CLARK GREGG, J. AUGUST RICHARDS

It was the midseason finale for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but it didn’t really feel like it. The cliffhanger was just enough to get us to return after the break. But instead of wondering what happened to Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) we’re just curious if the second half of the season is worth our time.

The Players:

  • Director: Holly Dale
  • Writer: Shalisha Francis
  • Cast: Clark Gregg, Ming-Na Wen, Brett Dalton, Chloe Bennet, Iain De Caestecker, Elizabeth Henstridge, J. August Richards, Ruth Negga

Episode Title: “The Bridge”

The group behind Operation Centipede is back in full force. They’re looking to execute the next stage of their plan, whatever it may be. Agent Coulson (Gregg) and his team reunite with a familiar face, former Centipede tester-turned-trainee-agent Mike Peterson (Richards) as they try to take out the group. Unfortunately, Operation Centipede is a couple steps ahead of S.H.I.E.L.D. as they look to get their hands on one of their team members.

The Good:

  • Coulson’s Arc: The writers have been dangling the mystery behind Agent Coulson’s resurrection for quite some time. What exactly is he? Could Coulson be a version of The Vision, or is he nothing more than a clone with implanted memories? We won’t know for a while, but that’s the fun of a well-plotted mystery. Frankly, it’s the only aspect of the show that we still find interesting. It’s revealed that the Extremis group doesn’t want Mike Peterson but Agent Coulson. They want to see how he was revived after the events of The Avengers. If the second half of the season expands on the Agent Coulson arc and what he really is (which we hope is The Vision), we’ll be happy.
  • More Of May: The last few episodes have been kind to Agent May (Wen). We’ve seen sides of her that we never thought we’d see. From the playful and seductive to a person whose attachment to the group is making her soft around the edges. In the first half of the episode, we saw Ward (Dalton) and May casually flirting. Their relationship is starting to spill over into the field. He took a hit for her and boy did it piss her off. At the same time, you could tell she was secretly happy about it. We’re still not sure about her background, but it’s clearly been a long time since she’s encountered a family environment and she’s starting to like it, to her dismay. It’ll be interesting to see how they develop Agent May as the season progresses.
  • Cliffhanger: The majority of “The Bridge” was dull, but it was all building up to the final 10 minutes. During that time they kidnap Agent Coulson and blow Mike Peterson to smithereens. It would have been great to have tricked Skye and the others into thinking that Coulson was killed in the blast but a helicopter flew by so that changed it up a bit. Let’s not forget that precious Ward was injured on his left hand, which Agent May pointed out was his stronger fighting side. Maybe this wound handicapped him to a degree? That would actually add a little flavor to his character. Either way, this was an explosive ending.

The So-So:

  • Mike Peterson: If you remember the first episode, he caused a lot of havoc but was eventually subdued. He was recruited by S.H.I.E.L.D., which didn’t make any sense but he’s given a chance to redeem himself. Unfortunately, they decided the only interesting character needed to be killed. It would have been cool to see him developed more as he transformed from villain to a superhero, but they didn’t give him a chance. That was disappointing.
  • Centipede Group: It would be nice to know the intentions of this group and why they’re spending so much money on an investment that continues to shrink. They aren’t much of a terrifying force to deal with. We believe the only reason they’re able to antagonize the agents is because they’re amateur in their own ways. At this point, we know they’re capable of killing their own, and now others. But we want to see what their master plan is. We’re not entirely sure what they’re fighting for.

The Bad:

  • Skye’s Story: Skye has more or less turned into a wallflower. There have been a couple hints about her discovering who her parents really are, yet they give us nothing. So far, it sounds like they’re just as uninteresting as their daughter. She is one of the most sentimental characters on the show but at the same time the most useless. When you combine that with her annoying personality it makes her generally unlikeable.

Overall:

“The Bridge” provides enough entertainment to keep us watching, but there’s still aspects of the show that need to be improved.

Rating: 6.5/10

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

What did you think about this week’s episode?