Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Review - Episode 19 "The Only Light In the Darkness"

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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Review - Episode 19 "The Only Light In the Darkness"

The Agents start to clean up HYDRA's mess, but have their own to deal with as well.

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"but to encryption in a specific geographic location"
Yeah, this SOUNDS really good... but GPS spoofing is just super easy, even the real life FBI and local cops love to screw with phone and GPS spoofing/Man-in-the-middle-attack that shit. It started waaaaay back with cellphone (GSM): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stingray_phone_tracker

http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/07/professor-spoofs-80m-superyachts-gps-receiver-on-the-high-seas/

Anyway, this episode was realllly boring and wasted Amy Acker's guest role.

Oh, and Bob, maybe this is a European thing, but why would I care about this Patton Oswald guy?
I vaguely remember seeing him before somewhere, and I have a really good memory.
You talk about globalization a lot, please remember people from domestic stuff are probably nobodies to huge parts of the world (and thus, the Internet).

>Memo to the showrunners: Your target-audience already hated Ward because he was the obvious "hot guy" character.

People hated him for looking good? Really? I don't like this but Ward was never the problem, in my eyes. If anyone was, it was Skye.

Ward was part of the problem. He was a wet blanket. And that would've been okay, except... May and Fitz are also wet blankets. Having half the cast be full-on wet blankets was IMO the biggest problem with the early series. And it seems odd; I mean, Coulson's character is kind of supposed to be a wet blanket, he was originally cast as just "Man in Black", yet he totally transcends that role. So, why couldn't Ward, May, and Fitz?

One of the listed features of the Mary-Sue that reminded me of something I found particularly disturbing about Skye was the "appeal through flaws". I don't remember the episode, but I'm still flabbergasted she was allowed to work directly in the field AND CAN'T HANDLE A DAMN GUN, but it's played for laughs instead of being a deal-breaker. I wonder, though, if that was a ploy by Ward (her mentor) to sabotage her - mislead her with faulty training, possibly getting her or others killed, then chalking it up to her being a bumbling rookie? Pretty ingenious in retrospect.

AWWW, Fitz will go bad for love, or at least jealousy. Thats cute.

I hope Ward stays around. For most he's the straight guy (comedy term) for me. Yes, everyone is serious, but for most i remember about his character, he had the most lines of that kind. Well, as "evil" ward he could go buffys spike road.

Kenjitsuka:

Oh, and Bob, maybe this is a European thing, but why would I care about this Patton Oswald guy?
I vaguely remember seeing him before somewhere, and I have a really good memory.
You talk about globalization a lot, please remember people from domestic stuff are probably nobodies to huge parts of the world (and thus, the Internet).

It's more of a North American thing, but he's a big name in nerd comedy and sci-fi circles (namely: the exact type of people this show is aimed at). Basically, killing him is, to some, like killing The Doctor.

OT: Before killing Oswald, I was ok with the idea of him being a recurring villain. Now? Ward must die.

Bob, the reference to Bruce Banner designing the light amplification system seemed to really bother you but I feel like you didn't really mention the point of the line. Rather than early in the series when they would connect stuff to the Avenger's for no reason, the joke here was that it would turn Blackout into the hulk. It was said to work with gamma rays and Fitz remarked their was a slight chance that it would make the guy more powerful. Its not a great joke necessarily, but its still a joke rather than some pointless tie in. I'm sure you knew that already, but the distinction makes it not as bad in my mind.

I was thinking Ward was more interesting now he's evil last week! But yeah killing Koenig is a step too far!

"So, Blackout joins Agents' roster of Marvel supervillains who appear in plainclothes because (supposedly) ABC TV feels differently about comic-book costuming than Disney does. Oh, well."

Black Widow, Hawkeye and Falcon say high (tempted to throw in Hulk as he is CG rather than a costume) not to mention the previews of Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver.

Is there some Marvel comics significance to Koenig's nickname "Lightning Foot"? I feel I was missing a joke there.

Kumagawa Misogi:
"So, Blackout joins Agents' roster of Marvel supervillains who appear in plainclothes because (supposedly) ABC TV feels differently about comic-book costuming than Disney does. Oh, well."

Black Widow, Hawkeye and Falcon say high (tempted to through in Hulk as he is CG rather than a costume) not to mention the previews of Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver.

Agreed. Marvel/Disney seems keen on doing the costume thing when it makes sense, but if they would have to shoe-horn it in, they'd rather not bother. Why would Blackout have an outfit in this situation? It just wouldn't make sense. Iron Man obviously has an outfit because it's the source of his power, and Cap has a suit because he was turned into a publicity tool for the American armed forces. Thor's outfit is basically what he always wears because he's from Asgard.

