Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1 Review “The Bridge”

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D Episode 10 The Bridge (1)

With tonight’s episode being the last one of the year, Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD returned tonight with the most mythology-heavy episode yet with “The Bridge”. With the characters of both the pilot and “Girl in the Flower Dress” coming back into focus for the first time, this was the first episode that actually had recurring characters return! Many critics of this show, including myself, have been a bit turned off by the “case-of-the-week” structure of the show, so I couldn’t be more excited for them to be pushing the overarching mystery forward.

One of the returning players that I mentioned were J August Richards’ character Mike Peterson. We haven’t seen Richards since the pilot episode, and I loved seeing him back again. I’m hoping that the explosion at the end didn’t do him in, and that he’ll be able to recur on this show in the future. I mean, he has Extremis in his system, right? That stuff is basically liquid explosive, so he must have some sort of flame retardant pumping through his veins, right?!

I didn’t quite buy Coulson’s speech to Mike about putting his family ahead of his potential career with SHIELD. It seemed like a contrived way to get Mike to call his son and find out that Raina was holding him captive, or to make Mike’s betrayal at the end hit a little harder. It just didn’t feel like something that Coulson would have said. He’s all about serving SHIELD to the best of your ability, and he wouldn’t tell anyone else to go back to their families. We know that some of these characters have mentioned family members, most notably Simmons having loving parents, so I just didn’t get why Coulson would try to talk an asset like Mike out of sticking with SHIELD. The dude’s basically got superpowers! Would you tell Tony Stark to get rid of his Iron Man costume and settle down with Pepper Potts?! Nope!

The other returning character tonight is Ruth Negga’s Raina, who we saw for the first time since “Girl in the Flower Dress”. She does a great job at playing the seductive femme fatale, but it was good to actually see the people that she answers to. One of her bosses that we got to know a little better tonight was Edison Po, who we saw at the end of “Girl in the Flower Dress” for a couple minutes. We also heard a little more about The Clairvoyant, but we still don’t know who that might be. Raina and Po seem to have some kind of creepy relationship going on, as well, which kind of adds to their creepiness.

Speaking of relationships, we got a little more of the May and Ward romance tonight (Or “Mayward”, as the shippers call them). It definitely looks like their relationship is taking a toll on both of them, but in different ways. It’s hard to tell if Ward took that punch because he was showing May special attention, or if he was just doing the Ward thing and being a tough guy in the field. The relationship is definitely taking a much stronger emotional toll on May then I would have expected, which is a nice change of pace. It was sad to see her lash out at Skye and take out her frustrations on an innocent passerby, but I was a little annoyed how personally Skye took it. Wouldn’t Skye know by now that May is an unfeeling robot of a human being? Surely she didn’t need to take that attack so personally. It wasn’t like May was saying anything that she hadn’t already said, either.

We’re sent into the month long mid-season break with quite a cliffhanger, as we see Coulson being captured for experimentation by Centipede. I’m excited that we might find out soon what happened with Coulson, but I’m not entirely sure why Centipede wants him. Wouldn’t they want the guy that holds the secret to stabilizing their flagship product? Or is the revelation that they were also responsible for the eye technology in “Eye Spy” mean that they manufacture a whole bunch of fancy technology and they think Coulson is the key to unlocking new secrets? I guess we’ll find out in January! See you then!

Random Thoughts:

– Seeing J. August Richards in a suit reminded me of Gunn from season five of Angel, when he was a hotshot lawyer. Still so sad that show got cancelled…

– Why didn’t Fitz-Simmons fancy equipment pick up any heat signatures when there was a bunch of super soldiers hiding in those crates? Do shipping containers magically block their scanners? If anything their heat signatures should be going through the roof with the Extremis coursing through their veins.

– The scenes after the tag for the episodes in January said that it’s the “Favorite new fall show” according to IGN.com. The thing is, that was just a poll of IGN readers. It wasn’t a professional TV reviewer saying it was their favorite, it just happened to get a lot of voters because it’s a popular show on a major network. Classic case of a network goosing the numbers and quotes to make their show sound aweesome.