Warning: this post contains spoilers from episode 1.11 of ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., “The Magical Place”
This week’s episode marked the half-way point of season one. It was a great episode and Clark Gregg was at his best. It is interesting to see how far this show has come since the pilot.
Agent Grant Ward has definitely improved since the pilot. As I have mentioned before, Ward finally gained my interest in “F.Z.Z.T.” Since then he has become a character I enjoy to watch on the show, and I no longer fully cringe when he shares a scene with Skye. I’m glad their relationship has turned more into an older brother/younger sister type of relationship instead of the possible will they or won’t they type of romance it was suggesting at the beginning of this show.
Another change with his character is he has slowly become a team player. The pilot established him as a person who doesn’t play well with others. He preferred working alone. However, over the past few episodes it has become clear the people on The Bus with him have become very important to him. I smiled this week when he said his team was going to find Coulson.
My favorite scenes with him have generally been when he is with Fitz or Jemma, and I’m glad I got more of them in this episode. It is good to see Jemma reprimanding him about tearing his stitches, and him teaming up with Jemma and Fitz to interrogate Vanchat.
I loved how this episode was about the team working together to find Coulson, and reminding Agent Victoria Hand how important he is. She doesn’t get why he is so important, but everyone else including the audience knows he is special. S.H.I.E.L.D. would not be the same without him.
This leads into Coulson’s story line for the episode. Clairvoyant is the baddie for season one. We still have no idea who Clairvoyant is, but Raina is enough for this episode. She trusts the Clairvoyant even though she herself doesn’t know who it is. Raina knows how to get things done, and she appears a little bit psychotic with her attitude. She is able to get things done without using force (I think it is the flower dresses). She is able to get Coulson to use the machine willingly, and he is able to find out more about what happened to him. All I’m going to say on that subject is his flashbacks freaked me out.
Clark Gregg does an amazing performance as Coulson with him not knowing what happened to him finding out more pieces of the puzzle. We also learn he is alone in the world with the exception of S.H.I.E.L.D. For him, S.H.I.E.L.D. is his family. The way Skye comes to him while he is finding out what happened to him was a great scene. It showed how important these two have become to each other. In some ways, they have a father/daughter bond happening, which makes sense. They are both alone in the world, and only have the team as their family.
I’m also glad they brought back Ron Glass for this episode. The confrontation Coulson has with the doctor in the vehicle was truly great. We see a broken Coulson. He hardly ever shows this side of himself to anyone. The only other person we have seen like this is with May. I still wonder what Fury’s reasoning was to bring back Coulson. Was it only because Fury didn’t want to lose his friend? That he felt guilty for Loki killing him?
This show has improved since the first episodes, and I can’t wait to see the second half.
Side note: I still want to see more May and Skye. I have a feeling this could be one of Skye’s possible strongest relationships on the show, and I wish May had become Skye’s S.O. over Ward.