Writers: Monica Owusu-Breen/Jed Whedon
Director: Kenneth Fink
Cast: Clark Gregg/Ming-Na Wen/Brett Dalton/Chloe Bennet/Iain De Caestecker/Elizabeth Henstridge
After a dangerous ice machine is activated at S.H.I.E.L.D.’s science academy Coulson’s team is sent in to investigate.
The Ups: This episode tells its own contained story which is interesting and compelling on its own while advancing some of the ongoing subplots of the series. In this episode we get to explore Coulson’s reaction to what he learned about his “death” in last week’s episode, and we finally learn something concrete about Skye’s past. This week’s episode largely takes place at S.H.I.E.L.D.’s science academy, which means you can expect Fitz-Simmons and their history at the academy to be a main focus. Exploring S.H.I.E.L.D.’s science academy, and its rival academies within S.H.I.E.L.D., greatly expands the history of S.H.I.E.L.D. in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and makes S.H.I.E.L.D. feel like a real organization. This week’s episode saw a good amount of character development particularly with Skye and Agent Coulson.
The Downs: The episode relies on S.H.I.E.L.D.’s science academy students to carry most of the plot and their performances fall a little flat. They also aren’t given very compelling motivations for what they do, and for characters that become the focus of the main plotline I would have liked a little more depth from them.
Overall: The main plotline of the episode is decent and if you enjoy the antics of Fitz-Simmons you will be pleased with the core of this episode. The most compelling plot and character development occurs in the peripheral events of the episode when details about Skye’s past are uncovered. This episode managed to revitalize what many considered to be a floundering series by advancing the plots that we care about. This episode does even out in terms of the amount of answers and questions we have but now it feels like I care more about those questions and the characters that they affect.
Grade 4 of 5