Oh man, you guys…this show. I don’t even know what to say anymore.
Let’s bitch it out…Watching ‘Repairs’, the thought that kept running through my mind was “what am I going to say to the
hundreds dozens three of you still reading these reviews?” Because it feels like there just isn’t anything there to grab onto on Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.
This is clearly meant to be the episode that we nod at each other in confirmation that we now know Melinda May’s (Ming-Na Wen) backstory and therefore understand her stoic, chilly demeanour. Except, oh wait! We still basically don’t know anything about her except that she ran into a building and killed twenty cult followers with her bare hands (Side Note: Whether or not that’s even the truth is unclear considering we spend the entire episode hearing about the events from second hand sources and each subsequent time it becomes less exceptional and more believable. I almost expected the final scene to be a flashback of May rescuing a kitten named Calvary from a tree or something). As far as backstories go, this is no “brother stranded in a well” or “living in a van down by the river”, but it’s clearly not living up to the lofty expectations built up over multiple episodes, which doesn’t bode well for the eventual Coulson (Clark Gregg) reveal.
In all honesty, it’s not as though this is the worst episode the show has produced. But considering how far along we are, the time to get concerned and hit the PANIC button has come and gone. The show should have course-corrected by this point and the fact that it hasn’t suggests that this IS Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. (I tried to reconcile myself to this fact a few weeks back, but it’s impossible not to watch the show, know the talent and know about the Marvel world without feeling this is a colossal misfire). Even the simple fact that we’re still stuck on the godforsaken S.H.I.E.L.D. plane is a huge issue! At this point, it appears that the show is happy to roll merrily along, doling out procedural cases with generic bad villains and calling it a day as though that’s satisfying enough. And perhaps it is to some viewers, but when you consider what ‘Repairs’ boils down to, it’s basically – as AV TV Club suggests – “a low budget close-quarters horror story where a teleporting man with a wrench threatens the entire team”.
It seriously feels like this show is going nowhere and I’m at the point where not only do I no longer feel the desire to explain or defend it, but I’m not even sure I want to write about it.
- After last week’s hotel hook-up, the most surprising development to arise between May and Ward (Brett Dalton) is that this is a recurring affair. We’re clearly meant to reconsider the way they talk and act around each other now that we know, but the show’s tendency to use all of the subtlety of a good waterboarding session to remind us that they’re hooking up feels like we’re being hammered over the head (Dialogue: “You’re late” Translation: I’m being gruff so no one suspects we boinked”)
- Remember when Skye (Chloe Bennet) was a master hacker and did stuff on the computer? This week she basically spends an episode hounding Coulson about how terrible a person May is and Googling facts around the case of the week. Why is she on this show again?
- Hannah, our victim of the week, and Tobias, the dimension hopping villain, work at a place called the Particle Accelerator Complex. Care to guess what type of work they do there? Like, really?! It’s not exactly clever to have the place of work literally spell out exactly what the job is
- Highlight of the episode is the mop prank Fitz (Iain Caestecker) accidentally pulls on everyone, including Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge), with whom he initiates the juvenile behaviour. Girlie screams are always funny
- Finally, as many other reviews state, this episode is written by series showrunners Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tanchareon. Any doubt that we had as to what kind of show they intend S.H.I.E.L.D. to be has been cast aside as we now know. Considering the emotional depths these two plumbed in Dollhouse, all I can say about this effort is: yikes
- Skye (when Coulson confirms he’s bringing Ward and May): “It’s a delicate situation so you’re bringing warm and fuzzy?”
- May (escorting Hannah away from the plane): “I don’t mean to scare you. I just need to use you as bait.”
Your turn: after nine episodes are you on board with the show? Is May’s backstory reveal worth the wait? Did you enjoy the prank B-story? Sound off below
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. takes a 2 week breather and returns with J. August Richard reprising his role from the pilot on Tuesday, December 10 at 8pm EST on ABC