I loved this episode. If I ever compile a list of my favourite episodes of season two, I'm confident this will make the top five.
This week the spotlight was on my two favourite characters, Coulson and May (the father and mother of the reborn S.H.I.E.L.D.), as they went undercover together to steal a painting with some very familiar writing on the back. In truth, Coulson was just taking full advantage of his position as director to take May out on a date. Was there any reason why it had to be him and May on the mission? Why not Tripp and Skye? Sure, this week's McGuffin is connected to the alien code he's writing, but getting it never seemed all that urgent. It's was blindingly obvious that Coulson's number one priority was to spend some alone time with May without the kids butting in every five minutes. He seemed to be going out of his way to get May to loosen up and have fun, which she was loath to do (it hurts her face).
After a trio of relatively serious episodes (the MCU doesn't really do full-on serious drama), it was time for something a little lighter. Watching Coulson and May go undercover was great fun because of their contrasting attitudes toward undercover work. Coulson loves it. He's like a giddy little boy playing Bond in the school yard with his friends. May, on the other hand, hates it with a
The other highlight of the episode was without a doubt the May versus May fight. Well, technically it was a May versus someone who looks like her fight. If it had been been a real May versus May fight it would've ended in a standstill amongst the ruins of what remained of human civilisation. Still, the fight we got was pretty goddamn awesome, especially considering that it was done on a TV budget.
Of course, Coulson had other, other ulterior motives for going on this date/mission with May. He wanted to get her alone so they could also finally have the "What you need to do if I go crazy" talk that she's been avoiding. And with good reason. No one wants to be told that they may have to kill someone they care about. Far better to send them to live in a cabin in the Australian outback (it has kangaroos).
If worse came to worst, would May pull the trigger? Would she kill Coulson? May is the most pragmatic of the team, which is why Coulson trusts her to do what is necessary if he starts to go the way of Garrett. Even after everything that happened last season, May is still the only one that Coulson trusts completely. But at the same time, May, despite her frosty exterior, is in fact the most caring and protective person on the team. This is her family, and she will do anything to protect it. The only reason this team even exists is because she wanted to take care of Coulson. If he truly did become a danger to others, I think she would put him down, but I think she would do everything she could to save him before making that fatal choice.
Intel and Assets
--Seeing as this show is set in a universe where Norse gods are real, was Hunter being literal when he described his ex as a demon from hell?
--And just in case you forgot that Hunter is English, they show him playing with a football. Ahhh, cultural stereotypes.
--It's great that Fitz's is finally starting to engage with other people again, although it was sad that he was bonding with the new guys and not with his old teammates.
--Even for a HYDRA agent, Whitehall is super creepy.
--Look, I know they are the good guys, but S.H.I.E.L.D. is never going to win this war if they shoot all the HYDRA agents with the night night guns.
--Seriously, HYDRA? You have Melinda May knocked out and you tie her up with robes?
--HYDRA was really lucky to have an operative around who was the exact same height, build and skin complexion as May.
Coulson: "This is fun, right? Isn't this fun? Look, cuff-links!"
Coulson: “May, nostalgia’s fine but then life happens. It’s time to deal with reality. Hard choices are coming. I need you to make this one, for me.”
Bakshi: "Where are you based?"
May: "Currently? About five feet from kicking your ass."
Four out of four $500 flats.
Mark Greig has been writing for Doux Reviews since 2011. More Mark Greig.
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