Agents of SHIELD “Half Dirty Dozen“ Review

Laser Time, Agents of Shield, Half a Dirty Dozen, review, episode, Season 2, Marvel, MCU, Marvel Cinematic Universe, ABC

As teased last time, we finally saw the entire original team together, and boy, was it nice.

While the likes of Bobbi, Hunter, or even Mack could have been involved, the show just really wanted to reunite the old crew. Their joint operation involved one of the best SFX moments of the show: the plane blowing up around the Quinjet.

Simmons’ new mindset came into play, as she was the only member of the team to even consider ending Ward. I’m glad that they’re keeping her character consistent, but I still don’t see her as the type to kill another person, even if said person nearly killed her and her best friend.

Laser Time, Agents of Shield, Half a Dirty Dozen, review, episode, Season 2, Marvel, MCU, Marvel Cinematic Universe, ABC

A killer?

I was also surprised at how little Skye reacted to Ward taking part in the mission. She seemed levelheaded, even cracking jokes about it.  The long take (conveniently close to the release of Daredevil on Netflix) was a nice surprise too. Correct me if I’m wrong, but this may also be the first time we’ve seen Skye in complete control her powers, and using them in combat. We are getting close and closer to her superhero persona!

With this operation we also got lots of ties to the events in Age of Ultron, most of which came from List, a lackey to Strucker — whom we never, unsurprisingly, got to see. We did get plenty of references to Strucker’s illegal experimentation on humans, even mentioning the Twins themselves, and we witnessed at least a little bit of said experimentation on Deathlok and Lincoln. Think Deathlok will go to Stark for upgrades? Too hopeful?

It would seem that the Ward/Agent 33 story just came to a fizzling end. I always thought it was poorly done to begin with, but now Ward just ups and offers her to SHIELD saying it’s “due to what ever good is left inside” of him? Yes, they could still be planning things with the duo, but it would seem that Agent 33’s story will be told with the rest of SHIELD now, and no longer with Ward. I’m hoping that the show does a better job handling Agent 33, a.k.a. Kara, while she is with the rest of cast. They have a good start with Bobbi befriending her, and yes, there is always the chance that Ward and 33 are playing SHIELD. But if that were the case, I would have liked a hint.

Laser Time, Agents of Shield, Half a Dirty Dozen, review, episode, Season 2, Marvel, MCU, Marvel Cinematic Universe, ABC

Friendship!

Back in Afterlife, they put more focus on Raina’s abilities of precognition. It seems to seriously scare the higher-ups, as Skye’s mom made sure that she was in control of anything that came out of the precognition. I would be remiss to not mention what Raina sees before the episode ends: metal men. While exciting that the show referenced Avengers, I wouldn’t place bets on it having a huge impact on any of the current story lines.

We finally know what Theta protocol is, and it would seem like Coulson has been guiding the Avengers through middle woman Maria Hill. It’s a nice idea, but I wish that The Avengers would find out Coulson is alive and well. I wonder how much of the show will take place during Age of Ultron, as opposed to after.

This week’s episode slowed down a tad on the Inhumans front, while focusing fully on the Age of Ultron connections. While these movie links are fun, I look forward to the show getting back to its Inhuman focus. I’ll leave this week’s review with one question: why did Coulson just casually drop the fact that Nick Fury is still alive?

Article by contributor Russ Milheim.

8 thoughts on “Agents of SHIELD “Half Dirty Dozen“ Review

  1. For that last paragraph question, I’ll provide my best guess, since I haven’t watched the movie yet. I’d imagine that it’s because given what Coulson knows, he might be aware that Fury might choose to reveal himself to the world soon enough? Sounds a tad convenient, but it also seems like the most plausible explanation to me.

    Also, you should know as well as I do the real reason of why the avengers can’t know that Coulson is alive: It would confuse the hell out of the movie going audience that hasn’t watched the show if the movies just casually made reference to him being alive. Notice how the movies always affect the show, but the show seldom if ever, affect the movies, and even though this episode shows that there IS a connection, it’s a subtle one and isn’t really necessary to know.

