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Prisoner of War

Season Two, Episode 36

 

Director(s) Steve Gordon
Writer(s)

Kevin Burke & Chris Wyatt

Summary An A.I.M. drone scientist (Dr. Lyle Getz) has been captured by the Skrulls.  Placed in a chamber, he is surrounded by Skrulls, and made to undergo a scan, which transfers his memory to another Skrull, who then impersonates him.  Getz was in line to become the next Scientist Supreme.

Captain America is in his cell, with beard growth and some kind of a manacle on his wrists and ankles

Flashback to two months ago, and the capture of Captain America after the Avengers returned from Asgard.  Three Skrulls (shapeshifted into pigeons) arrive and one of them draws a circle of Skrull runes around Captain America's fallen body, and Captain America's "essence" is replicated to his Skrull imposter.  Captain AmeriSkrull is charged with "disassembling" the Avengers.

Back in Captain America's prison cell, the manacles around Cap's wrists and ankles activate and suspend him in midair.  Skrulls enter his cell, and when Cap refuses to give them information, the Skrull Interrogator begins to torture him.  Queen Veranke wants to know what it will take to make a human submit, and so the Skrull Commander is under orders to break Steven Rogers.

Time passes.  Rogers proves unbreakable, enduring punishment like nobody else in the Skrull experience.  The Skrull Queen orders a new tactic, staging a fake rescue with Skrull imposters posing as the Avengers, but Rogers sees through their ruse and escapes his cell, capturing and taking the Skrull Interrogator prisoner as well.  Rogers discovers that they are on board a Skrull spaceship, orbiting Saturn.

Breaking into another cell, Rogers discovers Madame Viper held prisoner.  Forging a temporary alliance to escape, they interrogate the Skrull Interrogator.  The Skrulls are looking for a new homeworld, as Galactus ate Skrullus, their old homeworld, and these Skrulls are following an ancient prophecy regarding finding a new homeworld.

Captain Rogers and Madame Viper free other prisoners - A.I.M drone Lyle Getz, Henry Gyrich, SHEILD Agent Clay Quartermain, the Cobra, Mockingbird, and an unconscious Invisible Woman.  Together, they attempt to steal a shuttlecraft from the Skrulls, but are intercepted by the Super-Skrull.  They fight their way free, and their initial warp jump damages the Skrull vessel.  They continue to Earth.

On the Skrull ship, the Skrull Commander reports his failure to Queen Veranke, who decides to use Captain AmeriSkrull to break the human resistance.  She orders the invasion to continue, landing ships in Wakanda, Washington DC, and New York City.

Commentary

Most of the episode is a study of character studies.  Don't get me wrong - there is plenty of action, but the different prisoners, Madame Viper in particular, are given many opportunities to show what lives beneath as they interact with Captain America as they escape.  Gyrich is shown to be a self-important ass.  The A.I.M. drone is brilliant but has no principles.  Mockingbird won't let them run out on Captain America.  Captain America will not leave anyone behind, even at the cost of his own escape, which we know means a return to torture and abuse. 

* Most interesting is the dynamic between Madame Viper and Captain America.  She is always expecting the worst from Captain America, and he continually surprises her by rising above her expectations.  You get the idea, denied at the end, that she may be softening - I suppose time will tell the tale.  It will be interesting if Viper rallies what is left of Hydra to route the Skrulls and assist SHIELD and the Avengers.

* It appears that the memory replication of Skrull victims is an artificial process, and not part of the Skrull innate shapeshifting.  it seems to be part of Skrull shamanism; interesting that the Skrulls practice magic and technology together.

* Captain America has been a prisoner for two months at the time of this episode.

* Of all the people the Skrulls could try to break, they choose Captain America.  Talk about lousy luck - for them.

* Captain America's serial number is 54985870

* Interesting that we get to see Madame Viper's scars, which are artfully hidden elsewise.

 

Notes