Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D: S.O.S, Part 1

"I am capable of finishing my own..."


Here we go, then. War. It's all very confused at the start, not least because Jiaying compounds her "provoked" killing of Gonzalez by instigating what looks like a SHIELD attack against her own people.  Oh, and you know that eternal youth thing? That's from killing and absorbing people. Just so we know.

Jiaying is thus, after weeks of ambiguity, firmly defined here as a baddie. That's good plot structure, but it's also, perhaps, a little troubling that the only character to advance the pro-civil liberties point of view about the compulsory cataloging of those who are different is now firmly defined as a villain. Could the programme be defining itself as in favour of authoritarian policies? Hmm. We'll see. And either way it doesn't detract from the quality.

Skye is the piggy in the middle here, but it is she who discovers what is going on and she, with naturally conflicting motives and, indeed, definitions of family, is both the hero and the emotional heart of the episode. 

Bobbi, it turns out, is alive, but she's in the nasty, torturing clutches of Ward and Kara and, noble though her defiance may be, there's little apparent hope for her, much as May and (of course) Hunter set off to save her. Her fellow one time turncoat Mack, it seems, is sticking around for a bit, but only for the duration of the current crisis. 

With SHIELD's various agents' positioning on the chessboard established, Jiaying further cements her villainous credentials by killing Raina; the precognitive, as the cliche goes, simply knows too much. The Inhumans are on the warpath, aided by a rather cool Inhuman lady who can make loads of copies of herself. Jiaying's lot clearly have the upper hand.

This doesn't mean that Jiaying is winning in the fight for Skye's allegiance, though; her daughter realises that Raina was murdered, and works out pretty much everything that her mother has done.  But things look bleak at the end; Bobbi is used as a fatal trap for Hunter, and Inhumans overrun the helicarrier as Mr Hyde takes a load of those serums and suddenly starts looking exactly as he did in the comics. 

Looks like a splendid season finale, then. Much of this episode, as ever for a part one, is set-up, but it had me riveted. What next,

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