TV Review: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D 19
Whoops… turns out I’m a little behind again. After the lukewarm eighteenth episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D I sort of struggled to get motivated to catch up. But I’m here, and we’re ready for episode number nineteen…
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D – episode nineteen – The Only Light in the Darkness
*Lots of spoilers!*
First up, let’s get super excited at the appearance of Amy Acker as cellist and Coulson’s amour, Audrey Nathan. Acker – if you’re not familiar with Whedon’s work – is a regular in Joss Whedon’s work; most famously as Fred in the Buffy spin-off, Angel.
But more on Acker in a moment.
This episode is split in to two: Coulson, Fitz, Simmons and Trip are out on a mop-up mission to collect one of the escaped S.H.I.E.L.D prisoners and May, Ward, Skye and Koenig are at the top secret base trying to track everyone down. Koenig puts the team through a lie detector test – said to be unbeatable – but lets Ward through. Big mistake. Because Skye is on a mission to get the footage from the Fridge to see the breakout (thus busting Ward’s cover) and Ward is on a mission to stop them from finding out about him.
Cue dead Koenig. Poor Patton Oswalt lasted barely an episode in total.
Meanwhile, we meet Audrey Nathan – the lovely Acker – who is the subject of a prisoner’s obsession (I can’t really explain what his superpower is as it’s basically described as “dark matter” but seems to consist of him shooting black smoke out of his hands). Coulson was on the last mission to capture said prisoner (Marcus Daniels, played by Patrick Brennan) and happened to fall for the cellist as they used her as bait to capture Daniels. One hitch in this romantic reunion – Audrey thinks Coulson is dead (remember that bit?) and so he has to stay hidden, whilst allowing the others to use Audrey as bait… again.
Meanwhile, back at the base, May has left because she’s grumpy with Coulson, and Ward has garrotted poor Koenig and hidden him in a cupboard. But clever Skye finds him, and realises her current beau is Hydra. But rather than confront him or try to run away, she willingly goes with him when he takes her off in the plane, just before Coulson and co. arrive back. Ooh the drama.
But did it make up for the lacklustre previous week?
I guess so. The disparate storylines felt like they were trying to cram in several plots before the season finale without any thought to how they stacked against one another, but for all of that, they were strong and interesting storylines. I never felt left behind, nor did I feel like I was waiting for them to catch up.
I’m pleased that Ward has been discovered – I was worried this would drag on and start to get a bit boring, but Skye’s reaction was brilliant, and I can’t wait to see what she does to take him down (because he is going DOWN). The Coulson/Nathan romance was a sweet touch (and a nod to previous episodes) but I wasn’t convinced by Daniels as a bad guy – he just wasn’t creepy enough. This felt like it could be a season finale with cliff-hangers all over the place, which only makes me think there is something bigger on its way. I really hope so.
This episode was reaching for greatness, and it felt like a promising attempt – it can be forgiven for feeling like it fell short a bit. Deeply entertaining, a good ramping up of tension, and some lovely character development (I think I fell in love with Skye that bit more when she freaked out in the bathroom). But it still has yet to wow me.