Posts Tagged ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’

aos-ragtagThis was quite possibly the most ‘comical’ episode of the season. And by comically I mean comics.

From the suitcase of gadgets courtesy of Trip’s Howling Commando grandfather, to May’s backfliping down the hall and hanging up the phone, to Phil’s version of a large file transfer, this episode really did read like a comic book. But instead of coming off too cheesy, it really tempered the pace of the last few episodes which have been pretty heady with the right touch of angst. This episode was a reprieve from the finale which is probably going to make us all scream and cry and throw things.

Now, the episode wasn’t all fun and games. In fact, towards the end it pretty much gave us a healthy taste of what we’re going to expect in the finale… which is OMG WTF?

At this point I’m not sure if they want to redeem Ward or not… they start the episode with some back history… explain why he is the way he is… give him that ‘manipulated by Garrett into thinking he’s the be all and end all’… in fact, Ward reacts much like a child would to Garrett’s worsening state. But when  he’s given the chance to change, to do the right thing, he literally throws Fitz and Simmons out of the airplane. And I mean literally literally…

Sure, an argument could be made that Ward could have done a whole lot worse other than dropping them from what looked like a single story, maybe two, nothing that they couldn’t live through. But he still dropped them. He made that choice.

They are painting Ward into a corner he can’t get out of.

Loki much?


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aos_nothing personalI’m rather annoyed at myself for not reviewing this episode sooner, especially since this was the best yet!

Now, I know I’ve not exactly been fond of Skye, I’ve found her to be a highly annoying character, but in Nothing Personal I garnered a whole new respect for the woman. It happened about the moment Skye called BS on Ward. She could have gone all “I love you, there’s still good in you, blah blah”. That kinda of reaction does have its place in storytelling but it’s often the only reaction anyone ever writes in these cases. Not only is that dull, unimaginative, and borderline sexists, it often doesn’t even fit the scene or character (looking at you Padme, you broke my heart!). So when Ward tries to pull the “i care about you’ shtick on Skye I nearly shouted for joy when she calls him out for all the people he chose to murder.

No excuses. No attempt to justify his actions. She flat out calls him a Nazi.

Damn straight girl! You tell him!

And the best part, later when she sticks to her morals and doesn’t let Ward die it’s a much more powerful scene as she’s really doing it because she’s not a murderer, not because of some romantic ideal she has in her head about Ward.

This really is the best part of the episode, but did I mention Maria Hill shows up and is basically 110% done with everyone’s shit?

Then that ending where we discover the roots behind Project T.A.H.I.T.I. and Coulson’s true involvement in it and how he should have just shut up and trusted May? Cause yeah, that happened.

Two episodes left and if this show is not renewed… I’m going to have to go Black Widow on someone’s ass.

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AMY ACKER, CLARK GREGGIt was the moment we saw coming… well… now… after we knew Ward was Hydra… and that it wasn’t a fake out…

The interrogation scene was a nice little introspective on the characters as they go through the lie detector, which is a classic set up that is made pretty fun here because of what kind of questions are asked in the interrogation. Their answers are pretty hilarious and telling. Then we get to Ward who only passes by virtue of causing himself great pain. Koenig isn’t too bright, you think he’d question the results of his test… but there you go.

Phil goes off to save The Cellist whom we have heard about since Avengers. I wasn’t sure how they were going to play this, if he would be ‘surprise, I’m not dead’, or whatnot, and they decided to play it old school, Phil keeping himself in the shadows. It was rather touching, truth be told, not melodramatic or anything. The speech was a bit much but then we all know Phil is the kind of guy to illicit such feelings… from the fans at least. The whole thing really was what fan fiction was made for.

But then you turn around and Phil is so pissed off at May it’s like he’s a whole other person. Priorities Phil… just cause she was spying on you for Fury and was basically running the whole operation…

but still…

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shield-providence-11So I guess Ward really is a bad guy… awkward.

I applaud that they decided to actually make him a bad guy. At first I thought maybe he was a Hydra plant who turned once he saw things go down, but killing those guards and telling Garrett about the sub-level pretty much cinch the idea that Ward is straight up Hydra through and through. This is gonna make things really fun and interesting… just as long as we don’t suddenly get bogged down with ‘his love for Skye will turn him’ kind of  romantic tripe.

And can I also say I loved Coulson’s breakdown? I mean, that was full on ‘broken man’ syndrome going on there. It was perfectly characterized and you could really feel for him. As Skye put it, he literally died for S.H.I.E.L.D. and to learn that it was infested with Hydra and they were all branded terrorists and Fury is dead and… and… oh someone give that boy a hug!

