Project Tahiti

***Warning: This post contains spoilers for ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Episode 2.07, “The Writing on the Wall.”***

The majority of the episode dealt with the Tahiti Project and Coulson’s drawings. It turns out the other people who had been drawing the same things Coulson had been drawing were the first volunteers for the project. They had been agents who were going to die, and agreed to be test subjects. The results seemed to be great at first until they started drawing and slowly started to go insane. The doctor told Coulson they would be better if they got rid of the memories of the patients and gave them new ones. That is when they showed the creepy machine from last year. I never want to see a machine playing with someone’s brain again.

In the end, Coulson is back to normal (I hope), but only after he went crazy by locking Skye up and going after one of the patients to find the answer. He was able to get the answer. The answer being they are looking for a city. It does leave me questioning why craziness is now over. They still haven’t found the city, but the need to draw is now gone. I’m glad he finally told his team what he was doing over the past months.

Coulson’s main team is loyal, but I’m glad Mac started questioning Coulson. Someone should be asking the questions, even if I fully trust Coulson.

Mac played an interesting role in this episode. I got the feeling him and Jemma are not necessarily getting along. Part of it is because of Fitz. Mac seems very loyal to Fitz, and he is seen helping Fitz out by handing him a game controller.

Another interesting part is Mac picked up on what Fitz was saying about brains and files. I have a feeling Mac will try to get Fitz to explore a route in getting Fitz fully operational again.

Finally, there was the dealing with Grant Ward story line. I keep thinking they need to do a body count every time Grant Ward kills another person. I will say Brett Dalton has done his best work on the show when he is playing the bad guy. It is one of the reasons why I don’t want a redemption arc for Ward. However, dissing Mockingbird? Not cool. I still really want all the women to gang up on him and kick his butt for the misogynistic comments from last season.

It was great to see May, Triplett, Hunter, and Morse in a van together, and I really wished Triplett and May had rolled their eyes at each other while Morse and Hunter bickered again.

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“I’m Still Trying to Figure Out Where I Fit In”

Warning: This post contains spoilers from ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D Episode 2.06,  A Fractured House.

You can generally rely on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. to be both heartbreaking and entertaining.

The biggest heartbreaking part of the episode dealt with Jemma Simmons and Leo Fitz. It seemed like Fitz was getting closer to saying good-bye to imaginary Jemma when the real one turned up. Fitz is finally finding his place in the group, and has made a new friend with Alphonso “Mack” Mackenzie. However, it hurts not to see the two brainiacs together. Previous episodes gave hints a reunion between the duo would not be filled with hugs. This episode proved the hints to be true, and the pain in both their faces was devastating enough.

Fitz made it clear to Jemma he hated the fact she left him, and then lied to him about where she was going. He rightfully should be hurt, but I can also see why Jemma lied to him. She lied to everyone about where she was going with the exception of Phil Coulson and Melinda May because the less people who knew about her infiltrating Hydra the better. Jemma went because she felt like she could make a difference. She did not believe that staying by Fitz’s side would be for the best; Mack confirms this at the end of the episode.

The scene hits you right in the gut. I blame it on Elizabeth Henstridge’s tears. I don’t believe anyone is immune to them. While it hurts to see the favorite duo not on good terms, I do believe it is good for both of them. As I have said before, Fitz is like the child of the group. He always had Jemma with him. In quite a few ways Jemma was his crutch. However, Fitz has been growing up this season. Yes, his brain might have been damaged, but he is beginning to shine. Mack is helping him by being his friend and being by his side.

 

It is also good to see how Jemma is progressing this season, and how her role is also expanding. Her interactions with Skye were wonderful, but the best part was when she steps in between Skye and Grant Ward as he is passing them, and she tells him she will kill him if she sees him again. It is important that it was Jemma who stood in between them. It wasn’t Coulson or May, who know how to take him out. It was Jemma, and the look on her face made me believe she can and will do it. Ward has hurt them all, and Jemma is protecting Skye (and Fitz) from being hurt by Ward again.

This scene also shows how much her character has progressed since season one. Season one Jemma would not kill someone much less threaten them. The one time she did hurt someone was when she shot Agent Sitwell with the Night Night gun (too bad it didn’t kill him then). I always believed Jemma could be the girl who looks innocent, but could be deadly force to be reckoned with. She has grown into this role. Earlier this season, we have seen her steadily handling a gun in her apartment when Coulson visited her. Yes, she still needs training, and it is my deepest wish that Bobbi Morse trains her as well as them becoming bosom buddies.

