DISCLAIMER: This recap of Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K. episode “The M.O.D.O.K. That Time Forgot!” is laden with spoilers. You’ve been warned. Proceed at your own peril.
Welcome back, pitiful humans! We’ve reached episode two territory for Season One of Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K. It is glorious. Marvel has really embraced adult animation, and “The M.O.D.O.K. That Time Forgot!” showcases that. If it weren’t for the MCU references, I’d be inclined to believe that this series would be on Adult Swim. It would fit right in with their programming slate. In this episode, M.O.D.O.K. takes Jodie 17 years into the past in an effort to win her back. Hoobastank was The Beatles of the ’90s. But did you know that The Beatles was the Hoobastank of the ’60s?
Ready to delve into “The M.O.D.O.K. That Time Forgot!”? Let’s get to it.
Now, we open with Melissa (voiced by Melissa Fumero) and Lou (voiced by Ben Schwartz) laying claim to their dad’s belongings. M.O.D.O.K. (voiced by Patton Oswalt) reminds them that he’s not dead. Mommy and Daddy are just getting a divorce! Super Adaptoid (voiced by Jon Daly) will most likely go with M.O.D.O.K. The kids find a box of their father’s CDs. Compact discs, baby! We see he has a Hoobastank album, a sacred relic that’s a product of a bygone era. Jodie (voiced by Aimee Garcia) discovers her soon-to-be-ex husband’s old Third Eye Blind CD.
Apparently, 17 years ago, they were poised to attend a Third Eye Blind concert when something came up. M.O.D.O.K. urges her to consider staying together for the CD. Not the kids, though. However, Jodie is set on him moving out. Later, M.O.D.O.K. is at work. He’s trying to hack S.H.I.E.L.D. so he can retrieve his time machine. Then, he can take Jodie to that Third Eye Blind concert. It’s a do-over! Oh, and he’s still planning on enacting revenge against Austin.
Speaking of, Austin (voiced by Beck Bennett) waltzes in. He wants to get to know M.O.D.O.K. Meanwhile, our mental organism designed only for killing proceeds to ask him a slew of questions, one of which is about his allergies. Austin is deathly allergic to strawberries. Boom!
Then, M.O.D.O.K. dons a convincing disguise and feigns to be a delivery driver so he can break into a S.H.I.E.L.D. facility. We see that it’s a helicarrier. After incapacitating the agent on guard, our favorite supervillain rummages through a handful of paraphernalia for his time machine. Among the artifacts, he finds Dr. Strange’s prescription pad and Cerebro!
Later, M.O.D.O.K. attempts to persuade Jodie to take a trip down memory lane … literally. He activates the time machine and we see a portal open up. He tells her that attending the Third Eye Blind concert they missed is a way of getting closure so they can both move on (wink wink). She acquiesces. We see them hop through said portal.
However, M.O.D.O.K. takes them too far into the past. It’s actually four years prior to the concert. Our megalomaniacal foe spots himself as a college student. We know he’s in college in the early aughts because he’s sporting a pair of Tevas. Baby M.O.D.O.K. catches a glimpse of his future self bickering with Jodie. He jumps through the portal behind his older self and Jodie.
Next, our duo arrives at the Third Eye Blind concert. Jodie dances with abandon. M.O.D.O.K. is enthralled. But he’s distracted by the universe telling him that he has to smite Austin. He scurries off to do just that. He breaks into Austin’s house. We see the latter is a child here. M.O.D.O.K. has a pack of what looks like strawberry jelly in his hands. His objective? Squeeze it into Austin’s mouth. Jodie barges in to stop him.
Then, young M.O.D.O.K. makes his grand entrance. He dukes it out with his older self. Suddenly, M.O.D.O.K. launches the crystal connected to his time machine into his younger self’s head. Baby M.O.D.O.K. falls through the portal, presumably back to his own time. This means that M.O.D.O.K. and Jodie don’t have a way back home since the time machine is broken.
Later, Jodie and M.O.D.O.K. track down a young Monica (voiced by Wendi McLendon-Covey). She’s in her elementary school science fair. According to M.O.D.O.K., she was the one who created his time machine. Jodie asks baby Monica if she can make a time machine for them. However, she’s not quite there yet when it comes to time travel.
Now, Jodie is fed up with M.O.D.O.K.’s antics. She’ll stay stuck in the past if necessary, but not with him. They part ways. Fast forward 11 months into the future. M.O.D.O.K. is at an IKEA with a mountain of Swedish meatballs that are shaped to look like Jodie. He’s promptly given the boot by the staff.
With nowhere else to go, he wanders to his house. Jodie is there as well, hiding in the bushes. They watch their younger selves raise Melissa and Lou. It’s a mishmash of puka shell necklaces, frosted-tip spiky hair and an upside-down visor. Quintessential early aughts. A sweet montage plays out wherein we see M.O.D.O.K. and Jodie grow old together.
Then, old M.O.D.O.K. and Jodie attempt to stop the present versions of themselves from going into the past. They decimate the time machine and poof! The older couple disappears. So, no Third Eye Blind.
Meanwhile, M.O.D.O.K. moves into his sh*tty apartment with Super Adaptoid. He’s utterly forlorn and heartbroken. He morosely sings “Semi-Charmed Life” to himself in the mirror. In addition, he reveals his plans to take over the world. That was always on the table. He is a megalomaniac, after all.
Next, we see baby M.O.D.O.K. has wound up in the present timeline. He’s watching the older version of himself on TV as the press covers GRUMBL’s acquisition of A.I.M. Young M.O.D.O.K. vows to get revenge on his older counterpart for messing up their lives so badly. Well, and to see if Dippin’ Dots really is the ice cream of the future (It’s not.).
“The M.O.D.O.K. That Time Forgot!” is a surprisingly poignant episode. We get to see a softer side of Sears for our titular villain. Is he really all that bad? Can a man that enjoys listening to Hoobastank be so heartless and devoid of empathy? I definitely enjoyed this episode more than the first. I hope the series continues to embrace that perfect balance of humor and heart.
Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K. is now streaming on Hulu.
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