Review: Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D – “Turn, Turn, Turn”

The events of “Turn, Turn, Turn” take place concurrently with those of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, to the extent that you practically have to have seen that film to understand what’s happening. Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D has been on an upturn in quality recently, even as ratings continue their downward trend. Will those trends continue? Thoughts:

-We open with Agent Garrett and “Don’t Fear The Reaper” blaring. A certain symbolism there of course, but I always liked that song.

-The Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D budget takes a hit as Garrett has to dodge some missiles. Taking a leaf out of Anakin Skywalker’s book, he just spins until their trajectories intermingle and they collide/explode off each other. It’s the first of a few allusions to Star Wars (I know someone probably did that before Sith, just bear with me).

-Then we’re back on the plane and one of the shows best scenes to date. May is still being interrogated at gunpoint and there’s an incredibly palpable sense of panic taking hold and things falling apart. Any previous feeling that this team was becoming a family has vanished – now they’re pointing guns at each other and Fitz is terrified of even opening a door to the rest of them. It was the perfect set-up for an episode about losing faith in the things, and people, you once trusted.

-Simmons and Triplett are our eyes in “The Hub”. This undercurrent of attraction remains between the two, though it got taken over fast in this episode. I like this potential coupling, far more than Fitz/Simmons.

-Loved when Coulson just shoots May without a word. No time to talk about it or justify it to others. It’s a time for action and he can’t have her muddling things up.

-The rest of the budget is burned up in a short set-piece with the two drones that are attacking Garrett. This is as close to a modern superhero action scene that Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D has ever really gotten, and it was fine, if just a tad unnecessary. Also another vague Star Wars riff to the whole thing. “Good kid, don’t get cocky!”.

-“Boo ya”. Oh dear God, what an awful line to put in Coulson’s mouth.

-The episode hints very strongly that Victoria Hand is in HYDRA with her first appearance. Too strongly really. And so the double bluffs began…

-“Out of the shadows, into the light”. HYDRA is back, their emergence marked by the giant word on the planes screens. Maybe a bit much.

-As was the brief discussion about whether it’s HYDRA’s head or hands that grow back. A terrible callback to the comedic dialogue of the opening episodes, that just gutpunches the rising tension. Come on guys, I thought we were past this?

-“We’ll face the music, even if it is the HYDRA theme song.” Yeah, liked this line.

-HYDRA commences a takeover of The Hub (sort of). It’s something I’ve mentioned in my Write Club review and will mention on this site in due time, the extent of HYDRA’s infiltration is absolutely crazy. The idea that they can just take over the running of the entire institution without anyone noticing in 70 years is severely testing my suspension of disbelief.

-Simmons and Triplett share somewhat of an awkward scene. After seeing the evidence of HYDRA taking over other S.H.I.E.L.D institutions, Triplett becomes vaguely threatening for no good reason, to prove a point about trust or something. Was a bit strange.

-May and Ward share a scene in the plane’s holding cell. May is unrepentant for her actions, Ward is sneeringly angry with her. This is the epilogue of their relationship I suppose, as Ward’s infatuation with Skye is lampshaded again.

-“Director Fury is dead.” And with those four words, everything goes to hell.

-May’s sudden revelation that Coulson was never in as much control of his new mission as he thought – that Fury and May hand-picked the crew so they could better monitor him – is interesting I suppose, but seems just a little small next to some of the other stuff being revealed in this episode.

-The plane’s memory has to be wiped to protect the info on various devices and such that the team has bumped into on their travels so far. I’m sure that won’t come up again.

-There was something off about Hand’s offer of HYDRA service to Simmons and Triplett the second she started talking – so melodramatic and over the top – that it wasn’t hard to see through it. Another swerve: Hand is actually at the head of the countermovement to HYDRA. The plot thickens.

-Only she thinks that it’s Coulson who is in HYDRA. Could last week’s theory be right?

-Even more Star Wars allusions, as the team recreate the Episode IV plot of using Chewbacca as a fake prisoner to break into a secure area. Some shot choices even seemed lifted out of A New Hope. Did anyone else notice this?

