Sadly, I found this week’s episode of SHIELD little disappointing. That’s not to say there weren’t good things, but the plot fell a little flat.
The biggest example of this is the Agent 33/Ward storyline. Maybe I’m in the minority, but I thought there was something missing. It never felt right, and the progression unnatural — Ward almost seemed obsessed with 33. I found the sudden shift of focus to be strange as well. Hopefully it will right itself in the future, but right now I don’t really see her place in the show’s main storyline, aside from having saved Ward. Additionally, Talbot was stupidly silly and over the top (he had no reason to single out that one woman), and the scene between Ward, 33, and the guy they kidnapped was so on-the-nose it hurt.
Let’s move on to some of the good parts of the episode shall we? I was surprised that it actually helped further explain why Simmons is acting the way she is. The explanation came in the form of Fitz laying it all out to Simmons, and it actually helped justify her recent attitude. Don’t get me wrong, the show isn’t 100% finished in justifying her change in behavior, but they are on the right track. I really enjoyed their natural comments about The Avengers and Bruce Banner while arguing too. It’s much better than their forced references in the first season.
You tell her, Fitz!
Another really good part of the episode? Skye! On top of the above-mentioned scene between her, Fitz, and Simmons, Skye spent a majority of this episode with Coulson. The dynamic between them, as always, was great. I enjoyed getting some more background on Coulson, and laughed when Skye called out her being Lola in the story. And while it’s sad to see Skye quarantined, the fact that she is out in the open certainly hints at the fact that she will have more to do soon. I’m not convinced that Skye will hamper her powers for long, or even be far from the core team. My personal theory is that something will happen causing Skye to lose control, and at the last moment our blind Inhuman will take her away.
So what was your reaction to this “real SHIELD?” I was kind of let down. Can we talk about the hypocrisy of a secret organization running in the shadows trying to take down another similar organization because they themselves hate secrets? I’m still not 100% clear on their goals and what they are trying to do, besides overthrowing Coulson. They say it’s to run a transparent version of SHIELD, yet they are still being more secretive than anyone else on the show. I’m so glad that May and Coulson are as smart as they appear to be, and instantly recognized Mack’s behavior. But considering the promo for the next episode, I’m afraid the show is just going to retread old ground (infiltration and such). There are of course different characters involved and changed dynamics between everyone, but I don’t want this to become a seasonal plot point.
Coulson really needs to stop it with the secrets.
There were good things to come out of the “real SHIELD” storyline, though. I’ve mentioned my liking Hunter, and I find his relationship with Bobbi compelling. It’s an endless loop neither can pull out of, no matter how hard they try. The scene between them before Hunter escaped felt very genuine, and is probably the most truthful those characters have been to each other for a long time. I look forward to Hunter getting back and blowing the lid on Bobbi and Mack.
Overall, this episode was just “okay.” Ward and Agent 33’s stories just didn’t click (at least, not yet), Talbot acted idiotically, and the “real SHIELD” still doesn’t fully make sense. But some great Skye scenes, some Simmons justification, and the superb Hunter/Bobbi dynamic balanced out the mediocre. Having seriously enjoyed Ward’s character post-Hydra, I hope his story starts to click more, and his plans become clearer sooner rather than later.
Article by contributor Russ Milheim.