Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Review - Episode 20: Nothing Personal

MovieBob

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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Review - Episode 20: Nothing Personal

Agent Phil Coulson finally discovers the answer to the mystery he's been chasing for an entire TV season. MovieBob discusses the details.

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MovieBob

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I think renewal wise Agents of SHIELD will be safe for so long that they don't totally and utterly shit the bed and go into sub 1.5 ratings. In the opinion of many people it's sort of ratings proof in that it's essentially an hour long commercial for whichever movie Marvel/Disney has coming down the pipe at a given time. Because of that it has more value to the parent company than just another television show. Also, it's made in house which means that they don't have to worry about paying another studio which is another, albeit smaller, check in the plus column. At this point season two is as close to a go as makes no real difference. Right now I'm far more worried about The Goldbergs than I am Agents of SHIELD
 

MovieBob

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I preferred last week's episode there was just something off about this weeks.

Still funniest bit Coulson's expression when Skye tells him Deathlok is on the plain.

Instant oh shit moment from the understandably angry and confident Coulson.

I hope they don't kill Ward this season having him as a continuing bad guy is a better ideal



As to the rating it's way below CBS and NBC's offerings in ratings and a third to CBS to a half against NBC in viewers hardly good results.


Also Bob enough with the white male and not obese/skinny nerd = douchebag crap.
 

Kenjitsuka

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"Aw, hell - that means they're gonna try and redeem the bastard before they kill him."
I think more he kills Garrett for Skye, and then takes off with the Hydra resources to run his own style of justice in Garrett's stead. After all, he thinks he's a good guy, and he's gonna prove it to Skye by being a very hard handed version of his previous team.

"The Bus and uses Lola the flying Corvette (which Ward knew about and probably should've disabled, no?)"
No, it's a great asset he might have use for himself. If you are in complete control you don't just start disabling options, 'just because'.

"So, the T.A.H.I.T.I. serum may or may not make you go nutty if you don't mind wipe after, but that doesn't seem to have been the case with Skye. Add that to the "Skye is already part alien" evidence pile."
Again; no. The tape is much more insidious; it's the standard -lame!- trope of the ticking time bomb.
Nowhere does Coulson elaborate on how fast they deteriorate. Do you think he would have run that program for more than a second if he was seeing massive problems with the people it revived right away?

So this adds a convenient "tension" for both characters; they can lose it -instant or very slowly (oh, the drama! :( )- at ANY time/in any season!
 

vid87

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I actually just read something that may or may not be true but sounds interesting: supposedly, the female Extremis soldier that fought Tony in the bar in IM3 is/was Swamp-Thing's girlfriend in the comics.

Honestly, I missed the first half of this one and I'm getting really pissed off that it only takes 5 minutes for ABC shows to drop major bombs then follow up with nothing in particular.
 

vid87

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Kenjitsuka said:
"So, the T.A.H.I.T.I. serum may or may not make you go nutty if you don't mind wipe after, but that doesn't seem to have been the case with Skye. Add that to the "Skye is already part alien" evidence pile."
Again; no. The tape is much more insidious; it's the standard -lame!- trope of the ticking time bomb.
Nowhere does Coulson elaborate on how fast they deteriorate. Do you think he would have run that program for more than a second if he was seeing massive problems with the people it revived right away?

So this adds a convenient "tension" for both characters; they can lose it -instant or very slowly (oh, the drama! :( )- at ANY time/in any season!
I also think it's an unintentionally meta plot device - like CENTIPEDE's "eye bombs," the show's writers can activate a relapse in Coulson whenever they want, possibly killing him again should the series suddenly get canceled and they want to keep him a permanent secret from the Avengers.
 

shadowmagus

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I really hope they don't redeem Ward. As has been pointed out, he's an overall uninterested character as a good guy. I'm more in the camp of killing Bill Paxton and letting Ward be their foil for season 2...maybe. I don't know. All I know is that I like Agent Trip much more as a character, even though I sympathize with Fitz in his Simmons/Trip issue.
 

PuckFuppet

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Marvel Studio's has had a few trips before this Bob, not outright failures but their record isn't entirely flawless.

Kumagawa Misogi said:
Also Bob enough with the white male and not obese/skinny nerd = douchebag crap.
Agreed.

I pointed out in last weeks episode that I didn't understand Bob's position regarding Ward being the obvious designated bad guy because of his looks/attitude, there were plenty of far more valid indicators.
 

The Deadpool

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Skye's survival without madness can be attributed to the fact she didn't die. They used the serum to prevent her inevitable death, not to reverse it.
 

jabrwock

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Question: Why did May need to ask her (also a spy) mom for help locating Maria Hill last episode if she's publicly testifying before Congress?
I assumed May needed info on all the tails Hill had, so she could take them out to speak with her privately. Might take a while to locate them all without some outside help. Or maybe she needed a way to contact Hill in such a way that outside observers (like the CIA/Russians/etc) wouldn't know about the contact. Remember Hill thanks her for the discretion.

