Another week, another major drop in the ratings. It's starting to look increasingly likely that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. won't live to see a second season. At this point I don't think I will be too upset if it is cancelled.
Like many episodes this season, 'The Hub' suffered from having a central storyline that was so predictable Inspector Clouseau could’ve easily deduced what the outcome would be. While the writers have started to fix a lot of the problems with the characters, they are still struggling to come up with interesting stories to tell every week.
That's not to say that this episode was all bad. It was nice that the writers decided to shake things up a little this week by pairing up a pair of characters who don't really interact that much. It was also nice that the episode didn't rely too heavily on tiresome chalk and cheese-style comedy. I don't think I could tolerate an entire hour of stoic action man forever rolling his eyes at chatterbox lab geek’s bumbling. And it was especially nice that Fitz’s proved to be more adept at field work than anyone gave him credit for. It was his quick thinking that saved them from Russian Mags Bennet and her goons. Unlike Ward, Fitz understands that if you fix someone’s TV they will give anything you want, whether its passage across the border or a first born child.
Throughout this episode people are told to trust the system, the system being S.H.I.E.L.D., here personified by Agent Victoria Highlights. But what exactly were they meant to trust the system to do? Protect Ward and Fitz at all cost? Because that wasn't going to happen. No way would the higher ups at S.H.I.E.L.D. risk the success of a mission to ensure the safety of a pair of, let's face it, replaceable agents. That's why they were chosen for this mission in the first place; they're expendable. S.H.I.E.L.D. no doubt breeds agents like Ward the same way the CW does Amells for their TV shows. And for all his technical skill, Fitz is no Tony Stark. At the end of the day, the only thing you can trust the system to do is look out for the best interests of the system.
On the story arc side of things, it looks like I was right about “It’s a beautiful place” being some kind of programmed response. And it seems like Coulson has started to realise that himself. We’re still no closer to knowing how he is survived, but at least he is now not only questioning his miraculous recovery, but actively investigating it as well.
At the same time, Coulson also found out something about Skye's past but decided not to share all of it with Skye. He’s an experienced spy and knew that if he gave Skye nothing she would just keep digging and digging. So he gave her just enough info to keep her satisfied while he and May looked into what really happened to her parents. Was the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Skye’s mother? Or was she the “poor kid” who was killed? Or maybe she is waiting to the shadows before revealing herself in the season finale in true Irina Derevko-style? In shows like this it is a given that at least one of Skye’s parents will turn out to be evil.
Intel and Assets
--Loved Coulson and May’s little ‘conversation’, especially her eye roll at the end.
--While at the Hub, Simmons mentioned the Triskelion to Skye. The Triskelion is S.H.I.E.L.D.’s official HQ in Marvel’s Ultimate Universe, which has been a huge influence on Marvel's Cinematic Universe. It will appear in Captain America: the Winter Soldier.
--The ID machine actually said "Say cheese". Sometimes S.H.I.E.L.D. is this scary, faceless organization, and then they do adorable things like this.
Simmons: "No, I can't be part of your bad girl shenanigans. I like following the rules and doing what is expected of me. It makes me feel nice."
Fitz: "So anything interesting happen in the hub?"
Simmons: "I shot a superior officer in the chest."
Two out of four Derevko sisters.
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