Howdy ladies and gents of the interweb, time for my review of episode 18 of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. entitled "Providence". So it seems like AoS struck gold last week with "Turn, Turn Turn" with most people really loving the episode and believing that AoS has finally becoming the show they wanted in the first place. So how has this week's episode fared? Read on and find out.
As usual in these reviews I'm just gonna present the plot and then say what I liked and what I didn't like. Cool? Okay let's keep going.
With Colonel Glenn Talbot now on their trail, Coulson and his team seek refuge in the last place anyone would look. They begin to uncover S.H.I.E.L.D.'S most dangerous secrets -- secrets that could destroy them all.
What I Liked
For me this was another solid episode. It picks up right where we left off with the weight of Hydra's infiltration of S.H.I.E.L.D. in the last episode definitely being felt as there are actions and consequences for both the good and bad guys. Trust seemed to be a key feature in this episode. It was really about knowing who is telling the truth or who is lying, knowing who to believe or who to distrust and just having faith in general. I liked all of that stuff and then some.
Now let's talk about my personal highlights:
- Coulson The Believer, Coulson The Crazy: Another episode, another time you feel for Coulson. This must be his most emotional episode yet. Even after Hydra has brought S.H.I.E.L.D. to the ground he is still a firm believer in the organization that he worked for. You want to believe in him and hope that his instincts are correct, but with all the recent happenings it is hard to ignore how questionable he looks. It also doesn't help when he finds coordinates on his S.H.I.E.L.D. badge that he believes to be Nick Fury even though he is assumed dead at this point. He still goes after this supposed rendezvous point anyway even when his team questions him. His strong belief that Fury is reaching out to him makes him look crazy and delusional, especially when Melinda May and other members of the team question his actions. This leads to one very emotional speech when they get to their location in the middle of nowhere with Coulson proclaiming that they are still agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and that it carries weight. Seeing the anger and desperation in his eyes is painful and saddening, but amazing thanks for the acting of Clark Gregg. Thank god Coulson wasn't wrong though!
- Fitz The Jealous One: Ah man poor Fitz, this guy has it bad. Last episode he almost got killed, now it is back to him losing his friend to another man again. So here we have Fitz clearly aware of how much Simmons is attached to Triplett and obviously he's annoyed. He makes glares from the background and tries to contradict Triplett just to look cool in front of Simmons, which is admirable but foolish. But the worst part for him is in the woods when he tells Simmons that he doesn't want things to change between them and she says it's too late for that. Us audience members knows she's referring to the new Hydra threat, but Fitz sees this more as the end of their potential relationship and the start of her's with Triplett. Our man is losing and you can't help but feel for him.
- Garrett and Ward, Partners in Crime: Man, these two look like they've been teaming up and doing stuff like this for years which is not surprising considering how long they've known each other. These two have a great rapport with each other. Some funny lines of dialogue and good screen chemistry are featured. I love the way they operate, their infiltration of The Fridge was cool and even more impressive is when Ward has to go back to Skye and create a believable story. Garrett beats Ward up to make it look like he was in a heavy fight. This scene was brutal and just shows how far they are in sync. It's mad, but smart at the same time.
- Grant Ward is SO Bad: Man, this dude is dodgy. Ward is really playing up the fact that he is a bad guy by busting Raina out of jail, hanging out with Garrett, pretending to care for Skye and still pretending to be a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent in general. This guy is so full of trickery. I liked both of his insightful conversations with Raina and Garrett. With Raina we discover that he gained his former team's trust by saving Simmons, sleeping with May and befriending Skye by being her superior officer. In Garrett's case, we find that he didn't want Skye to be shot in the way that she was. Garrett says that while he understands why Ward likes her, he says not to forget the mission and why he was doing it in the first place. We also learn that he's been on the bad side since before joining Coulson's team and that he really has been pretending the whole time. This makes Brett Dalton much cooler now.
- Raina's Back: So we catch up with Raina who has been stuck in jail making paper flowers (which doesn't make her look weird or crazy at all), but then she's sprung out by Ward and meets the famous Clairvoyant, only to find out that it is Garrett, but also that he has no special powers. Naturally she's confused, cheated and disappointed by the events that take place between her, Ward and Garrett. However, when she's told that she's needed for the centipede project again with all the resources at hand, she seems to fall right back into play again. I did miss this character and her odd yet calm demeanour. The fact that she may be able to solve the mystery behind Coulson's death with all the samples that Garrett stole intrigues me also.
- The Return of Ian Quinn and the Gravitonium: Ah Ian Quinn, how I missed you. So after being busted out of jail, Quinn has no kind words for Garret and rightfully so, considering all the crap that Garrett did to him. But then when Garrett presents Quinn with the Gravitonium you can see that he is pleased. When Grant and Ward found that special something at the bottom level of the Fridge, I prayed that it was the Gravitonium and thank god it has returned. Its been ages since it was last seen and if it has come back into play now then there must be plans for it, I just wonder if that doctor is still in there.
Other things I observed was the inclusion of Patton Oswalt and Adrian Pasdar who were great as Agent Eric Koenig and US Air Force Colonel Glenn Talbot. Oswalt was especially hilarious! Koenig also lets Coulson know that Fury is still alive and that only he can know about it (outside of Captain America, Maria Hill, Black Widow and Falcon). Agent Triplett is definitely showing up a bit more and making himself known among the group, even if Fitz doesn't like him. We also learn that Coulson plays Call of Duty, he just gets cooler all the time! And silly little Skye has her school girl crush on Ward, not knowing that she is finding information for the enemy and that he is faking his emotions! At least I hope he is, and if so, there is no redemption for him.
What I Disliked
There wasn't much I disliked this time around, I guess the only thing I would have wanted was more of the Gravitonium.
In conclusion "Providence" is another good episode. It puts the Hydra threat at the forefront of the episode and shows Garrett and Ward making movements and bringing out their big guns by grabbing key characters and items from previous episodes. On top of that we see that even though Coulson and his team aren't necessarily an official organisation anymore, they are still a team and still believe that there is hope.
So what did you think of "Providence"? Whatever your thoughts, drop them in the comments below and I'll see you again for Episode 19!