Saturday, 13 June 2015

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D: Scars

"I was expecting a raised eyebrow, but ok..."

I trust you've all seen Avengers: Age of Ultron in between blog posts?

We begin with a recap, retcon even, concerning what Coulson has really been up to over the past year. It begins well (Patton Oswalt! Yay!) and proceeds to drop the bombshell that the Theta Protocol was in fact Nick Fury's secret helicarrier as seen in said film, now the property of a more-or-less united, and now rather well-resources SHIELD.

The fallout from last episode proceeds, as Agent 33/Kara is un-brainwashed and Skye keeps watch at Lincoln's bedside. Lincoln, however, is a little dubious about his "rescuers", pointing out (correctly) that their wish to categorise him is more than a little dodgy on civil liberties grounds; this will run and run way past the episode's explosive ending and, I suspect, on to our cinema screens with Captain America: Civil War.

Cal and, indeed, the narrative, implored us not to trust Raina's claims about what she foresees, a clever bit of misdirection as Jiaying apparently learns of the mysterious Kree artifact hidden deep within the helicarrier- a stone that can liquefy itself in true modern CGI fashion. The narrative puts our sympathies with Jiayibg, particularly if the viewer happens to be a civil libertarian like myself, and we are full of foreboding when Hunter announces that he has located Afterlife; SHIELD are coming. 

Coulson and Gonzalez debate what to do. Ever the dove, Coulson gives some ground to the hawkish Gonzalez by accepting that he, not Coulson, should handle the diplomatic niceties with Jiaying. Revelations tumble after one another, with Skye admitting to Coulson that Jiaying is her mother while May tells him what really happened in Bahrain. But there is much foreboding: Raina foresees the coming of SHIELD, and Afterlife in flames.

This eventful episode also sees Mack's resignation, his differences with Coulson teaching breaking point, while Coulson realises that he, Fitz and Hunter have become a little too much of a clique. 

Things get dramatic as May, travelling with Bobbi, turns out to be Kara, still in league with Ward. Ward shoots Bobbi, and it really seems that she's dead, especially as Ward apparently shoots her again, several times, at the end of the episode. 

The negotiations between Jiaying and Gonzalez seem to start well, albeit with a certain veiled prickliness, with Cal being released to SHIELD as a sign of good faith. But it soon becomes apparent that Gonzalez wants all Inhumans to be catalogued- tyranny in Jiaying's boom. And mine. Despite what happens next, I'm with her on the principles.

But what she does next- murdering Gonzales and manufacturing a fake casus belli for a war with SHIELD- is both shocking and framed to make us side with SHIELD. But what is and is not justified in the pursuit of liberty...?

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