Tony flashes Coulson a phony smile. Coulson offers a tablet of Dr. Selvig's research.
Coulson: We need you to look this over as soon as possible.
Stark: I don't like being handed things...
Potts [cuts Tony off]: That's fine, because I love to be handed things.
Pepper exchanges her champagne glass for Coulson's tablet.
Potts: So, let's trade.
She takes Tony's champagne and gives him the tablet.
Potts: Thank you.
Stark [to Coulson]: Official consulting hours are between 8 and 5 every other Thursday.
Potts: Is this about the Avengers? Which I know nothing about.
Stark: The Avengers initiative was scrapped, I thought. And I didn't even qualify.
Potts: I didn't know that either.
Stark: Apparently I'm volatile, self-obsessed, and don't play well with others.
Potts: That I did know.
Tony walks over to a large desk/station, Pepper joins him . . .
Stark: I thought we were having a moment.
Potts: I was having 12% of a moment.
Tony places the files into his own databases. Tony expands his arms and different profiles appear in holographic form floating in the air in front of Tony and Pepper.
Potts: What is all of this?
Stark: This is, uh...
Screens appear of Captain America in action, the Hulk roaring as he attacks the army at Culver University, Thor fighting The Destroyer, and another is of Loki and the Tesseract, to which Stark and Pepper look on in awe.
Potts: I'm going to take the jet to D.C. tonight.
Potts: You have homework. You have a lot of homework.
As Pepper leaves with Agent Coulson, Tony grabs the Tesseract in holograph form, worried.
Later, inside the Quinjet, Steve is sitting down, holding a tablet, watching the footage of the Hulk's attack on the Army at Culver University. Agent Coulson stands up from his seat and walks over to Steve.
Rogers: So this Doctor Banner was trying to replicate the serum that was used on me?
Coulson: A lot of people were. You were the world's first superhero. Banner thought gamma radiation might hold the key to unlocking Erskine's original formula.
Rogers: Didn't really go his way, did it?
Coulson: Not so much. When he's not that thing though, guy's like a Stephen Hawking.
Steve looks puzzled, not understanding the reference.
Coulson: He's like a smart person. I gotta say, it's an honor to meet you, officially. I sort of met you, I mean, I watched you while you were sleeping. I mean, I was... I was present while you were unconscious from the ice. You know, it's really, it's just a... just a huge honor to have you on board.
Rogers: Well, I hope I'm the man for the job.
Coulson: Oh, you are. Absolutely. Uh... we've made some modifications to the uniform. I had a little design input.
Rogers: The uniform? Aren't the stars and stripes a little... old-fashioned?
Coulson: With everything that's happening, the things that are about to come to light, people might just need a little old-fashioned.
Steve takes in Coulson’s sentiment.
Inside an underground lab, several soldiers under Loki’s mind control run around, preparing to infiltrate whatever Loki has planned. Loki sits down, watching Selvig work with a CMS device.
Loki meditates, until the scepter materializes him back into the throne room of The Other, fully armed in his horned helmet and armor. The Other appears from the steps.
The Other: The Chitauri grow restless.
Loki: Let them gird themselves. I will lead them into glorious battle.
The Other: Battle? Against the meager might of Earth?
Loki: Glorious, not lengthy. If your force is as formidable as you claim.
The Other: You question us? You question HIM? He, who put the scepter in your hand, who gave you ancient knowledge and new purpose when you were cast out, defeated?
Loki: I was a king, the rightful king of Asgard! Betrayed!
The Other: Your ambition is little, born of childish need. We look beyond the Earth to greater worlds the Tesseract will unveil.
Loki: You don't have the Tesseract yet.
The Other glides over to Loki with an aggressive manner, but stops as Loki points his scepter.
Loki: I don't threaten, but until I open the doors, until your force is mine to command, you are but words.
The Other: You will have your war, Asgardian. If you fail, if the Tesseract is kept from us, there will be no realm, no barren moon, no crevice where he can not find you. You think you know pain? He will make you long for something as sweet as pain.
The Other places his hand on Loki’s head and transports him back to Earth. Loki looks around, menacing.
The Quinjet lands on a massive battleship known as the Helicarrier. It has two runways. One with direct access to a hangar at the rear is aligned along the spine of the vessel. Agent Coulson and Steve walk down the ramp, meeting up with Natasha. Romanoff tells Coulson they need him on the bridge, face time.
Agent Coulson walks away leaving Steve with Natasha. Steve sees Banner and introduces himself.
Rogers: Word is you can find the cube.
Banner: Is that the only word on me?
Rogers: Only word I care about.
Romanoff: Gentlemen, you might want to step inside in a minute. It's going to get a little hard to breathe.
As the Helicarrier starts to power up, Rogers and Banner look over the edge of the ship.
Rogers: Is this a submarine?
Banner: Really? They want me submerged in a pressurized metal container?
The Helicarrier starts to slowly rise out of the ocean to fly.
Banner [smiles]: Oh, no, this is MUCH worse!
Moments later, they are now inside the ship. As the massive craft ascends, they activate the cloaking shield. Rogers is in awe of this craft as Fury approaches him. Rogers hands a ten dollar bill to Fury. Fury and Dr. Bruce Banner shake hands.