 

I applaud the show for not making this episode a beginning of a redemption arc for Ward. Ward is a bad guy who has done bad things. Yet, he still believed he was a part of the team. After killing members of S.H.I.E.L.D. like Victoria Hand, he still referred to himself as a member of Coulson’s team. Clark Gregg, as always, was amazing. He firmly told Ward he was not and will never be part of his team.

To Coulson, his team is family, and Ward hurt his family. I also believe Coulson doesn’t fully trust Ward’s brother, but it was the best move to protect S.H.I.E.L.D.

 

I don’t trust Ward’s brother, but I still don’t trust Ward either. Ward is the type who latches on to another person. He doesn’t have the ability to be single minded. He will find someone who he thinks is also destroyed and try to connect with them. For Ward he thinks Skye is also damaged, and believes she is like him. However, Skye is strong.


Finally, Melinda May went with two of the newer members of the group, Bobbi Morse and Lance Hunter on a mission. It was entertaining to see May having to listen to the divorced couple complain about the other. To see Bobbi and Hunter argue while still being able to fight in sync with each other was enjoyable.

However, the best scene between the two of them was Bobbi voicing the same thing we have heard from others already with them not being sure where they belong now. Both Bobbi and Hunter are a bit lost. Bobbi doesn’t have the S.H.I.E.L.D. she used to know anymore, and Hunter his best best mate at the beginning of this season. Maybe these two will not be able to give the marriage another go, but I deeply desire them to become comrades.

Tahiti: A Not So Magical Place

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.

Favorites of 2013: TV Ships and Friendships

This is the big one–the one with our favorite TV ships and friendships/partnerships/bromances/what-have-you of 2013.

Ships

Oliver Queen / Felicity Smoak

{Arrow}

ship_oliverfelicity

Felicity: You killed again, and I am the one who put you into the position where you had to make that kind of choice.
Oliver: He had you, and he was going to hurt you. There was no choice to make.

All three of us are big fans of Oliver and Felicity. They complement each other really well, they have great chemistry, and they deeply care for each other. And they’re just so pretty together. —Kerry

Danny Castellano / Mindy Lahiri

{The Mindy Project}

ship_mindydanny

Mindy: “You should get the Philadelphia roll. Danny says it’s amazing, it’s his favorite.”

Mindy: “Haven’t you ever had to do something because of work?”
Jason: “Yeah, sure, I just went to my boss’s kid’s graduation, but that doesn’t mean I’ve memorized her favorite sushi order.”

These two snuck up on me. I love their bickering, their friendship, and the way that they seem to be in love with each other without even realizing it. —Kerry

Monroe / Rosalee Calvert

{Grimm}

ship_rosaleemonroe

Monroe and Rosalee’s romance could have seemed shoe-horned into the main narrative, and the differences in their upbringings could be overlooked, but the evolution of their relationship was natural, and they are confronting their contradictory natures in a way that’s both realistic and believable. —Moff

April Ludgate / Andy Dwyer

{Parks and Recreation}

ship_andyapril

“I’m going to tell you a secret about everyone else’s job: No one knows what they’re doing. Deep down, everyone is just faking it until they figure it out. And you will, too, because you are awesome and everyone else sucks.”

This is probably the relationship most would have believed would fail, but it hasn’t. The love and support they show each other is unique and genuine. —Becca

Barney Stinson / Robin Scherbatsky

{How I Met Your Mother}

ship_barneyrobin

Barney: “Our wedding is gonna be legendary.”
Robin: “No ‘wait for it?'”
Barney: “I’ve got you, I don’t have to wait for it anymore.”

Who knew they’d make it all the way to the neverending wedding weekend? The writing isn’t doing them any favors (they keep having to spin their wheels as the writers try to fill the entire season with pointless shenanigans) but they’re still growing into a supportive, if unconventional, couple. —Kerry

Jemma Simmons / Grant Ward

{Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.}

ship_wardsimmons

F.Z.Z.T. is the episode I started shipping these two together. It is also the episode I finally started to like Ward. The scene where Ward mocks himself and Jemma corrects him sealed it for me. Plus: height difference. —Becca

Kensi Blye / Marty Deeks

{NCIS: LA}

ship_kensideeks

Deeks: “I’ve never had a girl give me her knife before. Does that mean we’re official?”
Kensi: “You know sometimes a knife is just a knife.”

