A Short Agents of SHIELD Comment before We Discuss The Flash

Skye's father, Crazy Cal (Kyle MacLachlan) assembles his own team of "gifteds" to take on SHIELD.

The second best part of “One of Us”

Did anyone else notice how easily Fitz and Simmons slipped back into their companionable banter when discussing May and her ex?  Simmons may still be annoyed with Fitz—it’s not likely a permanent repair to their relationship—but it gave us a much needed wink to the loveliness that is FitzSimmons.

And while crazy Cal (Kyle MacLachlan) was completely and delightfully crazy, the show was otherwise a big ol’ yawn.  I’m done with Skye.  Again.

Aftershocks: an After-Action Report

Adrian Pasdar makes his appearance via iPad.

Adrian Pasdar and his (fake) mustache make an appearance via iPad.

“Aftershocks,”  as in Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD‘s return to television after its time out for the highly enjoyable Agent Carter.  Not to be confused with Law & Order‘s “Aftershock,” the episode in which Claire Kincaid (Jill Hennessy) died.  Or was in a coma, depending on who you asked (the latter mostly fans of Jack McCoy (Sam Waterston)/Claire Kincaid fan fiction).  And Lenny Briscoe (Jerry Orbach) in which fell off the wagon and marriage-faithful Rey Curtis (Benjamin Bratt) hooked up with a college student (pre-fame Jennifer Garner).  But I’m digressing to an earlier obsession.

So, I recorded Agents of SHIELD‘s 2015 premiere when it aired last week, but just got around to watching it.  Sorry I waited so long!  It was excellent;  in turns emotional, worrying, and humorous.  Of note:

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Fandom-meter Readings

The winter hiatus is upon us.  With several posts sitting in my Draft box, perhaps it’s time to try a new tactic. The authors at Previously.TV use several different formats for their reviews, one of the being “Rankled,” in which characters (and maybe events?) are ranked according to their actions in various episodes.

Now is the perfect time to reflect on the shows I’ve been watching.  What are these shows and how do they fare on my current “fandometer”?  More importantly, which shows are interesting enough to cover?  (The photos below should give you a hint.A)

(How funny that these three shows are on the CW, because I am far from the demographic they’re aiming for.)

1.  The Flash is living up to its pre-season hype.  It’s been rather light-hearted (for a series that deals with crime, death, and evil).  Will that continue now that we’ve had two (re-)defining episodes?  More thoughts will be forth-coming.

2.  Arrow.  Yep, The Flash/Arrow crossover did exactly what it was supposed to do—pique my interest in a show I hadn’t watched recently.  I don’t know if Arrow will remain in the #2 spot, but since I’ve been watching seasons 1 and 2 nearly non-stop, this is where it stands as of today.  Again, more thoughts will be posted during the hiatus.

3.  Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  (That’s the last time you’ll see me type out the “official” title for a while.)  This show has been so good this season, it’s currently out-ranking Supernatural on the fandometer.  But a great first part of the season does not guarantee a great second part, especially given a watershed episode such as “What They Become.”

4.  Supernatural.  It’s hard to maintain momentum when a show’s been running as long as Supernatural.  The second half of season 8 proved the show still has some juice in it, and the Dean’s Mark of Cain could prove to be as engrossing as the Trials of season 8 if the show doesn’t veer too far into its “brother lying to brother” mode.

5.  Gotham.  Unlike The Flash, it hasn’t quite lived up to its pre-season hype.  The show has become so bogged down with the “Making of the Penguin” story, I’m not sure I’ll continue watching.

6.  Constantine.  It might have been ranked higher than Gotham, but I’ve yet to watch the latest episode, so how high can my interest be?  Actually, “A Feast of Friends,” in which John Constantine convinced an old friend to host an unbeatable demon nearly turned me off the show.  But the subsequent “Danse Voudou,” along with the introduction of recurring character Joe Corrigan, changed my mind.

7.  Grimm is another show I watch, but am seldom moved to discuss.  Nor do I see that changing in the near future.

8. Sleepy Hollow.  I’ve officially given up on the show.  “The Akeda” was yet another “end of the world is nigh” episode, and was a solid zero on the fandometer.  Not only did I stop watching after the first three minutes, I immediately deleted it from the DVR.

CANCELLED!

Well crap.  Intelligence was cancelled in favor of another season of The Mentalist.  That makes yet another show down the drain.  My Current SciFi category is going to be significantly smaller next season.   Let’s look at the count.

Freshmen programs:

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Agents of SHIELD: The Beginning of the End (122)

I give this episode 5 stars!Well, shiver me timbers!  (Forgive the pirate talk.  I’m currently reading Treasure Island.)  I’ve never been happier to be proven wrong.   Agents of SHIELD wrapped up its first season without a cliffhanger, yet with just enough intrigue to tease us into the next season.  I’m quite a happy chick.

Coulson and Triplett check out the opposition through binoculars.

A dearth of photos this week gives us various configurations of Coulson and Trip.

The budget was big enough for bring on Samuel L. Jackson after all. But not big enough for an eye patch and had to go with sunglasses.  Then again, maybe it all has something to do with the events of Captain America: the Winter Soldier, which I still haven’t seen.

