Review: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3 Ep. 10

(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.

“Maveth”

Directed by Vincent Misiano; Written by Jeffrey Bell

[SPOILERS!!]

Review: Death comes to all things. This is the one, true fact of the world. Maveth is the Hebrew word for death, and with it comes an episode full of death.  Unfortunately not to really any single person of genuine importance. And if you’ve seen this episode, let me explain.

Confession time: I was unfortunate enough to be spoiled on the “big moment” of this episode before I got to watch it. That Coulson killed Ward. I was pretty angry, and rightly so considering the headline read: WARD IS DEAD, COULSON IS A KILLER IN WINTER FINALE. Brilliant click bait title website which I shall restrain myself from naming. I didn’t seek out this news by the way, it just appeared in front of me as I scrolled though my phone’s Google home page.

So the entire episode wasn’t met with me going “I wonder what’s going to happen next,” rather than “Okay, so when are we going to get to it?” It was an annoying feeling but I tried not to let it ruin m experience. It was great seeing SHIELD literally storming a Castle however it wasn’t as fun seeing all of that take place off screen, or I guess lack thereof seeing.

If there was one major, actual flaw to this story it was that the budget restraints were terribly on display here. We’ve spent so many episode watching Andrew transform into Lash that they literally couldn’t afford to show him transform into Lash in the big mid-winter finale. And that’s basically a good representation of everything we don’t see this episode. We don’t get to see Mockingbird take out HYDRA agents, we don’t get to see the “Power Rangers” as Mack calls them use their powers except for just a few, small shots. I was surprised at all that we got to see missiles blow up the Castle at the end, however that effect was just as weak.

So, on a production level, this was a really, really weak episode. But we’re not here to discuss the production values. Stories are all about the stories and the characters. Again, I think Mack is making his best at being emergency acting Director of SHIELD as he leads his team to victory over HYDRA. The “ancient creature” that HYDRA wants to bring back better not simply be a parasite that can reanimate dead corpses. It IS interesting, but lacking so when that creature could be so much more. We’ll just have to see how they approach it from here.

Fitz and Coulson get the most to do this episode as Ward and his team plan to sacrifice Fitz to this HYDRA God. Coulson tracks them down and comes to blows with Ward for one “final” match. Fitz is forced to do the same when he discovers that Will isn’t Will anymore, but that “God” parasite reanimating his corpse. Will dies, which made me sad but seemed necessary to the plot. But it’s Coulson’s clear murder of Ward that is the show stealer. Again, I knew it was coming, but I never assumed it was by collapsing his chest in.

I cringed that entire sequence.

It’s also made perfectly clear that Coulson killed Ward because he killed Price. Sure, he was intensified by the other lives in Coulson’s life Ward has taken or hurt, but that vision he has of Price before performing the deed confirms Coulson was hellbent on personal revenge rather than atonement for all the people he let Ward hurt in the past. It’s an interesting moment for Coulson and I’m curious to see where this goes.

Maybe other than Will who was never important to the overall plot, Ward is the only one who “dies” this episode. And while the Ward WE know is officially gone they still found a way to keep Brett Dalton around as a reanimated corpse. It will be very, very interesting to see how this version of Ward fairs against the bigger cast and the bigger picture altogether.

I was never a fan of Ward going evil. I felt it was a great twist in season one, but there was just never a “hook” keeping me interested in Ward as a character past the twist. I think Dalton is a fine actor, not as strong as most of the other cast members, but he’s fair. I wonder if this new status quo will really allow him to spread his metaphorical acting wings. I sure hope so.

Given we’re still two weeks away from Christmas I wish SHIELD would’ve at least went one more week in their schedule before hitting the mid-winter finale mark, especially since we’re still several weeks away from Agent Carter season 2 now that her premiere date has been pushed back a week.

Was it a good season mid-mark? It was good, it wasn’t great. It was eventful, but those events are written in a way where we WANT to see them happen and unfortunately they blew their budget before reaching this point. And they’re obviously saving what’s left for what all comes next. I should’ve had more shock when it came to the big “twist” but I was robbed of that.

It was a good mid-winter break, but it wasn’t great. I am still very excited by what all comes next though, thankfully we have Agent Carter to tide us over until the season returns in 2016. I’ll definitely be excited to see where they go with the reveal of Ancient Cities on this planet. Let’s hope Attilan isn’t too far away.

See you then.

Final Score: 3.5 Ancient HYDRA Gods out of 5

DERRICK-imageDerrick 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

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