used to be.
--Non-Catholics frequently misunderstand how the intercession of the saints works. We don't believe the saints are deities, just that they're souls who are already in Heaven. Ty's prayer here actually gets it pretty darn close for a change.
--Evita's description of voodoo on her tour aligns with the one given by the angel Loki in Dogma, another work heavy with Catholic influence.
--Brought to you by Amazon Whole Foods.
--Tandy's concussion is close enough to Ty's bath to count; they're both taking the same spirit journey towards understanding each other & their connection.
--Corrupt cops & corrupt executives are both afraid of the same thing: accountability.

#1.04 "Call/Response":
--Ty & Tandy in the church is the backbone of this episode, & it provides the most compelling scenes, but the tangents to it are good too.
--Good to know we can trust Greg.
--Ty's plan to get into the station safely isn't horrible, but he shouldn't expect Connors to just be there. And lying to his dad was just dumb.
--This show isn't afraid to pile on the cultural folds; the Mardi Gras Indians are a new wrinkle. Interesting to see Otis unveil his past with the Wild Red Hawks. Yes, I'm making cloak puns.
--Melissa's self-destructive tendancies are even worse than Tandy's.
--Poor Greg.
--Both of them are right about the other having privilege & wrong in denying their own.
--How Ty responds to Tandy's confession of suicidal thoughts is the exact opposite of what you should do if somebody comes to you with that, as evidenced by how she ends the episode.

#1.05 "Princeton Offense":
--These Roxxon Gulf commercials are a delight.
--Well, dang. Dino Thunder, power up!
--Connors wasn't on vice yet when he killed Billy; how did they deny his existence back then?
--Ty's jackhole teammate saying locking him in a cage was a good thing is enraging.
--HS basketball finals are usually in the 3rd quarter of the school year.
--How did Tandy sneak into a rich school so easily in 2017?
--This influencer agency was already sketchy as hell before they brought up prostitution.
--I don't like these dirty refs' style; who's betting so much on high school sports that there'd be violent retribution over it? I'm really proud of Tyrone.
--Everybody at Roxxon seems to either have it out for or have it hard for the boss. Based on what Tandy saw, the former group is more justified.
--Well, dang. Evita knows what's up.
--Doing addictive drugs to catch drug dealers always seemed like a great way to not catch drug dealers.

#1.06 "Funhouse Mirrors":
--That was Ty's last game; he's a senior.
--I like that Duane doesn't want Ty mixed up in his drugs.
--"Save your receipt?" Mina, she's never gonna be able to return those waders.
--"One disaster after the next, New Orleans always comes back." I still wanna know who decided to build a coastal city below sea level. You put the *port* on the edge, of course, but build the *city* further in on the solid ground.
--Why is Duane's dealer having fear visions of Mister Jip!?
--"Nathan was like the Steve Jobs to my dad's Wozniak." So, Nathan stole credit, abused employees, & overcharged for underpowered hardware?
--Mina sniffing out Tandy is pretty awesome.
--Ty's gonna blame himself for Duane's death, but Connors & O'Reilly were coming here tonight anyway.

#1.07 "Lotus Eaters":
--Ivan's humming song is the best music they've used so far.
--Ivan's situation is emotionally wrenching, trapped in the worst moment of his life over & over, having lost himself, with the time compressed.
--If they had more than a minute to get there & didn't have to stop to deal with the terrors, it could probably be done, but not at this rate.
--Ivan's situation is emotionally wrenching, trapped in the worst moment of his life over & over, having lost himself, with the time compressed.
--When you have what's essentially eternity to contemplate the nature of reality, you start to get real trippy. Just ask Bill Murray...or Stephen Strange.
--Ivan's situation is emotionally wrenching, trapped in the worst moment of his life over & o--ok, I'll stop.
--Tandy's situation is different; she's purposely trapping herself in a moment of hollow comfort. Ty at least has some understanding that they need to fix this & how.
--Also like Strange before them (or really, at nearly the same time as time), Cloak & Dagger are getting a lot of extra practice with their powers in this time loop.
--"Everything I just said in that sentence is ridiculous!" Aubrey Joseph is better when he gets to be emotional.
--I never heard of cardamom before this show. Now every time they mention it on Great British Bake-Off, I think of this episode & this song.

#1.08 "Ghost Stories":
--They don't need to show Ty & Tandy's origin flashback in EVERY "previously on" segment.
--"Bernoulli" isn't that long of a story, Ivan; he's fairly famous.
--Connors thinks a witness to a killing is a suspect who needs to be "dealt with" for running away. Sounds like a lot of real life cops.
--I get Chantelle not recognizing Ty; he grew up a lot. But he didn't recognize her either?
--The vfx for Tandy's daggers is very simple, but very effective.
--Connors, "Billy" is right; if you'd just admitted what happened, you probably would've gotten off without even a slap on the wrist.
--Scarborough, you could've saved your entire project & millions of dollars in lost investment if you'd just spent a *little* more on the proper heat shielding your engineers told you to use. And you've learned nothing from it, since you've had your goon mess up Mina's pressure release valves, too.
--O'Reilly's from Harlem & knows Misty. Well, then.
--Grief makes us sugarcoat the past when we don't need to. We can remember the good without covering up the bad.
--Poor Fuchs, victim of the MCU's 2nd & much more literal fridging.

#1.09 "Back Breaker":
--Auntie Chantelle likes spittin'.
--Hi, pop-art painting of Stan!
--Fr. Delgado is having his own version of regression while he teaches it.
--Mina's love of nature is pure; she just doesn't understand that the company she works for is actively opposed to it.
--Punishments like Delgado gives Ty are another difference between his Catholic school experience & mine, but not my father's.
--Liam has barely been in this show; I don't get why he's credited as a main cast member.
--O'Reilly's method of coping is extremely Irish. Shame she's surrounded by a bunch of good-ol' boys.
--Oh dang, Evita!
--Tandy's new drug of choice is mind-rape, & it's not a good look on her. No matter how low you are, you don't have the right to drag others down with you. (Fortunately, the showrunner confirmed that the hopes she steals aren't permanently deleted.)
--Ty's continued rage is understandable. Even when a cop gets busted for murdering a unarmed Black person, they rarely face consequences. And as we've seen in the Botham Jean case, even when such a cop does face consequences, the witnesses involved in it end up facing retribution. Behold, Ty is framed for murder.
--"Mr. Scarborough sends his regards."

#1.10 "Colony Collapse":
--The history of the Divine Pairings is built up really well. Except for the first, all of these events were alluded to in earlier episodes, & the continuing leitmotif of the different arrangements of "Come Sail Away" is clever; the song is both melancholy & hopeful, just like the story of each Pairing.
--Spy Boy Otis didn't even know that he knew what to do.
--It's Mardi Gras, which is always in February or early March. New Orleans has the most famous celebration of the holiday in the US, & the 2nd-most famous in the world.
--There are good cops. Problem is, when they demonstrate that by trying to stop bad cops, they're punished for it.
--"With great power comes even more power." Psychopaths in a nutshell.
--Heh, Stark. Heh, Rand. Heh, 616. Heh, mayhem.
--One of these stories being about the Spanish Flu pandemic hits hard this year.
--Cloak losing his cloak hurts to see, but Dagger helping him deal with it in a we-don't-have-time-for-therapy manner is great.
--Oh crap, "Come Sail Away" is playing again. This is it.
--The thing in the Darkforce Dimension does not want anything bad happening to its avatar. And sometimes it gets hungry. Bye, Connors!
--Another reason this song is perfect; the middle section is really freaking weird, which makes for a great score to the madness inside the Roxxon plant.
--Both Cloak & Dagger got their arms burned, & neither of them died. Looks like they broke the cycle. (Or, since their "mojos are mixed up", maybe fate is treating them as one entity, & it was O'Reilly, who had both arms marked by her jacket, that formed the rest of the Pairing?)
--Stinger: It's morphin' time.

Executive summary: This is the successful slow burn that AoS 1, IF 1, JJ 2 (you'll see), & Runaways 1 (you'll see) all wanted to be. The effortless chemistry between Holt & Joseph, combined with a rich supporting cast & very bold thematic choices that pay off expertly makes this the sleeper hit of the TV division so far.

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Re: MCU Megathread


Post by CaptHayfever » Tue Jun 09, 2020 9:26 pm

Speaking of the virtual worlds inside people's heads, here's part 40....

Agents of SHIELD season 4 part 3:

#4.16 "What If..."
--I'm going to discuss the details of "fixing" each SHIELD hostage's regret in the next post to save on the character limit.
--Dat title card tho.
--Framework Skye never met her parents or learned her birth name.
--Zombie Simmons is oddly surprised that NPCs in an immersive virtual reality have complex coded behaviors.
--Looks like May regrets the change to her regret now.
--From the newspaper Coulson is clipping: Felix Blake is considered a Hydra hero; while he was a SHIELD loyalist in reality, his anti-Inhuman mindset would've endeared him with the new regime. Also, Bakshi is still alive.
--Every last one of them are Nazis, & don't you let anyone forget it.
--This is great continuity work; Coulson's previous experience with memory tampering means that the Framework brainwashing didn't stick as well for him as for the others. There are cracks that Jemma & Daisy can use to gain his trust.
--It sucks to be Vijay in any world.
--More of Coulson's clippings: Cal was arrested & killed by Hydra, sketches of SHIELD logos, an ad for Audrey's string quartet, a picture of Lola on a calendar, a Tahiti postcard, an article about earthquakes (that Daisy couldn't have caused, but still), Radcliffe gets an award, and all work & no play makes Phil a dull boy.
--Ward's twist happened again, but the other way.
--Aida inserted herself as the most powerful person in the world, a confounding variable in the simulation.

#4.17 "Identity & Change":
--Cameo by Clark Gregg's daughter as Coulson discusses "fake news."
--First rule of Phil Club, don't talk about Phil Club.
--Mack gets to raise his baby girl, but he's still not with Hope's mother.
--Oof, hearing Fitz say things to Aida that he's actually done for Simmons hurts.
--Coulson fanboying over the handcuffs that were just put on him is kinda hilarious.
--Mace has truly become The Patriot.
--Framework Billy is dead.
--"We will make our society great again."
--A no-knock raid on a black man's house without cause & threatening a black child? Perish the thought!
--Radcliffe only knows Ward's face as that of Hive.
--Agnes clearly isn't a threat to the Framework; Aida can't kill her herself....but she can lie to Fitz as long as she justifies it as saving her own life. Poor Agnes.
--Framework Mack was living peacefully & compliantly, but then he was pushed too far by a system he couldn't trust, & that drove him to revolution.

#4.18 "No Regrets":
--Forcing a car crash victim onto his knees at gunpoint without cause? Perish the thought!
--Aida is trying to use May to murder Mace now.
--Hey, it's Simmons's old Hydra lab partn--"...gorilla testosterone, even a dash of peppermint." T-J-OSHIE, they're giving May the Hyde serum!
--"Nevertheless, she persisted."
--Love Radcliffe's 180; he's ready to rip Aida apart.
--Daisy is told straight-up what her fixed regret would be, & she contemplates how nice that would be, but still rejects Aida's offer because of the consequences. The mind-prisoners were never given that choice, yet Aida lies that they were (again, she can lie because stopping Daisy would protect her own life).
--Alistair embodies the toxic version of masculinity: No sentiment, no apologies, no questioning.
--Hashtag Trip Lives!
--Cal & Mace never showed May's reaction to the serum, but they'd each taken it several times before we met them.
--Doctor Fitz messed up by juicing May at takeoff instead of landing, so she wasted most of her power time in flight.
--"Terrorist thug"
--Even Hydra May has ethics enough to activate her body cam, & we have cops who still can't pull that off?
--Godspeed, Patriot.
--Welcome back, Quake.

#4.19 "All the Madame's Men":
--Bakshi as Hannity. He didn't even have to change his weaselly portrayal.
--That should've been a killshot on Madame Hydra, but Aida has hax.
--Good to see Ivanov so useless. He deserves it.
--"Maybe she's just racist." Literally didn't even think about the two Chinese women.
--Heh, they're using a "bus" again.
--Mack finds something for Hope to do that is both completely safe & genuinely helpful.
--Radcliffe lays into Alistair so beautifully, & all Alistair can do is hit him, which is what Radcliffe was ready for anyway.
--"Alternative facts"
--Let's hear it one last time for Brett Dalton, who has played 4 different versions of Grant Ward, each with incredible distinctness.

#4.20 "Farewell, Cruel World!":
--Daisy & Simmons have been in the Framework for 10 days, which means Elena, Piper, Davis, & Redshirt have been flying for 10 days.
--Alastair's accent is so thick that I'm not even sure it's Scottish so much as just a swollen tongue.
--"That's how teaching 10th grade works best, in the shadows?" "...15-year-olds are no joke." As ever, Coulson spits truth.
--Like I said, 3D printers are freaky.
--Mack is the only one whose life gained *any* real benefit from the Framework; of course he'd be the one who refused to leave.
--I knew Radcliffe was too pissed off to fall for Fitz's offer of immortality.
--At least 3 people have told Fitz it's not his fault, but he's gonna blame himself forever.
--Looks like Aida & Evil Fitz found Framework Gordon at some point.

#4.21 "The Return":
--Dat shield joke tho.
--May slowly learning what happened with Robo May is kinda hilarious.
--Coulson's weakness in fighting Ivanov's LMDs is that he can only use his left hand unless he finds a weapon.
--Fitz coaching "Ophelia" into saving Mack is amazing. Simmons's reaction is pretty darn good, though.
--"...Designed Only for Killing"? Ivanov has become the MCU's MODOK.
--The compare-&-contrast between Ward & Fitz here is interesting but flawed. Ward was emotionally manipulated but still had a choice. Fitz was mentally manipulated to railroad him onto a specific path.
--Aida skipped over all of childhood & puberty. She is not ready to process adult emotions & play house with Fitz, or to understand how she's traumatized him...or that he has the same free will she has. Especially since she also acquired Lincoln & Jiaying.
--Talbot knows about the LMDs, but not about Ivanov or the Framework.
--Bye, Davis.
--Hi, Robbie.

#4.22 "World's End":
--The ease with which Radcliffe finds Yo-Yo & with which the exit door is created speaks to the tactical paradox of the entire Framework mission. Without Daisy on the inside to fight, Simmons would've had no way of connecting with the others, but without Daisy on the outside to hack, they were mostly helpless to Aida's manipulation of the code.
--The vengeance spirit's sheer rage at Aida's escape is incredible to behold.
--"They say when the Rider burns you, he burns your soul." Literal hellfire leaves wounds that can't heal. Here is Aida's weakness.
--"I smell a load of L. Ron Horsecrap." Sometimes Talbot is gre--oh, crap, a Daisybot shot him. (You'd think somebody would notice that the Daisybots never use powers...)
--Officer Random, why are you trying to arrest the people who got Talbot medical care?
--Everyone disappearing from the Framework is deeply disturbing & apocalyptic.
--Looks like Aida picked up Vijay's reflex mojo too.
--About time Simmons got an LMD, & it actually did exactly what the program was originally intended to do!
--Holy crap, Coulson Rider! What deal did he have to strike for this?
--Let's hear it one last time for Mallory Jansen, who has played 4 different versions of Aida/Agnes, each with incredible distinctness.
--Hope's deletion is gut-wrenching.
--Ooh, a magic portal; we've seen those before! Ghost Rider. What a trip.
--Radcliffe's final demise ends the season on a somber, poignant, touching note...
--...until the stinger of the team's arrest throws us into freaking space.

Executive summary: This is the best the show has ever been. The merger of the 3 arcs at the end was flawless. We got some utterly amazing character work for the whole cast, including our blasts from the past. And to anyone asking why they didn't just 3D-print bodies for Framework Ward or Hope, it's because Ghost Rider would've been compelled to hunt them down & destroy them gosh were you paying any attention.

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Re: MCU Megathread


Post by CaptHayfever » Tue Jun 09, 2020 10:36 pm

Part 40 addendum: Regrets.
Each of the 5 SHIELD agents that Radcliffe & Aida forced into the Framework had a regret removed from their lives. (Daisy & Jemma did not, because they broke in without having their memories suppressed, each displacing their NPC avatars instead.) Let's examine how the consequences of those changes lead to a dystopian nightmare world that has nothing whatosever in common with our actual reality.

May: Her regret was killing Katya Belyakov. Radcliffe & Aida misunderstood the context of that decision, though. May didn't regret doing it; she regretted that it was the right thing to do.
The consequences of undoing that action, of course, are huge, but spelled out very clearly: Katya still has the same power & the same mental illness, & she enslaves a school & kills a bunch of kids, starting anti-Inhuman panic 7 years earlier than in reality. There was no action for May to take in Bahrain that wouldn't have led to regret.

