Agents of SHIELD: Parting Shot – Ending in Tears (Review)

On Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Parting Shot it all ended in tears for Bobbi, Lance and the rest of their “former” team and Malick staged a coup. This was another of those “reach for the tissues” episodes where viewers who cared sat swallowing and dabbing their eyes as Lance Hunter and his ex Bobbi Morse take one for the team.

ADRIANNE PALICKI
MARVEL’S AGENTS OF

On Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Parting Shot it all ended in tears for Bobbi, Lance and the rest of their “former” team and Malick staged a coup.  This was another of those “reach for the tissues” episodes where viewers who cared sat swallowing and dabbing their eyes as Lance Hunter and his ex Bobbi  Morse take one for the team.

On the bright side,  Parting Shot did prove that Malick on his own, i.e. sans Hive, is not all powerful. The leader of Hydra can be defeated despite his overwhelming wealth and dedication to the cause. It also allows the characters of  Morse and Hunter a chance to leave properly for a spin-off;  Marvel’s Most Wanted.

This episode was flashback heavy, although this did stop over halfway through the proceedings. At the start,  Lance and Bobbi are in cuffs and in an interrogation room, being questioned by a Russian security type (from Central Casting) who promises he will get answers.  Bobbi, sweetly asks for a cheeseburger with curly fries…crispy.  While Lance maintains his “looking for mushrooms mate,” story.

Coulson’s team rush to see what Malick is really up to in Siberia and they discover another inhuman, a Russian General who is to helping Malick overthrow the Prime Minister.  This new threat initially appears to be able to control his shadow. Later it is revealed that he can control a dark matter version of himself.

General Androvich is there only to kill  Prime Minister Olshenko but he too is stopped, but not in his inhuman state.  Androvich’s  weakness is his human form.

MING-NA WEN, NICK BLOOD
Agent May and Hunter.

The coup is stopped but at the cost of losing Morse and Hunter. Malick is defeated but,  at the end of the episode, we find that he is not down.  His daughter Stephanie (Bethany Joy Lenz) makes an appearance and this young woman is definitely a “daddy’s girl.” 

Stephanie wants to meet Hive and Malick tells his daughter that he is still “gathering.” The head of Hydra also admits he does not know what Hive (the real Hydra head) is planning.

Before that prologue moment, however, Phil Coulson tries to save his two S.H.I.E.L.D. agents but has  to cut them loose. His other option, desk duty after a name change, is turned down by both Bobbi and Lance.  Phil does manage to get the charges dropped and the Russians let the two go.

Afterward, Morse and Hunter are in a club drinking beer and discussing what to do next. Hunter says that the spy community will never trust them again and they prepare to leave. A bar waitress drops off a drink. It is from, she says, an admirer who asks not to be revealed.

The couple spy Gemma as another drink arrives.  Soon all their former team-mates are spotted. Bobbi wells up and so too does the viewer.

Bobbi: “It’s the Spy’s Goodbye.”

Coulson’s core team is being whittled down and  now only Daisy, who was really a new recruit and not part of the original group of agents, May, Gemma and Fitz remain. (Mac is another recent addition.)

It is interesting to note that the “spy’s goodbye” ritual of buying a drink for the departing member, only consisted of, what appeared to be, one drink from each of the team.  Surely, two drinks would have been more appropriate as two S.H.I.E.L.D. members are leaving. It seems that of the two, Bobbi will be deeply missed and Lance will not. (Or vice versa?)

Either that or the spy trade pays really poorly and no-one could afford to buy both Morse and Hunter a drink apiece. (Although surely Coulson could have coughed up enough for two…) Regardless this farewell sequence brought on waterworks  from at least one viewer no matter how many drinks were bought.

Both Nick Blood and Adrianne Palicki wil be missed.  Blood’s English slang, “muppet” and so on was a breath of fresh air and the loss of Palicki as a strong positive female character is just distressing.  

POWERS BOOTH
Powers Boothe as Malick

Still, the fight goes on and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will carry on regardless also the news is that, once again, there will be a huge big-screen tie-in with the upcoming  Captain America: Civil War. The series airs Tuesdays on ABC.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Laws of Nature (Review)

CONSTANCE ZIMMER

The season three opener of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “Laws of Nature” sees Fitz searching compulsively for Jemma, Hunter avoiding Bobbi and Phil getting used to his missing hand and arm, along with trying to remember that Skye is now Daisy. It also gives Coulson’s team a new “nemesis” in the shape of  “Rosalind” (Constance Zimmer).  The episode starts with a man surrounded by armed troops who melts anything he touches.

