After another little break, Marvel’s ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ returned to ABC with yet another exciting episode. After Agent Coulson and his crew grew wise to the wheelings and dealings of frequent foe Ian Quinn, who looks to be working for the Clairvoyant, the S.H.I.E.L.D. group targets the ruthless industrialist and his most recent purchase making its way through the Italian countryside via train. But when the team’s mission gets compromised, the agents are dealt a fatal blow.
The first thing that I liked most about this episode was the way it was written. Major props to Lauren LeFranc and Rafe Judkins for playing well with an old reliable. I’m referring to the classic trope of splitting the gang up and following each story even though they’re all happening at the same time. ‘How I Met Your Mother’, ‘The Simpsons’, and a number of other shows have utilized this technique and ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ did it very well. Each layer of the story built on the one before it and the sense of urgency kept on rising to an unexpected and satisfying climax. Of course, I’m not saying what happened at the end of the episode was satisfying, but rather the whole thing kept me interested and anxious.
When it comes to feelings, I think the audience was in pieces by the end of this episode. When Coulson found Skye after her attempt to stop Quinn, the shots and positioning that called back to his own death in ‘The Avengers’ made me die a little inside. Tactics from the Whedon handbook for heartbreak was out in full force this week between that interesting turn of events and the various pairings we saw throughout the episode.
Another cool thing about this episode was the introduction of Deathlok. The leg was super cool and I feel as though the show really upped the ante on their CGI, but I was half hoping that they’d add something else to make him more cybernetic like a weapon or a faceplate. I understand that they’re trying to keep it as based in reality as they can, but I’d like to see the character’s look evolve a little to have more of a comic book aesthetic. Even something as simple as a helmet might remedy this seriously miniscule gripe of mine. Otherwise, I look forward to seeing more of the character on the show.
With all that good stuff, there is one thing that is getting pretty annoying about ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ and it’s not even their fault. The biggest problem with this show is the scheduling. How many more breaks are we going to get this season? I didn’t know that the show was becoming a Marvel comic that ships only once a month. All these hiatuses are getting ridiculous and the network should have planned a little better when they decided to put this show on the schedule. I know that some of the fans watching are used to waiting for weeks to get the next chapter of a Marvel story, but this is getting to be too much. Hopefully, if /when another season comes around, we’ll stick with a weekly schedule.
When it was all said and done, I’d say that this might be one of the best offerings of ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ to date. As I’ve been saying, this show keeps getting better and better. This episode basically took everything that this show has been doing well and rolled it all into one. Comedy, action, suspense, and twists were all on par in this episode. Stan Lee’s appearance, the holo-desk gag, and Coulson’s “prostitutes” were just added bonuses. While I wouldn’t go so far as to call the people who dropped off the bandwagon early on losers, I will highly encourage them to give this show another chance. Now that the pace has been picked up, things are getting so much more exciting. Sure, it stinks that we have to wait until next month to catch a new episode, but at least that gives you guys time to catch up.
‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ starring Brett Dalton, Ming-Na Wen, Iain De Caestecker, Elizabeth Henstridge, Chloe Bennet, and Clark Gregg airs on Tuesdays at 8:00pm on ABC.