Friday, 7 November 2014

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D: Making Friends and Influencing People

"How is everyone?"

"Fitz is ok. He's hanging in there."

Three episodes in and we have loads of exciting season plot threads simmering nicely; it's going so much better than this time last season. It feels like a proper Joss Whedon show.

The plot is essentially that both SHIELD and HYDRA are after Donnie Gill (Blizzard) from last season, but so much is woven around this. The first big reveal is that Simmons is working for HYDRA; the second (rather less surprising) revelation is that she's a double agent, reporting directly to Coulson. But this is rather cleverly handled, having Simmons be HYDRA's negotiator with the proud Blizzard, in competition with SHIELD. Her cover is blown with her old mates, but not her supposed new ones; in fact, she ends up promoted. She's far from safe, though. As Skye says, she's a terrible liar.

We learn more about HYDRA's brainwashing techniques- the episode is bookended with a certain Agent 33 (a character we know from the comics?) starting her brainwashing and having completed it. HYDRA are certainly terrifying, and once again it's emphasised that the stand for fascism and oppose liberty.

Fitz is making progress; he shows self-awareness, realising that Simmons is just a figment of his imagination and that things are being hidden from him. His confrontation with Ward is both cathartic and a means for him to help the team. Coulson seems to show him greater respect afterwards.

No one trusts Hunter, unsurprisingly, although he seems to show early signs of incipient bonding with Skye, who still has no time for Ward. We end with a bombshell, though; Skye's father is alive, and Ward knows where he is. 

This was brilliant, and Agents of SHIELD is on fire with a first rate script and a superb cast. Long may this continue.

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