Fitz: His regret was not having a relationship with his father. As Radcliffe & Simmons both stated, however, Alistair Fitz was an abusive boor.
The consequence of undoing that action is that Alistair's influence in Leopold's life leads him to be a vile, ruthless, amoral, greedy monster, crowding out the positive influences of his own mother. (And of Simmons, if Aida hadn't inserted herself into the position Simmons would've held in his life.)

Mack: His regret, very obviously, was his daughter's death.
The consequence of undoing that is the most tragic, because Mack is the only one who was living a better life inside the Framework than outside of it. But it also means that, once he sees the others leave & has the truth of the false reality revealed, he chooses to live in denial & refuses to allow himself to grieve.

Mace: His regret was not being the hero that everybody thought he was.
The consequence of undoing that regret is that he dies, but he very much dies a hero.

Coulson: Hoo-boy.
His regret, as stated right before he's abducted, is not knowing how his life would've played out if he'd turned down Fury's offer to join SHIELD.
The consequences of this one are massive & they begin in his rookie years:
--NICK FURY DIES IN *1995*, killed by Talos. It's possible that Carol Danvers survives, but she probably doesn't reconnect with Maria or learn the truth of her past. The Avenger Initiative is never started, & there is no one in a command position in SHIELD to oppose Project Insight.
--Captain America is never found in the ice.
--Iron Man might've died of palladium poisoning.
--Thor might've been killed by the Destroyer...or by Hawkeye.
--If Thor survives New Mexico, this leads to New York City being nuked by the World Security Council to stop the Loki/Chitauri invasion (possibly killing Thor there instead), after which SHIELD would've been badly destabilized.
--If Stark died of his own poisoning, then Killian's fake Mandarin schemes succeed & President Ellis is assassinated.
--If Thor died in New Mexico or was nuked in New York, Jane Foster never uncovers the Aether, & it remains unguarded on Earth. Malekith misses his chance to plunge the universe into darkness....but survives to try it again at the next Convergence (by which time the Aether would surely have been found by Thanos). Loki's death in New York means that Frigga is never murdered & Odin is never deposed.
--No Cap means Falcon never gets reactivated, & Project Insight launches successfully, even without Hydra revealing itself. Most would-be Avengers are killed. Bruce Banner is shot at by the helicarriers, triggering a Hulk event.
--Ultron is never created; thus, Vision is never created. Hydra never gets its hands on Loki's Scepter, so the Maximoffs never get powers. Sokovia still exists. Hulk never flies into space.
--John Garrett dies on his no-extraction mission; Victoria Hand recruits Grant Ward instead (we see the net effect of this on the show). Without Garrett, Project Deathlok never begins.
--Coulson is also never impaled, never treated with GH-325 drug, & never meets Skye/Daisy, so Cal is never driven to help Whitehall, & the hidden Kree temple is never found by either SHIELD or Hydra (net effect that we see on the show: Skye has not undergone terrigenesis). Cal is killed by Hydra.
--Also seen on the show: Since Team Coulson is never assembled, Simmons is at the Science academy during the Hydra uprising & dies, while Fitz's mechanical brilliance (& lack of moral qualms, thanks to his father being around) has gotten him promoted way up the chain of command. Hydra discovers & modifies the Hyde serum. Afterlife is raided & its inhabitants captured, experimented on, & killed. The cult faction of Hydra never recovers Hive.
--New York was destroyed, so Daredevil, Jessica Jones, & the Punisher are dead. Luke Cage may have survived the explosion, but would probably develop radiation poisoning. Iron Fist would return from K'un L'un to find a crater.
--Hank Pym is probably killed by Project Insight. Darren Cross is willing to work with Hydra, but even once he manages to replicate the Pym Particle & design the Yellowjacket suit, he doesn't understand the applications as thoroughly as Hank did. Hydra gains a powerful weapon, but not a complete game-breaker, especially not if Hope survives Project Insight thanks to her pretending to be loyal to Cross.
--Stephen Strange is killed in Project Insight 2 years before his accident & never finds Kamar-Taj. The New York Sanctum is destroyed by the nuke unless it gets magically shielded. I do not know how the remaining sorcerers would protect Earth from Kaecillius & Dormammu, but Radcliffe & Aida didn't know about any of that.
--Bucky remains brainwashed & in hibernation, Crossbones is never mutilated in the Triskelion, & Zemo never loses his family in Sokovia; the Lagos disaster never happens, the Accords are never drafted, & Civil War just straight-up doesn't exist.
--T'Chaka is not killed. T'Challa never has his epiphany about revenge; he likely kills Klaue and/or Killmonger very swiftly, or worse, even decides to support Killmonger's plan (Nakia was right, though; the rest of the world WAS finally catching up to Wakanda, at least militarily, so the plan ultimately wouldn't work). Wakanda is not targeted by Project Insight, as they are deemed non-threatening without public knowledge of their vibranium reserves.
--Peter Parker probably survives the nuking of Manhattan (if he's at home in Forest Hills, Queens), but Midtown High is destroyed before he's old enough to go there, & ultimately Peter probably never ends up getting powers.
--Odin might have time to enact some kind of safeguard against Hela's return & Surtur's machinations, since both of Odin's potential heirs are long dead. Valkyrie & Korg remain on Sakaar.
--The dragon bones under Manhattan would've been destroyed by the nuke back in the Battle of NYC, so the Hand would be effectively en route to extinction.
--The destruction of both Stark Industries & Rand Enterprises puts Roxxon into a previously-unknown position of power. I don't know if that would push them to invest more into the New Orleans project or make them content enough not to care about it anymore. Either way, Cloak & Dagger still get their powers, as the initial rig meltdown happened 3-5 years before the Battle of New York.
--Victor Stein and Leslie Dean are probably killed by Project Insight. This leads to Jonah's death & the disbanding of the Pride.
--The Guardians of the Galaxy are never alerted to Thanos's final crusade. With no Avengers either, Thanos & Friends can waltz in & take all the stones he wants until he finds Gamora to get at the Soul stone. In fact, at that point, there would be 3 stones on Earth instead of just 2, with Space & Mind just laying unguarded in the nuclear slag of Manhattan Island, so we would definitely be Thanos's first stop after Xandar. Odin (or, if she escapes her imprisonment, Hela) could potentially challenge Thanos before he completes the Gauntlet, but not after.

Thank you for coming to my TED talk. Next time, we return to regular programming.

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Re: MCU Megathread


Post by CaptHayfever » Thu Jun 11, 2020 5:49 pm

Part 41, aka "oh dear Lord, please not this", or "let's get this over with":


#1 "Behold... The Inhumans":
--All of the episode titles in this show are titles of actual comic book issues prominently featuring the main characters. As our premiere demonstrates, though, that doesn't mean they're all *good* titles.
--The moon fakeout zoom looked terrible.
--Katara's Inhuman power appared to be cat senses--& she's dead.
--With no SHIELD around, standard operating procedure has become kill-Inhumans-on-sight.
--Medusa's wig is horrible. They wasted money on IMAX cameras for this, money that could've gone towards better costumes & sets or towards multiple takes to get better acting.
--This moon rover project of about 10 people with barely enough equipment to fill my living room is being run out of a giant mostly-empty warehouse.
--Black Bolt's crown is ludicrous, & the city is just a mountain of concrete shaped like a military bunker.
--No cocoons? You couldn't just copy AoS's vfx?
--"You have obviously prophetic visions. That's not pretty or immediately obvious, so into the mines with you!"
--It's never a good sign when you have a "genetic council" or a "strict caste system."
--Karnak, just because you know what will happen doesn't mean you have to *say it*.
--Maximus's facial hair looks like mine when I would try to grow it out in high school.
--Reference to the terrigen outbreak.
--Young Medusa is really bad.
--Bolt's idea of saving Inhumans is good, but Maximus is right that they don't have room in Attilan & need to go to Earth & should stop enslaving people for not having wings. But the latter's scheming & perviness & having-Triton-&-Gorgon-shot villifies him.
--A lot of tell-don't-show in the exposition when a flashback would work wonders.
--The depiction of Karnak's power is actually kinda cool.
--"The island of Oahu, Hawaii" You already said that.
--This Doors cover is terrible.
--How hard can it be to get the depth perception right on Lockjaw's location relative to people he's allegedly touching?
--This Stones cover is terrible.
--Why can Medusa suddenly not fight back anymore after waking up? Oh, right, because the hair CGI costs money.
--The flashback of Bolt killing his parents is actually really disturbing.
--Maximus can't find his camera.

#2 "Those Who Would Destroy Us":
--Crystal doesn't even try to emotefight back.
--The title sequence is laughably cheap, just a slideshow of clip art. Sad thing is, apparently a team was hired who made something better, but it wasn't used!
--So nobody thought to give the mute king a visual comlink?
--Ah, good, now Karnak has brain damage so he can't use his cool power correctly.
--The Hawaiian dudes who rescued Gorgon are pretty neat, though it's ironic that a show about a problematic monarchy trying to regain power is being helped by the presence of some native Hawaiians who speak openly about our problematic government.
--Eldrac has yet another sucky Inhuman transformation; he's *literally part of the wall.*
--Our hero steals a suit & injures a guard (then hilariously out-jogs 5 police cars). The police brutality is bad, sure, but Bolt still isn't really sympathetic.
--Maximus is better at figuring out how Bronaja's power works by accident than a whole council of people whose job it was to figure out how powers work.
--Executing people in a zen garden is just missing the point.
--Crystal's balcony is bigger than her actual apartment.
--Everyone's befuddlement at a man who can't speak is itself befuddling. Muteness isnt *that* uncommon.
--Auran is incredibly bad at her job.

#3 "Divide--and Conquer":
--Young Bolt is pretty bad too. Young Maximus is ok, though.
--Medusa thinks (a) anyone on Earth knows what the hell Attilan is, & (b) the machine she just saw people using is voice controlled despite nobody else talking to it.
--The cop giving the press statement doesn't seem to wanna be here either. As in, the actor doesn't wanna be on this show.
--"We had a king once." Yeah, in 1877; the last monarch of Hawaii was a *queen.*
--"I don't want to kill them all." ~a man who already gave a kill order for them all
--I like Mordis; he's sassy & talks like he understands emotion.
--Karnak can be forgiven for making stupid proclamations that he shouldn't expect anyone to understand, because he has a head injury affecting his judgement.
--Sammy is the first Earthling to comprehend that some people can't talk. His chat with Bolt also confirms that we should've seen a cocoon on Bronaja. (And nice Spidey reference.)
--Ok, so Mordis is effectively Cyclops.
--Do *any* of these Inhumans have powers? Like, *nobody* could fight back against Crystal without their guns?
--"Determining the gifts bestowed upon us by the terrigen crystals are not always apparent or easily discovered." How can "determining" something be "not apparent or easily discovered"? Who wrote this?
--How dumb is this guard that he thought the other inmates wouldn't love a guy who beat up some cops?
--First of all, that ATV did not hit Lockjaw. Secondly, even if it had, it was not going fast enough to hurt an animal that size.

#4 "Make Way for...Medusa":
--Why would being a geneticist sound unusual?
--Another Scottish scientist studying Inhumans tricked into working for a homicidal genetic supremecist? Way to rip off a better show.
--"He was in the middle of the road!" That would imply a road existing here. It doesn't.
--On the one hand, I'm glad somebody is calling out Medusa on her entitlement. On the other, everything else about her conversations with Louise make me want to ram my head through the wall. Whoever thought to put the two most annoying characters together for a roadtrip should be slapped.
--Maximus, that key is descent from other Inhumans. It won't change your specific DNA.
--Declan's slideshow of Inhuman patients is very weakly photoshopped.
--Sometimes it seems like every superpower is "___ and enhanced durability."
--Dave doesn't seem to know how humans talk. Crystal doesn't seem to know how medicine works.
--Louise, you're in a hurry, but you chose a caramel shake, a flavor that takes forever to flow & to chew.
--Karnak getting that baby-makin' music with Pot-Growing Girl.
--Auran stands perfectly still while waiting for Black Bolt to step over to the gas tank & slowly rip the pipe off of it, and allowing Sammy to slowly jog away, despite already having them at gunpoint.
--Mordis's mask goes dark when he's knocked out; the beams must come from his eyes, not his whole face. He really *is* a Cyclops ripoff.
--Well, dang. Poor Ted.

#5 "Something Inhuman This Way Comes...":
--"The Island of Oahu, Hawaii" again? Guys, WE KNOW.
--Karnak got his mojo back; he just needed to get lei'd.
--Bolt & Medusa reunited are actually a little sweet.
--Medusa asking how Locus knows where people are is stupid.
--"He wants to have a few words with you" is a genuinely good threat from Bolt.
--"I don't trust people who kill their partners" is solid.
--So what's up with the white-robed people sitting in the pool all the time?
--How did Auran figure out how her power works? What makes you think "I just died & came back to life, I should wave my hand over the wound to heal it"?
--I share Crystal's confusion about what the hell Dave is talking about.
--"I can control the elements, but..." ...can she tell why kids love Cinnamon Toast Crunch?
--"She can't do both?" Louise has a good point for once.
--Maximus's rant doesn't make sense, but he is called "The Mad" for a reason.
--"What happened to your hair?" "It's a long story." No, it isn't. Maximus cut it, end of story.
--Poor Locus.

#6 "The Gentleman's Name is Gorgon":
--When Crystal is out-thought by Dave of all people, that doesn't speak well for her.
--Bronaja's gonna turn on Maximus, & it's gonna be...a thing that happens, I guess.
--Tibor's plan to trick Maximus into an assassination attempt is to tell him about the assassination attempt. If I wasn't so sick of this show, I might actually think that was intentionally clever.
--The first few times we saw Gorgon's hooves, they were very clearly hooves. Now they're boots being obscured or blurred. If you already made good prosthetics, why stop using them?
--Yet another sucky Inhuman power: Auran's regeneration weakens each time she uses it.
--Louise literally brings the plot to a halt to attempt a not-all-humans moment. She managed to make *Medusa* sound reasonable, & that's not a compliment to Medusa.
--Why not tie up Mordis so he can't open his mask?
--"Who needs guns when you've got hooves?" What.
--"You're like some kind of God of Thunder." Subtle. Not.
--Whoa, Crystal's feeling a different kind of fire!
--How the everloving crap was stomping the best thing you could think of, Gorgon? You had him by the throat!
--Everything about the police confrontation at the barn is cringey.
--Is there a scene missing from this? How did Maximus find out Tibor was part of the plot? How did they cut straight from knife-reaching-throat to Tibor-on-ground?

#7 "Havoc in the Hidden Land":
--They could've shot Crystal several times over during the pause between "don't even try" & "I'll fry those guns."
--Anson Mount went & developed a whole sign language for a character who would never have been exposed to ASL, & the cinematographer seems dead set on not having his hands visible onscreen when he uses it. They put other people in the way, or film in the dark, or shoot him from behind, or close up on his or Medusa's faces.
--Triton's return would be a lot more impactful if we'd seen him for more than 30 seconds before.
--Medusa's indignation is justified, but Swan's vocal delivery undermines that.
--Solid Yugioh Abridged reference, Declan.
--How can Medusa see Bolt's hands while standing behind him?
--Maximus demonstrated publicly that he cannot be trusted.
--Credit where it's due: I just noticed that Bolt, Medusa, Karnak, & Crystal all ended up in Earth clothes matching the colors of their Attilan clothes.
--Maximus, Declan was asking more about the *scientific* side of terrigenesis.
--"A 2nd terrigenesis could produced [...] even death." Well, Gorgon's already dead, so that's no biggie.
--While Vijay Nadeer demonstrated that a 2nd terrigenesis is possible, the exact mechanism of *how* doesn't make sense, as we have frequently seen Inhumans re-exposed to terrigen without reacting.
--Triton taking out the guards doesn't make any sense; they were all clustered together, but we see them suddenly separated when he attacks. The crowd also isn't thick enough for him to hide in, as if somebody didn't wanna pay to hire enough extras. When they fight in the tunnel, the extras are clearly looking in at them, but then just wandering back & forth aimlessly.

#8 "...And Finally: Black Bolt":
--THE KREE, Maximus; they're the other enemy.
--Oh yay. More Louise. Just what I wanted.
--Poor Declan, & poor Gorgon, too. (Hey, maybe killing off the only black character & then turning him into a mindless beast wasn't the best idea.)
--Maximus literally just described Triton as a "water-based Inhuman."
--Black Bolt is unduly surprised that somebody who watched him sign every day with a translator would learn his signs.
--Maximus & Auran came in & bossed Eldrac around, & he snapped at them. Crystal came in, asked nicely, & explained the need, & he immediately offered to help.
--Credit where it's due: Medusa taking Louise's dad's ashes is a genuinely nice moment.
--Auran was in every episode of this show & is crucial to the story, but she's billed as a guest star & not featured in the marketing at all. Triton was in only 4 episodes & barely matters, but he was all over the marketing.
--The zigzagging back & forth between the same few rooms isn't even disorienting; it's just boring.
--The mist from that broken crystal actually should've been enough to turn Maximus, if it was ever gonna work.
--Bits of Eldrac are starting to fall off; that's gross. Also, there are supposedly 1400 residents of Attilan, but less than 100 people in this crowd.
--Maximus gets some cruel mercy, & we see Black Bolt speak.
--Eldrac's death is really freaky; the dome goes out & his face just...vanishes. He's got a calm dignity about it.
--The Kree writing on the throne starts to glow like some kind of beacon. Delightful.