Fury: Doctor, thank you for coming.
Banner: Thanks for asking nicely. So, uh... how long am I staying?
Fury: Once we get our hands on the Tesseract, you're in the clear.
Banner: Where are you with that?
Nick Fury turns to Agent Coulson to explain, while Natasha Romanoff eyes an image of Clint Barton on a computer screen.
Coulson: We're sweeping every wirelessly accessible camera on the planet. Cell phones, laptops. If it's connected to a satellite, it's eyes and ears for us.
Romanoff: That's still not gonna find them in time.
Banner: You have to narrow the field. How many spectrometers do you have access to?
Fury: How many are there?
Banner: Call every lab you know, tell them to put the spectrometers on the roof and calibrate them for gamma rays. I'll rough out a tracking algorithm based on cluster recognition. At least we could rule out a few places. Do you have somewhere for me to work?
Fury: Agent Romanoff, would you show Dr. Banner to his laboratory, please.
Natasha nods and walks off, leading Banner down the hall.
Romanoff: You're gonna love it, Doc. We got all the toys.
Back at Loki's underground lab, Selvig seems to be in a science geek's euphoria. He gets excited when Loki appears before him . . .
Selvig: The Tesseract is showing me so much. It's more than just knowledge, it's... truth.
Loki: I know. What did it show you, Agent Barton?
Barton: My next target.
Loki: Tell me what you need.
Barton [grabs his bow]: I'll need a distraction.
Barton: And an eyeball.
Back in the helicarrier, Coulson is standing by Rogers, who he apparently asked Steve to sign his vintage set of Captain America trading cards.
He is interrupted when a crew member announces they picked up a trace on Loki in Stuttgart, Germany.
We cut to Stuttgart where a large high society party is taking place. Suiting up, Captain America and Iron Man travel to Germany to apprehend Loki, who is recovering iridium needed to stabilize the Tesseract's power. Barton quickly takes out a few guards with his arrows. The SHIELD jet, occupied by Rogers and Romanoff, closes in fast on the Germany location.
Within moments, Barton is at a security door that uses an eye scanner to gain access. Barton attaches a device onto the eye scanner interface. Loki violently "crashes" the party and takes down a man who apparently has security clearance. Loki viciously gouges out his eyeball.
The party crowd is horrified and they all bum-rush the exit. Loki is gloating over their fear. The eyeball reading is sent remotely to Barton's device, which triggers the eye scanner security to allow access. Barton quickly retrieves a large glass capsule containing the iridium.
Loki steps outside while his Asgardian clothing materializes. Loki blasts a charging police car with his scepter. The crowd is screaming and running, but they are corralled into a cluster surrounded by duplicates of Loki. . .
Loki: Kneel before me. . . . I said . . .
Loki stamps his scepter on the ground, causing a shockwave.
The intimidated crowd go silent and they all kneel before him.
Loki: Is not this simpler? Is this not your natural state? It's the unspoken truth of humanity, that you crave subjugation. The bright lure of freedom diminishes your life's joy in a mad scramble for power, for identity. You were made to be ruled. In the end, you will always kneel.
German Old Man [slowly rises to his feet]: Not to men like you.
Loki [smiling]: There are no men like me.
German Old Man: There are always men like you.
Loki: Look to your elder, people. Let him be an example.
Loki aims a blast of power from his scepter at the old man when Captain America leaps in front of the intended target, deflecting the blast with his shield back at Loki, knocking him down.
Rogers: You know, the last time I was in Germany and saw a man standing above everybody else, we ended up disagreeing.
Loki: The soldier. A man out of time.
Rogers: I'm not the one who's out of time.
Romanoff swoops in with the SHIELD, triggering a turret gun aimed at Loki. He fires at the jet with his scepter, but Romanoff manuevers the jet with a "sidestep" to avoid the shot. Rogers and Loki get into a fight and despite Loki being a formidable opponent, Rogers manages to hold his own. Losing his shield, Rogers relies on fisticuffs, but Loki knocks him to the ground.
Rogers: Not today!
Rogers spins and delivers a savage kick to Loki's face. Iron Man swoops in and attacks Loki with full weapons activated.
Stark: Make a move, Reindeer Games...
Loki quietly surrenders.
Stark: Good move.
Rogers: Mr. Stark.
Loki is escorted to the SHIELD helicarrier. Black Widow is flying a Quinjet, while a maskless Captain America and helmetless Iron Man stand in the back keeping an eye on Loki.
Rogers: I don't like it.
Stark: What? Rock of Ages giving up so easily?
Rogers: I don't remember it being ever that easy. This guy packs a wallop.
Stark: Still, you are pretty spry, for an older fellow. What's your thing, Pilates?
Stark: It's like calisthenics. You might have missed a couple things, you know, doing time as a Capsicle.
Captain America looks at Iron Man, annoyed.
Rogers: Fury didn't tell me he was calling you in.
Stark: Yeah, there's a lot of things Fury doesn't tell you.
Suddenly, a violent lightning storm emerges near the jet.
Rogers [to Loki]: What's the matter, scared of a little lightning?
Loki: I'm not overly fond of what follows...