Well things seem to be really moving forward at a pretty good speed now on SHIELD. This week’s “Fun and Games” wasted no time in getting Fitz and the gang moving toward their goals and wrapping up several loose ends.
We started off focusing on a kid wheeling and dealing through the halls of the space station, so when later we are told there is a harvest of children to see who will turn Inhuman it comes as no surprise that he seems to be the sole success from this culling. This convenience, along with two more later, are my biggest and almost only complaints this week.
The storyline follows this kid being pulled away by Yoyo as our thread for most of the team, while the other half of the episode focused on Fitz, Gemma and Daisy’s predicament. The latter being by far the more interesting but they both still served their purposes.
First for the kid’s storyline, we got the best banter from this side of things. Mack, Coulson, and Yoyo handle the cute quippy stuff, a line about Mack being so cool, a funny aside about the future’s lack of tacos, not the normal level of sassiness but enough beats here and there to keep things light.
Two very large events come out of this story though. For one thing, Tess gets killed as a message to whoever is hiding the kid. Personally I never really connected to her character much so the visual of her hanging is striking for the pure cold act it is but I don’t miss her character all that much. The second, and this one I did sorta care about, is Grill. Grill was set up as sort of a mini boss. He has the bracelets on everyone, controls trade, seems like a guy who always has a plan.
Upon accidentally hearing Yoyo basically monologue their entire plan in a fashion usually reserved for super villains, Grill locks the team down and plans to sell them out, literally. So we finally find out this new Inhuman kid has some kind of telekinesis throwing rocks with his mind. Here is where my next biggest gripe was. Grill pulls a gun point blank on the kid and tells him if he tries anything he will kill him.
So in that moment, as brief as it was, I thought, “Oh the kid is going to do something ingenious and sneak attack this guy saving the day.” What actually happens is he lifts a big ass pile of rubble, which hangs there in the air for several seconds as Grill stares dumbfounded and is then smashed by them. He doesn’t fire his gun, the kid doesn’t dodge or block the gun, he stares at a rock over his head and then gets squashed like a bug. Something just felt very false about the whole thing.
The Fitz side of things was where the real good stuff was though. I loved watching Fitz use some of his darker side, a holdover from his framework days I imagine, to get closer to Kasius and his bidders. Having that odd alien who started this whole thing be awake through all the years gave a perfect reason for Fitz to have an alias setup and established already. I loved that he was set up as a marauder. Thought to be a tough heartless monster with money to burn gave Fitz an interesting angle to play with. And that scene with Gemma? Where he’s pouring his heart out and even proposing all while she can’t hear him, perfectly played. Even a cute little callback to it at the end, very good writing throughout this section. Patrick Fabian, of Better Call Saul among other projects, has a deliciously dickish turn as one of the bidders for Quake. I’ve enjoyed Mr. Fabian since his days way back on Saved by the Bell: The College Years. Always am interesting performance from him.
It was also fun seeing Fitz mess with both Fabian’s character as well as Kasius, playing with their heads. The irony of him playing mind games during the fight with May and the psychic Inhuman was also a nice touch. He manages to manipulate her fight so May gets sent to Earth’s surface. I hope Fitz has more to that plan otherwise May is kind of screwed with the roaches. My guess is she’ll hook up with whoever’s voice we heard on that broadcast before.
In yet another death this week, the telepath got knocked off for helping Daisy and then during Daisy’s fight with the Kree warrior woman they pull off a pretty awesome attack with Gemma and Fitz helping. Managing to kill Kasius, his warrior, and several others in attendance. It looks like Kasius’ newly arrived brother will be taking over role of big bad going forward which I’m fine with seeing as he’s played by Samuel Roukin of AMC’s Turn: Washington’s Spies. A series which ended recently and I enjoyed his villainy quite a bit.
Now I didn’t like this week’s outing quite as much as the previous episode but it was still back to form for SHIELD. We got so much forward momentum and, wow, were there a lot of deaths in this one! Almost too much crammed in for one episode. It feels like we are ramping up to an end to this arc, and if they follow last season’s pattern then we have about 2-4 more before the next shift. Everything’s working so let’s hope they just stay on track.
Agents of SHIELD airs Friday at 9:00 PM on ABC.
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