Ah, one of the great ‘will they, won’t they’ partnerships of the police procedural world. As much as I continue to hold out hope Eric Christian Olsen will one day return to Greendale, I can’t put into words how pleased I am Kensi and Deeks have finally taken the logical next step. —Moff

Joan Watson / Marcus Bell

{Elementary}

ship_belljoan

Bell [to Sherlock]: “Where’s your better half?”

Bell and Joan have always had a unique chemistry; Bell initially liked Joan better than he liked Sherlock, and Joan always had a deep respect for Bell’s talents as an investigator. This season, there was a one-off line where Bell complimented Joan in her bulletproof vest, and suddenly, it felt like there was something there. It’s never overt: even when Joan brings him meals after his injury, it’s played as Joan just being a nice person. I won’t be mad if they never date, but I think they’d be great together. —Kerry

Ryan King / Carrie

{Go On}

ship_ryancarrie

Ryan: “I know we work together, and that’s weird. I don’t know what I want. I just- I just want it to still be a possibility between us.”
Carrie: “You’re right, it’s complicated. We work together… I quit. Ball’s in your court.”

The show got canceled, but before it ended Carrie kissed Ryan and told him the ball was in his court. I would like to believe this May/December romance actually worked out. —Becca

Ben Wyatt / Leslie Knope

{Parks and Recreation}

ship_benleslie

“Your heart is in the right place. Your heart and your butt.”

They’re married! They’re still amazing together! And sometimes I go back and watch the early seasons, where Mark Brendanowicz calls Leslie a dork and treats her enthusiasm like it’s an annoying little quirk, and I get really, really, insanely happy that Leslie found someone who loves that about her. —Kerry

Rumplestiltskin / Belle

{Once Upon a Time}

ship_rumbelle

“You were the only one who could ever see past it… past the mask of the monster.”

While the Charmings have already had their somewhat happy ending, it feels like Rumplestiltskin and Belle will never get theirs. The pairing is beautiful, but it is hard for them to catch a break (especially after the winter finale). —Becca

Harvey Specter / Donna Paulsen

{Suits}

ship_harveydonna
Harvey: “You and Stephen, it bothers me. I know it’s not fair, but it does.”
Donna: “Good.”

I just want them to be together and happy. Is that too much to ask? —Kerry

Friendships

Shawn Spencer & Burton Guster

{Psych}

friendship_shawngus

Shawn: “I think we should call the police and let the chips fall where they may.”
Gus: “You’re talking like a real white guy right now, Shawn. Brothers don’t get the benefit of the doubt. I will not rot in a cell. You said we were in this together!”
Shawn: “C’mon, man. You know I’m gonna bake you a cake with a gun in it.”

Their friendship has only gotten better over this past year. Gus supported Shawn during his breakup with Jules, and Shawn learned to share Gus when Gus started a serious relationship with a woman. —Kerry

Sherlock Holmes & Joan Watson {Elementary}

friendship_joansherlock

Joan: “You named a bee after me?”

Best partnership on TV. But, you know… besides all the other partnerships we have listed here. —Kerry

Team Arrow (Oliver Queen, John Diggle, Felicity Smoak)

{Arrow}

friendship_teamarrow

Felicity: “What are you doing?”
Diggle: “Calling 911.”
Felicity: “Digg, wait!”
Diggle: “We can’t wait!”
Felicity: “How are we supposed to explain this? Everyone’s gonna find out Oliver is the vigilante!”
Diggle: “It won’t matter if he’s dead! Felicity, we can’t save him!”
Felicity: “I know! You’re right. We can’t.”

They all have their own special friendships with each other, and they work well as a team. It will be interesting to see how dynamics might change when/if someone else fully joins the team. —Becca

Ichabod Crane & Abbie Mills

{Sleepy Hollow}

friendship_ichyabbie

The friendship has grown so quickly in just a few episodes. It is a strong friendship, and their camaraderie is enjoyable. —Becca

Sarah Manning & Felix Dawkins

{Orphan Black}

friendship_sarahfee

Felix: Sarah.
Sarah: What?
Felix: Um, just don’t die… ’cause your first funeral was just agonizing enough.

