This episode could easily be told in, not 20 minutes, not 10 minutes, but just 2 minutes. That's about all the important plot. Everything else is one big drag and so uncreative, that I think that the writer came up with this in one or two minutes.
This is another basic plot so typical for the 1st season - "Mandarin wants to steal some Stark's invention, (despite the fact that he is a powerfull magician with a bunch of henchmen and alien robots on his side), and Iron Man have to stop him."
Today Mandy is after Grim Reaper - some special jet which can't be beaten in combat. As I understood, Stark sold this jet to army. Suddenly, Mandarin's thugs arrives to steal the jet with a plan so unbelievably stupid that even the writers for those corny shows from the 60s and 70s would laugh - they wear special suits to be in different time zone and that's why they can't be seen on cameras? What the....!?!?!?!? How many drinks did the writer had while he wrote this? I sometimes respect writers, cuz they sometimes use technology to explain some weird stuffs in their stories, but this is just ridiculus. Anyway, the jet is stolen, and dum,dum,dum,dum...stupid plot part 2 - Stark, even though he know that the Mandarin did it, he knows where is he, and still he doesn't want to take any actions until he realize how did the Mandarin did it, rather then go there, ask him and kick his ass. To makes thing worse (and more stupid), the government puts pressure on Stark because he wasted their money. And of course, after 10 minutes of Tony walking around the room thinking, somebody said the word "time", and suddenly he realized it all, went to Mandy to whup his ass and retrieve the GR, and everything is OK.
It's quite obvious that Ron Friedman who wrote the 1st season, is not exactly very good with this kind of genre (unlike shows he did like Transformers and Fantastic Four which were much better). And I wonder why did producers wanted him for this? Have they atleast read some of his scripts? Could anyone out there say just one sentence which would change it all - "No, it's too stupid, we need something else!" No wonder they changed the entire crew in the second season. Those who pulled through the 1st season, really deserved such cool 2nd one.