Saturday, March 26, 2016

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - Parting Shot

It appears Marvel is following DC's lead, at least on television. Marvel scrapped their original plans for a Bobbi (Adrianne Palicki) and Hunter (Nick Blood) spin-off, but the success of new DC shows like Supergirl and DC's Legends of Tomorrow seems to have pushed the House of Ideas into reconsidering those plans. "Parting Shot" says farewell to the two characters with a mission in Siberia that goes wrong fast. Choosing to take the blame themselves rather than allow S.H.I.E.L.D. to face scrutiny from the Russian Government, the pair are forced to cut ties with their friends.

The episode's best scene is it's final shot (not counting a worthless epilogue which ruins the final farewell). The bar scene allows each regular on the team to offer a silent farewell to the pair in "a spy's goodbye." Does it drag on a bit too long? Sure, but it's a nice moment to allow the entire cast to wish them well on their journey. As to the future, I'm still very much on the fence about a Bobbi/Hunter spin-off series (especially one where apparently no S.H.I.E.L.D. characters can be brought in?). Not only does it remove them from the team dynamic, I was really staring to like the pairing of Bobbi and Daisy (Chloe Bennet) on missions, but it also leaves holes which will need to be filled by characters I'm not sure can carry the extra weight.

As for the episode itself, it's a pretty straightforward set-up of the two characters being questioned by officials about the deaths of three high-ranking Russians while the details are revealed to the audience is extended flashbacks. Personally this kind of set-up has never been my favorite, and it used far too often on television, but it does the job here. I'm still a little confused at why the pair needed to take the fall (other than an excuse to spin them off in a new series) given how easy it is for Coulson (Clark Gregg) to leverage their release not one-second later. The idea of the Russian Prime Minister needing to save face from an event (as far from prying eyes as possible) he's going to completely hush up just doesn't fly. Coulson, who has the ability to make the embarrasing facts of the situation known, actually has all the leverage here. The new Inhuman actually responsible for the deaths is pretty cool, but it takes far, far too long for any member of the team to recognize the character's obvious weakness.

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