Saturday, 18 March 2017

TV Review No. 38 Marvel: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Deals With Our Devils (S4, Ep7)

Strong Points:
Great effects
Interesting idea with two different POV's
Nice colour correction
Twists and turns
Use of Aida
Some good acting
Good pacing

Weak Points:
Some reactions seemed unjustified (some of which were fixed from alternate POV)
Some acting seemed off
Can Aida really do that if she is an Android?

In-depth Review:
This episode’s twist was inputted interestingly. I didn’t believe for a second that Coulson, Fitz or Robbie had died (they’ve had worse) so to see Mack and May straight away believe that they had felt odd to me. It felt odd to Daisy too, who had more of my point of view. So, we went through scenes of them trying to find the missing trio, May nearly using the book and Mace going to call Simmons to tell her what had happened to name a few. Then suddenly it switched and we witnessed the same scenes again from Coulson, Fitz and Robbie’s perspectives. This was a great invert and it allowed us to see the same scenes from another perspective (with one party oblivious to the other one) which gave us some in-depth looks at people’s actual feelings when other people aren’t meant to be around.

So, it turns out that the trio are in between realities and thus the Doctor Strange crossover has happened. Maybe not quite as apparent for us as America, seeming as Doctor Strange has been out for months now but when it clicked for me it was nice to see how they had incorporated Doctor Strange (quite naturally as well). Being in-between realities allowed the trio to do a couple of things: eavesdrop on others, walk through certain objects (I’m not going to try and understand why they could go through some objects and pick up others) and slowly get sucked into the darkness (not quite as desirable. It did allow Fitz to here that Mace has been talking with the senator though, so that could certainly cause some conflict, depending on how angry Fitz is.

Talking about the senator, she had Simmons do a task for her this week. Cast your mind back a couple of episodes and you may remember that she had a statue of a man in her room. Well, it turns out that that statue is her brother going through Terragenesis. For months. It was Simmon’s job to break him free, which she does by calming him down. We’ll have to wait until next week to see what powers he has, but hopefully, he’s on S.H.I.E.L.D’s side – the men the senator had in her employ annoyed me (and Simmons who had a great argument against them when they wouldn’t cooperate).
2 different perspectives

Quick thing. While I like the way they've moved Aida's story along (definitely not the conventional way), if Lucy couldn't read the Darkhold because she was stuck between dimensions and therefore not technically alive, why can Aida read it? She is an android after all, with no AI (although some very complex algorithms are definitely there). And now she's making a brain. Great.

Transference of Ghost Rider is a thing now as well it seems. And it really worked, especially by using a man of faith such as Mack. Having Henry Simmons play Mack playing Ghost Rider really allowed him to stretch his acting and I'm really enjoying Mack becoming more of a main character this season. Also, giving the Ghost Rider a voice was something I just didn't expect them to do, so that was great to see.

Effects wise, this episode was really strong. This is probably due to it stealing the magic effects from Doctor Strange (complete with orange light) but hey, I’m not complaining if it gives us that quality of effects. The entire ‘space-between-dimensions’ effect was also really well done, complete with a nice ‘ghosty’ orange colour correction and a slow blackening of the background which helped it differentiate itself from our world. Also, the last scene with Coulson falling into the darkness felt like it was from a movie not a TV show.

Last up is Eli, who has become evil. Very evil. While I’m going to refrain from calling him Carbon Man (not quite as deadly sounding as he might want), his main power is to create matter. This can be in his hand, from walls, in other people’s necks… That was a nice image to see. While you’ve got to give it to the makeup and costume department I did feel that the show was edging a bit far into Daredevil territory with that particular move. Got me to believe Eli was evil though, so there’s that.

Conclusion: overall, this episode had some great ideas both physically and in terms of story, but they’ll have to be careful, especially with the increased pace of Season 4, to make sure every character’s actions are justified.

Rating: 79%

Thanks for reading, Satamer.

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