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

I was really only partially paying attention.

Coulson is now director of S.H.I.E.L.D. (as Nick Fury lies low), trying to recruit people to help fight Hydra and rebuild the networks necessary to do so. Also, he'd like all their stuff back, please.

Ward is in custody, and Fitz is . . . brain damaged or something. [spoiler alert] He hallucinates that Simmons is there. Turns out she's not. He's just talking to himself. And not even very well; the figment Simmons has to fill in Fitz's brain blanks.

Meanwhile, a number of new characters were introduced in this episode, which made me feel the stage is getting a bit too crowded. Some baddie named Creel is able to take on the properties of things he touches (like, say, diamonds). There's also a really old Nazi guy named Whitehall. I mean, he doesn't look old, but he must be, right? Add to these a trio of new S.H.I.E.L.D. recruits, plus our regulars (yes, May and Skye were there, too, along with Triplett and Patton Oswalt as whichever Koenig isn't dead).

The story, best as I followed, centered around an 084 "obelisk" that had been S.H.I.E.L.D. property and Hydra wanted. S.H.I.E.L.D. almost got it, but the obelisk is fatal to touch, and Creel ended up taking it in the end. (Does this mean he can turn into whatever the obelisk is made of?)

Skye is put in an awkward position when Coulson sends her to pump Ward for information about Creel. Ward puts on a show of semi-suicidal repentance, but Skye isn't having any of it; she leaves before he can get to the part about her dad.

Honestly, I wasn't much engaged in the show. So many blockbuster movies, and now it's trickling down to the television . . . I mean, of course we need great characters and plots, but I felt . . . malnourished? S.H.I.E.L.D. will almost certainly live up to its movie pedigree, will be built along the same scaffolding so that rainbow bridge causeway can be made to connect the show to the rest of the franchise. That's fine. And the pacing will necessarily be different because of the medium. But it's still a fast food form of entertainment. And sometimes I'm more in the mood for a good steak.

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