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You Wouldn't Like Them When They're Angry: What We Learned From Last Night's Thor-ish 'Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.'

By Joanna Robinson | TV Reviews | November 20, 2013 | Comments ()


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Bumping Fitz Up The Death Watch List: He’s got an endearing thing for monkeys and a certain kind of sandwich. That puts him in enough danger as it is.
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But then there’s this. Whedon won’t allow this sort of adorable nonsense to continue.
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He Is…The Least Interesting Man In The World: So we got a Simmons-centric episode two weeks ago and it was great. But this Grant episode falls flat. Why? Because he’s extremely shapely cardboard that’s why.
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Not even a haunting backstory can animate him.
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Putting The Ass In Asgard: The episode did feature the amazing Peter MacNicol as a stealth Asgardian. You know I could listen to MacNicol talk about gods all day.
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The Most Compelling Thing Grant Has Done: He may be shapely cardboard, but at least he’s shapely cardboard with good taste.
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If this is how they fight, imagine how they do other things.
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COULSON IS A DOLL?!: A friend of mine called this a few weeks ago. I don’t think it’s actually the case but the Whedons couldn’t help themselves and slipped in this sly Dollhouse reference.
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All in all a fairly disappointing episode, especially with the hyped and alleged connection to Thor: The Dark World. They couldn’t even muster Samuel L. Jackson? A trashed University of Greenwich was the best we could do. Badly done, show. Very badly done.



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Comments Are Welcome, Jerks Will Be Banned


  • Cas Bloom

    Can I just mention that yesterday was Ming Na's 50th birthday?

  • dr_zayaz

    OK SPOILER...sort of. But how could it have not been about the "loose end" thingy running around at the very, very end of THOR TDW? I thought it was obvious. Effects budget? Instead a staff placed thousands of years ago that has nothing to do with the movie?

  • SamuraiShampoo

    Agent ward needs to either get killed off, or turned into an actual robot.

  • Ben

    Ward might not be the most charismatic actor of the bunch, but as a character that is basically 'the musscle' the mother fucker can bring it for the fight scenes. I really appreciate that. The fight scenes with him are really pretty fucking great and have a kind of intensity that the ones with May just lack.

  • Haystacks

    Coulson is obviously a clone. Nothing else makes sense.

  • foolsage

    My money is still on cyborg. He's a robot with a flesh-suit over the top, so he looks human.

    Hopefully we'll know the answers soon; the season's winding down.

  • Miss Jane

    I think that he's completely human but has a either a mechanical heart (like some version of Tony Stark's mechanism) or an alien one using asgardian or chitauri tech.

  • foolsage

    That's certainly possible, as well.

  • Ben

    COUNTERPOINT!
    If he was a clone, then x-ray eye chick wouldn't have been able to notice anything wrong with him with her magic x-ray eye.

  • Sirilicious

    "You Wouldn't Like Them When They're Angry: What We Learned From Last Night's borish 'Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.'"

    There, i fixed it for you.

  • Dutch

    I'm a total apologist for the show and even I admit this episode was pretty weak sauce. When you take the last three episodes as a whole picture, it's pretty clear that Grant and Skye are the two weak links in the show. The writers keep making me try to like those two, but it just not working.

    The biggest issue with the episode is they they did it better already with the one-shot "Item 47."

  • Stu Rat

    Actually, in show context, Ward seems to be the best candidate for Whedon-death. He's hooking up with May, Skye's training officer (does she have a thing for him?), had a bonding mission with Fitz, saved Simmons life (she's been awkward around him a couple times-so another crush?) and perhaps Coulsen sees him as a protègè?

    Of course Whedon-death usually goes for the greatest amount of fan-grief (I'm sure the Germans have a word for it). That would put Coulsen in the crosshairs.

    Again.

  • Mz Black Widow

    if Whedon went for "the greatest amount of fan grief" - Spike, Willow, Angel, Mal, Kaylee .. to mention some of the most obvious .. would never have survived their shows. * Spike dying in the last episode does not count because he got better :)

  • Ben

    To be fair, we didn't even get a full season of firefly. Kaylee very well could have been up for the killing.

  • cruzzercruz

    According to Whedon, Inara was supposed to die in a future season. The vile she unveiled in one of the episodes was going to be a poison that would kill her attacker if she were raped. The Reavers would've captured her, and when Mal found her, they would've all been dead.

    That, truly, would've been the darkest timeline.

  • Agreed. Whedonverse fan favorites are meant to suffer, not die - that's why THEIR favorites get killed off: Wesley and Fred, Giles and Jenny, Anya and Joyce (well, everyone and Joyce, but Anya's where I lose it), Zoe and Wash, etc. "Never go for the kill when you can go for the pain."

  • Stu Rat

    Well, MY favorites always die.

    So...everyone on S.H.I.E.L.D. is safe.

  • Dutch

    I will gladly fake nerd rage if Ward (and Skye for that matter) meet untimely ends.

  • Green Lantern

    Disagreed. I think the last three episodes (including this one) have been rather excellent. Oh not that there's not room for improvement still, but now that the show has been established, the characters are getting molded. These are all excellent things.

  • Mz Black Widow

    I agree that it has improved greatly. In my opinion, Ward must go (replaced by Enver Gjokaj in a perfect world) and Skye - perhaps she is salvagable if they make her much much less like a Dushku clone. The nerd twins are growing on me and Coulsen and May have been wonderful from the get go. I still have hope,

  • Green Lantern

    Enver Gjokaj is a good choice, Mz. Widow. Nice call!

