Review: “Girl in the Flower Dress”

This week, on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D: An elusive girl in a flower dress may hold the key to the mystery that brings Coulson and team to Asia to rescue a young man with an unusual and dangerous power; and Skye has a secret that jeopardizes her relationship with the team right when they need her most.

105

The Story/Plot

Diego: Finally, an episode that I like! Despite a few reservations, and the blandness of the plot, this was an enjoyable hour. The plot revolved around Chan Ho Yin, a street performer with pyrokinetic powers. After being kidnapped (by the Centipede people), the team went off to rescue him. I like that the team is working very well now, even if Skye’s transgression slowed them down. And I gotta say, I’m glad we’re out of the “Skye as a Rising Tide mole” part of the show, given that we don’t know more about The Rising Tide than we did 5 episodes ago.

So we had superhero action, a bit of plot movement on the Centipede front, and a case of the week which kept me entertained. My only issue was with some of the god-awful blunt dialog in places: “All right, suit. You asked for it. Gridlock protocol.”, as Miles drove alone in his car. Or Chan’s “S.H.I.E.L.D. wouldn’t let me use it. But thanks to you, the whole world can finally see what I can do. From now on, nobody holds me back.” Blergh.

Finally, where the hell are all of these good-looking hackers in real life?

Matt: This was the first “heavy” episode we’ve had. I liked the plot and the character development, especially with Skye. Of course we all knew that Skye would stick around, as she is the second or third one that is credited. The Mythology really branched out, it was more than just “What happened to Coulson?”. The whole Centipede thing definitely intrigues me, and I think we’ll see the girl in the flower dress again.

Laura: I thought this episode was quite good. I’ll admit the plot was only a tiny bit boring overall, but that’s because all the exciting stuff was the reveal of Skye being a semi-traitor-but-not-totally-and-she-really-wants-to-help. While it was predictable (we all called it), it was done much earlier in the episode and thus we got to see almost everyone’s individual reactions to that sort of betrayal. Ahhh satisfying.

Matt (reply): Diego – I feel that way about the dialogue some times too. That’s how you can tell the everyday stuff isn’t really Whedon.  Laura – Yeah, I felt the same way. It’s like “Chuck” – the show is named after the dude, you knew he wasn’t going to die. Skye is a full blown member of the cast so she’ll at least last until the end of the season. (Although I think much longer.)

Diego (reply): I agree Laura, that having the reveal be early helped the episode. It didn’t drag that long.

105 - 2

The Characters

Diego: Should we care about Fitz/Simmons? Five episodes in and…who are they? This was a big episode for Skye, who again proves to be the MVP. We find out her motivation for spying on SHIELD and joining them was to find out about her parents, which is a standard motivation but a hell of a lot more interesting one than being a mole about an organization we know nothing. I wonder then, if her parents are known to us, or at least to Coulson. There might’ve been another reason for him to recruit Skye.

Matt: Skye……Skye. Man oh man, that girl has some good taste. Victoria’s Secret, Summer Catalog, Page 24. Seriously though, I felt for her at the end, with her trying to find out her history. Her motive came out and I enjoyed it. I hope its laced through the show and it pushes up the plot.

Scorch was cool, but he was a bit of a letdown. Why? Because he could have been Sunfire. Technically he is part of the X-Men, like Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch are. But I think he’s minor enough to be in MCU’s catalog. With that being said, I understand the show is about the agents and that Sunfire might be a distraction to them.

Also, Ming-Na voiced Mulan. How cool is that?

Laura: We learned a lot about Skye’s motivations – who are her parents? My guess is they’ll have to be someone important, whether it’s in the TV-show universe, MCU, or comics universe. Bonus points if they’re somehow working against the SHIELD team (because why not use every cliche in the book while we’re at it?). Meanwhile, I don’t even remember Fitz speaking this week. Did he speak? Huh. May and Coulson had some semi-awkward flirting (at least I found it awkward), Ward appeared to take Skye’s semi-betrayal personally, while Coulson BLEW UP at her, and perfectly so. I like that she didn’t just get off easy, even though Coulson isn’t kicking her off the team.

