Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Marvel Cinematic Universe: Part 8

Agents of SHIELD started up again recently! And with Runaways going right now too, there are so many Marvel things to keep up with. Unfortunately, this week isn’t about Runaways. But it is about SHIELD. I’ve got two small chunks of SHIELD as well as two feature movies. So here we go.

Becoming the Cavalry
Agents of SHIELD: Season 2 (Episodes 17-19)
  • 17. Melinda: We start seven years ago (2008). May and Coulson are in Bahrain taking care of an enhanced individual. As things turn out, the enhanced individual is an inhuman child with mind control powers. In present-day Afterlife, Jiaying teaches Skye to use her powers and reveals she’s Skye’s mother. Skye has dinner with her parents. Lincoln suspects Raina is clairvoyant.
  • 18. The Frenemy of My Enemy: Bobby and Mack discuss Fury’s Toolbox and Coulson. Simmons reaches out to May. Coulson, Hunter, and Mike team up with Ward, in exchange for helping him take down von Strucker. Cal and Skye visit Milwaukee, where Skye contacts May for backup. Skye and Cal get ambushed by Hydra agents. Needing support, Coulson surrenders to Bobbi and Mack.
  • 19. The Dirty Half Dozen: Jiaying talks to Raina about her dreams. Cal confronts Jiaying. Coulson teams up with Gonzales. Coulson’s old team works together (including Skye and Ward) to infiltrate the Hydra base and rescue Lincoln and Mike. Simmons accidentally kills Bakshi. The team escapes without Ward. Raina has a vision of Loki’s scepter. Coulson talks to Hill about another Hydra base.

Coulson's team reunites for one last mission
Random Trivia/Connections:
  • ·         Wolfgang von Strucker (who appeared in “The Winter Soldier” credit scene and who later appeared in “Age of Ultron”) appears in a photograph in “The Frenemy of my Enemy”.
  • ·         The twins mentioned in “The Dirty Half Dozen” were last seen in the credits scene of “The Winter Soldier” and they become an important part of “Age of Ultron”.
  • ·         The events of “The Dirty Half Dozen” foreshadow and directly precede the events of “Age of Ultron”.

Nice little prelude to “Age of Ultron”. It led up well with the infiltration of Hydra. We also got some resolution on why May is called the Cavalry, which has been teased since the beginning of the series.

The Avengers take down a Hydra base.
Avengers: Age of Ultron
The Avengers take down a Hydra facility, capturing Loki’s scepter and encountering Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch. Analyzing the scepter, Tony puts it to use towards Ultron (an AI system to replace the Avengers). During their celebration, Ultron takes life and attacks. Ultron uses the scepter and allies himself with the Maximoff twins to fight the Avengers.

Obtaining vibranium, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, and Ultron fight the Avengers, driving them crazy with visions. The Avengers take refuse at the Barton farm. Thor looks for answers to his visions. Fury inspires the Avengers. Ultron works to make a real body, but loses the allegiance of the twins to the Avengers in the process.

With JARVIS in Ultron’s synthetic body, Thor energizes him and he becomes the Vision. The Avengers team up with the Vision, the twins, War Machine, the Falcon, and SHIELD assets to save Sokovia and stopping Ultron from killing humanity. The Vision ultimately defeats Ultron.
After creating a new base, the Avengers part ways for a time. Elsewhere, somewhere in outer space, Thanos obtains the Infinity Gauntlet.

The Vision faces off against Ultron
Random Connections/Trivia:
  • ·         Loki’s scepter, which contained the Infinity Stone which ultimately resides in Vision’s forehead, was given to Loki by Thanos in “The Avengers”.
  • ·         War Machine (from the Iron Man films) and the Falcon (from “The Winter Soldier”) appear alongside the Avengers.
  • ·         The Tesseract/Space Stone (from “The First Avenger” and “The Avengers”), the Aether/Reality Stone (from “The Dark World”), and the Orb/Power Stone (from “Guardians of the Galaxy”) appear in Thor’s vision.
  • ·         Leviathans from the Battle of New York in “The Avengers” appear in Tony’s vision.

I remember seeing this movie when it came out while I was in Spain on my study abroad. It holds a very awesome and special place in my heart because it’s from when I really started getting into Marvel movies. There was a lot going on and it may have been a mistake to do this as one movie instead of two. I read once that Thor’s visions were very much cut down but hinted toward “Thor: Raganrok”. Now that I’ve seen “Ragnarok” twice I’m interested to watch “Age of Ultron” again. I know people who didn’t care for this movie, but all I remember was geeking out in Madrid over this movie.

