Oh, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., what are we going to do with you? You knew how to start the season strong but now you’re losing your edge. Tonight’s episode, “A Fractured House” was not terrible, although I wouldn’t call it good either. In fact, the best part of the show was the exclusive sneak peak at Avengers: Age of Ultron, which I will touch on at the end of this review. (spoilers ahead!)
This episode started off pretty well: a group of agents infiltrate a UN meeting and start killing off representatives with strange bombs that turn their victims into dust (their effects are very similar to what the obelisk does to those who touch it). The public believes that these agents are from S.H.I.E.L.D., but they are actually covert HYDRA operatives.
Then the episode starts to take an unfavorable turn. The real S.H.I.E.L.D. agents try to track down who invented the special bombs, with newly-introduced Agent Bobbi Morse aka Mockingbird spearheading the mission. Joining her are Agents Melinda May and Lance Hunter. Sounds like a recipe for an exciting story, right? Unfortunately, it turns into a cheesy subplot that you’d find in a straight-to-dvd romantic comedy film.
If you didn’t catch last week’s episode, it was revealed that Hunter and Morse are a divorced couple. When they first made this known, I thought it would be a one-off remark that they wouldn’t dwell on any further. Boy, was I wrong. They end up nagging back and forth about their relationship, and there are nonstop inside jokes between them throughout the episode. Why does Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. feel the need to cram in an awkward romance where it doesn’t belong? We already had that plenty of other times during the show. Just let Mockingbird be awesome on her own without having her clingy ex-husband holding her back.
Also, I’m not a fan of Nick Blood‘s performance anymore. At the beginning of Season 2, I was eager to see him develop and become part of the S.H.I.E.L.D. team. Now, I feel like he was shoehorned into the show simply to be part of some unrequited love story with Mockingbird. We don’t need that. I’d rather watch more slow, tedious reveals of Skye’s backstory than have to hear about Hunter trying to deny his crush on his ex-wife.
Speaking of which, no Season 3 episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. would be complete without Skye and Grant Ward having a fun conversation, right? However, this time around, it actually had me intrigued for a moment. Then it just became frustrating.
Here’s the deal: back in Season 1, Grant explained how his older brother, Christian, was this sadistic punk who threw their youngest brother into a well and forbade Grant from saving him. I thought the first time we’d meet Christian, he’d turn out to be a vile and cruel little #$%@. Instead, we discover that he’s a politician. Wait, there’s a difference?
Coulson confronts Senator Ward and tells him that Grant was a HYDRA agent and that he’s now imprisoned underneath S.H.I.E.L.D.’s base. Coulson also explains what he learned about the senator’s disturbing past and how he threw the child in the well. Christian’s response?
“Oh, it’s a well this time?”
Apparently, there is a liar somewhere in this scenario. Senator Ward claims that he never threw a child down the well while Grant says that he did and that he would never lie to Skye. So who do we trust? This is where I got frustrated.
If the senator just said “no, my brother is lying,” and then Coulson goes back to Grant, calls him out on lying, and Grant admits it, then I’d be fine. Instead, we’re getting a back-and-forth match of “no, he’s lying”. We don’t have time for that.
We almost get an answer at the end of the episode when we see Grant being transferred to a new containment cell, and he breaks out of his restraints. So maybe he was lying after all. But who cares anyway?
Thankfully, the end of the episode was well worth the wait. Last week, the trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron leaked online. Tonight, we saw the trailer along with an exclusive scene from the film.
The Avengers are all sitting around in their tower, having a party, when Thor proposes a contest to see who else can lift his hammer. Stark and Rhodes both give it a try using their armored gloves, but can’t seem to move it an inch. Then Rogers goes for it and actually manages to budge it (proving that he is slightly worthy of wielding the power of the Norse god of thunder). The Avengers have a small discussion about being “worthy”, only to be interrupted by a decrepit Ultron, who shambles into the party and says that none of them are worthy, which streamlines into the rest of the movie trailer.
If you haven’t seen the trailer yet, I highly advise that you check it out. It’s truly astonishing and makes you excited to see the movie when it comes out this spring. As for the episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., you might want to give it a pass. Only the last ten minutes are really worth watching.
Final Grade C
+ The trailer at the end of the episode was worth the hour-long wait.
+ There’s a pretty cool fight scene involving Agent May and Mockingbird.
+ More decent chemistry between Ward and Skye.
– The annoying Hunter/Morse relationship is unnecessary and cliche.
– The show is starting to rely on cheap teasing and slow plot development.
– Almost everything else.
– Wow. Ward is a sick man.
What’d you think of tonight’s episode? Were you also disappointed or did you actually enjoy it? Sound off in the comments or let us know your thoughts on Twitter!