Agents of SHIELD 1×18 ‘Providence’: Agents of… we’re working on it.

CLARK GREGG, PATTON OSWALT

Agents of SHIELD continues to improve with an episode that finds HYDRA making power plays across the globe. Meanwhile, Coulson and his team must ask themselves what they’re fighting for. Yes, it’s all connected.

When Agents of SHIELD first began airing in the fall of 2013, I enjoyed it as a guilty pleasure. A harmless quick fix for my Marvel needs.  Now, I find myself enjoying this show less as a guilty pleasure and more as an actual show. The previously messy plot threads and character beats have found their way into a solid narrative.

Oh, and the Ward, Agent of HYDRA, reveal is working out pretty well. It was nice to see Raina again (More on the plethora of supporting players later) and it was made even better when she helped address any qualms I had with Ward’s sudden betrayal. Raina basically ran down the list of events, from the pilot to present day, seeing if she could poke any holes in his story. The producers have said that Agent Hand is officially dead. If that wasn’t enough to sway opinions about Ward, he mercilessly executed two SHIELD agents by shooting them in the face (He sure likes shooting people in the face, doesn’t he?). The Skye/Ward relationship, and eventual conflict, is fine without the romantic subplot. I’m hoping SHIELD can continue to impress with a subversion of the trope “Bad guy turned good” trope.

The main cast consisting of Fitz, Simmons, May, Skye, Coulson, and newcomer Antoine Britt, have developed a nice rapport among each other. There was some speechifying this episode, with Coulson claiming they needed to find answers, and it all led to a surprisingly great scene. When all hope is lost, Coulson proclaims that he needed to know that this wasn’t all for nothing. He needed to be shown a path. Agents of SHIELD was initially a show that seemingly had no point or purpose. Why was Coulson brought back? Why did we follow these agents? The previous episodes have done a good job of answering these questions. Now that the characters find themselves looking for a new direction, this show has never had such a clear direction. It’s sort of funny when you look at it like that.

Since we have a nice group of heroes now, it only makes sense that they face off against a team of villains. Boy, is that team shaping up nicely. Apart from Bill Paxton, none of the other villains have stood out well. The writers decide to remedy that by throwing them all together. Not exactly the Masters of Evil but they’ll suffice (Especially since they have control of the Graviton – or is it just Graviton? You know, since Dr. Franklin Hall is still trapped inside that gravity ooze thing.

Source: ABC

Source: ABC

It’s not clear how threatening Glenn Talbot (Adrian Pasdar) will prove to be. Those familiar with Marvel comics will recognize the character as a longtime adversary of the Hulk. He constantly hunts the character across the globe. Perhaps he’ll play a similar role in this series.

There are many great supporting players popping up in the series, but everyone needs to make way for Patton Oswalt as Agent Eric Koenig. Patton Oswalt should guest star on everything all the time. He has this sincere quality about him that just makes his characters so enjoyable to watch. The highlight of the episode had to be the exchange between Koenig and Coulson’s team, followed by his one on one conference with Couslon, “My bad! Fury is not dead.”

Agents of SHIELD took some time to breathe this week and still didn’t let up the tension. The improvement is impressive. Let’s hope it’s not too late to pull viewers back in.

All in favor of starting a Patton Oswalt petition where he shall forever guest star on everything, comment down below with “Aye!”

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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