EPISODE REVIEW: Iron Man Armored Adventures: “Best Served Cold” (Episode 24)

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Curiously, I seem to have missed an episode. According to the official information, there was an episode called “Uncontrollable” involving the Hulk that was supposed to air between this episode, and “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” I have absolutely no memory. I’m not sure if they reversed the order they’re airing in, or if I somehow just completely spaced out and missed it (Entirely possible, I’ve been very sick), but I have no memory of Hulk in Iron Man. If I’ve let you down, I’m sorry and I’ll try to make it up to you in the future, and if the fault isn’t mine, I’ll review it as soon as the episode is broadcast.

If it *has* already run, if anyone could find me a link to an online version of it, I’d be very appreciative (Republibot Appreciation is theoretically exchangeable for goods and services.)

PLAY BY PLAY

Whitney Staind goes goofy at school, hallucinating that her father is various people in the classroom, all telling her how much she sucks. She runs out, goes straight to the Stark Tower, dons her Madam Mask…uhm…mask, I guess, and tries to kill her daddy. Guards subdue her, and pull of the mask, and Obadiah is stunned to realize it’s his daughter. In the Stark Tower medical facility, the doctor determines that Whitney has heavy metal poisoning, an that her brainwaves are all goofy, owing, of course, to the untested esoteric technology inherent in the mysterious mask of the no-longer-mysterious Madame Mask. Yeah.

Obadiah calls Tony, who reluctantly comes with Rhodie and Pepper, and explains that Whitney is dying. Tony recognizes some of these effects from symptoms Living Laser was suffering, and concludes that it’s the result of a particular brand of Inobtanium (or possibly Handwavium) being used in some of Howard Stark’s experiments. Whitney comes to briefly, and tells Tony to run since her daddy is trying to kill him, and blew up Howard’s jet back in the day, and Tony storms out. Obadiah, of course, denies the whole thing - and in fact we’ve seen him go out of his way to avoid killing people in the series heretofore - and both Pepper and Rhodie point out that the old “Staind is Evil, Staind Killed my Dad, Staind wants to Kill Me” thing isn’t really making much sense anymore, particularly since Staind went out of his way a while back to save Tony’s life.

Tony agrees to help, but he needs a pure sample of the Handwavium (Or possibly Inobtanium), which can only be recovered from an abandoned Stark research facility in the arctic. In winter. In a blizzard. Staind says he’ll figure out a way, then goes off and revives Blizzard, another power suit villain from some episodes back that I have only the most fleeting memories of. He puts a bomb on Blizzard, and says he’ll make him a wealthy man if he’ll zip up to the pole and get the pretty pretty rocks. Blizzard agrees, reluctantly, since the alternative is getting blowed up. Tony, meanwhile, heads up in a new suit of Iron Man armor. Of course they meet up at the facility, and it’s Wallace Beery time. Yawn.

Blizzard wins, removes the bomb, and comes back to exact revenge on Staind, but it turns out he’s fighting Whitney/Madame Mask, who’s escaped from the infirmary through a clever and intricate plan of simply walking out while Pepper was talking about making a snack run. They fight, then Tony/Iron Man shows up. Blizzard is defeated, Whitney is out, but the Inobtanium (or possibly Handwavium) was lost, so Tony has no choice but to use some of the same material from his own semi-artificial heart in order to fix Whitney.

This he then does, she’s cured, but she has no memory of the previous six months, and thinks it’s the day before she’s about to start school.

The End.

OBSERVATIONS

Though it was rather slow, I’m going to say this was a better-than-average episode, if only because the plot was engaging, and they managed to avoid most of the WWF smackdown stuff that I find so tedious. Though we ended up with two such fights, they were much shorter than usual, and the Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots brawl was moderately amusing, even though I’ve seen that exact same thing a kerjillion times before.

The title kind of makes no sense, as it's a play on "Revenge is a dish best served cold," but really, aside from Blizzard, no one in the episode is interested in Revenge, and Blizzard is a relatively small subplot. Yeah, it's there, but naming the episode after it seems, well, dumb. It'd be like naming the original Star Wars movie "Episode IV: Aunt Beru Sends Luke Out To Buy Some Blue Milk."

Nice to see Tony put his own misgivings aside for the greater good, for a change. He’s done this in the past - with Laser - mainly trying to fix a problem he feels he, himself created. In this case, he’s deliberately helping out an enemy to save an innocent. It’s a bit of a copout that this is the end of the Madame Mask arc - since Whitney doesn’t remember the previous six months, she presumably doesn’t remember being Madame Mask either - but at least they’re trying to clean up dangling plot threads, which is conscientious of them. Moreso than I would have suspected, really.

Staind’s transformation from the source of all evil to just a guy who looked evil, but was merely a jerk continues apace. In this episode, he showed genuine concern (If rather abusive behavior) towards his daughter, seemed appalled to realize that Tony thinks he killed Howard, and he seems to have learned his lesson about not screwing around with Howard Stark’s Hidden Closet of Mystery. Who knows, they might actually become grudging allies in the future. And even if that doesn’t happen, character growth in a cartoon is always welcome, if only because it’s so damn rare.

Staind’s office is kind of cool. Not as cool as Luthor’s office from the DCAU, mind you, but impressive just the same. That said, the visual quality of this show is all over the place, sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s terrible. This week was a below-average one in terms of animation quality.

The scene of Tony and Pepper jamming out in the warehouse when Staind interrupts them was just too goofy for words. I think it was *supposed* to be goofy (But since this is a partially French production, who can tell?), but I think it probably went past what they intended and straight on in to embarrassing.

You know, this is the first time we’ve seen Staind in quite a while. He hasn’t been featured in an episode since #12 - the “Army of Pegasus Exobots” episode ( http://www.republibot.com/content/episode-review-iron-man-armored-advent... ) and he hasn’t been a major presence in the show for a while before that.

And that’s about that, I think. Next new episode (two weeks from now) is either the Hulk one, or part one of the season (And/or Series?) finale. Sorry again for the delay in posting this review, but I was exhausted, achey, had pains in my left pinkey, and am still getting over being sick, so I just went to bed rather than wrote up the review. And there I stared at the ceiling until 5AM. I soulda' just stayed up and worked...

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