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TV Nights: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. #20

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Week 20

Episode: Nothing Personal
Original Airdate: 4-29-14

Ran a little late on this episode’s roundup because I didn’t have internet until the other day, but I’m mostly moved in now and back into the swing of things so I am ready to get back into the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and its run up to the season finale. Things are getting much more complicated with Ward’s alignment change, the dissolution of S.H.I.E.L.D. as an organization and the entire disruption of Coulson’s team. Agent Triplett is starting to fit in a little bit more, but things are also not going quite so well between the remnants of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the US government. And on top of everything else, Deathlok makes another appearance and so does Maria Hill.
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TV Nights: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. #19

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Week 19

episode: Light in the Darkness
original airdate: 4-22-14

Quick recap: The cat’s out of the bag, Hydra’s out in the open and Agent Ward is in with them, but the rest of the team doesn’t know it yet. S.H.I.E.L.D. is more or less dissolved except for a handful of scattered agents still loyal to Nick Fury and the ideals that he stands for. The Fridge has been opened and dozens of criminals both insane and superpowered have been released into the wild and Coulson’s team is one of the few groups out there willing and able to stop them. It’s almost an excuse to turn the show back into a freak of the week except instead of doing that, they tie the most wanted fugitive directly into the past of the show as someone that Coulson has dealt with in the past and it is finally a chance to meet the mysterious cellist that he has mentioned a few times. Meanwhile there are still trust issues within the team, not just towards Ward who the audience knows isn’t trustworthy, but also still between Fitz & Simmons, Coulson & May, and Trippett & Fitz. All in all it adds up to another great episode.
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Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. 1998

This is one of those movies that I’ve heard about since the start of this site, and not in a good way. This was a TV movie made for the Fox network starring Baywatch’s David Hasselhoff as Nick Fury and written by prolific superhero screenwriter David Goyer with as many hits to his name as misses. It has a very 90’s generic action feel to it with a ratio of pithy one-liners to actual action scenes at around 20:1. Everyone on screen really hams it up from the Hoff himself pretending to be the hardest hardass that ever lived, his ex-girlfriend Val who’s just as tough as he is, the over-confident fledgling British recruit, to the always-angry executive who thinks Nick Fury is the biggest mistake that S.H.I.E.L.D. Has ever made. And I haven’t even gotten to the villains yet! The special effects look 90’s TV cheap, the fights look like they were done by actors who have never taken a martial arts lesson in their lives, there is more talk about the threats than there is actual action against any threats, but as usual with these kinds of movies, there is plenty of laughable cheesiness to get some enjoyment out of watching this movie.
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TV Nights: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. #18

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Week 18

Episode: Providence
Original Airdate: 4-15-14

I think it’s time for a quick recap, obviously spoilers if you haven’t caught up to this point in the show, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. continues the course laid out by the events in Captain America: The Winter Soldier where the agency has crumbled due to a long-gestating Hydra infestation, but Coulson’s team is still intact for the most part. His trust in his longtime friend Melinda May has been dealt a blow after finding out that she had been reporting on their goings on to Nick Fury in secret, his trust in his other old friend and newcomer to the show Agent Garrett has been shattered after finding out he has been the Clairvoyant the entire time and is a high ranking member of Hydra, his trust in Agent Ward is in doubt as his loyalties are in question as he appears to be siding with his former SO Garrett, and finally his trust in Garrett’s current recruit, or at least current before his turn, Tripplett is being withheld due to his affiliation with Garrett. And on top of all this, S.H.I.E.L.D. Itself is in question as it is unknown what facilities are held by Hydra and what are held by those loyal to Nick Fury, and the US government is starting to come in, take everyone out of the picture, and ask questions later. To make a long story short (too late), things are continuing to ramp up towards the season finale and I’m enjoying most every minute of it.
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TV Nights: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. #17

TV Nights: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Week 17

Episode: Turn, Turn, Turn
Original airdate: 4-8-14

Once again, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has a tie-in with a currently released Marvel movie, and once again I was able to catch it so I was aware of the connections, and this time around it’s not just the fact that they’re cleaning up in the same location that the movie’s climax took place in. This time around the movie changes everything and going into the episode with that knowledge actually takes away some of the tension that the show tries to present. There’s also a few extra references, like knowing the fate of Nick Fury, the allegiance of Agent Sitwell, and who is the driving force behind the Clairvoyant whose identity goes through plenty of twists and turns in this episode and leaves you guessing until the very end. Things are changing and this episode brings a major shake-up which the show really needed. Fair warning: spoilers abound.
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TV Nights: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. #16