    Remember that there ire millions that have watched the movies, but never the show, and might never will no matter what the show does. Now you might be thinking, “well, all the more reason to say Coulson is alive! that’ll get people interested in the show!” But seeing how Coulson was never that big of a character anyway, it would confuse, annoy and alienate casual movie goers more than it would feed their curiosity. Marvel already has taken a huge risk by making their movies so connected as it is. Adding the show to it would make things even more confusing for non-obsessed fans like us.

    Also, I have a feeling that Simmons is slowly but surely being pushed over the edge. Her arc has been consistent, but she’s also quickly crossing more and more moral boundaries, so I’m guessing she might be losing it a little. Which I think would be pretty interesting and a rather cool contrast to Fitz, who everyone considered “damaged” and “crazy” by the beginning of the season, so having Simmons end up becoming the actual insane one would be amusingly ironic.

    While I liked the action sequence involving Skye, Am I the only one who thinks she’s become too much of a bad-ass a bit TOO quickly. I know she did very good training from May, but the way she reacted in that sequence was too flawless from someone who at best has gotten only a year of training. And same goes for the control of her powers. I’m not saying we should drag out her growth forever, but less than 5 episodes ago she fractured her arms due to how little in control she was. The progress feels a little too fast, is what I’m saying.

    As for Kara and Ward… C’mon, what more hint do you need other than everything you’ve seen and known of Ward at this point. He’s never this nice, not without an ulterior motive, and it’s obvious he’s playing SHIELD, and maybe even Kara herself the same way he played his brother. Dropping hints of his plans would make it TOO damn obvious.

    And speaking of obvious… I thought they were actually a bit too on the nose with a lot of the connections to the movie. Like Coulson having to explain what the staff does, or Raina’s prediction, it felt a tad too much for me.

    Lastly… Damn, that CGI of the quinjet as he landed on the main base at the end was hilariously bad. I couldn’t have been the only one to notice, right?

    1. I agree with everything you just said, but I’ll let the CGI at the end go – it’s TV, after all. And regarding your first paragraph, no, Fury’s still a secret, so the line makes even less sense.

      And did the show just totally throw the “New SHIELD” storyline out the window? The one they’d been building since the mid-season finale and made out to be a big problem and have now no use for, since the mysterious Theta Protocol is just “The Avengers” and Coulson just hands over the Toybox? Was that build-up just the show treading water AGAIN until a movie lands?

      Yes, totally agree about Skye too. In an effort to make her not boring they’ve turned her into like the sixth or seventh Super Impossible Badass Martial Artist Extraordinaire Woman in the MCU (Black Widow, Peggy Carter, May, Bobbi, maybe Maria Hill and Sif). At least Skye has powers now, which she uses all of once and then forgets about during that big fight. “Well, we’ve made everyone hate this character, let’s just make her a martial arts expert AND give her superpowers” – what I think the showrunners were saying if I was being cynical.

      NEVERTHELESS I still enjoyed the episode. Particularly Skye’s Sonic The Hedgehog crack about Raina.

      1. I know it’s TV, and it doesn’t really affect my enjoyment of the episode, but I still found it very funny to have such obvious, and inept CGI in place, specially after that very decently done scene of the 616 plane blowing up, or Skye’s pretty well executed powers.

        I know Fury is still a secret, but I’m saying that maybe Coulson knows that he won’t be for long. So if Fury was to reveal himself within the next day or two, it wouldn’t really matter if Coulson revealed the secret like that to people that are too far away and removed from Fury’s current plan/situation to screw anything up. And it does serve as an excellent “fuck you” to Gonzalez.

