Marvel's Agents of SHIELD: 4.03 Uprising
Mace gave us another pearl of wisdom this week; "A team divided, is a team defeated." He really learned the lessons of Civil War, huh?
It was no big shock that the Watchdogs were the ones behind the "Inhuman" threat - partly because the recap did such a job of reminding us of the Watchdogs and partly because the Inhumans are the MCU's X-Men surrogates.
Whilst the episode is, in principle, a triumphant moment for SHIELD, the prescience of the writing is actually quite depressing. Where once I may have questioned the realism of just how quickly looters and criminals would take advantage of the blackouts now it doesn't seem all that far fetched. Nor, sadly, does the casual hatred and let's face it racism towards the Inhumans. It's a depressing reflection of America and Yo-Yo's friend turning her back on her had a real kick, no matter how quickly she seemed to shrug it off. SHIELD may have got rid of Hydra in the MCU, but HYDRA seem to be winning in real life. Perhaps, the return of SHIELD from the dark is just the kind of thing we need right now.
This episode also proves that maybe Captain America had a point as someone with access to the Registration info has been passing it onto the Watchdogs who are now a global threat. The comics saw Tony Stark having to reset his brain once he realised the likes of Norman Osborne were going to get hold of the list - I wonder if Tony will have to do something as drastic in the movies.
Back here on the TV side of Marvel, Fitz once again seems to get all the best funny moments whilst also reminding us how much of a bad ass he can be during the episode's bravura moment, a fantastic action sequence that show's the team working together to take down the Watchdogs. It's the sort of action sequence we've seen a few times in SHIELD, their homage to the linked team action shots of the Avengers movies. It's the sort of flashy, show off TV that this show sometimes excels at and it's full of fun moments. Yo-Yo is an importaaart of the team, more of her please. She's just as kick ass as May but so much more relatable and her and Mack's relationship is a fun and sparky one with more chemistry than Morse and Hunter had.
Whilst Coulson and co. investigate the blackouts we get a bit more development on the Daisy and Robbie story line and Simmons and Radcliffe (the ever reliable John Hannah) try to cure May's supernatural problems with science, which results in a turn it off/turn it on again solution that, surprisingly, works. (It's taken me until know to notice that the burnt out eyes that May sees are similar to those of Doctor Strange's Kaecilius and his followers - could the Darkhold be linked to the dread Dormammu?)
And wait, a second... What about that dad who touched the ghost in the previous episode? Is he dead now? Do we care?
The LMD story line is taking a back seat for now - though what we have seen so far of AIDA is certainly intriguing - and there is plenty enough going on in this episode as it is. The writing and direction has a driving energy with plenty of twists and complications.
It's a shame that the press conference where Mace announces the return of SHIELD seems so low key and relegated only to a television screen. This should be a much bigger moment and the fallout is going to be huge. Overall however, it's another solid episode with plenty of action and intrigue but the escapism is starting to reflect reality...