OK folks, I’m not doing episode by episode recaps for any shows this season or any season. I flat out don’t have the time for that. I’ll do season reviews, maybe a mid season review, but I’m not doing single episodes unless something really jumps out at me. For the most part I watch shows I like and are interested in so reviews aren’t going to be much more than degrees of how much I liked it this week. In my opinion if you’re going to drop a show based on one episode, you shouldn’t be watching it anyway because you really didn’t like it much to start with. But anyhow….onto this Agents of SHIELD season three premiere.
I’ve never thought it was a great show. I liked it ok, and thought it was better than the worst comments I’ve seen, but it was always the last show I got to on the DVR every week. If there were as many comic book related shows as there were cop shows or sitcoms, I probably would not have stuck with it this long. But after this week’s episode, I’m glad I stuck with it. It was that good. Probably the best episode of the series. If the rest of the season goes along with this, then I’ll finally feel like the show has reached it’s potential.
As for what happened, there was plenty. Daisy Johnson (Chloe Bennett), formerly Skye, is now in full control of her powers and is using them to help SHIELD find people who have developed powers as a result of the Terrigen bomb that was set off last season. They’re being hunted down and SHIELD is trying to protect them. While this is going on Agent Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) is trying to find out what happened to Agent Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge), who was sucked into some kind of portal at the end of last season, and is going to all kinds of seedy places to find a way to locate and eventually get to her. We got introduced to some new characters, namely the head of another organization played by Constance Zimmer, whose allegiances we aren’t quite sure about yet and the Lash, a really scary looking dude that Marvel comic readers are pretty familiar with. Pretty standard stuff, but the difference between this and previous episodes of the series is in the execution.
In previous seasons and episodes, there were stretches that were pretty hard to get through. There was some wooden acting by several of the cast members, and some parts that were downright uninteresting. I found myself drifting through parts of shows and barely making it through some others. That wasn’t a problem this week. Two of the main culprits of the not so great acting, Bennet and De Caestecker, were markedly better than they ever have been. It could be that their respective characters are far more confident and driven they had been before, so now they don’t have to convey any vulnerability or sensitivity. Maybe it’s better writing. I have no idea, but whatever it is it was good.
And the storyline seems much tighter that has been before. The mission is to find and protect the Inhumans (people who have developed powers) from whoever it is that’s after them while Hydra gets itself back together under new leadership from turncoat for SHIELD Agent Ward. No meandering putting the agency back together stories, no ‘Real SHIELD’ confusion, and apparently no ‘we’re just here to give some Marvel stuff until the next movie drops in May’ pacing. The show felt like it’s own show for the first time ever and not something that was a virtual ward of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And that’s a good thing.