What They Say:
A Duel Of Iron – Yinsen steals plutonium, prompting Tony to put the Iron man suit on to recover it.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With some interesting buildup over the last few episodes since the introduction of Yinsen as a member of Zodiac, Iron Man has ratcheted things up nicely without going over the top and still keeping it personal. The previous episode with the little kid and the way she took over Tony’s life briefly, and even make Chika feel uncomfortable, was a lot of fun and gave us a new look at the growing change in relationship between the two adults. With that settled though, and only a few episodes to go, events have to move forward a little more.
This episode doesn’t take long to really get into things either as it’s only a few minutes into that Yinsen swipes some Plutonium just as Tony is talking to Nanami about getting her paper to write a positive piece about the safety of the Arc Reactor facilities. This doesn’t give Tony any time to question things as he’s in his armor before anyone can even look at him and going up against Yinsen who himself has an armor just like his, though with a harder edge to it and his own personality. It makes up the whole darker side of Tony come to life angle easy to digest and there is some fun to seeing someone with Yinsen’s level of power using Tony’s tools going to town with it. Tony doesn’t hold back, but that’s only against his enemies so it’s never quite the same.
While the episode plays out predictably when it comes to the plutonium and the face-off over it, we do get some good material in addition to that. Tony’s being chastised by the Japanese government over it resonates well as they sternly talk about the past history when it comes to radioactive attacks on them and how this just makes it all the worse. The other piece goes back to Yinsen’s past itself, after he ended up with Tony in that cave. Getting into what it is that made him so angry over things, whether right or wrong, is just another notch for Tony in how his past has caused so much grief and trauma. And it’s unfortunate that he has to see a friend that helped save his life now not only want to take it but to also eliminate all life on earth in order to restart things properly.
While some Iron Man episodes have been light on action outside of the key scene or two, this one has a large dose of action and very good action at that. Yinsen’s been twisted well over time and now we see how it was done and why it resonated with him and even Tony gets it at this point since it’s been explained so basically. What sells the episode beyond that though is just the way Yinsen uses the Iron Man style suit to his advantage and with a certain intent to it that Tony doesn’t have since he’s not trying to take him down in the same way, with the same intensity. That’s what separates the two at this point since Tony continues to believe himself to be the hero while Yinsen sees Tony as the villain and himself as the one who can right the wrongs of the world. It’s a fun piece and the action is solid, definitely making it a quickly moving episode.