Agents of SHIELD
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Review - Episode 18: Providence

Bob "MovieBob" Chipman | 16 Apr 2014 17:15
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Here's a mystery for you, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Is this still part of the Uprising arc, or have we jettisoned that now that who was doing the uprising is no longer a secret? (Unless of course you didn't see last week's episode or Captain America: The Winter Soldier, in which case SPOILERS, HO!)

So, where were we again?

  • Agent Phil Coulson's resurrection was actually carried out against his will for reasons still known only to Nick Fury, now missing and presumed dead.
  • Super-hacker Skye is actually an undocumented superhuman being whose powers and origin are unknown.
  • Medicine used to cure both Skye and Coulson (at different intervals) was actually extracted from the corpse of a blue-skinned, possibly-alien creature housed in a bunker so secret it wasn't even technically part of S.H.I.E.L.D.
  • S.H.I.E.L.D. itself has been destroyed (largely offscreen - or, rather, on a different, bigger screen) by Captain America, after it was discovered that a large number of its Agents and leadership were actually loyal to HYDRA. As a result, the Agency's entire database of secret intelligence has been dumped onto the internet.
  • Melinda May has revealed herself to be the real leader of Coulson and his special team, which she assembled on behalf of Nick Fury (to whom she secretly reported) for the express purpose of keeping track of Coulson's post-resurrection behavior.
  • Agent John Garrett is actually both a HYDRA loyalist and the so-called Clairvoyant, leader of the HYDRA super-soldier project CENTIPEDE - his "psychic powers" being little more than clever-manipulation of his high-level S.H.I.E.L.D. security clearance.
  • Coulson has taken his team on the run in the wake of S.H.I.E.L.D.-proper's dismantling, ostensibly to hunt scattering HYDRA stragglers and protect vulnerable Agency locations.
  • While assisting in the prisoner-transport of Garrett (his former trainer,) Team Coulson's combat/weapons-specialist Agent Ward murdered two fellow Agents and senior officer Victoria Hand; revealing himself to have been part of HYDRA all along.
  • Unwitting CENTIPEDE guinea pig Mike Petersen has been transformed into the cyborg assassin Deathlok (that's not really relevant to Providence, but it's out there.)

Everybody got that?

We open in the prison cell of Raina, aka "The Girl in The Flower Dress". Ward enters, gives her a gift of another floral-print dress ("From The Clairvoyant") before spiriting her off to Cuba for a meet up with Garrett. She's visibly upset to learn that she was not actually serving some sort of mystic this whole time, and looks even more shocked when Garrett welcomes her to HYDRA. I wonder what "normal people" in the Marvel Cinematic Universe think of HYDRA, actually - those with firsthand experience appear to get that this is an organization that affiliated itself with The Nazis mostly out of convenience, but does the average person just think of them as Nazis? Is Raina's surprise partially about being a woman of color wondering how she wound up working for guys she might regard as Skinheads?

Speaking of pursuit, Team Coulson is busy repairing The Bus when they're contacted by Col. Glenn Talbot (Adrian Pasdar) to inform them that he and a "peacekeeping force" will be coming to question them. Coulson suspects that it won't be quite so peaceful, (partially because in the wake of Winter Soldier the entirety of S.H.I.E.L.D has been classified as a terrorist organization, partially because Talbot has only ever had one character trait in 50 years of Marvel continuity: He's a dick;) so Coulson decides they're just gonna take off and figure out Step 2 on the move.

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