Episode #23 - The Ultron Imperative
Original Airdate - June 5th, 2011
As the devastated team struggles with a loss, Ant-Man and Iron Man go about destroying all remnants of Ultron. But they don’t realize that Ultron has transcended his body, and has infiltrated the world’s computer systems. Because the only way to bring peace to Earth is to eliminate those who would cause chaos… and that’s all of humanity. Ultron has begun the end of the world.

Written by Brandon Auman
Directed by Vinton Heuck
Review by RoyalRubble
Media by Marvel Animation

Ultron returns this episode, and now he's even more dangerous than before. While his body was destroyed in the previous episode, he managed to upload his artificial intelligence into another body, unbeknownst to the Avengers. Now, he has taken control over satellites and missile launching bases around the world, with his final stop being the SHIELD helicarrier, where he declares that the end of the world has begun. His goal has remained the same, bringing peace to the world by eliminating all of humankind. Once again, he keeps the Avengers busy by infiltrating the mansion's computer systems, and activating and controlling all of Iron Man's armors that were available. He also builds himself a new body, now calling himself Ultron-6. Once he arrives aboard the SHIELD helicarrier, he scans Director Hill's mind and learns the access codes to the entire SHIELD arsenal. He launches all the nuclear missiles at once, claiming that all life on the planet would cease to exist. The Avengers try to stop him, but he is more than a match for them this time. Ultron's speech about him ending all life on Earth and his replies to each of the Avengers were definitely the highlight of this episode for me.

The way the characters were presented this episode was great. All of them are still shocked they lost Thor in their previous battle. Captain America is missing from this episode, as a consequence to the first Ultron attack. Ant-Man blames himself for all that has happened because Ultron was his creation. Tony mentions that he is also guilty, as he was the one who wanted to use Ultron units as weapons, and they both realize that all this happened after they used Ultron to defeat Kang (see "The Kang Dynasty"). Hank reveals that his own brain patterns were the basis for Ultron's artificial intelligence, and devises a plan to stop him once and for all. Tony once again uses his old-school armor to fight with, and together with the Hulk and Wasp arrive on the SHIELD helicarrier to fight Ultron. Hulk is ready to fight Ultron, claiming that if he smashed him once, he can do it again (and I loved that when Hulk first punches Ultron, he mentions that it was for what he did to Thor). Unfortunately Ultron has perfected a new weapon, that allows him to absorb the Gamma radiation from the Hulk, and turn him back into Bruce Banner, who is unable to fight him.

It is revealed what exactly happened to Thor at the end of the previous episode. He was actually saved from Ultron's blast by the Enchantress, who wished they could spend the rest of their lives together. Of course she uses her magic to help convince Thor to stay with her, but Thor realizes he still has to protect Midgard and forces her to send him back. Angered, Amora sends him back to Midgard, claiming that it would be a fate worse than death for him. It would appear that this was not part of Loki's plans and Amora was actually acting on her own. Once Thor is back, he defeats the controlled Iron Man armors and together with the others attacks Ultron on the helicarrier. While his hammer is able to damage the robot, it would seem that Ultron now can repair himself instantly. Another one of Ultron's upgrades is the ability to actually hurt Wasp (as the previous version wasn't allowed). That is when Ant-Man arrives and enters the robot's head, trying to upload a program inside. Ultron mentions that no virus can defeat him; but Ant-man isn't using a virus, he's using logic. Soon after Ultron shuts down, and Hank explains what happened. Since Ultron was based on the human mind, he himself is flawed and not perfect, and cannot exist in his own imperative. And I loved the way Wasp congratulates Hank for how he stopped Ultron, "You saved the world. With science, even!".

Lots of great moments mixed between all the fighting and drama featured in this episode. It was cool seeing all the various Iron Man armors in this episode, and Hawkeye gets a great line after Ultron is defeated, "Wait, we had a plan?". Overall, this was a great episode and an amazing way to finish the Ultron arc, which was present throughout most of the series. There is obviously a chance that Ultron will return in future episode, though. The way this episode ended with Thor mentioning that something worse than Ultron is about to happen, most likely foreshadows Loki's plans coming together. Looking forward to that.