Plus she needed resources, and couldn't be sure which SHIELD safehouses weren't in the hands of HYDRA or under surveillance since BlackWidow dumped the info on everything.

I loved both reactions from Coulson. His "oh shit" moment when he finds out Deathlok is on board. And the bit at the end when he finds out that he was the one Fury hand picked to be in charge of TAHITI.

It potentially explains why HYDRA knew nothing about it beyond a name and high-level concept even though they had lvl 10 access. Coulson was both in charge and the eventual recipient of the treatment.
 

DanielG

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vid87 said:
I actually just read something that may or may not be true but sounds interesting: supposedly, the female Extremis soldier that fought Tony in the bar in IM3 is/was Swamp-Thing's girlfriend in the comics.

Honestly, I missed the first half of this one and I'm getting really pissed off that it only takes 5 minutes for ABC shows to drop major bombs then follow up with nothing in particular.
Man-Thing (Swamp Thing belongs to the Distinguished Competitor), and wife instead of girlfriend. In the comics the wife betrayed her husband because she was secretly working for AIM.
 

talideon

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I have to say: after an initial bumpy start, AoS is turning into a fine show.

I can't see how they could possibly redeem Ward, but I do thing there's a good chance they'll move him more from black to grey, a dark shade of grey, but grey nonetheless, possibly an anti-villain.
 

MovieBob

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I didn't get that final reveal. OK so Coulson was in charge of the TAHITI project... So what? He didn't order the procedure on himself obviously, and he wanted to cancel the project. What does it matter then whether he was in charge of the project, or some nameless guy?

Besides, all this reveals is that this was a SHIELD project all along and not some 3rd party which was assumed. So what was that non-SHIELD secret facility about then?

We didn't really learn anything, just that a SHIELD agent was in charge of TAHITI and by coincidence, it was Coulson. Still no idea why Fury had him revived, why he had to 'move heaven and hell' to do it, who helped with it and what was that alien thing.

OK one thing we know, that Skye is not affected, but we knew that before.

Maybe someone can clarify what I'm missing.
 

jabrwock

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Sgt. Sykes said:
I didn't get that final reveal. OK so Coulson was in charge of the TAHITI project... So what? He didn't order the procedure on himself obviously, and he wanted to cancel the project. What does it matter then whether he was in charge of the project, or some nameless guy?
Coulson was concerned that someone HYDRA-related could have been involved, and so he'd be tainted with potential sleeper agent something. He had no confidence that any other memories weren't altered to suit HYDRA. With himself in charge of the project, it restores his faith in his memories, and Fury, since it was him that Fury trusted to run the project.

Besides, all this reveals is that this was a SHIELD project all along and not some 3rd party which was assumed. So what was that non-SHIELD secret facility about then?
Probably another of Fury's private facilities. They just assumed it was non-SHIELD because nobody knew about it. Turns out at least two SHIELD agents did know (Fury, and pre-Avengers Coulson).

We didn't really learn anything, just that a SHIELD agent was in charge of TAHITI and by coincidence, it was Coulson. Still no idea why Fury had him revived, why he had to 'move heaven and hell' to do it, who helped with it and what was that alien thing.
We still don't know why Fury had him revived, but it answers Coulson's concern about whether HYDRA could have compromised him. Fury would have had to move heaven and hell to do it without the rest of SHIELD knowing about it. And likely right now since Coulson was the one in charge, the only one who knows all the details is once again Fury.

OK one thing we know, that Skye is not affected, but we knew that before.
Actually that one's left unanswered. We don't know how long it takes for the psychosis to kick in. Just that the memory wipe seems to stop its progression. So it could be a ticking time bomb for Skye, unless here superpower neutralizes it somehow.
 

MovieBob

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jabrwock said:
Coulson was concerned that someone HYDRA-related could have been involved, and so he'd be tainted with potential sleeper agent something.
OK but that still isn't out of the question. Someone had to be in charge of the actual procedure and perform it. It wasn't Coulson obviously, it wasn't Fury (he's not a doctor), so his memories could still have been tampered with by a Hydra agent. There had to be at least a couple of doctors present (what happened to them anyway?).

OK I admit that is quite unlikely but in that case they just eliminated all the interesting possibilities - that Coulson could become a split personality or that he could have a secret ally who would implant him with some extra capabilities or something.

We don't know how long it takes for the psychosis to kick in. Just that the memory wipe seems to stop its progression. So it could be a ticking time bomb for Skye, unless here superpower neutralizes it somehow.
True. Although she seems to be much better than Coulson, who has been upset ever since he learned about his procedure in the first place. But that may be due to the difference between being actually dead and just nearly dead.

I still wonder why was Coulson so scared when he found that alien corpse. Was it his memories resurfacing or is it just a natural human reaction when they see that species? That I would find interesting. Cthulu-like species which make people mad just by looking at them, yet with healing blood.
 