There was also the Lady in the Flower Dress, you could see the disappointment in her eyes when she discovered The Clairvoyant wasn’t really a clairvoyant. The lady was a true believer… so I wonder how that is going to play into things in the future. What price will Garrett pay for tricking her? I mean, she seems friendly enough… for now…

As for Providence, I’m not entirely sure what that place was and I was not endeared to Patton Oswald at all… but that could just be me.

Now that AOS is under the restrictions of waiting for Cap 2 to come up… things are really starting to heat up…

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aos_turnturnturnHail Hydra?

So May was a big understanding and Hand was not the bad guy, we all saw that coming, but at least it was dealt with in a fairly awesome way. When Hand gives her speech to Simmons I was actually a bit intense and I wasn’t sure how that was going to play out. Garrett wasn’t a terribly big surprise, figured it had to be someone we’d seen before and there wasn’t too many choices.

The big twist was Ward, the whole time he seems to be working perfectly for Coulson’s crew but in reality he’s Hydra? I’m not sure about that. The whole thing with Hand seemed a little too blocky, almost staged. Hand knows Garrett won’t talk under normal interrogation so why not get Ward in there undercover? But what does Garrett have to believe Ward is on his side because if Garrett ever mentioned Hydra to him then you’d think Ward would have said something? This really could go both ways as long as some logistics are ignored here and there, which happens a lot in these kinds of tv shows.

AOS is really coming into itself and it’s been pretty clear that trying to keep ‘in universe’ with the MCU has been the cause of many of its problems. It has a little choke hold on it which does it no favors. Maybe AOS can stretch its wings now that Cap 2 is out of the way and no new MCU movies are set to come out until Age of Ultron, which is still filming.

SHIELD is down and out, no one can be trusted… things are about to get interesting.

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Agents-of-SHIELD-end-of-the-beginningDEPARTMENT H! Yeah, that’s all I got out of this episode…

Okay, so, yeah, it looks pretty bad for May, her being all sneaky and going to shoot Fitz with the Night-Nite gun cause he found her out. Sure, it looks even worse for Victoria Hand who apparently wants to kill everyone on Coulson’s team. But maybe I’ve watched too many tv shows because this all looks like classic Red Herring attempts and I’m not buying any of it. The show is getting down to the wire for the end of the season but there are still several episodes left to go. There is no way they would turn traitor a main character this far from the end nor would they pull the ‘barely a recurring character is the big bad’ this far back either.

Next episode is going to see our ducks put in a row and probably give us another random cliffhanger. I’m pretty sure they will milk this ‘something is rotten in DenmarkSHIELD’ schtick till the actual end of the season. So really, most of this episode was ‘trying to be angsty’ filler for the long con… which is rather annoying because of all the stuff that got shoved aside to make room for an obvious fake-out.

Like Deathlok… we got some great scenes with him, but it was few and between. We need an episode dedicated to him.

And Brad Dourif… how the hell do you get Brad Dourif and not freaking use him? (don’t be Arrow, don’t score great actors just to underuse them) Brad sitting there with his voice semi-computerized was so haunting… SO WHY KILL HIM?!? Keep him to play your villain! I really hope the guy Ward shot was some poor pawn with facial surgery so we can see Dourif again… man he is awesome.

But instead we get Over-Paranoid Coulson ( I mean, really, at this point I think he would suspect himself of being the Clairvoyant) and more lame Skye+Ward stuff (this is a text book on how not to do ‘will they/won’t they’).

This is a lot of greatness in this series, the core is solid, it just really needs to work on the bells and whistles.

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agents_of_shield_yes_menShouldn’t there have been a bullet in the chamber?

Seriously, does this show not know how guns work? Also, why send Ward, a male, on his own to the back of the building containing the woman who can control men? I understand that sometimes you have to make characters do things to make the plot move forward but do you have to make it so darn obvious?

Speaking of obvious, they are already doing the ‘secretly a traitor’ thing again, this time with May, thought probably isn’t what it looks like, of course.

The only thing that keeps this show from floundering is that is’t fun. Lady Sif shows up and we get a wonderful episode full of action, humor, and some very interesting Easter Eggs, such as OdinLoki wanting Lorelei brought back alive. What plans does he have for the sorceress woman? And where is Fury, no one seems to know, and how is that gonna tie into Winter Soldier? There really is enough here to make a girl giddy.

But still the show relies on plot conveniences and really schmaltzy dialogue which holds it back from being epic. Although, they did manage to not go overboard with the gender divide commentary. It was appropriately snarky.

Lastly, is no one going to comment on the fact that Ward was essentially raped?