-“The lies add up.” Fascinating to see Hand just outline all of the suspicious behaviour that Coulson has been involved in. It’s easy to see why somebody would be thinking badly of him at this point. Some of the inconsistencies I’ve previously mentioned – like hiring Skye in the first place – are being spun into plot hooks.

-“Its suicide.” “Not if I don’t die.” Nice reply.

-So this Ward/Skye thing isn’t going away. It isn’t a very good romantic plot in my eyes, with not much work gone into it at all really, apart from the odd glance. In this scene they namedrop their Dublin conversation, which was its deepest moment, and hint at a future coming together. We’ll see how that works out…

-Ward takes on 12 guys single-handed. After dispatching six of them, the production team can’t come up with a way he gets rid of the half-dozen others and decides to just do it off camera. Come on guys.

-Garrett goes on a tirade about killing off Hand – protesting way too much really – and the standard slip comes. He knows more things than he should know. Lo and behold, we have our Clairvoyant.

-I’m actually just a little disappointed that HYDRA and the Clairvoyant are one and the same, even if Garrett admits he’s only part of HYDRA because he thinks it’s the winning side.

-Some nice “monologuing” from Garrett after his reveal, real Republic villain-style stuff.

-Fitz has the best retort to him of course, even as the tears are falling down his face. Garrett is at his most threatening here, but it speaks to Fitz that he’s the one standing up to him the most, even if it is just verbally.

-The fight follows. It’s basic enough stuff, nothing we haven’t seen already. Fitz shooting that guy continues this mini-arc he has with May regards trusting each other.

-A wordless scene, with a real season finale feel, follows. Triplett rails against his former boss. Ward is stunned. But there is still a sense that something is amiss here.

-“Captain America has defeated the helicarriers at the Triskellion.” I can’t imagine how you’d get your head around this episode if you hadn’t seen The Winter Soldier beforehand.

-S.H.I.E.L.D, for the moment, is toast, a rotten organisation that’s crumbled from the inside. A new dynamic is certainly going to come into play for the show now, at least before S.H.I.E.L.D’s inevitable restructuring.

-There was something being noted when Skye gives the plane’s data backup device to Ward earlier on for safekeeping. Seeing Ward insist on accompanying Garrett to imprisonment, and the little look he gives Coulson on the way out, were major hints for what was coming.

-“What are we planning to do next?” “Survive.” That will probably be the theme for the rest of the series.

-So, Ward turns out to be in cahoots with Garrett, and presumably has been from the start, calling into question a lot of his activities and actions in the course of the show so far. Maybe they’re going to replace him with Triplett. Also, regards Star Wars allusions: “Always two there are. A master and an apprentice.”

-The smile on Garrett’s face when Ward turns was amazingly devil-like. Immensely creepy. Paxton has to step up and become an outright antagonist now, and I have no doubt that he has the chops for it.

-Nice touch to replace the usual end card of the S.H.I.E.L.D symbol with that of HYDRA.

-A very unexpected way to end the episode, just focusing in on Ward’s thousand yard stare as Garrett rattles on in his usual style. There’s a lot more to Ward than we’ve seen so far, and some inner turmoil – related to Skye I would imagine – is going to be crucial in the final few episodes.

-I have a friend who was in a position to watch this episode without having seen The Winter Soldier. He was fine with the episode and its reveals, mentioning only that the larger rationale for HYDRA’s reveal goes unexplained.

Another decent episode, heavy on the action and revelations, that ties in nicely to the wider universe. A ratings low is a bit depressing I suppose, but you can’t have everything. We’re into the final act of this season now. Five episodes to go.

To read my thoughts on other episodes of Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.Dclick here to go to the index.

This entry was posted in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, Reviews, TV/Movies. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Review: Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D – “Turn, Turn, Turn”

  1. Pingback: Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D Episode Review Index | Never Felt Better

  2. Pingback: Review: Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D – “Providence” | Never Felt Better

  3. Pingback: Review: Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D – “Ragtag” | Never Felt Better

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