Since there's no episode of Agents of SHIELD this week, I thought now would be to catch up with my reviews. Sorry I haven't posted in a while! I've been busy launching a publishing press that prints and publicises original novels by talented fanfic authors. You should check us out! There are book excerpts on our website (young adult satire! queer romance lit! urban fantasy noir!), alongside cover art and info about why a project like this is such a good idea for people in fandom.
If you don't watch AoS, or if you (understandably) lost interest after a few episodes, then you really need to reevaluate your decision because this show has improved A LOT. I have no idea what happened between episodes 5 and 6, but if you read any of my earlier reviews, you'll know that I was very critical of the first half of the season. Now I'm wondering just what the hell was going on, because a switch flipped during episode 6 and the show has been steadily improving ever since. Here's my rundown of the season so far:
- Episode 1: Entertaining, for a pilot episode (and I usually hate pilots).
- Episodes 2-5: Increasingly frustrating, both in terms of general quality (dialogue, characterisation, episodic storylines, etc) and as a sci-fi/genre show. Almost no worldbuilding, character development, or emotionally compelling scenes. There is no way I would've kept watching, if not for Clark Gregg + the Marvel connection.
- Episode 6: Suddenly?? Actual emotions are happening?? Agent Ward almost does something interesting enough for me to stop hoping he'll drop dead, and FitzSimmons are brilliant.
- Episode 7: Super fun. Simmons and Skye get to be hilarious together. SHIELD Agent Victoria Hand is introduced, and I greatly enjoy the fact that she is much taller than Coulson. We FINALLY get two of the main things I was hoping for: a real look at SHIELD's unethical behaviour as a quasi-governmental organisation, and some details of the inner workings of SHIELD HQ.
- Episode 8: Directed by Jonathan Frakes (!?) AKA Commander Riker from Star Trek: TNG, and director of two Star Trek movies. Real, solid links to the Marvel movie universe, played out in an interesting and reasonably unpredictable way. Ward and May hook up, to my utter astonishment. More on that later.