“There’s already been one LMD of Phil Coulson; that seems like a possible explanation.”

You guys remember Fringe, right? A show whose entire existence was predicated on if not the parallel universe, at least that of quantum mechanics. The math of the road not taken. The one thing I responded to in that show season after season is the main characters remained roughly the same and what they wanted was a bedrock around all the other crazy crap of one standing World Trade Center and Nixon on the fifty-cent piece that people apparently still used as cash and MLK on the twenty and whatever. The main characters remained roughly the same and what they wanted was completely a throughline amongst all the other multiple-dimension shenanigans they encountered.

The thing that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. seems to miss is that laser-like focus. In Season Six, here, I couldn’t tell you who the main character is or what he or she wants. Old days, it was Phil Coulson, middle manager who had religion like you read about. “Nick Fury gave me this badge,” he once said. “When he did, I swore an oath. We all did. To serve, when everything else fails. To be humanity’s last line of defense. To be… the SHIELD.”

I like these first two eps of this season, don’t get me wrong. I’m a sucker for the Rip van Winkle beginning where a character goes to sleep and wakes up in a new situation. Fitz and Enoch are a narrative track again, right on, basically running SWORD missions, excellent. What is the nature of Man, great. Is that a theme for superspies? I dunno. I’d answer not really, myself, but the non-Joss Whedons seem to have an idea where they are going, even if the audience doesn’t. I honestly don’t know who we are supposed to be following now, or what they want. Sure, space shenanigans are always distracting and pew pew is fun, but I don’t know what this show is actually about.

I went to Boston for a week with my family and I found out more about the Boston Tea Party next to the Children’s Science Museum than I did about Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. when I came back and watched two episodes back-to-back of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. That’s not good.

I love national treasure Clark Gregg chewing up the scenery but I want it to be in service of something. The one major ding I can ring against this show is it seemingly has no end in sight. Everyone wants their favorite show to stick the landing like M*A*S*H or Newhart and don’t wallow around like LOST or fizzle out like The West Wing or be polarizing like Game of Thrones. Watching the MCU tell a tight narrative and listening to Jeph Loeb do the borrowed interest that “it’s all connected” is sort of lame ten years later. Tie in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  or let it be its own thing.

Tinker died. That’s what friends are for.

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