Now this is what I imagined a S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series would look like. The signal flare isn’t going up just yet, but it is now on pre-order. It certainly looks like last week’s upturn in quality was no fluke. Even though it was more or less Skye-centric, ‘Girl in the Flower Dress’ was the series’ strongest instalment to date. It helped that someone finally decided to hit the accelerator on the story arcs.
As well as advancing the Centipede storyline (I really hope that is just the nickname for this evil organisation’s R & D department), Skye’s duplicity was finally exposed to the rest of the team. All because she was stupid enough to not only contact the guy her co-workers were chasing, she actually stayed for a booty call. Seriously, Skye? Do you not understand that S.H.I.E.L.D. is a spy agency? For that alone you should've been kicked off the Bus along with Miles. Dumbass moves aside, Skye did come across as a more sympathetic character this week. This search for her missing parents might be a little cliched, but it makes her a more appealing character than just having her be a smart-aleck hacker rebelling against the system.
So who were (or are) Skye’s parents? Terrorists? Enemy spies? Evil scientist? S.H.I.E.L.D. agents? That last one would be very Spider-Man (in the comics both his parents were spies who were killed while on assignment). Whoever they are I just hope it doesn’t turn out that Coulson is her father. I know there’s this whole “Bring your kid to work Day” vibe to their relationship, but making them actual father and daughter is not a twist I could ever endorse.
I liked how this episode was kind of like a darker version of the pilot. Chan was basically what Super-Gunn would've been like if he had some serious entitlement issues and no cute kid to look after. Like Super-Gunn (I only call him that because I am too lazy to look up what his character was actually called) Chan was an average Joe struggling to make ends meet. He wanted to be a great magician like his idol, Houdini. Problem is he sucks. And not in an entertainingly deliberate way like the great Tommy Cooper. So when Raina offered him the chance to be a superhero he took it. But for all the wrong reasons.
At no point during her entire sales pitch did Raina talk about Chan using his powers to help people. She talked about fame and lunch boxes because she knew that is what would appeal to Chan. He didn’t want to be a superhero so he could help people. He saw his powers as a means to achieve the fame and adulation he craved. He wanted all the celebrity that comes with being a superhero and none of the responsibility. Admittedly, Chan's descent into crazed super-powered villainy was rather abrupt. I can understand him going psycho killer on the people who tricked and experimented on him, but why did he have to kill poor Agent Kwan? I liked Agent Kwan.
If Chan was the evil Super-Gunn then Miles, who bared a distracting resemblance to Shane West, was the evil Skye. Okay, despite extreme smugness, he wasn't really a crazed super-villain, just morally flexible when it came to his bank balance. He preached the Rising Tide manifesto with gusto, but was happy to flush it down the toilet the second someone jangled a purse full of silver in front of him. Is this all the Rising Tide is? A loose association of super hackers with rebellious spirit and no clear vision? That’s a little disappointing, isn’t it? The way the series has been building them up I was expecting something more… organised. I'm starting to think that the leaders of this group are just a bunch of college stoners.
Intel and Assets
--Scorch? Seriously? I bet everyone in the lab was snickering behind Chan’s back when Raina suggested that.
--Ward and Skye playing battleship was adorable. Hopefully Ward's love of board games will become a regular thing.
--While we still don’t know much more about this evil organisation or why they are trying to create an army of super-powered soldiers, at least it now has a public face in Misfits’ lovely Ruth Negga.
--Unlike everyone else, Fitz and Simmons were simply confused that Skye could betray them like this. They thought she was their friend. I know these guys have spent way too much time in the lab, but could anyone who works for a major spy agency really be that naive?
--Looks like May is definitely curious about Coulson now.
May: “When someone breaks into my house I don’t usually invite them to stay.”
Skye: "Say it, Ward, say it."
Ward: "You sank my battleship."
May: "His file say anything about him being homicidal?"
Coulson: "Just said he was kind of a tool."
--I wanna read these S.H.I.E.L.D. files.
Coulson: "You've got two choices; take what's in this box or we put you in a slightly bigger one."
Ward: "Make it a double."
May: "Is there any other kind?"
Three out of four really awesome trailers for Captain America: The Winter Soldier that I will treat you all to right now as an apology for this review being late:
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