Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD “The Dirty Half Dozen” Review (Season 2 Episode 19)

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D "The Dirty Half Dozen" Season 2 Episode 19 (1)

Agents of SHIELD returned tonight with yet another movie tie-in installment with “Dirty Half Dozen”, as we lead into the big release of Avengers: Age of Ultron this Friday. This series has been traditionally pretty hit-and-miss with the tie-in episodes thus far. Probably the best stretch of episodes in this shows short history was the Uprising event after the release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but all of the Thor episodes have been pretty lame. Thankfully this episode did a great job of giving us a great standalone episode that also happened to lead in to this weekend’s big blockbuster. If you want a fun episode to enjoy, you got it. If you want an episode that connects to a larger universe an interesting way, then you got that too!

This is all thanks to the great team of Kevin Tancharoen and Drew Z. Greenberg. Tancharoen directed “Face My Enemy” earlier this season, which may be best known as the one with the incredible fight scene where May fights Agent 33 as May, and Greenberg wrote that episode as well. Both returned tonight, and you can really feel their touch. Tancharoen has a great eye for filming action sequences, and Greenberg has a knack for writing team banter. He was a writer on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, after all, and seeing the season one team back together talking about an upcoming mission tonight felt a lot like watching the Scooby Gang discussing the most recent monster to attack Sunnydale 15 years ago.

I loved seeing the whole team back together, and I was glad that Ward made the much needed decision to discuss everybody’s issues with him before continuing the briefing. However, I was not expecting Ward to be so defensive about his actions. It was a little weird that he was trying to assign blame back to his team mates for the things they did to him, when they were only doing them out of retaliation since he totally betrayed them. I wish that Ward just owned up to his choices and stopped trying to redeem himself, because he’s definitely pretty bad at apologizing anyway.

Oh, and how about that awesome one-shot of Skye taking down a room full of Hydra agents?! Remember when I said that Tancharoen was good at directing action?! Man, that was cool. I’m not quite sure how she became so good at fighting, since she was only recently trained by May and her powers shouldn’t be giving her any special fighting abilities, but it was so cool that I’m gonna let it slide.

We saw a little bit of the more democratic decision making process of Real SHIELD tonight, and it was helpful for me to see this as it set a very tangible difference between this SHIELD and Coulson’s SHIELD. I still have no idea what Real SHIELD does as an organization, though. Do they investigate the paranormal and extraterrestrial like Coulson’s team? I’d find that hard to believe considering how close minded and stodgy Gonzalez is. The guy talks about powered people like he’s a racist old man shouting slurs from his front porch. He comes off incredibly ignorant and out of place on a show where we’ve seen so much crazy stuff go down. Oh, and I still think that everybody’s making a mountain out of a molehill when it comes to Coulson’s secrets. Yes, he has one big secret in this Theta Protocol, but for everybody (including May) to turn on him for this is a little silly. Especially considering May was spying on him for Fury for most of season one! A bit hypocritical there, aren’t we May?

The last five minutes was really the only part that seemed to be ramping up to Avengers 2, and I’m really interested to see how they’re going to handle this. They can’t expect that everybody will go see the movie this weekend, so they need to explain what happened in the movie and how it affects the show. On the other hand, they can’t really spoil the movie too much on the show. It will be an interesting line for them to toe, but I have faith they can pull it off.

What did you guys think of the episode? Sound off in the comments section below!

Random Thoughts:

– Skye’s zinger to Raina about spinning fast and collecting gold rings was awesome. She’s come so far in the last two seasons that it’s easy to remember her roots as a nerdy hacker living in a van.

– Man, these Hydra guys get pretty crappy death scenes, huh? First Whitehall just gets popped by Coulson, and now Bakshi gets disintegrated by a random doodad that Simmons meant for Ward. Lame.

– I keep feeling like that awesome scene with Skye taking down those guys would have looked better if it weren’t sped up like that. It made the whole thing look a lot more artificial.