VOD TV review: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Episode 11 (The Magical Place)
Did we mention Agent Coulson?8
Neil Brazier | On 16, Mar 2014
Warning: This review contains spoilers.
After what seems like an eternity, the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents are back on our screens and, thankfully, they’ve kept all the intensity and enjoyment that the show left with before the New Year. (That’s right, we last saw Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in 2013.)
Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) has been gone for 36 hours and Agent Victoria Hand (Saffron Burrows) has already taken over the plane with her own agents, who are doing their best to disrupt the flow of Team Coulson. She has also kicked Skye off the team, finally answering many fans’ cries for her cull – although really, sorry folks, she’s just been sneakily moved out of plain sight and handed a satellite phone.
Chloe Bennet’s Skye has grown as a character over these past 11 episodes and even her most vocal haters must be coming around to her by now. As an actress, Bennet has developed and, while not every mission will require a hacker, she’s matured with what she’s been given. In this episode, she gets a chance to play the comic role and Chloe shows she can handle that too.
Back on the plane, Hand can’t believe S.H.I.E.L.D. are putting this much effort into finding one agent, but once again, Clark Gregg demonstrates just why S.H.I.E.L.D. need him. While being held captive and tortured by Po (Cullen Douglas) and Raina (Ruth Negga from Episode 5, The Girl in the Flower Dress), Gregg gives Coulson’s turmoil everything. It’s fantastic acting and further proof why Agents should maybe be renamed “The Agent Coulson Show”.
What does niggle this week, though, is the killing off of a minor character after the show invested time in building him up as the main villain – albeit a puppet for the Clairvoyant. Was their death really necessary? This isn’t Game of Thrones: it really serves no purpose and weakens the rest of their story, and also leaves us with the thought that if anyone can get the chop (or in this case, fizzle) then should we bother investing emotionally in the programme?
That said, this is the only negative in an otherwise great restart to the series. In the absence of their fearless leader, the S.H.I.E.L.D. team is able to rally together. Meanwhile, Skye’s dress-up is particularly delightful and her safety word with Simmons provides the chuckles to go against the intense Coulson scenes.
With the demise of this week’s bad guys, where does it all leave Centipede? The hook may provide answers, but with Episode 11 showing Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. remains as intense and enjoyable as ever, this is the time for the series to stitch each episode together.