TV Review: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D Season 1 Episode 17


Contains Spoilers… get over it.


So the show runners for Agent’s of SHIELD have been saying all season long that they’re building up to some­thing. And with episode 17 finally… the Rock has come back to…  it really did all come together.

In fact there’s really very little to crit­i­cise in Turn, Turn, Turn. Not only was it action packed (I think they’ve been saving up their budget) but the tension just kept ratch­eting up and up.

Obvi­ously this is an episode that couldn’t happen without Captain America: The Winter Solider but equally obvi­ously they knew that and they’ve been care­fully seeding the previous episodes with elements that dove­tailed perfectly here. By the end of the episode not only is SHIELD shat­tered, but in many ways so is the team. Yes tech­ni­cally they are still func­tioning as a group (most of them) but there are so many tensions and secrets that a lot of the trust is missing. I really hope they don’t drop the ball on the conse­quences of what we’ve seen in the last few episodes.

If you had watched some of the earlier episodes it might not have been obvious why Agent Coulson was the star of the show (beyond his Marvel movie connec­tions) but in this episode its obvious. He is the moral compass and heart of the team. And now he repre­sents what SHIELD was supposed to be.

HandathubGoing into this episode I was expecting some surprises. I haven’t seen The Winter Soldier, but spoilers don’t scare me so I knew about Hydra and having read the comics I knew what that meant. I watched, looking for the inevitable turn­coats. So the first one was no surprise. Satis­fac­to­rily done but not a surprise.

Ward on the other hand. Well… I didn’t catch that until almost the end. Not until he gave Coulson that look as he left with Victoria Hand. Very nicely played. Because his story and moti­va­tions work both ways. All the pieces fit.

And that wasn’t the only way they messed with the viewers. Victoria Hand’s theory that Coulson was Hydra made perfect sense. She laid out the evidence and damn if you hadn’t watched those episodes you’d have bought it completely.

imagesSo it’s clear this isn’t a last minute “fix” for a broken show. This is where they intended to go all along. The problem is that because of the timing of Winter Soldier they essen­tially had to tread water for months. They really weren’t able to kick into high gear until the last four episodes. And they’ve squan­dered a lot of good­will (not to mention audi­ence) in the process. I’m not sure if they’ll be able to make all of that back again.

They’ve got three episodes left to consol­i­date and capi­talize on what they did with episode 17. And there’s plenty of good mate­rial to work with. We’re going to see Maria Hill again, and Nick Fury; the issue of the Clair­voyant may not be entirely resolved; What will they do when they find out about Ward; Skye’s story remains far from resolved; and of course Melinda May isn’t on the best of terms with her team these days. Plus there’s HYDRA to address. Oh and that Kree body.

In fact the only nega­tive thing I have to say about this episode at all is that it seems like a waste to kill of Victoria Hand like this. She’s such a great char­acter and I think the ending was strong enough even without that.

Overly opinionated owner and author of eoghann.com. You can get updated on his posts directly on the blog here or through the usual social networking suspects.

What? You expected me to say something interesting here? That's what the blog posts are for.

Eoghann has often wondered if people read these little bio things we have to fill out everywhere on the internet and, assuming they do, why?