Top 10 Moments in Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K.
Spoiler Alert for Season 1 of M.O.D.O.K. on Hulu.
“Laws?! M.O.D.O.K. is above the law!” Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K. made its debut on Hulu in May.
Admittedly, I don’t know much about M.O.D.O.K.’s comic origins, but I’m smitten with Marvel’s first foray into adult animation. If Robot Chicken and Rick and Morty had a baby, M.O.D.O.K. would be the result of that conception. Patton Oswalt delivers the goods as the megalomaniacal yet surprisingly nuanced M.O.D.O.K. This series does something that not all villain-centric shows accomplish: it domesticates a bad guy.
My favorite aspect of M.O.D.O.K. is watching the titular villain attempt to navigate his personal life, from his fractured marriage to his convoluted relationships with his children. It’s quite poignant and heartwarming while maintaining its bitingly comical edge.
Now, for me, there are several highlights from M.O.D.O.K., but I want to shine a spotlight on 10 of those best moments from Season 1. Here’s hoping we get a Season 2!
M.O.D.O.K. Killing His Family in the Finale
In the season finale, M.O.D.O.K. is forced to make a choice: grant his younger self permission to slaughter his family so he can finally achieve world domination, or let that dream die by keeping them alive. For those of us with “normal” priorities, this would be a no-brainer. I wouldn’t even hesitate to prevent my younger self from killing my family. However, this is an undeniably difficult choice for the power-hungry M.O.D.O.K.
Inevitably, he chooses power. That being said, we do see him plot to save his family in the future and bring them to his current timeline. I can see this being the primary plotline for a potential Season 2 if Hulu is so inclined to greenlight it.
M.O.D.O.K. and Lou Fighting in the Great Bar-Mitzvah War
M.O.D.O.K. creates a portal to Asgard in a trash can and proceeds to toss valuable A.I.M. equipment through it. As if this act of pettiness wasn’t enough, M.O.D.O.K. initiates a war with his son, Lou, because Lou kicked him out of his magic show in Asgard.
Both M.O.D.O.K. and Lou lead their respective armies into battle. My favorite bit from this episode is the black-and-white montage that plays out like a stereotypical old-school war bit. You hear voiceovers from various soldiers in the war reciting letters to their loved ones. It’s gold.
The Great Bar-Mitzvah War ends with M.O.D.O.K.’s surrender and Lou pretending to “kill” his father in a magic act. Thankfully, the pair forge an even stronger bond once the fighting ceases.
M.O.D.O.K. and Monica Duking It Out
Here’s another fight sequence that makes me endlessly giddy. Perhaps too much. In “If Bureaucracy Be … Thy Death!”, M.O.D.O.K. and Monica Rappaccini, his “frenemy” at A.I.M., engage in an epic battle to end all epic battles.
It’s an homage to vintage video games. There’s even a moment wherein both transform into “8-bit form” while fighting. The scene also pays tribute to Pokémon when both characters unleash “dueling monsters” of their own. It’s a delightful sequence for fans of video games and pop culture alike. In fact, this scene might be my favorite in all of M.O.D.O.K.
M.O.D.O.K. and Jodie Watching Themselves Raise Their Kids While Growing Older Together
This is one of the few tenderly poignant moments in the series that really tugs at the heartstrings. M.O.D.O.K. takes Jodie back in time to the Third Eye Blind concert that they were supposed to attend 17 years prior. This is in an effort to win his wife back. However, things take a turn for the weird when M.O.D.O.K.’s younger self provokes present-day M.O.D.O.K. into a pedal-to-the-metal battle. M.O.D.O.K.’s time machine is destroyed.
Thus, the couple is trapped in the past for, well, good. They camp outside their house and watch the younger versions of themselves raise their children. The shots focus on the blossoming Tarleton family and current M.O.D.O.K. and Jodie in equal measure. Through that experience, we see their fractured relationship is slowly on the mend. It’s such a sweet montage that really humanizes M.O.D.O.K. as we see his softer side of Sears.
