(Marvel Studios 2015)
Summary: Inhumans have begun popping up all over the globe now that the Terrigen strain has been released into the ozone. Phil Coulson, Director of S.H.I.E.L.D., is leading a task force to detain these Inhumans before they unleash unknown catastrophe on the world. However he meets opposition from all sides including the U.S. Military. Things are not the same and this is a tale of a changed people.
Directed by Jesse Bochco; Written by Craig Titley
Dare to be different. Dare to be amazing. Dare, I say, be marvelous. These are the words that should be able to be added to any form of medium. Because when you’re writing a story you’ve got to make it count and every story should be treated as its own blockbuster, Thankfully, AoS gets this especially in season 3. We’re only into the first 5 episodes of a 20+ episode season and things are moving along faster plot wise than I ever imagined they would.
I believe I said this in a previous review that majority of fans, myself included, assumed Simmons’ storyline was going to take at least the first half of the season to tell. Something grinding in the back burner that would be revealed in the mid-season finale and set the stage for the rest of our ride in 2016. But here we are on episode 5 and we just got the full story of what happened to Simmons in those 4,722 hours she was away from Earth.
And really, what an episode it was as we got to spend the entire episode on this nameless planet with Simmons watching her survive and slowly descend into madness before being captured/saved by another person, a man named Will who came here 14 years ago on a top secret mission of exploration for NASA. I must say it’s going to be real interesting to hear the timeline of events of who owned the Monolith and when.
I was hesitant at first when they introduced another human, initially disappointed because I wanted to see ALIEN life on the ALIEN planet like we’ve worked so hard to introduce into the MCU. But good writing is good writing and Will eventually grew on me. As he did Simmons, the two eventually, naturally sparked interest in one another as a man and a woman alone on a disparate alien world. However it took time for that interest to build, something that was a nice change of pace instead of just jumping write into it as lesser writers would’ve done.
We also got something alien, TWO aliens in fact. One which came from a small pond of water, and the other a terrain changing force that lures other-worlders into madness. We got to see it in corporeal form and I must say I’m really interested to return to this world and find out exactly what that thing was.
Story wise, there is much I can complain about. I DO think it was a bit heavy handed for Simmons to accurately surmise where and when the portal was going to open up next, since in previous episodes we saw that Fitz was the one who figured out how to open the portal from the Monolith at whim instead of through star mapping and fixed time guessing. I also am not sure how the stars activate a portal that leads to another world, but I’m sure it will be explained at some point in this season.
I would say that was my biggest pet peeve. Does the monolith open via a sound heard only to Inhumans and itself, or is it connected to the stars? Make up your mind AoS, you’re better than this. And I hope you explain it properly.
I don’t usually talk about the cinematography in these reviews, but this episode was beautifully shot. And I’m always a sucker for nice looking experiments against modern television. Such as the fade in title of the show near the beginning instead of the usual SHIELD logo. There were also a lot of wide shots in this episode that really let us see the world around Simmons. Letting us experience it along with her. It was a smart move, and really this episode was beautiful to watch artistically and logically.
This was a great episode, and once they explain EXACTLY how the monolith actually works, then the better it all will be. Lastly, Fitz had the best reaction to Simmons’ life on this nameless planet, and as much as it must truly hurt him I’m glad to see his first impulse is to help Simmons get Will back. Whether for her, or for the sake of another human life, Fitz really made me proud this episode.
Final Score: 4.5 Evils Lurking in the Sandstorm out of 5
Derrick is a born and raised otaku with a love for comics, anime, manga and movies. The full list is pretty long, but that’s just the basics. Stories set in space are his bread and butter. You can find more of his writing at IndieComix.net @KazekunForever