So, Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been gone a month, thanks to the Olympics, and left us on a cliffhanger. Unfortunately, the return was largely what we’ve come to expect from this show: Two steps forward, one and a half back.
Essentially, Coulson decides to hunt down the people who cured his death to help him cure Skye. Along for the ride is Bill Paxton as John Garrett, who is very interested in the “Deathlok Project”, and his sidekick Agent Triplett, who they insist on calling Trip. As you might guess, finding Coulson’s home away from home is a bit more involved than you might first expect.
This episode has two problems: The fact that the cliffhanger is entirely unearned, and the dialogue, which is clunkier than a 1980s Buick. Why this show seems convinced we care about Skye is utterly beyond me, and the fact that a character we don’t care about is on the verge of death doesn’t give the episode any sort of urgency.
And the clunky dialogue is the worst. When it’s not a pile of cliches, it’s being misplayed completely; there’s a scene between Trip and Simmons that comes off like Trip thinks she’s a lesbian, largely thanks to poor word choice. Not even Bill Paxton can save it, although the show does give him a nice scene where he gets Quinn’s tongue.
It wraps up with two interesting moments, at least. The first is that the drug that saved Coulson, and winds up saving Skye, seems to be coming from a Chitauri soldier with tubes plugged in his guts, albeit the show is somewhat vague on that point. The second is that the episode ends with Lorelei, the Enchantress’ sister, seducing some loser and using him to escape Death Valley. So presumably, we’ll be getting Sif for the next episode, and one hopes they make with the Cap in the next few as well; there’s only so much earnest dialogue we can take.
Some more thoughts:
- So, did anybody actually rescue the guy Ward shot? Or did they just leave him to get blown up?
- May beating Quinn like a pinata might be the most satisfying violence in this show’s run so far.
- The show continues to hint at a massive supervillain breakout by packing Quinn off to the Fridge.
- You’d think when one of his own agents goes rogue, steals a jet, and starts chasing after highly classified secrets, Fury might, oh, I don’t know, call him back?
- Bill Paxton, despite elevating the episode, needs a shave. Stubble on that guy doesn’t communicate “rugged badass” so much as “I need a bath.”
Any thoughts? Let us know in the comments.