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This Hostage Earth

Season One, Episode 24


Director(s) Sebastian Montes

Story by Christopher Yost & Joshua Fine, written by Michael Ryan

Summary  Karnilla the Norn Queen is being attacked in her citadel in her part of the Asgardian Nine Realms, defending herself with sorcery and declaring her defiance of her attackers when all of a sudden she is turned to stone.  The Grey Gargoyle appears from the shadows behind her, his task in subduing her finished.  The Enchantress and the Executioner come forward, and congratulate the Grey Gargoyle in his subduing such a powerful opponent.

The Enchantress and the Executioner return to the Masters of Evil's headquarters, with their prize - the Norn Stones.  The Grey Gargoyle does not return with them; the Enchantress claims he was a battlefield casualty.  Zemo declares that with the Norn Stones, today they become the Masters of Earth!

At the Avengers Mansion, Iron Man declares that he and the Black Panther have been working on a way to get Thor back to Asgard, and they think they have found it; they've built a wormhole device to create a doorway between Asgard and Earth, if they can find a suitable "weak spot".  Captain America tells Iron Man of the gateway the Red Skull built that could do the same thing (As seen in Season One "Meet Captain America").

Wasp is once more trying to talk Ant-Man out of blaming himself for Ultron, with the usual lack of success.  Once more she pleads with him not to leave the Avengers, but he departs. 

Wasp joins the rest of the Avengers in the meeting room and hears Captain America's story.  Iron Man has a map of the other-dimensional weak spots, or "ley lines" as the Black Panther puts it.  There are eight, connected by Yggdrasil, one to each of the Asgardian Nine Realms. 

There are energy disturbances at seven of the ley lines, and there are seven Avengers, so each one heads to one of the ley points.  Each of the ley points is having one of the Norn Stones installed by a member of the Masters of Evil, and so... the battle is one.

* Wasp (and Giant-Man, the sneak, who followed her at ant size) vs the Abombination
* Iron Man vs the Living Living Laser
* Hawkeye vs Chemistro
* Captain America vs the Crimson Dynamo
* The Black Panther vs Wonder Man
* Executioner vs Hulk
* Thor vs Enchantress and Baron Zemo (with Asgardian sorcery-enhanced magic).

The plan is for the Enchantress to use the Norn Stones to take down the walls between the Nine Realms.  The Enchantress begins, and the walls between the Asgardian Nine Realms begin breaking down.  Thor tries to convince Baron Zemo that the Enchantress cannot be trusted, but Zemo just chuckles, and puts a control collar around the Enchantress' neck, and turns her into a mind-controlled zombie; when Loki's Asgardian allies come through, he wants them under his own control, not hers or Loki's.

The other Avengers are working on dealing with the dimensional bleeds.  Zemo attempts to murder a captive Thor, but Mjolnir puts and end to that plan.  Thor orders the other Avengers to destroy the Norn Stones, and they do.  The energy bonds are destroyed, and the gateways dissolve.

JARVIS reports that all magical activities have stopped, but that he has lost telecommunications with the Iron Man and the Avengers Identicards. Avengers bio-signatures have vanished.

Where are the Avengers?!?

Thor finds himself on the floor of the Throne Room of Asgard, with Loki in the throne.

"Welcome home, Brother!" Loki declares as his maniacal laughter fills the air.

Commentary  This is the beginning of the three-part Season One finale, and getting here has been a wild ride!

In other notes:

* The Living Laser, the Grey Gargoyle, and Chemistro have apparently joined the Masters of Evil.

* Was the Enchantress' betrayal of the Grey Gargoyle odered by Baron Zemo?  Whether ordered or not, was it fatal?  It would seem to me that the Enchantress might well have confined him for her own uses after their victory; he's too useful a tool to casually discard.

* The Grey Gargoyle's turning-to-stone has a twenty-four hour duration, at which point the victim reverts; I wonder if the Enchantress knows this, or if she's going to have a very angry Norn Queen to deal with shortly?

* Hawkeye still gets the best banter, with Wasp as second-best.

* Well, the Hulk manages a clean victory over the Executioner, and likes the axe.  Clearly, Hulk is the strongest one there is!
Notes Continued in Episode #25.