Agents Of SHIELD: 2.13 One of Us
Given the momentum of the episodes leading up to the hidden city before the mid-season break, Agents Of SHIELD seems a little slow paced since its return. It certainly is a much better show than last year and even the less-dramatic episodes have a lot in them to enjoy, but is it just me or is the show suffering from a little bit of a mid-season slump?
Slump or not, the show is still keeping the pace with its cousins over at The CW; like Arrow and The Flash, this show continues to build week on week, teasing us with new characters and big bads. HYDRA has all but been forgotten as the mystery of the Inhumans deepens, with Coulson asking May to recruit her ex-husband and therapist Dr. Andrew Garner to help Skye deal with the emotional trauma of her newfound powers.
Seeing more Melinda may's backstory is always great and this week we got a glimpse of what her life was before the 'incident' in Bahrain. It was fun to see her interact with her ex-husband, just as much as it was seeing Fitz, Simmons and Skye desperate to find out what Coulson's second in command was really like. Eloping to Las Vegas and bad cooking, that was about what we got, but it was a nice way to see a more human side to May.
I would have liked to have seen more of Andrew's therapy with Skye, but he was gone by the end of the episode. Personally, it would have been nice for Blair Underwood to stick around for another couple of episodes, continuing the therapy and re-bonding with his ex wife. But unlike some story elements, this was over before it even begun.
By story elements, I am talking about the mystery of who Bobbi and Mac were working for, which was dragged out for another episode, with poor Lance Mac's prisoner all while Bobbi covered up the whole affair with Coulson. Thankfully there was some resolution at the end, with the reveal of a new, very different SHIELD.So they aren't evil, they just have very different agendas. I am intrigued to see where this goes next week.
The main plot focused on the return of Skye's father Calvin Zabo, recruiting a band of villains to exact his revenge on Coulson. Breaking into a cliched-looking mental asylum, he obtained his ace in the whole, creepy David Angar with his ability to induce catatonia with his voice. This led to a great scene where Angar was unleashed on a school football field, with students and a flock of birds falling at his feet.
Unfortunately while Angar was threatening, the rest of the team failed to make much of an impact. Francis Noche had superhuman strength but didn't really do anything with it. Wendell Levi had a genius level IQ but didn't really do much. Karla Faye Gideon was a poor-woman's Lady Deathstrike, with razors on finger tips. They were all evil without actually doing much to be evil. Bobbi took out Karla, May defeated Francis and by the end of the episode Calvin's 'Slicing Talons' failed to be a match for Coulson's SHIELD team.
The one surprising twist - besides the reveal of a second SHIELD team - was the capture of Calvin Zarbo by the mysterious eyeless Inhuman Gordon. Besides another reunion with Raina, we might get some clues to who is masterminding these Kree-powered human super soldiers. Next week is sure to give us the answers to the mysteries teased over the last three episodes, which is a good thing. I am still enjoying the show but we need a little less teasing and a bit more revelation...