The reason everyone in the comics has an outfit is because at this point, that's just kind of what everyone in that world assumes you do once you get superpowers. You come up with a cool name, you get an outfit, and you either cause or stop crimes. The MCU is slowly building up to that point, but it's not there yet. Right now, people with powers are out-of-the-ordinary, and people with cool names and outfits are even less common. Once that changes, maybe then Blackout can show up in a crazy outfit and it won't come off as utterly ridiculous.

Kumagawa Misogi:
"So, Blackout joins Agents' roster of Marvel supervillains who appear in plainclothes because (supposedly) ABC TV feels differently about comic-book costuming than Disney does. Oh, well."

Black Widow, Hawkeye and Falcon say high (tempted to throw in Hulk as he is CG rather than a costume) not to mention the previews of Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver.

Black Widow has a costume and so does Hawkeye (He even gets a new one in Avengers 2). They don't have masks, but they're pretty representative of what they look like in the comics. That said, I was fine with Blackout not having a costume. It's not like he had a lot of time to make one.

Ward needs to die. In a painful manner, and hopefully by Skye's hand. All the people he's killed--many of whom trusted him completely--and all the innocent people his actions have gotten, or will get, killed is too much for me. And that fact that they're going with the whole, "Oh, he came from a broken family and HYDRA saved him," does not make me any more okay with what he's doing.

Is it bad that I had no idea who Maria was until the show ended and I was laying in bed (after seeing the previews even) for ten minutes before it finally clicked? I wonder why she sold out Coulson's team. I'm guessing this is part of a plan for Fury to get in contact with them.

Skye probably hid the hard drive behind the picture frame in the bathroom. Hopefully she left a note too, saying that Ward needs to die. I wonder how May is going to feel when she finds out that Koeing is dead. I wonder if she's going to tear herself up about it, thinking she could have stopped Ward if she had been there instead of running off in a fit.

Darth Sea Bass:
I was thinking Ward was more interesting now he's evil last week! But yeah killing Koenig is a step too far!

Well there wasn't really a way around that.
I didn't expect him leaving the lie detector room alive, seeing how things were going.

No, the apparent ease of how ward past the lie detector test bugs me the most.

The needle under you nail technique doesn't even work with current lie detector tests, so why would it here.
Although it didn't, Koenig did flag him as Hydra but didn't follow through on the question.
And saying he came back for Skye is technically true.

that and skye went from investigating to shattered world to understanding the situation to know how to deal with it in like 10 maybe 15 minutes.
Including putting the coin back.

But i must say, nearing/post Cap 2 episodes have a lot more to work with, and it is showing.
And i hope they can keep it up after the dust has settled down.

Zontar:

Kenjitsuka:

Oh, and Bob, maybe this is a European thing, but why would I care about this Patton Oswald guy?
I vaguely remember seeing him before somewhere, and I have a really good memory.
You talk about globalization a lot, please remember people from domestic stuff are probably nobodies to huge parts of the world (and thus, the Internet).

It's more of a North American thing, but he's a big name in nerd comedy and sci-fi circles (namely: the exact type of people this show is aimed at). Basically, killing him is, to some, like killing The Doctor.

OT: Before killing Oswald, I was ok with the idea of him being a recurring villain. Now? Ward must die.

OH MY GOD! They killed Koenig! You bastard! That's it, Ward's a dead man. And Garrett

I say they need to form a new crew of Howling Commandos, and having a grandson of one of the original members is a good start.

My reaction to the death of Patton Oswald's character.

THIS IS WHY WE CAN'T HAVE NICE THINGS, PEOPLE!

Still, for a show that has been losing viewers, it has gotten better. Just hope there is either some resolution or a second season in the future.

Mcoffey:

Kumagawa Misogi:
"So, Blackout joins Agents' roster of Marvel supervillains who appear in plainclothes because (supposedly) ABC TV feels differently about comic-book costuming than Disney does. Oh, well."

Black Widow, Hawkeye and Falcon say high (tempted to throw in Hulk as he is CG rather than a costume) not to mention the previews of Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver.

Black Widow has a costume and so does Hawkeye (He even gets a new one in Avengers 2). They don't have masks, but they're pretty representative of what they look like in the comics. That said, I was fine with Blackout not having a costume. It's not like he had a lot of time to make one.

I agree. They talk about how he has a psychopathic one track mind for finding his "light." Why would he think "well I just broke out of a prison that suped up my super powers, man I could totally use a disguise right now."

