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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Is Building Up to Something... But What?

Bob Chipman | 22 Oct 2014 12:30
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There are still a few nagging issues: Skye not wanting to simply get the answers she wants re: Evil Dad from Ward because... she doesn't, basically, still feels like artificial tension and the new wrinkle that she doesn't buy it because his source is Raina doesn't really change that. On the other hand, Raina herself has gotten a lot more interesting now that she's a more-or-less independent player -- the idea that S.H.I.E.L.D. and HYDRA have now both forcibly-injected her with tracking devices is a nice bit of moral-gray for the conflict. We also find out that her obsession with natural-born superhumans (and potentially being/becoming one herself) comes from her "grandmother's fairytales."

One thing I will say: They need to start definitively giving things actual names. It's nice that we now know The Obelisk is actually called "The Diviner," but Skye now has two names neither of which are apparently the "real" one. "The Doctor" is still just that. And since everyone and their mom saw Guardians of The Galaxy by now, it's probably okay to just say that the Dead Blue Guy was Kree. Or whatever he was.

PARTING THOUGHTS

  • It's interesting to see them hang a lampshade on the implications of Fitz's subconscious projection of Simmons having a crush on Agent Mack. More interesting still that he doesn't seem to find it all that noteworthy one way or the other, apart from an opportunity to again declare that he knows Imaginary Simmons isn't real. No clue if this is where they're going, but bisexual men are still quite rare on mainstream TV -- and unless I'm missing something, it'd make him the first "out" LGBTQ character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, yes?
  • Speaking of which, am I really going to have to pretend to be surprised when it turns out later in the season that Simmons actually is a HYDRA brainwashing victim, which Fitz will realize because he knows her best but will argue with Imaginary Simmons over it because it might be his brain-damage talking?
  • It's sort-of "goofy" that the show treats Skye's big guess about the alien writing ("It's a map!") like some kind of major outside the box breakthrough. It's a pattern of straight lines and circles -- wouldn't "map" (or chart) been the first thing anyone thought of?
  • What is Raina? No idea, but it suddenly feels less like "just" a reference that she's named after a Saurid creature.
  • It's a little disappointing that they didn't crack a single Wonder Woman joke, considering Pallicki's history with the character and her big hero-sequence involving an invisible jet...

Bottom Line: This episode had solid superhero spycraft and feels like it's building toward something pretty special.

Recommendation: If you still doubt that the series has improved tremendously, this is as good a way as any to jump on.

NEXT WEEK:

In "A Fractured House," HYDRA stages a S.H.I.E.L.D. false-flag attack, we meet Ward's maybe-evil-maybe-not senator brother, and a bunch of other stuff that will all probably be overshadowed by the debut of Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer (well, that's definitely one way to get the ratings up).

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