Lots of build-up for upcoming mid-season finales this week!
Episode of the Week
Agents of SHIELD – “Ye Who Enter Here”
Can we just take a moment to recognize once again how awesome this show has been in season 2? I’m so sad it’s going to be off for a couple of months after next week (even if it is making room for the hopefully amazing Agent Carter).
This week’s episode set up for what I’m sure will be a terrific mid-season finale. It managed to do the usual chess-piece-moving you see in penultimate episodes without being boring (as is often the case). It also continued the terrific character work we’ve seen all season long that has been such a welcome improvement for the show.
We all agree that Adrianne Palicki’s Bobbi Morse has nearly instantly become this show’s MVP, correct? I hope like hell ABC/Marvel get her locked in as a series regular. Bobbi’s conversation with Simmons about Fitz this week was the first chance we’ve gotten to really see/hear Jemma’s feelings on everything that happened while the two of them were trapped underwater. Her conversation with Coulson about how different he was from Fury provided some nice character depth for both of them. And I continue to love her interactions with Hunter (although they were brief this week). She’s just KILLING it right now.
I also loved seeing the Agents Koenig pop up again. Patton Oswalt is perfect in the part, and the show is having so much fun with teasing us about how many of them there are and using their Wonder Twin powers as needed. I imagine if they were around constantly the gag would get old, but the show has used them sparingly enough that it’s a delight when they are around for an episode or two.
I don’t know what the deal is with Raina, or whose side she’s really on, but I find her fascinating to watch. You never quite know what she’s up to, it always seems like she knows just slightly more than she’s letting on, and there’s just the slightest hint of crazy in her eyes at all times. As recurring “baddies” go on this show, she’s been on of my favorites.
Of course, we also got another dose of Evil Grant Ward this week when he showed up to take Raina and kidnap Skye. It would seem he has an agenda that is entirely his own, which should be interesting going forward. I’m not sure how he plans to take on Hydra (which I would think he’s going to have to if he’s blatantly ignoring orders from Whitehall), but it might be fun to watch him try. It was also a lot of fun to watch the Koenigs and May seethe at him while he just smugly did his thing. I’m really enjoying the smug asshole version of Ward a lot more than the cardboard version we had for so much of last season.
The other big mission this week, of course, was finding the alien city. It definitely seemed like the team had found it entirely too easy for their own good, so not big surprise that the first guy down there had something terrible happen to him. I hope Mack isn’t actually dead, I kind of liked what he brought to the team (and especially his dynamic with Fitz) – but it doesn’t look good.
Very curious to see what the show does in the finale next week, and where things leave off heading into the hiatus!
Moment of the Week
The Flash – “The Flash vs. Arrow”
How fun was it watching Barry and Oliver go at it?! SO COOL.
Honorable Mention: Brooklyn Nine-Nine – “The Road Trip”
Every time Jake got freaked out by the dolls in his room at the bed and breakfast, I laughed a bit harder.
Annoyance of the Week
The Walking Dead – “Coda”
First of all, I want to point out I liked a lot of elements of this episode, and the final moments had me in tears. This was by no means a BAD episode of television. But I did have some issues with it, and after such a strong half-season, it was frustrating to me that the show couldn’t go into the break on a better note.
My biggest complaint was the pacing of the episode. Entirely too much time was spent with Dawn, who we had no particular reason to care about, and other big moments (like Carol suddenly waking up and being made aware of the situation) were totally skipped. The final confrontation felt very rushed into the last 10 minutes of the episode.
My other big issue was that Beth didn’t really have to die. Other than the ‘because the writing team wanted to kill off a regular in the finale’, there was no particularly logical reason for her to stab Dawn. And, to be fair, the character had likely gone as far as she was going to go, and it’s not like I feel robbed of some epic Beth arc in the future, but I could see the wheels turning on this one a bit, and that always drives me a little nuts. Additionally, I think it might have landed even better had Maggie even bothered to remember she had a sister prior to 20 minutes before Beth was killed. That moment when she first saw Beth’s body was heartbreaking anyway, but I couldn’t help but think her reaction seemed overly intense for someone who hadn’t even spent a second thinking about her sister all season.
What are you guys watching as we head into the winter hiatus?