Tuesday, October 7, 2014

TV REVIEW: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Episode 3, Season 2)

EPISODE 3, SEASON 2- "Making Friends and Influencing People"
Tonight's episode of "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." was cool for a couple reasons. One reason is that we finally learn was Simmons has been up to for awhile now. Second reason, we got to see Blizzard...oops, I mean Donnie Gill from season one again.
It seems a theme is already forming on this second season of "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." and that theme seems to be "nobody is who they seem." The small teaser trailer for tonight's episode last week had us fooled that Simmons had joined HYDRA. We learned tonight that this is not the case, we learned that Director Coulson has put Simmons in HYDRA as an undercover. She is getting closer than anyone right now to what HYDRA is up to. It was a great role reversal, it was a shock that didn't seem forced and it was a highlight for Elizabeth Henstrige. All throughout season one, Simmons along with Fritz never caught onto me as characters. Not until the very end of the season at least. I like that this season is transforming these British agents into humans, humans we care about, they are no longer cliché's and that's a massive piece of wonderful.
Tonight we also learned to hate the main villains more. So far we know very little about Daniel Whitehall (Reed Diamond). We met him in WWII getting a bunch of toys taken away from him by Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell). We learned that he survived WWII and that he is still very young. Now, he is capturing and brainwashing former S.H.I.E.L.D. agents to serve HYDRA. The brainwashing treatment, let me tell you, its rather brutal unto itself. The idea of brainwashing came up a couple times this episode and it beginning to bring many questions to my mind. We also know that Bucky (Sebastian Stan) was brainwashed by HYDRA, or at least sort of, from "Captain America: The Winter Soldier." All of this makes me wonder if Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford) was also brainwashed or if he was a pure HYDRA agent.
I still love that Grant Ward (Brett Dalton) is becoming the Hannibal Lecter of the series and that he is still feeding Coulson information through a jail cell. Actually, let me re-phrase that, Ward is feeding Skye (Chloe Bennett) information FOR Coulson and Ward is doing it through a jail cell. Watching Dalton portray Ward as kind of caged lion is quite cool and releases some of his best acting on the series to date. One thing that rattled me though is a possibility that came at the end of the show, the possibility that Ward and Skye may run away together so that Skye can learn her past. Honestly, that it would such a safe subplot, I want Ward to remain bad and I want Skye to remain good. Turing their storyline into a mini-"Hannibal" would be a huge mistake in my opinion. Right now, the show is benefiting from being unpredictable, and I want the show to stay that way.
Oh and have I mentioned Donnie Gill (Dylan Minnette) yet? If I haven't, holy cow his powers are cool. Some may claim that he is a Iceman rip-off, but rest assured, there was a character is Marvel comics named Donnie Gill and he became the supervillain Blizzard. I am still in love with the notion of the show taking more queues from Marvel comics and episode after episode, this feels connected to what is going on in the movies. This show is beginning to become a full reflection of Marvel comics themselves and I am loving it. I love that we don't quite learn the fate of Gill at the end of the episode and I hope he shows up more in the future.
I have to mention how juicy Fritz (Iain de Caestecker) is becoming as a character. I mean what he did to Ward in order to get him to talk tonight? Whoa, I had no idea we would ever see that kind of behavior from Fritz on this show. Much like Simmons, Fritz is beginning to become a character to care about, a character to think about, a character who is becoming more and more compelling at a weekly rate. I can't wait to see where his character goes from here.
Another solid episode tonight. Another example of how this show is getting better and better. If Marvel stays on this path, "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." will be a show to remember very soon. If it isn't already, that is.

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