Monday, February 10, 2014

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. -- T.R.A.C.K.S.

Man! That's a lot of effin' puncuation!   *whew*

This last episode will have to hold fans over until early March, as the Olympics and such are filling prime time television. Which is okay because this was another very good episode, as they seem to have hit their stride in storytelling and character portrayal.

We have the gang riding on a train as the bad guys from Cybertek are transporting a mysterious package to the equally bad Ian Quinn. The team splits into groups for the surveillance. There's some fun there as May debuts herself in a sexy Black Widow-eque outfit sporting some nice cleavage which Ward is taken aback with. And Simmons has to pose as Coulson's daughter so she wildly over-prepares a background for the character so she can lose herself in it.

Everything goes wrong as the team's cover is blown and the baddies from Cybertek attack the team. We see Coulson and Ward dive off the back of the train as a grenade of some sort is tossed out after them. The train then disappears in a clould of blue smoke.

Uh oh.

The writers do a neat thing here by splitting the story up and telling it from each character group's point of view. Leading to a final showdown at Quinn's mansion where everyone returns to a single timeline.

As I said, they've got the storytelling down much better now. There's plenty of subtle humor -- Coulson's quip about the disappearing train as he hopes this doesn't mean another interaction with the Asgardians, Simmons' interaction as Coulson's daughter, and Ward and Coulson trying to figure out how to use the holotable was much like someone's first interaction with a touch-screen device. The action is much better too. After some clunky early efforts, we get to see May as something that should rightfully be known as The Cavarly. She shows a nasty side, gets bloody, does some serious ass-kicking and kills someone with a carpet knife.

There's plenty of foreshadowing as well. The Clairvoyant is apparently going to be the recurring baddy for the show. And he now controls Mike Peterson who will become the Deathlok character (a minor MARVEL character -- reanimated cyborg) for the series. More hints about the danger of Skye as an 0-8-4 designated item. With the next episode supposedly taking place at The Hub as the team needs some emergency medical stuff to save a critically wounded member, we may get some more background into Coulson's own death experience.

All in all, some pretty good stuff for 8:00pm network television.

And I say that because I'm a bit mystified at some of the crabbing by various folks online who bitch about the series. I don't find the interaction between May and Ward to be a distraction. In fact, I find it sort of cute that they've reversed roles with the two -- May (the female) is simply using Ward for release sex, while Ward (the male) is getting sort of emotionally involved. I also like Skye's character and the slowly evolving mystery of her background is not a diversion to me. If the series lasts (fingers crossed), they've left themselves with a lot of room to do something cool with her. I'm curious to see where they're going with the Deathlok/Clairvoyant plotline, so the writers have done their job there. Supposedly, we've got upcoming cameos from Lady Sif from the Thor movies, so more Asgard stuff. It's enough to keep me coming back every week and not just to gripe about things.

These folks bitch on one hand because things aren't wrapped up in one episode, then complain that they aren't stretching stuff out on the other. Or want characters like Skye killed off because they don't like her. Plenty of fans didn't like Andy Sipowicz in the first season of NYPD Blue, and he turned out to be one of television's best characters. Not that Skye = Sipowicz, but give them time to flesh her out -- jeez.

No fun pics of Chloe Bennett this time. Instead here's a couple of Saffron Burrows who plays S.H.I.E.L.D. senior agent Victoria Hand:

She's put on some weight from her younger days, I almost didn't recognize her when she first appeared on the show. heh

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