Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been enjoying the boot in the ass it got from having its world upended. But it’s fairly clear that it’s a last minute twist the writing staff is still scrambling to adjust to, as this episode shows.
Yes, once again, the budget has run out on a TV series tied to one of Disney’s most profitable properties, so you know what that means: It’s time to split up the team so one side can get the effects budget and the other side can kill some airtime! In this case, Trip, Fitz, Simmons, and Coulson go to hunt down Blackout, while Ward, Skye, May and Koenig stay behind to hold down the fort.
Honestly, the split focus does the plot no favors: Blackout isn’t a compelling villain and evil Ward is way more interesting. Coulson saying good-bye to the last piece of his personal life is contrasted with Fitz basically being told to either tell Simmons how he feels or not, but stop being an ass to Trip. It’s essentially a villain of the week episode, though, and it just doesn’t have the space it may once have had in the script to get the full impact.
Meanwhile, in the more interesting plotline, Ward tries to get into Skye’s pants to get her to come across with the MacGuffin-decoding. He’s helped substantially by May bailing out; Coulson doesn’t trust her, so why stick around? Sadly, Koenig doesn’t have the same tough emotional history, and he gets murdered.
The episode ends with Skye on the Bus with Ward as Coulson and his team are being advanced on by the Army. May, meanwhile, meets her mom on the road, who has some information about a certain Maria Hill…
In all, it’s a solid episode but it feels like the show should have worked out these budgetary kinks. That it doesn’t burn through the momentum it’s collected over the last two episodes is a minor miracle. Either way, though, the show is now consistently good, and we’ll take it.
Some more thoughts:
- Melinda May’s mom is apparently a former intelligence operative. In Canada. Hmmmm, is Department H on the way?
- I’m really glad the whole “Fitz sulking over Trip” plotline got resolved in this episode. Fitz is not improved by making him pout over being friendzoned.
- Apparently Triplett’s grandpa was a Howling Commando, which means Gabe Jones had a daughter.
- Well, Ward being a triple agent is effectively off the table this episode. Hopefully they’re not setting him up to have a change of heart and an “I sowwy” moment with Skye at the end of the season. Keep Ward a douche! We like him that way!
Any thoughts? Let us know in the comments!