    But no...we won't be getting him for SHIELD. And we're probably stuck with whatsherface as Skye as well.

  • dammitdamian

    I hope Pajiba covers Almost Human. After two episodes of A.H., I'm way more excited about it than any further episodes of Shield.

  • jettcity

    Thank you! I thought I would have another peek at AoS last night to see if there had been any improvement...it's only getting worse. Ward's cringe-worthy, Howard Dean scream will likely mark the beginning of the end. Then I watched the first two episodes of Almost Human. Wow...AoS showrunners should be looking at this show to see how it's done. Almost Human is creating an interesting world, the writing ranges from witty to thoughtful and moving, the actors actually have some charisma, and the action and effects are done well.

  • BAM

    Is it just me or were Grant's nipples really huge?

  • Three_nineteen

    Coulson can't be a Doll. Dolls are human bodies with different minds/personalities downloaded into them. If Coulson's body died and his mind was downloaded into another body, he would look different. Also, he would have the same personality, not be acting different like everyone says he is. I think it was just a shoutout. Although someone would have to be his handler, which would be interesting.

  • Frank Turk

    You say "doll." Actual fans of Marvel Comics say, "Life Model Decoy."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L...

  • cruzzercruz

    He's referring to Dollhouse. The Tahiti scene was a direct homage to how the dolls in that show behaved when they awoke from deprogramming.

  • Green Lantern

    Would not shock me if he's an LMD. In fact, I've been suggesting this to friends for weeks now.

  • foolsage

    We can be pretty certain that Coulson is not an LMD. People suggest this almost every week, and almost every week the same refutations are offered: 1) LMDs are remotely controlled by a human being; 2) Coulson does not know what was done to him, i.e. he cannot be knowingly remotely controlling a LMD.

    Coulson is very probably a cyborg of some sort. The show has made quite a few references to him "being rusty" and having excessive iron in his blood. His physical showed that he was absolutely normal in every respect, which is to say his physical results were either faked, or he's artificially set to perform precisely like an average human. He has implanted memories of Tahiti, which are now unraveling it seems, and in the pilot we were told that Coulson didn't know what happened in Tahiti and "can never know", which implies that the truth would be too traumatic for him to deal with. Ergo, he almost certainly died and was replaced with a body that's part (or mostly) machine, with a fleshy biological covering.

  • BlackRabbit

    Hee hee fleshy ones.

  • RedArrogantKnight

    LMDs are remotely controlled? I never read the oldschool SHIELD comics, so I don't know much about this, but I never knew that. I know I've read stories about LMDs being fairly sentient, so I'm not sure that always applies.

    I think the LMD thing might be too obvious, but there sure are a looooot of hints to suggest it.

  • foolsage

    Yes, an LMD is a "decoy" because the original is elsewhere. It's not like a suit that you put on (as Iron Man does), nor is it a cyborg body or bodyparts. It's an android version of you that exists somewhere else and is remotely controlled (generally by you, though an LMD can be hijacked or stolen).

    http://marvel.wikia.com/Life-M...

    Coulson isn't one of those.

  • Ben

    There is always the possibility that they downloaded his mind into a LMD shell.

  • foolsage

    It's not an LMD at that point; it's an android body replacement.

  • Ben

    fair point

  • RedArrogantKnight

    Max Fury was clearly autonomous. I think LMDs can be remotely controlled, but they can also operate on their own.

  • foolsage

    Good catch. However, that was an exceptional case. The Zodiac Key was used to reprogram that LMD so it had all of Fury's memories. That's not how LMDs work in any other instance, and at that point, Max wasn't really an LMD. He was more like the Vision; an android body into which a mind had been downloaded. Max's android body was designed for remote control, but once a mind was inserted it became something else entirely.

  • RedArrogantKnight

    I'm pretty sure it is how LMDs work now. Just today's A+X had an LMD responding to Captain America as though it was a robot (and conscious of its own robotness, in this case).

    I've also seen a lot of comics lately where LMDs work on their own. Even on the Marvel Wiki page for LMDs, you can see She-Hulk fighting an army of Nick Fury LMDs.

    http://marvel.wikia.com/Life-M...

  • Dutch

    But didn't they pretty well establish he is 100 percent human Coulson when he had Simmons conduct all those medical tests on him a couple of shows ago.

  • foolsage

    Not really. We know that the tests showed that Coulson was completely normal in all regards; NOBODY is completely normal in all regards. That's a red flag. ;)

    The test results are also above Coulson's clearance level, as we saw when he asked for the results. Simmons would only know whatever her equipment showed her, and it's very likely that if there's something to cover up (e.g. if Coulson is a cyborg) that Simmons was instructed to use equipment and procedures that wouldn't reveal the truth (to her or to Coulson).

  • Three_nineteen

    Ah, a Marvel thing. I was being too literal. Got it.

  • Joey.blowey

    Every hear of "The Vision"?

  • Green Lantern

    Coulson is not The Vision.

  • Joey.blowey

    The writers of this show have no Vision either.

  • foolsage

    Not yet, no. But he might very well turn into the Vision, once Ultron gets involved.

  • dammitdamian

    Or... Ultron?!

  • Joey.blowey

    I think James Spader has that one covered.

  • Bert_McGurt

    More like Melinda WOULD, amirite? All day and twice on Sundays.

  • lowercase_ryan

    He's not the Asguardian we wanted, he's the Asguardian this show deserves.

  • Sirilicious

    I salute your warped reference.

  • Welldressed

    As soon as I watched the episode and May left the door open for Bored Ward, I suddenly thought: Her doing that made him so much more interesting. As in, interesting at all.

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