Two solid episodes in a row that both hit on deeper thematic ideas while still being a bit of a cape. One more and we might have a pattern.
After another shipment of diamonds is stolen, Agent Coulson and the Magic School Bus roll into Sweden to investigate. An op that big SHIELD doesn't want them to do. This one however is personal for Agent Coulson. The one suspected of pulling off these heists is a former protege of his, Akela Amador, who went missing and was presumed K.I.A. years ago. Everyone from May to Skye sees this mission in Old Yeller terms. Coulson is the only who does not automatically assume she needs to be a put down. In the cinematic universe and so far inAgents of SHIELD it has been made abundantly clear to trust Coulson and his odd new agyness. If Coulson says you are something than it is highly likely that person is that, even if they don’t realize that. It’s been characterization through action but it is good to have that audibly reaffirmed (even if it’s heavy handed). In this case by Skye after watching Amador.
In general the cast is getting better and the writers are slowly filling them into where they fit on the weird spectrum. IF Coulson is the zen middle than Skye is to the left with her untrained and conspiratorial theories, May is to the far right with base technical thinking with Ward moving slowly closer to the middle, FitzSimmons are closer to the middle but their scientific background makes them want to understand than free think. They are also playing off each other better. “I live outside of the box!” is a dumb stupid cheesy line, which is how Chloe Bennet reacts initially before coming around to the conviction Gregg gives the line. Skye isn’t given much good juju character wise this week by not knowing which way is South and generally being aloof once Ward goes to the research lab. The gun failure and biology lesson were set up moments of comedy. Not know where south is being mentioned under her breath just makes her look foolish.
Akela Amador also becomes a fairly interesting guest character for this episode. Like Mike Peterson I hope she eventually comes back. It is interesting to note that the series seems to be on an every other week Coulson must clean up and old mess trip. “0-8-4” the bad guy was an old friend now in “Eye Spy” the victim once again has a personal tie to Coulson.
Another superhero TV series Arrow, has a way of reappropriating comic material and introducing stripping them down to a prototype level when they are initially introduced. You could view former Agent Amador as a proto version of Ward and Skye on the Magic School Bus. Ward shares the most in common with the former agent, both are highly trained to execute missions and targets they also don’t play well with others. Skye is the inverse of this she lacks all the physical training but has a way of approaching problems that they do not and she does play well with others (for the most part). This whole Magic School Bus experiment by Ward is another attempt to pull a good agent and make them into something great. Coulson and Amador’s relationship was very master and pupil here Ward is forced to be part of a team instead of just showing up to the team come op time.
It’s nearly Halloween time and with SHIELD being a repeat on the 29th this seems like the closest thing we will get to a theme episode. Body horror just gives me all types of the heebee geebes. Having your eyes fitted with tiny cameras that than track your every move is horrifying. Especially with the undercurrent of constant surveillance that is in todays world. More horrifying is having you eyes operated on WHILE YOU ARE STILL AWAKE!!! Props I guess for jamming a needle in your own eye...I think? The whole way that sequence was handled was excellent in particular the slow transformation into shallow focus of the needle coming towards the camera. It’s one of those stereotypical 3D shots that didn’t literally jump out at you but still manage to make you squirm none the less.
Something should be said about the twist. The Englishman handler was just as trapped as Amador was. It’s a nice twist that continues the vague illusion that there is some sort of evil organization out there running things. Odds are it’ll turn out to be Hydra by the end of the season. Captain America: The Winter Soldier comes out in April about a month or so after SHIELD season one should end. That’s the kind of easy plug and tie in for your next movie that is Marvel’s style. Though it is worth noting that The Winter Soldier is rumored to take place 3 years after The Avengers, where SHIELD is maybe 6 months to a year removed.
The Bits At The End
Other movies where eyes are a plot point: Minority Report. Man just don’t mess with my eyes.
I’m going to take the last name Amador that in that show Agent Amador from The Americans successfully spread his seed and settled down and was of course a terrible father in Marvel verse. The Americans return in February
Iain De Caestecker is really killing it with the subtle physical comedy of Leo Fitz.