Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - Ragtag

With S.H.I.E.L.D. disbanded, Ward's (Brett Dalton) treachery revealed, Deathlok (J. August Richards) publicly executing threats for John Garrett's (Bill Paxton) amusement and to sell the tech to various interested buyers by taking use of as Quinn (David Conrad) as a middle man, and Raina (Ruth Negga) closing in on replicating the drug which saved the lives of both Skye (Chloe Bennet) and Coulson (Clark Gregg), things look bleak for Coulson and his team.

Still with one ace left up their sleeve, but without any back-up or support other than the old school Howling Commandos tech that what Tripplett (B.J. Britt) provides (and the episode comes dangerously close to having too much fun with), Coulson and May (Ming-Na Wen) go undercover to infiltrate Cybertek and activate the Trojan that Skye installed on the drive (but didn't have time to turn on) before handing it over to Ward. Although they don't find what they are looking for in a tech company without any computers, they do discover hard copies of Deathlok files going back to 1990 and the first agent who underwent the procedure who now needs Coulson's cure to stay alive.

Much of the episode is dedicated to flashbacks involving Ward being recruited by Garrett for both S.H.I.E.L.D. and HYDRA. Although the scenes help explain Ward's loyalty to Garrett, why he would choose Garrett's life over those over Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) and Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge), and showcase the harsh love the man who saved his life practiced on the impressionable teen from day one, the oversimplification of their entire relationship to a few key scenes in the woods comes off at times as trite undercutting the point the episode was trying to make. The same could be said with the revelation of Garrett's condition which, as Raina points out, simplifies his character's motives to such a degree it makes him far less interesting once you know the truth.

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