“Pieces Solving a Puzzle”
This episode (Agents of SHIELD Episode 2) was way better than the lopsided first one. This week’s story involved Coulson and his team flying to Peru in pursuit of a MacGuffin fuelled by Tesseract energy. They reached an Incan pyramid and seized the relic, but not before a firefight erupted between the local authorities (who seem to be SHIELD’s paramilitary South American counterpart), and a group of generic faceless rebels. Coulson and the Comandante of the Peruvians (let’s call her “Lady Coulson”) escape together, and it becomes very clear there used to be some kind of romantic chemistry there. Melinda May is forced to kick some behind yet again, even though she’s insistent on remaining out of the line of fire. Skye, Fitz, and Simmons narrowly avoid getting shot up, but they manage to get the relic onto the team’s airplane (which they call The Bus, which I love).
The whole thing is an unstable mess in a very exciting way, and things only get worse when the entire gang figures out that Lady Coulson and her goons are actually bad guys. The jerks hijack the plane and capture the team. Agent Ward, Fitz, Simmons, May, and Skye all put their heads together and come up with a plan to rescue their cargo and each other. In the meantime, Coulson is relegated to conversing with Lady Coulson about how she’s a jerk. The good guys trigger the superweapon in order to blast part of the plane, free each other, and take back The Bus. They capture what Peruvian jerks they can, including a rather lackluster scene in which Agent Ward ties a guy to the seat with safety belts. I was sorely disappointed in the lack of a good one-liner. What a wasted opportunity.
Ultimately, the gang lands safely. We get a bit of a “Hm. Foreshadowing.” Moment when Skye notices that Agent Ward has been shot, but he’s acting like he’s totally fine. I mean, he’s a hardened secret agent, but the dude got blasted in the belly and he walks it off. What are we thinking, here? Super-soldier serum? That’d be my bet. The episode “ends” with a twist, when the viewer finds out Skye is still working with the Anonymous/WikiLeaks organization Rising Tide. She texts (or e-mails, or whatever one does when one has an “ENCRYPTION COMPLETE” display on one’s phone) to say that she’s infiltrated SHIELD. Very sketchy. My supposition would be that Coulson is pulling a Batman gambit on her, and already knows she intends to betray him, and he’ll somehow use this knowledge to pull a fast one on the bad guys. At least, that’s what I assume from having read Secret Warriors a million times.
GUYS, GO READ SECRET WARRIORS. BEST SHIELD BOOK IN SO LONG LIKE…JUST GO READ IT ALREADY.
And then, after the “ending,” we get a proper ending. And this one was a real crackerjack. Nick Fury shows up on The Bus to chew Coulson out for having trashed the brand-new plane. Some great comedy between these two, with Jackson playing Nick Fury like Jules Winfield meets shady government bureaucrat. I’m not sure whether we can expect any more cameos this season, though I really hope so. The way Clark Gregg interacts with Fury and Hill is fantastic, and we already know he has great chemistry with Robert Downey from Iron Man 2 and The Avengers.
So here we are, with the quick hits:
- Interested in watching the subplot about Agent Ward’s “good health” play out. Smart money says this one’s going to be a slow-burn that won’t have much effect until near the end of the season, if even.
- More Melinda May. Cool beans.
- We got less Coulson this week, and pretty much all his scenes were opposite Lady Coulson, who was just not doing it for me in the acting department. She was so unconvincing she took the energy out of every shot she was in.
- I like the “monster of the week” thing we’ve got going here. The way they interweave the long game with the short is really intriguing.
- I think it’s cool how they give viewers an exclusive preview of the new Thor movie. Way to caress the hand that feeds. Sorry for the awkward idiom.
~ JK Leo ~