Friday, March 11, 2016

Bouncing Back

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returned from hiatus this week, and unlike this week's splashy new Inhuman "Yo-Yo," it didn't quite hit the ground running. Instead of forging ahead with the ongoing story, the episode was more of a "restatement of thesis," the sort of thing I suppose you expect after three months away.

So it was that we're again making contact with a newly made Inhuman, and Daisy is again trying to convince them to join the team. It's a formula that's already been played this season, though they did at least change things up a bit by putting Mack more at the center of that story line, and by adding a language barrier in setting the story in Bogota. Yo-Yo/Elena will surely return, so we'll see how key she is to the narrative then. For now, though, this was the part of the episode that mostly felt "been there, done that" -- and it got more screen time than anything else.

The Hydra/"Ward" storyline felt to me like another example of reminding the audience where things sat, without actually moving things forward. "Ward" sat on a couch watching an increasing number of TVs throughout the episode (reminding me a bit of Leeloo from The Fifth Element), but we really didn't get more of a sense of what he is, what he wants, or why he's dangerous. We will learn that soon enough, I'm sure, but I was hoping for at least a tidbit after so many months off.

On the other hand, Coulson on the rampage continues to be interesting. He may have taken care of Ward (he thinks; and he mostly-sorta did), but now he wants Malick. Having Coulson of all people haul the old "Tahiti machine" out of mothballs is a really powerful statement on how badly he wants revenge. So is May's observation that he's "joined the Calvary." I love the use of the character history the show has built over time.

And then there was the tantalizing opening scene. Ordinarily, I'd say that the "flash forward open" is pretty played out as a narrative device on television these days. But I found myself eager to know how the next three months of episodes are going to take us to some kind of catastrophe in space.

Now that the ball is rolling again, I'll hope for a bit more momentum next week. I give this episode a B.

No comments: