One final word before the review: Whedon's season one of television. There is a reason why I'm sticking with SHIELD for now and it's because I know what typically comes after a lukewarm season one: epicness. I grew up on Buffy and Angel and love them dearly but when you go back and watch season one of both, they are slightly cringe worthy. It takes time for the show to find its niche. Season one of Buffy, while good enough, is nothing compared to season two, and certainly nothing compared to seasons 4-6. The same with Angel, it took until the second season for it to hit its stride. I think if SHIELD can find a better mix of morality and action/adventure, it can be really good.
Meanwhile, Ward and Coulson have landed on the beach, ready to invade the villa and take back Hall. But Hall doesn't want to go. He has a mission and he wants to complete it. Turns out, Hall was the insider mole who sold himself out to Quinn. Coulson, being Coulson, tries his hardest to convince Hall to come with him and be part of the good guys, but in the end he is forced to sacrifice Hall (make the hard decision) for the greater good. Hall falls into the graviton machine and is sucked into the metallic void. The episode ends with reflections of these defining moments. Melinda May, who again was relegated to doing next to nothing, finally steps up and says that she wants to be more active, she wants to be "in." She's tired of running and has decided to stay. Thank goodness; I was getting really tired of her just flying the plane. And then there is Skye who was given an out this week and did not take it. She reciprocates Ward opening up to her with her own tragic story: foster child, unloved, unwanted, so she runs. But this time, "I made my choice. I want this. Bad." She's here to stay for SHIELD! (Until they do something questionable that offends her principles and she goes back to Rising Tide, breaking Ward's heart. It's TV people. It's how it works).
Oh and Hall is alive inside the graviton.
--This episode was much better than last week, despite my rather sarcastic review.
--Coulson is the man. Can we please talk about how he shows up in Malta wearing an expensive suit while Ward in head to toe in his black ops gear, but somehow Coulson looks more epic.
--Great visual effects this week. This really is a high budget show.
--I think one thing that would really help SHIELD right now would be a beginning to flesh out a bad guy. You need to have a Big Bad, and while we have the Centipede people, we need more than just an organization. We need an actual human to root against--we live in a world of Loki's and Red Face's. I hope we see this by episode 5.(afterthought: someone getting caught in a theoretical substance of Graviton is the perfect set up for a villain arc)
--What are we calling Skye and Ward? Sward? Waye? (The shipping name is almost more important than the actual ship).