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REVIEW: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 1×18 “Providence”

Wow, that is two for two since Cap, color me impressed Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D if you manage to keep this up you might actually warrant a second season. “Providence” in itself was a uniquely structured episode as we as an audience spent much more time with our villains rather than our heroes and got to see the ramifications of HYDRA being revealed to the world. I have to say I definitely like the bad guys more than our team as at least all of the bad guys have a unique sense of style. It takes a lot of balls to turn one of your heroes and turn them into one of your greatest villains, and man does Ward really love being the bad guy. I don’t know if he believes he is actually doing to world good or if he just enjoys being a villain, but either way the road to redemption is way far off at this point. So let’s dive in.

So, I will be the first to say that evil Ward is definitely the best Ward. I mean hot damn if I had know how much charisma and character Ward actually had I would have signed onto his fan club day one. It was interesting Ward actually show some real emotion and range given the type of performance we usually see on the bus. I think I managed to figure out the problem with the first half of the season during this episode, it was sorely lacking the witty banter and well rounded emotional characters they you would normally see from a good TV show. This week was truly a testament to Brett Dalton and proved just how good an actor he could be when given the chance to flex his muscles. All of his dialogue was sharp and poignant to the point of just being a flashing light of a bad guy, but he was especially strong right at the very end when he had to get back into “character.” As Garrett said the team needed to believe he was still on their side.

In terms of the weaker material this week it belonged to anyone not named Clark Gregg, I mean god damn couldn’t they have at least tried to be interesting. It was so strange that no one besides Coulson was even remotely phased by what happened to S.H.I.E.L.D, everyone seemingly went about their business just like this was just another normal day. The thing is it was not normal at all, there should have been some sort of emotion like anger or sadness from every member of the team not named Skye. I mean come on the academy was taken over by HYDRA you would think Fitz and or Simmons would care about that. When we flashed back to Coulson and the rest of the team I always found myself wanting to be with HYDRA because they were so much more lively. Everyone on The Bus was as monotone and straightforward as usually, I kept wishing that someone would show some real emotion at least. Luckily, Coulson managed to save this part of the episode with his big speech at the end, and every word he said was spot on. The team can’t be about nothing they have to have a motive and a goal that allows them to move forward, and redeeming S.H.I.E.L.D is as good a goal as any in my opinion.

In terms of the new status quo for our team I am not quite sure what to make of it yet. I mean, yes HYDRA is a super compelling villain and powerful threat to the team, but no enough has seemingly changed for our heroes. I mean they gained a new base, new allies, and new enemies, so it is not entirely a bad deal for them. We got brief glimpses of Adrian Passar’s Colonel Glenn Talbot and Patton Oswalt’s Eric Koenig, and I am not entirely sure what to make of them. I mean Oswalt definitely nailed the right mixture of fanboy and secret agent but his role moving forward will need to be more than a go-between for Fury and Coulson. Even more Ward can not be the only reminder of HYDRA on the show, we need to see them actually being a threat and not just hear about it from offscreen.

Overall it was a high quality episode.


Final Grade B+


+Evil Ward is way more likable than regular Ward

+Coulson’s speech

+Koenig’s introduction


-Rest of the team still boring

-HYDRA the most interesting part of the show

-Unsure the dynamic was changed up enough


Extra Thoughts

-The Gravitonium is back, Graviton is coming kids so be ready

-Strange that during the breakout Donnie was nowhere in sight, so where is he being stashed

-Over eager HYDRA guy was great, I really hope he is a recurring bit.

About the author

Scott Swartz