Agents of SHIELD: Maveth – Was that a Star Wars Reference? (Review)

Agents of SHIELD with Maveth brings it. Fitz kicks major a** and Phil gets his own back for the death of Rosalind. Speaking of Phil, after his Rosalind dream, he wakes up on the planet and looking at the big moon he murmurs “Tatooine.” So…Was that a Star Wars reference? If so, wow.

MING-NA WEN, HENRY SIMMONS, CHLOE BENNET

Agents of SHIELD with its Maveth episode  brings it. Fitz kicks major a** and Phil gets his own back for the death of Rosalind.  Speaking of Phil, after his Rosalind dream, he wakes up on the planet and looking at the big moon he murmurs “Tatooine.” So…

Was that a Star Wars reference? If so, wow. If not, well, it sounded like a Star Wars reference, so it still counts as wow. Now if someone else had said Anakin and Skywalker the moment could have become sublime and not just wow.

This fall finale  was a show stopper of an episode.  Between the action on the planet and back on Earth things were kept tight, suspenseful and action packed.  Mack proved that he was not afraid to make the hard decisions and when things got tough made the sacrifice play. Of course Daisy/Tremors would not allow Mack to do it solo:

“But one thing … I’m staying with you, because, “a,” I can keep the portal open if something goes wrong, and, “b,” I’m your partner…Technically, that’s two things.”

As one site pointed out, the episode was very busy. A lot went on in the fall finale.  Jemma gets loose,  Fitz finds “Will,” Andrew/Lash gets out and is very busy, Simmons finds Andrew and releases him,  Phil crushes Grant, Fitz kills “Will” and Ward comes back very different but no less deadly.

In a nutshell, the Agents of SHIELD covered almost every possible base in this one. With everything that went on, there were many standout moments.

Standout Moments:

That giant HYRDA statue in the middle of the barren planet. 

Fitz shooting “it” Will and then frying him with the flare gun.

Grant complaining that he could go much faster if Phil had not shot him…twice.

Phil crushing Grant Ward’s chest with his synthetic hand.

Joey Gutierrez being so excited that he saved Daisy’s life. 

Bobbi’s helping Joey to describe his Inhuman power as an “Amazing new superpower.”

Simmons crying when she learns Will is not back. 

Malick coming across a dead Grant Ward who is obviously inhabited by “it.”

All in all, a very hectically paced segment.  In some ways, it also foreshadows what is happening in the real world. When the agents are talking about HYDRA’s plan to bring back an ancient HYDRA God, aka “it,” Mack snorts and asks them to listen to themselves.

Lincoln responds:

“The world’s changing. Deal with it.”

The reluctant Inhuman hero could be talking about our world and not just that of the Joss Whedon small screen Marvel verse.  Campbell is, however, speaking more specifically about the changes coming up in the Marvel world of superheroes.

There are big things in store on the big screen, for instance Captain America:  Civil War is the next Marvel  film to hit theaters. Not surprisingly, it seems that SHIELD may be setting things up for the  upcoming film; as it did in season one with Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

Build-ups to feature films aside, and possible allusions to same (Star Wars),  the end of the episode; the fall finale, has Jemma (Elizabeth Henstridge) in tears when she learns that Will is not back from the planet.  It also has Ward as an “it Zombie” aka possessed by an ancient HYDRA God standing in the dark for Malick to find.  

Viewers  see a return to that cool professional SHIELD agent that Phil Coulson was on the big screen. The guy who shoots Loki, and then “dies” the man who despite his diminutive stature and demeanor was ready, willing  and able to kill.

Stand out performances from Clark GreggIain De Caestecker and Henry Simmons make this one special for fans and guest stars Powers Boothe and Dillon Casey also impress.  One thing to point out is that disturbing look from Phil as Melinda May comes to hug him…Intense, cold and angry. Looks like “killing” Grant really did not give Coulson the closure he was seeking. 