Executive summary: Thank goodness that's over; what a trainwreck. Actorwise, props to Rheon, Mount, Leung, Ikwuakor, & whoever dubbed Mordis & Eldrac; the rest of 'em range from forgettable to atrocious. The writers clearly slapped together first drafts & never revised them; the directors clearly used first takes & never rehearsed them. The production value is abominable, especially for how much money they actually had for this; compare Mark Kolpack rendering a gorgeous Ghost Rider for pennies. Thematically, the whole thing is a bogged down by the muddy politics of Attilan. The plagiarized bits of AoS 3, Black Panther, & Ragnarok (to look forward a bit) are easily apparent. And Lockjaw is a very good boy who didn't deserve to be stuck in this show, yes he is!

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Re: MCU Megathread


Post by CaptHayfever » Sat Jun 13, 2020 3:09 am

SDCC's virtual con this year will be free.
Part 42, the meaning of life, the universe, & everything....

Jessica Jones season 2:

#2.01 "AKA Start at the Beginning":
--Geez, you kill *one* uncontainable mind-controlling psychopath serial murderer/rapist, & suddenly everybody thinks you're an assassin-for-hire.
--Why would they shut movie guy down?
--How do radio shows track ratings anyway?
--Jess flew up to the top of a freaking skyscraper & Cheng knew she was there? That's not predictability; that's surveillance.
--These "urns" are kinda sad.
--They want us to think Trish is being followed by an asthsmatic, but it's obviously Nuke.
--That flashback very carefully avoided Mrs. Jones.
--Cheng knows about Kilgrave but thinks Jess hasn't suffered? That's willful ignorance.
--Hogarth, today you must consider yourself the luckiest woman on the face of the Earth.
--Poor Whizzer. (The pet mongoose was a nod to Whizzer's origin story, in which he got a transfusion of mongoose blood.)

#2.02 "AKA Freak Accident":
--Well, dang.
--Jess found Koslov just in time for him to have died a few days ago.
--Dorothy is her usual crappy self, especially if what Trish says later about her involvement with Max is true.
--I think Costa likes Jess's style. Detective Mathnet sure doesn't, though.
--Hogarth's coke-fueled pity orgy is a tremendous waste of our time. Like, I get it. It makes sense. It's just way too long & boring.
--"Your phone has a video camera, right?" Trish, *my* phone has a video camera, & I use a flip from 3 years before this is set (& 4 years before it came out).
--If witnessing a crime from across the street puts your custody rights at risk, then something is really screwed up in the family court system.
--"With great power comes great mental illness." I laughed. I'm horrible.
--Griffin is such a complete 180 from Cheng & Oscar & Max; it's really refreshing.
--Come on, we're killing off Simpson already?

#2.03 "AKA Sole Survivor":
--If psychologists really wanted to reach people who are scared of psychologists, they wouldn't take so much offense to the word "shrink."
--Only about 10-15% of ALS patients display signs of dementia. How did Chao & Benowitz even find out about Hogarth's diagnosis?
--Quick reminder that Foggy works for Jeri now.
--Alas, poor Dr. Leslie Hansen, I knew her, Trish.
--I now know about as much about Jessica's smug landlord as I did about Pam last season, but unlike Pam, the landlord isn't important.
--We like Vido. He's fun. And he says "Captain America" very naturally. (Nice touch with him losing the shield like real Cap did.)
--Griffin, don't sneak up on a paranoid woman with martial arts training; you'll make her accent slip.
--Trish's producer deserves better than this.
--"Could this be any more cloak-and-dagger?" Has Jess been looking at my rewatch itinerary?
--"She's spreading lies." ...All she said was that Hansen was a good doctor--OH SNAP.

#2.04 "AKA God Help the Hobo":
--It's summer 2017.
--A lot of the people in that anger management group really do deserve the help & the rehab, but a few of them are abusive jerks.
--"My clients value their privacy" *after* looking at the picture is a yes;
--"A man can serve himself, or a man can serve humanity" is not the right sales pitch to give to somebody who *is* serving humanity to try convincing him to join you to serve humanity.
--Well, double dang.
--Malcolm, my man. Magnificent.
--Hogarth must be getting desperate; she's not even symptomatic yet.
--That taser looks like a dang rocket launcher.
--Cheng may not've been dirty before, but he just committed B&E, sabotage, theft, & conspiracy...& since his guy got killed, felony murder.

#2.05 "AKA The Octopus":
--Kevin Smith tells the story about how when Jason Mewes was kicking his drug habit, he replaced it with a LOT of sex. I think Malcolm knows that story. Trish, on the other hand, is headed towards relapse.
--Don't worry, mystery killer lady! You can still play that piano!
--The irony of a black woman saying "you people" should not go unremarked upon.
--Ah, Costa was there the day Kilgrave visited the station; that's why he trusts Jessica.
--Cheng has a lot of effing gall showing his face outside the precinct right now. Jess is right; he is actually horrible at this job. It seems like all he actually knows is security.
--I liked that plainimetric view of Malcolm & Inez; they should've held that longer.
--Griffin is actually really sweet. I wonder how Trish is gonna ruin this for herself.
--Jeri's safe house is her own home? That's neither safe nor ethical...crap, she wants IGH treatments to cure her ALS, because she learned absolutely nothing last time around.
--Jess is being genuinely sweet to this Dave dude.
--Huh, Trish actually has a father? I always thought Dorothy built her in a lab. (Nice slap, by the way.)
--Poor fish. (But where's the person who called for help?)

#2.06 "AKA Facetime":
--And we start off with everyone escaping outside, Jess soaked from the waist down, the "help me" from the last episode completely forgotten.
--Well, dang. There's something symbolic about Jessica in purple.
--Trish is wandering the streets looking for a fight like an jerk, & expecting gratitude for it like an entitled brat.
--Of course Inez has a tacky kanji tattoo that probably doesn't mean what she thinks it does.
--The inside of Malcolm's mind righ--her name is "Niche"!?
--Jeri, Malcolm warned you about your valuables.
--"Malus"? As in "I'm a bad guy"? Or as in the final Colossus?
--Men-only & women-only clubs aren't illegal; why not just say that's the reason upfront instead of lying about "not accepting new members"?
--Inez sounds like she's describing SCP-590.
--Well, dang. Now I've seen Malcolm's butt. Ay-yi-yi-yi-yi. ("I see you"? What the hell is that, Trish?)
--It's appreciated that Jess realizes she's crossing lines she shouldn't.
--Is "Here Comes Santa Claus" really that emotionally resonant to--HOLD UP. If this is Jessica's mom, whose ashes are in the box?

#2.07 "AKA I Want Your Cray-Cray":
--Alisa's POV is interesting. They're playing off the recast as "facial trauma."
--Oh my. You can tell Trish wrote this song herself....while drunk.
--"It got the It's Patsy theme song out of my head." True.
--It's sweet because they have in fact called each other for those exact reasons since.
--No, Stirling, her middle name is "Private". Jessica Private Jones.
--It's BIZARRE seeing Jessica this happy. Stirling seems a good dude, but with some pride issues.
--"Club Alias"? Oh no, he's gonna die.
--Kinda feel bad for Alisa a little, but she keeps maiming people & refuses the treatment to make that not happen, so my patience kinda wears thin.
--Even in a drunken grieving rage, Jessica has more control over herself & her powers than Alisa does.
--Best episode of the season so far.

#2.08 "AKA Ain't We Got Fun":
--Trish has never read "Flowers for Algernon".
--Post-Accords, the Raft is now standard operating procedure for powered criminals. Screw you, Thunderbolt.
--Alisa, you don't need to make up a story about impending divorce to justify starting a new relationship 5+ years after being widowed. And yeah, Michigan is a good school, but if you were good enough to get hired there, you could get hired somewhere closer too.
--"Didn't [Cobain] commit suicide?" I mean, did he, though?
--I never even heard of a duvet until I met my wife, & my childhood was more like Jessica's than my wife's was.
--Wait, Oscar lives right above Robyn's old place. Where did the previous super live?
--"Unless it doesn't have to end." Memento mori, Alisa.
--Being gay, not blackmail material. Cheating on your wife, however....
--Trish had been clean for 10 years; falling off the wagon was her call. Malcolm had been clean for what was probably closer to 10 months. What Trish did to him was NOT acceptable, & I'm proud of him for running away afterwards.

#2.09 "AKA Shark in the Bathtub, Monster in the Bed":
--Wow, Cheng's not even good at military stuff; he completely botched that snipe.
--Trish is gonna get herself hurt if she keeps huffing combat enhancers & throwing her childish sense of humanity around.
--Griffin's been in Syria for *weeks*? They only broke up 4 episodes ago, & one of those was a flashback!
--Butter on spaghetti is delightful; I just had some myself. But jam?
--Jeri, you still aren't even showing symptoms, & you're blackmailing a man to force him to shorten his lifespan for yours.
--Trish clearly has seen Network but didn't understand the ending.
--Hi, photo of Stan as Forbush Man!
--Sonia just screwed herself big time on custody.
--This is slightly less awkward than the sex scene in Matrix Reloaded.
--Trish didn't hang up. How did her call with her agent end?

#2.10 "AKA Pork Chop":
--We open with more Accords-related Constitutional rights violations.
--Hey, Trish, maybe don't show up to a job interview stoned.
--Malcolm has a valid complaint.
--Oh, this guard is a real piece of work. A very Rackham-esque fellow.
--Looks like Karl is good for something after all; Shane the Healer is a fraud.
--Trish, stop poking the bear. Also, the bear has a point about your jealousy.
--Ok, now I actually do feel bad for Jeri for a few seconds.
--I also feel bad for...Jessica. Not Dale. Screw Dale. Bye, Dale!

#2.11 "AKA Three Lives and Counting":
--Those purple flashes & little whispers & glimpses of at first, that's shock. The fully manifested hallucinations of Kilgrave, though, that's guilt--undeserved guilt, of course, because all she did was stop somebody from murdering her, but still. Jessica has a deep-seeded fear that her abductor rubbed off on her.
--David Tennant singing "I Want Your Cray-Cray" is the greatest moment in television history.
--Heart rates are a big deal in the MCU. Banner, then Daisy, then Elena, & now Alisa.
--Trish's plan is completely idiotic, & she not only torched her relationship with Malcolm & his sobriety, but also torched his job.
--Alisa's new guard iswas a genuinely good person. Poor Marilyn.
--Ok, now THIS is the best episode of the season.

#2.12 "AKA Pray for My Patsy":
--Dorothy actually isn't the one being horrible this time (Thembi is), but she's still screwing things up.
--Poor Sunday. She was a jerk, but she wasn't the kind of jerk who deserved that.
--So *that's* how Turk keeps getting out of jail; he gets Hogarth stuff in exchange for free legal services.
--Jessica's escape plan stinks. Literally.
--Holy crap, Jeri, this plan is cold-blooded. (And watching this just a few days after the Central Park video makes it even worse.)
--In the comics, Patsy/Trish dies & comes back, so hey.
--Two of Jess's plans for capturing Kilgrave alive were rather good, & one was bad but understandable. Thinking she'd be able to shoot her mom, however, is completely nuts.
--This turned into the end of Terminator for a second.

#2.13 "AKA Playland":
--"We are the two most powerful women in the world!" Um, Carol may not be home, but Wanda is.
--The car crash rescue sequence is really strong. It's a more hopeful version of the Hero Kilgrave sequence last season, which works on two levels; (a) unlike Kilgrave, Alisa actually has human empathy, (b) Jessica herself has just scored a victory against her inner Kilgrave.
--Oh, Oscar, you gotta be a little more savvy; you're lucky they didn't find your forgery kit.
--I figured Chao was dirty, but I didn't realize Benowitz was in it with her. Malcolm is learning to be devious; hopefully he doesn't lose his previous ethics along the way.
--Alisa's resignation is kinda tragic, but it's also the most human she's been all season.
--How do you operate a ride from insid--oh dear lord. Trish what have you done.
--This turned into the end of Of Mice & Men for a second.
--Trish, for one gorram second, stop trying to make this about you. Let your sister grieve. She'll get in touch with you again when she's ready.
--Ugh, how is Pryce even still in business?
--Jessica back to work & starting a healthy relationship is at least a high note to go out on.

Executive summary: There's very good character work here, & very bold plot choices, but the season as a whole is too disjointed & meandering for what is allegedly a single story. Nuke was thrown away too soon, IGH fizzled out, and Malus & Alisa were underwhelming. The only real payoff to anything is Hellcat's origin story.

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Re: MCU Megathread


Post by CaptHayfever » Mon Jun 15, 2020 10:42 pm

Hulu has its upfronts next week; eyes up for Helstrom news.
Part 43 continues the Netflix chronicles....

Luke Cage season 2:

#2.01 "Soul Brother #1":
--Directed by Lucy Liu!
--I like that these minions know full well Luke is gonna kick their butts & only shoot out of formality.
--Reg E. Cathey is on this show to take Luke back to Square One.
--I just watched Soul Surfer with my wife about an hour ago; Misty's CGI stump arm looks better than Bethany's.
--Well, dang. (The song is called "Night Nurse". Clever.)
--"I was rockin' full congregations [...] on my name alone." Rev, that ain't how it's supposed to work. That's some Osteen crap.
--Dave "D.W." Griffith, a black videographer named for the director of Birth of a Nation. You had to know that, Cheo.
--Netflix is subtitling the Jamaicans phonetically, which actually makes them *harder* to understand.
--We have our first MAGA reference. We haven't heard from Matthew Ellis since the November 2016 elections, so it's possible that he was succeeded by Drumpf, or that Drumpf lost but his campaign slogan persisted.
--Well, dang. Mariah's had one heck of an awakening.
--Looks like recooking Luke made him Judas-proof.
--Misty's new captain tries to recruit Luke under the Accords. It doesn't work.
--"...Stokes. Mariah Stokes."
--"I am di rock." I am di iiiiisland.
--Mariah, you're goin' legit anyway. All you have to do for Luke not to bother you anymore is nothing. Leave him & his alone. He won't bother you anymore.

#2.02 "Straighten It Out":
--Luke's training session with the Jets is very silly, but the good kind of silly.
--Bushmaster's got a weird entitlement complex about a city he's never lived in & doesn't actually like.
--Rey, you are just so dumbdead.
--Misty's colleagues are pretty consistent with what I've been seeing on the news the last few weeks.
--Mariah having a daughter is kinda outta nowhere. Her being a former-med-student-turned-essential-oil-saleslady is even more outta nowhere.
--Cockroach cracked the code. You don't need a gun that kills Luke; you just need a gun that gets him out of the way long enough to escape.
--Ok, so the nightshade potion heals Bushmaster, but what makes him so tough in the first place that the bullets don't just rip through him?
--This cat deserves the beating he's getting, but Luke is still going out of control.

#2.03 "Wig Out":
--Well, double dang. (The coffee joke is only cute when Luke does it, though.)
--Misty shaking down Cockroach is extra funny 'cause he's Simone Missick's husband.
--Guy in the background of the restaurant is being real sneaky with his phone. Harlem's Hero app?
--"Stokes. Mariah Stokes."
--The music is even better this season.
--"Stokes. Mariah Stokes."
--Bushmaster, Mariah is trying to go legit anyway. All you have to do is nothing, & she'll be out of your way anyhow.
--That grenade was super comic-booky in the best way.
--Daughters of the Dragon bar fight FTW!
--The transition from Bushmaster's face to Mariah's didn't quite work. The one with the crowns over Shades & Mariah was better, even though it was a redo of the Cottonmouth shot from S1.
--Luke is really out of character in this argument with Claire (until he punches the wall; that fits with his flaws we've seen established over these 3 episodes).
--Let's hear it for Rosario Dawson. 32 episodes of 5 shows. She actually has appeared as much as Danny freaking Rand.

#2.04 "I Get Physical":
--Luke used to be a soldier & a cop, but in his current state he's adapted his fighting style to try to avoid killing anyone (unless they piss him off like Cockroach did). This leaves him very vulnerable to people like Bushmaster, who require that extra force.
--Speaking of Bushmaster, his messiah complex is completely unwarranted.
--"You gotta be the only straight guy I know who likes show tunes." I resent that remark, Nandi.
--It does seem strange that Mariah doesn't know how her nest egg functions; it's a pretty simple investment scheme. I don't even think Piranha is cheating her.
--"Give Claire some time"? The apartment is gone.
--Nightshades are a very broad family of plants that include peppers, tubers, tomatoes, tobacco, mandrakes, belladonna, & more.
--You'd think Stark Industries would be developing something like this too, but Rand's personal connection to Misty would get them faster access.
--We're losing Bobby Fish too?
--Luke legally changed his name, so no, he's NOT "Carl Lucas" anymore. This better be about something from prior to that, or else the paperwork is invalid...

