Since I rewatched “FZZT” rather close to seeing “The Hub”, I felt that there was quite a bit of clean up from “FZZT” in this episode. If “FZZT” was about Simmons and her relationship with Fitz, “The Hub” was about Fitz coming to terms with the fact that he would risk his life for Simmons, only to have the opportunity snatched from him by Ward and actually making friends with him. I loved the fact that while we’re initially led to believe that Ward needed to protect Fitz, Fitz was given instructions to watch Ward’s back as well. Having Ward confront Fitz over his jealousy that Ward was the one to save the day and confirm that Simmons knew that Fitz was ready to do the same was a great moment; I loved that they actually talked and screamed at each other and then were left with the realization that they were acting as a team. I feel as if both of them went into the mission with the idea that the other was grudgingly doing their job, then realized that they both care about the other coming out safely and strengthened their bond as teammates (with the ladies + Coulson doing the same to make sure their boys would return to them.)
On the relationship side, while the first few episodes appeared to be setting up a love triangle between Ward, Skye, and Fitz, these last two episodes feel as if they switched Skye with Simmons. What screams this to me is that scene at the end, with Fitz regaling Simmons with his side of the mission and Simmons responding with her hijinks, because the way Fitz’s face just falls over it says he either feels like he’s being left behind or he’s crushed that Simmons didn’t appear impressed. Skye reacts to everyone more as if she’s accepted the team as her family, which given it’s a Whedon show, is an important element. Truthfully, all possible relationships are up in the air (and my preferred answer to love triangles is polyamory ;).)
Another good episode, but …. no, first I’m going to say that there is a lot of good about “F.Z.Z.T.” It has a great deal of what people wanted from Agents of SHIELD. The problem with this episode is that it happened at the wrong time. Six episodes in is firmly in the middle of the season. We’ve seen enough of the characters to have a vague idea about who they are and how they react, and truthfully, in the first five episodes, there wasn’t much more. We’re to far in the season to be shocked at the possibility of a major character dieing, and we knew too little about the characters to have a deep, emotional bond with them (in fact, this is the first real development for Simmons because everything else we had learned was more about Fitz.) In other words, I had no doubt in my mind that Simmons would be rescued after her jump. That shock value was depending far too much on Whedon’s reputation for killing off character and hadn’t provided anything substantial to make me think they would really kill Simmons off. They either needed this as the second or third episode, or waited til there was more character development.
On the other hand, we get to learn more about the characters! Can you believe this is really the first time we’ve seen them interacting as people instead of agents. Everything else has been about the plot or Skye’s training. So yay! You’re doing something I wish I’d seen in 3A of Teen Wolf! (Because the more I think about it, the more I realize that Scott’s “journey” into a True Alpha didn’t happen. It just was.)
The rest in list format, because I put this off too long!
So first: Reviews are going to continue to be late for the next few weeks. I volunteer at/help organize the local library book sale, which is gearing up to occur next week, so I’m busy. (But if you’re in the Kansas City area, stop by Metcalf South and pick up come great deals.)
On with the review:
I think this episode shows what many of us wanted from Agents of SHIELD. This was the first time the show felt settled and comfortable with what it was. Once again, not amazing, but a solid episode. Hopefully we’ll see more of these with a few standouts that we’ll be quoting for years.
This review is going to be completely in list format since a)it’s seriously late and b)my week became rather crazy. I’ll try to cover as much as possible.
This is going up a little later than usual. For some reason, I felt the need to let last night’s episode percolate a little longer. This was probably the oddest reaction I had; I immediately felt the need to sit back and think about what I’d just seen. Well that and the fact that the episode is titled “The Asset.” With all the promotion I saw online, I would’ve thought it was called Origin.
The episode is centered around the kidnapping of a SHIELD asset, Dr. Franklin Hall, by his old college buddy Ian Quinn. Quinn had recently discover an up til then theoretical element (gravitonium) that would allow Hall’s previous designs to become a reality. Quinn needs Hall in order to control the devices on a large scale, but also because he believes in freedom of information and that he is actually saving Hall from SHIELD. My impression from the few lines dedicated to these beliefs is that he’s less for complete transparency and sharing of information and more wants a corporate oligarchy in charge. He is a businessman after all.
Back on the Bus, Skye is beginning her field agent training with Ward, which currently involves boxing and previously involved pull-ups. We learn a little bit more about the responsibility of the SO, as well as the differences between the different tracks. We also get a bit more tension between Skye and Ward, and hopefully Whedon will just let them hook up, because I don’t care about them enough for a “will they, won’t they” relationship. The team is then assigned to retrieve Hall and struggle to come up with a plan that won’t break international law since Quinn is located in Malta, a country that does not work with SHIELD. As the agents throw out and shoot down ideas to infiltrate Quinn’s shareholder party, Skye interrupts with the news that she has an invitation, or rather and e-vite.
A small note (which if you read my Bourne Legacy review, I’m sure this will surprise you.), I’d never seen Monsters, Inc. before. I know, it’s ridiculous; the movie came out over 10 years ago. It’s been on TV numerous times. How did I manage to avoid it?
The answer is a conglomeration of things. Number one, I was at that age where my mother no longer had to take me to the movies + animated movies were for “kids” (everyone goes through the stage, it just meant we waited for the home video release, and often in my case for my band director to have a personal day.) Number two, my family was getting ready to move/moving to another state around the time of DVD/VHS (they still existed!) release, so we were trying not to add too much more to the pile [we severely weeded our VHS collection (because we had maybe two DVDs) which consisted mostly of home recorded stuff that was tossed, but we still got rid of a few things.] Number three, by the time Monsters, Inc. showed up on TV, I’d lost interest. Number four, in the following decade, I had far more important films to see first like Finding Nemo, Toy Story 3, WALL-E, Up, Tangled, numerous Ghibli films, and all those pesky live action films that caught my attention. In summary, I finally watched Monsters, Inc. because Monsters University came out this summer, and I am anal enough to want to consume media in the order it was produced. Why yes, I am one of those advocates for the publication order of Narnia. A belief that was strengthened when I found out that the “fourth” book of Patricia C. Wrede’s Enchanted Forest Chronicles was actually written first. I might’ve enjoyed it more had I read it before the other three.
Agents of SHIELD brought a better episode this time. It’s still a very stereotypical “the team learns to work together” episode, but it helped me get a better feel for the series. Or a least give it to midseason to make a “final” decision about, because I did enjoy it more than the pilot.
The episode begins with a view of the Bus flying with audio of Coulson communicating with air traffic control when suddenly a hole appears in the Bus, and a body goes flying. Flashback to the day before, Skye moving into the Bus and saying (a temporary) goodbye to her van (and of course, SHIELD has a device that can drive it for them.) We learn that the team is headed to Peru to deal with an 084 or an object of unknown origin (the last one was Mjölnir). The team arrives at an Incan Temple (archeology/history experts, was that one that was appropriate for Peru? Thinking back, it looked more Mayan to me, but that could be a Hollywood bias. Also, Google Images brought up the same images for both Maya and Inca.) and discover an impossible device embedded into the wall. I’m not going to lie, I saw possible Tesseract technology and South American and was convinced we’d see Nazis or HYDRA. Instead we get Peruvian national police (with a connection to Coulson) and local rebels.