Written by: Rafe Judkins & Lauren LeFranc
Directed by: Bobby Roth
Plot: Dangerous secrets are being kept from Coulson’s team and he works the system to save Ward and Fitz when they are sent on a Level 8 classified mission that may end in tragedy.
Review: Ok….now…..I’m not going to do this all the time…in fact, I want to say that this will be the ONLY time I will do this.
What will I be doing?
Doing something that is entirely unfair to this show…..compare it to Firefly.
See while watching the show tonight I realized that the plot to this episode sorta reminded me of the Firefly episode War Stories. In that episode, two of our lead characters who normally don’t share a storyline together are forced to team up. The main fun of doing this allows us to see how these two characters react to this awkward situation, adapt and eventually learn to not only get along, but also become closer in the end.
This is a troupe, but it’s a good one. It allows characterization to be explored in fun ways, and allow us to get closer to them as they learn to be closer to each other.
The thing that makes it unfair to compare this to Firefly is that the characters in Firefly were so perfectly established in the FIRST EPISODE. You knew their personalities, and how their distinctive personalities can be an odd mix when the wrong pairing came be put together.
Seven episodes in, the characters of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. are still being shaped. While it’s been getting better with each episode, there no denying the fact that these group of characters isn’t as defined as the characters from Firefly.
When Wash forces himself to be Mal’s partner in War Stories, we already knew that Wash is not only the funny one in the group, but also a guy trying to keep his marriage together. Mal and Zoe are close, but in a moment of jealousy and anger, Wash pushes himself to get in Zoe’s way and volunteer to help Mal on the next misson, JUST so that he doesn’t have to keep worrying about her and Mal. Here we see Mal out of his element because he knows that Zoe can handle herself in these though missions, so he doesn’t have to worry about her. Now that Wash is here, he has to now include watching him and making sure he doesn’t get them killed by doing something that Zoe wouldn’t do.It was a great dynamic with these two, and when they get captured, you see how Mal is doing some unconventional ways of helping Wash survive the torture.
It was a great episode of Firefly, and one that helped further the characterization of Mal, Wash and Zoe.
In tonight’s episode of S.H.I.E.L.D. we see Ward and Fitz put in a much similar situation (even down to getting captured) but it isn’t as effective.Their chemistry isn’t really that strong and their situation just didn’t feel that dour (even with the big reveal that S.H.I.E.L.D. wasn’t planning on extracting the team.)
The big problem with this, is that Brett Dalton isn’t that charismatic as Grant Ward. He’s been giving a decent performance in the show, but it’s pretty clear that he doesn’t have the inner charisma to make Ward feel more then one Dimensional. I know it would help that the writing for Ward could be better, but if Brett was just a bit more interesting he would be able to help keep Ward fun to watch at least.
There was some nice moments between the two (especially near the third act) but even till this episode, I’m just not as invested with Ward and Fitz then I was with Mal and Wash.
Thanks to last weeks episode, Fitz/Simmons have really started to grow on me, and strangely, while the Ward and Fitz team up was ok, surprisingly the Simmons and Skye team up pretty much worked on me.
Maybe it was the fact that they way they played the Skye and Simmons team up was more like the bad school girl influencing the goody two shoes classmate, and the goody two shoes enjoying the fun of being “bad”.
Seeing Simmons totally crashing and burning on a plan was both incredibly funny and kinda adorable.
This week’s episode also introduces a S.H.I.E.L.D. character that’s ACTUALLY from the comics, Agent Victoria Hand.
Victoria Hand was created by Brian Michael Bendis and Mike Deodato. In last night’s episode she was played by Saffron Burrows , doing a pretty solid job with the part. Even though Agent Hand doesn’t have the personality of her comic version quite yet, it was still nice to see another Agent from the comics pop up in this series.
This episode also lays down the ground work for Agent Coulson to start questioning both his death AND his trust for S.H.I.E.L.D. itself.
Where IS the Tahiti they keep referring too? Is actual magic involved? This week they just confirmed the rumors that Elizabeth Olsen will be playing Scarlet Witch, is it possible for her to show up at the end of the season and be a part of the reason on how Coulson came back?
This weeks episode was light and entertaining enough, but next weeks episode is going to be a big one for the show. It’s the first time since the pilot that the episode will be directly dealing with the ramifications of one of the movies, and this time out, our team will be dealing some of the events that happened in Thor: The Dark World. Since Thor did so well at the box office, I’m wondering if the people who stopped watching the show will come back to check out this episode to see how they tie into the movie. If they do, maybe we’ll be lucky and that will be the episode that will turn the whole series around and truly be something special.