Danny Hale reviews the first episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D season 3…
Season 3 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. burst onto our screens with the energy we’ve been waiting for. The show was quick to establish Chloe/Daisy’s transformation and to set the new tone for the series. It must be handed to the producers and writers; they really try to constantly improve on previous episodes and to genuinely listen to viewer feedback although I do feel this can be a dangerous trap to fall into. In the age we live in it’s impossible to NOT know how a show is being perceived. With tools like facebook and twitter everybody get a voice. Other shows have floundered while trying to address every issue fans have with a particular series and dialogue starts nodding towards the camera. Shows need to be confident in their own storytelling, pick a direction and own it. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. found its sweet spot with season 2’s finale I believe so hopefully they will use that to make season 3 even stronger.
Although I love the human side of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. it is nice to see some bigger action scenes involving powers. Considering May was absent from the premiere (heartbroken right here) and Mockingbird is currently in recovery from the field, it was down to Daisy, Mack and Lincoln to carry the action and they did! The action scenes didn’t have the usual flare they carry on this show with the obvious lack of stunning choreography to be replaced with some CG powers but everything in moderation!
This week we also got introduced to some new faces presumably here for the foreseeable future. Most notable being Jose ‘Joey’ Gutierrez played by Juan Pablo Raba and Rosalind Price portrayed by Constance Zimmerman. Joey being introduced as a sort of ‘everyman’ is a great device to reinitiate past viewers and to brief newcomers to the new ‘S.H.I.E.L.D’. As Joey’s ability seems to be uncontrollable at present (melting metal with his touch/mind?) it’s his character and situation that immediately stirs the audience’s empathy. Raba played him with sincerity and vulnerability and that’s what keeps people engaged. Next up is Rosalind Price. For the premiere at least the bulk of Price’s screen time was to exchange witty banter with Coulson when she wasn’t heading up a ‘kill all Inhumans’ initiative. There is clearly a lot to learn about Rosalind and I won’t chalk her down as a simple villain just yet, there’s a lot that can and likely will happen. I did really enjoy the joined realisation that neither party is committing the large number of murders against Inhumans which begs the question, who is? I personally was looking at Lincoln. I was apprehensive when he was first introduced to the show and more nervous when he was made a main cast member for this season. The fear was that he would just become eye candy to replace Ward as a Skye/Daisy love interest but thankfully it seems there is some meatier character work being set up for him.
The final scenes this week were some of the episodes best; it was great that we can open with Daisy blasting soldiers and a truck down a street but still strip it right back to smaller moments that make this show so great. Coulson does what no one else has the courage to do; he has the talk with Fitz. His conversation with Fitz is where this show is at its most real and although so much has happened it’s great that the writers haven’t forgotten where these people came from. Fitz’s transformation this week for me is teetering on the edge of a precipice. I can buy that Fitz’s grief is driving him to find Simmons and I totally get that he has nothing to lose and I do believe that. I am fully invested in Fitz’s love for Simmons. BUT my issue is how it plays out. I would love to see Fitz find Simmons and then completely revert back to his stutter etc. Simmons is a massive support for him and it would be really interesting to see how he deals with her return. As much as I enjoyed seeing a more badass Fitz the reason why Ward dumping him to the bottom of the ocean was so powerful was that it fundamentally changed Fitz’s character. To forget that or to gloss over that fact would completely cheapen the original moment. But it is very early days and I am reserving judgment until we see how this all plays out. Simmons on the other hand is clearly not in Kansas anymore and a la Cordelia at the end of Angel season 2, she is alone in a strange world. I love this stuff; if done right Simmons could be in for a very strong arc this season.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is back with a fire this year with some possible foreshadowing to Captain America: Civil War from Mr. President, promising newcomers, forever changed regulars and a supernatural threat already throwing punches. Let’s hope this season can keep the momentum and the characters moments we love so much.