The commercials have been hyping this episode of “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” as a game-changer and this was the rare case when an episode lived up to the hype.
For a minute I thought I turned on the wrong show as “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” took a hard right and ventured straight onto Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith Order 66 territory.
No more pleasant, happy go-lucky episodes with a silly “meteor-freak” of the week. Nope, the show has gotten serious.
Picking right off from last episode, Coulson isn’t sure who to trust among his team beyond Skye and Fitz. He’s got Ward locked up and has a gun pointed at May. Scratch that, he deals with the May trust question and locks her in with Ward. Not sure if I like that plan of putting the team’s most dangerous members together if you don’t trust them there, Phil. Then things get extra crazy when Garrett (yea more Bill Paxton!!) comes through after being pursued by S.H.I.E.L.D. drones courtesy of Victoria Hand. The show must have been saving its budget for the home stretch as that dogfight looked pretty good and didn’t scream “TV Budget!!!” like some earlier episodes.
Simmons and Tripplet are at S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Hub and he may or may not be Hydra. Whew. That was a relief. B.J. Britt has been making Tripp too likeable for him to be a double agent. And there’s that potential Fitz/Simmons/Tripp love triangle we’ve got to develop too. I’m not the only one who wants to see that, am I?
After getting transport beamed down to the Hub (and I’m wondering if the writers were feeling especially inspired by Star Wars tonight), Coulson and his crew split up to track down Hand. Skye and Ward finally kiss and it’s every bit as dreamy as we figured. Tripp and Simmons get caught by her agents, but it turns out Hand was a red herring and is actually still a devoted S.H.I.E.L.D. member.
I liked how the majority of the episode really left you guessing who was the traitor. I was hoping for a real shake-up and have one of the regular cast members be a Hydra agent, but Garrett was a good choice. I finally remembered he was a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent that was in the Daredevil “Fall From Grace” storyline. Ward is distraught, though not as visibly angry as Tripp who looks like he’s giving Garrett some helpful directions that he can go to down way south.
Thankfully, the show doesn’t drag out events from “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” as Hand tells Phil that Captain America has stopped Project Insight. Can I tell you how much I’m loving the synergy between movie and the show right now? Quick, somebody figure out a way to tie this in with “Guardians of the Galaxy!” Hand is taking Garrett to The Fridge and Ward wants to go with her. Vic, there’s a bit too much time in this episode left. I’m starting to think we haven’t seen the last of the double crosses…
Yep, Ward has gone all Anakin Skywalker on the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents and Victoria to rescue Garrett. Wow. That was a gutsy move and one that is only going to make this show even more intriguing through its season conclusion. That’s definitely what you’d call a game-changer. I’m hoping this means Britt has been bumped up to show regular and will be assuming Ward’s spot on the team.
Next week’s teaser helpfully informs us that this won’t be an extended “24” plotline where the audience knows who the traitor is, but Jack and company don’t find out for six more episodes and that Ward will make his side known. Wow! So that was a lot of awesome S.H.I.E.L.D. action there. The show now has given the team something they desperately needed — a dangerous arch-enemy and a villain capable of lasting more than one episode. If the writers play it right Ward doesn’t have to get written off the show and can simply be S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Nina Myers.
“Arrow” now actually has some company on the best comic book theme TV show finally. It makes me wonder if everything leading up to this was just treading water until “Winter Solider.”
I’ve got a ton of questions. What will Skye do after learning she can’t trust any love interest? How quickly will May kick Ward’s a$$? Is Coulson the top S.H.I.E.L.D. agent now?