Mad props to Henstridge who managed to make viewers cheer and cry with her actions.

ELIZABETH HENSTRIDGE
Jemma, aka Elizabeth Henstridge

As we wait for the new year and the next installment of the small screen’s  Marvel verse only one question remains. Was Phil Coulson making a Star Wars reference when he said Tatooine?  Fans may never know, but if that is what the writers intended, well done.

Agents of SHIELD airs Tuesdays on ABC. Tune in when the fall break is done and see just how different “zombie” Grant Ward may, or may not, be from his old self…

Agents of SHIELD: Closure – Phil, Fitz and Grant

CLARK GREGG, CONSTANCE ZIMMER

Agents of SHIELD: Closure does just that. It ends the relationship between Phil and Roz as well as killing off Banks (just as we learned that he was not a nasty bit of work who did Rosalind’s bidding). It stood to reason that the whole Coulson/Romance was never going to last, the couple were too good together. Glib, full of double and triple entendres and obviously made for each other.

Grant Ward saw this and took steps to get payback for his loss.  Before the end credits roll, Phil puts Mack in charge, Fitz-Simmons are captured by Ward and Hydra, Grant, Fitz and Phil go through the portal, Mack makes his first hard decision as director and Coulson is knocked unconscious on Maveth.

There is also one heck of a great shoot out between Phil (Clark Gregg has never looked so great as in this brilliantly choreographed  sequence) and the minions that Ward sends to push his former boss to the limit.

The team sniff out Grant’s brother, the one he pushed down the well, and they use him to get a fix on Ward.  This is after Phil questions all the original team members who were taken in by the dastardly, and extremely messed up Ward. Brett Dalton continues to portray the HYDRA obsessed character with a splendid mix of angst and inner pathos that makes his Grant a pretty impressive villain. 

Agents of SHIEld: Closure focuses on both Phil and Grant in their personal battle to beat the other and the relationship between Fitz and Jemma (to further cement that these two were made for each other) and gives Mack the reins of command.

Henry Simmons as Alphonso “Mack” Mackenzie kills it. He is becoming the voice of reason as well as the man who will “step up and do the damn job.” Kudos for the best “straight to the point and blunt” speech to new recruits ever. 

Coulson looked to be doing a Nick Fury and disappearing for a while, which he may be despite the next episode (titled Maveth it does indicate that action will now be taking place on “Planet Jemma” and not at the castle where SHIELD is taking on HYDRA) as he got cold-cocked by a huge Maveth boulder at the end of this episode.

BRETT DALTON

Grant after shooting Rosalind Price.

Grant kills Roz and sets up her right hand man Banks to die, at the hand of Mr. Giyera (Mark Damascus) who later tortures Jemma to learn how she got back. Although he takes matters into his own hands after he learns that Phil has younger brother Thomas. 

Phil enlists the help of Lance and Bobbi to grab the youngest Ward, which they do by robbing the bank he works in.  Coulson losing Rosalind has moved the agent to exterminate Grant with extreme prejudice and after letting Thomas go, the three head to the castle to kill Ward once and for all.

Coulson does a “Captain America” and jumps out of the plane with his parachute closed to nosedive into the opened portal.  The rest of SHIELD along with with new inhuman recruits Lincoln Campbell (Luke Mitchell) and Joey Gutierrez  and headed up by the new director, Mack, all rush to give Coulson, Hunter and Morse back up.

Outnumbered and outgunned, Mack gives brief and blunt motivational speech and they head out.  Back at the castle, Grant is talked into going to Maveth to bring back what HYDRA is desperate for. Fitz has agree to  go along to save Jemma and just after the two men enter, with a HYDRA team, Phil leaps into the open portal a split second before it closes.

These three men will obviously feature heavily on the planet, Phil, unconscious and angry, Grant too confident and Fitz; who is determined to save Will for Jemma.

