Saturday, February 22, 2014

View Log: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. "Repairs"

Ah, Repairs. A nice little breather from the subplots, but can it remain interesting despite little to do with the overall story of the series? Let's start from the beginning.

Again, Whedon shows us that he loves openings that explain nothing. This time, a woman enters a gas station, only to be verbally assaulted by the man working there for causing a man's death, then she apparently kills him with psychic powers against her will. You can tell from the start, it's gonna be a weird one.

Fun Fact: The oil company, Roxxon, is an evil business conglomerate in the comics.

Oh, yeah, Ward and May hooked up for a one-night stand. I neglected  to mention that last time. Apparently, this is a thing that they do. Maybe that will be important.

Previously on the show, it has been established that telepaths don't exist. In this episode, it's been retconned to "telekinetics." These are not the same thing. Telepaths read minds, telekinetics move stuff with their minds. Telekinetics do exist in the Marvel Universe, despite what this episode says. There's one named Thor. Sure, it only counts towards his hammer, but I say that still counts. Nitpicking? Not really. But this point can be overlooked.

Anyway, the team went to go see if this lady had powers, right? Coulson says that S.H.I.E.L.D. has only dealt with "a handful" of people to randomly gain super powers. I'm wondering what this means about the Mutants that they're legally obligated to not include. They can use Magneto's Mutant children, Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver in the series/films (because they're Avengers), but they can't use any X-Men characters or concepts. If Marvel Studios ever gets the X-Men rights back, I wonder if they'll patch in the X-Men movies into continuity somehow (wibbly-wobbly, Days of Future Past time travel?). Still, that's idle speculation. As it is, AoS seems to be hinting that X-gene Mutants aren't a part of this continuity, but mutated humans are.

Actually, this episode seems to be analogous to many X-Men stories. Someone gets powers, normal people hate and fear them, the team gets brought in to help them cope. (In fact, Miss Hutchins' bad luck powers seem to be very similar to how the Scarlet Witch's abilities work... until the truth is revealed about her.) The thing is, shadowy government organizations are much scarier for civilians than teams of merry Mutants.

My only problem with this concept in the show is that these people who gain all these powers just kind of disappear. I understand that the show's not even through its first season yet, but still. A little follow through? Lip service? What's happening to all these people who get powers?

In a B-Plot, Fitz/Simmons decide to prank Skye because they never got to pull Freshman pranks (having graduated three years early) and Skye's the closest thing to a Freshman they have at hand. It's just as random as it sounds. Their plan? They spin a yarn about Melinda May riding in on a horse to save the day, gaining the nickname "the Cavalry." And they keep going, breaking down the story into more "realistic" versions. Skye eventually finds out the truth, though. The real story is that Agent May was on another "Welcome Wagon" mission that went South. Whatever she did to finish that mission, she stopped being who she was. She was more like Skye, but turned into who she is now. Getting a little dark? Well, don't worry, Fitz makes a fake person out of a mop to be used as a jump scare.

So Miss Hutchins got her abilities from a particle accelerator, or so it seemed. There was an accident that killed four people, explaining the ire of the man at the gas station. According to Hutchins... God's actively punishing her and she's being haunted by demons. Well, if one of them has a flaming skull, things could get interesting.  But there does seem to be a shadowy, disappeary, ghosty man following her around. The sentence you don't want to hear when there's evil, telekinetic-y things happening? "Now what'd I do with that knife?"

What really happened was a guy Tobias Ford died as a result of the explosion, but the explosion in the particle accelerator opened up a wormhole to "Hell," as ghosty-Tobias calls it. My guess? Muspelheim, the Realm of the Fire Giants. After all, the 9 realms have been active lately. (Yes, I've seen Thor 2 now.)

Tobais Ford has no direct correlation to any comic characters, but he has similar powers to the imaginatively-named "Ghost," an Iron Man villain. They could conceivably bring him back in later episodes, and I hope they do. Along with Gravity. And others. Give us the Masters of Evil, Whedon! Then again, this guy's not really "evil." He sabotaged the particle accelerator to spend time with Hutchins (the safety inspector) and uses his poltergeist powers to try and protect her. Still, you never know what Centipede might do to someone to gain their services....

As for character development, May has a nicer person deep inside her, Skye has potential as a Welcome Wagon team leader... and that's it. Also, May secretly pulls the old shaving-cream-in-the-hand prank on Fitz, so the old, cheerful May is still in there.

No Coulson-is-a-robot hints this episode. Not that I could see, anyway.

Finally, during the epilogue, the team plays Upwords (it's like Scrabble). On the board, I made out "strange" (as in Doctor, maybe?), "zodiac" (as in the terrorist group?) and "aglet" (which Ward doesn't believe is a word).

Time will tell if I'm grasping at straws.

In a couple weeks, not-quite-Luke-Cage is back!
See you then!

(Originally posted on 12/4/13)

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