This Week On 'Agents of SHIELD,' The Writers Giveth, and The Writers Cruelly Taketh Away
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This Week On 'Agents of SHIELD,' The Writers Giveth, and The Writers Cruelly Taketh Away

By Dustin Rowles | TV Reviews | April 23, 2014 | Comments ()


It’s hard to complain about last night’s Agents of SHIELD because though it wasn’t nearly as good as the game-changing episode a couple of weeks back, it was certainly better than episodes prior to it. With the prisoners having escaped The Fridge, the series might actually have a decent framework for a few monster-of-the-week episodes, if only it weren’t so close to the end of the season (there are now three episodes remaining) and if only they’d create better monsters.

Because as episode villains go, Marcus Daniels (a.k.a. Blackout) was not a particularly compelling one. He could absorb energy, which made him capable of sucking the life out of people, or simply turning out the lights on a city block. There could’ve been some decent possibilities with that character, but unfortunately, Blackout was mostly a wasted vehicle to highlight Agent Coulson’s past relationship with Audrey (Amy Acker), which admittedly was a more successful storyline because it gave us a glimpse into Coulson’s past and suggested that, at one point, there was more to his life than being an agent. It also meant lots of soft Coulson eyes.

Acker (a Whedon regular) was a nice piece of casting, as the subject of Blackout’s stalking, though the backstory there certainly could’ve been more interesting than, “Hey! This guy really liked the way I played cello, and said that I was his ‘light.’” And there might have also been more interesting ways to extinguish Blackout other than basically pointing stage lights in his face until he exploded. Maybe their saving their budget for a proper finale.

Still, Blackout was really mostly a side diversion to the Agents of Shield’s main storyline, which moved its focus this week to the series’ weakest characters, Cardboardonium and Evil Ward, whose budding romance was derailed when Skye found out that Ward was HYDRA. The means with which she found out, unfortunately, entailed the death of Agent Koenig, which was just a cruel trick on viewers. I mean, of those three — Skye, Ward, and Koenig — the latter is the last corpse you want to find in the ceiling dripping blood. He was the best part of these last two episodes, and if anything, Skye should’ve been killed and Koenig should’ve taken her place both on the team and as Ward’s love interest because at least there might have been some chemistry.

That said, Skye was not terrible terrible in last night’s episode, only terrible, and her ability to shine it on after she found out that Ward was HYDRA provided the glimmer of Linda Cardellini-ness that probably got her hired in the first place. Unfortunately, instead of finding something with which to attack Ward with, she ended up going on a plane ride with him to Peru to decrypt a hard drive in order to get HYDRA access to a plasma ray. Ultimately, the tension the episode had successfully created after Skye discovered that Ward had killed Koenig fizzled out, as we head into next week’s episode, which will likely involve a mission that won’t bear any interesting fruit until the final seconds.

Speaking of the final seconds, however, the tag on Agents of SHIELD did introduce an exciting possibility, as May ditched the team because Coulson didn’t trust her, only to end up hitching a ride with her mother to meet … Agent Maria Hill, who we haven’t seen on the series since the pilot. Welcome back Cobie Smulders. Stay awhile (or forever. Please?)

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Jim

    Oh my freaking, leaping Dinah with a Lawnmower - I can't believe it. Hydra Ward is even more wooden, boring and annoying that goodie-goodie Ward.

    Does the actor whose name isn't worth my time IMBDing just have a natural talent or did he study at the Pinocchio School of the Dramatic Arts?

  • Shockingly, he was at Yale Drama at the same time as Lupita Nyong'o.

  • Jim

    She was the only one of the two who did her homework, apparently.

  • Ozioma


    I thought Maria Hill was job-hunting at Stark Industries? I'm a bit sad that she's apparently NOT the veep of the company and Pepper's drinking buddy.

  • It's probably a cover. Tony knows who she is. They talked on the bridge of helicarrier.

  • Sean

    So Triplett is Gabriel Jones grandson? Kinda cool.
    I sort of hope if there is a next season, that Ward and Skye are both dead. They are very dull, but very attractive dull characters played by very dull attractive people. Perhaps they can go off and make dull attractive babies to fill the CW's 2035 pilots.

  • It was hard to forgive the while lie detector sequence. While it was a great platform for Oswalt, it defused the tension that had been building about whose side everybody was really on, especially May, Simmons and Triplett.

  • _Alexander_

    I am so happy that Korening got killed. He was immensely annoying to me and thanks to his incompetence he ended up getting killed and putting the entire mission in jeopardy. Seriously he goes oh ok he is in love with the girl. Let's forget the whole Hydra stuff and clear him?

    Anyway this aside I love Amy Acker so much. I love how she can shift between the nice girl you want to fall in love with like in this episode and the derange lovable socipath from Person of Interest

  • lowercase_ryan

    I thought it was particularly shitty directing when they made us think Skye had come up with a plan and then, nope, she just gets on a plane with the bad guy. A plane she can't fly.

  • Batesian

    She's alone with a dude who's almost as good as Black Widow. My read was that her plan is to play along with Ward until she figures out what his agenda is.

  • unpious

    The way they focused the camera on the changing-window thingy makes me pretty sure she used it to leave a "Ward is Hydra, guys come help I'm totally screwed" message.

  • Jericho Smith

    She just needs to push the Otto pilot button. After the first couple of episodes, no one was flying the plane during any of the in-flight briefings anyway. I doubt the bus even needs a pilot for point-to-point trips. If worse comes to worse, she can always take the flying car, Lola.

  • Green Lantern

    FWIW, I thought Skye's scene reacting to Koening's death was pretty good.

    And yes, Kyle Conrad, getting a link to the Howling Commandoes WAS pretty awesome. As were the name drops to Black Widow and Captain America.

  • damnitjanet

    Twitter was alive with "cross the streams" posts, along with fangirl, and fanboy, glee at Simmons' answer as to what was in "the box."

  • Bert_McGurt

    Actually, I don't think they're going to Peru. Ward's excuse was that they needed to get the specs on the weapon they FOUND in Peru. We don't yet know the location which the encryption is tied to, which is why Ward asked Skye where they were headed.

    My other question is - does the Portland Philharmonic typically have solo rehearsals for each performer? If not, shouldn't that have been a pretty big red flag for Blackout?

  • luthien26

    My husband got a kick out of the mini "Joy Luck Club" reunion in the tag. :) I loved that May is actually in the "family business" and that her mom gave her crap about not saying thanks after having her drive 500 miles to pick her up.

    New spin-off series: "How I Met My Mother... to Track Down Agent Maria Hill."

  • Chad

    What was the name that Agent Koenig kept asking if the agents knew when he was administering the lie detector test?

  • luthien26


    It was Alexander Pierce, the character played by Robert Redford in the movie.

  • Green Lantern

    THANK YOU. That was driving me nuts.

  • Chad

    Ah, OK. I haven't seen it yet, but I assumed the name was important.

  • A) Finding out Triplett was the grandson of a Howling Commando was pretty awesome.

    B) When Skye said her name was (or is? or could be?) "Mary Sue," I thought it was a very clever jab at the fanboys and critics.

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