Clark Gregg really kicked butt in this episode showing a steely determination and controlled rage that impressed.  Gregg is Coulson and as the figure head of the small screen verse of Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD, the actor has stepped up, in Closure, and as Mack says in his little speech, “does the damn job” brilliantly.

CLARK GREGG
Phil takes Christian out.

Agents of SHIELD airs Tuesdays on ABC, tune in and see what happens on Maveth…

Agents of SHIELD: Many Heads, One Tale (Review)

Agents of SHIELD: Many Heads, One Tale has Phil and Rosalind finally getting to the crux of their relationship, that pesky lack of trust (on both sides) and whether or not these two really liked one another or not.

CLARK GREGG

Agents of SHIELD: Many Heads, One Tale has Phil and Rosalind finally getting to the crux of their relationship, that pesky lack of trust (on both sides) and whether or not these two really liked one another or not. The subterfuge of Gideon Malick (Powers Boothe) is finally brought out into the open to Phil, Rosalind and to Grant Ward. 

Ward, in turn, learns that SHIELD brought someone back out of the monolith portal, although he does not know that it deals with he two former colleagues he attempted to kill, Fitz-Simmons.  Andrew Garner meets Ward and after some preliminary verbal sparring, Grant lets mustard gas into the cage for in order to trigger Andrew’s transformation into Lash.

Speaking of Fitz-Simmons, these two hesitant suitors finally lock lips and share a passionate kiss.  They kiss not once but twice. It does  not appear that this has cemented their relationship as Leo breaks away and repeats his assertion that the two are “cursed.”

Mack finally approaches Phil about the director’s dalliances with Rosalind and whether the ATCU head can be trusted. Coulson takes the intrusion pretty well since, as he tells Mack, he has never trusted Rosalind, even after they did spend some “sack-time” together. Phil also puts his “paramour” in a holding cell on his flying fortress and tells her that it could be her home unless she comes clean.

As the two spar verbally, Price comes to understand that Malick is the spanner in the works and that he actually is HYDRA.  The presidential advisor has infiltrated her organization for his own ends.  Malick also attempts to take Grant Ward (Brett Daltonout of the picture but fails and ultimately offers Ward a place at the top of HYDRA.

Fitz tracks down the image/logo that he discovered on the astronaut’s patch and learns that it is the same group who initially studied the monolith and that the logo is the forerunner to HYDRA’s octopus.  This then brings up whether Will, Simmons’ is an astronaut in shining armor, or whether he is a willing member or the organization.

Jemma actually believes that Will was a “blood sacrifice” and gets angry at Leo for trying so hard to rescue the man.

Lance and Bobbi go undercover to get into the ATCU computer system, Lincoln (Luke Mitchell) and May team up to follow clues discovered by Daisy and Hunter’s hacking of the system of their competitor. 

As Bobbi and Hunter continue their surveillance and accommodate Daisy’s monitoring of the ATCU database, it is revealed that the president’s new agency is not curing Inhumans but exposing normal people to TERRIGEN. Malick speaks with Dr. Garner, still playing both sides against the middle as Banks enters the facility and blows Hunter’s and Morse’s cover.

Price proves to be a “good guy” after all once she realizes that Gideon has been playing both her and the president. She instructs Banks (Andrew Howard) to assist Phil’s two agents in escaping the facility. 

Lincoln Campbell and May rescue Lance and Bobbi in the nick of time and Grant Ward begins the process of turning Andrew into Lash.  Somewhat disappointingly, Banks is not the big bad he seemed to be and neither is his boss, Rosalind.

Kudos to Powers Boothe for being the ultimate smarmy bad guy and to Brett Dalton for continuing to make Grant Ward a real nasty bit of work that one loves to hate.  The Fitz-Simmons triangle is still a good underlying story thread and hopefully Rosalind and Phil can now “kiss and make up” after their search for the truth.

Agents of SHIELD airs Tuesdays on ABC. Tune in and try to keep up with all the twists and turns.

