shallowness: Shaw with a faintly incredulous expression (POI Shaw)
[personal profile] shallowness
Fearless ep 2

The credits suggest that the show really is as ambitious as it hinted it was in the first episode, and, of course, the show’s makers couldn’t have known that so much stuff would happen to make some of this seem almost quaint.

Casting wise, I realised that the cop lady was her off Dancing on the Edge. Jamie Bamber turned up as an MP – obviously reserving judgment on what he’s up to, but enjoying the view.

There were so many things going on with Emma, but certainly there was enough reason to root for her to overcome the obstacles. It’ll be interesting to see how they resolve the personal cost - her father is going to die and bringing home Kevin, getting punched and then having an armed raid of her house is in no way making it a safe home for a child who needs to be fostered/adopted.

I’ve clearly been watching too much NCIS: LA because I had to remind myself that the van taking the photographer from his home being followed by Emma’s conveniently gay sidekick wasn’t going to blow up.

Agents of SHIELD 4.22 World’s End

Maybe not as all-out excellent as the Framework arc has deserved – I refuse to call it the ‘Agents of HYDRA’ strand. I’d be a little more frustrated if the show hadn’t been renewed, as there were a few too many on-the-nose moments of dialogue, a few things didn’t land big enough and maybe there wasn’t always pay-off for the original team, but there was a lot of good stuff and the final scene made me squee, because that’s my (initial) reaction if you put anything IN SPACE!

Yo-Yo was lucky, in a way, that she’d got into the Framework that was collapsing, not the regular one, and was picked up by Radcliffe, who’s redemption arc continued (the moment where he disappeared didn’t undercut the cheesiness of his final scene for me, though). So, she’d been rash and got hurt as Mack didn’t remember her. The idea of the world he’d chosen going and disappearing on him worked, poor Hope hearing she wasn’t real was a horrid moment and Yo-Yo’s sacrifice of staying with the man she loved as they faced extinction was a great act of love. I thought Mack was a goner. I could have lived with that, with Yo-Yo becoming a team member instead of being an adjacent love interest (so many couples). We’ll see what they do with her.

In the real world, Ophelia/AIDA (the Jemmabot being pernickety about calling the acronym is retrospectively hilarious) AKA the former android scorned, stomped around and made a good case for teleportation being a top three superpower. Her destruction could have been bigger. I don’t know if it was not being able to pay for the CGI for a long fight or the storyboarding or the combo, but after the big reveal of Ghost Rider being in Coulson, her end fell a little flat, and you didn’t blame Fitzsimmons for needing confirmation she was, indeed, no more. I entirely understood Jemma’s need to shoot her, repeatedly – Jemma has been consistent on this front.

I was surprised by how good the team’s plan was. Look, all we’d got was Coulson saying ‘I have a crazy plan’ and my default is to assume it’s going to go wrong somewhere, but a decoy LMD giving Ophelia a dose of her own medicine and the Ghost Rider switcheroo, after it had been confirmed that GR could bring her down because of dark matter (was there harking back to Thor: The Dark World as well as the expansion to the Marvel Cosmic Universe going on?) was good stuff. I liked the theme of them all working together – underlined by Daisy’s speech (ok, sermon) (confirmed by Simmons’s ‘Amen’) to Fitz (but I like Daisy-Fitz, and someone had to say it) and their final scene. All the team eating together! As Coulson said, they hadn’t all been together in ages, what with so many of them being switched for androids.

Their acceptance that someone was coming for them worked visually and in the suggestion, before it all got a little Men in Black, that it wasn’t just them getting arrested.

They gave Robbie as Ghost Rider a lot of cool stuff to do, and his teaming up with Quake and Coulson fanboying it was fun. By transferring GR to Phil, they balanced things out better, because we’ve seen why Coulson would have beef with AIDA, whereas Robbie didn’t have the same emotional motivation. So, there’s a deal that’ll have to be paid by Coulson next season.

And it that weren’t reason enough to expect the return of Robbie/GR, there were also more than hints of Daisy/Robbie (which I don’t mind, other than my general issues of Ghost Rider being too big a property to slot into the show easily and genre confusion, so if they can work it for him to be a recurring drop-in and drop-out love interest for their sometimes main character…?)

Using a Daisybot and all that meant for SHIELD was a good move and a good save for the Daisybots in underwear that I previously objected to. I mean, I know things are bad in the outside world and they could have spent a full (dreary) episode on that instead of giving us tidbits, but based on what I’ve tracked on this show, why invite the Russians to the supersekrit confab? Why trust Ivanov? Why call them commies (Talbot is already ridiculously cranked up, but it’s been a while since the eighties, dude.)

But Daisy got to use a literal shield, which was cool. (Is someone keeping count?)

I thought that Coulson’s order to Fitzsimmons to be on the same page only worked as set-up for us to think Jemma was being killed (which I did fall for and got verklempt about). I don’t think it’s that bad between them. They need to talk and work through issues, certainly, because Fitz is especially damaged.

The show is constant about ‘Never underestimate Jemma Simmons’ which is DELIGHTFUL.

May and Coulson did get a lot of talking done, considering, and it was rueful and a little awkward and a little lovely, and not too much, because he’s been burned and she missed a few steps, but with both being aware that they could die (again) and the cost of their choices, they didn’t duck their feelings this time, which is forward movement I’ll happily take. There were a couple of moments where May rolled her eyes at Coulson in a ‘this is the man I’m in love with’ way, which was adorable.

And the Darkhold still looks like a tarted up photo album, so I’m glad none of the team were tempted to look at it and it went away.

So, no major character deaths (Radcliff, AIDA and Ivanov were season players as was Mace) – I’d been preparing myself for bigger. And not too many cliffhangers, NEVER FORGET SEASON 2. Instead, we got an intriguing set-up: Coulson is in space, at least, and it’s got something to do with a window. Who knows what the reputation of SHIELD is? As for the show, solidly good finale to a season that turned it around from being one I nearly dropped to one that I was pretty excited about and happy with.

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