Matt (reply): Diego, I feel the same way about Fitz Simmons. I said it in an earlier review, their name is even one thing. No one cares. There was one little inkling of Fitz maybe having a thing for Skye (who doesn’t?) but it went away with a blink of an eye. It’s a shame really, I think they could be great. Laura, I do think that her parents will come into play. I have no theory on who they are, but you are definitely right in that they will come into play.

Diego (reply): I’m glad Scorch wasn’t Sunfire, or anyone important, because he turned from an okay guy to an annoying megalomaniac in like 5 minutes. And yeah Laura, totally awkward flirting between Coulson and May in the beginning. I hope that the distrust with Skye continues, and isn’t just dropped.

Laura (reply):  I highly doubt they’ll drop the distrust with Skye right away, otherwise there’s almost no point in revealing her betrayal at all. It would show that the writers have no idea how to write real characters and really do hit a reset button for them after every episode. So hopefully that doesn’t happen. And yes Matt, I was this close to wanting to smack you for the underwear references but you saved yourself because IS MAY SERIOUSLY MULAN because that is the best thing ever.

105 - 3

The Mythology and The Theories

Diego: So, the doctor from the pilot is now dead, and the Centipede people now have a way to give the serum with Extremis to people and have them not explode. No idea what’s happening here, but we’ll know more. What intrigues me is both the guy in the prison, and whoever “The Clairvoyant” is. Any suggestions from the comics, Matt?

I also wonder about how he got his abilities, years ago, in the first place. Right now the Marvel Cinematic Universe is really un-powered, and I hope this is a hint of it being not the case anymore.

Matt:  I like the Centipede mythology, and Extremis is featured much more than I thought it would. I wonder if they knew that before Iron Man 3 or just did it after because they could. The flower dress has to be important. It seems the guy in jail at the end had either hand picked it or requested or something like that. I am intrigued about Skye’s history now too, as mentioned above.

Laura: The Centipede people! So that’s a good sign they plan to have some sort of ongoing plot for the season, even if that feeds individual case of the week plots. The final scene intrigued me, mostly because it was the first time they used that scene for plot and not just for funny laughs (which I like but still). It was definitely significant that he said “I like your dress,” and she said “I knew your would” or something of the sort, right? I mean, the episode is titled after her and her dress and everything, and he specifically says that. Code?

Matt (reply): Diego, I believe her name is Claire Voyant. Joking. I really have no idea. Unless its an alien or one of Thanos’s cronies, but I doubt they would do that. I don’t think its a code for something Laura, but I definitely think it is important, and yeah, I always like the “post-credit” scenes, and this one was the first one I felt meant something.

Laura (reply):  I get the sense that this show is doing the opposite thing that Arrow has been doing on the CW. Where they’re only just now about to introduce a naturally super powered character (the Flash) in early- to mid-season 2, SHIELD seems to have done that much sooner. They definitely implied that he developed the powers because of where he lived, not because they were given to him scientifically. It will be interesting to see how this show approaches it compared to the show that’s already found its feet.

Diego (reply): I like they are carrying the Extremis thread from Iron Man 3, but I feel it suffers the same problems it did in that movie. The powers are undefined, so we don’t know what it actually can or can’t do. And I didn’t notice the dress as much as you did. I took the prisoner’s comment at the end like a flirt, and no more. But you might be right, the focus it had on this episode might mean something else.

Parting Thoughts

Diego: A standard episode, good by SHIELD standards, with some clunky dialog, but enjoyable nevertheless. However, I find  myself with less and less to talk about each week. I wonder, and let me know what you guys think, would you be watching this show if it wasn’t from Marvel?

Matt:  I made it through the first two seasons of Torchwood, I can make it through this. I am still waiting on that one episode to cement itself in history and wow me. Other than that, I have nothing. Oh wait yes I do, watch the STUNNING Captain America: The Winter Soldier trailer!

Laura: I feel the same way Diego, until there’s major improvement across the board, I feel like I have the same things to say about most episodes. I’ll be honest – I probably wouldn’t be watching, because I’m not huge on procedurals. I’ll watch a procedural if there’s something super unique about it, and right now, SHIELD’s unique factor happens to be it’s connection to Marvel. So they really need to make it good and act on that in order to become worthwhile television.

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