The poor chap is an Inhuman, but he does not know it yet. As the armed men and women move in to either capture or kill the man, Daisy, Hunter, Mack  and other S.H.I.E.L.D. agents step in and rescue him. The new inhuman, Joey (Juan Pablo Raba) is confused, scared and unhappy. Daisy attempts to calm him down. 

Phil wants Fitz (Iain De Caesteckerto come in and Bobbi calls him. Leo is out of pocket; he is in Tangier, Morocco searching for a scroll that tells what the Monolith is.  While Mack complains to Bobbi/Mockingbird (Adrianne Palicki) Fitz forces a terrorist to cough up the parchment. The scientist has hardened up since Jemma went missing, almost Bond-ian in his resolve and actions.

Daisy and Mack go to see Lincoln in the hopes he will help with the new Inhuman problem. Bobbi shows Phil where he can get in touch with his new “adversary” Rosalind.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Laws of Nature (Review)

As Lance and Rosalind verbally spar and show just how much they know about each other “read the homework,” Lincoln tells Daisy that he does not want to play. Both Coulson and Rosalind learn that neither of their agencies (Rosalind is the head of ACTU) are responsible for the dead Inhumans being found.

At the hospital, there is an unwelcome visitor, Lash, and it  takes Daisy, Lincoln and Mack to turn him away from the intended task of collecting Lincoln. It appears that Lash is the one responsible for killing the Inhumans.

Phil and Lance escape from Rosalind’s team.  Lash (Matthew Willig), the unwanted hospital visitor escapes after proving that he is more than a match for the three S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. Hunter tells Bobbi that he will hunt down Ward and make him pay for what he did to her.

Fitz comes back and Phil tells him that they must come to grips with Jemma’s death. After he opens removes the parchment in the container, Leo learns that it has one word on it. The Hebrew word for death.  He goes down to the monolith and screams at it. After the credits roll, we learn that Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) is trapped on some alien world and that something is hunting her.

LUKE MITCHELL, CHLOE BENNET, HENRY SIMMONS
At the hospital…

This proves that Fitz’s theory is correct, the Monolith is some sort of blackhole made solid that can “warp space/time”  to another world. Sadly, he cannot prove it.

May is still gone and the team has gotten very small.  Roles have changed, Skye is now Daisy – Inhuman. Fitz has recovered but now is frantic to get Jemma back. (Leo standing in front of the block of rock, pounding it with his fists and screaming at it to “Do something” is real tissue box material, or at the very least “lump in the throat time.”)

Mack may be the only one of the team who has not changed. He is still the voice of reason. It appears that Rosalind, the head of the ATCU (an organization so big that the president of the United States answers to her apparently) will be the thorn in S.H.I.E.L.D.’s side this season.

*Sidenote* Nice to see William Sadler (who plays the president in the news clip) looking a bit better than he did in the role of wagon master in “Z Nation” last week.

Phil has a “new arm and hand” with his old one kept in a glass case in the lab. The team have a new vehicle:

Phil: “Plus, this new aircraft can stay in the air much longer than the old plane. Days, really, so rapid response anywhere is… ”

Daisy: “You love your new toy, don’t you?”

Phil: “I very much love my new toy, but even with the mind-boggling range on this puppy…”

JUAN PABLO RABA
Joey, the latest Inhuman to be rescued…

There was not a lot of the usual humor in this episode although the exchange between Coulson and Rosalind on the subway was not without a few chuckles, especially when Phil questions where the ACTU leader has taken the conversation:

Wait, is this still cagey banter, or are we being honest all of a sudden?

Season there of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is continuing to entertain and enthrall.  All the players keep the viewer tuning in for more. So many questions remain. When will May return? Will Fitz rescue Jemma? And most importantly why is Lash killing all the Inhumans?

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs Tuesdays on ABC. Tune in and see where the team are heading in an continued fight against HYDRA and now ACTU, or just to see how kick-a** Daisy has become since her transformation.

John Wick: Keanu Reeves Leaving Neo in The Matrix (Review/Trailer)

John Wick: Keanu Reeves Leaving Neo in The Matrix (Review/Trailer)

Keanu Reeves is on top form in John Wick, not only giving his 1994 film Speed a run for its money but leaving his character Neo back in The Matrix in this adrenaline fuelled action thriller where Reeves plays the ultimate bad-a** John Wick. The plot, in a nutshell, has the retired hitman struggling to deal with the love of his life’s death. His wife, before she dies leaves her husband a puppy, so he will have something to love. Enter Isosef Tarasov son of Viggo Tarasov, who is the old boss of Wick. A chance meeting at a gas station has the boy offering to buy John’s car, he refuses and the Russian mobster comes back, beats Wick, kills his dog and steals his car. When Viggo finds out what his son has done, he arranges to have Wick killed.