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"Since Angel lost his soul, he's regained his sense of whimsy."
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April 02 2014

(SPOILER) Discuss this week's new Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode. This week's episode is "End of the Beginning" and was written by Paul Zbyszewski. It's the first of 7 episodes without a break.

FINALLY! 43 minutes into the show!
I kept hitting refresh, thinking I was either not seeing it or my browser was acting up. Ahh!
Sorry it's late, I forgot. I didn't realize until someone asked on Twitter.
Ward totally just killed that wheelchair guy.
I'm not sure what to think about Bill Paxton. Good actor, not a bad character! But I am always thinking he's up to no good.
Let me be the first to say it's should ALWAYS be the plan to shoot Brad Douriff on sight. And I'm sayin' that as a dude in a wheelchair!

[ edited by Sunfire on 2014-04-02 01:52 ]
Good twist that the clairvoyant is a guy with a clearance.
Mr. Nash had the line of the century.
I like this episode plot wise but the dialogue is driving me nuts.
Victoria as the big bad?
What was the line of the century, BarryC?
I'm so glad they didn't spin the "May is a mole" plot-line out too long. I had my fist in my mouth most of the episode.
Awww, sunfire... you care! :)
Yeah all the agents chasing and talking was a weak point. The last few scenes were the good stuff though.
I think I would prefer it if May really was a bad guy. It would subvert expectations better than if it's just a misunderstanding.

[ edited by Squishy on 2014-04-02 02:02 ]
So, it was your evil plan to have us talk only about the end, Sunfire?

Sunfire is the real Clairvoyant!

[ edited by Nebula1400 on 2014-04-02 02:04 ]
"What was the line of the century, BarryC?"
Nebula1400

Yeah, spill.
Solid last 15 minutes but some dialogue was just awkward. For example, the conversation between May & Coulson at the end was great. The confrontation with Nash was well executed and shocking. But the discussion about the gifted rejects was stilted. And Hand's rightful reprimand of Garrett's "Vic" missed a beat somewhere and came off sounding odd for a Whedon show.

Episodes strike me as uneven in terms of writing and directing, but I'm not a pro. Maybe it's because they are trying too hard esp for making movie tie ins?

Overall, this was not a favorite ep but I did enjoy it and the last quarter definitely has me hooked for next week.
Nebula-after the West Coast feed.

Roddikinathome-As a black man from DC-I can't count the number of times I've had DC Squad cars gunning for me.
So, we're not gonna be able to watch and type next week, are we?
\Kinda giddy.
BarryC - I was thinking something similar about the scene with Nick Fury.
"Roddikinathome-As a black man from DC-I can't count the number of times I've had DC Squad cars gunning for me."
BarryC

Gotcha
Now THIS episode is the kind of thing I signed on for.
I thought this was a great episode.It looks like they aren't going to drag out May's story and the reveals about The Clairvoyant were great twists.Brad Dourif was a surprise.Maybe I missed it but I didn't know he was guest starring.

Victoria Hand being the Clairvoyant's insider was a good twist but actually knowing the comics isn't a shock.She originally was introduced as working for Norman Osborn when he took over S.H.I.E.L.D. during The Dark Regin stuff back in 2009/2010.She eventually reformed but she started out with a shady start in the comics but I can see why she would make a good choice for the Clairvoyant's insider.

Another cool moment I liked was the X-ray which showed what Deathlok looked like under his skin.It was dead on to the comics.Actually Smallville did the same trick with Cyborg.It's a nice nod to the comics because doing exactly as they look in comic wouldn't work too well on live action TV.To expensive I would think.

Finally love the lead ins to Captian America:The Winter Solder with Sitwell and the end stinger.

[ edited by Buffyfantic on 2014-04-02 02:17 ]
The Deathlok stuff was pretty awesome, in my opinion. Mike barnstorming about being a big ol' magcuffin was fun stuff.
Next week you'll enter comments about whatever but they'll all post as gushing comments about FitzSimmons. I have plans.
Why would nobody (esp. Ward) just try shooting deathlok in the head? And why did it not occur to the agents that wheelchair guy might not be the guy talking? It occurred to me immediately. And I was seriously not sold on the "button-pushing." Are SHIELD agents really that emotionally fragile and easy to manipulate? Action was really awkward this episode too. The twists at the end were pretty good, though I continue to think that it would have been a bold and interesting move if May really were the bad guy. It would make her character more interesting and, possibly even more sympathetic, ironically enough.

And seriously, can we all agree to permanently abolish tired lines like these:

"Go to hell."

"It was worth it just to know your safe."