TV Nights: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Week 16

episode: The End of the Beginning
original airdate: 4-1-2014

Thankfully we’ve seen the last multi-week hiatus for this show and it will now be running straight through till the finale and things finally seem to be ramping up to full speed with yet another tie-in episode to a current release movie. Unfortunately, unlike the Thor crossover and like most of this country, I have yet to see the new Captain America movie which I have heard from those who have seen it that there are events happening in some of the S.H.I.E.L.D. Facilities at the same time that the show is taking place. But I can say that it doesn’t take much away from the episode. This episode finally brings out the clairvoyant, and while I won’t spoil who it is, I will say that I was right when I thought it would end up being a woman. There’s a few questions answered, still several left unanswered, and all wrapped in a nice mix of action, drama, and tension.
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TV Nights: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. #15

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. week #15

Episode: Yes Men
Original airdate: 3-11-14

Wow, two weeks in a row, what a shocker! But seriously, it’s nice to see some regularity, too bad it’s not continuing for very long. At least next week there is a Marvel related thing going on. Not only did we get two episodes in a row, but we actually got a real tie-in to the Thor movie rather than the weak tie-in involving a spear and an Asgardian, neither of which featured in the movie at all. This time around we get an actual Asgardian from the movie with Jaimie Alexander’s Lady Sif and a villain that is from the Thor comics. Not only that, but there is a great shift in the team dynamics within the main cast that really helps to further some of the characters. There isn’t too much humor, but there’s a lot of drama and a lot of action in yet another great episode. Not to mention the fact that it’s really taken me this long to realize how much of a strong female cast this show has in general. Fully 50% of the team is made up of women, and they are all just as strong as their male counterpart. It’s something that’s great to see, and maybe I just don’t read enough other viewpoints on the show, but I certainly don’t see it getting a lot of credit for that aspect. The fact that the team is pretty much whitewashed is a different story, but there is at least a fair number of ethnicities when it comes to the other characters and villains that pop up.
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TV Nights: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. #14

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Week #14

episode: T.A.H.I.T.I.
original airdate: 3-4-2014

It feels like it’s been forever since there’s been a new episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. I also just read that this episode has had the lowest ratings of the season which is disappointing because I think the show has been getting much stronger these past several episodes. It’s unfortunate that it’s been hurt by both a weak starting few episodes which lost a lot of viewers, and these past two months which have been strewn with frequent hiatuses. Two weeks off, one week on, three weeks off. I almost think it would have been a better idea to have just taken six weeks off so there could have been a continuous string of new episodes. There seems to be a lot invested in this show so I hope that there are strong streaming numbers that help this show get to a season 2 because guest star Bill Paxton sure didn’t bring any viewers.
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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. #13

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Week 13

Episode: T.R.A.C.K.S.
Original Airdate: 2-4-14

After a couple weeks off, S.H.I.E.L.D. Is back and even though it’s starting to feel cliched to say this, but this was once again their best episode yet. It combines one of my favorite formats of storytelling with plenty of action, comedy, and a gut punch of an ending. There’s callbacks, teases, and honestly the weakest part of the episode was the Stan Lee cameo. It’s also a little frustrating that there’s only one quick episode before yet another hiatus due to the Olympics, but hopefully this will be the last one before this show finishes out the season strong. On the villainous side of things, I’m actually not entirely sure I like the direction they are going, but hopefully things will pick up on that front as things start ramping up to the finale.
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TV Nights: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. #12

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Week 12

Episode: Seeds
Original Airdate: 1-14-2014

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has come off of its midseason hiatus and hit the ground running. Many of the biggest problems that I had with the first half of the season are no longer apparent in these past couple episodes. The team finally feels like a team, even Ward is getting much more personality to him, the mysteries are starting to actually build upon each other and bring things back from earlier episodes to form a larger whole. There’s still a bit of the freak of the week going on, but for the most part, I think it’s really getting into the swing of things and I’m looking forward to where this goes for the rest of this season and hopefully beyond. If you’ve been reading my recaps to this point, you already know I don’t shy away from spoilers, but there’s a couple possible surprises here if you haven’t watched the episode yet, so you’ve been warned.
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