Agents of SHIELDMarvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Season One So FarAgents of SHIELD - RSS 2.0
Another filler episode, but an amusing one because it's the first time the by-now fan-fave Fitz/Simmons duo got a feature story largely to themselves. The setup (a contagious electrocution-disease being spread by contact to discarded Chitauri helmet taken as a souvenir by Battle of New York first-responders) is a long way to go for a ticking-clock find the cure scenario, but payoff in terms of watching the bits and pieces of this silly, defiantly lightweight series reassemble for a tense bit of drama works.
Another not-great filler episode with a potentially nifty conceit (Ward/Skye and Fitz/Simmons swap pairings for a joint undercover mission) that doesn't pay off. On the plus side, Saffron Burrows makes a nice ice-queen debut as Victoria Hand and the "Skye's Parents" mystery proved to have real legs in terms of long-term dramatic tension.
This turned out to be a breaking-point episode for a lot of viewers when the much-publicized tie-in with "THOR: THE DARK WORLD" turned out to be largely incidental. That's too bad, because it's still one of the better episodes thus far. The always delightful Peter MacNicol's turn as a blue-collar Asgardian happily wandering Earth as an under-the-radar immortal is a fun use of Marvel Universe resources and the berserker-magic fight sequences are a series highlight. Time will tell if the continued slow drip of backstory about Ward's abused childhood will be worth the buildup, of course, but the big turn - May inviting Ward (who up to this point kept being positioned as eventual romantic partner of either Skye or Simmons) to be Friends With Benefits - remains the series' most agreeable surprise development. Not that it should be a surprise for a TV series to position an actress in her 50s as capable of wooing and winning the Resident Hot Guy, but it is.
Another filler episode, frustratingly working in a bad version of the kind of "TWILIGHT ZONE"-esque one-off mysteries that should be the show's strong suit: The Agents scoop up a young woman who appears to have destructive telekinetic powers, but it turns out she's actually being stalked by the "ghost" of an infatuated (and possibly mentally-handicapped?) repairman who was dimensionally-displaced by an explosion at (basically) The Local Science Factory. Good setup, weak execution.
This was the series' last new episode before the regular network TV winter break, so all the stops came out: Raina returns with a small army of C.E.N.T.I.P.E.D.E. commandos, The Agents brought in a newly S.H.I.E.L.D.-backed Mike Peterson for muscle, Coulson wound up kidnapped and Mike (apparently) died. Like a lot of schedule-mandated cliffhanger episodes in other series, "THE BRIDGE" is passably entertaining but doesn't feel very vital now that it's setups (mainly that the bad guys have been trying to get their hands on Coulson to steal the secret of his ressurection) have all paid off.