IAIN DE CAESTECKER

It’s time for the team to head back to Earth, or “The Hub” to be exact. They join forces with other members of S.H.I.E.L.D. for a top secret co-op mission. The new character developments makes this Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. entry fun to watch, but it’s not consistent all around. There are major speed bumps in the episode’s writing that makes it a little lopsided.

The Players:

  • Director: Bobby Roth
  • Writers: Rafe Judkins and Lauren LeFranc
  • Cast: Clark Gregg, Ming-Na Wen, Brett Dalton, Chloe Bennet, Iain De Caestecker, Elizabeth Henstridge, Saffron Burrows, Jasper Sitwell

Episode Title: “The Hub”

Agent Coulson’s (Gregg) team is called to “The Hub,” a classified S.H.I.E.L.D. meeting ground for a new mission. Unfortunately, only two people are called into the field. Agent Ward (Dalton) and Fitz (De Caestecker) go on a mission that could likely get them killed. Meanwhile, Skye (Bennet) and Simmons (Henstridge) are desperate to find them as they try to sneak and hack their way into The Hub’s computer base.

The Good:

  • Badass Fitz: In previous episodes, we considered Fitz to be half of a super brain duo, but that all changed with “Fzzt.” Now we’re seeing a more evolved Fitz as he braves it out on the field. We get to see how resourceful and charismatic he can be, which makes us like him even more. He does have waves of silly humor here and there, but Fitz may be turning into one of the most developed characters in this series.
  • Loose Ends: There a couple story lines that haven’t begun to grow at all in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. At the end of this episode we learned more information on Skye’s search for her parents, and what’s going on with Agent Coulson. We previously speculated that he may be a clone, and we could be right. He takes part in a phone conversation revealing that even he can’t get access to his own files on his recovery. Does that mean Nick Fury is hiding the truth from Agent Coulson? Then we have the story of Skye’s parents which has yet to be answered in any way. We find out that a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent brought her to the orphanage when she was a baby, but one of her parents were killed for some reason. The mystery will begin to unfold for both of these characters fairly soon.
  • The Look: One of the key aspects of “The Hub” that stood out was the overall vision and aesthetic look of the episode. You can tell there was another director behind the camera to make it appear like a spy action story. It was easy to jump from the co-op mission to The Hub, not just because of the color scheme but the carefully placed shots and locations.

The So-So:

  • Skye, Stop It: Skye is becoming even more annoying than before. In the first half of the episode, she complains about how she doesn’t have clearance for half of the areas in the building. It would be great if she used her brain and recalled how she got herself into such deep water with her team in the first place. The only thing we’ve learned about her is not only does she barely do anything useful, she disobeys authority for no reason and spouts out lame jokes. At least she put her skills to good use and found out what happened to Ward and Fitz later on in the episode.
  • Evacuation Crew: Thanks to Skye’s hacking skills, she finds out there wasn’t going to be an evacuation crew pulling Ward and Fitz from the line of fire. The head of the co-op admitted that to Agent Coulson and then let him proceed to save the two guys from facing a gruesome death. Why was there no evacuation crew in the first place? The head of the co-op didn’t seem too upset when they derailed from her original plan.
  • Skye/Simmons: When Skye and Simmons were incredibly desperate to find out what happened to Ward and Fitz, it pissed us off. Why? It devolved these two supposedly tough ladies, into a couple of whiny girlfriends wanting to know where their men went. They claim they did it because they’re a part of the team, but when they see Ward and Fitz again,  they’re in their faces asking questions about the mission.

The Bad:

  • Agent Blank: This paragraph is reserved for the character Agent Ward. He’s the only person on the team who has barely any personality for viewers to latch onto. The only thing he knows how to do is put everyone into dangerous situations, while occasionally beating up a bad guy or two. His negotiating skills are next to nil and he doesn’t have many redeeming qualities. The writers are trying their best to form a relationship between him and Skye, which is befitting considering they’re the most mundane characters in the bunch. If they could breathe some life into him, then maybe we would like Agent Ward a bit more.

Overall:

“The Hub” brought new layers of personality to some characters but made others appear one-dimensional. The action and mystery was entertaining but the evolution, or lack of it, made this episode disappointing.

Rating: 6/10

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on ABC.

What did you think of this week’s episode?