#2.05 "All Souled Out":
--...nope, it's Cockroach. That suit needs to be re-filed.
--This episode written by Stokes. Ian Stokes.
--Foggy might've been able to get Luke off if he hadn't broken the table on camera.
--"This is [Mama Mabel's] dream!" No, it isn't; her dream was a criminal empire. Mariah is getting delusional as the mental tailspin began when Cornell died progresses.
--Shades seems to be the only one in the Stokes empire who's taking Bushmaster's obvious threats seriously.
--Misty was let in legally & witnessed Cockroach using his "broken" arm. He's busted.
--Scarfe's corruption wrecked a lot of lives, both by falsely imprisoning the innocent & by leading to the release of the guilty. This is part of why good cops are only good if they stop bad cops.
--Piranha scored our next Wu-Tang appearance in Ghostface Killah.
--Misty shares my understanding that the Mets are pond scum.
--Bushmaster killed Mariah's investor & one of her henchmen, which makes sense, but why Cockroach?

#2.06 "The Basement":
--Weak Warriors reference.
--Piranha: Free. Your. Mind.
--Anansi does not approve of Bushmaster's tactics, & he's the only one brave enough to say so to his face.
--Lonnie! So glad to see you're still alive & still smart.
--Shades & Comanche's stakeoutchat in the barbershop is deep & revelatory on multiple levels. Shades is our first bisexual MCU character.
--Why's Mariah asking about Tone?
--If your quest for revenge requires you to hurt a lot of people who had nothing whatsoever to do with the person who wronged you, then all those people deserve revenge on you too.
--Bushmaster hits hard, but not as hard as Luke. He's superhumanly resiliant, but not unbreakable like Luke. His primary skill is speed/agility, & once Luke learns how to work around that, all Bushmaster has left is a sneak attack that he promised not to use, voiding his bargain with Luke just like how Gao voided her bargain with Danny.

#2.07 "On & On":
--Rev. James, at least try to protect the witness whose life your son entrusted you with.
--"...Stokes. Mariah Stokes."
--"Who says you're not my sidekick?" "Me. It's my show." Wade Cage? Luke Wilson? Powerpool?
--Misty's hop move in the garage fight was hype.
--Piranha didn't scam Mariah, but letting him sit on the account for that long was a mistake; that's why Bushmaster was able to get at it. (Also, he can't pay Luke anymore, but Luke also doesn't need the cash with Cockroach dead.)
--Solid "This Is Us" joke.
--Comanche, Shades isn't stupid. Notice he showed up wearing gloves already. This is hard for him; he's gonna feel bad about it, but not regret it.
--Props to Mariah for pulling the trigger right away.
--Buggy & Poppa McIver went out the same way Shades is gonna tell people Comanche & Ridenhour went out.
--Tilda isn't restrained in any way. Does Bushmaster *want* her to save Mariah? (And if she wasn't gonna, why'd she just stand there in the burning house!?)

#2.08 "If It Ain't Rough, It Ain't Right":
--Tilda's being real weird about Luke. If she's been working here a while, surely she's heard about him.
--"O'Reilly moved to New Orleans." Yes, looks like Harlem has it's own mayhem going on right now anyway.
--Mariah didn't have any clue about Ridenhour, but does Misty believe it?
--30 blocks!? That's a hell of a long way.
--"The hell's a fawn?" Mariah never saw Bambi.
--Bushmaster is the only character having a good day, but he's too brain-fried & blood-lusting to accept it.
--"Stokes. Mariah Stokes." And a few seconds later, "Stokes..."
--So, Bushmaster is gonna grow nightshade on the floor of the club?
--"He shot you!" "Bullets bounce off, man." "I don't care! You can't be shootin' my baby." Daw.

#2.09 "For Pete's Sake":
--Mariah sure seems pissed off that the person she asked to keep her alive is succeeding.
--Tilda, you actually understand the science behind these herbs; a lot of the people hawking them don't.
--"I'm the only reason you're not a chimichanga...." ~Wade Cage
--Adam Clayton Powell is NEVER to be confused with Adam Clayton.
--"...Mariah Stokes."
--James & Mariah have an interesting conversation. Both are bad parents & know it, but one is a good person & the other isn't.
--Mariah & Tilda have a much more painful conversation. Jackson Dillard was a good man, but homophobia runs deep. And we already know what kind of man Pistol Pete was.
--"Yuh caan drown." Yes, he can; he just got out fast.
--Sheldon wasn't ready for that large file transfer.
--This time Bushmaster was out of PP on Stun Spore, so Luke won easily.
--Bushmaster is trying to do a Kingpin speech in the prison truck.
--This was Reg E. Cathey's final episode of his final role, so I'm glad James & Luke parted on good terms.

#2.10 "The Main Ingredient":
--Cage chatting with the kids & D-Dub is pretty dang fun & silly.
--The Iron Fist has destroyed the Hand; Danny is correspondingly much more chill than he used to be.
--Mariah is being really nasty to Anansi for sitting calmly & being annoyed with her. I doubt she even realizes he hasn't been helping Bushmaster.
--Danny's thinking that living simply without his wealth negates it, but since he doesn't need the fortune, he should use it for good. Glad he finally learns something about that today.
--Nandi is just dumb as hell.
--"Who's the biggest rat you know?" Oh, good, I was worried we wouldn't see Turk.
--"All you're known for is Marley, marijuana, & murder." And bobsledding!
--Seriously, a Heroes for Hire miniseries would be awesome, if this UV fight is any indicator.
--"...Stokes. Mariah Stokes." ~Mariah Stokes
--Poor literally everyone who happened to be eating at Gwen's that night, but especially Anansi. Even Shades is horrified at what just happened.
--"You're starting to sound like I did. That's not good." ~enlightened Danny

#2.11 "The Creator":
--Flashback: Once again, Mabel & Pete are the source of Mariah's sorrow. Bushmaster knows how that whole meeting went, but Mariah does not.
--Alex is in way over his head like Zip, but from the other direction (& not stupid).
--The type of nightshade Bushmaster's been taking is real (except for the magic Jamaican healing powers part), & is toxic. Tiny doses might be applicable for medicine, but he's been using so much that it's built up in his system.
--Tilda should not feel guilty for Gwen's death; she wasn't even conceived yet.
--Mama Mabel had the same rule as Don Vito.
--The 2017 West Indian Day parade took place on September 4th.
--Ingrid, Luke does try to destroy evil, but unlike your nephew, he cares about collateral damage.
--Mariah's hallucination of Mabel & Pete is a great representation of her fragile mental state, but it pales in comparison to Jessica's hallucination of Kilgrave.
--Ingrid, I get not trusting the justice system, but you're choosing to do NOTHING.
--Luke was in a real good place after hanging with Danny, but this whole slaughter has totally reset him.

#2.12 "Can't Front on Me":
--I can't tell if the audio in this episode is lower than the others, or if everyone's just whispering.
--Putting a real person's name on your drugs is a douche move.
--Yang, what would Danny think if he found out what you're up to?
--"Rats always follow the cheese. (Make it Swiss!)" That's a really good line.
--Cottonmouth did one good thing in his life. He kept Tilda out of the family business.
--Hi, photo of Stan as Forbush Man!
--"That kid was my son." "Well, then you should be ecstatic." Shades's whole confession sequence is amazing, but that exchange in particular is the best part.
--Comanche's mom deserved the truth.
--If I'm in a club where I know people were very recently shot & somebody starts playing gunshot sound effects in his music, it's gonna freak me out.
--The 5-way fight in the safe room has an awesome intensity.

#2.13 "They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)":
--Donovan, you can't object to the reading of the charges.
--The judge is another of Mariah's sorors, so she lets her make a threatening you-can't-handle-the-truth speech. But Mariah, you could've helped prepare others to protect the neighborhood without the mass murder. Instead, you milked Harlem for your own profit.
--Sugar did his best, but he's getting forced back into the life again. Only thing keeping Shades from falling back in is that he got himself banned.
--Luke successfully scares a mafia queen into backing down. That's impressive.
--Mariah's trying to turn into Kingpin in prison. Ben Donovan's complete lack of ethics might just let her.
--Bushmaster has RRoD'd.
--Tilda, you don't have to harbor him or call your mom, but at least get the poor sap out of town! Poor Alex.
--Mariah is trying to use her abuse to excuse her abuse of others. Tilda isn't having it, but that was a lovely parting kiss.
--Tilda's song is kinda just...there. This episode is 70 minutes long; it should've been cut.
--Was this timed to frame Luke? (Not that it would've worked; obviously Luke doesn't wear Peggy's shade.)
--Shades unequivocally lost, but he still kinda has the best ending out of anybody.
--Props to D.W. for stepping up & rebuilding Pop's Barbershop into what it needs to be.
--I resent the implication that somebody can't own a nightclub without becoming an organized crimelord. I'm also confused as to how Luke still ended up running the club after rejecting it.
--Nice Godfather shot. Luke Corleone indeed.
--Wait, this song is *about* Luke.
--"Tell Claire to go home." Oof.

Executive summary: These episodes are too long, but the season as a whole is very good. Bushmaster & Nightshade are great additions, & there's no Diamondback to drag things down. Colleen, Foggy, & Danny make for nice flavor. The entire finale is dreary as hell, though.

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Re: MCU Megathread


Post by CaptHayfever » Wed Jun 17, 2020 6:04 pm

Part 44, the riches-to-rags-back-to-riches story nobody asked for....

Iron Fist season 2:

#2.01 "The Fury of Iron Fist":
--Danny's new outfit is good, an Iron-Fist version of Daredevil's old black pajamas.
--Same lame opening credits.
--The big bat-computer is a nice touch. Danny is taking his Daredevil-successor thing very seriously.
--Spongebob started in 1999, 2 years before the plane crash.
--Well, dang. Must be some gooood garlic shrimp.
--Alice Eve is on this show.
--Joy is still bitter at Ward for hiding Harold's existence to save her life.
--Danny just wished Joy success in her plot to help Davos kill him.
--Wait, if Joy's a villain now, why was she allowed to use a Mac in season 1?
--Well, dang. Ward's sharing something at his rehab meetings.
--Slimy, yet satisfying.
--Davos still thinks something bad happened to K'un-Lun. I think even Danny has caught on that the city is fine & just did its usual Brigadoon thing.
--Davos also thinks the Iron Fist was his birthright, but one of the other contestants could've beaten him too.
--Shou-Lao's power has to be let out, even if one has genuinely improved his inner peace.

#2.02 "The City's Not for Burning":
--There's something about Mary.
--Colleen has officially shut down the dojo; that's a bummer.
--Hey, more K'un-Lun flashbacks, cool! The masks are a bit silly, though, with the painted on eye shadow.
--These dumb street urchins might've failed to shoot the unarmed woman they had completely at their mercy, but they almost got her killed by cops.
--Flashback: No more Chaotix fighting.
--Is Mika Prada a real person? Like as in Prada?
--"It's quite remarkable." It's a bronze bowl. It doesn't look different than any other bronze bowl.
--Ever since Pirates of the Caribbean came out, I've seen a gradual increase in the use of the word "parley."
--Well, dang. This whole scene is super messed up. Davos tries to threaten Mika & fails because she's into it. Davos really isn't into it. Joy records the whole thing. Yikes.
--Flashback: The fight went back & forth several times, but Danny did win fairly. Davos's claim otherwise is just to save face, since Thunderer called it early to save his son.
--Crap, did Yang just get the 5-Point Palm technique?

#2.03 "This Deadly Secret":
--Aww, Ward is going to Danny for emotional support! Seeing the two of them grow to trust each other so much after the crap Harold put them through is great.
--This kid BB is not a very effective thief.
--Dale Carnegie, Joy? Nah, you've got more in common with *Andrew* Carnegie.
--Neither Danny nor Colleen can fathom that Mary just stole the photos from Walker.
--Davos keeps his beard the exact same length as his head hair, so it's one uniform layer of fuzz.
--Joy is dressed like a cartoon character.
--Chinatown isn't "east" at all; it's at the southern end of the island, which skews west. Joy is being intentionally racist to screw with Colleen.
--Spaghetti sticking to the wall means it's done. It also means you just wasted that spaghetti by throwing it at the wall.
--Everything about this dinner party is awkward, but it's meant to be. But it's still awkward. I'm grateful to Colleen for just ripping off the bandage.
--Danny refuses to throw Colleen under the bus, even when she thinks he should.
--How are the cops responding to an indoor fight with no guns & no eyewitnesses?
--Ok, so Mary is Walker. As in Typhoid Mary Walker.

#2.04 "Target: Iron Fist":
--All the titles this season are names of comic issues, but maybe they didn't need to use the ones with "Iron Fist" in them?
--Alice Eve has heterochromia, which is very fitting for a character with multiple personalities.
--Who's this jerk who thinks he gets to override his boss's invitations?
--Walker's description of her life with Mary is pretty haunting.
--At least we don't have to add ableism to Joy's list of negative traits.
--Unless he has an ally telling him not to, Davos's response to everything is "kill somebody." Need to do a stakeout from a hot dog stand? Kill the owner. Need to sneak up on a guy? Kill him. Art dealer doesn't hand over a bowl upon first demand? Kill her. It's a reductive, dismissive, & narcissistic view of human life, & it was trained into him since infancy.
--An old Iron Fist corpse was not on my 2020 bingo card.
--Misty, they arrived to the crime scene with you. Why shouldn't they be able to leave?
--Walker dodges the Iron Fist shockwave, then ties off the Fist instead of trying to block or dodge it.

#2.05 "Heart of the Dragon":
--"If only you were alive to see." She IS alive, dingus.
--Ward geeking out over Misty's arm is pretty funny.
--And of course Davos walks into a club mostly full of innocents & starts busting heads; it could've turned into another Rum Punch Massacre. And of course Davos thinks all criminals in NYC can fit on one guy's list.
--Davos's mother was hella abusive. It really ticks me off when people put words into my mouth I wasn't even thinking, much less saying.
--You know Danny's in bad shape if an idiot like Rhyno can keep him hostage.
--"Redhead"? I'll give you strawberry blonde at best.
--A "616" is a possible suspect with abilites, nice.
--Why no hospital, Danny? Nobody's looking for you; it'll be safe.
--Bethany will not be a permanent replacement for Claire.
--Walker fights the Daughters of the Dragon to a draw.

#2.06 "The Dragon Dies at Dawn":
--"Life gave them lemons & nobody taught them how to make lemonade." Keywords: nobody taught them how.
--Davos's sidekick has a good racket going (if he can survive).
--Walker's got Ward's number. Gotta give him credit for not relapsing, though.
--So, these tattoo artists are called the Crane Sisters, obviously related to Danny & Davos's Order of the Crane Mother. How do they know all this K'un-Lun stuff? And why do they immediately resort to starting a big brawl they don't know how to finish?
--It's snowing, which in New York could mean any time from October to March.
--"Some kind of snake?" "He called it a serpent." That's what a snake is, genius.
--"The work of an Iron Fist, Danny." So, you're guarding K'un-Lun & destroying the Hand? No? Then that's not the work of an Iron Fist. Davos's entire speech is riddled with these fallacies.
--Alice Eve nails the transformation between Walker & Mary.

#2.07 "Morning of the Mindstorm":
--This song kinda sounds like Flo & Eddie.
--Eyepatch guy got a real eyepatch, & Davos is now Fagan.
--Danny's getting a Batman-esque leg brace.
--Don't screw with bartenders.
--More of Davos's murder-is-the-only-solution ethos.
--Mika is talking about *Ernst* Erskine, not Abraham.
--The flashbacks of Walker as a POW in Sokovia are pretty intense, but Mary's video to her other self is equally intense.
--The weirdest part of Iron Fist's mythos isn't the chi or the dragons; it's the disappearing one-of-seven capital city of Heaven, & yet all these supporting characters get hung up on the chi & the dragon.
--Colleen is taking Danny needing to train as way too much of a personal affront. He'd need space to rehab his leg regardless. It's also manipulative of Colleen to issue this ridiculous ultimatum that they must break up for her to help him after he's made his decision.

#2.08 "Citadel on the Edge of Vengeance":
--Davos is training his gang to ignore defense. Colleen is training Danny to use the rope-a-dope.
--Danny's biggest growth as a fighter happens now, rejecting his K'un-Lun training to respond to every provocation with homicidal rage, & instead keeping focused on pre-established mission parameters.
--"How did they know were were coming?" Because you're predictable!
--Both Mary & Walker think the other alter saved them in Sokovia. Someone else did. Things got very bloody.
--BB is turning on Davos, Joy is turning on Davos, Walker already has turned on Davos, the Hatchets & Tigers are plotting against Davos, Wu knows Davos could kill him at any second. All it takes to stop Davos is all of these people communicating with each other instead of working seperately.
--Walker goes to the same doctor who worked with Danny in the asylum.
--Davos is now killing people for being nervous around him. Poor Yip & Rhyno.
--Danny reverse 3-stocks Colleen.
--"I think it should be you." OH SNAP.

