Dear Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.: I’m breaking up with you.
Let’s bitch it out…
It’s Spring cleaning time and while other people are taking out the trash, I’m clearing out my DVR. And I’m not sorry to say that Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. is on the chopping block.
The simple truth is that the show has fallen back into a rut. I’d hoped that with Skye’s (Chloe Bennet) transformation the show would pick up speed, but instead it’s turned into a mopey, depressing slog. I can’t fault the show for wanting to explore how the team fractures when truths about its members come to the fore, but I’m not sure why it has to do it in such an uninteresting fashion. Sending Skye to a cabin, parading Hunter (Nick Blood) around a faux-SHIELD establishment and letting Agent 33 (Ming-Na Wen) and Ward (Brett Dalton) do their best Pulp Fiction impression is hardly my definition of a great time.Part of the problem is the style. Before Agent Carter, I hadn’t taken that much notice of SHIELD‘s drab, grey colour-scheme. After Peggy and friends managed to inject pops of colour and exciting fight sequences into the mix, SHIELD is coming off like a sad imitator. I’m amazed that even in the cabin scenes shared between Skye and Coulson Clark Gregg) rather than opening up the world by having them walk outdoors, or allowing natural light in, the set is made to feel dark and claustrophobic. Does it suit the theme of Skye’s imprisonment both within her powers and within the team? Oh sure…but the way she feels about her situation is starting to mirror the way I feel about the show. Pass the Prozac, please. So I’m done. If SHIELD does something unexpected, or regains the momentum that turned the last quarter of the first season into a joy to watch, I’ll return. But for now the show isn’t doing anything worth writing about and I’m not interested in wasting my time any more.
- It’s still not clear to me why Coulson is deemed an out of control, secret-wielding megalomaniac by the mysterious Robert (Edward James Olmos). In fact all we really learn is that Bobbi (Adrianne Palicki) and Mack (Henry Simmons) were sent in to infiltrate our SHIELD and Hunter accidentally got involved. Or course we mostly already knew this from the teaser trailer at the end of last week’s episode or you could figure it out after the first (of 80) conference chats Hunter experiences. I’m legitimately unsure why we had to spend an hour discussing this.
- With that said, it’s always fun to see Kirk Acevedo (he’s also starring on Syfy’s 12 Monkeys). For a moment I thought maybe Cole would barge in and save us by jumping time periods.
- 33 and Ward spend the episode trying to recover her face, as well as gaining closure by kidnapping and torturing Bakshi (Simon Kassianides). It comes off a bit like Bonnie & Clyde and is easily the most fun in an otherwise fun-free episode.
- 33’s impersonation of Skye is legitimately creepy so I was very, very glad when Ward tells her he’d rather meet the real her. The near-seduction scene was giving me all kinds of Uncle BadTouch / Dark Farm / Twincest feels.
- Talbot (Adrian Pasdar) is usually the butt of the joke on this show, but he’s rarely a complete moron like he is here. Far too much dumb humour during the base infiltration bits, especially grabbing that woman’s cheeks and forcing his wife to lay on the floor. No amount of edible arrangements make up for this wasted time.
- Honestly Gemma (Elizabeth Henstridge) just get over it. Deal with your “powers are the end of the world” issues or f*ck off. Part of me hoped that Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) would just eviscerate her with a pencil. I may have been watching too much of The Following…
Your turn: are you as frustrated with SHIELD as me? Are you happy to see 33 and Ward again? Excited to see Skye adapt to her powers with her snazzy new gloves? Wondering how Coulson will convince Bobbi not to kill him? Sound off below.
Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs Tuesdays at 9pm EST on ABC