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Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Review - Episode 5: Girl In The Flower Dress

Bob "MovieBob" Chipman | 23 Oct 2013 16:00
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And so, sooner than I would've expected, we wrap up The Mystery of What Skye's "Deal" Is" with... another mystery: She's no idealist either when it comes to her hacking - she learned her skills in a quest to find out the identity of her birth parents (it was previously established that she's an orphan) and hooked up with Rising Tide because her last good lead was a document whose details have been redacted - by S.H.I.E.L.D. Coulson decides she can stay on and keep looking (hell, maybe they'll even help her!) provided she stops lying... and agrees to wear one of those bracelets, too.

As for the customary teaser: Raina turns up talking to a mysterious inmate at an unnamed prison (The Vault?) who knows about Centipede and its "toy soldiers." She passes on instructions for him to speak to "The Clairvoyant" - which is eyebrow-raising, since just a week ago we were informed that clairvoyance isn't something S.H.I.E.L.D has identified as a "real" super-power.

PARTING OBSERVATIONS:

Coulson and Melinda May seem to have had some kind of flirtatious (maybe more) thing going, apparently more so back when they were both younger. Okay, S.H.I.E.L.D.? The whole "Coulson is the coolest guy in the room" thing is fun because Clark Gregg is clearly not the coolest guy in the room. If you add too much stuff that makes him actually cool, it dilutes the gag - and this is twice now in five episodes that "Phil Coulson: Seducer of Action Babes" has turned up.

Said flirtation comes up during a discussion about Coulson waking up crazy early, which maybe checks the "remind everyone Coulson probably isn't human" box for this week. I imagine the follow-up to this reveal is that he actually doesn't sleep at all.

If I'm right in my supposition that Fitz/Simmons, Skye and Ward are heading for awkward/tragic love-rectangle territory is correct, they're being gradual about it: the docs don't have much to do in this one, but Fitz now saddles up next to Skye during the team briefings and gets stuttery reaction-shots when Miles enters the picture.

May trying to talk "Scorch" down in Chinese is a nice touch, doubly so for (evidently non-Chinese-speaking) Coulson deadpanning "So we're good, right?"

Speaking of Scorch, the name appears to be the only association the character has/had with the obscure Tommy Ng character from the comics. His nuclear-mutation origin is similar enough to that of Sunfire that I wouldn't be surprised if he was original written as such and then swapped-out - since Sunfire is an X-Men character, there's probably some debate as to where/when he can appear (too bad, since I want to see someone try to make that outfit work.)

I checked - there are (somehow unsurprisingly) too many prominent orphans in the Marvel Universe to work out whether or not Skye's mystery-parents might be somebody important.

CRAZY FANBOY THEORY FOR THE WEEK:

Keep in mind: Not all of these will end up being things I consider remotely plausible or even especially good ideas, and this is one of those times. But anyway...

There actually is an existing minor character named Raina in The 616. She's a mutant from a race called Saurids who are humanoids evolved from reptiles who generally hang out in The Savage Land - Marvel's "borrowed" version of Doyle's Lost World. (Confusingly, there's also a Marvel alien race called Saurids, but they don't appear to be the same people.)

Okay, this is about to get weird so try and keep up: "Saurid" is also sometimes used, along with "Saurian," "Sauroid," "Dinosauroid" and "Reptiloid" as the name for the creatures who feature prominently in the Reptilian Agenda conspiracy theories popularized by professional crazy-person David Icke.

If you're not familiar with Icke (whose insane ramblings are still amusingly popular in the same spaces where the terminally nervous and daylight-deprived mutter ominously to one another about Rothchilds, Bliderbergs, Illuminati Pyramids and New World Orders) his proposition is that humanity has been (and is still being) controlled by outwardly human-looking reptile-like higher beings, the descendants of either aliens from the Draco Constellation or parallel-evolved dinosaurs (yes, like in the Super Mario Bros movie) who live among us as prominent politicians, celebrities, members of the British Royal Family, etc. Even today, video clips pointing to digital-video artificating as "evidence" of Reptiloid shape-shifting are a popular YouTube fixture.

Complete rubbish, to be certain, but rubbish that's been repurposed as a cheeky reference by scifi, fantasy and comic authors many times since Icke started spewing it - exactly the sort of reference point a conspiracy-themed series like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. might be expected to appropriate for itself. Make of that what you will.

NEXT WEEK:

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. takes a break to re-run its pilot in the wake of being picked up for a full season, but will return the week after with FZZT, in which the Agents are faced with a killer who leaves his victims somehow suspended in mid-air. Previews for the episode have revealed actor Titus Welliver reprising his role as Agent Blake from the Item 47 short film and featured brief glimpses of a damaged Chitauri battle-helmet.

Bob Chipman is a film critic and independent filmmaker. If you've heard of him before, you have officially been spending way too much time on the internet. Recently, he wrote a book.

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