Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D has rarely approached having a truly good episode, and being so many into the run, you begin to wonder if it ever will. How did “Repairs” do, an episode as well titled as I can imagine with the reviews and the ratings as they are? Thoughts:
-So, “Repairs” seemed to me, weirdly enough considering its air date, to be a Halloween episode. Frights, ghosts, demons, jumping at the shadows etc. An idea that might have been bumped from its original place in the schedule?
-I liked the opening. Obviously a bit of a Carrie vibe to it, but I didn’t mind unduly. It set up the horror tone of the episode quite well, and the terrible experience that the Hannah character was going through.
-OK, so, Ward and Melinda are a sort-of “thing” now. “Sex buddies” if I want to avoid using the more crass (but popular) term. It’s an unexpected avenue to go down. I was very surprised by it last week, but maybe they can do something with it, presumably when Skye finds out.
-So, this is a Skye episode to a point, as Coulson decides to give her a chance after recent…indiscretions. Great stuff, maybe she’ll not be the horrible, whiner she has been.
-I was very confused at the shocked looks when Coulson offered a very simple and unremarkable assessment of what a particle accelerator does. I know nothing about the science of such devices, but even I could offer a similar synopsis of its function, and I wouldn’t get slack-jawed looks because of it.
-The episode escalates quite fast with the takedown of Hannah on her doorstep, another scene I liked. There was a nice mix of mob hysteria and genuine tension from the “team”, even if the extras weren’t exactly putting in a good shift.
-When it became clear that the “B” plot would involve pranks, I actually uttered a low “Oh God”. Thankfully it wasn’t too bad. I’ve seen a lot of TV episodes that attempted a serious A plot and a comedic B plot, and it’s extremely hard to pull off.
-Weird moment where Fitz snapped at Skye when she dares to touch his holographic imager.
-The episode looked like it wasn’t going to be anything too remarkable – someone finds powers, can’t handle them. We’ve seen it in “Pilot” and “The Girl in the Flower Dress”. But turned into something a bit deeper with the introduction of “demons”. When Hannah insists that she has no powers and is being punished by an otherworldly force, the reactions of Coulson and Melinda – worried and unnerved – was perfect for selling the new direction the episode would take.
-Just as I was hoping Skye would not be irritating in this episode, she starts bitching that May took Hannah down. Yeah, it’s not like May reacted, with all of the knowledge she had at her disposal at that exact time, to save lives, and did it non-lethally. This kind of high horse holier-than-thou from Skye is what prompts my draft note for this moment: “oh for f**k sake Skye”.
-There was this recurring discussion of just what May’s dark past entailed in this episode, with the story getting less exaggerated but more serious with every telling. It was fine, but I thought it might have been the kind of thing that would be better presented visually.
-This is an episode revolving around faith and religion, but ultimately “Repairs” doesn’t go too much into it, which is fair enough, just a little disappointing. Do members of the team believe? Do they have reasons for the answer? We only get to hear it from Skye really, and I didn’t need any of her dialogue to take a guess at her affiliation, or lack of.
-And it turns out Hannah is telling the truth: she’s being haunted by a mysterious man, a ghost, and his sudden appearance was mildly terrifying. Ghosts stories are always going to unnerve and this one pulled it off really well, since the guy has a corporeal side.
-The crash landing of the “Bus” was a super lame sequence, done too fast and with not enough of a consequence.
-Interesting visual choice for the Skye/Hannah conversation, the camera staring down a dividing wall. I liked it.
-“She needs to get laid”. Really unnecessary line for that Skye/Ward scene.
-Skye’s message that “God is love” seemed a little on the nose for me – a riposte to the fire and brimstone types from the area that Hannah is supposed to be from. What I mean is it seemed overly-simple an approach to me: Hannah doesn’t strike me as the kind of person who would be totally pig-ignorant about one of the key tenants of the Christian faith, and was just reacting to her circumstances with panic.
-Loved Ward’s fight with Ghostman, and how his normal moves fell flat.
-The actual May story, the one Coulson relates, doesn’t really seem to me enough to justify the wait we’ve had to hear it.
-Adored the “ghost fight” sequence, as Tobias’ spirit and May’s innate stealth training come up against each other, and both tried to hide and ambush. Wish it had gone on a bit longer in the plane, because it was way more entertaining than the stuff in the barn.
-While the revelation of the true cause of the “accident” wasn’t really that surprising, I still thought it was a decent inversion from what we had seen so far. “Repairs” was an episode about tricks and what was real or unreal, so I suppose it made sense for the ghost to be less antagonistic than he appeared.
-I wonder where he was getting dragged into though? I wouldn’t be surprised to see him turn up again in some fashion.
-As an episode defining line “Let the girl go” was fairly good.
-Where “Repairs” fell flat for me was as a Skye episode. She gets to talk Hannah out of her stupor and actually shoe some use, but it is still all let down by her brainless ignorance when it comes to not being an irritant.
-The team plays Scrabble at the conclusion, and discuss the definition of “aglet”, something I am certain is a reference to one of the more unique moments from the animated Justice League Unlimited.
-So, May has a sense of humour after all, but we already knew that from past episodes. That she enjoys pranks seems like it would create another episode epilogue I would hate, but hell, it wasn’t that bad.
“Repairs” is a decent episode, a strong A plot mixed with a B plot that could easily have ruined it, but didn’t. The stuff with Hannah was great, and not even Skye could bring the thing down too much. A big boost in the ratings too, so Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D must be doing something right. J. August Richards returns next week for another return to the, nominally, main CENTIPEDE plot in what I think might be the mid-season finale. Until then.
To read my thoughts on other episodes of Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D, click here to go to the index.