Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: The Writing on the Wall

“What does it mean, Coulson?”
“I don’t know.”

After a two week absence, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is back. With May putting up lost puppy posters for Ward, Coulson and Skye were left without adult supervision. Chaos obviously ensued. (No, your eyes aren’t deceiving you. This is Sunbunny. Mark and I switched shows for a week.)

Why didn’t we see Ward escape? Was Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. looking to save some money by nixing an expensive, stunt-heavy scene or were they intentionally leaving Ward’s actions there vague? Since the season started, we haven’t actually seen him do anything evil. He escaped from custody, but we didn’t see him kill anyone doing that. He may have killed the Hydra guys, but again, we didn’t see it and I’m wondering if that’s important.

It’s really impossible to tell where they’re going with Ward right now. It could be the start of Ward’s big redemption arc. It could be him going completely dark side. The writers are keeping it vague which, from a showrunning standpoint, is smart. It keeps the audience wondering and tuning in. From a personal standpoint, just freaking tell me already what is going on with Ward? Was he really lying about the abuse or is Christian evil or are both evil what is going on?!?!

At the time of Ward’s escape, I was wondering if Coulson made it easy for him to escape on purpose. Coulson knows Ward. He knows what he’s capable of. Did a pair of regulation handcuffs and a van really seem sufficient? I’m not saying Ward is on a secret mission from Coulson, but it seems completely possible to me that Coulson is waiting for Ward to lead him to someone or something. And then, why did Ward leave Bakshi for Coulson? Was he genuinely trying to help out S.H.I.E.L.D., trying to win back some measure of trust? Or is having Bakshi in S.H.I.E.L.D. custody a part of some bigger, darker plan? I like what’s going on with Ward right now. Being on the loose, possibly helping S.H.I.E.L.D., or possibly just serving his own needs, and totally obsessed with Skye is exactly where I wanted him. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Julian Sark. I’m excited but apprehensive to see where they’re going to take him. Unlike some people, I’m choosing to believe Grant Ward over Christian Ward. I hope I’m not wrong...

While May and the most of the combat-ready S.H.I.E.L.D. agents were off chasing their tails Ward, Coulson and Skye decided it would be a great idea to use some leftover Dollhouse tech to try to get Coulson to remember something so painful and crazy making he had literally wiped from his mind, Eternal Sunshine-style. Because what on earth could go wrong? I have a hard time seeing the Coulson/May/Skye dynamic as anything else besides a family. Skye calling May and May’s initial anger and eventual resignation was just so... mom. Clearly, May’s the disciplinarian whereas Coulson is the ‘sure sweetie, you can play with the dangerous technology no one understands’ parent. At least Coulson’s need to deface S.H.I.E.L.D. property has subsided. May was spending a fortune on spackling and repainting his office.

The geometric pattern of doom turns out to be three dimensional. And a city. Going from three dimensional to definitely a city felt like a bit of a leap but whatever. It’s a city. Which city? Probably not one on Earth, given that the image of the city came from the body of an ancient Smurf. I don’t really care about the whole Obelisk/Tahiti thing, but the idea that Smurfy wanted to get to that place so much its image was literally in his blood is bizarrely beautiful. So what does that mean? Was it Smurfy’s home? Was he on his way home when he was bisected and stuck in Jello? I’m guessing the whole thing will tie in with the expansion of the MCU mythology we saw in this summer’s Guardians of the Galaxy which introduced more alien civilizations and races, including blue ones. And now that Selfie (at one point, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s lead in) has been cancelled, maybe a certain blue alien wouldn’t mind dropping by for a week or six? #ItsAllConnected

Paging Blue Amy Pond
All in all, it was a good episode, but I felt, like I usually do, the episode spent too much time chasing MacGuffins. I like the characters on the show so much I’d watch an entire episode of them just hanging out and playing UpWord or eating shwarma. I also have to fault the show for continuing to break up the team in the same way. Fitz and Mack, Skye and Coulson, Bobbi and Hunter. Can we mix it up a bit next week? Or, better yet, don’t break up the team. I like them all together and not headed out in different directions to put out HYDRA fires (put one out, another two start in its place).

Intel and Assets

--Bobbi and Hunter maintain their track record of being an adorable, bickering, sarcastic, divorced couple still crazy in love but unable to admit it. I just enjoy them more and more. Also highly enjoyable is May’s frustration with the pair of them.

--The HYDRA guys who came to meet Ward parked in front of a fire hydrant. Does their evil know no bounds?

--I wonder how long Skye was waving her arms around in that cell while Mack and Fitz were playing video games. That couldn’t have felt good.

Skye: “You two don’t have a single thing in common unless you have some Enya albums you’ve been hiding.”

Fitz: “Corpsey Diem. Seize the dead.”

Bartender: “I’ll give you a choice. Columbian necktie or bullet in the head.”
Ward: “Bullet in the head. On the rocks.”
*bartender pours drink*

Hunter: “Subtlety is key.”
Bobbi: “You were dressed like a cowboy!”

three out of four bullets in the head

sunbunny, who is not Mark Greig

5 comments:

Patrick said...

Hooray for bringing in Joel Gretsch as a guest star(the last man standing of the test subjects who chose to stay with his implanted memories), I always enjoy seeing him.

It does seem like they've wrapped up the whole "what does it mean?!?!" part of this story arc a little too quickly, but then again one of the biggest complaints people had about Season 1 was that it moved too slowly in the first half.

I have a feeling the city is actually on Earth, if only because of the whole "Chekov's Gun" of it all. The show isn't going to be taking this team off-planet, and you don't introduce the idea of a mysterious city and say that the good guys and the bad guys are both trying to find it, only to put it somewhere neither of them can actually reach. The only way I could see it actually being off-world is if there's some kind of portal to it here on Earth, which could be a bit of a cop-out. My best theory right now is that the city is here, and that it's very, very old. Going with the "It's All Connected" theme, I find myself wondering if this isn't somehow linked to the Inhumans, and if the city they're now searching for won't turn out to be Attilan.

migmit said...

I'm all for having Karen on that show, but please, not in this ridiculous makeup.

drnanamom said...

great review sunbunny - laughed out loud a couple of times. I agree with you that I would watch this group doing just about anything and I am also on the Ward is redeeming himself team. I liked the city and the 3 dimensional nature of the message. I feel sorry for the poor alien who even in his very blood just wanted to go home.

Billie Doux said...

Yes, very funny review -- I laughed out loud more than once. And I am also certain that Ward didn't escape by accident. I bet Coulson let him go on purpose. And I'm glad they finally got to the meaning of the carvings, because it was getting a bit old.

Docnaz said...

I loved the reference to John le Carre´s 1963 novel The Spy Who Came In from the Cold when Ward was in the bar and the 3 men in suits came in and greeted him with " Grant Ward...in from the cold at last".