agents of shield end of the beginning

It’s thrilling to see the once struggling Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. find its footing. In “End of the Beginning,” the episode is filled with action and story development. It feels like we’re right around the corner from the season finale, which isn’t the case. 

The Players:

  • Director: Bobby Roth
  • Writer: Paul Zbyszewski
  • Cast: Clark Gregg, Ming-Na Wen, Chloe Bennet, Brett Dalton, Elizabeth Henstridge, Iain de Caestecker, J. August Richards, Saffron Burrows, Bill Paxton

Episode Title: “End of the Beginning”

The group may have tracked down the clairvoyant, but they won’t find them that easy. There’s one powerful force standing in their way: Deathlok. Meanwhile, the team uncovers a conspiracy that’s happening right under their noses at S.H.I.E.L.D.

The Good:

  • Deathlok: We didn’t get to spend too much time with Deathlok, but his story arc is one of the best things S.H.I.E.L.D. has going for it. Deathlok discovers a couple new powers in his robotic eye, along with a sweet missile launcher. He’s gone into full villain mode. He’s constantly tortured by the clairvoyant and whatever nefarious plan he/she has in store for him. Viewers, including myself, feel sympathetic towards the once ordinary man turned killing machine. Where will his character go from here?
  • Twists and Turns: In the last episode, there was concern about whether or not Agent May (Wen) was 100 percent on board with S.H.I.E.L.D. We also saw the group fall into a trap, thinking the clairvoyant was this decrepit old man. The idea changed when Agent Ward (Dalton) suddenly shot him down. We all know he’s got the hots for Skye (Bennet), but for a “good guy” to suddenly shoot someone who’s completely defenseless? It doesn’t sound right. S.H.I.E.L.D. has begun to feel like a spy thriller of a show. It’s drawing back the attention of once uninterested fans like myself. Now if only they’d tell us what kind of power Skye has.
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier Tie-In: Many will flock to theaters Friday to watch Marvel’s latest movie. But very few know the impact the film’s ending will have on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. I won’t dive into spoilers, but “End of the Beginning” brings up some inner conflict within the agency that you’ll see more of in The Winter Soldier. They could have connected some of Thor: The Dark World with the show, but they missed that opportunity. Hopefully this is the beginning of a new set of stories ready to emerge.

The So-So:

  • Deception: When Agent Hand (Burrows) first waltzed onto the screen, something wasn’t right. Her mere presence was oozing with the notion that she’s a bad person, one that shouldn’t be associated with S.H.I.E.L.D. It’s as if she had a huge tattoo on her head that said “villain.” So when it’s revealed that some people in S.H.I.E.L.D. are keeping Agent Coulson (Gregg) in the dark about the truth, it’s not shocking. They weren’t entirely coy about their overall deception, but we can see how they managed to escape this worst case scenario.
  • Get On With It: How much longer are they going to stretch out this season? It’s gradually getting better but the main story is ready to come to a close. Does this show need several more episodes to show off what they can in just one or two? It’s beginning to wear on my patience.

The Bad:

  • Direction/Effects: “End of the Beginning” appeared a bit sloppy compared to the last two episodes. Some of the special effects, whether it be Fitz’s (Caestecker) latest contraption or Deathlok (Richards) jumping a few flights of stairs, it looked cheap. S.H.I.E.L.D. is being backed by a monstrous television company and studio. The least they can do is invest in slightly better visual effects. The direction was adequate, but didn’t really stand out. After a point you could tell there was a restriction on creatively messing around with the style for this episode.

Overall:

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. continually wows once skeptical audience members with their episodes. But there are still some bumps in the road.

Rating: 7.5/10

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

What did you think of this week’s episode?