Agents of SHIELD
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Review - Episode 13: T.R.A.C.K.S.

Bob "MovieBob" Chipman | 5 Feb 2014 15:35
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So, the "we might kill a castmember" tease from last time turns out to be more Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. misdirection - Skye should be dead from that kind of blood loss, but Simmons is able to use Mike's hyperbaric chamber to keep her alive long enough to get her to where S.H.I.E.L.D. super-science can get her stabilized (though still comatose). The ordeal leaves the team visibly shaken, most of all Ward: When May tries to console him about not blaming himself, he glowers that he doesn't - he blames Coulson, presumably for pulling her in the first place.

Well, that's going to make things awkward.

For the requisite final stinger, Mike is skulking around in public waiting for C.E.N.T.I.P.E.D.E to tell him when he can see his son - somewhat conspicuously for a guy who now looks like Cyborg Freddy-Krueger. A parting zoom-in on the trademark-stamping for the robot leg confirms what the handful of fans who recognized the name "Cybertek" already guessed: Mike Petersen is being transformed into DEATHLOK: THE DEMOLISHER; thus bringing our Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. supervillain roster to three (Blizzard and Graviton having been previously introduced.)

PARTING THOUGHTS:

  • I'm still not quite onboard with the idea that this series' slow start (too much of the season's first half was spent hammering out issues they should've fixed up in the writers room) is going to doom it... but the disjointed schedule easily could: There were multi-week breaks between these last three episodes, and now it's going back to hiatus for a full month because of Olympics coverage. You can't keep an audience when they can't see you.
  • Coulson tells Ward that if he lets his relationship with May compromise his work, he'll get shipped off to Alaska to "guard Blonsky's cryo-prison." He is, of course, talking about Emil Blonsky, aka The Abomination, last seen in The Incredible Hulk and last referenced in the Marvel One-Shot Short The Consultant.
  • A bit of gossip/out-of-school talk that's followed Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. from before it even started airing was that the series had to be constructed to "break apart" easily so it would always be ready for retooling in the wake of any changes happening to the reality of the Marvel movies. That's probably going to be the case after Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but whatever this series looks like when/if Season 2 rolls around this episode makes a nice case for not getting rid of either Elizabeth Henstridge's Simmons - the series' comedy dynamo - or Ming-Na Wen.

NEXT TIME:

As mentioned, we're on break again until March 4th. It's pretty clear that Skye isn't going to die - she and Coulson are more-or-less the joint main characters (of this season, if not of the series.) Previews for the next new episodes are teasing a hunt for a cure for Skye storyline; and since "two bullets in the stomach" isn't really something you "cure" one imagines that could take up an episode or two, probably built around temporary new guest star Bill Paxton. Will near-death kick-start whatever he supposed special-powers are? Who knows - that feels like something you'd save for a season finale.

Also: Episode 15 is already being promoted to feature a guest spot from Jamie Alexander as the Thor franchise's Lady Sif, supposedly hitting Midgard to deal with perennial Asgardian villain Lorelei. Obviously, Asgardian-heritage is one of the plausible answers to Skye's origins, but I hope it's something more unexpected than that.

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