Wednesday, October 14, 2015

A Wanted (Inhu)man

This week's Agents of SHIELD was a solid entry that once again juggled three different story lines in a fairly deft manner.

The title referred, of course, to Lincoln on the run. It doesn't quite track for me that the man who was such a put-together Yoda for Skye/Daisy last season is now coming apart at the seams. It would have helped certainly this character repositioning if we had seen more of his struggles on the run. Still, the writers did put a big moment on that timeline in this episode -- the accident where he killed his own friend. That was a big enough incident (and effectively portrayed) that you can sort of sketch in the rest in your head and get there. Certainly, this episode made a good case that Lincoln will be an interesting character to now have regularly on the show.

Nevertheless, the Simmons plot was the one I found most compelling. Actress Elizabeth Henstridge was rock solid in her chance to shine, showing us how her months away had effectively rendered this an alien world. Your heart went out to her, and out to Fitz for trying everything he could think of to speed along a recovery that simply won't be rushed. It all built up wonderfully to the episode's tag, where you could feel the anguish as Simmons declared she had to go back. (Because she left something behind? Because she no longer feels at home on Earth? Tune in next week, folks!)

The Hunter/May story thread landed well too. It impressively delivered a wide variety of moments. There was comedy (with the subtitled scene a particularly fun gag), drama (in the scene where Hunter draws May out about her relationship with her husband), and action (the "Fight Club," and May's 3-on-1 fight in the next room). Their pairing is turning out to be every bit as interesting as I hoped it might be, and I look forward to more of it.

All of this, plus more fun repartee between Coulson and new adversary Rosalind, played wonderfully once again by Constance Zimmer. The plot development to force them to work together may be slightly contrived, but it's a contrivance well worth granting to see the two of them together more in future episodes.

It was a solid episode that left me hungry for more. I give it a B+.

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