Agents of SHIELD somehow did a whole lot while barely doing anything at all this week. There were some fun scenes but this one just never hooked me like they usually do. Let’s look at the few highlights first though.
Two scenes in particular were my favorites, both coincidentally featuring Robbie Reyes. First, that car chase. Coulson and Mack chasing Robbie was such a cool old school muscle car race. Coulson seemed like he was in heaven racing through the streets and eventually ending up in what appears to be the same part of the LA river Grease used. The only classic car race moment they missed was crashing through a fruit cart. Plus having Coulson win by chasing Robbie into the cloaked SHIELD ship was a nice touch.
The second scene that stood out was that awesome, but brief, fight between Robbie and James. Last season I made a few comparisons of James compared to other Marvel characters. Mostly calling him a Kirkland version of better characters. Funny enough one of those comparisons was to Ghost Rider. His use of a flaming chain really struck me as an homage to the skulled spirit of vengeance. It seems that Agents of SHIELD’s producers made the same connection and made good use of it.
As soon as James started swinging that chain around again you just knew Robbie was going to school him in proper flaming chain usage. My biggest complaint though was how brief their fight was. The couple of moments they had together were just awesome. Then when they fell in the fireworks store? Mack and Coulson perfectly reacted with the whole “you had to see that one coming.” As far as on the nose fight locations go, this one was pretty laughable, but it worked.
Other things happened to seed plots for the future but aside from Robbie and Daisy getting with the team, the rest felt unimportant. This ongoing drama with Aida for example. I get the appeal of testing her with May but are we supposed to believe May really didn’t realize something was going on? This felt totally out of character for May and Aida isn’t that convincing as a human. I did find it funny how her diagnostic checks have such a similarity to Westworld’s, just one of those funny coincidences I suppose.
Having Simmons be the one to spot Aida immediately made sense so I was okay with that. Her lie detector tests are going to be an issue with all the secrets she learned this week. If they are setting this up to have actual ramifications, then great! I’m all for it. But if we see her next week use some piece of tech or just “be that good” to beat a lie detector then this will be a completely worthless plot point.
The supernatural stuff got played up more this week too. Coulson and Mack tried to wrap their heads around the idea of a deal with the Devil and Coulson brought up that all the gods he’s met have turned out to be aliens. This is a big question for the MCU. With all these magical elements being introduced, do they still explain them away with science? Or do they acknowledge the magical and spiritual as being real? It seems like we are getting closer and closer to the answer.
Introducing a new McGuffin called the Darkhold, a book of ancient evil power, seems to be setting up both an answer to the magic question as well as setting up a clear link to Doctor Strange. It’s been a long standing complaint from fans that Marvel’s television shows and movies have only the smallest of direct connections or effect on one another. With an already confirmed Doctor Strange link in the works this could be the big chance to finally give a solid link between the two worlds. Plus Benedict Cumberbatch still does television, albeit infrequently. Why can’t we have a Marvel lead actor guest star on Agents instead of the B-listers we’ve been stuck with in the past? [Editor’s note: Except for Sam Jackson, of course.]
One part of this week’s episode I found laughably bad was the ghost effect. When the ghost reached her hand into the coma patient’s head the special effect was just terrible. Like something out of the nineties! I can’t believe they let it make air.
Another okay episode but I’m still waiting for the series to kick things back into full gear. I assume they’re holding off and saving up for November sweeps to turn things up to eleven. A shame they can’t keep the pace up till then.
What did you think of this episode? Tell us in the comments section below!