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We had to wait nine episodes but finally, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has become the show everyone wanted it to be. Now, though, we have to wait again as it was the mid-season finale that really brought the show to life.
Having established many plot points in the opening nine episodes, there was never anything in Marvel’s TV series to bring them all together, until now. For Episode 10 (the last instalment of 2013) steps back and pulls all the strings together, showing it has been woven into a wonderful tapestry. This will hopefully follow through the remaining episodes: The Bridge isn’t perfect, but it’s a whole other level clearance over what we’ve seen already.
Centipede has returned, having apparently perfected their super soldier serum. Led by a newly released Edison Po and The Girl in The Flower Dress – Raina – they have been told by The Clairvoyant that they need one more thing: Agent Coulson.
Also returning is Mike Peterson, the first Centipede experiment victim from the pilot, newly reformed and honing his good guy skills at the S.H.I.E.L.D. training facility. There is an excellent scene with Peterson and Fitzsimmons early on; it seems the whole cast is on fire as they interact with one another – yes, even Agent Ward and Skye.
The return of Peterson also brings some heart and his scene with Coulson is one of the best since Clark Gregg had a heart-to-heart with a fireman back in Episode Six.
Ward and May are still having (ahem) secret relations and with May giving Skye some attitude, Marvel continue to leave threads available to tug at in the second half of this season. With Po, Raina and the promise of The Clairvoyant, Centipede has surely now been established as the show’s bad guys – to deviate from them again would be disastrous. The truth behind Agent Coulson will also be revealed in the next episode, if the season’s first cliff-hanger episode didn’t have you clamouring for more.
There a plenty of positives to take from this mid-season finale and perhaps the break will give the writers a chance to assess what worked and what didn’t from their opening episodes, with an eye to bring the detractors and naysayers back in for the second half.
With The Bridge, they have certainly set the stage for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. to become something more.
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