TV Review: Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Episode 10 / December 10, 2013)
NOTE: Join us every WEDNESDAY as we review the latest episode...
EPISODE 10: "The Bridge"
SYNOPSIS: Coulson takes the war back to Centipede, and this time he brings in Mike Peterson for some super-soldier support. As they get closer to the truth, startling secrets are revealed and an unexpected twist threatens the team.
BREAKDOWN: (The following column contains MAJOR SPOILERS, so I don't recommend reading this if you haven't watched this episode).
After a brief holiday break, AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. is back and jumping right back into the mythology episodes we haven't seen since the pilot and third episode of the season. The group known as Centipede appear to have perfected their super soldier serum and break out Edison Poe from prison in spectacular fashion. The Team is sent to find Poe and enlist the help of Mike Peterson. Peterson, you may remember, was the victim/patient given the power of Centipede in the pilot.
Peterson, now working for S.H.I.E.L.D., seems to still have his super strength intact and joins up at Coulson's request. The team is hesitant but are reminded that Skye was also on the outside of their team before she was accepted. Coulson and Ward go to track down one of the Centipede soldiers' sisters while Fitz and Simmons do a work up on Peterson to assess his limits. At this point, the show seems to be hitting the same notes we got when Skye joined the team. With six characters already taking up time on the show, does adding another recurring/main character make sense? I do like having a super-powered character on the team, but at what cost?
Meanwhile, the Centipede team of Poe and Reyna (aka The Girl in the Flower Dress) decide to step up their soldiers as we see their new recruits don't have just one or two implants but six or more all over their arms and backs. While their endgame seems like it is going to be something big, the team is going into the enemy warehouse backed up only by Peterson? I still fail to see the logic in how an organization as huge as S.H.I.E.L.D. cannot provide reinforcements in such a big situation.
The team battles a trio of Centipede soldiers and Peterson is able to take down one. As they question him, he is killed remotely by Reyna and Poe. Now we know that Centipede was behind Agent Amadour's eye implant from the early season episode "Eye Spy". With everything falling into place, AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. is starting to seem like it was actually planned out. But, references to bad guy leader The Clarivoyant and Centipede's State Three are still as mysterious as they were before this week.
But, things are not improving across the board. The team is beginning to fracture as May and Ward's no strings attached sexual funtimes are causing May to assume Ward is reading too much into it and revealing their private business to the teams. Skye overhears May who lashes into her for her investigation into her mother's true identity. Coulson steps in to talk Mike down from his training to tell him his son is still important. While I like Coulson being the father figure to the team, it seems the writers are using this as a bit of a formula crutch each week by having him resolve all the problems aside from his own.
Peterson learns his son is being held by Reyna and demand a no electronic meet. During the hand-off, it is revealed that Centipede doesn't want Peterson and his ability to regulate his powers but rather Coulson. Peterson is apologetic but Coulson instructs them to complete the trade. Coulson is sedated and the team is left shocked. As Peterson gives his son to Skye and runs back to save Coulson, the trucks at the site are detonated, seemingly to kill Peterson and Coulson is taken away by helicopter. The episode ends here.
It is a ballsy move to leave the show on such a cliffhanger with no new episodes until 2014, but I commend them for it. Each episode so far has been tied up neatly. Dangling threads will definitely up the desire to see what happens next, plus I want to see how the team interacts without their fearless leader.
MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE REFERENCES:
Peterson, after moving a bulldozer across a football field, asks if he beat Captain America's time. Peterson's son, Ace, is seen playing with Avengers action figures.
Coulson: He fell off the grid in '08, reappeared 18 months ago at a diner in Boston.
Grant: Where he stabbed a friend's eyes out.
Coulson: With a steak knife. And then finished his meal.
Skye: That's funny. Poe doesn't look crazy. (everyone stares) I'm kidding. The guy is a walking mug shot.
Nothing flashy really happened this week as the episode was more about integrating Peterson into the team while also throwing some wrenches into the relationships on the team. The tense hand-off and cliffhanger were directed as well as any scene on the show so far and gets my vote for coolest scene.
DO WE KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO COULSON YET?
No references aside from a fleeting one about staying hidden from The Avengers, but the final scene of the episode reveals his death is key to their Stage Three.
EPISODE CLEARANCE LEVEL: 7/10
With all of the mythology elements of the show coming together, AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. is starting to feel more cohesive. This was a talky episode that did not take full advantage of the brief stint of having a super-powered team member, but the otherwise mediocre episode was saved by the final 10 minutes promising an action-packed second half of the season.
NEXT ON MARVEL'S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.:
The series will return January 7th, 2014 with what appears to be a multi-episode search for Coulson. It also seems the explanation for his death and resurrection will be explained well before the end of the season. So, buckle your seatbelts and we will see you in the new year!
TELL US WHAT YOU THOUGHT OF THIS EPISODE BELOW!