Agents of SHIELD
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Review - Episode 17: Turn, Turn, Turn

Bob Chipman | 9 Apr 2014 12:00
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"Hail Hydra."

Skye's bomb goes off and the set-lights switch to a warming shade of stunt double-hiding red. Paxton, Clark Gregg and Ming-Na Wen smack one another's stand-ins around for a pretty decent fight scene. Fitz gets to shoot a bad guy and Coulson takes Garrett etc down with the energy-pulse weapon from Episode 2: 0-8-4. Hand and company pour in, announce that they'd monitored the whole fight and know Coulson isn't HYDRA. He asks how many sleepers there were, Hand (who evidently knows what everyone who saw Winter Soldier knows, hangs her head.

For our epilogue, Coulson and Hand watch the destruction of the Hellicarriers and Triskelion from the climax of the movie; expositing that Captain America defeated HYDRA and destroyed S.H.I.E.L.D., but is now unaccounted for. Coulson resolves to take his team back on the road to help hunt down HYDRA stragglers (we're told they've "seized a S.H.I.E.L.D. HQ in South Africa," which is interestingly also a location where Avengers 2 did some shooting), Agency or no Agency. Ward doesn't go with, though - he's furious about Garrett (his friend and former trainer) being HYDRA, and wants to accompany Hand to The Fridge to help put him on ice personally. Gee. I hope something doesn't happen to this character many fans never seemed to warm to that would necessitate his being replaced by that new guy whose already been set up as love interest for fan-favorite Simmons, right? (An insert-shot of an enraged Triplett is meant to inform us that he was not aware of Garrett's activities.)

Sure enough, up on the prisoner transport jet, a royally pissed off Hand offers Ward the opportunity to "shoot the right Clairvoyant this time." Ward loads a gun... and shoots Hand and her wingmen dead. Yup, Agents' least interesting regular has been HYDRA the whole time.

...or it's part of an elaborate triple fake-out (Ward doesn't say "Hail Hydra" to Garrett, who looks surprised), because Odin forbid anything ever get fully resolved in this series.

Parting thoughts

  • I imagine the fandom reviews on this one will be pretty positive, since it had lots of movie tie-ins and the handsome "bro" character turned out to be a villain... but I can't call it great on its own. Fun in spots, though.
  • The episode concludes where Winter Soldier's action did, but the film's story goes on what feels like weeks or months longer, officially ending with S.H.I.E.L.D. totally dismantled, Nick Fury faking his death to go hunt HYDRA affiliates (which we can now safely assume includes CENTIPEDE), etc. Presumably the rest of Uprising will take place in that period.
  • In the film, part of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s unraveling involves Black Widow dumping the entirety of its secret archives onto the web. Does that mean Coulson's secret is out? (Actually... in the film Captain America has a Level 8 security clearance, meaning he is allowed to know, but only if he asked or someone told him. You'd think if there's one guy Coulson would tell...)
  • Yes, I was disappointed that Arnim Zola didn't pop up, whether to be The Clairvoyant or otherwise, but since we're supposed to believe he's destroyed in the movie it was probably too soon for that. But since he's effectively a digital "ghost," I wouldn't count out seeing him again somewhere.
  • Even if Ward is just "undercover," I bet he still doesn't make it out of the season in one piece.

Next week

Big doings set to go down in Episode 18: Providence. Coulson's team is set to be pursued by Adrian Pasdar as perennial Hulk-nemesis Col. Glenn Talbot (making his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut) and will encounter Nerd God Patton Oswalt as S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Koenig.

Preview images seem to confirm that Raina, Garrett and Ward are mucking around with some of the confiscated tech from throughout the season so I expect Graviton, Blizzard and Deathlok will be reappearing for the big finish.

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