Review: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Slingshot

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Slingshot Complete Series Review (2016)

Marvel Studios / Marvel Entertainment / Disney Studios / ABC Studios

Summary: Set between seasons 3 and 4 of the show, Slingshot focuses on Yo-Yo and a clandestine mission she must go on to confront her past while also keeping it secret from the Director of SHIELD.

[SPOILERS!!]

Review: I don’t think anyone was prepared for the possibility of getting another Agents of SHIELD spin-off for awhile after the fates of Agent Carter and Most Wanted were sealed last summer. Much to mine and the surprise of others however, the mid-season finale of the show brought with it the announcement that we’d be getting 6 whole mini-episodes of a show focusing on Yo-Yo, released digitally and all in one day. Awesome!

My only fear was that perhaps 6 short episodes averaging out at about 5 minutes a piece would cause the pacing to be too breakneck and we wouldn’t have much time to properly spend with the characters in this story. Considering every major character in the show was going to be making an appearance, yeah I feel the concern was justified.

yo-yo-finds-herself-in-a-precarious-situationIn Whedon and Tancharoen we trust, however, and these 6 episodes prove to be one of the strongest addition to the MCU in awhile. The scale is small, but the character drama is spot on as we see Yo-Yo and the others adjust to the new status quo after Jeffrey Mace takes over as Director.

The first episode, “Vendetta,” sees Yo-Yo and Coulson have a heart-to-heart talk about the future of SHIELD and their own feelings about the changes being made. It’s a very nice, heartwarming episode and Coulson even gives Yo-Yo a memento that belonged to Peggy Carter which any and all name drops to Peggy are welcome in my opinion.

The first episode of this mini-series also sees the Directorial debut of Joe Quesada, former Editor-in-Chief at Marvel. And he does a pretty fantastic job. Hopefully he can make his way into doing full TV episodes as time goes on.

The second episode, “John Hancock,” sees Yo-Yo and Mace have a meeting that finds her having to sign the Sokovia Accords, which it was nice seeing this actually come into play and allowing us to see what it’s like for someone to actually sign them that isn’t part of the Avengers. This also sets up the dilemma that Yo-Yo finds herself in quite nicely as she uses her abilities to steal Mace’s access card so that she can get information on the guy who killed her cousin. A nice callback to season 3.

The third episode, “Progress,” is the big cameo episode as we see Fitz, Simmons, Mack and May all make an appearance. The Fitz and Simmons portion is fun as Yo-Yo tries her best to keep them from finding out that she’s trying to find information on the man who killed her cousin. My only conceit for this portion of the story is that it’s revealed that Yo-Yo gives Fitz and Simmons the idea to find an apartment together which should be a nice sentiment until Fitz seems completely un-okay with the idea, which is very out of character for the guy.

Mack and Yo-Yo continue their will they/won’t they storyline here, which makes since because we already got the resolution to this back in I believe the mid-season finale of season 4. Considering this takes place before season 4, their back and forth isn’t as annoying. The episode ends with May discovering that Yo-Yo is the one who took Mace’s access card and May has come to retrieve it from her.

The fourth episode, “Reunion,” is a great episode with a lot of awesome back and forth between May and Yo-Yo as May chastises her for her sloppy work at being a secret agent and stealing information. Essentially May isn’t even mad that she did it, she just wishes she had been more discreet about it which is so great and I would love to see Yo-Yo become a better agent for this, something we haven’t seen just yet in the main series.

That episodes ends with May sending Yo-Yo off on a plane to the last known location of the man who killed her cousin, Yo-Yo then finds him but is knocked out before the episode cut to black.

Episode five, “Deal Breaker,” then is a very action-packed episode and sees Yo-Yo coming face to face with the man who killed her cousin, the man’s name is Ramon. We find out he’s trying to sale a powerful weapon to the Watchdogs who make a surprising and welcome guest appearance in this series.

I just want to see the Watchdog’s storyline take more precedence so its nice anytime we get to see them. They have the potential to become the new HYDRA but they continue to operate in the background and we only ever get them a few episodes at a time so far. Maybe their continued presence in season  storylines will see them take more control in the later half the season?

We also get the final guest appearance from Daisy as she has been tracking the weapon and ends up stumbling across Yo-Yo in the process. The two then team up to take out the Watchdogs and the action is just on par with the regular show as well, which was very, very nice to see.

Finally, episode 6, “Justicia,” brings Yo-Yo’s mini adventure to an end after Ramon is vaporized by the very weapon he was trying to sale to the Watchdogs. He’s caught in a blast that was meant for  Yo-Yo after she chooses not to kill him so thankfully her character isn’t made to cross a line I feel she probably wouldn’t be able to handle.

Still, the last few minutes of the episode shows that she’s still very shaken and feels quite guilty over the events which I feel is the best way to handle the fallout of that event. Daisy then helps Yo-Yo delete the files on her adventure from SHIELD’s system so that Mace won’t come across them and reprimand her for not following orders.

Now that raises the question as to why there’s information on the mission in the database at all and how he’s failed to see any of it for so long, but we’ll go with it for now. The episode ends with Yo-Yo giving Daisy the same memento of Peggy’s that Coulson gave her back in episode one. I honestly feel like Yo-Yo should have kept onto it, I think that would’ve been much cooler.

Overall this was a very solid new entry into the MCU with wonderful character drama for Yo-Yo and great action. It was a nice little personal chapter in this character’s life, and I hope eventually we get to see more of these side stories play out as digital web-series. Also I hope this means Yo-Yo is going to play a bigger part in the rest of season 4 to come. Her role as sort of the 6th Ranger to the main cast has been fun, but I would love to see it expanded.

This was a great way to tap into that potential

Final Score: 5 Human Slingshots 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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