Sorry it took me a week to get this review up, but life got in the way. The good news, however, is that it was worth the wait and that with “Meltdown” two weeks ago, this one, and tonight’s new episode, this turkey of a show has finally hit some kind of a stride and is becoming worth watching. It’s not all the way there yet, but they seem to have finally hit on the idea that they need (A) stories and (B) to make use of their characters.
PLAY BY PLAY
Tony is testing out his new Space Ghost Inviso-Power ability by sneaking in to Stark Headquarters and checking out his dad’s forbidden closet of mystery down in the basement. The suit malfunctions, however, and can’t be moved, so he ditches it and tries to escape the building on foot. That fails pretty quickly, and he’s taken to see Staind, who’s having a run-in with his daughter at that moment. Tony gives Stained a sob story about breaking in to the building to be close to his memories of his dad. Staind doesn’t buy that for a minute, but his daughter takes Tony’s side, and he allows them to leave just to get rid of her.
Staind starts searching the building room by room, so it’s only a matter of time before the Armor is found, so Pepper uses some heretofore unsuspected ability as a strategist to coordinate the world’s most hastily-arranged field trip and manipulate the school staff in to going along with it. This prompts probably the best line in the series so far:
Tony: “Pepper, if you ever go evil, we’re all sunk.”
Pepper: [Excitedly] “I know!”
Inside the building the plan instantly disintegrates, and Tony is thrown out. Gene Kahn pinch hits for them, though he doesn’t know what’s going on, he knows something is up and chides Rhodie for not including him, then walks off. Pepper creates a distraction so Rhodie can get to the Forbidden Closet of Mystery, and Happy creates a distraction so Tony can sneak back in. From this point on it’s a fairly typical high-tech heist caper, with lots of narrow scrapes, unlikely coincidences, chase sequences, and a prospective love interest that unexpectedly sides with the good guy against her own father. There’s nothing groundbreaking here, but unlike the first six episodes of this show, it’s actually fun.
In the end, everything comes together more-or-less like it’s supposed to, and Tony has to promise to do Happy’s homework for 2 months so the lummox will back up his lies to Staind, and there’s a final comedic complication that’s actually kinda’ funny.
I really like the Stark tower. It’s a neat building design, and the CGI suits it.
Staind’s daughter clearly has the hots for Tony, and so does Pepper, thereby setting up a love triangle that’ll undoubtedly return later on in the series. I was a little unclear as to whether Tony and the daughter (Name escapes me) had been a couple previously, or whether she just dug him, at different times the episode seemed to be implying both options.
Voice acting was pretty solid through this whole ep, and a lot of good dramatic and/or comedic use was made of the supporting characters and their quirks, particularly Pepper’s pretend meltdown over the possibility of a meltdown.
The CGI on Ms. Staind and the security guards was rather weak.
There’s no super villains in this episode, no mighty-fighty robots duking it out. If “Meltdown” deviated from the irritatingly dull format of the first 6 episodes, this one dispensed with it entirely and we’re all the better for it.