Confusion, concern and questions
So is Skye’s dad (Cal – Kyle MacLachlan) the big bad of the latter half of the season or not? We’re only two episodes in, but it seems that he’s been sent to the great big dumpster in the sky just like HYDRA was in the last episode. I guess if the main concern from fans about the previous season, was that the show seemed to drag on and nothing really seemed to happen is considered now … well the complaint might be the exact opposite! Too much is happening and its all happening too fast … it seems like they aren’t closing one issue off before introducing another whole new storyline and its getting (even more) complicated than it normally is!
Skye is out of control, but SHIELD is determined to keep her on the team – somehow – and enlist the help of a psychologist that used to be on their payroll to help assess her and her state of mind. Coincidentally this psychologist happens to be someone that May and Coulson both trust implicitly – May’s ex-husband – played by Blair Underwood – you might recall that I mentioned in a previous post his appearance on the show? Well it seems since the last episode that while Skye is still in the cage on the bus, she’s magically managed to gain control of her powers and is able to control the shaking as long as she keeps her cool.
While this episode is not a filler episode like last week, it seemed much too disjointed and was all over the place. Cal’s personal vendetta against Coulson for taking away his revenge (for killing Whitehall … by the way, any chance this was a clone or something like that? He died way too easily in my opinion – just saying!) might have been a bit of stretch right from the beginning, but I was willing to let it slide as it had some great possible conflicts for Skye and her growth as a character with Skye having to choose between her biological family and the SHIELD family that has adopted her. However if he’s now out of the picture (or at the least on the back burner), it seems like it was all a complete waste of time doesn’t it? Kyle MacLachlan is too good an actor to just be written off in this manner so I really hope that in some way he returns to the show. However not as the leader of another band of misfits.
Merry Men (& Ladies) are we
OK while I know AOS is all about a superhero show that doesn’t really have any superhero’s in it (with the possible exception of whatever Skye is becoming), the villains have always been top notch. They’ve not been at the Galactus or Loki level perhaps, but they’ve been solid and quite respectable – Deathlok for example and the Absorbing Man are both worthy villains that you can get behind the team defeating. But this motley crew? They weren’t anywhere close to being worthy and while their purpose might have only been as cannon fodder so that Skye could see how “bad SHIELD is” in Cal’s eyes, with access to the whole list at his fingertips, he could have done a lot better.
Right now this group of messed up people (lets be honest, who grafts razor blades to their fingertips … aside from the stupidity of doing this, blades break, are these supposed to “grow” back? What about getting dull – that would kind of remove their usefulness as weapons? Finally why didn’t SHIELD just conduct surgery to remove them?) does nothing more than just take away screentime from the characters we actually know and care about and the other ongoing storylines we’re already invested in.
Skye as mentioned earlier seems to initially have a handle on her powers but as we see during the course of this episode its a bit less than ideal as she continues to shake while in her sleep and ends up literally fracturing the bones in her hands trying not to quake! Now considering that her “control” came from the school of Agent (shoot first and ask questions later) May its probably not that surprising that its not really addressing the underlying problems but is rather just glossing over them. It was a quick fix, the equivalent of using duct tape to repair your leaky toilet, but it wasn’t an actual resolution. It also wasn’t healthy. This effect does however have the benefit of (surprise) making her match her comic book character in terms of appearance though which while not a prerequisite, is definitely a nice touch!
One Step Forward
May has a lot to offer—she’s skilled, she’s smart, and she’s strong—but she’s not even close to being qualified to offer advice on how to deal with something like Skye’s powers, which are rooted in her emotional state. May represses everything to a harmful degree, and Skye was doing the same. It’s why her powers came alive while she was dreaming, and it’s why she ended the episode in a cast.
We finally find out the big secret that Mac and Bobbi have been hinting at over the course of the past couple of episodes – namely that they are working for the “real” SHIELD. While this introduces another major character – Edward James Olmos (of BSG fame) – to the show … which is really cool, as I’ve always liked him and his style, it kind of goes back to my earlier comment that they’re making this show overly complicated as they really didn’t need another plot line.
While it’s cool to see a somewhat lighter side of May (I think she actually smiled), I really want Skye’s character to move forward. For her to gain some control over her abilities and learn how to use them to the benefit of the team. I know that it’s a bit simplistic but I’m definitely in the camp where the good guys win and with everything the team has gone through recently (Ward being part of HYDRA, Fitz almost dying, Tripp dying and Skye’s whole transformation) it would be nice if they actually had a win for a change!