TV Review: Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Episode 5 / October 22, 2013)
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EPISODE 5: "The Girl in the Flower Dress"
SYNOPSIS: An elusive girl in a flower dress may hold the key to the mystery that brings Coulson and team to Asia to rescue a young man with an unusual and dangerous power. Meanwhile, Skye has a secret that jeopardizes her relationship with the team right when they need her most.
BREAKDOWN: (The following column contains MAJOR SPOILERS, so I don't recommend reading this if you haven't watched this episode).
After last week's superhuman-free episode, the S.H.I.E.L.D. team is called in to investigate the disappearance of a Chinese civilian, Chan, who has exhibited pyrokinetic abilities. The man was part of The Index, the S.H.I.E.L.D. listing of people and objects that have superpowers. The man's assigned agent indicates their feed was hacked by Rising Tide which makes the team question whether or not Skye is trustworthy.
Chan was taken by the titular woman in the flower dress who wants to help Chan nurture his powers. She suggests the name Scorch and promises to help Chan become famous. The team decides to track down the Rising Tide hacker who turns out to be Miles, Skye's lover, and who knows she is spying on S.H.I.E.L.D. After shaking Ward and Coulson, Skye and Miles sleep together. As they talk about keeping the secret from the team, Melinda May appears and they now know Skye has douvle crossed them. She and Miles are taken into custody.
Miles reveals he hacked S.H.I.E.L.D. China feed for a woman in a flower dress, Reina, who works for an Eco-friendly group investigating centipedes. We soon find than Reina is working with the doctor from the pilot episode. They have injected Chan with Extremis and are furthering research into it. Now that his fire resistant platelets are removed, the Centipede group decide to eliminate Chan. Coulson and May go into the field to retrieve Chan.
Chan, after re-injecting himself with Extremis, becomes Scorch and kills his handler and goes after Coulson. Scorch confronts the doctor as his body begins to reject his power and he burns her alive. May sneak attacks Chan and overdoses him with Extremis, detonating his powers and killing him. Miles is let loose in Hong Kong and Skye decides to stay on the team.
Skye reveals her true motivation for joining the S.H.I.E.L.D. team: to find out who her parents are. There are no records of who she is or who she was aside from a redacted document from S.H.I.E.L.D.. Coulson softens and offers to help her find what she is looking for but outfits her with the same tracking bracelet given to Miles. The closing scene has Reina speaking to a mysterious man in a prison cell giving him an update on Centipede's progress. She asks him to contact The Clarivoyant to help them reach Stage Three.
MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE REFERENCES:
Steve Rogers/Captain America is referenced as a famous superhero by Chan''s captor and the template for the fame she promises she can help him reach. Coulson mentions getting stabbed by Loki.
"When someone breaks into my house I usually don't invite them to stay, but that's me" - Melinda May
Scorch using his powers to kill the doctor was pretty hardcore for the series to date and his Extremis detonation was as good as any in IRON MAN 3. That or the scene of Skye in her bra and panties.
DO WE KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO COULSON YET?
EPISODE CLEARANCE LEVEL: 7/10
A decent episode but falls prey to the Monster of the Week format that BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER and DOLLHOUSE fell prey to all the time. The plot sets up the Big Bad for the season/series in Centipede, Reina, and the man in the prison cell. The show works better with an overall plot and scope which only appears at the end. I like the tie ins to the Cinematic Universe, but they are starting to feel repetitive instead of building to something. If the episodes could feel more like the final ten minutes of the show then we would be in better shape.
NEXT ON MARVEL'S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.:
No new episode next week, but in two weeks we will have "FZZT" which has the team investigating some sort of virus that forces people to die while floating in mysterious positions.
TELL US WHAT YOU THOUGHT OF THIS EPISODE BELOW!