#2.09 "War Without End":
--Danny's making an extremely mature & smart decision.
--That wasn't sarcasm, Davos; Joy really does think you're full of it.
--The voices screaming as the paper burned was pretty powerful.
--"I think the technical term is patricide/necrocide." Ward just impressed both Walker AND Turk.
--Joy is pretty beat up for a one-story fall, but it was onto concrete.
--Hi, final photo of Stan as Forbush Man!
--Two gangs & the NYPD (so, three gangs) are all going at Davos, & none of them have any guns!?
--Poor BB.
--"They're all dead!" No. They're not. If K'un-Lun had been successfully invaded by the Hand, the five fingers would've been THERE instead of heading towards Manhattan.
--The overhead cut from Davos to BB is really good.
--Danny's brand is on his chest. Davos's tattoo is on his back. Colleen's tattoo is going on...her arm. Cowards.
--Solid Chris Farley reference.
--Danny is doing the motions to teach Colleen the motions. Hmm.

#2.10 "A Duel of Iron":
--Danny's narration on duality is pretty cool, especially contrasted with he & Davos's childhood together. Good shot of the coin, too.
--Most folks with robot arms in fiction have to learn to apply a light touch; Misty has to learn to apply her arm's full strength.
--Walker is the first person smart enough to try shooting Davos from out of melee range. This is the last episode.
--Walker is genuinely appreciative that somebody thinks of her positively.
--Danny should technically be one of the best martial artists in the world, but he has been trained almost exclusively in unarmed combat (& he's still limping), so Walker is a fair match for him.
--This might be my last chance to say this: Play Misty for me.
--Davos slides along the cobblestone as if it was smooth cement.
--Acknowledgement that Luke's on a downward slide.
--It's still sad to see Danny & Colleen break up.
--Nice payoff with the coin thing.
--Ward has had an amazing journey throughout this series. It's really impressive to see how that character has changed & how natural it all was. That makes two scene-stealing Wards in the MCU.
--Walker's gonna be sticking around to keep Joy's karma in check.
--Meanwhile, on Danny & Ward's Excellent Adventure: CHI-PISTOLS.

Executive summary: Dang, what a comeback. Swap in a competent showrunner, & all of a sudden you have a really enjoyable & fun show! Finn Jones continues Danny's growth into a person we enjoy seeing. Colleen & Ward are still the best parts of the show...except for Typhoid Mary; Alice Eve was a huge surprise & a rush to watch. The reduced episode order definitely helped keep the story on track, too. I'd love to see where the show goes from here.

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Re: MCU Megathread


Post by CaptHayfever » Sat Jun 20, 2020 5:03 pm

Quick brag: Iron Fist S2 showrunner M. Raven Metzner liked my tweet of that post. :)
Part 45:

Agents of SHIELD season 5 part 1:

#5.01 "Orientation part 1":
--This opening sequence of suburban alien guy is pretty dang funny, & seeing the team's abduction from the opposite perspective is somethin'. I also just noticed that they used Stark's sonic paralyzer.
--Another obelisk. This one's white, & it appears to have given Coulson a few seconds to acclimatize before events begin.
--Mack's being gloriously meta. "That's the one thing we haven't done," "You can stab things with a hook," "I didn't quit hard enough," "As hard as I possibly could!", & " know who the first one will be."
--"Not again." Aww, Simmons.
--Discount Star-Lord has a much cooler helmet.
--Dat title card tho.
--Ming-Na Wen actually broke her leg, so they needed a reason for May to be weakened.
--Yo-Yo's thinking of SWORD, not SPEAR.
--Virgil manages to confirm Fitz is the one left behind before getting killed.
--Everyone's refusal to even entertain the thought of being back in the Framework is delightful.
--Oh crap it's the Kree.
--Why do the metrics need to be fully installed? Can't you just cut off the spike & glue it to their wrists?
--The trawler is kinda cute; it looks like a fish.
--What was the name of Deke's planet? It was Earth! DON'T DATE ROBOTS!

#5.02 "Orientation part 2":
--Dat title card tho.
--Trying to erase the teaching of history is how most fascist regimes take power.
--Tess has to pay to *do* her job?
--Kree lady has e-Bola.
--Simmons is handling Kasius pretty well.
--The Framework as temporary VR experience instead of permanent alternate life actually has genuinely
--Elena, that wasn't a good question to axe.
--The renewal is pretty standard-issue dystopian fare.
--That metal yeerk earplug thing is freaky as hell. Of course, Kasius turns it into pure narcissism by allowing them to hear him alone.
--Deke is getting his simulated-historical-news from WHiH? Oof, no wonder he doesn't have the whole story.

#5.03 "A Life Spent":
--"Fermented sugars & the like"? C'mon, the Guardians taught me that there's alcohol in space.
--Dat title card tho.
--Mack does not like being told this jerk owns him.
--I have a hard time
--Heh, 616.
--You've definitely earned a night in your bed, May.
--Good thing Grill is stupid, but Elena's plan was really good.
--Simmons helping this poor Inhuman child for what would turn out to be a deathmatch is touching & tragic. Again. This show is good at that.
--"...destroyer of worlds"
--Don't overthink it, Daisy; they're just growing food.
--Zev is a moron; he's ruined his employer's living. Of course, his vest looks like a shredded rag.
--Did Kasius have that glass wall trap just waiting for any ol' time?
--"...destroyer of worlds"
--Oh, hey, it's the stinger from the end of last season.

#5.04 "A Life Earned":
--"...Destroyer of Worlds"
--Behold, a telepath. Take that, arbitrary psychic skepticism from season 1!
--"...Destroyer of Worlds"
--Deke says he's playing the long game, & he definitely was in kahoots with Virgil, so how does putting Daisy in the worst possible position help that game?
--Simmons finally learned how to lie.
--Ooof. Don't push that button for Mack, Gunner.
--Coulson beat me to the dystopian acknowledgement.
--At least one of the two MCU Gunners got a happy ending....but who names their kid "Gunner"?
--Grill's approval fills Mack with shame, but Yo-Yo gave him a great speech.
--"...Destroyer of Worlds"
--"...Destroyer of Worlds"
--Other Discount Star-Lord is Fitz...wait, FITZ!?

#5.05 "Rewind":
--Meanwhile, 74 years ago, welcome to Fitz's solo episode.
--Nah, the government would *never* falsely arrest somebody, detain them for 6 months, & refuse to believe their innocence.
--Fitz still wants a monkey.
--An angry Scotsman watching soccer is pretty hilarious.
--His last-second desperation guess is accidentally correct. Good thing his "lawyer" arrived.
--Fitz's letters weren't even coded; they were just so obviously HIM that Hunter caught on.
--Poor Rusty, I guess?
--Hunter recapping what Most Wanted would've been is kinda nice, like those events still happened anyway; we just didn't get to watch them.
--Enoch is a WatcherChronicom.
--The Lighthouse is on Lake Ontario (I couldn't read the postcard before).
--Robin has Dr. Manhattan's time perception, but the mind of a small child; it's overwhelmed her completely. The double-edged sword of terrigenesis strikes again.
--"Release the ferrets."
--Fitz & Hunter liberated all of the gear the army stole from SHIELD.
--That day, Fitz was amazed to discover that when Hunter was saying "Don't die out there," what he meant was, "I love you." "I know."

Executive summary: We're off to a start. This is a mystery. There's intrigue. There's genuine suspense as to how this is gonna all play out. Let's find out!

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Re: MCU Megathread


Post by CaptHayfever » Mon Jun 22, 2020 10:49 am

Streaming NewFronts start today; Hulu will present last on the day's agenda. We'll hopefully have Helstrom news.
Part 46 returns us to the Big Easy to check back in on the Divine Pairing....

Cloak & Dagger season 2:

#2.01 "Restless Energy":
--Daw, Tandy is doing ballet again!
--Daw, Ty is being Batman!
--Daw, Melissa is going to therapy!
--Daw, O'Reilly is alive! Whoa, did Connors shoot her in the throat!?
--Golly, that chant is cheesy.
--Ty & Tandy have effectively switched positions from how they were at the start of the first season, but movie night is cute.
--Haha. Yes, very funny. VHS is outmoded. I get it.
--Ty is better at quarantine without a disease spreading than most folks are with one.
--A "dash" of salt is for if you're using a shaker. A "pinch" is for if you're using a small bowl.
--Not "daw", Adina & Otis aren't together anymore, & Evita is lonesome.
--In a perfect world, the peace negotiations O'Reilly is trying to broker would actually be what real police do.
--My dad ripped the sleeves off of one of my shirts once because he thought it was his. I was pissed.

#2.02 "White Lines":
--A religious glyph made of cocaine by a dying man.
--Eight months have passed since Mardi Gras. It's October 2017.
--I really appreciate the simplicity of Ty's teleportation. No flashy visuals (beyond the puff of Darkforce when he reappears). No silly sound effects (just a subtle rush of air). He even thinks to pop back in a few inches above ground to avoid splinching his feet.
--Ty, Papa Legba wants you to help with Tandy's thing.
--Mikayla seems to have no ability to form thoughts of her own.
--O'Reilly gives a traditional Irish drinking toast to her depression & self-hatred & schizophrenia.
--Tandy was forced to learn something about white privilege directly instead of just having Ty tell her.
--Mikayla seems to have no ability to form independent thoughts.
--Tandy's freakouts only affect the light sources, not all the electronics. She's powered by Lightforce, not electromagnetism.
--TANDY used ELECTRO BALL! It's super effective!
--Ohh, there's two of them! Well, Brigid. There's one of me. A-deleted.
--I dig these multi-path episodes; C&D did one last season, & AoS had "TRACKS" back in season 1.

#2.03 "Shadow Selves":
--Solid Rattatouille reference, Mina.
--Lake Pontchartrain is also saltwater, & directly connects to Lake Borgne.
--The implication here that every living thing is suicidal, which is kinda screwed up.
--Ok, so Cute O'Reilly shall henceforth be Brigid, & Hot O'Reilly shall henceforth be Mayhem.
--So, she learned policework from Misty Knight & the playing-card caseboard from Ben Urich.
--Father Delgado's breakdown hits hard. He really tried, he wanted to help, but Ty still got screwed.
--Ok, so Mayhem has some kind of healing (hence why she didn't need medical care while Brigid did), razor-sharp nails (like that one lady from AoS, but not silly), & quick motion (like Vijay Nadeer).
--Somebody's threatening Adina, & I'm not happy.
--The same dead-record sound plays for this girl's lack of hope as for Mikayla, & her worst fear is what already happened to her.
--Ty's right. Mayhem is effective at taking out evil people, but she also mows down everyone around them too.
--Dat kamehameha tho.
--Don't shoot at Cloak. Nom.
--Hi, Ghost Fuchs!

#2.04 "Rabbit Hold":
--"Two people enter, one...also enters." Welcome to Darkforcedome-nsion.
--Arresting victims, yet another day in the life of real-world policing.
--Cloak isn't afraid of Dagger, but he is still afraid of Connors.
--"Down" moments were Aubrey Joseph's weak points last season, but he's greatly improved at them.
--Whoopsie, Divine Pairing, remember, Dagger? If you're shut off, so is he.
--"There's no way out." Well, you're only half a person.
--The "Not Today" shirt is the closest we will ever see to Dagger's traditional comics costume, & that's a good thing.
--Ty, come on, you gotta be more stealthy than that.
--Connors has been putting up scare-cloaks.
--I like the intercut between Mayhem & Ty telling their respective tales.
--Adina quizzing Ty about Evita is cute, but then Solomon ruins the moment.
--Mayhem has very protective instincts; they just tend to manifest violently. Seeing her stop Tandy from playing the next record suggests hope for her. (But Dagger really needs to finish the trip. Cloak's surrounded.)
--Dangit, Tandy, you had ONE job.

#2.05 "Alignment Chart":
--Tandy is being needlessly harsh to her mother.
--Is Connors repentent, or is he the viper in the narration?
--Andre, I get that people who've been through trauma don't want to relive it, but we can't do anything about it unless some of them *do*.
--Target is a "fancy store", Choo Choo?
--Otis's first impulse is to nearly stab Connors in the eye, & I can't blame him.
--It hurts when Ty & Tandy fight, & it hurts more that Lia is interpreting this as Ty being one of the abusers that the other women are dealing with.
--Connors is sending Ty through a Sucker Punch mission. Everything he said was true except for the file being there.
--Tandy just got maced in the eyes.
--Connors's new fear is that he won't be held accountable.
--Oh snap, Lia was the viper.
--C&D does the slow moody covers of famous songs way better than Inhumans did.

#2.06 "B Sides":
--What if Nathan & Billy had survived the night of the rig collapse?
----Ty & Tandy actually become friends as children. Connors becomes Ty's mentor as he heads toward a career as a cop. Tandy sticks with her ballet & goes pro in New York. Duane is still alive too. Nathan is still abusive. Even when it isn't actually her, just Tandy's dream of her, Evita knows this isn't real.
----Ty is still a young black man in a hoodie, & New Orleans is still full of racists. Cloak & Dagger still manifest thier powers in a moment of extreme stress.
--What if Melissa had kicked Nathan out & Billy survived?
----Tandy becomes a Roxxon engineer. Ty & Billy become Roxxon mechanics. Mina becomes the rig supervisor & is a raging jerkwad. Tandy subconsciously knows THREE bad things will happen instead of just the two her father predicted.
----The rig still melts down, just 8 years later. Cloak & Dagger still manifest thier powers in a moment of extreme stress.
--What if Tandy never met Liam & Connors hadn't shot Billy?
----Tandy still becomes a pickpocket. Liam is still on the show & dates Mikayla. Billy is arrested & jailed. Ty becomes a car thief.
----You can't outrun the police if they saw you steal a car. Cloak & Dagger still manifest thier powers in a moment of extreme stress.
--What if a man who runs a center for abused women kidnaps them, drugs them, & drains all their hope with his magical powers, just to treat his own migraines, & then sells them into sex slavery?
--Andre figured out how to break Tandy, but it still shouldn't have worked if Tandy had remembered that Ty can't be shot.

#2.07 "Vikingtown Sound":
--Andre is full-blown lying about how his powers work & Tandy knows it, but she does still think Ty's gone. They also full-blown lied about the girls being allowed to leave.
--I do enjoy crabcake. I also enjoy justice. Adina is playing my tune right now.
--"What friends?" The ones she didn't tell you about, Lia. There's a cop looking for Tandy RIGHT NOW.
--Connors wants to go to prison, not be killed while tied to a chair.
--Manipulated despair doesn't work as well on the guy with fear powers. The instant Mayhem takes off the record, Ty snaps out of his funk rather than staying locked in like the other victims.
--The little ballerinas marveling at Ty's sudden disappearance are adorable, & their sudden appearance reminds me of the yo-yos flooding Radcliffe's pockets in the Framework.
--Chantelle knows what's up, & just like her niece, she has some resistance to the emotion powers. Her death here, signalling Mayhem to stay hidden, is every bit the heroic sacrifice that Ho Yinsen made 9 years prior to this.
--Mayhem trashing the record shop afterwards is great, too. Andre just lost a good chunk of his influence.
--Ty's teleporting haymaker is a thing of beauty. I shouldn't have wasted "now you're thinking with portals" on Jane Foster earlier.
--Cloak & Dagger reuniting is also a thing of beauty, at least until Ty RRoDs.

#2.08 "Two Player":
--How did Rando just assume Lia was a hooker? She was wearing a pretty normal business suit.
--Dagger & Brigid preparing to enter the Darkforce Dimension (2017, colorized).
--"It will be the last time, I promise." That's almost never true, & when it is, it's usually because it's the time you don't walk away from, Lia.
--Welp, Mayhem found Brigid.
--The arcade being run by Baron Samedi is rather poetic.
--Evita is getting answers, but not to the questions she's asking.
--"You've been injected with radioactive heroin" is basically Cloak & Dagger's origin story in the comics.
--I don't get why Evita can't still go to medical school. Married folks are allowed to go to college. And she'll probably be a better Mambo if she can blend formal medicine with her voudon knowledge. At least she gets her wedding in a church.
--Not to say that this episode ripped off my own work, buuuut....
--Delgado absolutely should be a priest, in part *because* he has these doubts. Besides, Adina needs a priest for more than one reason. Connors's journey is over.
--At least Samedi tries to make his new bride happy. And he's got style.

