This review contains spoilers.
What is it about using acronyms as episode titles in this series? As Skye’s life hangs in the balance, Agent Coulson knows there is only one way to save her – the same way S.H.I.E.L.D. saved him. The team rush to find the secret base where they hope to find something that can help.
Enter Agent Garrett (Bill Paxton) who goes back a long way with Coulson. Garrett has the gruff chops of a veteran agent, a nice change to the fresh young faces we’re used to – Paxton’s arrival appears to be a one-off but he has been confirmed as a welcome recurring guest star. He brings with him rookie agent Triplett (B.J. Britt), who forms a bit of a connection to Simmons – despite the fact that Simmons and Fitz are made for each other. They’ve got the catchy name and everything.
In what is a rather serious, action-packed episode there are a number of new questions raised. What the devil was that creature Coulson found? Is it, as rumours suggest, a nod to this summer’s Guardians of the Galaxy? When it comes to big-screen tie-ins, one thing’s for sure: the links with Asgard will continue when Jamie Alexander brings her Lady Sif to the universe next week.
There are still issues to solve among the series regulars, though. Despite being another solid outing, the fate of Skye isn’t handled particularly well this week. Clairvoyance has already been poo-pooed as nonsense in this Marvel Universe, but the introduction of a regenerative serum is a concern – this is what killed off the Heroes franchise and will hopefully be avoided in the long run.
Clark Gregg does show signs of internal struggle over its use, but this could have been more deeply explored. Coulson wanted to die, he didn’t ask to be saved. Now, faced with one of his own in the same situation, the opportunity to really go into the morals of letting someone die was there but not taken. You could argue that in doing so, Agents might have been turned it into drama rather than entertainment, but Coulson could have at least fought a little harder.
With only a handful of episodes remaining, it’s clear that the latter half of this show has been much better than the first. With more from Deathlok to come and the promise of a Clairvoyant reveal, strap yourselves in and enjoy the ride.
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