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REVIEW: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 1×19 “The Only Light in the Darkness”

Written by Scott Swartz

Now, this is a spy show everyone. Subterfuge, espionage, the battle of wits worthy of two super villains, that is the show I did not know I wanted, but now it is here. “The Only Light in the Darkness” set up a very fun if familiar premise of splitting the team up and leaving the bad guy inside of the teams base without anyone knowing. This plot needs to be done well in order to capitalize on the drama and fear of having an enemy within the team and luckily it seems like Ward’s number is up. Although I am not to surprised that Ward’s secret is out I am a little shocked at how it is seemingly playing out for our team as they are becoming more and more separated from each other, and thus more isolated. It is strange that in the time where they should try to remain as close together as possible the team is moving further and further apart. Oh well, lets dive in.

So, once again the strongest material of the week came from Ward pretending to be a good guy. It is hard not to like watching someone attempt to squirm their way out of a tough situation, but it is even more exhilarating to see a spy pushed to his limits. The episode seemed to only build upon the challenges that would face Ward if he was indeed to achieve his goal, I mean the super lie detector chair was a stretch but Ward knew Skye would eventually be able to get that footage. It speaks volumes about how quickly Ward turned on everyone in order to protect his own skin, and yes I understand it was all to protect Ward from being thrown in the deepest darkest hole Coulson can find but damn the man brought piano wire. What was most interesting to me was Ward talking about how his big brother made him bully his little brother, we got quick glimpses of this in “The Well” but it was very interesting to see the ramifications of this upbringing be delved into more. It is even more interesting is Ward has always been under someone’s thumb: his brother, S.H.I.E.L.D, Garrett. So Coulson may indeed be the first person to let Ward make his own decisions.

Of course that is only one half of the game as Skye proved to be almost as compelling as Ward in terms of being sneaky. I mean finding a dead body in the ceiling should have completely threw her off her game, but luckily she was able to recompose herself. Ward played his had a little to strong and now he will have to pay the price. Skye is obviously going to play him for as long as she can, but it does raise the question of how she will contact the rest of the team and tell them they have been betrayed. That should be her top priority and not simply to bring Ward and Garrett down. I will say I am going to miss her interplay with Patton Oswalt as he surprisingly brought some gravitas to the show. His mixture of humor and dead serious agent nature really played well of Skye’s manic hacker attitude.

The only part that really did not work for me overall was the entire story with Coulson vs Blackout. There was so much more they could have done with that story but instead the villain was boxed into being a single minded psychopath. Amy Acker managed to do her best with the role she was provided, but there did not seem to me to be an adequate amount of relief once she survived her attacker. I mean her dialog was really good but everything else around her just fell so flat. Even Blackout, as a villain really did nothing other than appear menacingly and then suddenly disappear. He could have at least have had some sort of bigger plan other than to stalk the girl. I mean how stupid is he? He had to assume that there was some sort of trap waiting for him, did he just not care? This plot could have been so much stronger, if it only had the time.

Overall another strong week for AOS.

 

Final Grade B+

 

+Spy v Spy

+Ward being on edge

+Skye being smart

+Amy Acker killing it with her monologue

-Everything around Acker was lackluster

-Blackout was a useless villain

 

Extra thoughts

-How did Ward get piano wire? Did no one think to say no weapons in the base.

-May and her mother may be one of the funniest scenes of the entire season.

-How did Ward get the body in the ceiling? So many questions.

About the author

Scott Swartz