#2.09 "Blue Note":
--I dig the flashback titles this season. "242 days ago," "96 months ago," it's distinct.
--Andre had a god complex even before he started changing. I like jazz & all, but he is fanatical like Gosling in La La Land.
--The brainwashed humming is freaky.
--Very impressive that Ty's burner phone can hold calls while he teleports.
--Lia is even more fried than most of Andre's victims. They at least had *some* thoughts; she is just...absent.
--Solomon is looking at Luke fighting either Diamondback or Bushmaster, depending on how old that paper is. Karen was working for the Bulletin for both fights, but the first was very soon after her big Punisher headline & her abduction by the Hand.
--I appreciate that unlike a certain other teen show, we don't see Andre actually jump. He's gotta end up in the soup, but the explosion startles him & takes the choice away.
--Ty shaking down the gang leaders is pretty awesome.
--Tandy fighting Mayhem to a draw isn't as awesome, but pretty impressive considering she couldn't keep up with her at the start of the season.
--Cloak & Dagger with the combo attack FTW...almost.
--D'Spayre's trumpet blasting over the city & the credits is thoroughly ominous.

#2.10 "Level Up":
--D'Spayre is rapturing anyone with self-doubt to drain their thoughts for his own comfort.
--"The only alternative to doing nothing is doing something." Amen, Mina.
--All of the power, none of the responsibility. He became a god just to cure his migraines, not caring how many others had to get hurt in the process.
--Legba is missing; this ain't good. Of course, he's probably pissed that his wife was murdered by the new guy.
--Mayhem bodyguarding Evita from Heartless is pretty freaking cool, especially when one of them plays dirty with Fuchs, so she plays dirty with grenades.
--Tandy facing Nathan is obvious, but the most negative influence in Ty's life has always been his own expectations for himself.
--How does Shadow Ty know Adina killed Connors? That would require D'Spayre to know.
--Cloak & Dagger are symbiotic; they can't go on without each other. Still gotta face your own fears at some point, though.
--Nice Zorro callback.
--Turnabout is fair play. Bye, Andre.
--"Come Sail Away" was a higher high, but this season's music has overall been better than last season's.

Executive summary: I low-key (heh, Loki) love this show. It went places that Luke Cage was scared to go in terms of American racism (probably because NOLA didn't require Marvel to portray its police positively for filming permits like NYC did) & handled moral gray areas better than basically everything else in the MCU. Some very outside-the-box creative choices continue to entertain; I can't wait to see how the rest of Joe Pokaski's 5-season plan plays out!

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Re: MCU Megathread


Post by CaptHayfever » Wed Jun 24, 2020 3:35 am

We did indeed get news: Helstrom will premiere in October as part of the "Huluween" programming lineup.
And now, from one hotbed of Catholic influence to another, here's part 47....

Daredevil season 3:

#3.01 "Resurrection":
--Holy symbolism, Batman!
--"Several weeks" & "months ago" are drastic understatements. Let's make this abundantly clear: There is no way *all* of the events of Punisher 1, JJ2, LC2, & IF2 all happened in just "months" after Defenders, & this has to be after them. But let's say for argument's sake that those descriptions are correct--even still, Daredevil's powers do NOT include any kind of enhanced healing or durability; his recovery is gonna be nice & slow even past that point, so you can add a few more months.
--Most of the nuns I've known kick butt, & Maggie matches that rule. In fact, the only nun I've known who I didn't like was my spiteful grade-school principal.
--It's nice seeing how Karen reacted after the end of DD2, but knowing Matt already had to go back on that makes it more bitter than sweet.
--Nothing like a little bit of interfaith harmony. :)
--It's worth noting that *even among Biblical literalists*, the book of Job is considered fiction, a parable, not a historical account like the rest of Bible.
--Matt feels like a failure, but Fisk is sitting in misery in prison.
--You should always filter or boil Neti pot water.
--Matt's still not at 100%, but getting that clog out helped a TON, just like Maggie said. Probably still wasn't ready to hit the streets yet, but our mans has developed a death wish.
--If your cards all got declined buying lunch meat, then either you're bankrupt or you got hacked. Either way, it's not time to put in a pool.
--Fun fact: Ray's supervisor is speaking truth; the FBI won't hire or advance people with bad credit or a lot of debt because of the risk that they'd be open to why not give them the appropriate performance-based raises to remove that vulnerability???

#3.02 "Please":
--Fisk is only talking so he can find a way to get Vanessa home safely, but Nadeem is to desperate to care.
--We never used the word "catechism" when I was growing up.
--"Argumentation is a skill; being argumentative is a sign." "The burning bush business doesn't happen very often, even in the Bible." Spot on, Lantom.
--Nobody would be dumb enough to shank the Kingpin unless he told them to. Fisk wants his luxuries back as well as his financé.
--Matt playing the helpless blind rando instead of the suave lawyer is kinda hilarious.
--Foggy's mother still wants him to be a butcher, & the whole family is too proud to let their rich lawyer son pay his father's medical bills.
--Convict, when you are asked a yes or no question, do not answer it with a long, slow speech that does not include the words "yes" or "no".
--Fisk was actually startled by that explosion; this attack was NOT part of his plan.
--That's some slick shooting, agent...& some slick throwing. This guy's gonna be Bullseye.
--Matt's ears clear up just in time for him to get the worst news of his life.

#3.03 "No Good Deed":
--Ellison & his wife are sweet.
--Foggy & Marci are sweet too, but Foggy has nightmares about Matt.
--Matt's hallucination of Fisk is more effective than Mariah's hallucination of Mabel & Pete, but less effective than Jessica's hallucination of Kilgrave.
--Matt posing as not-blind rando is kinda hilarious too.
--Tower has a solid point, but he's still a coward.
--$40 tuna melts!?
--Donovan, you don't recognize Daredevil?
--Garage fight: It's no hallway fight, but it's cool seeing how Matt handles people he actually doesn't wanna hurt.
--Matt juggling heavy moral issues from a standpoint where God is a given parameter rather than a point of debate is pretty unusual for modern secular TV, & it's pretty gripping to watch.
--Crud, Dex is gonna try to kill that girl at some point.
--Matt & Foggy's reunion is painful, especially the robbery.
--Matt's complete abandonment of his own identity is almost the exact opposite of the regresssion stage of the hero's journey that Fr. Delgado described last winter.
--"So the Devil is back." Girls, dry your tears.

#3.04 "Blindsided":
--Marci has had very little screentime, yet her character arc is very clear & sensible, & she's pretty freaking cool now.
--NYC DA is a November election; this has to be late October.
--Hopefully, Matt posing as Foggy won't tank the latter's campaign...or tank his client's life.
--Why is Ray so opposed to his son having a sleepover with his cousin?
--The Hindi for "promotion" is "promotion"?
--The blind guy can't let his pupils be checked.
--Hallway fight 6. I haven't typed anything for 10 minutes straight. Holy crap.
--If inmates not wanting to finish their food isn't allowed (JJ2), then guards eating inmates' food should also not be allowed.
--How is Brett the only detective in the room at a police union meeting?
--Even if Fisk wasn't grooming you, Dex, he'd still protect the agent who saved his life.

#3.05 "The Perfect Game":
--Fisk is wrong for the right reason regarding Matt's eyesight, & is right for the wrong reason regarding Matt's survival.
--"Gave the DEA [a] very white Christmas." I get it, drugs.
--Ray is right for the wrong reason regarding Matt having been home, & wrong for the right reason regarding Karen's discomfort discussing Wesley.
--Karen should've recorded her chat with Felix.
--The flashback device while Fisk studies Dex's transcripts is pretty clever.
--Dex's doctor was great. A lot of this kind of narcissistic behavior could be nipped in the bud if all parents taught their kids from the time they could talk that they need to care about other people. Shame about her terminal illness. Funnily enough, Mercer's code for Dex is kinda like Harry's code for Dexter.
--Whoa, look at you, all asking a girl out normally instead of stalking her! (I'm terrified for her.)
--Whoa, look at Julie, all correctly identifying a dangerous stalker! (I'm even more terrified for her.)
--Karen probably feels pretty relieved to finally be able to tell somebody about Wesley.

#3.06 "The Devil You Know":
--The Kingpin is back.
--Karen, you & Foggy were targets even before Matt stole Foggy's ID.
--"I should've let you die." Truer words, Dex.
--Why is *anybody* questioning Dex's actions during the transport?
--Maggie's chat with Karen is kinda sweet.
--For once I'm annoyed with Maggie: A business suit should not be required to be deemed "dressing like a normal person."
--Daredevil is the only person who can make Bullseye miss; that's one of the reasons he hates DD so much.
--At melee range, Matt utterly dominates Dex, to the point that only the fake-DD body armor keeps that fight from ending immediately; Dex has to spam projectiles to win.
--Ray is a freaking idiot if he thinks the guy who helped CATCH Fisk is working for him.

#3.07 "Aftermath":
--Maggie acknowledges that there are others who could go after Fisk. (Jessica in particular would be very good at the investigative side.)
--Foggy did his job. Nadeem did not.
--Holy crap, Betsy's real!? I'd thought she was just Melvin's imaginary friend or something.
--Well, dang.
--Warden, the only reason you lawyer up in this situation is if YOU were the one who released Evans.
--"I'm full of percoset. Jello. Rage." We like Ellison.
--Melvin demonstrates why he was called "Gladiator" in the comics.
--Ray gets his first glimpse at exactly how much luxury was returned to Fisk, but in the process gives him time to get back in bed.
--For such a good liar, Fisk is a terrible liar.
--Nice of Matt to follow up with Betsy.
--Not so nice of Karen's dad to refuse to let her home.
--Ray is finally getting with the program.

#3.08 "Upstairs/Downstairs":
--Even in the public spaces, I'm still terrified for Julie.
--Both teams of Daredevil & Nadeem and Foggy & Karen have smart, pragmatic plans for going at Fisk.
--Poor Julie. In a show where a hell of a lot of people get killed, this one murder may be the most disturbing. Seeing it through the security camera just makes it worse, like an attempt at alienation that instead had the opposite effect. (Then again, most attempts at intentional alienation have the opposite effect on me; Brecht had no clue what he was talking about.)
--Dangit, Karen, you ruined Christmas.
--Foggy handles himself pretty well until he realizes Karen is out ruining Christmas.
--Ray, you're an FBI agent; you can get that wound treated at the hospital & just tell them the circumstances are classified.
--Dex pops his collar? Come on, show, we already knew he was evil.

#3.09 "Revelations":
--Lantom hustles pool. I love this show.
--Flashback: Maggie & Jack met cute, but she got hit hard with a very un-convent-ional case of PPD.
--Ray, you were 90% of the way right. Just the "unwitting" part was wrong.
--That "Creel vs Murdock" poster is still on the wall of the gym.
--The hallucination of Jack isn't quite as good as the hallucination of Fisk; Jack isn't blurred as effectively. The audio effect on both their voices was pretty cool, though.
--"The church has been helping people hide for 2000 years." Sanctuary, Karen. Sanctuary.
--The Kingpin finally takes his title.
--Foggy's brother is just dumb as hell.
--The look on Ray's face when he actually sees Dex throwing, he saw that action in the stairwell.
--Rosalie Carbone remains the only crime lord in New York physically capable of relaxing under pressure.

#3.10 "Karen":
--Flashback time: It only took us until the 44th episode out of the 48 Karen appears in to find out why she's like this.
--Ah, so here is the junkie Karen from the comics, except she's also a dealer, & we already know she's gonna live through this phase of her life..
--That luge thing is idiotic.
--Entitled small-town cop is entitled.
--Karen's dad spent money he doesn't have, her brother screwed up her college admission schedule & committed arson, & her boyfriend tried to kill her brother. But sure, she gets blamed for everything.
--Back in the now, Karen takes refuge in the same room where Matt stayed before.
--Fisk's techie is also a hostage. I wonder how he forced her into this.
--Fisk has no qualms sending his hitman into a church. Requiescat in pace, Fr. Lantom.
--Once again, Dex only survives this fight by his armor.
--In the comics, Bullseye kills Karen in the church, & Daredevil ends up cradling her body just like Karen is cradling Matt now.

#3.11 "Reunion":
--Hell of a night for a walk, Sister.
--"Why didn't you run?" She was running, Matt; that's why she was in the church!
--Fisk's speech presumes that none of these people saw his dudes attack that police motorcade & kill a bunch of cops.
--The NYPD has plenty of corruption, but it's been Fisk-free ever since the end of season 1.
--Don't screw with nuns, Ray.
--Theo's argument is garbage.
--Well played, Foggy & Ray.
--Even a selfish jerk like Fisk can admit that even he doesn't take precedence over the Holocaust. (They may have called themselves "national socialists", but communism was just a red herring.)
--A jacket is no car door.
--Ray & Matt both kick some butt in the Nadeem household.
--"Obviously, I'm here to help you." Love it.

#3.12 "One Last Shot":
--Vanessa has finally rejoined the show, & we finally get to meet Brett's mom!
--Seema's rage is fully justified, but ya still gotta feel for Ray a bit.
--"Nelson & Murdock, attorneys at law." Oh hell yes.
--"We'll cover it" means "Foggy will cover it," as Karen & Matt are both nearly broke right now.
--"I don't even pick up a book in the airport without reading the last page first". Tower, you suck.
--The buzzing in Dex's head is gonna boil over soon.
--Vanessa wants in on the action. That's pretty screwed up.
--In Dex's desperation to be Fisk's new best buddy, he's murdered a Holocaust survivor against Fisk's wishes & stained the man's favorite artwork.
--Heh, "Five Senses".
--Matt & Ray make a really great team.
--Godspeed, Agent Nadeem. For real, though, when did you dig this hole for the pool?

#3.13 "A New Napkin":
--That split screen was very cool.
--Felix has a very punchable face & voice. Glad somebody's finally punching him.
--Ray's an original character, so it was a very pleasant surprise to see how compelling his story was. And God bless him for thinking to record his dying declaration.
--I didn't expect the hitmen's bodies to be stashed in the same place as Julie's...or the hitmen to even be dead.
--Matt's plan is smart, using Dex as his battering ram to clear a path through the security.
--One of those news articles is about Cybertek, the company that made Deathlok's parts.
--Daredevil vs Kingpin vs Bullseye. Chills throughout my entire body as the advantages shifted back & forth, as Fisk passed his armored jacket to his wife, as Dex was finally decommissioned, as Vanessa's painting was truly ruined, as Matt made his ultimate declaration of victory & forced the big man to cave, as Mahoney came in & knew immediately which Daredevil was the real one. Breathtaking.
--The light coming into the crypt full of flowers paints a beautiful picture for Matt & Maggie's last conversation.
--Matt's eulogy for Lantom is also lovel--"the man without fear"...I see what you did there.
--This feels conclusive, like a proper series finale, even the tease of Dex's surgery at the end is just an "& the adventure continues" moment.

Executive summary: Phew. That was truly astounding to watch. I'm awe. The show definitely bounced back from its dip in season 2, but I can't decide whether this was better than season 1 or not. As ever, Cox & D'onofrio steal the show.

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Re: MCU Megathread


Post by CaptHayfever » Fri Jun 26, 2020 4:26 am

We got the title card for Helstrom yesterday, & it's a bit freaky. Strangely, it's the first MCU show not the have the Marvel logo on it, & only the 2nd Marvel live-action show in the past decade not to have it (the other is Legion; even The Gifted got the logo). We'll be getting more news next month at CC@H.
Part 48, a tragicomedy....

