Without mincing words, this season premiere was a bit of a mess.
Okay, first off: I hate time jumps, in large part because they generally require a massive reset. So much of this episode felt like a pilot. We had to get reintroduced to our characters and how they’ve changed and how their relationships and jobs are different. It’s a prime case of being told instead of shown and it’s annoying.
Coulson has been demoted to Agent. What intrigues me most of the show’s new direction (pun intended) is how someone was able to wrest control of S.H.I.E.L.D. from the man who rebuilt it from ashes and who that someone is. I’d hazard a guess it’s someone we know or else they would’ve simply referred to them by name. My money’s on it being a Koenig. The color coded levels feels like something he’d do. Any other theories?
Coulson’s demotion probably feels like a bad thing to the character, but it’s a very good thing for the audience. I’ve missed field-ready Coulson so much. Now, he’s partnered with Mack which allows Henry Simmons to prove he has chemistry with everyone. Coulson and Mack: together again and making snide references to that time Mack cut off Coulson’s arm.
Mack’s relationship with Elena has…yo-yoed. We’ve gone from cute flirting learning each other’s languages aw how adorable to not being allowed to be together oh what cruel fate. It feels like a LOT happened off screen and I’m not particularly happy about it. How am I supposed to be invested in this relationship if I don’t get to see it?
Speaking of relationships, FitzSimmons are having problems making time for each other, largely because of Simmons’ busy work schedule. Jemma’s been systematically climbing the ranks at S.H.I.E.L.D. because she doesn’t trust the director and is ascribing to the whole ‘keep your enemies closer’ philosophy. And honestly, good for Jemma. She spent a solid part of last season being a victim so it’s good to see her being proactive. May’s really uncomfortable with it, though. May also doesn’t trust the director, which isn’t surprising at all; she’s May. I wish she had more to do in this episode. She feels the most cut off from everyone and as she’s one of my favorites it didn’t sit well with me. The idea is that the director split the team up intentionally but that doesn’t explain why Fitz and Simmons still work together and how Mack and Coulson got partnered up. It seems like May is in the cold all alone.
Speaking of being all alone, the love of my Marvel life, Daisy Johnson (dreamy sigh). Because there apparently is a god, she has abandoned her Avril Lavigne circa 2005 look. She’s still going for edgy accessories and a very smoky eye but the flat ironed black hair has mercifully not made a reappearance. We’re being led to believe that Daisy has spent the last however many months we’re at now going after the Watchdogs. I’m totally okay with this. Last season saw Daisy having issues with moral boundaries and an almost too fervent desire to protect Inhumans. That doesn’t mean, however, I’m happy with (I’ll say it again) being told about it instead of shown. How much more interesting would it have been if after Lincoln’s death Daisy kept up her S.H.I.E.L.D. duties while she gradually pulled away from the team and began her vigilantism right under Coulson’s nose? I would’ve loved that. The drama of their relationship changing, of her keeping secrets. It would have been amazing. But okay we have this and this isn’t horrible in and of itself.
The premiere sees her cross paths with Ghost
Finally, John Hannah, whose character name (Radcliffe) refuses to stick in my brain, has been experimenting with robotics and has created a…I’m not sure what she is actually. Android? Yeah, let’s go with android. Played by Galavant’s Mallory Jansen, I’m quite sure that Aida is going to mean serious trouble later in the season.
Intel and Assets
--The meds Daisy is taking for her bones look exactly like the generic Claritin I take every morning.
--Coulson still won’t let Mack work on Lola.
--I really loved Yo-Yo teaming up with Daisy.
--We learn that, after Ultron, the development of artificial intelligence has been made illegal.
--The Sokovia Accords also got a shout out.
--What the frick frack was in that box?
Mack: “Want a beer?”
Coulson: “It’s six o’clock in the morning. What are you, Hemingway?”
Coulson: “You want tech like this, you should’ve cut off your own hand.”
Simmons: “Why not tell me? I have daily lie detection.”
May: “That’s why.”
two out of four ghost
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 4
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- Watch this episode or the entire season on Amazon now