Sunday, 25 June 2017

TV Review No. 60 Marvel: Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D.: The Return (S4, Ep21)

Strong Points:
Mallory Jensen
Iain de Caestecker
Some good uses of CGI...
Great action sequences
Mack's still being mentioned
A certain character's back
Mix of genres

Weak Points:
...Some slightly funny looking bits of CGI
Some cheesy dialogue
Slightly changed their own logic with the Framework machines
Took a while to remember what everyone actually knows

In-depth Review:
Wow. Just wow, what an episode. Turns out Aida Agnes Madame Hydra Ophelia Crazy Psycho Girl has been not only screening Inhumans in the Framework but also collecting their powers and now she has Lincoln's, Shockley and Gordon's powers (that we know of). That means she's not only incredibly powerful but also means they must have captured all three previously mentioned Inhumans, which is an interesting thought - was Daisy's mother in the Framework as well?

I forgot just how early on May was captured by Aida and Radcliffe, she wasn't even there to see Ghost Rider and Eli meet their 'supposed' end! So, parts of this episode were used to acclimatise all the Framework participants on the events of the past few episodes, which was nice to see as it allowed us to have a recap without having the dreaded 'briefing exposition scene', instead having information come up in small chunks in everyday conversations (or as every day as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. can be). There was one problem with this slow acclimatisation - as said previously, I'd forgotten that no-one knew everything, so it was frustrating to see some character's actions (like a certain Yo-Yo) which would've changed if they'd all just been together!

One thing that hasn't changed is Fitzsimmons, which I think all S.H.I.E.L.D. fans will be glad to see. Yes, Simmons shot Fitz with an Icer (presumably partly to get him back for nearly shooting her in the Framework), and for a while, it seemed that Fitz was going to choose Ophelia but he didn't and we had one of the more emotional scenes in AoS, with Simmons comforting a broken Fitz (who realised that with just a few different life choices, he became Ward), hopefully with most of the wrong-doings in the Framework forgiven.

Let's get back to Ophelia and one of the breakthrough stars of the season - Mallory Jensen. Besides from Split I can't think of an actor who has had to play so many different versions of the same character and she does it so well - you truly believed she was an LMD or learning her emotions for the first time (I'll forgive some of the cheesy dialogue that ensues from Ophelia talking to Fitz by putting it down to a combination of learning emotions and Fitz's romanticism). The sudden change from baby learning about empathy (I thought everything was going to turn out all right at that point) to psycho girl was shocking and heartbreaking as it couldn't just all work out well for everyone now, could it!

Also, the chase sequence near the end when she went psycho was incredibly impressive, combining a bit of the horror genre into AoS, with Ophelia appearing behind guards suddenly (looking a bit like The Ring girl), and Fitz's absolute horror when Red Shirt number 3 shot Ophelia. Of course, he wasn't shocked for Ophelia, but for Red Shirt as it turns out that Ophelia's practically invincible. Then we also had the lightning scene (with great CGI), showing once and for all that the containment module needs updating. This will be interesting.

I'm glad they've kept the kept the Russian's seeming insignificance, literally making a clone army out of him as he's that replaceable. It's an interesting take on a villain, and something a bit closer to real life in a sense, as he's not explicitly connected to everyone else, but has his own agenda. It's like if in Star Wars a random bounty hunter shot Han Solo because he owed them money - it's outside the main story.

Back to Yo-Yo, who after learning that Mack chose a simulated version of his daughter over her (to be fair, he can't remember Yo-Yo), decided to connect herself to the Framework and go and find him, meaning we might get to see Tripp and Ward again! It's great to see that they haven't just moved past Mack, rescuing him from the sub instead of leaving him and saying 'it's fine, he's in the Framework', although I swear they've changed the logic slightly there - why was Ophelia able to move Mack without frying his brain but the team couldn't? Which part is actually the Framework, is it just the headband?  So many questions.

There was just so many good bits of this episode I couldn't write them all down, and it's definitely going to be difficult for AoS to tie up all the threads in a singular episode. Of course, even after all this, we then had the final reveal...

Conclusion: so Ghost Rider's back and it seems that %$^& about to go down. Come on Sunday!

Rating: 92%

Thanks for reading, Satamer.

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