Wednesday, November 27, 2013

In Which I Review Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (1x9)

I've been trying to figure out why I am so offended by this show. To be sure, there are worse TV shows out there. There are no vampires, no sordid love triangles, and there is a (marginal) attempt at a cohesive plot. I think my main problem is my expectations. I expected more. I expected the level of greatness I have come to associate not only with the Marvel Universe in general, but with Joss Whedon himself. I fully expected that this was a Joss Whedon show and would give me compelling characters who have a unique chemistry alongside intricate story lines. What we got were cardboard cuts outs and cliche overdone plot. This weeks episode, "Repairs," is no exception. It dragged and plodded along, trying to be witty or fun while at the same time driving emotional development with a few characters, but nothing was startling or new or fresh. May has a troubled past that led to her being called the Cavalry, a name she resents. Raise your hand if you're surprised by this. You know what would have been surprising? If May was called the Cavalry because she rode into situations with a devil may care, take no prisioners, attitude. Not some semi-redundant sob story about how she went into a situation to save lives and came out a different person, having lost a part of herself in the process. I don't even really want to blog this one. Or any of them anymore. I look forward to blogging all the other TV shows I watch, but this one has become a chore. So let's do this one last time with the likilhood that this will be my last attempt at SHIELD. 

This is Hannah. Hannah is this weeks "superhero we must help come to term with their powers." I suppose the big change with this storyline is that Hannah doesn't actually have any superpowers, but we'll get to that. Out in the middle of nowhere, Hannah is the town outcast. After a freak accident left four people dead, Hannah and her incompetence were blamed and her small quiet town turned on her. From the start it looks like Hannah is telekinetic, the ability to move objects with her mind. According to FitzSimmons, it's a rare power that no one really believed in but there's Hannah in a grocery store, causing objects to fall of shelves and gas stations to blow up. Erm...something like that anyway. The team is sent in to investigate, to be a welcome wagon but of course it goes wrong due to the level of hatred the town feels for Hannah. Coulson has to get her out of there before she kills people by running them over with police cars and in order to facilitate Coulson, May shoots Hannah with a tranquilizer and its back to the wonder plane.

That's just the kind of girl Melinda May is. She's tough and hard and doesn't laugh. It would be awesome if May was just that way without needing some story to explain but alas. There is a story. It is not as if the TV world has a problem with curmudgeonly people. Look at Archie Bunker, or more recently, Dr. Greg House. The latter spent 8 years a selfish, hostile bastard and the world loved him for it (and, FYI, he was like that before his leg so there goes that excuse). May could just be a bitch, and I'd be totally fine with it. Before we tell May's story, let's talk about one development that makes absolutely no sense. May and Ward have sleeping together. I suppose this was the shows attempt at being shocking and different. Obviously, most people (myself included) thought that Ward would be joining the mile high club with Skye, but instead he and May have been hooking up for Lord knows how long. I seriously cannot understand why. They have no chemistry together; they've barely even been together in scenes--May flies the plane and Ward tries to make Skye be less of an annoying flighty idiot. They're both decorated agents so I guess there's that. But outside of SHIELD merits, how did this even happen? And it's clear that there is no emotional attachment between the two. They don't want to be seen together; they are sneaking around and when Ward shows up late to work because of their tryst, May is stern and unforgiving about his tardiness. So May's story, let's just get it out of the way. There was a hostage situation, some civilians and agents being held by a cult. May got them out. That's it. Coulson doesn't know how (which makes no sense as he is in charge of all the things and agents have to be debriefed) but in the process she lost herself. May used to be different but now she's cold. Oh yawn. I was hoping May had died and come back cause that'd be more interesting than this, especially with the lack-o-details.

The agents take Hannah to the plane and secure her in a padded room. Skye does her whole, "let me be a team member! I can talk to her! Let me talk to her!" thing. Oh the level of annoyance I have for Skye goes higher every episode. And the fact that Coulson is still petting and stroking her ego makes it worse. No, Skye is not going to be a good agent someday; no, you do not need to coddle her and hold her hand. Put her back on the ground, give some money to not say anything about SHIELD and let her go live her life. May and Coulson go in to talk to Hannah and learn that prior to the accident that killed four people, she was trying to repair a piece of scientific equipment that was being used in experiments to open portals between worlds. This one coupling kept coming loose and finally the equipment fell apart and people died. Hannah believes that God is punishing her and has stopped protecting her because demons are haunting her. Yes, this is the God episode. The one where some of the characters either express disbelief in the divine and are firmly routed in science, and others espouse ideas of a loving creator. Frankly, I don't care. The only thing you need to know is that there is some sort of apparition that keeps vanishing in and out of frame and looks very menacing. To spare you all anxiety, his name is Tobias, he was in love with Hannah and he was one of the four people who "died" in the accident. He is also the guy who kept loosening the coupling on the equipment because he wanted Hannah to visit and since then he has been popping in and out to protect Hannah. I am fresh out of sympathy. Where is he popping to and from? An alien world. He thinks it's Hell, but it's another world. He is trapped between worlds (I'm pretty sure the original Star Trek did a similar episode...better). No idea what happened to the other 3 people and they are never brought up.

May takes it upon herself to fix the problem and after a freak plane landing, she hauls Hannah off to a barn where Hannah must confront Tobias. May tells Tobias to "let go" and I guess he does cause he glows and then vanishes. But he wasn't dead. He was just trapped in a portal. So where did he go? Did he go to live on some desolate alien world? Is there even oxygen there, or food? Are you basically condemning this man to oxygen deprivation and starvation? Does he wind up somewhere back on planet Earth? Or does he vanish into some great metaphysical unknown and God is love so yadda yadda yadda? Apparently the letting go process is important cause it's what Coulson told May after the life changing but incredibly vague thing. "Let go." Excellent words of wisdom. SHIELD, I think I'll let you go. So May saves the day, Coulson strokes Skye's ego again, FtizSimmons did nothing but stay in their lab, Ward fights and I yawn. All in all, a typical SHIELD episode.

Miscellaneous Notes on Repairs

--I will probably continue to watch but not blog this show anymore. It's just such a hassle.

--FitzSimmons spent most of the episode trying to pull pranks on each other and their coworkers. None of the pranks were good or funny.

--If Tobias was caught between worlds then when he vanished back to the other world, unless the atmosphere is the same as Earth, why didn't he die?

--We need a shipping name for Ward and May. FighterPilot?

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