Episode #18 - Pepper, Interrupted
Original Airdate - September 25th, 2009
Pepper realizes if she wants to keep Tony as a friend, she has to learn to start liking Gene Khan. Which is really inconvenient for Gene, because he’s busy trying to negotiate peace as the Mandarin between his Tong forces and the Maggia. And of course Pepper lands smack in the middle of it. Now Gene has to somehow save Pepper from Count Nefaria and the Black Knight, all while keeping his own secret from everyone. Solution? Call Iron Man.

Story Editor Christopher Yost
Written By Julien Magnat, Alexx Van Dyne
Directed By Stephane Juffe and Phillipe Guyenne
Review by Arsenal

The award for most improved villain goes to Gene Khan.

The creators of this show took the long road, but they have finally made Khan, the Mandarin, an interesting character.

In “Secrets and Lies,” he spouted clichés about “leaving with your life” and acted more like the parody of a villain than the true article. In my review of “Ancient History,” I called him a “goofball in over his head.” The nicest thing I could say after “Hide and Seek” is he was no longer a detriment to the series.

Now, I find myself typing something I thought I never would: Gene Khan is the best thing about “Pepper, Interrupted.”

He teases his plebian classmates, precipitates a mob war, baits Iron Man into participating and rescues Pepper Potts. The whole time he balances on the precipice between egotistical and overwhelmed.

When this show began, it suffered from a dearth of good villains. I counted Obadiah Stane and the Mandarin among the chief offenders. One was the stereotypical evil CEO, the other the stereotypical megalomaniac. Both have been upgraded in the latter half of the season.

If this keeps up the trio of Tony, Rhodey and Pepper may have someone as interesting as them with which to contend.

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