Television: Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., "Turn, Turn, Turn"

So the rule of thumb in situations like these is: Never believe the first person they [the writers] throw under the bus. Because it will always change. In the course of an hour, you should never start and end in the same place (at least, not with a drama; sitcoms are the opposite). Progress must be made.

Knowing this means one knows at the start of the episode—assuming one understands the unspoken rules of television—that Agent Hand is not The Clairvoyant, nor is she Hydra. Which means a big portion of the show is then spent waiting for things to (as the title says) turn. Where is the "reveal"?

My money was on Garrett, and by extension Triplett. Well, I was half right. (Unless we just haven't seen Triplett's true colors yet. Maybe he was yelling at Garrett so as to cover his ass.)

This episode was touted as the big tie-in to the Captain America blockbuster film, but I haven't seen the movie yet (and thanks, Hand, for more or less ruining it for me—I mean, I know how these movies end, but still). So I had to reach far back into my memory to pull up Hydra and that Red Skull Hugo Weaving thing from the first film. And then I had to try and apply that to whatever was happening on my television. Which is fine except I've had a long day and that felt like a lot more work than I really wanted to do. Not that the show honestly required all the background info, but I'm the type who likes to know all that stuff.

Anyway, another rule of thumb in situations like these: Always keep them [the audience] guessing. Writers do this by throwing in a lot of suspects so that viewers must question the likelihood of any or all of them being bad guys versus good guys. Still, Coulson's belief that May might be in league with The Clairvoyant was almost laughable. It just didn't scan. And then we got into Hand? Triplett? Who else? (Garrett, and it turns out I laid my money on the right color there.) . . . And then time for the "big reveal" which was:


So now we go back and say, "Oh, so he shot the wrong Clairvoyant because he knew!" Or something like that.

But then we also say, "But which way is he facing? Did Garrett get him onto Coulson's team so Ward could then learn all about how they operate? After all, Garrett did say Coulson had been working for Hydra all along . . . Or is Ward really working for Coulson as a double agent so he can find out about Hydra?"

Well, but Coulson was making that face as Ward walked away. You know, the one where he's starting to figure something out? That one. So who knows? ::shrug::

Again, that's the point: to keep us guessing.

The nicest and most interesting scene in the episode (I thought) was the one where May admitted she was the one to assemble Coulson's team. That whole, "You mean a lot to me" scene was actually really good.

Worst scene? Well, when I look away and then look back up and ask, "Why are they still talking?" that tells you something. So that long chat between Ward and Skye (and the stupid kiss) = worst.

I do think it sets an interesting stage to have S.H.I.E.L.D. stripped down to the studs, turning them into the scrappy underdogs. After all, there's only so much satisfaction one can get from watching a really advanced and well-funded agency do its thing. Think MacGyver. It wouldn't have been nearly as interesting to watch him do stuff if he always had everything he needed right to hand. Way more entertaining to watch him stop a nuclear reactor with nothing but a chocolate bar. And it will be way more entertaining to watch S.H.I.E.L.D. fight crime with whatever they can get their hands on. Plus, it makes the victory sweeter in the end.

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