Sunday, 23 April 2017

TV Review No. 42 Marvel: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: The Patriot (S4, Ep10)

Strong Points:
Twists and turns
The power of Aida
Daisy is slowly being reintroduced into S.H.I.E.L.D.
More verbal action
Talbot's back
Interrogation techniques
Reflects nicely on the spy genre's shortcomings...

Weak Points:
Can be confusing to keep track of it all!
It's a shame [redacted] isn't the hero we all thought they were
Russian? Check. Ex-KGB? Check. Ex-Hydra? Check.
...While adding more

Some spoilers ahead:

In-depth Review:
Ah, the good old metal briefcase, a staple of the spy genre, complete with handcuffs. It just has to be the most inconspicuous and easy to handle object a spy could use. I'm being sarcastic of course, as were Coulson and Mack when they described it (it's nice to see modern spy shows having a go at old conventions). Back to the briefcase though and the contents. That's certainly interesting, although not entirely unexpected.

So, Mace is not a mace? (the weapon, get it?). He's also not an Inhuman, which I've got to say is a shame as I quite liked the 'all-good, all-powerful leader' character of Mace, and had hoped for no or little weaknesses to show (these characters normally turn out to be wusses). It turns out his weakness is just physical though, as he can still attack verbally, holding his own against a bunch of armed militants (which is impressive) with nothing but his wits. He's also still the face of S.H.I.E.L.D. (just more compliant with what Coulson says now) and it will be interesting to see what they do with his character.

Talbot's back and more patriotic than ever. He was also the source of some of the best bits of the episode, from shouting at a random agent to get him coffee, to assuring May that besides his mother, she is the single most intimidating woman he has met. He also knew about The Patriot and didn't tell anyone, but we'll move past that. Hopefully, he's here to stay as his and Coulson's conversations are a sight to behold.

To sedate May we shall use a spa treatment. Yeah, that'll work. Unsurprisingly it didn't and May nearly escaped Radcliffe and Aida until Aida showed just how strong she is, literally picking up May by the neck and pinning her. The Calvary, pinned to a wall. Something about it was just unsettling - Aida has to be one of the most powerful enemies the team is going to have to face, even if she doesn't look it. Anyway, Radcliffe said he had a plan to sedate May and we'll have to wait until next week to see what that is.

I talked about AoS visiting and slightly changing (or mocking) old spy tropes, well we've had three in this episode - the briefcase, the phone and the Russian agent. Fitz's hacking phone to be more precise. Seeing as it took forever to make the first Aida, downloading all of her files onto a phone seems mildly improbable, but hey, it is Fitz.

The action sequences were all well-choreographed and gripping this week like always - we really are getting a variety of action. We've had Quake catching a would-be assassin by 'flying' at him, a tactical take-down of guards using Icers, a verbal battle between Mace and a militant and a mad scramble by Mace, trying to survive. Phew.

This episode had its share of great laughs from all branches of the story. We had an extra throwing a towel over Aida's head to keep it out of sight and her grossed out reaction, the aforementioned briefcase talking and Talbot and even a politics joke (you killed a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, tried to kill the director with exploding bullets. They don’t sell those at Walmart… Yet).

Conclusion: overall, a great addition to many characters' stories and personalities. All I can say is on to the next episode!

Rating: 85%

Thanks for reading, Satamer.

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