So, I guess I should be excited by this episode right. I mean it had everything: subterfuge, intrigue, plot twists, exciting action beat, a solid soul in the middle. So then why do I feel like we were cheated out of a real conclusion to this story arc. Yes, “End of the Beginning” is a truly fun and enjoyable episode but this plot line involving The Clairvoyant has been dragging it’s heels for so long that I feel like I just don’t care about it anymore. Sure, Deathlok is fun and compelling villain, sure this has become a vendetta mission for the team, and yes S.H.I.E.L.D is finally more active in the fight against the team. But what is it all for, what is the teams motivation for doing all this, is it for revenge or something greater. There are so many questions that still need to be answered so let’s dive in.
So I guess S.H.I.E.L.D is the bad guy and this entire Clairvoyant storyline was seemingly based around the plot of Winter Soldier. I have to say I knew S.H.I.E.L.D would be involved on some level, but this seems a tad bit extreme. I mean at least if The Clairvoyant was really psychic it would open up a world of possibilities for our characters to fight against. If S.H.I.E.L.D and Agent Hand are really truly is our big bad for the season then both sides know the others playbook. The only difference is that Coulson’s team have proven time and again that they are willing to go off book if it is for the good of the mission. Everything we know about Hand to this point indicates that she is a by the book player so it will be interesting to see the two philosophies go head to head.
As far as Deathlok himself is involved, it was really sort of lackluster at best in my opinion he had little involvement other than being a decoy for Hand. I mean Mike is definitely the most developed character outside of the team and to see him so easily reduced to being a plot device is kind of sad. Should’t there be a real confrontation rather than having a menacing glare off between May and Mike. His presence thus far has felt underwhelming and if Deathlok is supposed to be the menacing force of evil they should at least let him show just how dangerous he can be. Couple that with Deathlok’s outward appearance and you real did not have a bad guy so much as a very poorly assembled villain. Seriously I thought Deathlok would be cool looking but he is more Cyborg from Smallville, than Deathlok of the comics. At least put some of those cybernetics on the outside of his body, it would look really cool.
Now onto the team, between all of the humor and heavy dialog about “killing” the Clairvoyant we managed to get some nice character beats involving Skye finally becoming an agent and Coulson being angry at the Clairvoyant. I have to say I was moderately surprised to see Ward just outright shoot the fake Clairvoyant, but I knew he was being played by Tippet to take the shot. I do not know who decided that Tippet should be the one to convince Ward but it provided some nice material in terms of ramifications. The only part which has angered me fort he past couple of weeks is that in terms of team dynamic Simmon’s has become completely useless. I mean at least Fitz gets to actually do things with the team, Simmons has been bunkered for the last few weeks. The writers need to figure out what to do with her quick before she gets relegated to the “I wish you were just dead” pile of characters.
Overall this was a moderately enjoyable episode despite my gripes, I just hope that the payoff for this Clairvoyant arc is actually worth it.
Final Grade B-
+Team S.H.I.E.L.D meetup
+Skye becomes an agent
+Ward shooting “The Clairvoyant”
-Simmon’s has no purpose
-S.H.I.E.L.D is the bad guy feels like a forced tie in
-Deathlok literally did nothing
-I really hope we get to meet the other two suspects for who the Clairvoyant was, they sound interesting.
-Why have we not seen the super villains the team created, those would be really fun.
-No post credits tease just a clip of Winter Soldier.