"Mike Peterson is dead!"

There were many more but I couldn't keep track of them all.

Sorry, this episode frustrated me. It felt like a badly missed opportunity.

[ edited by Squishy on 2014-04-02 02:26 ]

[ edited by Squishy on 2014-04-02 02:27 ]
"Why would nobody (esp. Ward) just try shooting deathlok in the head? "
Squishy

The first round Mike took was a headshot. Also; gun training emphasizes aiming for center mass. Headshots are considered low percentage moves.
Much of the dialogue was disappointingly clunky, I thought. The episode as a whole left me very "meh." But the twists at the end seem promising--maybe next week will be better.
Any fellow Canadians get ripped off on the tag ? No final scene for me, CTV cut it off. We saw a zoom-up of Victoria Hand, commercials, then credits. Fury didn't actually appear this ep, did he ? I thought he might, given that they've been teasing that he might for a few episodes now.

Squishy said:
" I was seriously not sold on the "button-pushing." Are SHIELD agents really that emotionally fragile and easy to manipulate?"

Yeah, I wasn't big on the writers making Ward do that, either. I know he and the rest of the team are fed up with The Clairvoyant messing with them, but...it just felt sloppy/unprofessional/kinda nuts. They didn't have all the info, if Nash had been The Clairvoyant they might've found out some useful stuff from him (and barring any superpowers beyond just predicting the future, he would have been rendered harmless in a SHIELD prison), and it was plain for audience members to suspect that that might not've been The Clairvoyant/could've been a trick (and we had all the same info that the rest of the characters had about the situation--except for them not knowing about May being some kind of mole, at least not until the end of this ep), so why didn't they ?

It was a cheap shock, really. I wanted it to turn out that someone had done something to Ward (although with both the Asgardian staff and Lorelei, Ward's been mind-raped enough for one season), or that they were coercing him somehow.

I liked the tension on the Bus, though, once Fitz caught on to the secured line and was being pursued, plus everything after that.

Are we to believe that the Bus was turned around by Victoria Hand remotely ? We weren't shown an empty cockpit, were we ? 'Cause otherwise, I was thinkin' that someone (only Ward was unaccounted for, though presumably left inside his cell/the interrogation room by Coulson and Skye) got into the cockpit after May left and turned it around.

[ edited by Kris on 2014-04-02 02:45 ]
Maybe it's because I knew SHIELD was gonna be a bad guy (or tangentially malevolent) in the new Captain America movie, but I was completely expecting the Clairvoyant to be someone within SHIELD, just without enough clearance to know what happened to Coulson. The whole psychic angle just seemed like a red herring as it happened.

If Ward was the one piloting the plane though (my first thought), that'd be interesting...
I had to rewind during a couple scenes to keep up with what was being conveyed/make sure I understood fully. The info was coming at us rapid-fire this ep, or I'm just slow today.

So Hand just ordered that everyone but Coulson be killed once the Bus lands...would SHIELD agents really kill their own, no questions asked, without knowing the "why" ? (of course, Hand could've fed them a line) The other explanation is that everyone under her command was hand-picked or converted at some point and is a double-agent as well (or they could just do the robot-eye/bomb-in-the-brain trick to get them all cooperative...or give 'em a double-wammy and also threaten their families, as The Clairvoyant's done with Mike Peterson).

The robot-eye/bomb-in-the-brain device really makes coercion an all-to-easy feat in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, unfortunately (so long as the people who're able to perform the surgery/"enhancement" aren't imprisoned and have kept the technique to themselves). I forget, have they linked any of the terrorist organizations together yet ? Centipede is definitely run by The Clairvoyant, right (or is a tool "he" is using as a means to an end, if not necessarily owned/operated by "him") ? Has Hydra (from WW2/Captain America) been linked to anything in SHIELD yet ? What about AIM (Advance Idea Mechanics), who were utilized in Iron Man 2 (even featuring Tony Stark's main industrialist foe from the comics and cartoon, Justin Hammer--played by Sam Rockwell), have they been mentioned or shown up in any other film or this series ?

I also considered, as the teams went to investigate each of the Clairvoyant candidates, that The Clairvoyant might turn out to be a hive mind (more than one person in the psychic network). Would've made psychics in the MCU a little more difficult to come by (only possible with many minds--not a power that any one person can have). But since they aren't doing psychics after all...are they sticking to the mission statement of "no magic in the MCU" (Thor and company are just advanced aliens with technology-and-abilities-and-artifacts-so-advanced-they-appear-as-magic) ?

