I recently saw “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” over the weekend and I was completely blown away by the incredible quality of the film overall. It wasn’t perfect, which is a fair judgement call to make because films aren’t supposed to be perfect, but it was very well executed and highly entertaining. On that note, we come full circle to the “Agents of SHIELD” episode that is a tie-in with the events of the movie. This episode felt just like the movie; all the suspense, drama, action and mystery of the film condensed neatly into a episode of television without having to cut any corners for the sake of the run-time. This episode is one of the greatest by far and one you do not want to miss.
“Cut off one head…”
This week’s episode takes place immediately after the events of last week; Coulson, Skye and Fitz are desperately struggling to determine whether or not May is their enemy all while the BUS is being transported back to The Hub. The team soon discovers that HYDRA (kind-of Nazis) have infiltrated deep into the heart of SHIELD and must now find a way to save their own lives while trying to tell friend from foe. Paxton joins the fray and the team decides to bust in to apprehend Victoria Hand (who they believe to be the Clairvoyant) and rescue Simmons in the process. Despite all that, this show has a plethora of great twists that I dare not spoil.
“… and two more take its place.”
Holy shit… I don’t know where to even start with this one. This episode really made me feel like this is what the show has been actually building up to since the beginning. All the twists and turns have amounted to this and the season is not even done yet. I actually am really exited to see how it all ends because something happens at the very end of the episode that is going to change everything. It will make you really mad, but in a good kind of way. And the writing does a fantastic job of making the twist seem reasonable within the parameters of the show’s story-line.
This episode just felt like what a tie-in episode is actually supposed to look like. Granted, the show has already had a tie in episode when “Thor: The Dark World” came out, but it didn’t really feel like a proper tie-in because the team was cleaning up after the events of the movie. This episode pans out in the idea that it is taking place during the events of the movie and the episode does a fantastic job of reminding us of that. Not once does the episode divert attention away from the focus of what the plot is supposed to be, especially during the action scenes where the plot could have easily become lost. I really like how this episode is going back to the shows’ roots in that it mainly focused on espionage and the dangers that this profession carries in a world of superheroes and super-villains.
The fun parts of the episode will be trying to figure out who works for SHIELD and who works for HYDRA. In an episode where the tag line is “don’t trust anyone” it feels intense as you will soon become suspicious of each character, both old and new, that you have come to love over time. The writing is nigh flawless in this episode and it’s really showcased during the scenes where characters throw around wild accusations while the real enemy waits in the shadows for the right opportunity to strike. I hate how I have to tiptoe around what the big reveal is and the vagueness of my review is giving me a cramp but I just can’t go into any more details because it would just defeat the whole purpose of this episode. It is meant to be one big surprise waiting to pop out at you and if you already know the stripper is in the cake then the excitement has been stripped away and replaced with bitter joviality.
“Are you sure it’s a head?”
Watch this episode; it’s that simple. Those who loved “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” will love this episode because it competently captures the same flavor and intrigue as the film. Those who just love “Agents of SHIELD” will love this episode as well because it maintains a really high level of quality with lots of elements that perfectly capture what espionage drama can amount to in the world of Marvel.