        And for the new SHIELD thing, I agree that it feels like everything is being resolved rather neatly… But I don’t think it’ll stay that way. You can tell Gonzalez reeeeally hates/distrusts superhuman people, and that’s going to lead to a pretty big conflict again between Coulson’s team and Gonzalez’s.

        Yeah, her growth has been too accelerated, but to be fair, even without it, I’d say Skye has improved a lot as a character this season personality-wise. She’s far more responsible and less self-centered, and with the whole obsession of finding out who were her parents gone, far more relatable.

    2. It’s such a big secret, I don’t even think Fury would be happy that Coulson just let it slip.

      Oh yea, I definitely realize why they can’t know about Coulson. I just wish they could haha.

      I do like Simmons character arc a lot, more so than the beginning of this half of the season. They are just on a very thin ice of making it believable. I don’t think they’ve broken that ice yet with her wanting to kill Ward, but it’s something that is right on the brink. That being said, I don’t really want her to become crazy, just darker and harsher than was.

      I do understand that point of Skye becoming badass to quickly, but it doesn’t really bother me. I think they’ve done a great job with her character this season overall, and her quickl badassness is something I personally can look past. As for her control over her powers, I don’t really have an issue with what they’ve done. She’s still in the very early stages of learning her powers, and personally it feels like it’s been longer than it might have actually been (Say less than 5 episodes).

      As for Kara and Ward, I just think they aren’t doing enough with it. There is just an odd lack of focus and attention on them.

      I do agree with the on the nose connections. That being said, they were still fun haha. Raina’s prediction was purely for fun, as I don’t believe anything will happen because of it.

      As for the CGI of the quinjet at the end, I honestly can’t recall it at this moment.

      1. AGE OF ULTRON SPOILERS AHEAD

        Well, considering Fury just popped out with a fucking helicarrier for all the world to see in the film. I’d say my point still stands, if this episode happened right before the events of the movie, and Coulson knew Fury was revealing himself to the world again, there’s really no harm in letting Gonzalez and his team in on the secret a bit earlier, specially because there was literally nothing they could do about it.

        Well, I’m not saying she would/should turn into a joker-caliber psycho, but she’s clearly losing grasp of her morality, and what lines should and shouldn’t be crossed. I predict that eventually she’ll cross a line that will put her beyond the team’s tolerance, and that in turn might tip her over the edge further.

        I mean… from when she got to afterlife to where the show is now, I really don’t think more than two weeks could have passed, and that still isn’t nearly enough time to get your powers that much in control. But fine, in terms of pacing, it’s definitely to the show’s benefit. And I guess the alternative would be to get another plodding pace like the first 12 episodes of the first season.

        Maybe that lack of focus and attention to them is entirely intentional, and the hint you’re looking for? oftentimes the biggest threats are the ones you pay the least attention to, and maybe that’s what the showrunners are trying to pull with the audience. Or maybe, I’m just being too stubborn with my own personal theory and grasping at straws here, but dammit, I’m sticking to my guns 😛

        Yeah, at the end of the day they were harmless fun XD Though I totally called the fate of Von Struker 😛 And I would be shocked if the show didn’t dedicate at least part of an episode to pick up the pieces left behind by the film where he is concerned.

        Well, it’s the scene where the quinjet lands back on the base, it’s very short and honestly easy to miss, however, it stuck with me because the physics of the plane were hilariously fake, like how when it touches the ground it doesn’t recoil in the slightest and even realigns itself with the ground in a way that it’s not at all unlike videogame physics.

  2. Simons went past killer to full-on psycho. She has a devise to decentagrate a person? That is how she chooses to kill? She has a freaking gun! Shoot him! If you could toss a beanbag at a person then there is plenty of time to shoot him.

    1. If you’re someone that doesn’t have formal gun training, it’s easier and far more likely that you’ll hit someone by throwing something at them at less than 15 feet, which is more or less the distance between Simmons and ward.

      That, and yeah, she’s probably turning into a psycho, so that also helps. XD

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