Friday, December 04, 2015


This week's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. stepped on the accelerator in anticipation of next week's mid-season finale. (No doubt a cliffhanger where we'll be waiting for months.)

It started off with the shocking and sudden death of Rosalind. I have conflicted thoughts about this. It's the overplayed cliche of "killing the love interest to motivate the hero," a cliche particularly irksome for the undercurrent of misogyny that usually comes with it -- it's always the woman dying to motivate the man. And yet, I can't lie, it was damn effective here.

The dinner date scene that opened the episode was absolutely wonderful, full of still more great banter between Clark Gregg and Constance Zimmer. It was witty, charming, sharp, and made me want to see more of this relationship. That being the point, of course. I feel like any other show would have used Rosalind's death as the big event to conclude an episode. So having it come here, in the teaser, was especially shocking.

And it did lead to a pretty great action sequence, which Clark Gregg rarely gets to do. Indeed, that amped the thrill of the sequence -- not out of any genuine fear for Coulson's life (because of course he wasn't going to die here), but that it was all so well executed, involving a character we don't take for granted will deliver us great action.

So then we get an hour of vengeful Coulson. More great work from Clark Gregg, but here I admit I felt a tinge of, "oh sure, now he wants to take out Ward. Until something bad happens to him, it's not a worthy enough issue." But whatever might get us some... ahem, closure (see episode title)... on this story line.

Fitz-Simmons... always great. Obviously, you'd use one against the other in any interrogation scenario. And it's good that they wrote the honest thing -- that Fitz would be the one to cave. Simmons, particularly after the hardening months on the alien planet, would be the one to hold out.

Malick word-jitsuing Ward into wanting to head to the alien planet? Nah, not buying it. Ward has been an unnuanced character for some time now, with just one agenda. Making him set that one agenda aside in a single scene was too big a bridge to span. But it did move the pieces into place for a big showdown on the alien world, with Ward, Will, Fitz, Coulson, and a nasty soul sucking creature all in the mix. (And plenty of redshirts for any of the above to kill along the way.) Big fireworks for next week.

I give this week's episode a B+. Here's hoping for a great payoff.

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