Honestly the only villain who has had a costume so far really is Loki, and that costume is explained away as his Asgardian battle Regalia rather than a costume. Even other major villains like Red Skull had more of a uniform rather than a costume, and Obadiah just had a knock off bulky version of the iron man armor.

Even in the MCU the only person who is referred to actually having a "costume" is Cap because it's a symbol of his patriotism and his vows of justice and blah blah. I don't rally consider black spandex/leather jumpsuit much of a costume in the traditional comic sense.

There is no D in Patton Oswalt's name. Just saying.

I'd say the review covered everything pretty well, particularly how little effort the episode seems to put into its Easter eggs, which got on my tits too.

Hmmm? So the new black character is the Grandson of a decorated WW2 veteran with ties to Captain America? Now where have I heard that before?

Wasn't there some speculation that one possible comics character that Mike Peterson might turn out to be was the Patriot? Well Tripp's backstory now dances awful close to Elijah Bradley's.

Meh.....even The 100 is getting better than this show. There's no wonder or intrigue for me in this show anymore and it seems like all they're doing is to pander to hardcore fans without a good story that appeals to even non fans.

Say what you will about DC movies, at least Arrow is good.

Edit: I've never even heard of Patton Oswalt until I googled him a minute ago, let it be known that alot of people that visit the escapist isn't americans and the world is bigger than usa. So please write in consideration to us as well.

ExtraDebit:

Edit: I've never even heard of Patton Oswalt until I googled him a minute ago, let it be known that alot of people that visit the escapist isn't americans and the world is bigger than usa. So please write in consideration to us as well.

He's actually big in Canada, so it's more of a North American thing then an.... American thing.

People are upset that Patton Oswalt's character died? That just contributed to evil Ward's enhanced appeal over...flavourless Ward.

Sure, I get that Oswalt is "one of us," because he's in to geeky shit, but this show is already too winky and cute for it's own good. It's at its best when it's doing the super-spy drama thing, and dorky, bumbling lanyard enthusiast Eric Koenig didn't contribute to that at all. 'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' is well rid of him. Ward killing Victoria Hand was a much bigger deal.

Otherwise, this episode was a big bag of yawns. The lie detector scene was interesting, but Blackout didn't really register as a threat. If this dude was the most urgent escapee from the cube, maybe Coulson's crew could leave the rest of the round-up to another organization. Like the FBI. Or the boy scouts.

Nepenthe87:

Mcoffey:

Kumagawa Misogi:
"So, Blackout joins Agents' roster of Marvel supervillains who appear in plainclothes because (supposedly) ABC TV feels differently about comic-book costuming than Disney does. Oh, well."

Black Widow, Hawkeye and Falcon say high (tempted to throw in Hulk as he is CG rather than a costume) not to mention the previews of Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver.

Black Widow has a costume and so does Hawkeye (He even gets a new one in Avengers 2). They don't have masks, but they're pretty representative of what they look like in the comics. That said, I was fine with Blackout not having a costume. It's not like he had a lot of time to make one.

I agree. They talk about how he has a psychopathic one track mind for finding his "light." Why would he think "well I just broke out of a prison that suped up my super powers, man I could totally use a disguise right now."

Honestly the only villain who has had a costume so far really is Loki, and that costume is explained away as his Asgardian battle Regalia rather than a costume. Even other major villains like Red Skull had more of a uniform rather than a costume, and Obadiah just had a knock off bulky version of the iron man armor.

Even in the MCU the only person who is referred to actually having a "costume" is Cap because it's a symbol of his patriotism and his vows of justice and blah blah. I don't rally consider black spandex/leather jumpsuit much of a costume in the traditional comic sense.

I wouldn't even go as far as to call Blackout a villain.
Getting superhuman powers and not adjusting well to it can certainly turn you in to a villain, but it doesn't make you one by default.

Blackout didn't have a agenda beyond his original obsession.
so why would he even consider making a costume?
This makes him dangerous, not a villain.

This was kinda Hydra's plan, having super-powered crazy people running amok is highly distracting for any SHIELD remnants still trying to help.

Gravitron on the other hand has the potential to become a proper Marvel villain.
He has the powers and the motivation to become one.
so does that ice powered student (don't recall his name).

They also seem to take some effort to flesh out Deathlock, thats as close to a villain costume they have gotten.
And he isn't even a willing villain.

I'm liking evil War a lot more than boring, old Ward. I just wish Sky hadn't noticed the coins and he'd straight up executed her.

