TV REVIEW: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – Episode 1.07 “The Hub″

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This week: The Odd Couple in Russia!

 

 

So, after rescuing a SHIELD agent from a Siberian prison, our intrepid team learn of a dangerous new weapon that can destabilise the region; in consulting a SHIELD ‘hub’ for advice, and we are introduced to Victoria Hand (a Marvel comics lore character, played here by Brit six-footer Saffron Burrows); it transpires that the best pair to send into the field to rescue the weapon are the mis-matched Fitz & Ward. But Hand is also playing her hand close to her chest regarding the particulars of the mission.

Some big set pieces this week – unfortunately teaming up Ward and Fitz as brain & brawn wasn’t one of them; whereas last week Fitz shone in his relationship with Simmons, he had to try much harder to carry the show opposite a very bland Ward, only not that funny. The SHIELD Hub is huge, and given the recent trailer for Captain America 2 with its multiple heli-carriers, I think we are being given a definite insight into the size and scale of the resources that SHIELD commands. Oh, and we got to see that SHIELD cargo planes can hover like a Harrier Jump Jet (tres cool), and found out about level 8 clearance, too!

In this Odd Couple pairing Fitz comes off better – in fact, Ward is starting to descend down the same slippery bland slope as Skye. If he is just going to be around as the muscle, then send him home now and let May do more (BTW, she gets the funniest scene in the episode – her one-to-one with Coulson where she doesn’t utter a word and lets her eyes do all the talking). But back to Fitz; he showed himself to be up to challenge in this mission, and after last week’s episode where he didn’t hesitate in preparing himself to jump out of the plane for Fitz, he is demonstrating himself to be more than a lab-based super-geek. But all-in-all, I found myself distracted and still hungry by the end of the episode. I suspect I thought they’d do more with Hand. Victoria Hand was initially an accountant at SHIELD, and later became more significant in HAMMER, Norman Osborn’s replacement for SHIELD during Secret Invasion – there was even a signpost in the Hub marked HAMMER (point of order – are Marvel even allowed to mention Osborn in a live TV show, as opposed to a cinema film?) Apart from her belief that “Level 5s are more expendable than 8s?” there wasn’t too much meat on the bone… And the debate rolls on regarding Coulson – he’s definitely not himself anymore that’s for certain – although this week he lost that mystical look in his eye when he uttered those words: “Tahiti – it’s a magical place”… even he isn’t buying it anymore.

Rating: 3/5
Reviewer: SilverFox

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