Agents of SHIELD 1×17 ‘Turn, turn, turn’: Agents of… HYDRA?

agentsofhydra

While there’s always room for improvement, Agents of SHIELD seems to have landed on steady ground. Embracing elements of a giant comic book crossover, the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier spread to the small screen. Opening with a fun aerial dogfight sequence, Agents of SHIELD spared no time getting into what should be considered the best episode yet.

Hydra is undergoing a massive takeover of SHIELD and Coulson’s team is caught in the middle of it.  Bill Paxton (The character’s name doesn’t matter. There is only Bill Paxton) was revealed as The Clairvoyant. Oh, and Ward turned out to be another Hydra agent as he killed Victoria Hand. It was a doozy.

Thanks to such a radical shift in the story, this Uprising arc feels like a reboot as the audience (potentially) heads into season 2. Grant has become more likable over the course of the series, but he never truly grew out of that “Captain Cardboard” trope. And then he turned out to be a member of Hydra and freed Bill Paxton from imprisonment. I’m willing to overlook any plot discrepancies this twist might lead to for the sake of continued character growth. If his role in the team as a boy scout is proving to be the weakest dynamic, turning him into a villain will surely make for more interesting confrontations.

Source: ABC

The reveal that May was keeping tabs on Coulson for Nick Fury didn’t have enough time to resonate amidst the plethora of other plot twists. What did work was Coulson learning it was actually May who assembled the team. May sent the roster of recruits to Fury, who then handed the list to Coulson, so he could recruit his own team to keep an eye on himself in case he went berserk. Sounds convoluted? It definitely is, but it’s nice to see a revisit to the team’s origins.

Skye didn’t have much to do this episode other than enter an eye-roll worthy romance with Ward. Hopefully this doesn’t end up affecting the proceedings for Dark Ward too much. It would be easy for future episodes to involve a complicated will they/won’t they vibe between these two now that they’re on opposite teams. We’ll find out if the show has learned from previous mistakes well enough to avoid drastic new ones.

Fitz/Simmons have a fun brother/sister dynamic that feels right at home among any classic Whedonesque friendships. This dynamic duo is a joy to watch on screen. The actors have grown into a comfortable chemistry with one another, but the individual scenes of the characters were handled just as well. Even with their lives seemingly at an end, both characters stand their ground and stay true to their beliefs. It’s a small part in the grand scheme of the episode but one worth mentioning.

Source: ABC

Agents of SHIELD continues to head down the proper path to becoming appointment television. It’s not quite up to par with other shows bearing the Whedon name, but if these episodes keep improving, it just might be.

Don’t forget, next Tuesday is back-to-back episodes for Agents of SHIELD which means double-reviews!

There were quite a few moving parts in this episode and for the most part they worked. A few minor points:

  • How about that flying sequence in the beginning? Not too bad for a TV budget.
  • The only thing that significantly bummed me out about this episode was that Bill Paxton never said “Game over” after he bested Coulson and his team.
  • By the way, there needs to be a group name for Coulson’s team. Buffy had the Scooby Gang. Angel had the Fang Gang. Firefly had Browncoats. Dollhouse had… well its not really that important. If you have a name recommendation for our favorite SHIELD agents, sound off in the comments below!
Diego Crespo

Diego champions fallen TV shows that never had a chance to shine. LOST ruined his life for the better. Diego spends his days trying to convince strangers that Buffy the Vampire Slayer is one of the best shows ever made.

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