Raina works with Gordon
Agents of SHIELD: Season 2 (Episodes 20-22)
  • 20. Scars: A year ago, Sam and Coulson discuss the Helicarrier for the Theta Protocol. In the present, Weaver, Gonzales, Bobbi, and Coulson discuss recent events in Sokovia. Coulson and Gonzales join forces. Raina and Gordon sneak into SHIELD and find the Monolith. Skye and Lincoln return to Afterlife before SHIELD arrives. Agent 33 and Ward kidnap Bobbi. Jiaying kills Gonzales and shoots herself to frame him.
  • 21. S.O.S. Part 1: Jiaying declares war on SHIELD. Skye goes to Raina for answers. May and Hunter go after Bobbi. Skye sees Jiaying kill Raina. Coulson questions Cal. Simmons and Coulson aggravate Cal. Gordon and the Inhumans attack SHIELD’s ship.
  • 22. S.O.S. Part 2: Skye and Mack attempt to liberate the SHIELD ship. Hunter and May rescue Bobbi, killing Agent 33 in the process. Fitz, Coulson, May, and Cal go after the SHIELD ship. Skye confronts her mom. Lincoln and May stop Alisha. Fitz traps Gordon. Jiaying tries to steal Skye’s lifeforce but Skye distracts her by getting rid of the Terrigen Crystals and Cal kills Jiayjing. In the aftermath of the fight, Skye (now going by Daisy) visits her mind-wiped father. In the ocean, the Terrigen Crystals dissolve. Simmons is swallowed by the monolith.

Coulson loses his hand.
Random Connections/Trivia:
  • ·         The events of “Age of Ultron”, specifically Agent Hill arriving with the Helicarriers in Sokovia, is directly referenced in “Scars”.
  • ·         Cal’s memory being altered is due to Project TAHITI.

It was a satisfying end to the second season of SHIELD. The three-part finale put an end to the Afterlife arc and kind of set us up for some new stuff the next season. I loved the tie-in to “Age of Ultron”. I love it when Marvel uses SHIELD to answer small, unanswered aspects of the movies. Stuff that’s not big enough to warrant movie time, but easy enough to explain in an episode of TV. It was admittedly a bit slow of a season, but I binged this season on a grave shift, making it really easy for me (although it also made it hard to process).

Ant-Man faces off against the Falcon.
Flashback in 1989, Hank Pym confronts Carson about stealing his technology. In the present day, Scott Lang gets released from prison but can’t get a stable job. Hank visits PymTech and Cross shows him the Yellowjacket. At his friend Luis’s advice, Scott breaks into the Pym home and steals the Ant-Man suit. Freaked out by the suit, Scott returns it but gets caught in the process.

Hank helps Scott escape jail and he and his daughter Hope train Scott to be Ant-Man. In training to break into PymTech, Scott fights the Falcon to get some tech. Hank tells Hope the truth about her mother. As Cross gets closer to perfecting the Yellowjacket, Hank, Scott, and Hope recruit Luis and his friends to help.

Scott gets caught in the break-in to PymTech. Hope and Hank escape. To win his fight with Cross, Scott ends up in the Quantum Realm, but manages to escape. Scott reconciles with his family. As everything resolves, Scott finds out from Luis that the Falcon is looking for him. Later on, Hank gives the prototype Wasp suit to Hope. At a later time, the Falcon and Captain America question Bucky Barnes.

Wonderful father-daughter moments in Ant-Man
Random Connections/Trivia:
  • ·         The events of “Age of Ultron” in Sokovia are referenced by Hank Pym when he refers to the Avengers dropping cities out of the sky.
  • ·         The post-credit scene with Captain America is a scene that takes place in “Captain America: Civil War”.
  • ·         A “Pingo Doce Soda” poster appears. Bruce Banner worked at their manufacturing plant in “The Incredible Hulk”.
  • ·         In Luis’s final conversation of the movie, he references a hero who swings from buildings, alluding to Spider-Man, who would later appear in “Civil War”.

I loved the balance of humor and action in this movie. Kind of a nice in-between of “Guardians of the Galaxy” and  “Captain America: The First Avenger”. It’s also great because it could exist as a standalone movie. You don’t have to watch the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to enjoy it. Though the references to SHIELD, the Avengers, and other Marvel groups makes it that much better if you do watch it. Only thing that I’d really want to change is Evangeline Lilly’s wig.

What were your thoughts on “Age of Ultron”, the last third of “Agents of SHIELD” Season 2, and “Ant-Man”? Anythin 

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