Agents of SHIELD: 4722 Hours – Jemma’s Tale

Elizabeth Henstridge

This week’s episode of Agents of SHIELD, 4722 Hours, the tale of Jemma’s time “in the monolith” is told and we finally learn why she is so desperate to get back.  The whole installment feels a little like “Jemma Crusoe,” trapped on a desolate planet, with no sun and a couple of moons, who finds her “man” Friday and the two of them combine forces to get out of the wormhole destination they have found themselves in.

Although there is more than enough semblance to the classic deserted isle scenario shades of the 2013 film Riddick are also present. In the David Twohy movie, Riddick (Vin Diesel) is stranded on a “deserted” planet and kills, as well as eats, a water “monster” just as Jemma does in 4722 Hours.  Granted, Riddick does not giddily call his dinner “biatch.” 

Another space film homage is present with the script alluding to the 2000 film Red Planet. As Will and Jemma head to the spot where the portal is due to open next, Daniels tells her: “I’m glad that thing sent you over and not the janitor.” In Red Planet a team land on Mars and all of them die expect for Val Kilmer’s character who is, basically, the spacecraft caretaker, aka the janitor.  Daniels’ team, three more astronauts who all self-destruct, except for one who he has to kill, also closely mimics the fate of the Mars landing team in the Antony Hoffman movie.

After a good long amount of hours Simmons is captured by a NASA astronaut named Will Daniels (Dillon Casey). Jemma escapes and the two become allies and then later, lovers.  Simmons and Daniels are opposites that compliment each other. She represents hope, he is doom. 

The astronaut has been on the planet since 2001 and mapped out the surface.  While Daniels is a presence through a large part of this episode, 4722 Hours belongs to Elizabeth Henstridge, full stop.

On the planet giant dust storms come at inopportune times and, according to Daniels, contain something evil. It is, he asserts, attracted to blood. Later, Jemma sees a figure, it is apparently male and wearing a cloak. In all likelihood, it is the man who entered the monolith when it was in Victorian England. If not, it would be a nice touch and not too inconceivable. After all, time apparently moves differently in “monolith world.”

Henstridge does a cracking job playing an educated scientific woman trapped in a place where she is, for quite some time, alone.  The actress rocks it in the Simmons, sans Fitz, storyline, although Iain De Caestecker is ever present with Jemma talking to him, or his picture. (She also replays a video he made for her birthday.)

Agents of SHIELD  has devoted  time to “Fitzsimmons” in the past, but never to such an extent.  The isolation of Henstridge’s forced exile to the deserted planet where she eventually teams up with the gloomy NASA survivor, “I had one job to do…” allows her to showcase the size and skill of those impressive acting chops.

Come Emmy time, Elizabeth Henstridge should get some sort of gong for this episode. Even her retelling of her ordeal to Leo, along with his impassive reaction, getting up and with no expression on his face at all, reveals that they will go back for Daniels. When Henstridge’s character gets tearful, our eyes well up in sympathy.

In 4722 Hours, the actress almost effortlessly delivers moments of truth that feel real and plausible, despite the setting being a desert planet on the other end of a wormhole. At the end of the episode Daniels throws away his now useless gun and the sun sets as he desolately walks away.

Despite the homages to other films with a scientific setting, the overall feeling is of a Robinson Crusoe on Mars but with the second banana getting left behind. Jemma is Crusoe and Daniels is Friday;  she is the brains and  an imaginative thinker, he is the astronaut who was hired to be, essentially, a bodyguard.

Agents of SHIELD, 4722 Hours belonged to Elizabeth Henstridge totally. Her delivery of Jemma Simmons’ time on the mysterious rock was an impressive array of emotions ranging up and down the scale. The series airs Tuesdays on ABC and continues to deliver some high quality entertainment. Tune in and get caught up in the world of small screen Marvel.