M.O.D.O.K. Crashing The Melter’s Funeral
M.O.D.O.K., Lou, and his daughter Melissa crash The Melter’s funeral in the most “M.O.D.O.K.” way possible. Our titular foe makes the occasion all about him, even as Melter’s widow is delivering a tear-inducing eulogy in honor of her dearly departed husband.
He loudly interrupts her several times, hijacks the eulogy from her and gives his own speech, and abruptly ends the service by exploding Melter’s corpse. Well, he had help with that last bit from Melter’s Bar With No Name buddies. It’s one of M.O.D.O.K.‘s funnier scenes, to be sure.
M.O.D.O.K. Bonding With His New Bar Pals
After M.O.D.O.K. is booted from a swanky, elitist supervillain club, he seeks to gain entry by breaking into Avengers Tower and stealing Captain America‘s shield. To accomplish this, he befriends a group of low-level villains and enlists their aid in his heist.
Initially, he only sees them as a means to an end. However, over the course of the night, he genuinely bonds with his new posse. It’s proof that M.O.D.O.K’s heart may be as massive as his brain.
They retaliate against a pair of taunting teens, eat late-night meatloaf, ride the train, and eventually watch the sunrise on the shore of Coney Island. Someone should turn this episode into a fully-fledged, night-on-the-town movie a la Hangover or Bridesmaids.
M.O.D.O.K. and His Family Killing Their Robotic Counterparts in Murderworld
Who doesn’t love Murderworld and its gracious host, Arcade? M.O.D.O.K. and his family are trapped courtesy of his younger self and Arcade. They must pinpoint their robotic counterparts and destroy them. If the real versions of M.O.D.O.K., Jodie, Melissa, and Lou are left standing, then they can leave. Now, there are two robot versions of each person.
What transpires is some family bonding amid an overabundance of bloodshed and robot decimation. The family even decides to keep one of the robot Lous so Lou has a brother. Jodie literally rips young M.O.D.O.K. apart due to her intense devotion to Pilates. Of course, we later learn that young M.O.D.O.K. granted himself immunity from death by having a robotic version of himself on hand. It’s a macabre, twisted, yet humorously sweet episode with the Tarleton family.
M.O.D.O.K.’s Fight With Wonder Man
Nathan Fillion lends his voice to the narcissistic Wonder Man, an underwear model, potential Avenger, and lover of M.O.D.O.K.’s wife. While separated from M.O.D.O.K., Jodie briefly dates Wonder Man as a PR stunt in support of her book release. M.O.D.O.K. undergoes an extreme makeover in an attempt to impress her when he shows up to her book release shindig.
This culminates into an all-out brawl between our titular baddie and Wonder Man. Wonder Man emerges victorious when he beats the snot out of M.O.D.O.K. But their verbal and physical sparring sure is enjoyable.
The Two Lous Singing a Duet in Hebrew
The season finale brings Lou’s bar mitzvah to fruition. During his recitation of prayers, Lou and his newfound robot brother, also named Lou, decide to put on a show for the family by belting out a duet in Hebrew.
Ben Schwartz voices Lou, and this scene is reminiscent of his Parks and Recreation character Jean Ralphio always milking opportunities to sing. It’s a simple yet hysterical moment in the episode. I’d throw my money at an album by the two Lous.
M.O.D.O.K. Drunkenly Challenging Iron Man to a Fight
Jon Hamm lends his voice to Iron Man. While no one can replace Robert Downey Jr., Hamm is a strong runner-up in M.O.D.O.K. After M.O.D.O.K. is rejected by Jodie during her book release party, he shows up at the Avenger Tower and drunkenly coerces Iron Man out of hiding. Iron Man urges M.O.D.O.K. to tone it down because the latter is “bumming everyone out” at the Avengers party.
Apparently, the inebriated M.O.D.O.K. referred to Iron Man as a “wet b***h” at one point, which still makes me chuckle when I think about it. While nothing comes of M.O.D.O.K’s desire to best Iron Man in battle, it’s a funny bit that bridges the gap between the Avengers and M.O.D.O.K.
What are your favorite moments from Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K.? Let us know in the comments below!