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Agents-of-SHIELD-TAHITIWell, that was disturbing…

Like all televisions shows, even the best ones still have to take a season to truly find their feet and AOS has been doing exactly that… I’m just not sure I like where they are standing.

All season there has been a push towards there being something rotten in SHIELD, little things here and there, especially with the circumstances around Coulson living and Skye’s backstory. Then you have the Winter Soldier trailer which basically flat out accuses SHIELD of becoming the bad guy. Now we have TAHITI which is an episode that holds up a neon sign that says there is something seriously corrupt inside SHIELD what with their secret facility (that was way too easy to find if you ask me) and their Leech meets Source Code blue guy floating in the tank.

(You’re telling me that all this tech going on down there, the production of chemicals and drugs and the like, and there is no scientists on duty? Just too guards? Unless the place was mothballed, which it clearly wasn’t, their should have been way more people there. This smells like either a set up or lazy writing.)

Speaking of lazy writing, I was really hoping that this show, when it finally stopped being all about Skye, would try to be clever and unique like much of Whedon’s work. Instead, we get the tried and true “we secretly work for a corrupt company/government” storyline. Yeah, it can be effective, but it’s been done so much, especially lately. If this whole backseason is going to be nothing but them ‘fighting the man’ then I will be disappoint…

But at least it won’t be ‘the Skye show’ and we can get more from everyone else. Always a plus side to everything…

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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. "T.R.A.C.K.S."Simmons should never be let off the bus… and is Stan Lee a pimp now?

Truly, Simmons getting a little too method acting in her undercover role was both priceless and a source of second-hand embarrassment. It was pretty funny though. You can just see the look on Coulson’s face… he was definitely thinking “I died for this?”.

The biggest issue though was the constant backtracking. I have nothing against the back-track in story telling, when you go back and show everything from someone else’s POV, but it’smost effective when done once (like in Leverage) or, at the most, twice. Here, it was done three times not counting the original timeline. It started to get real annoying, real quickly. Thankfully it was saved by little moments here and there between the characters.

This brings up the dynamic of May and Ward’s ‘just sex’… Coulson really schooled Ward on that one, but in the end, I don’t really care. This relationship could be pretty awesome and fresh in how it deals with these kinds of tropes, but it’s being shoe-horned into some kind of weird love-quadrangle and that means I do nothing but roll my eyes.

Though this episode gave us a pretty killer ending. Micheal is turned into Deathlok and Skye is shot. I’m not sure a pressure tank works like that, but hey, it’s Marvel, whatever works. I thought this might trigger whatever Skye’s special ability is but it looks like they are playing the long con. I must say though, the scene played out quite nicely, just enough shock and awe.  This is doing a lot to repair Skye’s character from being the annoying one to being the tolerable one.

Oh, and Simmons attacking that guy and taking the grenade, awesome character moment there though I’m afraid we probably won’t see much more from it, that’s how this show seems to be running right now.

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Agents-of-SHIELD-SeedsToo Cool For School? Bad puns just can’t help themselves…

AOS continues to be stronger this second half of the season. We get another non-Skye-centric episode that didn’t feel like it was trying to be a non-Skye episode. Our team heads back to the S.H.I.E.L.D. Science Academy to hunt down a prank gone wrong. It’s nice look into how S.H.I.E.L.D. works but at the same kinda odd. I mean, if you go by Thor 2 (the most recent MCU movie) S.H.I.E.L.D. still isn’t that well known across the world unlike the CIA or NSA which every British person has heard of even if they don’t understand their particulars. Yet, in this episode, SHIELD has not just one, but several independent Academies that seem about the size of a City College at least. Yeah, NSA, CIA, they may have specific training camps and stuff but nothing on that scale, they usually hire out of University rather than doing it all themselves… yet SHIELD is still “a secret” according to Darcy?

Considering what happened in NYC I’m sure Darcy is the odd one out here but I can’t help be a bit nitpicky.

Anyway, I had a point, didn’t I?

Ah, yes, this episode was well rounded in how it was laid out and presented the characters. Skye’s story finally moves forward, giving us some interesting information about the circumstances of her being orphaned. Because we actually have forward movement in her story rather than lateral, this episode avoids more ‘annoying Skye-time’ pitfalls that we saw throughout the first half of the season.

Also, the other characters are finally becoming part of the episodes rather than part of ‘character-theme’ episodes. Basically, everyone is really starting to mesh and work as a group, character wise.

Was the story itself all that thrilling? Not really… it lacked the umph of scenes like the spinning room, but it shows that this show knows how to be more cohesive. A great sign for things to come.

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