After this midseason episode, the numbers indicated that Agents of Shield is getting it’s lowest ratings yet. This is unfortunate, and here’s why: This show is currently, in my opinion, one of the most compelling shows on TV, and I’m not just talking about shows dubbed into the “superhero” genre. Last night’s episode only further proves to solidify my point, as a slow start picked up to an ending that made me wish this was a Netflix original series that I could binge watch while drinking vanilla porters and eating Cheez-Its (note: vanilla porters and Cheez-Its making everything better)…
The episode started off welcoming back our favorite (female) Asgardian, Sif, but it’s very clear at the start that this is not the BA warrior we’ve grown to love (and fear). We find out shortly thereafter that her memory is gone, and while she is aware that she is in fact an Asgardian, she doesn’t know who she is or why she is on Midgard (the Asgardian, and douchey, name for Earth). As much as I like the character of Sif, and the representation brought to life by Jaime Alexander, my first thought upon seeing her in the episode was, “uuugggggghhhhhhhhh, this episode is going to go nowhere because they brought in part of the MCU for a ratings hike.” Well, I was wrong (note: don’t tell my fiancee that I am in fact able to admit this). While her amnesia related arc seemed a bit unnecessary, her presence in this episode only solidifies a rock solid storyline that AoS is currently on track with, one that draws this team closer together, while also keeping it firmly rooted within the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe.
It is revealed, cleverly through footage caught TMZ style, that Sif had engaged in a battle with an unknown man who was just as skilled in battle as she was, and during this battle she was brainwiped to a point. We find out this man happens to be a Kree in disguise. The Kree? You know, that half an alien blue dude that Coulson found in Season 1? The source of the “blueprints” in his mind about a hidden city? The reason he was able to be brought back to life after Loki straight shish kabobbed him in The Avengers? Yeah, those Kree. Long story short, he’s on Earth for the same reason Sif is… to put a stop to anymore terrigenesis taking place, and to eradicate the “abominations” who may have been affected by this, as Vin-Tak (the Kree) put it. From VT, we got a brief history of the Kree race, and the reason the terrigen crystals, and the “diviners”, were on Earth to begin with. He’s essentially here to clean up a mess. In this case, that mess is Skye.
Skye. Hey, do you remember when I told you that Ward was a worthless character in the beginning of season 1, yet had become one of my favorite characters, and in my opinion, the best villain we’ve seen on AoS? Well, Skye is following a similar path (all the way to my heartstrings……too much? whatever.) Skye’s struggle with who she is and what she is becoming (has become) has been her overall arc from the beginning, only picking up steam like a bullet train this season. But while I started off thinking that Skye’s character was completely unnecessary to this show, she is now the foundation on which this show is standing, and I never thought I’d say this, but that is a very good thing.
I feared the “Skye secret”, that she was affected by terrigenesis and is in fact an Inhuman (see: my review from last week, wikipedia, google, or just watch the freaking show!) was going to be something hidden until the end of the season grew closer. Again, I was mistaken (Lauren, please don’t read this review), and her secret came out in brilliant fashion. As Vin-Tak and Sif are discussing terrigenesis, and the elimination of those affected, Skye’s fear, or stress, or anxiety, takes hold of her again and the room begins to quake (oh! I’m clever), shattering the glass behind her. The Kree, and for a moment Sif, view her as the enemy. What I was thrilled to see was that Agents May and Coulson never fear her, and immediately go into protection mode. This is their friend, their partner, their family, and they’re going to see her through this.
Outside of these 2, the only other member of Team Skye seems to be Fitz, which only makes his character more likable. The scene in which he’s getting crap from the rest of the team for not telling them about Skye’s secret was an emotional high point of the episode for me. He doesn’t back down from his opinion, or his reasons for protecting Skye. He knows what it’s like to come back and not be yourself, he knows what it’s like to be lied to, and to feel like you’ve been abandoned, and he was not going to do that to his friend. While most of the team loves her, they are also viewing her as a danger, a threat. Fitz is only viewing her as Skye, his friend. Skye/Daisy (Skaisy? Dye?) unfortunately overhears this converstion, further distancing herself from the group. It seems she’s even afraid of herself and what she’s capable of, as she locks herself into the SHIELD equivalent of a padded room. Luke Mitchell of the Tomorrow People has been cast as an Inhuman who will help Skye understand her terrigenesis and control her new abilities, and I believe we’ll be seeing his introduction very soon.
Now…my biggest question this episode… what the hell are Bobbi and Mack up to!? I touched on this a bit last week, and my intrigue grows with each forthcoming episode. As I suspected, they most likely are not Hydra, since they made sure to let the viewers know this with the phrase, “We aren’t Hydra…” (subtle, I know). But who are they taking orders from if it isn’t Coulson and it isn’t Hydra? Mack told Coulson that he’s not really the “violence type”, yet choked out Hunter at the end of the episode when Hunter came to him with his suspicions (which I was happy about, considering they were making Hunter look like an idiot for not catching on). Is their a side branch of SHIELD we don’t know about? Are they answering to Fury? Maria Hill? Tony Stark himself? Are they a part of another organization such as SWORD? It’s possible, considering SWORD works intergalactic cases, and with the introduction of the Inhumans, as well as the cosmic forces at work in the Thor movies, the first Cap movie and the Avengers, why should we expect this show to stay purely grounded on Earth (c’mon, there was a Kree and an Asgardian in this episode for heaven’s sake). It’s also rumored that Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye may appear before the end of the season. Is he involved as well? (also, in canon, Hawkeye and Mockingbird are an item. Might we see the humble beginnings of that relationship?) It’s going to come out sooner or later, and since Hunter is currently unconscious at the feet of Mack, I’m guessing it’s sooner…and that it’ll be next episode…
As I stated to start this review, it’s a damn shame that people are dropping out just as this show is hitting it’s peak. Within a few years, we’re going to have a two-part Avengers: Infinity War movie, as well as an Inhumans movie. You know who’s already touching on these aspects of the MCU? Agents of Shield. This show is turning into must see television, and if you care about the inner workings of the MCU, it is most definitely MUST SEE. The AoS train is speeding up and hitting a speed it’s never hit before, please don’t get off the train now.
+ Sif calling Coulson, “Son of Coul”. Classic Asgardian humor
– the amnesia storyline. They could’ve had Sif and Vin-Tak on Earth looking for Inhumans without the silly “brainwashed” aspect
+ Bobbi fighting with her trademark sticks. I always get a kick out of it
-Gemma… they’re just making her unlikable at this point
+ Hunter using the gun Coulson used in the Avengers on Loki, only this time on the Kree warrior
– WHERE IS WARD!!!!?????
+ Sif’s smile when Thor’s name is brought up, and May’s explanation for it… Who doesn’t love them some Thor?! (and have you seen his abs? Ab battle between Stephen Amell and Chris Hemsworth must happen at some point…. that’s your REAL Marvel vs. DC)