Episode #24 - Best Served Cold
Original Airdate - November 20th, 2009
Whitney Stane is very, very sick and Obadiah Stane calls the one person who may be able to save his daughter: Tony Stark. Tony realizes that a cure exists, but it’s in an abandoned Stark facility in the arctic—in the dead of winter. And while Iron Man secretly goes to retrieve the cure, Stane takes matters into his own hands by thawing out Blizzard and forcing him to go as well. But nothing’s ever simple with Stane or Blizzard, and Iron Man’s about to be caught between the two of them, while Whitney’s life hangs in the balance.

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

Fair warning, you should watch this episode before reading this review; because any worthwhile discussion of Best Served Cold requires spoilers.

As far as longitudinal plotting goes, Best Served Cold serves a specific purpose: to wipe Whitney Stane’s memory.

With this episode, Stane has been reverted back to her first appearance. She doesn’t remember being Madame Masque, that Tony Stark is Iron Man—nothing. She’s just a rich girl with daddy issues and a crush on Stark.

I dislike the “amnesia” trick. It wipes away character development and wastes the audience’s time. If the creators did not want to develop Whitney Stane’s character in a certain way, they should not have done it. As the grim reaper once told Peter Griffin, “No mulligans.”

But that doesn’t mean I didn’t like Best Served Cold. This is a good episode with a silly epilogue.

In summation, Whitney Stane is sick. Using the Masque technology has poisoned her. Obadiah Stane, her father, contracts with a villain scientist, the Blizzard, to heal her. Meanwhile, Stark tries to find a cure of his own.

There’s a lot of tension among the players. The Blizzard hates Iron Man and wants revenge against Obadiah Stane. Stark also hates Stane but wants to help his daughter. Whitney is hallucinating and trying to kill her own father.

So, basically, everybody hates Obadiah Stane. Meanwhile, Obadiah wants to save his daughter—even though she wants to kill him, and even if he has to defrost another psychopath who wants to murder him to do it.

The writers juggle the tensions well. My only knocks on Best Served Cold involve its clipped third act. Stark uses part of the mechanism that keeps his heart beating to save Whitney. Previously, Stark spends a lot of time talking about how dangerous that would be; but we don’t see any consequences for Stark after he makes the sacrifice. It leaves the audience wondering why he didn’t just do that 15 minutes ago.

And then there’s that amnesia trick…

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