Butler County Times Gazette
  • Costello: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. finally expands horizons, still needs more

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  • For most of the series, “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” delivered strong individual episodes with small clues as to what was in store for future shows. Sometimes there were strong references to other things going on with Marvel, but more often than not, the show has felt unnecessarily isolated.
    Things are still moving too slowly, but they may finally start to be gaining momentum. In the end, it’s clear the season will finish strongly and have great ties to the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. There will be connections to “Captain America 2,” possibly some plot-centric ones, even. But the pacing still leaves a bad taste.
    The show has expanded the past two weeks to bridge with the movies in a big way. The newest episode, entitled “Yes Men,” brought Sif, the woman warrior from the Thor movies, into action! Sif (played well by Jaimie Alexander—get to know her name) came because she discovered the episode’s new villain, Lorelei, was trying to take over the Earth (one of the nine realms) by using her mind-control powers on men (Sif gives a great comical line to Simmons about how women don’t share men’s weaknesses). Lorelei is a strong, sultry, seductive woman (played well by Elena Satine) who takes control of Agent Ward, among others, in a quest to take out S.H.I.E.L.D., her main opposition.
    The episode features the best fight in the series to date as Sif and Lorelei go at it in the interrogation room onboard S.H.I.E.L.D.’s plane. The episode cleverly pits Ward (still under Lorelei’s mesmerizing influence) in a fight with Agent May, bringing an emotional weight to May.
    Meanwhile, agent Coulson is having doubts about injecting Skye with an unknown serum that turned out to save her life from the bullet shot she took two episodes ago. He now is faced with the task of going behind S.H.I.E.L.D.’s back to find out the truth to his and Skye’s situation. Especially after last week’s discovery in the “Tahiti” episode about where the serum came from: a dead alien body. Now, with Sif’s knowledge at his disposal, Coulson is given another breadcrumb to follow as he now knows where to start his search.
    This is an important development for Coulson. He and Simmons even have a heated argument in one of the best acted scenes in the series regarding the serum. Coulson is starting to break away a little bit from the rulebook, so it’ll be interesting to see how that plays out.
    Page 2 of 2 - Several other small nods of references were given to the MCU. Sif mentioned Odin, who requested Lorelei stay alive (Loki, if you remember the end of Thor 2, pretended to be Odin). Coulson mentions Nick Fury’s name a couple of times, but only that he was “off the grid.” Wonder if that has anything to do with “Captain America 2” coming out April 4.
    While there was plenty of good stuff, there still was a lack of advancement within the season itself. The Clairvoyant is still a mystery. Are Ward and May still an item? Will Ward veer off in Skye’s direction? Does any of that matter? What’s behind Coulson’s Tahiti trip? Whatever happened to Mike, the one who shot Skye? There are so many questions and storylines hanging in the air. That’d be okay if they weren’t completely ignored. It’s like Joss Whedon, the writer of the show, is juggling too many bouncy balls in the air. Either some or all of them will fall, or everyone will be amazed. Hopefully it’s the latter.

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