Yes, some of the dialog was incredibly cheesy, but who cares?  The episode was more than I ever could have asked for.  With Samuel L. Jackson!  Did I mention Samuel L. Jackson?

Garrett goes looney-tunes from the GH-325 serum, wrangling doors from their hinges, writing on plexiglass with a nail, severing a general’s aorta—with his bare hands!—and Bill Paxton chews the scenery with gastronomic delight. Continue reading

Supernatural Agents of SHIELD

Don’t you just love hate the punny titles?  Too bad.  They’ll continue wherever possible.  😀

Agents of SHIELD:  Providence (118)

I stopped covering Agents of SHIELD a while back, mainly because it wasn’t riveting enough to hold my interest.

Fitz and Simmons back up Skye.

One of these things (Skye) is not like the others (FitzSimmons).

Episode 117, “Turn, Turn, Turn” changed all that, ending with a shocking reveal.  I had already guessed the “clairvoyant” was Bill Paxton (aka John Garrett), so that wasn’t a big surprise.  However, I had not anticipated a mole within the SHIELD team.  Kudos to the sudden. unexpected, and brutal way it was revealed.  In case you’ve been hiding under a rock, agent Grant Ward (Brett Dalton) had been working for John Garrett all along.  While escorting Garrett to prison (aka the Fridge?), he killed “Hub” director and Coulson superior Victoria Hand.  (At least it’s assumed she’s dead.)

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Where Are the Posts (Part “A”)

The detectives meet to discuss the case.

The gang’s all here—except Rudy.

With most of the sci fi shows back, why haven’t there been any new posts?  Perhaps my winter ennui has set in.  I watch the shows, and enjoy them (to varying degrees), but haven’t felt a great urge to discuss them.  I will likely stop covering some of the shows, but haven’t decided which ones yet.  In the meantime, let’s catch up with the A shows.  That is, the shows which begin with the letter A, not the A-rated shows.

Almost Human

Dear Fox,

If you want suspense in your drama, don’t make the penultimate climax the (potential) demise of your main character.  Like that’s going to happen.  *sheesh*

Thank you,
Me.

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The Hurrier I Go, the Behinder I Get

This is what happens when you lose internet access.  You get even more behind than you already were.  I’m not sure how (or if) I’ll ever get caught up.  How ’bout we start with what was nearly written prior to the blackout.

Agents of SHIELD:  The Hub (107)

Here’s where my lack of familiarity with the Marvel universe rears its head.  If Victoria Hand is an established Marvel character, I’m assuming she has red streaks in her hair.  Yep, Wikipedia tells me I’m right.  What about the Hub itself?  Has it appeared in the comic books before?

Fitz and Ward wait to be rescued by the rest of the team.

Up in the sky—it’s a bird; it’s a plane. No, it’s the Bus!

Even without the Marvel knowledge, I’m enjoying SHIELD more and more.  Not that this episode was better than last week’s; it wasn’t.  “The Hub” was predictable, but it also had some nice character development.  And it had its share of enjoyable moments, from dogless dog sleds to SHIELD’s appreciation for Coulson and his team.

Ward and Fitz go on a super-secret mission, and the one person who has no right to know anything about it pesters everyone.  Yes, Skye is her super-annoying self, but that’s nothing new.  I knew, with her curiosity and hacking skills, she’d discover something was amiss with the mission.  See?  Predictable.

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Agents of SHIELD: F.Z.Z.T. (106)

[This review was initially combined with Supernatural, but the episode was so good, it deserves its own post.]

Jemma Simmons tries to find a cure for her own illness.

Lookin’ good even in geeky glasses.

I was so underwhelmed at the beginning of the episode, I was thinking I might have to give up the show.  Admittedly, dead bodies floating in mid-air piqued my interest, but when the SHIELD team bantering interceded, it became tedious.  Fortunately, the bantering didn’t involve too much Skye, so it wasn’t totally eye-roll worthy.

But then?  The show became awesome.  No, “awesome” isn’t strong enough.  It became magnificent!

Just as the mainstay of Supernatural is its heart, that’s what made “F.Z.Z.T.” such a powerful episode.  The goodness began when Coulson sat down with the doomed firefighter, telling him death is beautiful.  (Was he being truthful?  I’d like to think so.)  The show took the daring route of the firefighter not surviving and did it well, showing Coulson’s reaction as we hear a small explosion off screen.

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Agents of SHIELD: Girl in the Flower Dress (105)

Grant Ward and Melinda May are two of SHIELD's more awesome operatives.

Operatives “SEAL Team Six” and “Ninja Bus Driver”

The show is finally becoming what it was meant to be—high tech gizmos and super cool folks (minus 1) battling a Big Bad—or possibly two Big Bads.  But here’s the “minus 1”:  I don’t give a shit about Skye.  I don’t care that she’s a super cyber hacker; I don’t care that she’s awesome at “Battleship,” or about her boyfriend-mentor, or that the poor wittle baby is searching for her parents.  She’s the most uncharismatic character on television. Stop pimping her.

Other than the incessant Skye pimping, the episodes continue to improve.  Not that “Girl in the Flower Dress” was better than “Eye Spy,”  but it certainly advanced the primary story.  I had to go back and rewatch the pilot (thank you for being there, OnDemand) since I’d forgotten much of it.  Once I was up to date on Centipede again, things really clicked.

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