Late Night Musings on AGENTS OF SHIELD

I’ve been pondering on AGENTS OF SHIELD ever since the follow up episode to THE WINTER SOLDIER.  I think the show is finally finding its footing.  Sad that it had to happen this late in the season leaving its fate in doubt with ABC.  I hope they give it another chance next season, but we’ll have to see.

I still get very frustrated with the show and the writing staff for making the expected, obvious choices, but at least there is some grit, conflict and fire between the people now and that is helping.  It’s been really fun to watch Phil Coulson lose his shit.  Of course one can hardly blame him.  Being dead, getting revived, finding out the organization to which you have dedicated your life is rotten at its core — that’s deserving of a little freak out.

It was clear there had to be a Hydra traitor on The Bus.  I was rather holding out for it being Fitz because of the fact Dr. Zola was running the infiltration of SHIELD.  I thought he might favor the scientific types over mere brawn.  Jemma was right out.  She wears her heart on her sleeve and every emotion is written on her face.  I’m okay with it being Grant.  The character had begun to grow on me when they had him in a sexual relationship with May, but it does seem odd that Hydra put such a premium on brawn over brains.

I also liked the growing jealousy as Fitz watches Jemma defend Agent Trip and senses the attraction there.  The more they drive wedges between people the better this show will be.  The perfect little Scooby Gang was less interesting than this shattered team.

I’d like to think they haven’t answered the question of the identity of The Clairvoyant.  If it really is Garrett than I’m disappointed with the choice.  That was actually one of the things in Turn, Turn, Turn that gave me the giggles.  Coulson’s rather shrill and hysterical — “She’s the Clairvoyant!  No Wait!  He’s the Clairvoyant.”

Another disappointment is Grant’s love interest.  It’s Skye because of course it’s Skye.  It was such an obvious and boring choice, and so help me if he’s “redeemed through the love of good woman” I’m going to hurl.  Even worse would be if he sacrifices himself at the end to “save the woman he loves.”  Redemption stories can be very powerful — witness what George did with Jaime in Song of Ice and Fire, but it needs to happen slowly.  I loved Gardner Dozois’s suggestion that Grant’s secret love was Coulson.  I wanted something to shake up this show.

Despite all this carping I like the show because Marvel has built an entire universe with cross-references that are fun and keep the sense of continuity.

Jonah Nolan said something interesting at dinner a month or so ago.  He pointed out that in many ways the movies are just trailers and set up for the next movie, and I think that’s a valid point.  The Captain America films have felt more cohesive and complete then the Thor films or the Iron Man films for me.  Tony Stark is snark personified and really great, but I don’t feel like they gave me a satisfying story.  I’m partial to the Thor franchise because — Loki — but they’ve left me feeling unsatisfied as well, particularly The Dark World.  Once I realized the first Thor film was about an abusive father creating a deadly sibling rivalry the first film felt stronger, but the theme of the second film has so far eluded me.

Maybe the best way to think of all of these is as multi-million dollar parts of a giant serial.  But god help them if they have to start replacing these actors.  I don’t see how you just swap in a new Iron Man who is Tony Stark or a new Steve Rogers.  It’s going to be interesting to see what happens next.’

And now I want to go back and see The Winter Soldier again.

Okay, that was me just talking out loud using a keyboard.  Now let’s talk some more.

4 Responses to Late Night Musings on AGENTS OF SHIELD

  • Melinda Snodgrass says:

    One other thing has driven me crazy. I thought it was just a bit too convenient that the hacker the team was hunting turned out to be a super secret special SHIELD thing. I didn’t need a big mystery about Skye, or I needed Coulson to know because he had been tipped off by Fury.

  • Melinda Snodgrass says:

    I’ve also got to wonder if Coulson’s obsession with “old things” is meaningful. It better be after all the attention it’s been given.

  • We went back yesterday and saw Winter Soldier a second time, and it was even more satisfying than the first time. The first time I got the theme of liberty vs. hierarchy (or, as the other side puts it, order vs. chaos); this time it struck me that there’s a deeper underlying theme of moral choice. Both many of the key action sequences, and many of the key relationship-defining moments, focus on a character’s having to decide what’s the right thing to do—and that ties the whole film together, including the (at first seemingly extraneous) Winter Soldier subplot. Extremely well written—I think I would say the best of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films so far.

    So I think if you saw it a second time there’s a good chance you’d both (a) see more depth in it (though not necessarily the same things I saw—I doubt that I’m as sophisticated a viewer as you are) and (b) find that your enjoyment held up.

    • Melinda Snodgrass says:

      I did see it again, William. I took my niece to see it on Easter Sunday and enjoyed the hell out of it the second time through. The Captain’s basic decency is just so refreshing in this cynical age.

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