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TV Review: Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1 Episode 19

04.22.2014

NOTE: Join us every WEDNESDAY as we review the latest episode...

EPISODE 19: "The Only Light in the Darkness"

SYNOPSIS:  With their world turned upside down, Coulson races to save the life of his one true love as the mystery of 'The Cellist,' which began in Marvel's THE AVENGERS is finally revealed.

BREAKDOWN: (The following column contains MAJOR SPOILERS, so I don't recommend reading this if you haven't watched this episode).

With last week's episode revealing that Ward has been a sleeper agent since the very beginning and then concluding with him infiltrating one of the last secure S.H.I.E.L.D. bases, where can the season go with only 3 episodes left to cram everything in?  Tonight's episode opens with Marcus Daniels, one of the prisoners at The Fridge freed by Garrett (Bill Paxton) last week as he kills a man by simply touching him.  Who is this mysterious superhuman?  None other than obscure Marvel Comics villain Blackout.  Unless you are familiar with the Thunderbolts comics or recent Ghost Rider, you likely have never heard of Blackout, but Agent Coulson certainly has.

Back at Providence, Ward regales the team with his heroics in fighting Garrett at The Fridge but not before every prisoner is released.  Ward claims he killed Garrett to which the team breathes a sigh of relief.  As they analyze who was freed from The Fridge, Coulson asks if Daniels is among them and decides to take a team to go after him.  Agent Koenig (Patton Oswalt) refuses to let them leave without first undergoing "orientation".  Using an incredibly high tech lie detector test designed by Nick Fury, Koenig will ensure everyone is a valid S.H.I.E.L.D. ally, which worries Ward.  As they undergo the exams, they are asked numerous questions, both S.H.I.E.L.D. related and non.  Ward's exam begins to show signs he may be lying and Koenig presses him at gunpoint.  Ward finally reveals his secret motive is to get Skye, under the guise of romantic intentions.  Koenig passes Ward.

While Ward undergoes his test, the team learns about Blackout and how he was created.  Conventional weapons do not work on him and they must find a way to harness the power of light to bring him down.  Coulson tells Ward and May to stay back while the rest go to find Daniels as Coulson thinks he knows where to find the villain.  May confronts Coulson who still doesn't trust her after learning of her surveillance of him.  In midair, Coulson reveals Daniels is going after a woman named Audrey Nathan (Amy Acker) whom Daniels calls his "only light in the darkness".  When the team finds him they use drones to contain him.  Daniels then reveals that while in The Fridge, HYDRA experimented on him, making him stronger.  He then uses the Darkforce energy to escape.

Audrey Nathan shares her story with Simmons and Triplett about her first confrontation with Daniels and how she met Agent Coulson.  Under the impression that Coulson is dead, the team listens as Audrey talks about missing him.  Fitz thinks he has a way to stop Daniels, but it requires using Audrey as bait.  Coulson is reluctant, but agrees.  Meanwhile, May decides to leave the base since Coulson doesn't trust her.  As Skye almost finishes hacking into the NSA satellite to see who broke into The Fridge, Ward kills Agent Koenig.

Ward confides in Skye his "true" feelings for her, playing up the fact that he is not a good man, but Skye insists he is and they proceed to kiss passionately.  Skye finds Koenig's blood on Ward's neck and he runs quickly to clean it.  During that time, Skye finds Koenig's surveillance tablet tracking their ID badges and discovers his body, learning that Ward is HYDRA.  Frantically trying to find a way to escape, Skye instead pretends that she doesn't know Ward's secret and continues to seduce him.  Ward then presses Skye to leave with him and she agrees reluctantly.

As Audrey plays her cello, the lights go out, signalling Daniels' arrival at the theater.  As he gets closer to the stage, the team use the light guns made by Fitz but Daniels is too powerful.  As he approaches her, they regroup and take him down.  He explodes and a beam of Darkforce hits Audrey.  Coulson runs to her side, kisses her, but leaves before she opens her eyes.  On the plane back, Coulson tells Fitz he will someday tell Audrey the truth while also vowing to forgive May.  At Coulson's urging, Fitz almost tells Simmons about his feelings for her but backs out at the last minute.

As the team returns to Providence, they discover The Bus and everyone gone.  Aboard the plane, Skye asks where they are going and Ward directs them to the location where the hard drive can be decrypted.  The closing scene finds May walking down a road in Ontario where she is picked up by an old woman who turns out to be May's mother and a former member of another spy agency.  She provides May with contact information to reach Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders).

MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE REFERENCES:

Agent Koenig references Nick Fury's lie detector machine which he claims was designed so even Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) couldn't beat it.  During his interrogation, Agent Triplett reveals his grandfather was a member of the Howling Commandos, Steve Rogers squad from CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER.  While it is not revealed who, it is safe to assume it was Gabriel Jones (Derek Luke).  The agents are also asked if they know about Project Insight or Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford).  Audrey Nathan is the cellist mentioned as Coulson's love interest in THE AVENGERS. The weapon Fitz builds to stop Daniels is based on technology developed by Bruce Banner.  May is revealed to be looking for Maria Hill.

BEST LINE:

"Marcus Daniels worked as an assistant at a physics lab trying to harness the electrical power of something called Darkforce.  And nothing bad ever happens when you work with something called Darkforce." - Agent Coulson

COOLEST SCENE:

Skye's cat and mouse with Ward intercut with Coulson and the team confronting Blackout may have been one of the tensest scenes in the series to date.

DO WE (REALLY) KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO COULSON YET?  OR WHAT SKYE'S POWER IS?  OR WHO THE CLAIRVOYANT IS?

No new headway is made on any of these but we do learn more of Coulson's background and Skye's abilities as an agent.

EPISODE CLEARANCE LEVEL: 9/10

The complaints we have had leading up to the latest run of episodes continues to be a non-factor as the showrunners have found a good balance between standalone episodes while still keeping the overall mythology of the show progressing forward.  Blackout seems like a waste of a villain here, but giving us more backstory on Coulson while at the same time building the S.H.I.E.L.D. versus HYDRA arc is done very well.  Not the best episode of the season but still a very good episode.

NEXT ON MARVEL'S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.:

Episode 20 "Nothing Personal" - Just when there's no one left to trust, Agent Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) - from THE AVENGERS and CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER - returns to team up with Coulson as S.H.I.E.L.D. is being destroyed around them.

TELL US WHAT YOU THOUGHT OF THIS EPISODE BELOW!

CLICK IMAGE TO OPEN GALLERY & SEE MORE PICS...

Source: JoBlo.com

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11:56PM on 04/22/2014
Blackout found nothing weird about her playing the cello on stage in an empty auditorium? Did Hanna-Barbera write this episode? I think Scoob and the gang could've come up with a better plan.
Blackout found nothing weird about her playing the cello on stage in an empty auditorium? Did Hanna-Barbera write this episode? I think Scoob and the gang could've come up with a better plan.
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9:12AM on 04/24/2014
Yeah I once got downvoted on here around 27 times, for asking a question and admitting I was wrong about something. Talk about a tough crowd! (by the way I did give you a downvote too HercZanzibar. Not because I didn't like your comment, but because of peer pressure.)
Yeah I once got downvoted on here around 27 times, for asking a question and admitting I was wrong about something. Talk about a tough crowd! (by the way I did give you a downvote too HercZanzibar. Not because I didn't like your comment, but because of peer pressure.)
1:44PM on 04/23/2014
YAY!

And I'm with tha tone guy, I don't even think this is my lowest. I'm sure I've gotten more for hating on Wes Anderson or something.
YAY!

And I'm with tha tone guy, I don't even think this is my lowest. I'm sure I've gotten more for hating on Wes Anderson or something.
1:41PM on 04/23/2014
@rubox:

I had a comment that got -200+ just because I said I was okay with Michael B. Jordan being cast as Johnny Storm.
@rubox:

I had a comment that got -200+ just because I said I was okay with Michael B. Jordan being cast as Johnny Storm.
12:51PM on 04/23/2014
Wow, this is the most down vote comment I have ever seen. I guess I will add on to join the bandwagon. :-)
Wow, this is the most down vote comment I have ever seen. I guess I will add on to join the bandwagon. :-)
1:16AM on 04/23/2014
He knows she will be there because thats her scheduled rehearsal time. Not seeing it was an obvious trap I would chalk up to the fact that his powers and imprisonment have left him mentally unstable, like they mentioned.

It was just too neat of a subplot to not accomplish anything to me
He knows she will be there because thats her scheduled rehearsal time. Not seeing it was an obvious trap I would chalk up to the fact that his powers and imprisonment have left him mentally unstable, like they mentioned.

It was just too neat of a subplot to not accomplish anything to me
1:16AM on 04/23/2014
He knows she will be there because thats her scheduled rehearsal time. Not seeing it was an obvious trap I would chalk up to the fact that his powers and imprisonment have left him mentally unstable, like they mentioned.

It was just too neat of a subplot to not accomplish anything to me
He knows she will be there because thats her scheduled rehearsal time. Not seeing it was an obvious trap I would chalk up to the fact that his powers and imprisonment have left him mentally unstable, like they mentioned.

