agents of shield the magical place

The midseason premiere for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. finally uncovers what happened to Agent Coulson. “The Magical Place” gets fans excited for what could happen in the second half of this season, along with a couple nice surprises. 

The Players:

  • Director: Kevin Hooks
  • Writers: Paul Zbyszewski, Brent Fletcher
  • Cast: Clark Gregg, Ming-Na Wen, Brett Dalton, Chloe Bennet, Iain De Caestecker, Elizabeth Henstridge, Saffron Burrows, Ruth Negga, Rob Huebel

Episode Title: “The Magical Place”

It’s been 36 hours since the S.H.I.E.L.D. team’s seen Agent Coulson (Gregg), and they have no idea where he could be. While they’re off trying to find him, Coulson’s kidnappers are determined to dig into his mind and uncover his big secret. How did he survive?

The Good:

  • Secrets: In almost every episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. they’ve dropped hints about what could have happened to Agent Coulson after his brush with death. Once he was kidnapped, the villain’s main goal was to unlock that secret, so they could implement it with their super soldiers. While Coulson didn’t give away anything major to his captors, the surgeries are now in his mind. He remembers what happened to him, the fact that he didn’t go to Tahiti after all and what Nick Fury and company were doing to his brain. This plot point was more than enough to keep my interest intact as the episode went on.
  • Working As A Team: At this point you would hope the S.H.I.E.L.D. team could work together, and that’s exactly what they did in “The Magical Place.” You see different sides of each character as they’re all determined to find Agent Coulson. Fitz-Simmons are butting heads with each other, Agent May is harder to read and Ward is constantly arguing with the agents who’ve taken over the plane. Despite that, the group manages to work together, fighting their way to Coulson, and it’s great to see.
  • Direction: “The Magical Place” called for a solid director. Somebody decent enough to bring the story to life. It’s a little shaky and uncomfortable but intense and it keeps your attention. Our favorite shot has to be anything in the ghost town Coulson’s stuck in, mainly for the creep factor.
  • Peterson’s Still Alive: In the midseason finale we saw Mike Peterson get his chance at redemption, only to be blown away in a massive explosion. In the last few minutes we see him badly beaten but alive. This is a great turn of events, considering he’s more than likely going to be used by the enemy to infiltrate S.H.I.E.L.D. This also falls into the idea that Marvel’s too afraid to kill off anyone so let’s see how Peterson’s story continues.

The So-So:

  • Making Skye Useful: In the first half of the season Skye (Bennet) barely did anything to prove her worth. In “The Magical Place” she gets her moment to shine as she cleverly finds information on where Coulson is being held. The one part about her search we don’t understand is why she dressed up, and began calling herself Agent May to a stranger. It comes off as rather silly and uncomfortable, further proving that she has no personality or identity to cling to.

The Bad:

  • What Is He?: Seriously, what is Agent Coulson? They talk about how he was dead for days and that the surgeries brought him back to life, but for what purpose? If he’s possessing superhuman powers then they’re seriously underusing him in the show. Is Agent Coulson Vision, or just some sort of clone? There are a lot of questions that this episode failed to answer, and it’s frustrating to know we won’t get one until the end of this season. Then again, the writers must know the audience is only watching to find out about Agent Coulson, and that’s it. There’s nothing wonderful about the rest of the characters. It’s the Agent Coulson show.

Overall:

“The Magical Place” has a couple of story bumps but is a solid return, giving us enough movement to keep us hooked until the finale.

Rating: 8/10

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

What did you think of the episode?