Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. had been improving, over the last few episodes. Unfortunately, this is not one of those episodes: Clumsy and awkward, it demonstrates this show’s got a long way to go.
The frustrating part is that there’s some plot elements we really needed to see much earlier on. The evil organization from the pilot is back, and is officially called Centipede. Raina, a Centipede agent, approaches a street magician who turns out to have nuisance-grade pyrokinesis and tells him she’s going to make him a hero. Needless to say, she’s got an ulterior motive.
Then we spend half the episode talking about Skye’s feelings. Along the way, we discover that the Rising Tide is basically just 4Chan, and that Skye is an industrial-grade doofus with a meat-headed boyfriend who’s betrayal is as inevitable as it is obvious. This somehow entranced the writing staff.
Most of this episode is, bafflingly, dedicated to Skye and how the team feels really bad about how she betrayed them. It hurts the episode in a myriad of ways, the most basic being that Scorch, our villain for the episode, goes from street magician who wants to be a star to megalomaniacal supervillain in, oh, five minutes. The basic arc is there, but it’s not given nearly enough time to make any sense and the actors, particularly Louis Ozawa Changchien as Scorch, don’t get enough direction.
It does end in a pretty good extended action sequence with Coulson and May handing out some beatdowns and two surprisingly messy fatalities for broadcast television. But, overall, this episode is a misstep, especially since it really needed to be the second episode. At least we’ve finally established who the season-long antagonist is, and that Skye has more of a motivation than just being annoyingly yet vaguely political, so there is progress, at least.
Some more thoughts:
- Of course Fitz has a crush on Boobs McComputerstuff. Of course.
- May and Coulson flirting is a lot more fun than Brick Hardmeat and Skye flirting, and they don’t even have props.
- Raina actually seems to be a fun antagonist, and the show seems to be hinting she has powers.
- Skye’s parents being missing may be a cliche, but it’s way better than her being a fangirl/troll.
- The trailer for the new episode in two weeks seems to be hinting that somebody is going to die of space flu, or at least come close.
- And that final scene was annoyingly vague. Come on, guys, it’s not interesting if we have no idea who the hell she’s talking to or what the hell they’re talking about.
What’d you think? Let us know in the comments.