Random Argument Man

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Here's a twist that may be something?Ward was the evil brother all along! (DUH-DUH). It's probably how they would kill the plot line of making Ward redeemable. That, or they can try to make him redeemable to an extent, but they kill him off anyway since he has done too much damage.

Sgt. Sykes said:
We didn't really learn anything, just that a SHIELD agent was in charge of TAHITI and by coincidence, it was Coulson. Still no idea why Fury had him revived, why he had to 'move heaven and hell' to do it, who helped with it and what was that alien thing.


Maybe someone can clarify what I'm missing.
Didn't know how to properly answer the other questions. It's possible that Fury considered Coulson part of the Avengers. Black Widow and Hawkeye are SHIELD members and also part of the Avengers. It still begs the question of "Why do it if Coulson reported it's a terrible idea?".

If not, I imagine Sam Jackson, in the finale, will give the answer.
 

captainsavvy

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Sgt. Sykes said:
OK but that still isn't out of the question. Someone had to be in charge of the actual procedure and perform it. It wasn't Coulson obviously, it wasn't Fury (he's not a doctor), so his memories could still have been tampered with by a Hydra agent. There had to be at least a couple of doctors present (what happened to them anyway?).
If there had been Hydra doctors present, they would have known what TAHITI was and Hydra wouldn't have had to capture Coulson to get answers.

Sgt. Sykes said:
I still wonder why was Coulson so scared when he found that alien corpse. Was it his memories resurfacing or is it just a natural human reaction when they see that species? That I would find interesting. Cthulu-like species which make people mad just by looking at them, yet with healing blood.
I think it was simply the horror of finding out that the drugs were created from an alien species. And from the questions he asks Sif when she's there, an alien species he's never heard of or seen before.
Consider, the only aliens he's come into contact with (that we know about) were either human-looking (Loki/Thor etc) or trying to kill him (Chitauri etc). All other things have been humans that were transformed/changed in one way or another.
Knowing that something used to be human is probably easier to reconcile yourself too than something that is 100% alien.


What was interesting to me was the way the Coulson in the video described TAHITI's purpose. He made it sound as if an Avenger had already been close to death and TAHITI was in response to it. Maybe Iron Man's close encounter with death spurred it? Or maybe I interpreted it wrong...
 

Alpha Maeko

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Coulson investigates experimental super drugs that can save people from the dead.
Coulson says "bad idea, bad results, dont use this thing. ever."
Coulson is revived by exactly what he told them not to use

Is it really that simple? I feel like there's something missing from this line of events.
 

Sniper Team 4

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I liked this episode. I liked it a lot. Seeing Skye dig into Ward, first verbally with her jabs just before she tried to turn him over to the cops, and then smacking the crap out of him on the plane...that had me cheering the entire time.

And then they had to go and ruin it by having her cave. If I were her, I would have looked at Ward and waved bye-bye as he died.

I'm not happy about what next week's episode is shaping up to be. They're going to try to make us feel sorry for Ward, and as Bob said, probably going to attempt to redeem him. Too little, too late. I can't get over the fact that he shot those two guys in the head--two guys who thought they had just saved his life--and then made a joke about it. Or all the other SHIELD Agents he killed raiding the Fridge. Or the civilians that will, or have in the case of the fisherman, die because he helped free all those people. No redemption, no pity, no, "Oh, he had a tough childhood so it's okay that he goes around killing people who trust him." Ward needs to die like the scumbag he is.

Coulson stole the show. "Deahtlok's on the plane? New plan: RUN!" and "Huh." This man needs to be the focus of the show, not Ward and Skye. When the story and show is about him and what he's trying to figure out about his past, or when it's him leading a mission (or basically when it's just not about Ward and Skye), then I'm happy with the show. This episode has convinced me to at least stick around until the end of the season.

Oh yeah, and Deathlok's little digs at Ward? I bet he was thinking, "That's right, suffer you bastard!" as he was doing that to Ward, considering what HYDRA has done to him. I'm betting he enjoyed that. And hearing him use Ward's own excuse of "I'm just following orders" on him was brilliant. Hurts when it's used against you, doesn't it, you traitor? It's not the clean blanket you try to make it out to be when you're on the receiving end.
 

MovieBob

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I'd like it if they didn't make Ward to sympathetic too. I think they should show some of his logic but have that logic be flawed and horrible, like nothing about him was ever really going to turn out good. Less "Oh woe is ward, he's so misunderstood" and more "Cruelty is born of cruelty". That would be refreshing, making him human but also still wretched. Build in some of the SHIELD practices too, it would be a nice riff on the themes of The Wither Soldier if they made out that SHIELD, even when protocol was met, helped foster monsters and nurture hydra through its very design.

I should be more "You take a messed up kid from a violent background and turn him into a rule crazy killing machine and pathological liar what did you think was going to happen?"