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

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D Episode 11 The Magical Place (1)

After getting off to a pretty rocky start, both with critics and viewers, Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD returned tonight with their first episode of 2014. “The Magical Place” was advertised as the episode where we’d finally find out what happened with Coulson, and that our agonizing questions would be answered. So did it live up to the hype? Or did these long-awaited answers disappoint?

We pick back up only 36 hours since Coulson’s disappearance, and it seems like SHIELD has already moved on. Agent Hand has commandeered the plane, and it seems like she’s more interested in finding the members of Centipede, with the rescue of Coulton being of little importance to her. But of course, Coulson’s team is still primarily interested in getting him back, so Skye gets kicked off the plane and is forced to go rogue!

These scenes were the least effective ones in this episode to me. Skye goes to hunt down Lloyd Rathman, a banker with ties to Centipede, played by guest star Rob Huebel I assumed as soon as I saw Huebel as a playboy millionaire that he would be assuming his usual comedic role, really playing up the inherent douchebag nature that you would associate with the kind of person who has “$BLSYAL” on his Lamborghini’s license plate. Unfortunately, he was mostly playing it straight tonight, which made his few scenes with Skye even more boring. It was pretty fun to see how much Skye has learned from Ward, and it was a clever sight gag for her to impersonate Agent May, but these scene were really just a means to an end.

The best scenes of the episode were between Reina and Coulson, as Coulson is convinced to dive deeper into his memories to find out what happened to him. I’m not sure why he was being so resistant to finding out what happened to him at first. We’ve seen how curious he’s been about how he magically came back to life, so I don’t know why he couldn’t just go with the procedure and just lie to Mr. Poe about what he saw. I guess the real reason is that we had to shoehorn in a reason for his scenes with Reina, which were definitely the highlight of the episode.

Reina gets Coulson to finally look into his memories, and we finally get…some sort of answer as to what happened with Coulson. We also got Ron Glass returning as Dr. Streiten, who helped fill in even more holes in the story. We still don’t know exactly how he came back, though. Lots of people thought that there might have been some kind of supernatural or other-worldly reason for Coulson’s revival, but it turns out there was just a…lot of scientists working on it. That’s it. A bunch of smart SHIELD scientists and doctors all put their heads together and figured out a way to bring him back to life. It’s possible that there’s still some other reason out there. Maybe Dr. Streiten is still just covering up for what really happened, but I don’t think so. Now the question is no longer how SHIELD revived Coulson, but why.

Why did Director Fury move heaven and earth to revive Coulson? What is so special about him? He’s just a regular agent in an international agency, and you’d think he could be easily replaced. Also, if Fury cares so much about keeping him alive, how come Agent Hand didn’t seem very concerned about finding him? I don’t know if ABC could swing another cameo from Samuel L. Jackson, but I could really use one to find out what’s going on here.

The tag at the end had the not-so-surprising reveal that J. August Richard’s Mike Peterson is still alive. With his name appearing in the credits at the beginning of the episode, I already knew that he’d be showing up at some point, but the reveal that he’s had one of those fake eyes implanted in his brain was an effective surprise. With Mr. Poe and Debbie dead, and Reina in custody, the only member of Centipede that we know to still be at large is The Clairvoyant. I guess that’s the biggest ongoing mystery now, but I still hope to hear more explanation about what happened with Coulson.

What did you think of the big reveal? Sound off in the comments section below!

Random Thoughts:

– I found it a little hard to believe that none of the shady characters in the opening scene even flinched at the small blinking device that got thrown into their room. Wouldn’t they be a little leary about a small, black, beeping device?

– It’s a little goofy that Skye’s fancy bracelet only impedes her from hacking into devices that she’s very close to. Couldn’t SHIELD make it block out everything around her.

– Wasn’t Rob Huebel’s reference to Tiny Wings a little dated? Does anybody still play Tiny Wings?