Duh: Spoilers ahead!
“I hate bottle episodes. They’re wall to wall facial expressions and emotional nuance. I might as well sit in a corner with a bucket on my head.” – Abed, COMMUNITY.
Okay, well, I don’t hate bottle episodes, but this COMMUNITY quote is absolutely relevant, because that’s exactly what this episode was. Except for, y’know, the emotional nuance. It may have been too early to try to pull off this kind of episode: the characters barely know each other and the conflict was basically established by an outside force that was an actual threat for less than five minutes. Literally. And with a stupid raft. Speaking of them, the bad guys (and gal, particularly) were terrible. Reyes was a B-movie Latin American stereotype and I saw the betrayal coming a mile away.
The dialogue plays like it’s trying too hard to be Buffy, which annoys me some, and there was even more techno-babble than in the Pilot, but this time it was supposed to act as exposition to fill in some gaps – sadly, it was cluttered and awkward, not cute background noise like in the first episode.
On the more positive side, I enjoyed seeing the team working together for the first time. There were some very good comedic moments, mostly involving Fitzsimmons in combat. I’m starting to like Melinda “the Cavalry” May a lot. She’s genuinely badass and I think her past will make for good drama in the future. I like how she’s starting to interact with the rest of the group and I particularly enjoy Fitz’s reactions to her. It’d be great if they could show her in some plain clothes in some of the next few episodes. I get the whole “all business badass lady” thing, but hey, she’s a person too.
Brett Dalton was considerably better this time around as Agent Ward, maybe because we saw a little more of him in action… oh, and are we shipping him and Skye already? Can we call them “SkyWard”? Pretty please?
My favorite scene was definitely the last one. Ward patting Fitz on the back was a nice callback to the last scene of the Pilot. I’m a little worried about the Rising Tie/Skye subplot, as it is kind of a cliché: She infiltrates SHIELD, causes shenanigans and then betrays the bad guys for her new friends. I really hope Team Whedon can find a way to put a fresh spin on it.
Now, am I the only one who noticed how the design of The BUS is VERY similar to the design of the Firefly-class Serenity? Cargo bay/lab (infirmary), bunks/dining area, bridge. NICE, huh? I couldn’t help smile when I noticed.
Finally, I really think that cameo at the end was absolutely unnecessary and only enhances the Fury-lite sensation I get from Coulson. Not only that, but Fury was pretty much Ice Cube in 21 JUMP ST: generic black cop boss who yells at people. Except, in this case, it wasn’t supposed to be a meta joke. I get tying this to the larger MCU, but they shouldn’t do it at the expense of their own show and definitely not this early on.
Here’s hoping the next episode is a more solid one.
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