One thing that annoyed me is that Daniels was easily able to get the upper hand in their first encounter and then he simply walks away and lets the people who are trying to capture him live! WHY?! Shit like that is what makes this show's plot feel so contrived sometimes. And before someone uses the excuse of "he is only focused on the Cellist (I forgot her name already) so he didn't want to stop and kill them." Bullshit, he offs the one guy at the beginning just for the hell of it. Also, if he could absorb energy from a distance, what was stopping him from just sucking the life out of everyone near him? He made the lights go out without touching them, is human energy special or something? Also, Coulson's reasoning for not telling the Cellist that he's alive seemed pretty forced. I guess what I'm saying as a whole is that I really didn't care for the secondary story of Daniels and the Cellist. Evil spy War stuff was cool.

Edit: Also, releasing all of the prisoners from the fridge and making them villains of the week seems like a pretty lame set up story for what is going to amount to as much filler material as the writers want. Maybe the other ones will be better but this one really sucked.

RedDeadFred:
Coulson's reasoning for not telling the cellist that he's alive seemed pretty forced.

I bought it. He died. She mourned, healed, and moved on. Walking up to her and saying, "Hey, guess what, God gave us a do-over" will force her to deal with all that baggage again, and while he tried to convince her he did actually die, he's going to have to explain that for a while he thought he hadn't and he had abandoned her to keep being a superspy. Even if she understands the deception and is okay with being the second-most important thing in his life at best, his death will color the rest of their relationship with the knowledge that she might and probably will have to go through all this at least once more, the next time he gets killed in the line of duty. Will she be able to heal and move on if she's sitting around hoping Nick Fury will resurrect him again?

PiercedMonk:
Otherwise, this episode was a big bag of yawns. The lie detector scene was interesting, but Blackout didn't really register as a threat. If this dude was the most urgent escapee from the cube, maybe Coulson's crew could leave the rest of the round-up to another organization. Like the FBI. Or the boy scouts.

Judging by the context and the way Coulson reacted, I'm guessing it wasn't because he was the most dangerous escapee (he was powerful - though it was kind of downplayed in how they took him out - but he didn't have any sort of large-scale ambitions), but because he was an immediate threat to someone Coulson cared about. (It didn't hurt that he knew exactly where Daniels would be going, which is more than could be said for a lot of the other escapees.) Plus, given one of those escapees (sort of) was Graviton, a villain with the power level to go head-to-head with the Avengers in the comics, there are probably some tougher customers than Blackout now roaming the streets. Or at the very least, ones that someone on the team won't already know how to beat (which was the main reason Blackout wasn't a big threat, honestly: they didn't have to figure anything out about his powers, they just had to properly trap him, and that pre-existing solution let them focus more on the other plot threads of the episode). I'm hoping they don't revert back to the villain-of-the-week thing, but if they need occasional filler in season 2 - which, unless they go to some sort of limited-string-of-episodes-leading-up-to-next-Marvel-movie format (which they probably won't), they're going to need at some point - they'll be able to make them work as main villains...when they're actually the focus of the episode.

OT: As far as the rest of the episode...the lie detector was fun for a while (up until Ward gamed Koenig into believing he's telling the truth about everything else when the machine specifically built to test if SHIELD's best spy is lying caught him in about eight lies, just because he told the truth once). I'm sick of all of the attempted love triangles (Ward-May-Coulson, May-Ward-Skye...), but the Fitz-Simmons-Triplett dynamic is fun (and showing how Triplett is on that same level intellectually was definitely a nice touch). Just so long as it doesn't get dragged out for another half a season: resolving that thread by the end of this season (so, in the next three episodes) would be nice. And at least the other triangles and even lone pairings seem to be dissolving or dissolved, even the irritating Skye-Ward pairing: now that Skye knows Ward is Hydra, she's just keeping up the act as long as she has to. I hope. (Please don't have Ward turn good again because of the power of love, writers. Please don't do this. I'd tolerate some sort of last-second turn leading into an honorable sacrifice or something, but he's done too much damage to be genuinely believable as "good" again.)

So it's looking like the last few episodes - judging from the teaser for "Nothing Personal," and the fact that Nick Fury will be making an appearance in the finale - will be centered around Coulson's team simultaneously figuring out what its place and mission is in the new spy-world order and attempting to pull their own team back together, in whatever form that ends up taking. Or, in other words, figuring out who the Agents of SHIELD are going to be going forward...meaning what the show is going to be going forward into the next season (assuming it's picked up: hopefully it is). I'm okay with this, I just hope the track they end up getting put on makes a reasonable amount of sense within the plot and isn't just "this is what we want the show to be next season, here's some plot points to make things end up that way."

