I don't have a lot to say about this week's episode, to everyone's relief. It wasn't quite as good as the premiere, but it was still better than the first two thirds of Season 1. I'm cautiously optimistic they'll keep up the good work.
The Plot: Picking up right after last week's episode, new Team member Lance Hunter is captured by General Talbot, who offers him a deal if he betrays S.H.I.E.L.D. to him. Meanwhile, the Absorbing Man is struggling with the side effects of touching the Obelisk. Coulson reveals to Hunter that he knows he betrayed him, but offers him a job anyway. Mac befriends Fitz, and proves adept at helping him concentrate in the wake of his brain injury. Coulson gives General Talbot a peace offering, along with a show of force.
Thoughts: • I really wish they'd put the actor credits at the end of the show, rather than the beginning. I saw Kyle McLachlan's name pop up on the screen, and then spent the entire episode waiting for him to show up, only for him to appear in the last thirty seconds.
I usually try not to look at the opening credits for this very reason, but it didn't work this week.
• Lance Hunter agrees to betray S.H.I.E.L.D. to General Talbot for $2 million and a full military burial for Izzy.
So I guess that pretty much confirms Izzy's dead after just one episode. On any other series that would be the end of it, but this is a comic book world after all. I still think we'll see her again at some point. On the other hand, maybe it's best to leave dead bodies lie. If everyone who's ever killed on this show can easily be brought back, then death is going to lose all meaning. Why worry about characters dying if they're going to pop up again next week, none the worse for wear? • I wonder... with Evil Ward seemingly out of the picture, are the producers grooming Hunter to assume the role of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s requisite cocky bad boy?
By the way, Lance Hunter has a character in the comics for many years. He looked a bit different there though. • One last thing about Lance Hunter. While talking to Skye he mentions his "psycho first wife." This is probably a stretch, but the producers have announced they're adding Bobbi Morse, aka Mockingbird, to the show. Could Mockingbird be this first wife Hunter spoke of? It would be a nice way to tie everything together. In the comics Mockingbird is the superhero girlfriend of Hawkeye. I'm guessing that probably won't be the case here, unless Jeremy Renner plans on making an unannounced (and unlikely) cameo, so she could very well have been married to Hunter. • It was nice to see Raina again, but... who's she working for this week? Last season she was with Centipede, then she started working for The Clairvoyant, who turned out to be Garrett, who was part of HYDRA. Now she seems to be working for the mysterious Doctor, who's secretly Skye's father. She's switched sides and changed employers so many times it's hard to 'em all straight.
• As Coulson is playing around with his Tom Cruise computer interface, we see a brief glimpse of Agent Peggy Carter. Just in case we forgot that she's getting her own show soon.
And it appears Coulson is still experiencing side effects from his Kree transfusion. He's still writing on the walls in alien circuitry language. Only now we find out that he's let May in on his secret, and she's documenting his episodes.
• I enjoyed the scenes between Fitz and his new pal Mac. The make a good, if odd, pairing.
Mac– full name Al Mackenzie– is a character from the comics too. His comic version really differs from his TV counterpart.
• After touching the Obelisk, the Absorbing Man begins slowly turning into whatever it's made of. He rifles through his drawers full of sample elements, trying to find one that will overwrite the Obelisk metal and give him control of his power again. Among the materials he tries is something that looks for all the world like a piece of denim.
I'm having trouble imagining how turning his body into soft cloth would ever be an advantage. Steel? Sure. Glass? Maybe. Brick? Sure, why not. But denim?
• Although it appears that the Absorbing Man is killed, at the end of the episode Coulson implies that he's probably just in stasis. Glad to see that he's not really dead. He's too cool a villain to dispose of just yet.
• Speaking of the Absorbing Man, Skye definitely needs to go out on a date. She waxes pornographic over the fact thatCreel "can turn any body part into any material."
You know what? The less I know about superheroes sex lives, the happier I am. Next week it looks like Simmons is back, but ruh-roh– she's working for HYDRA!