Saturday, June 22, 2024

Agents of SHIELD Took A Week Off, And Some Cool Stuff Happened

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Underwhelming title, I know, but in all fairness this episode, while not bad, was a bit too…I don’t want to say paint-by-numbers, but for the most part it was just too easy to predict. But maybe that’s just me, because I consume a ridiculous amount of media. I mean, it could be both. It’s probably both.

I’m going to keep this one a tad short, since there really isn’t all that much to talk about. Even the Sokovia Accords leaking is just one of those things that was gonna happen eventually.

Anyway, I think this episode was trying to go for some sort of big action-y blockbuster story, but didn’t really pull it off. The opening scene couldn’t have been a better demonstration of that. Yoyo’s at a party, there’s a blackout, and one helicopter falls out of the sky and hits the building across from them.

This was pretty cool, though
This was pretty cool, though

I get that they have a CGI budget, but maybe zoom out and show some damn planes dropping like bricks? Especially since, as we find out later, it’s not just one pulse, but a constant one.

Which means that any modern aircraft flying into the blackout zone would, you guessed it, fall out of the sky. See, that’s blockbuster-y and scary.

Oh, the Inhumanity!

Honestly, from the first Totally-Not-Supposed-To-Be-Anonymous broadcast by the “inhumans”, I called it. It’s a distraction. They’re framing the Inhumans, the Sokovia Accords leaked, and they’re gonna try and wipe them all out. And that’s basically what happened.

What I did not expect was that the President of the United States would be totally cool with submitting to terrorist demands. Y’know, since sending in troops to blackout zones to wipe out the Inhumans is a little thing called genocide. I get that they’re trying to draw parallels between Anti-Inhuman sentiment and xenophobia, but c’mon.

That’s been the X-Men’s thing since forever, which really just reinforces the bummer that the Inhumans aren’t just knock-off X-Men anymore. The MCU is pushing even harder now for us to see them as identical, and it’s sorta working.

That Senator Nadeer is literally mad with grief thanks to her brother’s death by the hands of the terrigen mists from…jesus, what, two years ago? Wasn’t the whole fish oil thing sorta resolved when they said it got to 100% exposure and all the “kills you by turning you into stone” thing got flushed out?

Guess nobody cared about that guy enough to notice he’s been missing for two years. Bit of an oversight, perhaps. But it could be that he just never got out of the cocoon and had a heart attack in there.

Ghost Rider and Quake Do Some Ridesharing; Part Amicably

There’s really very little to cover when it comes to Robbie and Daisy this week. They hung out for a bit. Stopped some day rioters—which is in itself ridiculous since rioting helps people steal stuff at night because there aren’t any lights— from stealing his brother’s wheelchair because horrible people like that exist. With guns.

Then they…talked about stuff we already knew about, and that plot kinda went nowhere. Strange that they hinted at them teaming up in a big way, only to have it end almost immediately. Sure, we learn some tidbits about Ghost Rider’s healing factor in exactly the same way that I explained it in my review. And that’s about it.

Melinda May’s Day Off

So, May was infected with something I’ll just call Ghost Flu. It kills one of the Chinese mafia dudes while Phil and Jemma watch, on a live feed, the CDC totally fail at being a real government agency and helping May not die. And then Jeffrey, who is a pretty good guy still, tells Phil where she is…even though the last episode ended with him explicitly telling him that it was classified and he couldn’t say anything. I wouldn’t say this bothered me exactly, it really didn’t.

But another episode goes by without a mention of the “Spectrum of Security”? That, friends, is unforgivable. Comedy gold, just sitting there. “Phil, yellow’s not your color, but I’ve got a real good feeling about orange.”

Right, regardless of squandered potential, May takes a vacation this episode to face fear itself in her own head while also being literally scared to death. I’m being passe about this because there just weren’t any real palpable stakes here. Sure, it was cool that Jemma and Radcliffe were forced to admit that “touched by a ghost” was actually what happened, and it was neat there was still a science-y thing they could do, but it felt like treading water.

Pbbth, like death could stop her.
Pbbth, like death could stop her.

The blackout happens at the point when we all know it will, AIDA comes in handy like we knew she would, and May lives without missing a beat. Just gets up and is mildly irritated, which is her default so to me this came out as a well deserved nap for Melinda May. Which is good, she deserves that, but c’mon. No real tension there. For me, at least. Dunno, wasn’t feeling it.

World’s Finest: Batman and Flash Yoyo and Friends

Now, even with all that griping, I have to hand it to the production team for two absolutely stellar action sequences involving Yoyo. They’re smart, brutal, and beautifully choreographed. They exploit the living hell out of the blackout and everything that Yoyo is capable of. The flare gun being used in place of a rocket for an opening shot to confuse the Watch Dogs, the long, sweeping shots of everyone getting their asses handed to them, and, of course, that bit with the EMP generator.


That was some A+ action, right there. The inclusion of the glow stick as a distraction, since Yoyo can’t run faster than light, was inspired, and what happened after, with the two-second intervals of lighting was flawlessly executed. Lights out, guns gone, kick ass. In lesser hands, this would have been an absolute disaster. 

The idea of only seeing slices of a fight with flickering lighting isn’t new, and often it’s used with thunderstorms or muzzle flares. But, most of the time, you get pretty disoriented just trying to follow the action.

Not here, though. If there’s one thing that Agents of SHIELD has only gotten better at over the years, it’s combining meta-human abilities with good old fashioned punches to the throat. Combining elements that are quintessentially Batman—taking out the lights and appearing behind people—and, surprisingly, Flash.

Well, not TV Flash. More like Wally West. And I’m, again, not talking about the TV version, or the modern version of Wally West. The original Wally West—look he’s always been far more clever with his speed than Barry ever was, okay? That’s the point I’m making.

Wrap-Up Thoughts

  • Why would they relocate Inhumans to Moscow, of all places?
  • The fact that the host tried to sacrifice the guy who did cheap magic as an Inhuman is stupid and hysterical. Some jerk would absolutely try and pull that.
  • Just because you turn the EMP off doesn’t mean the power goes back on. You have to rewire everything. Yes. Everything.
  • Fitz casually saving the day by finding out where the EMP device is using corks, water and math was delightful.
  • Nobody cares about Lincoln, Jeffrey! Or Burrows from HR!
  • And okay, wow, if Lincoln was capable of blacking out an entire city then he half assed basically everything, didn’t he?
  • Phil’s hand got stuck. Priceless.
  • SHIELD is public again! Kinda feel like this shoulda been a bigger moment.
  • I swear I’m not trying to bring DC Comics into a Marvel show, but it’s just what I’m seeing!

Images courtesy of ABC

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