REVIEW: Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D-Episode 4- Face My Enemy
Wow Agent May (Ming Na-Wen) kicked ass this episode of Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D , smoothly and epic-ally…and the person’s ass she was kicking? Herself’s. Confused? Let me catch you up.
When some priests discover a 500-year-old painting with mysterious markings etched onto the back after the painting was all that survived when the church housing it was burnt down, May and Coulson (Clarke Gregg) go undercover to retrieve it, knowing the symbols engraved on the back of it are the “words of creation” that deranged Garrett (Bill Paxton) and now Coulson were/are carving in manic episodes and that it’s all linked. The mission soon goes south when General Talbot (Adrian Pasdar) blows the agents’ cover and Doctor Whitehall’s (Reed Diamond) minions- the now brainwashed Agent 33 (Maya Stojan) and Sunil Bakshi (Simon Kassianides)- knock out May and send Agent 33, physically disguised as Coulson’s most trusted agent, to capture Coulson on Whitehall’s orders as he thinks S.H.I.E.L.D is becoming a problem against his HYDRA evil plans and wants to know who’s the director.
I said in last week’s episode review that Coulson’s team needed more of a “team” feeling so the audience could feel more naturally compelled to root for certain characters and my wish was granted, with Hunter (Nick Blood), Triplett (B.J.Pritt), Mack (Henry Simmons), Skye (Chloe Bennet) and even Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) all sharing banter and bonding over a beer, lightening the tone of and already amusing plot. It’s nice to see that Fitz is finally starting to recover his social skills following his brain damage and say farewell to his hallucinations of Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) as that storyline, though emotional at first, was starting to get a bit tiresome.
Part of the humour also stemmed from the witty words exchanged between Coulson and May (the real one) before their mission was jeopardized, reminiscing nostalgically about the “old days” and their youth, making them seem a lot older and more experienced than the rest of the younger members of the team as well as hinting that the two could have been more than just co-workers once.
However the “good old” days seem to be rapidly fading as Coulson eventually collars May (again the real one) into confronting the dark idea that she may have to kill Coulson if he starts descending down the disturbing path of insanity like Garrett, given that they both have manic episodes of carving the enigmatic symbols. And S.H.I.E.L.D won’t be S.H.I.E.L.D without Coulson.
Speaking of dark and disturbing, someone needs to kill Doctor Whitehall, it’s only episode 4 and he’s already an irritating villain. Brilliantly portrayed yes, but the storyline did seem a little farfetched- I mean first the guy can brainwash people to do his bidding and the next he can create face masks that mould perfectly to a imposter’s face morphing into an exact copy of the victim? He may have had seventy odd years where he hasn’t aged to practice his science but still come on, is there anything he can’t do?! Either-way he is a nasty piece of work that need’s getting rid of, especially as he is now after the obselisk again, forcing Raina (Ruth Negga) to get it for him setting up the plot for next episode.
The villain I’m most looking forward to meet and disappointed he didn’t appear or get mentioned in this episode is Skye’s biological father. But then again that’s the beauty of a TV series over a film, you’re hooked and have to wait until later in the series to satisfy your curiosity.
Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D airs Fridays at 8pm on Channel 4.