Thor: Ragnarok:

--"I cannot die, not until I have fulfilled my destiny and..." ...stopped Plankton from stealing the Krabby Patty formula.
--In Norse mythology, Surtur is actually a jotun; he just has a flaming sword. It makes more sense to depict him as a being of fire, though.
--"Immigrant Song" is the most appropriate possible needle-drop for Thor.
--The jig is up; Surtur spilled Loki's secret.
--With Luke Hemsworth as Chris Hemsworth, Loki from Dogma as Loki from Asgard, & Alan Grant.
--A mutual dumping, aka "Natalie Portman is not in this movie."
--Love that Thor though Loki had turned into the business card for a second.
--The refilling mug is a reference to a Norse myth.
--Love seeing Strange completely dominate Thor & Loki, & just as much love seeing Thor get his revenge calling back Umjobrellanir.
--Odin's death is a very sincere & serene moment in what's otherwise a full-blown action-comedy.
--Thor & Loki's transformations are cool.
--Hela's whole vibe. (With a touch of SCP-076-2.)
--I didn't realize you *could* fall out of the Bifrost.
--RIP Volstagg & Fandral, but that was way too fast.
--Valkyrie's ship is really freaking cool.
--These obedience discs remind me a lot of the Kree inhibitors that Kasius will use on Inhumans & Yon-Rogg used on Carol.
--One of the heads on this tower is Beta Ray Bill.
--Hogun at least got a few seconds of action...& a couple lines.
--"Pure Imagination" playing in the creepy slideshow tunnel is genius.
--Jeff Goldblum is in this movie, but for real this time.
--Moana's grandmother is in this movie too.
--Goldblum is actually playing this freaky keyboard thing; he's a legitimately good musician.
--Director supporting role: Taika Waititi's Korg is a genuine gift.
--We did see this gauntlet in the first Thor film, but it didn't match the one Thanos actually put on in Age of Ultron, so this takes care of that continuity error.
--2 more realms are shown in this movie: Muspelheim (Surtur's dominion) & Niflheim (Hela's prison). That's 8 down, 1 to go.
--Hi, Stan!
--The trailers totally ruined this reveal, but Hulk's introduction is really well-done.
--The fight is great, a real good opportunity for both Hulk & Thor to show off their strength in ways we haven't seen before.
--Heimdall kicks a lot of butt in this film. He got cool moments the last couple movies, but here he gets a whole cool subplot. I especially like his remote conversation with Thor.
--"How'd you get here?" "Winning." Hulk isn't stupid; he's just uneducated. But he's actually very clever.
--Hulk butt. Just...Hulk butt.
--I'm surprised a rubber ball was even able to make that much of a crack in the glass.
--"Sokovia, Ultron, that was two years ago." It's definitely late 2017.
--The shot of the Hulk recording's face over Banner's real face is really good.
--This inversion shot with the reflective floor is absolutely flipping gorgeous.
--The flashback to the fall of the valkyries is pretty solid. A whole different visual flair & narrative format, with pretty strong emotional performances considering it probably had to be done in just a big greenscreen room.
--Tessa Thompson does all these little subtle movements that are really captivating.
--The snake story might be the best gag in the film. It really highlights Hemsworth's comedic chops which have been so badly underused prior to this film (& Ghostbusters).
--"Prisoners with jobs" wouldn't be another name for "slaves" if we took that vile "except as punishment for crime" loophole out of the 13th Amendment.
--"Get Help" is a top-tier slapstick bit.
--Thor is just done with Loki's illusions.
--This 3-headed dude is Hemsworth, Waititi, & a mo-cap actor.
--I don't get why Hela has to keep putting her hair/crown up & down.
--There are a precious few callbacks to The Incredible Hulk in the MCU, most of which are just name-drops of the Abomination, so this one is much appreciated.
--Fenris is called Fenrir in the Norse myths, & was destined to kill Odin in the battle of Ragnarok. Here, Loki has thrown a wrench into destiny by causing Odin's death before the battle could begin; Fenris has to settle for making Hulk bleed before being yeeted into space.
--It's telling that Odin's best moments as a father are at & after his death.
--Thor learned a thing or two on Earth from playing Street Fighter.
--Ragnarok is inevitable, but it can be timed to be a good thing instead of a bad thing.
--Of course, Loki is tempted by the Tesseract.
--Hela takes a giant flaming sword through the face. No amount of insta-blades are gonna help her there.
--I see a lot of people who don't understand gallows humor complain about Korg's final speech about the foundations of Asgard. I, on the other hand, love it.
--Mid-credit scene: They must've been cruising for *MONTHS* at this point, but Thanos is finally catching up to the plot.
--I thought this score was very Devo, & I was right.
--Post-credit scene: The Grandmaster.

Executive summary: I recently watched the film What We Do in the Shadows for the first time, & Taika's visual style & cadance of dialogue is very much present here. It serves Thor much better than his past overly-seriousness; though I still really appreciate what Branagh did with the first movie. The examination of colonial imperialism is also deeper than I expected from a movie about alien vikings.

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Re: MCU Megathread


Post by CaptHayfever » Wed Jul 01, 2020 4:27 am

The Falcon & the Winter Soldier will complete its *domestic* filming later this month, but it won't complete its 9-day Prague shoot until fall, meaning the show will certainly be delayed.
Part 49 takes us to the new frontier known as Hulu....

Runaways season 1:

#1.01 "Reunion":
--Here is our third MCU episode with this title.
--When the question is "is this a cult?", the answer "we don't use that word" is functionally equivalent to "yes."
--The Gibborim are a group of gigantic angels; shouldn't the "Church of Gibborim" have at least some connection to Christianity rather than the faux-Scientology angle they're doing here?
--I like the subtle iconography for each of the Runaways in the opening credits, but the music does nothing for me.
--What kinda Californian bullcrap architecture is this that makes you go outside to go upstairs?
--Amy is completely fabricated for this show, & despite being dead, already has thrown off the story; in the comics, it is a significant plot point that all 6 original Runaways are only children.
--"If you were really afraid of me, you'd be getting an A." ~somebody who has absolutely no freaking clue whatsoever how learning works
--They nailed the looks for Alex, Nico, Karolina, Gert, & Molly, but Chase looks NOTHING like he should.
--Who's this pile of dandruff?
--How is Molly at the same school & everyone else in the same homeroom? Also, how does this school have a "meditation center"? (Props to the dance captain, though, for offering Molly another audition.)
--Speaking of Molly, her last name is Hayes in the comic. The change here seems like it was done to accommodate the actress, which makes sense. Orphaning her, however, just seems like an excuse to thin out a cast that would've been 18 leads.
--"My parents weren't there for me." ~somebody whose parents literally begged her to come home at the beginning of this episode
--Quick PSA: If you see somebody passed out at a party, don't rape them.
--Gratuitous underwear shots of the middle-aged parents on this teen drama.
--I've had friends who I've grown apart from & who've died, & it sucks, so I get Alex's frustration.
--"Thanks for all the pizza & sadness" is a great line.
--"We're not 12 anymore." "Not even me." That's a problem; Molly should be 12. All dialogue & actions regarding her treat her as if she was 12 in all but number. Having her so close in age to everyone else really makes her small-child treatment seem completely out of place.

#1.02 "Rewind":
--Here is our second MCU episode with this title.
--"I trust you, Alex." Oh, Nico, you dear sweet summer child.
--Ok, now we're reliving the first episode from the villains' perspectives. Except for Geoffrey Wilder, the Pride *was* underdeveloped in the comics; this could be interesting.
--Spike's having headaches. His chip must be malfunctioning.
--Fuller House exists, so it's 2016 or later. (I didn't think Hulu shows were allowed to reference non-Marvel Netflix shows.)
--Leslie's father left her this church? The Deans are supposed to be aliens. Wait, Frank isn't even in the Pride?
--The running gag about the Yorkes's brie is actually pretty funny.
--All the kids (except Molly) are 17? That doesn't hold up; it's a plot point in the comics that Chase is supposed to be older *at* 17 than Nico, Karolina, or Gert are.
--"...their biggest character flaw is that they occasionally listen to Weird Al, for pleasure." Screw you, Gert.
--Leapfrog is just an SUV now? I hate this show.
--So, I'm at the end of the episode now, & it could've ended 10 minutes ago without losing anything of importance.

#1.03 "Destiny":
--So the Hernandezes died 10 years ago; that's pre-Iron Man even.
--"I wanna be an elephant when I grow up." Me too, kid. Me too.
--The serial killer/LARP/furry/sleuth chat on the beach is pretty freaking funny.
--Sponsored by Wired.
--Ah, Frank was mind-wiped; that's why he's not in Pride anymore.
--"You guys haven't had date night since the Obama administration." Ok, so Obama definitely was president before Ellis. He must've only served 1 term.
--They better not be setting up Molly to be the traitor.
--When blood is shed, let the Staff of One emerge.
--"We're not characters in some trashy movie." No, you're characters in some trashy TV show.
--Sponsored by Lyft.
--Wizey is no Jarvis.
--Robert & Janet are having an affair, & I couldn't care less.

#1.04 "Fifteen":
--It kinda makes sense that Gert (who has the least evil parents) & Karolina (who has the most brainwashy parents) are most reluctant to believe what they saw, while Chase (whose father abuses him) & Nico (who already thought her mom killed her sister) are the most willing to believe it.
--The Rite of Blood failing should've been an instant loss condition for the Gibborim & the Pride, yet somehow they have another shot.
--This annoying girl blaming Karolina for somehow ruining lacrosse by almost getting raped at a party is named "Eiffel". Do with that what you will.
--Flaky dude's crotch glows.
--"I'm With Her" shirts & past-tense references to the 2016 election, so it's gotta be either VERY late 2016 or 2017.
--Victor & Robert shopping for a homeless person to abduct in broad daylight with tons of witnesses, knowing they can use their police contact to get away with it, is incredibly gross.
--Whether the LAPD had an NYPD-style contract with Marvel or not, corruption in the LAPD is a necessary part of the Runaways story.
--The CGI for Old Lace is actually quite good, but it was for Lockjaw too. Lace, though, also has a great puppet they can use for closeups & for Gert to actually touch.

#1.05 "Kingdom":
--Alex has been kidnapped, so it's time for a flashback of Geoffrey getting roped into shady crap & selling out Darius.
--Why do I have to watch Julian McMahon? He was the worst part of Charmed (which is really saying something 'cause that show sucked), & I avoided Nip/Tuck specifically because of him.
--Andre's got a Good-Will-Hunting vibe.
--"Magic Mountain at Six Flags". Molly, Magic Mountain *is* a Six Flags; it's not a ride.
--Chase & Nico rescuing Alex.
--Dear writer's room, "magic staff-slash-wand" is like saying "sword-slash-blade."
--Comics Molly is the 4th-strongest woman in the world, after She-Hulk, Carol Danvers, & Rogue.
--Poor Andre.
--Alex, Andre died like 5 minutes ago; of course there are no search results yet.
--The time TV thing is kind of a clever idea. Of course, the Yorkeses are supposed to be the time-travelers, but yeah, we're shuffling all kinds of crud around.
--Ok, the kids all now know for sure that their parents are guilty & they can't trust the authorities...time to finally RUN AWAY.

#1.06 "Metamorphosis":
--So they started doing these sacrifices after most of them had kids? And then the Hernandezes went ahead & had a kid anyway? And Karolina is Jonah's daughter? Why.
--Tina trying to explain the Staff of One as science is laughable.
--Victor knows about the affair, & I still just do not care even the slightest bit about that subplot.
--Our parents are serial killers, & we are planning transportation to a party & discussing the practicality of dating.
--Gert is crushing on Chase, who's crushing on Karolina, who's stringing Chase along but actually crushing on Nico, who is hitting it off with Alex. Meanwhile, Tina is in love with her husband Robert, who's in love with his mistress Janet, who's escaping her abusive husband Victor. This is why I never watched teen soaps when I was a teen.
--Hi, Stan!
--Molly bragging about seeing a Kardashian is making me very sad.
--So Leslie riding Jonah is the memory they scrambled Frank's brain for?
--Molly tipping off Catherine is making me very mad.
--"Go get 'em, tiger."
--This very public all-ages charity event should really be carding at the bar.
--What a way to find out you can fly.
--"And you knew?" Yeah, for about 3 hours.

#1.07 "Refraction":
--Apparently Victor used to be an Australian ballet choreographer.
--Young Janet is actually Sorel Carradine, Ever Carradine's cousin.
--Chase, what the hell is a mandal?
--Frank is gonna have a hell of a time putting those gloves back on.
--More than a little bit gross that Jonah groomed Leslie from childhood into a breeding mare.
--Karolina is still happy to see Frank because he's the only parent who wasn't involved in any of the murders.
--It feel like everyone is just spinning their wheels. Almost nothing in this episode ultimately matters until the last 5 minutes (& nothing in the last episode matters outside of the flashbacks). I don't care that Victor is stoned on Jonah Juice. I don't care about Molly getting rejected from the dance team. I don't care about the affair or the Minorus' marriage collapsing. I don't care that Jonah is distracting Frank. I don't care about the school open house. None of these events are gonna matter in an hour from how.
--Having Molly go stay with her cousin, smart. Packing her things without first discussing it with her, stupid.
--Ok, Victor got shot, that seems important.

#1.08 "Tsunami":
--Tina knows her password was hacked but hasn't changed it ever since?
--It took Catherine over 16 years to come up with the pride of lions analogy when that's the SOURCE OF THE NAME?
--"You went to medical school." "Yeah, in the 90s." Bullet wounds haven't changed much since the 90s, Stacey.
--Molly understands that she's safe with Graciela & can trust her, but she sneaks out anyhow...technically making her the first of the characters to actually RUN AWAY.
--This entire argument over who to sacrifice is so freaking stupid, from the childish bickering, to Jonah just standing in place instead of actually following through on his myriad timed threats, to Dale actually being pretty funny, to Robert threatening everyone with the non-lethal Fistigons while there are already two pistols in play, to Jonah's sleasy cat-fight line.
--They subtitle the Spanish; why aren't they subtitling the Japanese?
--Haha. Yes, very funny. VHS is outmoded. I get it.
--Alex is the literally the only character on either side who accomplished *anything* this episode, & Chase immediately undid it.

#1.09 "Doomsday":
--Hulu needs "skip recap" & "skip intro" buttons.
--Flashback: Now they're not subtitling the Spanish anymore either? Also, Tina really was in on killing the Hernandezes, but really was also telling the truth about burning her hand cooking at home. Also also, how do you miss the bomb sitting in the middle of the freaking floor with nothing around it!?
--"I know it's strange, me being home." You've only been gone for a couple days, Robert.
--Nicknaming the group "the Runaways" would seem so dark or forced if THEY'D ACTUALLY RUN AWAY.
--All these flashbacks with Amy would actually be meaningful if we knew anything about her other than 5 seconds of exposition from Alex.
--Darius, you can see the giant drill from your car; I know because *I* can see the giant drill from the camera positioned at your car window.
--Gert & Molly's song makes a nice leitmotif.
--This is the 1st use of the word "mutant" in the MCU; granted, it's describing a fungus, not Molly, but still.
--Our parents are going to blow up the state; let's go to the dance!
--Yeah, Graciela!
--Well, dang.
--This is quite a plot hole.
--I love the idea that Molly just dropped a truck on the Gibborims' heads.

#1.10 "Hostile":
--Ok, we're set up for an exciting battl--Old Lace got tranq'd & Tina nullified everything else with a force field, so it's just Jonah & Karolina causing the black hole glitch.
--Shuri had better Fistigons than these over a year ago.
--Holy crap, they...they RAN AWAY!!!
--Gert, I didn't get the vibe Alex was thinking "don't feed Old Lace"; it felt more like "shop somewhere cheaper than Whole Foods." $8 for a chicken is inexcusable.
--So Karolina is gonna be the traitor now? Y'all better stop setting up the characters who are crucial to future plotlines to die.
--Genuine revelation: The Pride actually didn't know who killed Amy.
--"Does Arizona like brown people? I don't think they do." You are correct, Molly.
--There's been a lot of mention of Flores, but he's had like 3 seconds of screentime.
--Nothing says "I want my children to be safe" like framing them for murder.
--The ending shot of the kids running is quite good.

Executive summary: Inhumans was bad because everything was done incompetently except for some of the acting. Iron Fist S1 was bad because everything was done incompetently except for some of the acting. Runaways is bad because it's stuffed with all this unnecessary, uninteresting filler. The comic it's based on is almost tailor-made for television, with just a few discretely-separated, sequential story arcs that are exactly the right length to make for perfect TV, of course, these showrunners decided not to do that, instead treading water for half of the season so that almost nothing actually happens & we are effectively only 1/3 of the way through the first arc. Also, everything to do with Jonah sucks. Most of the cast is good, though; Ariela Barer in particular is outstanding.

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Re: MCU Megathread


Post by CaptHayfever » Fri Jul 03, 2020 2:23 pm

So, apparently Marvel Studios doesn't even have a panel scheduled for Comic-Con @ Home, but we'll keep our eyes peeled.
Meanwhile, back to the future for part 50....

Agents of SHIELD season 5 part 2:

#5.06 "Fun & Games":
--The Marvel logo on the red toolbox was clever. (Of course it was; Clark Gregg directed this episode.)
--Sinara says much without speaking.
--Fitz proposing to Simmons while she can't hear is sweet & tragic. Fitz dipping into his memories of his Framework self to sell his alias, that's a bit scarier.
--Fitz's plan has been intricately designed for decades. Simmons's plan is "look I stole a knife!"
--"People who buy other people are not good people!" Never forget that.
--May holds up well, considering she's been crippled & is facing a telepath. Fitz is gonna pay for that "ancient has-been" crack.
--Ponarian, if you only get teased at the brothel, you aren't paying enough.
--See, his name is Flint, & he has a superpower, so of course that power is rocks.
--Thank goodness Grill's finally dead.
--Oof, poor Tess. How is she floating?
--"Quake, the Destroyer of Worlds!" (I lost count of how many times they just said "the Destroyer" in this episode.)
--Yeah, Faulnak, the woman you sent into a deathmatch is upset about it, fancy that.
--Quake knows Focus Attack.
--FitzSimmons' escape with Daisy & Enoch's camo act were pretty freaking sweet.

#5.07 "Together or Not at All":
--Well, yeah, of course they blew up your ship, Fitz.
--"...the Destroyer"
--Maston-Dar, first of all, that's a dumb name. But secondly, those switchblades ARE human weapons.
--"the Destroyer of Worlds"
--May gets to shoot a scene out doors for the first time this season.
--Somebody's got a clawshot.
--Faulnack's always got some kind of excuse for hating his brother just for being different.
--Digging the complete lack of trust for Deke; he really doesn't deserve it yet. Flint, on the other hand, definitely does.
--"I've got a flying car; how different can it be?" Your car has landing gear, Phil.
--"the Destroyer of Worlds" twice in a row from Faulnack before Kasius & Sinara put down his coup.
--Old lady Robin!

