Saturday, April 12, 2014

Captain America: The Winter Soldier: Take Two

Watched the movie a second time last night, and I appreciated it as much as I did the first time around. The awesome part of this watch was that the projectionist just cut the credits after the mid-credit scene and just jumped to the post-credit scene, so we didn't have to wait through the credits.

One of the things that I wanted to pay attention to this time around was the USB drive. I wasn't sure what's in it and what it was used for. Here's the USB's timeline: Black Widow used it to steal information from the ship, then gave it to Fury. Fury tried to access it but couldn't, blocked by "Nicholas J. Fury" according to the system. I think this is when Fury worries that something's not right with Project Insight. Fury got "killed," passed the drive to Cap, who "lost" it to Black Widow. They couldn't decrypt it, but figured out the source instead, which is how they found Zola. Black Widow plugged USB drive in, Zola woke up.

So, at this point I'm thinking that the drive contained Zola's algorithm. But, why would it be on the ship? It wasn't a physical drive on the ship, it was actually downloaded from the ship's system, right? Was that how they were transporting the algorithm from Zola AI to Project Insight? I'm a bit confused about that.

I also don't understand why it was required to activate the Zola AI. To my understanding, the Zola algorithm was created by Zola AI (a way to "read" the 21st century), but it wasn't part of it. I don't quite understand that part either. Was it *required* for Zola AI to be activated? Because that wouldn't be very smart for the AI itself. Shouldn't it be active the whole time? The lights went on when Cap and Black Widow walked in the room, but the computers stayed turned off. Was the information in the drive some sort of a key? What I found mildly interesting was that the USB drive boots instantly, both at the Apple Store and at "Zola's brain." No wait time at all! Black Widow plugs it in at the Apple Store? Countdown for manhunt starts now!

In any case, I think what's in the USB drive is Zola AI –– probably transported within the ship's system itself instead of a drive in case of hijackings, they don't want a physical drive on the ship –– but I have no clue why they'd need that to wake up Arnim Zola. I really wasn't expecting him in The Winter Soldier, but now I want him back for Avengers: Age of Ultron or the third Captain America movie.

There's another thing that I was confused by: the SHIELD clearance levels. To my understanding, Fury is level 10, and the only one who's level 10. Hill, being his right hand woman, would probably be level 9. In The Winter Soldier, it was shown that Cap is level 8. I would assume that Coulson is also level 8, along with Hand, Garrett, and Sitwell. On the first Agents of SHIELD episode, they welcomed Ward to level 7, which means he could now know that Coulson is alive. Does that mean that Cap has known this information for months now? And they're not showing us the reaction? I'm a bit worried that Clark Gregg isn't part of the cast list for Age of Ultron, but I would assume that he'd be in it, even if the part was quite small. But his death was the thing that the avenged in the first movie; the fact that he didn't actually die should be a pretty big deal. Cap is the only one of the Avengers who is a part of SHIELD, so it makes sense if the others didn't know. Except for Thor because Lady Sif found out and said that she would tell Thor. I lied! Just watched the episode again and Phil, Son of Coul, asked Lady Sif if he could tell Thor himself and she agreed, so by the time of the events on The Winter Soldier, I guess it's safe to assume that Thor hadn't known.

I also lied about the levels. On "Turn, Turn, Turn," Hand mentioned that, while pretending to be Hydra, they have "the support of the level 9 and level 10 agents," which implies that Fury isn't the only level 10. And Hill isn't the only level 9. Triplett mentioned that he's level 6, while Simmons is level 5; but somehow they're allowed to know that Coulson is alive. This clearance level stuff is even more confusing!

For the rest of the Avengers, I would think that they would know too, now that SHIELD's and Hydra's secrets are out. Was Fury's involvement in how they kept Coulson alive in one of those files? Did they mention the blue alien? How about Skye's treatment? Hopefully, this will be the main theme for the rest of the season, and maybe even next season. I know they still have Hydra to deal with, but Skye was brought into the team for exactly this reason, right? Information? I just want the writers to acknowledge that this type of information, dumped on the internet, would affect the world quite significantly.

At this point, I think SHIELD is officially disbanded if we follow the movie. Fury and Hill, the top people of SHIELD had left. But what does that mean for Coulson and the team? What would they do now? Hill has moved to Stark Industries, so she's leaving the organization behind. I would think that Coulson would want to fight to keep it standing. I really can't wait for Hill's and Fury's appearances on the show. I know that the information is all out there and trust is very low, but an organization like SHIELD can't just be destroyed that easily. How about the things they kept in The Fridge? People should be responsible for that, especially with Hand "dead" (I'm not quite sure anymore), so it might actually fall on Coulson now that he's probably the highest ranking agent of SHIELD. Come on, Tuesday, come sooner!