“Simmons and I will prepare the remedy; everyone else should prepare for the end of the world.”

Oh, sure, I could talk about Talbot versus Robin as an inefficient fake-out for a bad-guy; nobody on network television is going to off a little kid, so threats in the narrative are borderline gratuitous. I could talk about what it means that there were two identical multi-tools in Zeke’s pack rat headquarters, but I won’t. I suppose I could talk about the brief respite I got when Robin said to Polly in the stairway: “It’s all different,” but I won’t, because there isn’t going to be any payoff to that. MAYbe in-story we’re all supposed to think that they’ve changed the timeline, but nothing is going to be different. This will always be a deeply unsatisfying entertainment experience while the Other Whedons are involved.

Now, I know it seems unkind and borderline rude to refer to Jed and his wife Maurissa Tancharoen thusly, but, come on. Have you read the credits? Writers, directors… down to the transportation captains all have “Whedon” or “Tancharoen” as their last name. Now, really. I’m all for giving friends and family a leg up, really, I am, but Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. should have been the weekly flagship/audience in to the Marvel Universe. And, honestly, that’s how it seemed, at the start. With that killer pilot and second half of the first season… coupled with Jeph Loeb constantly decrying “It’s all connected,” this should have been the jolt of methadone we all needed to get us through to each Marvel theatrical release.

It’s not hard to see how an Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. show was greenlit in the wake of the audience swell of #CoulsonLives. It’s not hard to see how Joss wrote the pilot as an exercise, and passed it off to his brother. But it is also not hard to see how the whole thing has been an uneven misfire despite the heroic efforts of national treasure Clark Gregg, a few key cast members, and frankly excellent turns by guest stars like Bill Paxton, Kyle McLaughlin, Dichen Lachman, Adrienne Palicki, and Gabriel Luna. Why has an obvious police procedural-with-superheroes been so quickly turned into a soap opera?

I took me five years but I finally agree with Joss. Coulson’s been dead this whole time. Loki killed him. That’s really the only way this show works, as an Ambrose Bierce-esque Occurrence on Owl Creek Bridge. The musings of a dying man. Otherwise, this show is just an embarrassment with the Other Whedons playing Junior Varsity ball for the high school in AverageTown. Obvious ending is obvious. And, holy crap, ABC? Couldn’t you have sprung for two plane tickets for Coulson and May to go to Hawaii or something as a Tahiti stand-in and shoot on the sand, over there? The obvious green screen for the obvious ending made everyone think are they in the Framework. Now, ABC is just cheating the postcard ending.

The only way that Hallmark card-level ending works for me is if the first shot of Season Six is a frenetic action shot of Mack and Simmons wheeling Coulson into the T.A.H.I.T.I. room on a gurney as half the people Thanos-dissolve around them while Simmons yells THIS WAS HARD ENOUGH THE FIRST TIME

Honestly, this whole show plays like ABC making us watch some kind of bedroom role-playing for Jed and Maurissa with an extra-secret get-out-from-your-brother’s-shadow and lead-the-team-Daisy-you-youngster theme for extra spice. The whole thing makes me feel icky.

The getting left on Tahiti thing was the lamest, most obvious thing ever and then bragging about it in EW like it’s the most clever thing ever is an embarrassment. And all the Red Herring Funeral did was remind me how much I cared when Bobbi and Hunter did the spy’s good-bye and how much I didn’t care about this one.

Putting a memory badge up before the guy actually dies seems a little déclassé.

How were you all with emotionally shut-down Agent May instantly being the soft, squishy emotional center all of a sudden? So much atonal shifts. And none of it connected to the MCU.

It isn’t so much that it isn’t the specific show I thought it should be, or how it doesn’t make use of the character of Coulson or the acting skills of Clark Gregg. It’s just that it’s so incredibly average. If this show wasn’t called Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., I would have given up on it a few eps into Season 2, come back when everyone said Season 4 was great, and watched Season 5 just scratching my head.

This show would have rocked had it been a police procedural with superheroes starring the guy from A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor’s Hammer.

I don’t care about the Other Whedons using Marvel characters to fictionalize their marriage and I double-don’t care about and don’t believe a 20 year old computer genius living in her van down by the river “growing up” to be director of the World Security Council’s covert response division in five short years. I don’t see it in a world with Nick Fury and Maria Hill. I just don’t.

My big disappointment in this show is that its emotional throughline is all over the map. I know Jed and Maurissa are in love with Daisy, but no one else is. They kind of recognize that because they keep giving Phil things to do. But the showrunners, ABC, and Disney are all nuts if they think anyone is going to care about a Season Six without Coulson. He’s the heart of the show. He’s always  been the heart of the show. You have a world-class actor ready to emote the heart of the show who nails it when you throw him something to act.

Why they service the soap opera nobody wants when there’s a guy who Nick Fury gave the badge to, right there, is nuts. A guy who swore an oath. We all did. To serve, when everything else fails.

To be humanity’s last line of defense.

To be… the S.H.I.E.L.D.

 

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2 Responses to Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 5-22 – “The End”

  1. AgentBx says:

    Nailed it. Daisy has been an off-putting character since season one despite Chloe Benett’s growing acting chops (which one might say is due to being surrounded by a lot of fine actors).

    Where’s the Hunter and Bobbi show we were promised?

    It would be nice if once, just once, “the powers that be” could turn this thing around.

  2. John O'Keefe says:

    A) I don’t really believe that Coulson’s actually gone.
    B) I stated before to a friend that it the show proceeds without him, I am completely done with the show. Sorry, Mac you’re a nice guy and all but Phil’s the heart and soul of Shield not you.
    C) I’d be ok with shipping Yo Yo off to Tahiti (one way ticket)

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