Felix has endured a lot (Sarah’s threatening ex-boyfriend, obstruction of justice, countless police interrogations, and oh yeah, all of that clone stuff) and he’s still deeply loyal to Sarah. That’s what family is for, right? —Kerry

Samantha Shaw & Root

{Person of Interest}

friendship_rootshaw

While former government agent Shaw hesitates to give anarchist hacker Root too much free reign, the morally dubious Root’s willingness to take immediate action appeals to the trigger-happy Shaw. —Moff

George Altman & Noah Werner

{Suburgatory}

friendship_georgenoah

The news of Alan Tudyk no longer being a regular on Suburgatory depressed me. I found George’s and Noah’s friendship was one of my main highlights for the show. In some ways, they don’t appear to have a lot in common, but the time they spent on screen together were some of the best moments of the show. —Becca

Ron Swanson & Leslie Knope

{Parks and Recreation}

friendship_ronleslie

Ron: “You are a wonderful person. Your friendship means a lot to me. And you look very beautiful.”
Leslie: “Okay, weirdo. Let’s go.”

He walked her down the aisle. Twice. He also punched out a jackass at her wedding. Leslie, in turn, organized a beautiful wedding present for Ron: an intricate trip up to the Lagavulin distillery in Scotland. It moved Ron to tears. —Kerry

Lance Sweets & Seeley Booth

{Bones}

friendship_boothsweets

Dr. Lance Sweets and Agent Seeley Booth have grown from bickering antagonists to friends and coworkers who trust each other’s instincts. —Moff

Ryan King & Steven

{Go On}

friendship_ryansteven

Ryan had his support group, but he also has his best friend, Steven. Steven was still the one who understood who Ryan was, and wanted to be there for him. In my head, they are still the best of friends and double date together (Ryan with Carrie and Steven with Lauren). —Becca

Quentin Lance & Felicity Smoak

{Arrow}

friendship_lancefelicity

Oliver: “Felicity…”
Felicity: “Already on it.”
Lance [amazed]: “How the hell can she do that?”

Felicity and (former) Det. Lance have had only a few instances where they’ve worked together, but I think future episodes will reveal their values are more in line than they currently realize. —Moff

An Enormous Mess to Clean Up

Warning: this post contains spoilers from episode 1.08  of ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., “The Well”

Over the past couple of episodes, I have slowly started to like the character, Agent Grant Ward. I knew in the pilot, Ward could be an interesting character when they hinted about his past being tragic, but then the show started to show a no-nonsense agent. They finally addressed his personality a couple of episodes ago in “FZZT” with both Leo Fitz and Jemma Simmons impersonating him. The beauty is when Ward impersonates himself to Simmons later in the episode. This was the episode where I finally started to gain interest in his character, and my interest grew even more when he was paired up with Fitz in the next episode, “The Hub.” This latest episode, “The Well,” finally started to address Grant’s past, and helped explain why he has appeared to be this stoic, I-work-alone agent most of the season.

This episode dealt with many of the characters facing fears and darker parts of their lives. For Simmons, she hasn’t been able to talk to her parents after she fell ill, and almost died from falling out of the plane. She also has to deal with the fear of falling when she has to walk up fifteen feet of a cut down tree. Ward is on site with her, and tries to deflect her thoughts. She knows what he is doing, but I think she finds comfort in him helping her deal with her fear of falling.

He assures her he will catch her again. In some ways, Ward is the person who helps her overcome some of her fears in this episode. She then finally gets the courage to talk to her parents, after both Ward and Melinda May fight the bad guys, and Coulson helps her save Professor Elliot Randolph’s life.

Then there is Ward facing some of his darkest memories. Thanks to the Ward coming into contact with Asgardian artifact, one of his darkest memories resurfaced. We learn Ward has buried his past in order to be able to do his job, but the artifact brings it back up in order to fill him with rage to give him super fighting strength. Fortunately he has May who understands the situation he is in to help him through it. May’s past is still a big mystery, but we have learned she has a dark past. It is one of the reasons why I believe Coulson constantly finds consolation with May because of all she has lived through. Later in the episode, Grant asks May how she was able to hold the entire scepter when it meant her darkest memories were hitting her stronger than his hit him. She replied she sees it every day. May doesn’t block it out like Ward, but keeps it as a constant reminder.

