TV Review: “Agents of SHIELD” Episode 18: “Providence”

Written by Alex Bowman April 17, 2014

With all of SHIELD being brought down around everyone’s heads, it would appear that this show may run the risk of not having a proper title anymore. Despite Coulson’s repeated protests of SHIELD meaning something, that doesn’t really hold a lot of weight when your organization no longer exists. What do they plan on calling themselves in the future, Agents of Marvel Shenanigans? But I digress; with turncoats coming to light and our team desperately trying to hold onto some hope that SHIELD will still stop the bad guys we are given another great episode this week that has us all raging with intense passion.

This week the team is given coordinates that Coulson believes to be sent my the man himself, Col. Nick Fury (presumed dead after the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier). Everyone is just a little skeptical as to this but Coulson firmly believes in what remains of SHIELD and continues on to find out what the end result is. Meanwhile, Garret is joined by the shockingly-turned Ward who bust out Raina to have her work on the TAHITI serum while they invade the FRIDGE in order to acquire weapons to bring the fight to SHIELD. HAIL HYDRA!

Ward, you magnificent bastard.

I was very surprised not only at the fact that Garret (Paxton) is the Clairvoyant (without the fancy psychic powers) but also Ward essentially becoming a turncoat. I am hoping against hope that he may be a double agent, but that theory is squashed when you start to remember that he essentially shot Hand multiple times just to be safe. The chemistry between Ward and Garret is really well written and acted out by both actors superbly. You really start to become infuriated when you realize that Ward has been playing the team from the very beginning. Then again, that just plays really well into the whole espionage theme of the show. Paxton is just fantastic; he definitely steals every scene he is in and may be one of my favorite villains of all time. I’m really hoping he plays a huge role in the final episodes by dealing some major damage to our lovable team.

Speaking of lovable characters, I thought Gregg did a really interesting performance this week. It was an honest example of really great character development to see him using his glibness as a way of covering up his desperation and we finally get a chance to see him hit rock bottom towards the end and it just hurts you to see him in this state. Gregg is just upping the ante with every performance and Whedon really knows how to pick writers who can competently explore what Coulson is and how he is developing as a character. The same can be said for others on the show as well. Everyone is either evolving or devolving as a character and we may get to see some more great twists as the season comes to an end.

“Welcome to Providence”

I loved Patton Oswalt’s cameo. If you are even briefly aware of this man’s existence, then you know how much of a nerd this man can be. His performance didn’t really feel like a character but felt more like Oswalt being Oswalt.His presence really put some honest heart into this show because Patton just brought some much needed laughter after so many grim moments that have been happening as of late. The only real problem I had with this episode was Agent Triplett; now that Paxton is removed from his life, he really has nowhere to go and has kind of just latched on to our team of Agents for lack of direction. Don’t get me wrong, he can hold his own. But I would find it very lazy of the writing team if they just put him on the team to have him be the new Ward. At least give him more time to develop as a character before you start making him a permanent resident on the BUS.

If you are lucky, you too could get a lanyard.

This episode was less about action and more about character development. We saw a lot of great moments where we learn a little more about who Ward really is and what purpose he now serves to the story while also learning a little bit more about the state of Coulson and the rest of the team. Our team is desperately trying to hold it together despite having a traitor in their midst and it is going to be interesting to see how the team handles it when they discover the truth. Guess Skye won’t be getting that drink after all.

My Rating: 7/10

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