TV REVIEW: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Episode 1.10 – “The Bridge”

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This week: Oh Lordy, quite possibly the most frustrating episode yet!

 

 

Okay, so maybe worst is a bit strong, and there were a few bright lights, but we were constantly sighing resignedly and shouting at the TV in equal measures this week! So the good news was that this week, SHIELD recruited Mike Peterson (the guy everyone thought was going to be Luke Cage in the pilot episode) to help them tackle arc-story enemy organisation, Centipede, following extensive SHIELD training. And for the first third of the show, it looked like we were on to a winner. The team’s dynamic is wholly improved by the presence of  J August Richard’s Mike in it. As you step into his shoes of being a newbie at SHIELD, who also has powers – i.e. could potentially be an Avenger (there’s a great scene where his trainer tells him he’s still behind Captain America in the fine art of tractor pushing!), you forget all about the shortcomings of the characters. He walks around the SHIELD plane and technology in awe, and for once you remember that this is a Marvel show because there’s a likeable superhero in it. And the background story regarding his son (whom he bought all the Avengers action figures for) gives him that well-rounded-ness that the others all lack – it would be great to see him join the team proper, even though Coulson indicates that a “family or SHIELD choice” decision may arise in the future. There’s also highlights in seeing the various ongoing plot threads finally start to converge: Coulsen’s death, Raina “the girl in the flower dress”, the mystery of Skye’s parents and Centipede are all woven together, and there’s a real sense of closure at some point down the line.

But then SHIELD actually combat Centipede’s soldiers and the whole episode went to pot! Edison Po is broken out of prison (to be Centipede’s new strategist) by a crack squad of super-soldiers, and SHIELD send three regular humans and a probational superhero to engage them – really stupid story writing. Then we got Ward and May’s tedious post-shag ackwardness. Thankfully, May is growing in character stature (whilst Ward shrinks in his), and we got the very welcome scene of her reading Skye the riot-act for being self-obsessed and to get in the team hymn-sheet.

*Spoiler Alert* The final scene of the episode was at least a cliff-hanger if not wholly annoying: Centipede hold Mike’s son hostage – the deal is Mike for his son, so they can harvest the stability formulae that Fitz-Simmons synthesized back in Ep. 1. The swap location is agreed, and Ward picks the worst place to set up sniper – there’s a freakin’ cement truck right where they do the swap obscuring his total view of both parties – seriously, this the best they have, Mr “I prefer to go in alone and just do my thing”. And then, when the swap goes south – it turns out that Mike was told to swap his son for Coulson – when Raina and her thugs escort Coulson away, he has a clear shot at her and them and doesn’t take it. Really – Mike & son have gotten away and they are now escorting your boss away to do who know what to him, and you don’t take the shot!

Raina does pose him an interesting question in the back of her car: “We want you to tell us what happened the day after you died?” Could we finally get some answers as to how and why Coulsen came back from the dead, in January’s first episode ‘A Magical Place’… and who is Centipede’s head, the Clairvoyant? Given the mystery surrounding his identity – Po knows who he is, but Raina doesn’t – it’s reasonable to presume he’s either someone we’ve already seen in the TV show (or the Marvel films?), or a character from the comics universe. Marvel you need to make this good as Arrow is already whooping your @ss with their arsenal of lore-villains, and occasional name dropping (Ra’s Al Ghul)…

Rating: 3/5
Reviewer: SilverFox

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