It's time for the mid-season finale, which is kinda like a season finale only not as epic or emotional. It's a diet finale basically. That's not to say that mid-season finales are bad. Some are brilliant in fact, more brilliant than a season finale even. This episode, however, was not brilliant.
Even though ‘The Bridge’ was one of the series strongest episodes yet, I still feel like it could’ve been better. While the characters continue to improve, the show continues to be plagued by horribly predictable plotting. The minute the bad guys called Mike I knew they were going to ask for Coulson. I can already see how the next episode will probably play out. The bad guys will torture Phil for information (possibly by placing him in an Italian style little village located in Wales). S.H.I.E.L.D. bosses will do nothing to save him. The entire team will say “fuck that” and go rogue to rescue him without any of them facing any serious consequences or losing their jobs. If Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. really wants to hold onto my interest it is going to have to up it's game. I'm still waiting for an episode that makes me want to grab my iPad and excitedly tweet "THAT WAS FUCKING AMAZING!" rather than "Well, that was alright, nowt special".
A finale of any kind means there's no more time for so-so case of the week malarkey. It's all story arcs and cliffhangers now. The organisation currently known as Caterpillar (until we can come up with a much better name for them) was back in a big way, sending its now explosion proof super-soldiers to break out that guy from prison. Why was he even in prison in the first place? Sounds like he just got himself arrested on purpose. Do super-villains think of maximum security prisons the same way regular people think of spas?
The return of Caterpillar also lead to the return of Super Gunn, who was looking suspiciously like Lawyer Gunn in his standard issue SHIELD suit (are Wolfram & Heart the secret overlords of S.H.I.E.L.D.? That would be a twist). There isn't anything about Mike that wasn't a great big cliche, but it was difficult not to like the guy thanks to Richards' likeability. So of course he was brutally killed off in the final moments of the episode.
I'm holding out some small hope that his superpowers somehow saved him, but it doesn't look good. He's a genuinely nice person on a Joss Whedon show. Genuinely nice people get slaughtered on Joss Whedon shows. Honestly, why did he have to die? It should’ve been Ward, that way Mike could've joined the team full time as his replacement. He may not be a full trained specialist, but he's more likeable and looks much better in a suit.
While we still know virtually nothing about this Caterpillar group or what their ultimate goal is, right now we do know that they want the same thing all of us want and that is to know what happened to Coulson. See, writers, if you'd just told us already they could've easily just looked it up on Tumblr and all of this would've been avoided and Super Gunn would still be alive.
I don't know why they're looking so smug, though. Sure their plan worked perfectly, but now Melinda May is making this face:
Guys, you're all going to die.
Intel and Assets
--I like that the implants were taking it out on the soldiers, draining them, forcing them to consume more food than normal. It is nice when superpowers have logical side effects.
--Despite his assurances to May that he can keep church and state separate (I'm assuming 'state' is the job and 'church' is where they have sex behind closed doors, although it could easily work the other way around), Ward's chat with Coulson in Lola about work and relationships seems to indicate otherwise.
--We now know that Caterpillar (seriously, we need a better name for these guys) were the ones who were controlling Akela in 'Eye Spy'. So what did they want with whatever the hell was written on that wall?
--Are we ever going to met this mysterious cellist? You don't just have your hero wax lyrically about a lost love and leave at that. It would be great if she was played by Jennifer Grey. Or Chris Evans in a dress.
Ward: "Having powers is cheating. But the suit's pretty cool."
Simmons: "When did you stop talking?"
Fitz: "About three embarrassing sentences ago."
Three out of four Lawyer Gunns.
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