Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is moving a breakneck pace towards an exciting finale...but is it leaving a bit too much behind on the way?

We Hardly Knew Ye

Well, this show certainly has forward momentum, I’ll give it that. This episode was exciting, full of surprises, and ended on a nice little cliffhanger. Too bad it all had to come at the sacrifice of one of the show’s best new characters. Oh, spoilers by the way.

Rosalind was far and away the best addition to the cast this season. She started as a fairly typical “head of a rival organization” antagonist, but quickly morphed into one of the deepest and most conflicted characters this show has ever seen. She was witty, cunning, and Machiavellian to a certain extent. She was also unwittingly handcuffed to Hydra and was consistently linked to conflict after conflict, no matter where she stood. Her relationship with Coulson gave the show an added richness, too, that is eclipse only by FitzSimmons.

But then she got shot in the neck and died. Ward was in a building located on the opposite side of the city and took her out with a sniper rifle. Didn’t see that coming.

And I didn’t want to see that coming, to be honest. She was certainly a great element of the show, but Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. doesn’t slow down for anyone. Ever since the back end of season one, the show has been moving at a breakneck pace, so, in retrospect, I shouldn’t have been as surprised as I was. This is actually pretty typical of the show.

So, as is customary, the show rocketed forward. Was it disappointing? Yeah, maybe a little. At the end of the day, though, that’s what kind of show this is, so short of a re-T.A.H.I.T.I.ing of Rosalind, there’s no looking back.

That’s fitting, too, given how bold the rest of the episode really was. Malick reopened the portal and forced his team through, led by Ward and Fitz. Yeah, Fitz was dragged along too because, well, it was either him or Simmons. The logic there was that Simmons would hopefully know her way around, but she was unwilling to go, so Ward tortured her a bit, since that’s the next logical step after saying “please.” Of course, in typical foolhardy chivalrous fashion, Fitz opted to go, sparing Simmons the journey and the torture. Surprising? No, but effective all the same.

The episode’s weakest component was the under-utilization of pretty much every other character. Daisy and her two-man “Secret Warriors” team, Mack, Mockingbird, Hunter, and May were all lumped into the “give them something to do” category, as they either flew jets, held cell phones, or moved boxes. It was pretty underwhelming to see the team just stand by, turning this into the Phil Coulson Power Hour. The witty banter, the effective teamwork, and the creative problem solving was put on the back burner, which gave the episode a slightly sluggish feel.

What happens next is anyone’s guess. Will the hooded planet-dweller come back to Earth and be the main conflict in the spring? Will Coulson defeat Ward and save the day? Your guess is as good as mine, because if this episode taught us anything, it’s that we shouldn’t get used to the status quo.

Odds and Ends

  • The scene with Ward and his brother was pretty underwhelming, given how little setup his brother has had in the past. We have vague memories of him falling down a well and some abstract parental conflict, but it lacked the necessary oompf.
  • Putting the air freshener on the candles? Oh, Coulson, you sly dog.
  • The CG on this show has come leaps and bounds from season one, but that fast-zoom through the city to reveal Ward was pretty wonky. Was the purpose of that to show just how excellent of a shot Ward is at 5,280 feet? Because that’s a plot point I really didn’t need. Just stick him on a mysterious nearby rooftop and call it a day.
  • Fitz looked positively dapper jumping into that portal, so we’re sure that Evil Cloaked Man will appreciate that extra effort.

    Alex Russo likes to talk about television. You can read more of his insane ramblings on Twitter.

Alex Russo

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