This week, on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: When Coulson and his team are attacked by Lorelei—a deadly seductress who escaped from Asgard—Thor’s Lady Sif, her longtime nemesis, steps in to try to save them.
Diego: Now this is something else. Finally some narrative momentum, some nice character moments, and great action. Stupidity aside (sending men in the first strike against Lorelai and Ward falling for that), this show finally showed some spark. Most of it, granted, from the guest star, Lady Sif (who has way too little screentime on the Thor movies). The show finally has balanced its use of references. Of course Lady Sif would ask about Coulson’s death, and I like that Coulson decided to tell him himself. Storytelling 101, of course, but it was handled nicely, I think. As I mentioned before, omitting one very TV-looking effect in Lorelai punching her first thrall, the action scenes were really well done. I bought the Asgardian strength on a TV budget. And of course, May, as good as she is, is no match to Lorelai.
And finally, I liked that Coulson is finally willing to go rogue. The ramp up to that has been slow and not handled very gracefully, but it fits with him. I love Clark Gregg, but honestly, this is the first time this season where I’ve really felt him stretch his acting muscle. This is the Coulson we know, the one who didn’t even care about Stark’s antics.
Matt: Back when the show was announced, before it had aired, this is what I had envisioned. Smaller supporting characters making appearances in the show. This week they pulled it off with Lady Sif! There were many things I liked about this episode, and it seems the show has finally hit its stride. Clark Gregg was excellent this week at the end of the episode as Coulson vowed to uncover secrets with Skye. I quite like the way Sif came in too. It made sense, and actually presented a mystery to be explored outside the TV show. She said she was sent by Odin, which because of the events of Thor: The Dark World, seems odd. I hope that particular thing gets explored later.
The other part that stuck with me was Fury being “off the grid”. Is this just an easy way to make an excuse for Samuel L. Jackson not to appear on the show? Is it a set up to make a guest arc on the show? Or is it a way to subtly tie in Captain America: The Winter Soldier which will be out very soon? It was said too many times by too many different people to just be a “MCU Name Drop”.
Laura: While I really enjoyed this episode, I also found it to be a bit cliche. We all know how much I love Clint Barton, but seriously, the whole Ward-falls-under-the-Asgardian-spell bit is The Avengers all over again, but with a character no one really cares about (Ward). Oh well.
Coulson continues to be a highlight week after week, and the two scenes of this episode were great. Coulson telling Skye they have to get answers no matter what is something the show has been building towards, and a small part of me always suspected that May knew more than she was letting on. This was absolutely the best time to reveal that.
Also, can Sif be on the show always?
Diego: Although I didn’t envision the show the same way as you did, Matt, I agree that this particular episode was a great example of that model. And as you said, Laura, it’s nice to finally get something more about May. The whole Cavalry bit was a bust, and she hasn’t had much to do lately except kick-ass (which is cool, but a one-note trait).
Matt: Diego, it never dawned on me about “Classic Coulson” but you’re right. He’s getting back to normal, he is focusing on something other than his death. Let’s see how he does in the next episode, and in the aftermath of the events of Captain America 2.
Laura I am all for Lady Sif being recurring. I hope she comes back all the time.
Laura: I definitely think the show handled the Coulson-Sif conversation about his death very well. It was obvious that he would tell her not to tell Thor, just because STORYLINES, but at the same time it actually felt like Coulson really would personally prefer to tell him in person. Is it bad that I’m really hoping we’ll get to see that someday, whether it’s on the show or in the movies?
Diego: The Winter Soldier is a few weeks away, and I’m looking forward how they’ll handle the events from that film. I hope there’s a strong finish to the season, or at least an acceptable one. I’ll take what I can.
Matt: Let’s hope they stay this path. I would like to think that the release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier will help them finish strong. The next episode looks like every SHIELD agent we’ve seen is back, so (the inadequate) HQ must be back in some capacity. I think there are 7 episodes left in the next 8 weeks, lets see if they can stay this strong all the way through.
Laura: I’ve heard a number of reports that Captain America: The Winter Soldier will heavily affect Agents of SHIELD the TV show, so I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what exactly that means. Hopefully this last arc of the show will begin the upswing we’ve always hoped for in the show’s quality!