This week AoS has once again delivered a top-notch companion to the MCU at large. Opting for a more personal challenge, Providence drops some of the bombast of the past few episodes in an attempt to deliver more character drama and build on the distrust swirling around the wreckage that is SHIELD. Agents of SHIELD continues its hot streak heading into the final episodes while revealing a few new details surrounding the mystery that is Coulson’s resurrection.
As per usual these days the performances were pretty great, the obvious stand out being Clark Gregg as Agent Coulson. When he delivers that heart-wrenching monologue you can feel his emotion come through. After the rise of Hydra and disbandment of SHIELD many a fan has wondered how our team or the show will continue. The show addresses this exact question head on. In the words of Coulson, “This means something! We are not agents of nothing, we are agents of SHIELD!” Coulson and co are adamant in their belief that the world needs protecting and just because the organization they work for technically no longer exists does not mean they will give that up. Gregg absolutely nails the delivery once again; it’s a truly powerful scene that helps solidify where the series is headed.
The new, much more serious Coulson also has a new dilemma to deal with on top of the massive pile already in front of him. May reveals that Nick Fury was not in charge of his operations! While adding yet another layer to this ongoing mystery it does feel about time that we got some definitive answers. Luckily we shouldn’t have to wait too much longer. It does lend itself to some interesting theorizing though, since it’s been established that his resurrection was of alien origin it wouldn’t be too farfetched to think that whomever was in charge of his procedures is also of alien descent. Maybe Abigail Brand, leader of SWORD (SHIELD’s space division in the comics)? Whoever it turns out to be it will be interesting to see how things shape up.
Brett Dalton also had a good episode this week. As the newly revealed sleeper agent on the team he has become a much more interesting character. While I haven’t found him to be as bland as some have claimed there has been a new edge to his performance and I feel he is more at home playing a villain than the stoic protector on the team. For those of you who had doubts about whether or not Ward was truly evil… He murders people left and right here, there isn’t any going back. The exchange between Ward and Raina was a very nice touch, going over all of the key moments in which he gained the teams trust and explaining how everything was according to plan was great and causes audiences to think back on earlier episodes in a new light. His new status quo and connection to Garret’s Clairvoyant makes him one of my favorite characters to watch in recent episodes.
His storyline at the Fridge was pretty by the numbers though. Nothing unexpected came about, a simple break out and ransack of the building for its entire stock. It was nice to see all of the gadgets we have come across over the season; our team is definitely in for some tough times ahead. Conspicuously absent however, was Donnie Gill (Blizzard). He wasn’t in the rush of inmates that escaped implying he was being held elsewhere or they just forgot about him. I’m inclined to believe the former.
Also of note was Patton Oswalt’s guest appearance as Agent Koenig. He brought a nice levity to the episode and added a welcome does of comic connection all fans are on the look out for. His distrust of everyone even trumps Coulson’s new attitude! We were also quickly introduced to Colonel Glenn Talbot, brought to life by Heroes alum Adrian Pasdar. While he only makes a quick cameo here it is implied he will have a much larger presence in the coming episodes. To the comic initiated, Glenn Talbot is a well-known Hulk adversary with connections to Thunder Bolt Ross.
While not as action packed as the last two episodes, Providence continues SHIELD’s dominant performance. With intriguing developments happening on the mystery front as well as the army amassment by Ward and Garret the rest of the season is poised to end with a bang. New connections to the larger MCU and a ramp up to the finish line make AoS a must watch for any Marvel fan. Overall I give this episode 8/10