It was just too neat of a subplot to not accomplish anything to me
11:58PM on 04/22/2014
im still enjoying these newer episodes i still want to punch ward in the face
im still enjoying these newer episodes i still want to punch ward in the face
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2:53AM on 04/23/2014
lmfao the thumbs down i fucking love it
lmfao the thumbs down i fucking love it
-1
2:48AM on 04/23/2014

There are two separate villains cqlled Blackout in the Marvel Universe.

The one they used in this episode wasn't the Ghost Rider villain, it was the other guy. I'd give this episode a 7 and the previous to 8.5's.
The one they used in this episode wasn't the Ghost Rider villain, it was the other guy. I'd give this episode a 7 and the previous to 8.5's.
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-1
7:37AM on 04/23/2014
I understand Ward killing Koenig so easily to back up how ruthless/evil he is, but am I the only one who wanted to see Patton Oswalt involved in a throw-down ninja battle?
I understand Ward killing Koenig so easily to back up how ruthless/evil he is, but am I the only one who wanted to see Patton Oswalt involved in a throw-down ninja battle?
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10:26AM on 04/23/2014

While I do like the show a great deal...

While I do like the show a great deal, I don't get why they didn't plan it so the movie stars showed up on the show as well, to give it credibility and ratings. This is what most people were expecting upon hearing of '...SHIELD'. Right now, they come across as a distant cousin who's there, doesn't offer much but has to be acknowledged. Why don't the movie stars drop by and visit Coulson for coffee or join in on the action? This is no longer the age where movie stars wouldn't be caught dead on
While I do like the show a great deal, I don't get why they didn't plan it so the movie stars showed up on the show as well, to give it credibility and ratings. This is what most people were expecting upon hearing of '...SHIELD'. Right now, they come across as a distant cousin who's there, doesn't offer much but has to be acknowledged. Why don't the movie stars drop by and visit Coulson for coffee or join in on the action? This is no longer the age where movie stars wouldn't be caught dead on tv. Come on Avengers, let's help out Joss and Jed Whedon and their fledgling show?
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10:02AM on 04/24/2014
I agree the show is great as is, could use a few million more in ratings is my point. Having an average 5 million viewers is just not enough. Black Widow is saving her energy for 'Ultron' before she takes a paternal leave, so I don't think she'll be dropping by anytime soon. And I don't believe the 'Avengers' still think Coulson is dead, we've had Nick Fury drop by, then they were called in to cleanup after 'Thor' in London, he's been globe trotting all season so I think they have an idea he's
I agree the show is great as is, could use a few million more in ratings is my point. Having an average 5 million viewers is just not enough. Black Widow is saving her energy for 'Ultron' before she takes a paternal leave, so I don't think she'll be dropping by anytime soon. And I don't believe the 'Avengers' still think Coulson is dead, we've had Nick Fury drop by, then they were called in to cleanup after 'Thor' in London, he's been globe trotting all season so I think they have an idea he's still around. I'm just saying if we're going to be seeing more of this show next year, they need a boost in the ratings and the only way to do that is to have someone like Iron Man or someone else in the Avengers show up.
12:49PM on 04/23/2014
Plus, I would imagine the Avengers still think Coulson is dead. There would be no reason for Nick Fury to contact other Avengers to give them heads up about Coulson. They have bigger Fish to Fry. However, since Cap is in Shield, he will eventually find out. Who knows
Plus, I would imagine the Avengers still think Coulson is dead. There would be no reason for Nick Fury to contact other Avengers to give them heads up about Coulson. They have bigger Fish to Fry. However, since Cap is in Shield, he will eventually find out. Who knows
12:44PM on 04/23/2014
I think it is fine as is.....we have had Nick Fury drop by, Maria Hill, and Lady Sif from Thor visit. Since Shield is in Shambles, I don't see any one dropping by for coffee. Now next episiode should be cool having Maria Hill coming. I could see Black Widow dropping in seeing how Winter Soldier ended. All the rest of the Avengers are busy dealin with Ultron.
I think it is fine as is.....we have had Nick Fury drop by, Maria Hill, and Lady Sif from Thor visit. Since Shield is in Shambles, I don't see any one dropping by for coffee. Now next episiode should be cool having Maria Hill coming. I could see Black Widow dropping in seeing how Winter Soldier ended. All the rest of the Avengers are busy dealin with Ultron.
+2
1:30PM on 04/23/2014

This show is...

Light years better than when it first started. Enjoying it! I'm thankful I stuck with it.
Light years better than when it first started. Enjoying it! I'm thankful I stuck with it.
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+0
1:12AM on 04/26/2014
Was I out to lunch? Didn't May ask her mother to take her somewhere, rather than her mother giving her a way to get a hold of Maria Hill?!
Was I out to lunch? Didn't May ask her mother to take her somewhere, rather than her mother giving her a way to get a hold of Maria Hill?!
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