BRETT DALTON

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. continually suffered from lackluster storylines and poor use of characters – that is until “T.R.A.C.K.S.” came along. The latest episode showcased the high-adrenaline and heavy drama this show can definitely be.

The Players:

  • Director: Paul A. Edwards
  • Writer: Lauren LeFranc, Rafe Judkins
  • Cast: Clark Gregg, Ming-Na Wen, Chloe Bennet, Brett Dalton, Elizabeth Henstridge, Iain de Caestecker, J. August Richards, Stan Lee

Episode Title: “T.R.A.C.K.S.”

The group is on the hunt for Ian Quinn, whose latest transaction is with a private company called Cybertek. The team searches for a mysterious package and Quinn, but things quickly take a turn for the worse.

The Good:

  • Opening: This may be the best opening for any episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. We’re thrown right into the thick of things, learning the group’s target, along with their mission. The editing is sharp, which makes it keep your attention. There’s a lot of things happening with individual members in order to make this package retrieval work, or not work. The way this was put together was nothing short of engaging for viewers, including myself. If only it was like that more often.
  • Skye’s Fate: Skye isn’t the most well-written character, but she’s starting to grow on me. Could she be the first of the group to die? It’s a possibility, which made the sudden turn of events for the latest recruit all the more surprising to see. Quinn gunned her down, but for what purpose? He proved that the Clairvoyant is a few steps ahead of Agent Coulson’s group, made evident by the fact that they were expecting Skye at the compound. The episode ended with the team finding the seriously wounded Skye on the edge of their seat, hoping she’d be able to make it through the night. Maybe we’ll finally get to see what kind of power she possesses, and that’s only if she wakes up.
  • The Episode as a Whole: In a lot of ways, “T.R.A.C.K.S.” felt like a fantastic setup for a season finale. We’ve got the characters in place, and our heroes have reached their lowest point. We still need an episode to see whether or not Skye is going to make it, but it did the job season plot-wise. We have Deathlok in place alongside the Clairvoyant, so what’s the next move? There has never been an instance where I’ve been actively looking forward to seeing where they go with the next episode but in this instance, I am. One can only hope they don’t botch this opportunity.
  • Quinn: There’s nothing better than having a real menacing villain enter the fold. We’ve seen a variety of villains come and go, but Quinn is crazy and surprising at the same time. His character ended the episode locked up under S.H.I.E.L.D., but I’m sure this won’t be the last time we see him.

The So-So:

  • Deathlok’s Origin: If you’re a Marvel fan, you may have noticed how the show continues to rewrite origin stories of various characters. Recently it was announced that Mike Peterson, is actually Deathlok. His origin story has been tweaked, but his connection to the group, especially Skye, is crucial to the storyline.
  • Agent Ward: The more we know about Agent Ward, the less qualified he appears to be as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. He’s gradually letting his feelings get the better of him, thanks to his steamy relationship with Agent May (Wen). Let us not forget he’s not great at blending in with his environment and doesn’t always come through in combat. It’s nice seeing the guy give more of a hoot about a relationship, but in some ways he still comes off as rather useless.

Overall:

“T.R.A.C.K.S.” is another shining episode in a small pond of decent stories. This is a Marvel TV show, and this is one of only two episodes that shows the series’ true potential. If they keep it up, then maybe they’ll get back all the viewers they lost.

Rating: 9/10

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

What did you think of the episode?