She has learned to live with it. It still hurts, and it is probably one of the reasons why May and Ward get drunk together at the end of the show.

Finally, there is Coulson. Coulson doesn’t remember what happened to him after he died, and it is slowly starting to bug him even more of not knowing what happened. He is tempted to touch the scepter and Randolph knows this. Randolph questions him on why he wants to know this because Coulson is alive and appears to be living a good, healthy life. It is still bugging Coulson, and will probably continue to bug him until he finally gets some answers. He knows something is wrong. I mean you shouldn’t think dreaming about Tahiti getting a massage would be a nightmare, but it is to him at the end of this episode. I’m with Coulson on this. If this show is doing a Dollhouse callback then something is wrong with Tahiti being this magical place.


The other thing I loved about this episode was the procedural part of the story. The thing with Marvel having so many movies and now this show is they now all exist in the same timeline. It is one of the things that ticked me off with Thor: The Dark World. There was only the slightest mention of S.H.I.E.L.D and nothing else. This episode made up for my frustration in some ways. It began with Simmon’s narration about other worlds and Asgard leading to the scene where the team is cleaning up after Thor and the Dark Elves. The show really didn’t spoil the movie unless someone would be ticked off to know part of Greenwich got destroyed in one of the battles.

The other part I enjoyed about this story is another Asgardian (Randolph) being involved. It was enjoyable to see someone else from Asgard not involved with Thor who has lived on Earth for quite a long time because he fell in love with our world. Who can blame him from falling in love with the planet and becoming a Pacifist, after being a mason all his life on Asgard? I also believe this explains Larry Fleinhardt so much better on Numb3rs.

Finally, I want to give this show kudos for showing different partnerships with this episode. I love that this show is exploring the members of the team partnering up with different people.

Now You Just Destroyed the World’s Most Dangerous Sandwich.

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.

May can’t get a minute’s rest.

 

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.

 

A Glimpse of Greatness

Warning: this post contains spoilers from episode 1.06  of ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., “F.Z.Z.T.”

One reason I stick with some new shows, which seem mediocre, is because they actually do become better. The first few episodes are usually about finding voice, and learning what makes it better like what characters work best with each other. Sometimes a show may never improve, and I eventually drop it. Other times a show does a great episode, and I slowly become committed it. Last week, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. finally started to show promise. One of the reasons is because it finally stopped focusing on Skye and focused on Jemma Simmons instead. While other Joss and Jed Whedon productions have been about a main character, this production is clearly supposed to be an ensemble piece. If the show was supposed to be about one character, then “Agents” wouldn’t be plural in the the title.

The audience was able to get closer to both Coulson and Simmons when last week’s episode was focused on them. With Coulson feeling and coming to face the fact even if his physical tests and blood work showed him being normal, he was different. Melinda May helped him come to this realization, and accept it when she told him that a person does in fact change from the experience of being dead. This also led to another glimpse of May’s past as well because it felt like she had experienced what Coulson was experiencing now when she talked to him.

Then there is Simmons story . She was infected a virus from that was inside a Chitauri helmet, and nearly died until Grant Ward parachuted out of their headquarters to save her by capturing her, and giving her the antiserum. Elizabeth Henstridge who plays Simmons shone in the episode. Her acting was phenomenal, and we were able to get a real depth for her character as well as shedding a few tears. Henstridge showed that even though Simmons may not have the field training Coulson, Ward, or May have, but she is one of the bravest of the group. We learned she is the reason why she and Leo Fitz are part of this team, she dragged him with her it and called it an adventure.

When her death was imminent, she faced it head on, and was willing to save the others by jumping out of the plane.

I think one of my favorite parts of this episode was the interactions between Ward and Simmons. While this show has clearly paired off the characters (Coulson and May, Grant and Skye, Fitz and Simmons), this is the first time they have given us great scenes with a different pairing. Yes, the Fitz and Simmons scenes were great because they make a brilliant team, but it is refreshing to see different interactions because it helps show them as two different characters. The last scene with them was very enjoyable, between her admitting to lying about the weight of the gun and him acknowledging he knew she’d been making fun of him earlier. The best part was Simmons correcting his impersonation of himself.

It’s scenes like this that leads me to believe Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. might finally be on to something. I hope they continue to mix up the characters, and let more of them become the focus. We don’t need a show based on Skye. We need a show based on all of them.