Friday, 3 March 2017

TV Review No. 36 Marvel: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Lockdown (S4, Ep5)

Strong Points:
Nice political battle
Return of the Hand Shield
Simmon's blackmail
Twists and turns
Quick cure means episodes don't get bogged down on the possession each time...
Well-choreographed action
Starting to understand Daisy more...
Shotgun Axe
Icing the guards not shooting them
Interesting situation and location to put Ghost Rider in
Explanations of book slowly starting to appear
Coulson questioning May about what death feels like

Weak Points:
...Mildly trivialises the situation
...She's still having a teenage tantrum
Episodes are starting to meld into one
Some storylines are more interesting than others

In-depth Review:
I started out writing this review thinking the episode was all right. not stellar, not Keeping Up With The Kardashians, but all right. However, as I got writing I realised just how many good bits there were in this episode, from throwbacks to twists and battles of both the physical and verbal kind. Instead, I'm going to say that the episode isn't stand out, in that these episodes seem to be melding into one (as you can see with my only 2% change in review scores throughout the season). Which is fine, I'm treating it as an extended movie, but to have another 4722 hours would be great!

Back to the actual episode now and it was a riot. Get it? Because prisons... As that slightly butchered opening suggests, the main plot line of this week's episode involved May, Coulson, Daisy, Mack and Robbie going to the prison to collect Robbie's uncle. Two slight complications arise before they can do so, however, namely Lucy the ghost pops up and infects the prison guards as she tries to find Robbie's uncle (as he can help read the book) and the prisoners turn out to be Watchdogs. Battles ensue including a pretty awesome one with Daisy.

Basically, Daisy can't use her powers at the moment unless she wants to break all the bones in her arms. Of course, in the first season and a half of AoS Daisy didn't have any powers so she could still do some pretty big (and often gruesome) damage against the inmates. This battle really felt real (like Daredevil's fights) in a way many other of the fight scenes in AoS don't - damage was being done on both sides. I'm still not too sure about her motives, however, the line 'you weren't meant to come back' sticks in my mind as just being a wrong move from Daisy, and I'm hoping she doesn't really mean all of this. We'll have to see.

Ghost Rider was put in a very interesting situation in this episode. Place a guy who hunts down people who have done wrong in a prison and see how he copes was basically the situation. And he did surprisingly well (you could see the inner battle) but just as he was about to leave he had to meet up with one of the gang members who had left his brother in a wheelchair. You can probably guess how it ends (the special effects were great in this section).

We also had our fair share of verbal battles in this episode with a political battle between the head of S.H.I.E.L.D. and a senator being a particular highlight. I especially liked that they didn't just copy Simmons speech for Mace, instead allowing him to turn her facts into 'politician's answers' - a very nice touch and a surprisingly high tension scene, especially when he decides to go off script and show that he is Inhuman. Another good verbal battle was between Simmons and Mace, as she tried to get out of lie detector tests (who knew we give so much away in our faces). We'll have to wait and see just what Mace did for him to let Jemma of the hook.

shield, shot gun axe and death talks. We had many throwbacks in this episode as well which was fun to see, from the handheld laser shield Coulson carries (in his hand) to the shotgun axe making the rounds again (which I realised in this episode has become a lot more refined in design). The big one though was the references to Coulson's death and subsequent revival in Tahiti all those moons ago. After May's death and revival earlier on in the season, Coulson has become interested in learning what May felt in death (of course, due to his treatment Coulson can't remember any of his ordeal). While certainly an odd topic to bond over, it definitely worked.

Conclusion: overall, this episode treated us to some great action sequences and character development all round. Hopefully, the next episode will stand out even more!

Rating: 80%

Thanks for reading, Satamer.

P.S. A quick note from the Games Apps and Reviews team to pay our respects to Bill Paxton, who played Garrett in Season 1 of AoS and this week died at age 61 after complications from surgery.

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