Agents of SHIELD: Bouncing Back Review

Agents of SHIELD is back and with it, we find Agent Coulson on a vendetta. Our review for the new show and the new tone.

So we are back from 1947 to the present, as it’s time to make the transition from Agent Carter to Agents of SHIELD. This is becoming an annual tradition, and I hope we get to make it again next year. I already miss ya’, Peggy.

But onward and upward as the war between Phil Coulson and Gideon Malick begins in earnest. Of course, when we last left Agents of SHIELD, Malick made things very personal by ordering the death of Rosalind Price, and now Coulson is out for blood. This is a very different Phil Coulson than we have experienced before, a very driven and sure of himself Phil Coulson, and even though he has to come to terms with the tragedy that just gutted him, this Phil is not the second guessing, wishy-washy Coulson from seasons past. This Phil Coulson reminds me of the classic Nick Fury, the Caucasian Fury from the pre-cinematic age of Marvel.

I just wish this gritty Coulson had a worthy adversary. And OMG, I have been saying this for three seasons now, but can we get a real villain on my TV screen? Yeah, Malick made it personal, I get it. But can any of you fine Den of Geekers describe Malick to me without telling me that he’s rich or he’s played by Powers Booth? There’s nothing there; Malick is generic, a cipher, a carbon copy of the billionaire sociopath archetype. We desperately need an origin story up in here, because there’s nothing to Malick.

Speaking of the bad guys, we do get to see the transformed Grant Ward this week. All he really does is eat raw meat and watch TV, but we do get to see him. Not much is answered about Ward’s transformation, but it seems like Agent of SHIELD‘s perennial big bad will be Malick’s ace in the hole moving forward.

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So the villain situation is as dull as dirt, but we do get some good hero action this week as Agents of SHIELD welcomes Yo-Yo Rodriguez to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The episode’s main plot sees Daisy, Mack, Morse, Hunter, and Gonzales travel to Columbia to find a powered woman that has been stealing guns from the local police. Turns out, the police are corrupt and Yo-Yo is a local crusader trying to keep her people safe.

Yo-Yo has the power to speed from one place to another and then bounce back and the episode does a great job visualizing those powers. Despite the fact that Yo-Yo barely speaks English, there is this great heroic quality about her and I really hope we get to see more of this very refreshingly different sort of hero.

Yo-Yo is brought into the story after a confrontation with Mack, and it’s worth mentioning here that this episode does a great job bringing Mack into his own as a leader and soldier. He was always sort of background and support to Skye/Daisy, but now Mack is getting a great deal of screen time all on his own, and this episode utilizes Mack’s special brand of strength and street smarts perfectly. Even Gonzales gets some nice screen time both as a translator for Yo-Yo and as a combatant that was instrumental in helping the good guys win the day.

Unfortunately, the corrupt police have an Inhuman threat of their own, and it’s some dude that basically freezes his enemies in place with his eyes. The show continue to introduce some interesting Inhuman characters, but man, I kind of wish we got to see one classic Inhuman at some point. Anyway, it looks like we’re going to get a sort of X-Men versus Brotherhood of Evil Mutants conflict as Malick is gathering his own team of Inhumans to go up against SHIELD and its gathering of Secret Warriors. Malick’s men rescued the medusa eyed guy this week, so I’m sure we’ll see him suit up with Malick very soon.

We also get the next step in the evolution of the Secret Warriors this week with the recruitment of Yo-Yo. The agents allow Yo-Yo to return home but they give the Hispanic Inhuman a way to contact SHIELD. So when Coulson and company need Yo-Yo, she’ll come running. I guess we’re being set up for a season finale clash between the two factions of Inhumans. That could be fun.

Some rapid firebits to finish up here: Coulson is made the head of SHIELD by the President of the U.S.; Fitz and Simmons’ on again/off again romance seems to be on this week; May provides the new head of SHIELD with her usual brand of support and wisdom; and sadly, Morse and Hunter don’t get to do much more than get captured. The introduction of Yo-Yo and the battle with the corrupt cops won the day this week, as the rest of the show kind of just pleasantly ambles along as we wait for Ward to get up off that couch.

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But hey, Absorbing Man returns next week, so Yippee!

Marvel Moments

Yo-Yo Rodriguez’s first appearance was in The Mighty Avengers #13 (July 2008) and was created by Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev. In the comics, Yo-Yo is Puerto Rican not Columbian. Her father is the villain known as the Griffin who is basically a – well, a Griffin, and how her conception worked out anatomically is something I don’t want to have to think about. In the comics, Yo-Yo joins the Secret Warriors after her initial run in with the Avengers. Eventually, she takes the codename Slingshot for obvious reasons but I like Yo-Yo so much better. At one point, Yo-Yo loses both her arms in battle. This didn’t stop the brave Yo-Yo though as after she was fitted for prosthetics, and continued on with the Secret Warriors.

I don’t think the Medusa-gaze Inhuman guy is anyone form the comics. Can you guys prove me wrong?

Just a heads up SHIELD fans, Bobbi Morse her own self gets her own comic this week as Mockingbird #1 hits the stands on Wednesday. So if you want more Morse, get thee to your local comic shop. I hear tell Hunter will be a big part of the new book. 


3 out of 5