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Who Do You Trust?

Season Two, Episode 34

 

Director(s)  Gary Hartle
Writer(s)

 Brian Reed

Summary  Its a dark and stormy night above Manhatten, and aboard the SHIELD Helicarrier, Acting Director Maria Hill is sleeping - until she's woken up my Nick Fury and Mockingbird.  Fury tells her about the Skrull invasion, and that she can trust nobody as they've all been infiltrated, and is gone before SHIELD agents can respond.

In a pizzaria Tony Stark, Clint Baron, Janet Van Dyne, Steve RogersSkrull, and Carol Danvers are assembled to welcome Carol to the Avengers and eat pepperoni pizza.  The Hulk is on monitor duty, and the Black Panther is on Hulk duty.

At the Mansion, Hulk is clearly bored, and the Black Panther is silently meditating.  The Hulk claims that the Black Panther talks too much.

In Central Park, Quake is seemingly incognito for a jog, but she's acting as a decoy to attract an attack from the Griffon, who obliges her.  She uses her vibration powers to enrage him.

At the pizzaria we discover that Ms. marvel joined the air force so that she could fly fighter jets before she was transferred to Investigative Services; that she got to the rank of Major, that she was with the 102nd squadron, and that her call-sign was Warbird.  The Griffon flies by, having escaped Quake in the park, and the assembled Avengers dash off in pursuit as Stark tries to settle the check.  As he's placing a to-go order for ten pizzas for the Hulk, the waitress shoots him with a tranquilizer dart; it was the Black Widow in disguise.

Stark wakes up in Fury's personal safe house, and Fury, surrounded by Quake, Mockingbird, and the Black Widow.  They tell Stark about the Skrull infiltration.

The Avengers herd Griffon back to the park, where Ms. Marvel engages the Griffon while the others watch; they are hazing the new recruit while tossing out "helpful suggestions".

Mockingbird lays out her suspicions about Hawkeye being the Skrull plants, and the Black Widow points out that the ViperSkrull had all of the original Viper's memories as well as her shape and appearance.

The Avengers have turned the defeated Griffon to prison, and returned to the Mansion where they are all confronted by Iron Man, who reveals what Stark has told him.  Hawkeye stands accused, and Ms. Marvel wants to take him in for questioning.  A fracus ensues.  The Black Panther heads to Wakanda.  Iron Man and Ms. Marvel leave, with Iron Man telling them all that the Avengers are finished.

Captain AmeriSkrull rallies the remaining Avengers, who vow to carry on.

Fury and his team watch the disintegration from across the way; Fury set up Stark to react the way he did so the Skrull infiltrator will expose himself. 

In Wakanda, the Black Panther issues orders to prepare for invasion.

Ms. Marvel, having returned to SWORD, has not filed a report on the incident

In his Stark International office, Stark throws his Iron Man helmet across the room in frustration.

Captain AmeriSkrull has sneaked away to report to his superior, the Skrull queen, who has taken the form of Mockingbird.



Commentary

 This episode is perhaps the best so far this season, and one of the best in the AEMH pantheon.  The dialogue is unrelentingly crisp and clever, and with the sort of incidental humor that characterizes good drama, as the people in the spotlight deal with serious issues via humor.  It stands in stark contrast to other shows who attempt to be funny, try too hard, and have their dialogue and jokes fall flat, leaving an awkward silence in the audience; its almost embarassing to watch a serious show succeed so well where the comedy show fails.

* One wonders how they've kept the Viper-Skrull comatose this entire time, as they don't seem to be using any equipment.

* Fury refers to Viper as Madame Viper, and interesting hybrid of Viper and Madame Hydra.

* There is at least one high-level skrull in the SHIELD Helicarrier; is it MockingSkrull or someone else?

* Ah hah!  The Black Panther reveals that his femme fatale bodyguards are the Dora Milaje, as speculated.  Fanfic validated!

 * Interesting that Ms. Marvel has not filed a report with SWORD, thereby giving Hawkeye some room to prove false the accusation that Hawkeye is a Skrull.

* As Mockingbird was revealed to be the Skrull queen, one has to wonder at what point the human Mockingbird was replaced; the queen wouldn't have exposed Madame ViperSkrull as a skrull, as it would have been poor strategy.  One wonders if Fury knows his own team is compromised.


Notes