This is gonna sound really weird but do you all know that episode of South Park with the underpants gnomes? Yes, I am completely serious, I can’t tell if it was just this episode or the series as a whole but I got a real underpants gnomes type of vibe from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Step one is obviously create a plot, step two…, and step three profit. Now why did I just spend the better part of the intro talking about the underpants gnomes? Probably because S.H.I.E.L.D has not fully decided what route our season long villain is going to take yet, and we are already at the midseason finale and I have no idea if I am supposed to feel threatened by our big bads or just be annoyed. I feel like S.H.I.E.L.D has no idea what step two is supposed to be, just that it is supposed to be there and that whet we get to this mysterious stage three it will blow our collective minds. This is not to say that “The Bridge” is a bad episode, but rather just a confusing one. So let’s dive in.
I will start off with what worked for me this episode, and that was easily J.August Richards return as Mike. Yes the centipede infused sociopath returned this week and luckily he was on the team’s side this time around. Richards did a great job of portraying the mix of hero worship and sadness, he knew that his monstrous strength came at a cost, and he wanted to prove to those he hurt the most that he was worthy of a second chance. Weirdly, he did not get much of a chance to actually display his powers this time around, and this slightly caught me off guard. Mike had one big fight scene and even during this fight we spent less time focused on him and more time focusing on Ward and May. It really felt like a cheat especially given the events leading up to Mike’s sacrifice, which while noble seemed really predictable. Hopefully the centipede flowing through Mike’s body made him explosion proof because it felt like a bit of a cheat to see Mike killed.
As for the rest of the team, I have to say Mike was a nice reminder of how far they have truly come in terms of character development. The Fitz and Simmons stuff was funny and still somehow relatable, the Skye drama was within key, the only thing that slightly gripped me was the May and Ward stuff. Apparently they are a thing and May is having problems separating the emotional from the work place stuff. These are grown adults, they should not be having high school melodrama type of problems, it is just beneath them. It just irked me from a relationship standpoint, because all of the other relationship moments, especially all of the material involving Coulson was so well done that the May and Ward stuff just felt cheesy. It was especially nobel of Coulson to sacrifice himself for the sake of Mike’s son although I did get that feeling when he was talking about how he missed the cellist. All I can say Is that I hope this finally leads to us getting some questions answered.
As for my biggest problem with this episode, I guess that would have to be our big bad, centipede. I seriously have no idea what their final plan or endgame is at the moment, and it is getting to the point where they don’t seem like a threat at all. I mean sure, at the end of the day they did manage to obtain their objective, but I some how don’t feel like that was really a win. To that point it seemed slightly like they were in shock that their plan actually worked, which by all means I was just as impressed as they were. I mean it was just plain stupid of ward to line up a sniper rifle in a position where he did not have a completely clear view. I knew the moment they showed how the bridge was staged there was going to be an obstructed view and it angers me that the “special agent” could not figure that out. I just want to know what their plan is because at this point everything is just too vague to even seem like it will be gratifying in the end.
So yeah, it was a good midseason finale just not a great one.
Final Grade B-
+J. August Richards was great to have back
+Most of the team material was really good
+Some nice action
-What do you even do centipede?
-May and Ward stuff was just too high school.
-Seriously I really am not feeling threatened by Centipede. Can’t we just get a low rent Marvel villain?
-I liked the lotto scam/ tracker, it was fun seeing that side of Ward.