(SPOILER ALERT: Events from Captain America: The Winter Soldier are discussed)
This week, on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Coulson and his team find themselves without anyone they can trust, only to discover that they are trapped with a traitor in their midst.
Diego: Finally! I can say, unabashedly, that I really liked this episode. Not just because of the (obvious) crossover with Captain America. But because it actually introduced stakes via characters we like (Jemma’s situation at the Hub), held genuine surprises (that happens with Hydra slowly infiltrates you over 70 years), and had a fair bit of action. I gotta say, for the first time in forever, I felt invested in what the team was doing, and wanted them to succeed — without knowing exactly who to trust for that to happen. As I said in my last review, I’m happy it happened, although it’s a shame that it had to do so on the back of a movie and not by itself. Which, after all, we were told was the point over and over again.
No matter. It was a solid episode, the first that’s truly a “gamechanger”, and I can’t wait to see what happens next. Okay, I went general, feel free to go specific, guys. What did you think?
Matt:This was the first episode that I had the same emotions and feelings run through me that I have when watch Arrow, which is a huge compliment to the show. The reveal of who the Clairvoyant was suited me (although I was disappointed that it wasn’t actually someone named Claire Voyant), but at the same time made me laugh because of this:
— House Dreyesbo (@Dreyesbo) April 4, 2014
@Dreyesbo He always seemed like it. Good to hear. I hope he recurs often in s2.
— Matt V (@Iceman525) April 4, 2014
So, I was somewhat fooled. The thing of course, that didn’t fool me is when Agent Hand said that Coulson was HYDRA. That was laughable. Although I do have to HAND it to her, I was convinced she was bad.
I’m not taking the Ward thing at face value…yet. I am still open to the fact that he could be brainwashed or something like that. Not that I wouldn’t mind if he was bad, because I think Agent Triplett would fill the role much better, but I can kind of see the way the show thinks, if that makes sense, and I wouldn’t count Ward out yet.
Everyone else was top notch too, I just hope they can keep the momentum going the rest of the season.
Laura: This was the first episode that really worked on every level. We got separate character arcs and emotions, some of which played out over the entire episode, some of which have involved the entire season! We got all the twists and turns and betrayals they were promising! Even if, in the end, you could kinda guess the two main betrayals. The second the shows writers and actors started saying “one of the team will betray them,” I have to be honest, it was pretty obvious it would be Ward. Why? Skye is the newbie in all this, she’s similar to the companion role on Doctor Who – fills the role of the outsider so the viewers at home can understand easily enough. Fitz and Simmons are too sweet to really pull that off and too connected to each other for one to be a traitor and not the other. Obviously you can’t make Coulson HYDRA, or the entire viewing audience will just revolt in the same way it did when Coulson died (and look where that got us). May would have been an easy suspect, but the show is trying not to be obvious, which means if they flash a bunch of signals at one person, it’s likely not them. The last episode clearly put May and Hand at the top of the HYDRA suspects list, which almost guaranteed that it wouldn’t be them. That being said, I love how this episode handled the reveal that Hand wasn’t HYDRA. The longer they kept making it look like she was, the more I actually started to believe it. I was just as confused as Simmons when Hand didn’t kill her or Agent Triplett – who I liked way more than Ward anyway, so can we keep him instead?
When Agent Hand says “we might be the only two high ranking officers left in SHIELD,” I know they think Fury’s dead, but seriously, are you forgetting about Maria Hill too? Yes, don’t trust anyone, but from what I know of Hill, she’d be just as pissed off as Fury about all of this.
Diego: Way to expose me here, Matt 😛 I have to disagree with you on Ward, though. I hope he’s just bad and that’s it. A triple agent thing would be one twist too many. I’m not saying I want him off the show, but…okay, maybe I’m saying that. While the producers said Ward did specifically some stuff to get chummy with the team, I can’t think they’re retroactively retooling some stuff. Sure, being Skye’s SO made them closer. Those scenes also had wooden dialogue and zero entertainment. So there’s no excuse in “we had a plan all along”, if the plan was executed badly and boringly. Ward being a bad guy is more interesting than him turning back into the light because he had a change of heart.
And Laura, you got this way faster than I did, because I didn’t see the twist coming, haha. I do agree that Hand not being Hydra was a very nice twist, and they miled it. Having her recognize the threat, and saving lower level agents by “arresting them” was smart. I just like that there’s still hope, on the whole SHIELD structure, for smart agents to survive and resist Hydra, just like they did on The Winter Soldier. And concerning Maria Hill, at least we now know she’s coming back.
Matt: Diego: I sort of agree, while I’m glad they are showing cohesion between the movie section of the MCU and the TV section of the MCU, it should be more of a partnership than a crutch. However, with that being said, I’m glad it happened, let’s just hope they can keep the momentum.
Laura: I also enjoy Agent Triplett more, however if he sticks around I think we’re going to get something I despise: A love triangle. We have to take the good with the bad I guess, but as I said to you on Twitter, and mentioned above, I don’t think we can take Ward’s action at face value…yet.
Oh yeah, and I forgot about Maria Hill. Whats her clearance level in the MCU? In the comics shes pretty high, and even runs SHIELD at one point when Fury refuses to do some things. But Captain America and Black Widow are much lower levels than I thought they would be so I wouldn’t be surprised if Hill is too, although she seems like Fury’s “right hand man”.
Laura: I love that they announced Maria Hill guest starring right after writing my initial thoughts.
I’m split on how I want them to handle Ward. I do agree that it’s probably not that straightforward, but at the same time, it’d definitely be more interesting if they did just play him straight bad. Unfortunately, my guess is that the plan is to reveal that Garrett recruited him to Hydra years ago, but his interest in Skye and her passions and beliefs are giving Ward doubts, leading him to (at the end of the season) side with the good guys again. Yawn. But one can hope they don’t pick the obvious path.
Diego: Really, a series best. Great action, special effects, an actual character stakes. They can’t have this every week, but at least it changed the show enough to make future conflicts more interesting.
Matt: SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!!! Samuel L. Jackson has confirmed he’ll show up in the finale. I hope its a better/longer scene than he had in episode 2. I’m also hoping he plucks Coulson away to be in Avengers 2 so we can have an awesome Joss Whedon scene where Coulson reveals himself to Thor et al.
For the first time in a long time I’m excited for the path we are on, and can’t wait for next weeks episode!
Laura: I very much agree that it’s a bit frustrating that it took a huge twist in the movies to really kick this show into gear, but at the same time, at least SOMETHING finally did it. This is really the first time the urgency of the show is valid and significant, and that makes me very excited for these last 5 episodes.
And yes, please, Coulson in Avengers sounds good to me too. 😉