Thursday, 27 April 2017

TV Review No. 45 Marvel: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Boom (S4, Ep13)

Strong Points:
Cool new Inhuman
Terrigenesis is back
Twists and turns
Similarities between Radcliffe and Coulson - grey areas of moral

Weak Points:
Another one bites the dust
How quickly was that trap made?!
Some characters are more developed than others

In-depth Review:
Well, to quote Jamie Lawson, 'I wasn't expecting that'. Nadeer's another one that has bit the dust (final music reference) this season along with Lucy, Ghost Rider, Eli, Aida V1 and technically Hellfire. While I get why she and the others were removed (to keep the pace up and keep things fresh) and that the Darkhold is technically the big antagonist of the season, it's a bit of a shame to lose Nadeer without some sort of justice for the team. I did think it was a really clever twist to have Shockley suddenly turn inhuman instead of Nadeer and one I didn't expect, but we just don't have enough backstory with The Superior and his team to care about them.

Someone I did care about this episode though was Agnes. If you don't know, Agnes is the person Aida is modelled after, a previous lover of Radcliffe who left her after not being able to fix her inoperable brain tumour. Yeah. Heavy stuff. Anyway, she decided to live out the rest of her days how she wants too, with nothing to do with Radcliffe. Then Coulson shows up and tries to get her to talk to Radcliffe so he can find May. This was an interesting way to show development for Coulson as I understood both sides of the story but to see Coulson pushing with no thought of the repercussions for Agnes was tough to watch. This was helped by another stellar performance by Clark Gregg and Mallory Jansen who managed to bring surprising depth to their characters (especially Mallory, who had her character for one episode).

This arc also allowed to flesh anti-villain Radcliffe out even more. I've been impressed by the multi-layered approach to Radcliffe, it's like we've got another Ward (although not quite a psychotic) and he's definitely better than The Stereotype Superior over there. Turns out he's made a virtual world using The Darkhold called The Framework, which can allow you to basically escape death. Which is exactly what he does with Agnes, fulfilling his promise of keeping her alive just as her physical body gives out. Will she find May though?...

Something for the comments, do you think Aida's jealous of Agnes or is completing her protocol and mimicking her by taking her necklace? I think it's the latter, as they've had plenty of chances to go down the 'jealous robot' path before now and have refrained, so I don't think they will. Hopefully.

Time for a bit of honesty here. I thought Shockley was just another Red Shirt. I know he's had some lines during the series and he was seen as the head of the mercenaries but I didn't think much else of him, so the twist that he was Inhuman and his conversation with 'The Superior' (still can't quite believe he is but there you go) where he begged for his life lost just a bit of emotional impact. His power though! Love it.

Mace has really grown as a character over the past couple of episodes and I like that even though he's lost his powers he hasn't grown into this wimp. This was shown in two examples, firstly him and Fitz tackling an exploding Shockley into the containment module and him taking the Russian Roulette of his strength drug (which is an altered version of Kal's serum) and literally stopping a truck. He's now been captured by 'The Superior' and I can only imagine what will happen when he finds out Mace isn't Inhuman (vodka without onion perhaps?) but given this season's track record, it doesn't look good.

Conclusion: with this many characters coming and going I'm surprised these episodes have been as strong as they are - the cast and writing have been mostly spot on this season. Any thoughts about what's going to happen next week?

Rating: 85%

Thanks for reading, Satamer.

P.S. what is it with characters this season giving up on people as soon as they disappear. Firstly for Coulson, Fitz and Ghost Rider now for May? Seriously, have they never read a Marvel comic? I guess not.

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