(Also, the Skye-as-Spider-Woman theory makes enough logical sense that I'm hoping that it turns out to be true. Spider-Woman was an Avenger, but she was also a spy...and if they attempted to work Spider-Woman into one of the teams of heroes, a lot of casual fans might just think they're ripping off Spiderman because they can't use him directly, so maybe introducing the MCU version of the character as a SHIELD agent and keeping her in the spy game would make more sense.)

The problem with the NSA wasn't how powerful they were, just that they would have the chops to stop/trackback Skye's hacking. That the secret SHIELD base might be revealed would be contrary to Fury's plan.

Patton Oswalt needed a little killing. Not in real life, he's cool, but the show didn't need him sucking up all the fanboy energy.

Triplett is better than Ward, though I have some small hope Ward will eventually turn interesting. It hasn't happened yet, but Dalton has a better chance at making him interesting as an antagonist. A good death scene, that'd be interesting. Right?

Coulson's chemistry has been pretty low-key overall. It's odd that he blindly follows Fury/SHIELD and then griefs MM for doing the same. Well, maybe not odd, but very inconsistent.

Also, for having supposedly deleted the existence of everyone from everywhere, Skye did a pretty poor job of it.

Two things I'm not getting in the way Bob is reviewing this.

In no way did "hot guy" Ward cause me to dislike the character; last time I checked I too have a penis and like women, along with being a TV/book nerd. What was I supposed to inherently dislike in a guy who got his job done well? It is worth noting that early Supernatural was almost certainly _not_ directed at a female audience from a "look its a hot guy" perspective, that became a natural avenue for the series because of how easy it was to take as the series progressed.

Patton Oswalt was less "one of us" and more "ineffectual parody of what has been stereo-typed as "one of us"". Fitz is far closer to "one of us", and Coulson is one of us. That was almost the point of the character.

Back to the episode. The show is doing a much better job at being a spy thriller now than it was before and if they lose the Bus, far too goddamn martini even for a setting with flying cars, and hold onto that slick jet I can see it being a far better show.

You know what? I'm glad they mentioned the Mary Sue of Skye's character. It makes me think that the writers have actually thought this out and know what the reaction to Skye is.

I just wish they brought this element in sooner.

Also, I'm surprised how much I'm enjoying Evil Ward compared to his good counterpart.

If Koenig's really wanted to live...he'd told Ward about Skycake! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55h1FO8V_3w

am I the only one that thinks that the cellist is gonna get powers now? I mean she got hit by a blast of some sort of energy and they were shooting the guy with gamma guns designed by banner, I am surprised that no one has said anything. let me know if I am completely crazy, I mean I don't read the comics, but they made a pretty big deal about the fact that they were using gamma cannons

jab136:
I mean she got hit by a blast of some sort of energy and they were shooting the guy with gamma guns designed by Banner.

Amy Acker as She-Hulk?

Eh. I've taken flimsier excuses to watch her.

In regards to the whole why did Fury go to obscene lengths to bring Coulson back, I still reckon he is Adam Warlock under going the MOTHER of all memory-gambits.

Ever since rewatching Iron Man, especially the Fireman's Ball, you see how terrifying Coulson can be.

He gave a precise day, date and time, for his meeting with Stark. Not a vague one, but very precise. Stark blows him off but who just happens to be at Stark Industries when Pepper needs someone the most?

I think 'Coulson' knew the Infinity Stones ,as they seem to be called know, are going to be put into play and that Thanos was searching for them. Instead of going after Thanos directly, he is biding his time by completely suppressing all memory and his power until that pivotal moment.

I have been waiting for this series to go from 'Watchable' to 'Whedon is back!', but I doubt it will ever hit that pedigree. There are too many other facts/movies that has to be tied into this series for it to ever get to Whedon's normal level. But I still enjoy the show.

Given the whole 'evil Ward' thing, not really a fan as it seems more fanservice than character development, especially given Trip being his Suspiciously Specific Replacement. It's not like it is a surprise that Simmons is crushing on him, she seems to have a taste for black men, in case you forgot how she manually measured Mike while drooling.

EDIT: One thing I am confused about, why didn't Koenig shoot the obviously not SHIELD agent anymore who was in a base so secret it wasn't listed in SHIELD's files?

I really liked the music in this episode. The bits where the cello playing flowed into the score when they switched back to the other characters were especially fun, but I also liked the subtle bit at the end of the first scene, where the classical-sounding music reminded me why it was significant that the creepy guy was trying to get to Portland.

Overall, this was probably my favorite episode so far. Things actually happen in this show now!

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