Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1, Episode 10: The Bridge

This week we finally get the inklings of a story arc, just in time for the mid-season break.

They really threw everything into this one-- Mike Peterson, Raina (the Girl In The Flower Dress), Centipede, the eyeball cameras with the kill switch and more. If you've not been watching regularly you were probably sitting there scratching your head, wondering who all these people are and what the hell's going on.

• Hey, Mike Peterson, the super powered guy from the pilot episode is back! I have to confess I'd forgotten his name already. I do like the character though as he brought some much needed energy to our sleepy little team of agents. It'd be great if he sticks around and becomes a permanent member of the team, but I'm betting probably won't happen.

• So what's the deal with that Centipede device on Peterson's arm? Several times they mention it contains a "Centipede serum." So how does he recharge or refill it? If it runs out does he lose his super powers? Does S.H.I.E.L.D. have the serum as well?

• As Simmons examines Peterson, she gets all flustered by his "perfect" physique and gushes over him like a giddy schoolgirl.

First of all, while Peterson looks fit, he's not massively built like Thor or Captain America. Simmons must not get out much. Then again, she hangs out with Fitz all day, so maybe Peterson really does look that good to her.

Second, Simmons' dialog in this scene is truly cringeworthy and made me feel sorry for poor Elizabeth Henstridge. I wonder if actors ever get their script for the week, leaf through it and say, "Sweet Jesus, are you serious? I am not saying these lines!"

The same goes for Coulson and Ward's "A whole class about women?" conversation.

• Speaking of Coulson and Ward, the scenes in which they were driving around in Lola looked really… odd. The lighting was harsh, the car was bouncing around like crazy-- it looked like they filmed the scene with a cell phone camera.

• For several weeks now Coulson and others have been telling us in no uncertain terms that telepathic and telekinetic powers do not exist. I'm not sure why they're so adamant in this belief, considering they live in a world full of aliens, gods and green rage monsters.

I'm betting this is set up for some plot point that'll involve a big reveal of a telepathic enemy. Most likely The Clairvoyant that they kept mentioning in this episode.

I guess this means no crossovers with the X-Men, eh? That would never happen anyway, as they're owned by Fox and as such aren't part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but this "no psychic powers" thing pretty much cinches it. Professor Xavier definitely has telepathic powers and Jean Grey is telekinetic, so obviously they're off living in their own little parallel universe.

• Coulson mentions-- very offhandedly-- that the Avengers don't know that he's still alive.

Whaaa?? He's really let them all go on believing he's dead for over a year? Does he ever plan on telling them? 
Now that I think about it, how could they not know? It's not like he's using an alias and got plastic surgery, he's walking around the same as he always did. Surely at least one of the Avengers would have ran into him by now and asked WTF.

Now that I think about it he seemed pretty chummy with Pepper Potts in Avengers too. Is he letting her think he's dead too? And what about the cellist he mentions here? The one he first mentioned in Avengers. He says he has to let her think he's dead too. Because... I don't know. Security?

If any of the Avengers ever did see him wandering the halls of S.H.I.E.L.D., wouldn't they be mightily pissed? Nick Fury used Coulson's death to bring the Avengers together, so I'm sure they wouldn't be happy about being manipulated so.

I'm betting they're saving this particular revelation for Avengers 2.

• When Peterson suits up and goes on a mission with the rest of the team, he wears a uniform that looks very much like those worn by the X-Men. Somebody at Marvel really likes black leather.

• There's a theory going around online that Skye's mysterious mother, who left her at the orphanage, is really Melinda May. I didn't subscribe to that particular theory at first, but this episode makes it seem pretty darn likely.

• Raina arranges a meeting on a bridge to exchange Peterson for his son Ace. It's a good thing she brought along her super powered bodyguard. At one point Peterson reaches out and clutches Raina by the neck, threatening to snap her neck. The entire time he's holding her by the throat, her super bodyguard stands passively next to her, moving nary a muscle.

OK, I get that the bodyguard is probably holding back to save her, but… couldn't he have raised his fists or assumed some sort of threatening posture, instead of standing there like he was waiting for the bus?

• The episode ends on a  cliffhanger, but I wouldn't worry too much about it. I doubt anything happens to Coulson, and hey, if it does, they can just make another copy of him, right? Ward was shot but won't die, because he didn't get a tearful farewell. And I'm betting Peterson will show up again too. Remember the Comic Book Death Rule: If you don't see a body, then they're not dead!

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