Agents of SHIELD 1×21 ‘Ragtag’: E.M.P. or is it emp?

SOURCE: ABC

The agents of SHIELD go old-school with some spy tech and decide the best way to move large files is by using Windows.

I really dig this show now. I’m honestly saddened that the show only has one episode left in the season (possibly series?). But let’s talk about this episode. The first half was a slower pace than the last couple episodes but it really kicked up in the second half. All the pieces are set for a big showdown. Will Fitz and Simmons survive to see it all go down? Probably. But that didn’t stop the moment from being any less intense. Let’s go back a step and look at the Ward and Garrett relationship.

The flashback part of the episode felt less integral to the plot at first. I caught myself thinking, “So what?” Wouldn’t all this information have been better suited in a previous episode? But then the episode momentum kicked up a notch with the comedy/heist scene (More on that in a second) and the episode began to run more smoothly as a parallel to past and present Ward. Garrett saving Ward from his incarnation (HYDRA sure loves to shoot their way out of prisons) was reason enough to thank him and owe him. Then we got to see how Garrett broke him down and made him survive in the woods for 6 months. It was good but felt a little too clean to me. I mean, the kid didn’t even grow a beard! There were a few lines about how he robbed cabins so I’ll let it slide.

But where the episode really kicked off was the infiltration mission to grab some files. The files were all hard copies so then we get that great line where they had to move a “large file” by throwing it out of a window. The humor clearly worked much better than in previous episodes and it is paying off well. The continued reference to Tripp’s Howling Commando grandpa could have become extraneous but Coulson’s fanboyisms help make it keep a warm welcome.

SOURCE: ABC  'This file cabinet pissed me off. Let's throw it out a window'

SOURCE: ABC
‘This file cabinet pissed me off. Let’s throw it out a window’

I’d have to say the highlight of the episode was Fitz. He almost killed Garrett with an EMP! His continued devotion to Ward has been sweet. Thankfully it didn’t last long enough to turn into an annoyance. Up to the point where Ward launched them into the ocean, I was concerned that the show would have him turn good because of a guilty conscience. I don’t want that. You probably don’t want that. The time has come for Ward to die. He might have some remorse for his actions, as the show explained through the use of flashbacks with a dog Garrett ordered him to put down, but he’s got a reckoning waiting for him. The real question is, who’s reckoning will he suffer? Coulson, May, and Skye might have the most reasons to kill him, but it’s really up for grabs to who gets the killing blow.

Ward has made a compelling villain for the latter half of this season alongside the great Bill Paxton, but they don’t need to overstay their welcome. However, I’d still be alright if either character lived past next week’s explosive climax. I don’t see it going so well for Bill Paxton even after he got that goop put inside him to restart his systems. As awesome as it is to discover that Garrett was the prototype for the Deathlok program, he’s gotta go. Even more compelling is the use of Deathlok and Raina. Deathlok just wants to see his son again. Raina just wants to learn about superpowers. All these different villains with all these different goals. This probably won’t end well for any of them.

On the final subject of Raina, what was she talking about with Skye’s parents? Monsters? I doubt this will be resolved by the end of the finale. Nonetheless, the show hasn’t forgotten about it and neither will we. Please don’t let this be canceled. I need to make sure I win those 20 dollars that Skye is either Spider-Woman or related to the Kree.

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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