Warning: this post contains spoilers from episode 1.07 of ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., “The Hub”
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is definitely showing growing pains as the season progresses, and it has lost viewers because of it. However, I have seen improvement with the last couple of episodes, and fell in love with last week’s. This week’s episode upheld my belief that the show is getting better.
Parts that worked:
Phil Coulson: Clark Gregg is always a highlight on this show as Agent Phil Coulson. He is able to a great depth to Coulson that didn’t appear as much in the Marvel movies, and it makes the show better. I’m not sure this show would survive without him. We get to see him be the leader, and still face issues about how S.H.I.E.L.D. had no extraction point for his Agents, while still not knowing the full details about his “Tahiti” recovery.
Melinda May: Although her role was the smallest in this episode, May still shines. Her best delivery was in her scene with Coulson, when he is talking about the team and trusting the system. She continues with her meditation, not saying a word, but Coulson continues to talk and uses her glances at him as her responses. Her eye roll after he walked away was priceless. This is the beauty of May, she doesn’t have to say much, but she is still able to get so much across to the audience. She is also able to be Coulson’s sounding board because she is the one who best understands him. It is the reason why he comes to her with his problems and is more open about himself to her.
Fitz and Ward: I loved this pairing. They are forced together on the mission with both of them not being big fans of the other. Last week’s episode was a great stepping stone into this partnership because of Simmons’ story. Fitz feels animosity towards Ward for being the one who jumped out of the plane and catch Simmons and give her the anti-serum when Fitz was struggling with putting on his own parachute to save Simmons. Ward believes Fitz is the biggest rookie on the team when it comes to field work.
Still they are paired off, and Fitz is able to save them from a group of Russians because he knows how to fix their electricity. He is then able to confront Ward about how he goes about trying to always be the alpha male by throwing the last punch and sweeping in to the save the girl (Simmons). Fitz tells Ward that he is every bit of an agent like Ward and he is right. In the end, the partnership works. One of the main reasons why it works is because Coulson had asked each of them to take care of the other because that is what a team does, even if they are not each other’s favorites. Another is Ward addressing the Simmons issue and acknowledging that both he and Simmons know that Fitz would have jumped after her to save her. Both of them have their expertise, and they are both able to help save the other by working together. While they still are not the best of friends, I hope I get to see more interaction between these two characters.
Simmons: Simmons is slowly becoming my favorite character on the show, which is saying A LOT due to my love for Coulson. Simmons can work with any character on this show and still shine. She tells Skye she can’t be part of Skye’s bad girl shenanigans because she enjoys following the rules. However, when it comes to saving Fitz and Ward, she makes an exception. Simmons can’t bear the idea of Fitz being tortured because they are partners and the best of friends. They have each other’s backs, and they’re both aware that their expertise is in the labs and not actual field work, which is why they worry about each other. One of my favorite scenes is Agent Sitwell finding Simmons trying to get access to a computer she is not allowed on. It leads to horrible flirting on Simmons part, and then her shooting Sitwell with the Night-Night gun and saying sorry afterwards.
It was interesting to see her opt for the Night-Night gun instead of giving herself up, and I now want to see both her and Fitz learn more about training for the field. At the end of the episode, they are together again, gleefully telling the other how kick-butt they each were. I need an episode where either May or Ward takes them training (preferably Ward).
Victoria Hand: The episode also introduced, Victoria Hand, a character from the Marvel universe not seen in the movies. It is nice to see the show include characters from the comics, and I hope they continue doing so in the future.
What didn’t work:
There felt like there was too much of Skye’s presence in this episode. Last week worked because we got a breather from seeing her in almost half the scenes. This week her presence seemed constant. Yes, there is the story of her mysterious past, but she doesn’t need more air time than the rest of the group constantly. While it feels like they are doing Coulson’s “Tahiti” trip the right way with only giving it one or two short scenes a week, it feels like we are drowning in Skye’s story. What about the other members’ pasts? We still have only seen glimpses of May and Ward’s pasts. We know a little more about Fitz and Simmons because of last week, but we know all about Skye’s lack of history due to it being redacted by S.H.I.E.LD. The character is not meshing well for me, and I wish they would try something new; possibly less screen time, or even have her team up with May.
I hope this show continues to play around with the pairings, and see what comes from it. Coulson’s and May’s and Fitz’s and Simmons’ relationship are established, and play great back ups, but since this is a team it needs more pairing than them. The last two shows have proved that Ward has had some of his best scenes yet with both Fitz and Simmons, so here’s to looking forward to more of these pairings.