The Ninjabot

“Heavy is the Head” That Doesn’t Know When to Give Up! Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Review

Posted on October 1, 2014 at 7:00 am by Amanda Andonian

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Believe it or not, it was another great episode of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.! Rather than going with the monster of the week vibe from last season, it looks like the show is going to try and take a more episodic track this season, which I’m all for. Personally, I’m not into the procedural framework where a mission drops into the protagonist’s lap, they go on said mission, solve the problem, there’s a big fight sequence, then everyone goes home happy. Too predictable! Of course, “Heavy is the Head” doesn’t really stray too far from that format anyway, but it still manages to keep up the momentum from last week.

Although Ward and Simmons are no longer on the team, it looks like they’ve officially been replaced by Agents Antoine “Tripp” Triplett from last season, and the newest member, Alphonso “Mack” Mackenzie, respectively. Tripp brings all the badassness and quips while Mack is the new science guy in town. I like how the show didn’t give us a huge info dump on who Mack is and how he came to be involved with S.H.I.E.L.D. (exposition is so boring), but I’m definitely interested to learn more about him and where he came from, especially since they’re setting him up to be Fitz’s new friend.

Spoilers Ahead!

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When last we left Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., material-absorber Creel had stolen an obelisk of unknown power from S.H.I.E.L.D. and left Lucy Lawless and one of her two cohorts dead in his wake. May tries to go after Creel, but Coulson calls her off. Meanwhile, Skye and Tripp make it back to headquarters with their newly acquired stealth jet, putting poor Fitz out to pasture since he couldn’t come up with the cloaking technology himself. Poor Fitz! There’s lots of argument over how to find Creel and take him down before Raina (a.k.a. the girl in the flower dress) shows up again, making them an offer they can’t refuse. Well, at least not if they want to find Creel.

S.H.I.E.L.D. goes after Creel, stopping him before he can give the obelisk to his employers, but they don’t manage to recover it themselves; Raina gets to it first. She delivers it to someone called “the Doctor” (no, not that one!), and when he tells her to pick it up, it starts glowing with those weird symbols that Coulson was carving on the walls in last year’s finale (remember that?). Oh, apparently he’s been doing that every couple of weeks ever since he was injected with that serum that kept him alive? Whatever, I guess it’s going to be some big major plot point since Raina brought it up too. Also, the Doctor might be Skye’s father?!? Looks like that’s our big mystery this season!

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Getting back to our newest characters, I’m really liking the partnership between Fitz and Mack, not the least of which because Mack is super hot! Seeing Fitz interact with another person (besides the imaginary Simmons in his head) provides a stark contrast between how Fitz sees himself and how he actually appears to others. In his mind, he’s still mostly able to speak and articulate what he’s thinking, although with a lot of help from “Simmons.” That internal dialog made it harder in last week’s episode to understand exactly how much Fitz is struggling with his recovery. However, his burgeoning friendship with Mack puts that into better perspective. Fitz can barely get out the simplest sentence without prompting from Mack, which makes his disability much more apparent than when he’s talking to himself. Also, since Mack didn’t know Fitz before the accident, he doesn’t have the same pitying compassion that the others have towards him, which obviously appeals better to Fitz’s sense of pride. I think these two are going to be my favorite buddies!

Then there’s the ever annoying General Talbot (Adrian Pasdar of Heroes fame). He’s almost comically opposed to S.H.I.E.L.D. and Coulson, which mostly makes for an uninteresting adversary. While I can appreciate that his character is uncompromising and doesn’t believe that Coulson and S.H.I.E.L.D. are as good for the world as Coulson believes they are, it’s already growing tiresome to hear him expound on the evils of S.H.I.E.L.D. and how he’s determined to take Coulson down. Maybe part of why I dislike him so much is that there are no shades of grey in his world; he can’t ever admit that perhaps Coulson is actually doing some good. It’s either his way or the highway. I know we’re not supposed to like Talbot, but if he at least acknowledged that Coulson has other people’s best interests at heart, then I feel like he’d be at least a more interesting character. I’d rather see an antagonist who recognizes the hero’s merits, but still believes that they need to stop the hero. Talbot just thinks Coulson is a danger to society, end of story.

Overall, I enjoyed this installment of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and I’m convinced that it’s managed to correct its course and become a show that people will actually like watching. It’s no longer the “Skye Show,” they’ve introduced a cast of new characters who are interesting to watch, and the plot lines are less “bag and tag” and more “let’s save the world!” What did you think? Tell us in the comments!

“Heavy is the Head” – B+

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Season 2 Episode 2, “Heavy is the Head,” aired on ABC September 30th, 2014.

You can follow Amanda on Twitter at @reiko516 for more geek news.

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