Agents of SHIELD Slowly Gaining Momentum... Slowly.

2/05/2014 Stephen Colbert 0 Comments


I find myself increasingly on the fence with Agents of SHIELD.  It's like they're more interested in convincing me to come back for the next episode than they are that I commit to the whole season.

I'm still watching it and enjoying a lot of it, but they are taking way longer than necessary to build the overarching plot elements, which makes the seriousness of the episode to episode elements seem less interesting.

We are getting well into the second half of the season with Episode 13: T.R.A.C.K.S.  Things are fortunately gaining steam, but at a rate noticeably slower than my comfort level.  We get to continue to see the team split into different pairings in a way that is starting to pay off, which shows that they are finally developing into an elite SHIELD team.

This episode split the team up into several groups and told the story out of chronological order, but otherwise in a very formulaic fashion.  I don't think the plot was dense enough to justify the jumping around.  They were acting like it was Momento, but the different elements could have easily been told in parallel.  The method was in no way justified. For once there may have been more answers than questions, though, but there's still a lot to develop (and tie up) before the end of the season.


It is definitely an episode worth watching, though. Go watch it if you don't want to be spoiled by the rest of my post.

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Deathlok is pretty cool looking.  It's nice to finally have some more permanent ties to the comics.  Most other tie-ins are quick throwaways, but knowing that Michael Peterson's Deathlok will be a regular part of the show for the rest of the season eases some of the worries that I have about the direction.

His leg looks almost like a piece of of Iron Man's armor, which may be intentional.  It comes from Cybertek, which does have AIM ties, so it only makes sense.  Hopefully he proves to be a relevant and significant character through at least the end of the season (and beyond if needed).


That being said, the only real development that this episode accomplished was the introduction of Deathlok, the capture of Ian Quinn, and the cliffhanger of Skye getting shot.  These elements are all significant, but more time should have been spent on Deathlok and there was no need to track Quinn to the house.  He should have just been on the train and they could have condensed a lot of extraneous elements and added a cool arial train extraction scene at the end.  That sounds like a much better episode to me.

One subtle reveal is that Deathlok (and the other agents that had the eye implant) are apparently controlled directly by the Clairvoyant.  This suggests a strong tech element in the Clairvoyants abilities.  It doesn't remove the likelyhood of a mystical element, but it does call into question my 4 front runners for the role.  I was actually going to suggest Ultron as a fifth possibility when I wrote the article, but the show has convinced me that they would never attempt to make such a direct tie/lead-in to the next Avengers movie.  It does hint of something along those lines now, though.

Sky getting shot was nice.  Mostly because I think most people wouldn't expect the show to cause her—or any other agents—any life threatening harm of that kind.  She'll live, of course, but this also serves as (hopefully) a good way to kick start an examination into who/what she really is.

Also, Stan Lee's cameo was nice, but a bit short and irrelevant.  Still nice to see, though.



I'd like to see the show continue to build from here and create something that doesn't justify just one more episode, but justify a whole closing arc.  They have enough plants to accomplish that, they just need to continue upping the ante.

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