 

 

Agents of SHIELD: Devils You Know (Recap & Review)

NICK BLOOD, MING-NA WEN

In Agents of SHIELD: Devils You Know, Lash is still killing evolved humans and the ACTU and SHIELD are still maintaining an uneasy alliance. Daisy and Mack still do not trust Rosalind; leader of the former opposition,  and Phil seems to be attracted to Ms. Price.

At the start of the episode, Alisha (Alicia Vela-Bailey) stops by to see two evos who were changed before the Terrigen got out, like Daisy’s mother and Alisha herself. Lash shows up and kills the two friends and attacks Alisha.

Daisy and Mack chase Lash from the crime scene and later they learn that there was an email sent to the young dead couple with a virus that was used to track the two evos and Phil passes this information on to ACTU. Daisy is not happy with the extent that Coulson (Clark Gregg)  is sharing with Rosalind and says so. 

Lance and May continue to work the Grant Ward/HYDRA infiltration and May’s ex, Andrew Garner tries to get inside Jemma’s head to help her transition back to the real world.  Fitz is concerned about Simmons and later learns that she wants to get the portal back up and running. Jemma “needs” to return to the world she was rescued from.

Hunter ends up meeting the one person who can identify him at HYDRA, the new director Grant Ward (Brett Dalton). After a tense shootout, where Lance actually puts a bullet into the former SHIELD agent, the new HYDRA boss escapes. Before being shot and then diving out a second story window, there is a brief standoff. Ward threatens  May with Andrew’s death and by the end of the episode, it looks like Grant’s newest recruit may have killed Dr. Garner.

Bobbi is still in rehab and Jemma thinks that her friend told Fitz about the portal. Daisy learns where the email virus came from and the two organizations head to the source, one  Dwight Frye who is also an evolved human. Once they arrive and question the man, it is revealed that his change  has left him “allergic” to other evos.

ACTU take Dwight in and Daisy, along with Mack, tag along to see what Rosalind’s crew are doing with the evos they have captured. On the journey, Lash arrives and kills Dwight. Frye (Chad Lindberg) believes that Lash (Matthew Willig) is a good guy, someone who is  “merciful.” Something that Lash himself reveals to be untrue;  just before he kills Dwight he tells Frye that he is “necessary.”

CLARK GREGG
“Sorry it’s classified.”

Stand out moment: 

During the questioning of Frye, the man attempts to bolt. Phil grabs the evo with his new hand and warns him that he has a “laser” finger. Part of Devils You Know  has Rosalind telling Phil that some ACTU information is classified. After the altercation with Dwight Rosalind asks Phil:

” Do you really have  a laser finger?”

“Sorry, it’s classified.”

Rosalind also gets the line of the episode award. As her team start to take a sedated Frye away, Coulson asks:

“How heavily sedated is Frye?”

“On a scale of 1 to 10, about a 6. No one likes a drooler. Why?”

There is a certain appeal about   a gal who refers to a sedated captive as a “drooler.”

During the shootout with Ward and his minions, May (Ming-Na Wen) decides that Grant Ward is bluffing about Andrew and attacks with Lance. It turns out that the new head of HYDRA was not lying about Garner’s life being in danger. However, it looks like things might not have gone down as Ward expected. 

Young Strucker runs from the shop where the camera shows  blood, the gasoline can and at least one body on the floor. Strucker hides behind a car as the premises explodes in flames.  It is unclear just what happened in the small business, but clearly the killing of Garner did not go as planned.

After Lash attacks the van with Dwight in it, and kills the evo, Daisy observes the killer’s silhouette changing shape. She reveals to the team that Lash can apparently look like a person.

Agents of SHIELD airs Tuesdays on ABC.  Things are heating up nicely.  Grant Ward has been shot, Jemma wants to return to her place of rescue and Dr. Garner may be dead. Tune in and see where Coulson and his team go next and find out whether Rosalind can really be trusted.