VOD TV review: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Episode 20 (Nothing Personal)
Neil Brazier | On 25, May 2014
It’s the return of Maria Hill in Episode 20 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., as Cobie Smulders makes her second appearance of the season and shows no signs she’s lost any of her ability since joining the HR department at Stark Industries. Maria and Agent May have a discussion about the state of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the whereabouts of Director Fury. This exposition helps neither May nor the viewer, but who cares? The two have some great chemistry. It’s a pleasure to have Hill back.
Meanwhile, Ward is forcing Skye to unlock the hard drive containing all of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s secrets, but, as usual, Skye is being tricky – and so we get awkward scenes of deception and anger, not that you can tell. Both Ward and Skye are still the most unlikeable characters of the show and the pair’s acting skills haven’t improved enough for them to be carrying scenes, let alone together. Ward’s turn from good to bad hasn’t helped as much as it could’ve; in fact, he now has to show a whole new range of emotions and conflict, which appear to be out of his scope.
The real meat of the show lies within Fitz and Simmons, as it has all along. Their love story may be clichéd – oh, the feelings that dare not be spoken by the shy, geeky Fitz! – but together they embody the definition of cute. They share a scene at a hotel pool, which sees Simmons place her hand on the leg of Fitz. Could she too secretly harbour feelings for her nickname’s other half?
The week culminates with Coulson saving Skye from Hydra, which leaves an ambivalent flavour. Coulson’s method of rescue could have been incredible, but once again, the show’s budget didn’t seem to stretch as far as its vision, leaving it looking cheap and tacky. (However, it did leave a laugh and at Skye’s expense, so every cloud…)
Captain America: The Winter Soldier has dramatically altered the series. One thing that hasn’t yet been addressed from the film’s fallout, though, is the fact that Black Widow has put all of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s secrets out into the public domain – does this include the secret that Coulson is alive, or did Fury manage to keep that covered up?
Episode 20 continues going full pelt as we near the season finale. It has some weaker moments, but that has always come to be expected from Marvel’s small screen adventures. It’s a shame that guest stars such as Cobie Smulders can’t be utilised more, as she does bring an enhanced sense that this is the Marvel Universe we have seen in the movies; an air of added quality, which only helps to cover up other character’s blandness. Here’s hoping Hill hangs around until the end.