#5.08 "The Last Day":
--Flashback to 2018. Deke was partly right, whatever destroyered (sic) the world is happening soon. And we can effectively mark early 2018 as the "present" once the team returns to the future.
--So Deke really was in on the plan, albeit only partly.
--Kasius & Sinara's relationship would be touching if they weren't genocidal slavers. As ever, the Kree are freaking douchebags, even the technically-less-evil ones.
--Daw, Daisy still thinks well of Cal!
--"You look pretty spry for someone born over 100 years ago."
--Flashback: Older Child Robin is the sister of the actress who played Original Robin, & also the annoying kid from Girl Meets World.
--"Shotgun-axe. I get it now." Hell yeah.
--Flashbacks: We can figure from what Deke said that Daisy died in the original event. Elena tells us Mack didn't make it either, & Fitz tells us Simmons died too.. Also, we haven't seen or heard from Coulson.
--"Destroyer of Worlds"
--Poor Robin. Screw you, Voss.
--Flashback: Polly died too, & May finally got to be a mother!
--Time to get the spikes out of everyone's wrists...& hopefully bandage the holes as well.

#5.09 "Best Laid Plans":
--"the Destroyer". Kasius is getting ready to bail.
--Yeah, sorry, Enoch, but nobody else in this cast is immortal.
--Daisy already thinks of May as a mother.
--Oh snap, Tess got that Kree blood resurrection.
--"That's how [Kasius] talks. It's horrible." Love it.
--"the Destroyer [...] of Worlds."
--"Okay, Phil, back to work." Nice callback.
--Quake didn't break the world; somebody with gravitonium did.
--Voss truly doesn't know who Coulson is or what he's done.
--Enoch is the gift that keeps on giving.
--Coulson, "I've been worse" means NOTHING from you.
--Daisy vs Sinara in alternating states of gravity. Pretty freaking cool.
--"the Destroyer"
--Mack & Yo-Yo outgambitted Kasius so hard it's hilarious, which is really sad for a guy who allegedly has a seer.
--"The Destroyer"

#5.10 "Past Life":
--With Sinara dead & the humans rebelling, Kasius is losing his crap.
--Chronicoms appear to be designed to avoid detection as a lifeform or as a machine.
--"Kid without hair"? Flint has hair, Tess; did you eyes malfunction when you were rezzed?
--Kasius is exiled from a Kree family that was already exiled?
--TYE used RAGE! It's not very effective!
--Coulson gives Tess a nice pep talk about being undead. Hopefully she won't have the same side effects as the Tahiti patients.
--Wait, so "Kasius" is the family name? So is our guy "Kasius Junior" or "Kasius Kasius"?
--Nothing says "holy crap" like meeting your future zombie self with no hands & ominous doomsday warnings about your boss & your boyfriend. Yo-Yo's having a hell of a day.
--Daisy, stop blaming yourself for everything.
--This silent slow-mo sequence is appropriately unnerving.
--May's faith in Robin is sweet.
--The bricks in the arena look like a Q*bert stage.
--Poor Future Elena.
--KASIUS used RAGE! He's gonna beat your body with your own skull!
--Deke's genuinely heroic now; I was worried he'd screw them over to save himself. And Enoch's holding up pretty well for a guy who took an axe through the face.
--Coulson immediately figuring out the machine will explode is just delightful.
--Mack & Simmons get some poetic justice on Kasius.
--Even if Flint reassembles the planet, he'll have to get it rotating again, too. And he can't control water, so there will still be a lot left to do.

Executive summary: They got out of that mess way faster than I expected, but then again, this show stopped being slow 4 seasons ago; now what's up with Coulson & stopping the planet's destruction? Deke & Enoch turned out to be cool additions to the cast; pity they exploded. Kasius isn't a top-shelf villain, but he's better than Malekith...or Ronan...or Lucy the ghost...or Gonzales.

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Re: MCU Megathread


Post by CaptHayfever » Sun Jul 05, 2020 4:03 pm

Part 51, or "Yo, homes, to LA!"....

Runaways season 2:

#2.01 "Gimme Shelter":
--It's been 24 hours since the last season ended.
--"Man, we suck at being runaways." True, Nico. True.
--We finally have Alex suspected of being the traitor, when he's already the only one the audience has seen confirmed NOT to be.
--Darius is gonna be a good dad.
--Poor Graciela. You were too awesome for this show.
--Tamar's great, but Livvie is a tall drink of nothing.
--Nico, Graciela is gonna get a funeral even without your Captain Planet prayer & all these candles you must've stolen from these homeless people.
--Gert missing her medications is by far the most serious problem any of the kids have right now.
--Jonah's Framework isn't as good as Radcliffe's, but his medical treatment is better.
--Mr. On-A-Bike is fast, but Old Lace is faster.
--The last episode was called "Hostile", but now we've finally found the Hostel.
--How does Jonah know for sure this quake was caused by his shenanigans? They're in freaking Los Angeles.

#2.02 "Radio On":
--Most of the first 10 minutes of this episode is pointless bickering between the Runaways & more pointless bickering between the Pride.
--"I'm not going to explain to you how I [explains process completely]." ~Jonah
--Yet another reason never to get a smart house.
--Chase & Gert are literally arguing like a married couple.
--"I'll find a way to make everything ok again, I promise." So, you're gonna find a way to un-murder 17 teenagers?
--Molly should be able to break that ice.
--Ok, Nico is officially 16, which means the other 4 older Runaways are also 16.
--"We aren't good at this" is actually comic-accurate; the Runaways know they're not very good at superheroism.
--"Gangnam Style" is 5 years old at this point.
--This cover of "Bullet with Butterfly Wings" isn't good.

#2.03 "Double Zeros":
--Frank's awfully duplicitous for how dumb he is.
--If Jonah's last regeneration didn't work as well because the kid was almost dead, then converting matter to energy isn't relevant to the process.
--Come on, Darius, I thought you were cool!
--Victor, it's the same math, but not the same people; searching for "Planck" is useless.
--"Never wanted to see you mixed up with him, his world." "His world?" COMPROMISE DOES NOT EXIST
--The team clumsily but successfully rescuing Alex is authentic Runaways action; I liked it a lot.
--Poor Darius. (Catherine seems surprised that she pulled the trigger so quickly upon the end of that sentence.)
--Daw, Nico & Alex palling around is genuinely heartwarming, especially since he's definitely not the mole.
--Molly, obviously the same guy doing the same crap in the same place twice was gonna be a trap.

#2.04 "Old School":
--Solid Get Smart reference (partly because it stopped this forced demonstration that Molly speaks Spanish, as if we hadn't heard her speaking Spanish a bunch before).
--Punching through a force field? The heck? That's not a vampire power!
--Chase is being super supportive through Gert's continued meltdown; it's cute.
--Geoffrey is acting more like Shades than like a supervillain.
--If Jonah starts to flake apart from using his powers, why doesn't Karolina?
--Molly, do you think anyone who speaks Spanish & has matching eyes is related?
--The Runaways are awfully finicky about potentially stolen food for folks who stole a car a couple days ago.
--Mike On-A-Bike, MBA.
--"You are basically a real-life Disney princess." Nico & the 4th wall have a strained relationship.
--How does Karolina know they're not fugitives anymore?
--Topher must be using his vampiric charm on Nico, because literally everybody knows what magic spells are. I'm also impressed he can cross the school threshold without an invite.
--"Fresas" actually means strawberries, but it's used in slang for spoiled rich kids.
--Alex, you guys could've hid IN the computer lab.

#2.05 "Rock Bottom":
--Topher's story is weird; I've never heard of anybody turning into a vampire from touching glowing rocks before--crap, now he's trying to get Molly & Gert alone to drink their blood!
--At least the truck is still down there.
--So rather than giant fallen angels like in the comics, the Gibborim are aliens who've been stuck on Earth either trapped underground or hiding undercover for millennia. I wonder how Jonah felt about Thor showing up? Bright side, this means Karolina IS alien after all, even if the Deans aren't.
--How does Eiffel manage to be the worst person in a show about a gang of supervillains?
--"I've told you everything you need to know." You've told him literally nothing you want him to do.
--"Shady Rock Molester" would be a great name for a rock band.
--Oh snap, Topher is a daywalker like Blade! (I hope that doesn't mean we'll never have MCU Blade.)
--"This is LA; 2 cars turn left after the light turns red!" That's not just LA, Nico.
--They got him! Somebody stuck him with a stake through the heart! Oh, this is so sad! Oh, Topher, I pine for you! (Ripping off Quicksilver's death doesn't suddenly make you a hero.)
--"The only spider that ever made it into the Minoru house--" You've got those giant garage doors open all day.
--"She's 14. You remember what that's like." Yeah, you remember *TWO YEARS AGO*.
--I didn't need to know where the theme-song graffiti came from.
--This show better not try to shame Gert for getting medical attention.

#2.06 "Bury Another":
--Oh dear Lord, now they're setting Gert to be the mole? I'm getting sick of this game of treason hot potato. It was stressful enough on SHIELD, & that only lasted 1 episode instead of 1.5 *seasons*.
--White privilege: Chase & Gert are able to drive around in a right-side-drive Rolls without getting pulled over.
--It's only been a few days since the kids ran away, yet everyone acts like they've been gone for weeks.
--Alex & Karolina's chat is super repetitive & goes nowhere.
--Well, the Gibborim do kill the Pride in the comics, but they didn't have the guts to have Jonah kill off Robert in the last episode, so I doubt they'll have the guts to have Jonah kill off Geoffrey now.
--You idiots brought him *to the Hostel*!?
--Oh, look, it turns out healthy communication is the key to not all hating each other. What a surprise.

#2.07 "Last Rites":
--Flashback: More of Jonah's gross grooming of Leslie & more Scientology analogies.
--"Their calculations were based on our technology, not his." Geophysics don't change based on technology.
--Finally somebody tells Jonah to his face that nobody can trust him at all.
--Aura & Frances handing out guns while bestowing smiling blessings is pretty screwed up.
--As we learned back in the first episode, Destiny *had* a family that was looking for her, so she should never have been used for the sacrifice in the first place. And now Frank has killed his first person.
--Wait, Xavin's a Gibborim!? No. Nuh-uh. Hard pass.
--Nico knows Kaswoosh.
--This earthquake is, if anything, *weaker* than the past ones; it just lasted a bit longer.
--The Yorkeses should've shot Jonah too.
--This spaceship sounds like whales.
--That establishing shot was awful; it looked like an oil painting or some crap.

#2.08 "Past Life":
--This show can't stop ripping off SHIELD episode titles.
--Flashback old-timey preacher looks straight out of There Will Be Blood.
--Wait, that's Aura & Frances!? No wonder Leslie's mom rejected the church!
--How sheltered are the Pride members that they think this is the first contact with aliens? Even the kids weren't THAT surprised.
--"When I'm 18, I can legally adopt you." That would be much more meaningful if Molly would be 14 at that point instead of 16.
--"Experimental weather balloon" is better description of what we saw than "spaceship" is.
--Flores, first of all, congrats on finally having lines. Secondly, ain't no way that's the only copy of the video.
--Gotta admit, the completely-OC-Darius/Tamar/Livvie subplot is way more interesting than the completely-OC-affair subplot from season 1.
--This drive-by by a cop is exactly why you don't publicly broadcast a list of the names & addresses of anti-police advocates, Lyda Krewson!
--Leslie, don't tell the corrupt cop you're gonna stop paying him BEFORE he finishes the job.
--Alex's plan rundown is well put-together.
--What a freaking random place to hide a message.
--Jonah's got shades of Ego going on now.

#2.09 "Big Shot":
--Dat sloppily photoshopped Roxxon banner covering half the windows of a hotel tho.
--That kidnapping was so short that it could've been left out of the show completely.
--Dat comparatively more organic Wakanda reference tho.
--Victor actually seems to have changed. It's like he traveled to Africa & fought to regain his soul.
--"I could kill everyone in here right now & get away with it." ~a cop
--Ok, Tina is possessed; that's 1 of the 3 smash spirits we saw whoosh away from the ship.
--Tamar, I liked you better when you weren't working with AWOL.
--Stacey is possessed; that's 2 of the 3 Yeerks.
--"[Video footage is] all I need to put you behind bars." Pretty sure C&D taught us that ain't true.
--Chase, don't insult people for needing glasses.
--It's about time somebody died on this show, & it even fits the comics: the Pride killing Flores.
--In these 7 seconds, Mal will play the part of me, & Jayne will play the part of Tamar.

#2.10 "Hostile Takeover":
--Everybody's actually being pretty reasonable dealing with AWOL over the intercom.
--And Victor makes 3.
--You know that bit in Fight Club where the Narrator tries to end Project Mayhem, but in one of his waking dreams as Tyler had already programmed all his followers to stop him from doing that? Meet Leslie Dean trying to shut down her scam church.
--AWOL's gotta be pretty dumb to think just dropping through a hole into an enemy stronghold is the right move.
--Dormammu eyes!?
--AWOL has gone AWOL...& wherever he went, he's naked.
--Some people *do* change, Gert.

#2.11 "Last Waltz":
--If the Gibs are Yeerks, this girl is an Andalite. (For real, though, a shapeshifter in Runaways is definitely gonna end up being Xavin; thank goodness they didn't turn out to be a Gib. The shapeshifting is more important to Xavin's character than being a Skrull is, so they still have the core right.)
--Chase, seriously, you are smarter than that.
--Molly's 15 already? Great, now she's even closer in age to the others, & the way she's treated makes even less sense. Bloody hell, Acosta is already noticeably taller than both Okano & Barer.
--"You must never use anyone's name...except the number we assign everyone is functionally equivalent to a name."
--Tina, programming all your smarthouses to let you in doesn't magically mean your unwanted presence inside the house isn't still trespassing.
--Double-drugged, Chase still manages to beat the truth serum. Nice.
--Alex, preparing to storm the house.
--"If this is 15, I don't know how I'm gonna make it to 16." Don't worry, Molls; at this rate, you'll be 16 by the start of next season.
--Molly's party is a genuinely sweet moment that properly captures the spirit of this makeshift family. Then it gets ruined by Chase's departure.

#2.12 "Earth Angel":
--David Ellerh was a real piece of work.
--The weapons testing with the interns was really freaking disturbing.
--Props to Victor for mostly figuring out what's wrong with him.
--Dat bass drop when Leslie told Frank she was pregnant tho.
--"I haven't been here since I was a kid." ~a kid
--Frank Dean is a real piece of work.
--Susan has been in 2 episodes, spending the 1st one as a brainwashed drone & ending the 2nd as a fanatic, & she's still a better parent than any of the Pride.
--Never before have the words "Sriracha tempeh" been so significant.
--Karolina with the big-brain C-3PO play. [Edit: The old video I had linked got copyright-struck.]
--Alex is right to be angry; even when he brought his dad to the Hostel, he kept him blindfolded entering/exiting & got rid of him as fast as possible.
--Were they all just posing there waiting for Chase to walk in?
--"I'm your density." ~George McFlyXavin, after trying & failing to pull a Mystique.

#2.13 "Split Up":
--This animation is cool, & the narration is good. The story is silly as hell, though; how you gonna say you're betrothed to somebody who wasn't even conceived until thousands of years after the last time you spoke to the only other person involved? At least Comics Xavin was *also* a teenager.
--"I've known you for like 5 minutes." Thank you for being sane, Karolina.
--The remaining Pride are finally acting like supervillains. Props to Chase for not instantly believing them.
--Mmm, dough-nut in ketchup. Chup. Catch-up. (Surprised the pregnant lady didn't join in.)
--I had to rewind to get a closer look at Ginny Gardner's...escape.
--A street legal car should not have a dial that puts it into "race mode."
--Props to the first ever parent-GTA-joke to actually be funny.
--Ah, cool, they went with Xartans, an actual alternate race of shapeshifters from the comics.
--How is this thing hurting Karolina but not Victor?
--Heh, Mike-on-a-Bike to the resc--wait, Victor's possessed by the Magistrate!? That means there's still one more Gib out there.
--Molly, chasing off Dale.
--Ain't that a kick in the head.
--"But I've seen this before." Maybe this is the same person we saw in Doctor Strange.
--Alex scores the only solid win here in a pretty brilliant play against his parents. Nico & Molly tie for 2nd by virtue of escaping, followed by Gert & Lace, who are captured but safe. Karo & Chase, however, are kinda screwed (who changed their clothes?).
--Aww, Stan.

Executive summary: Well, things actually happened this time; that's an improvement. They're still dragging the Pride/Gibborim arc out so far, though, that Xavin has shown up & it's STILL not over yet.

And remember, "I'm-a Luigi, number one!"


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