I didn’t intend to really write about SHIELD this week. Last weeks episode felt like too much and I figured I’d give actually trying to express my thoughts on this utterly frustrating show sometime. Eventually, I watched “Seeds” and was largely impressed. Once again the fact I’m glad that this show sticks to the tried and true structure of television is a bit sad and faint praise.
Once again an episode where the plot and setting are tied to the characters past or future turn out to be good. That’s what “Fzzt”, “Eye Spy” and “Seeds” all have in common. As most of the team head off to the science division of the SHIELD Academy after some nearly leathl “pranks” are pulled. Just having Fitz and Simmons return to their old stomping grounds and their reactions therein characterized them more than anything previously. Fitz gets some time to shine away from Simmons as he tries to steer Donnie Gill (the once and future Blizzard) from being a “bad seed”. Literally having a speech on potentiality is a bit ham fisted but it actually works in the context of the school. A bunch of way too smart for their own good 20 something’s, who suddenly discover they’re Harry Potter (minus the magic).
The adaptation of Donnie Gill also largely works, even if they hadn’t ended the episode on him gaining metahuman powers to create ice. The new Gill is a quiet loner who’s smarter than everyone else and has poor communication skills. Episode scribes Monica Owusu-Breen & Jed Whedon keep the spirit of Gill’s origins alive by having him make a blizzard machine (for lack of a better term) for Ian Quinn (the rich guy from “The Asset”). It was all very Arrow like, that show has shown good instincts at retaining the features and spirit of the character they are going to use, even if it means no powers or a gaudy suit.
“Seeds” also actually had a ‘B’ Plot, a first if memory serves. Coulson and May run off to Mexico to hunt down a lead on the secrete origin of Skye. In which they stake out a paperless tailors shop. As it turns out Skye was an 0-8-4 (object of unknown origin), that his SHIELD team was called into pick up in a small Chinese village. The village’s inhabitants and most of the SHIELD team were all dead save for her.
It’s hinted at that she might have powers. Maybe she’s a mutant since Marvel owns the TV rights to X-Men and mutants. More likely she could be a Inhuman, they’re getting a big push in the comics at the moment and are essentially space mutants…right? Inhumans never made any sense to me.
All the hints and stuff isn’t the point, what is the point, is how she took the news and Coulsons little speech at the end of the episode. About how she restored a little bit of his faith in humanity and how Skye took a positive from a very negative situation: she had a invisible SHIELD family all along. Those moments actually hit. Now compare the revelations about Skye’s secrete origins to Coulson’s whatever they did to him. All we got in “The Magical Place” were vague allusions to the actual process of his resurrection and even vaguer hints at what it did to him. He became a monster? He didn’t want to live? That’s not effective drama, “The Magical Place” never showed Coulson dealing with the news, “Seeds” did. The revelations I was dreading the most actually turned out to be the better one.
Also Ian Quinn apparently has spoken with The Clairvoyant. It’s the kind of all roads lead to Rome process that felt a bit off. Ian Quinn should be his own little island of evil. Let Centipede do its own thing and eventually get taken down.
SHIELD is going on hiatus for 2 weeks and will be back on Feb 5.