Which is why I find it puzzling that they wanna have the Dr. Strange movie (should it happen) be part of this continuity/canon, rather than off on its own like another Blade or Ghost Rider movie presumably would be. I like that the MCU is strictly sci-fi--magic muddles things up too much.

[ edited by Kris on 2014-04-02 03:03 ]
I don't think the decision to shoot Nash came from Ward. I think he was/is being controlled in such a way that he doesn't realize it himself.

I also don't think we're done with Nash. Why would they hire someone of Brad Dourif's stature to play a paralyzed guy in a wheelchair, and then waste him? Any extra could have done that. And why would someone of the Clairvoyant's obvious intelligence not anticipate that someone might try to shoot him? This is a guy whose special ability is "predicting what people will do."

I assume the stinger at the end was an actual outtake from the upcoming Captain America movie.
Really Liked: The May vs. Fitz stuff - thought that sequence had a palpable tension to it. Liked the Deathlok X-Ray. Bill Paxton is great in every scene. Brad Dourif delivered the creeps. Big emotions ... for a Marvel show I thought the early episodes were pretty dry so it's been good of late to see some serious emoting. Mexican standoff w/ May n' Coulson n' Skye. "I thought YOU were Watson" The Victoria Hand reveal.

Not As Much: The Deathlok stuff felt a little disjointed, and the look is not particularly intimidating. While the Ward shooting shocked me, it really doesn't make a lick of sense. Speaking of Ward, it seems we're heading into SkyWard territory which I find unfortunate

Overall - nice to see pace continuing to rachet, nice to see characters amped up, already looking forward to next week
Those last 20 minutes were A-Mazing!
AndrewCrossett-it was the WAY he played a paralyzed guy in a wheelchair....really 'good' stuff. I was lookinlg forward to seeing him play that role for years....until, you know....

Squishy-it's not the lines-it's the emotional connection behind them...it's like The Show is saying, "I love you" first.

I should mention for the record, DC is a wonderful town...top 2 coastal experiences of my life, and when they were shooting at me, I deserved it nearly 50% of the time.
Kris, there was no tag. There was a preview for The Winter Soldier, which I must say I am extremely looking forward to. That movie looks so good, the car chase shown in the preview looked brutal and a overwhelming majority of critics are saying its better than The Avengers. How can I miss that?
To everyone complaining about Ward being unprofessional by shooting Nash, you do remember The Well right? The rage from the staff doesn't wear off. He was beyond pissed.

Also, that moment was set up near the beginning, during the scene between Ward and Trip.

[ edited by jb-the-hunter on 2014-04-02 04:10 ]
This is the first episode in a long time that didn't infuriate me, mostly because the show finally had someone (Coulson) recognize all the stupid or suspicious things that were going on.

Of course, it would be better if the show had the characters acting smarter in the first place. (It never occurred earlier to Coulson that "The Clairvoyant" was a nom de plume? I wonder what his suspect list would have been if the bad guy was called "The Platypus".)

As far as Ward is concerned, if Garrett and Coulson were fine with the idea of executing a prisoner in their custody (Quinn), they can hardly complain about someone else doing the same thing. (At least Ward didn't inflict pointless torture first.)

[ edited by OneTeV on 2014-04-02 04:24 ]
I'd have to watch the Asgardian staff episode again--the rage from the staff doesn't wear off ? Hmm...And you're right, jb, there was the scene between Ward and Trip...I'm hoping Andrew's right, that Ward's being controlled, but I guess the show can get away with him being pissed and protective of Skye and team too.

Okay, so there was no tag at episode's end--glad I didn't miss it. I wonder if Captain America 2 is meant to take place right after this ep, at about the same time as this ep, or after the next ep (if they didn't get to schedule AoS in quite perfect synch with the film).

Yeah, Brad Dourif was wasted real quick and it's suspicious, but maybe they just wanted his look and his voice and that's all there was to the part he won. Wondering if Nash is a familiar name in the comics the same way Victoria Hand is...I looked the name up on a Marvel wikia, but while Nash comes up as two or three villains, no one more significant than a random one-off mobster or minor/short-lived powered villain.
@Kris - I haven't seen Captain America 2 yet, but I thought the bit where Simmons was talking to Fitz, but she had to run off because something was happening at SHIELD HQ was a nod to the movie taking place at about the same time as this episode
Is the agent at the end really working for the Clairvoyant or did she remotely turn the plane for other reasons? Is she maybe just working against Fury and knows that Coulson is a (sorry Coulson) pet project of Fury's? Isn't it possible that the Clairvoyant is playing both Coulson and Team Bus as well as SHEILD Stuffed Suits?
Ah, TallMichaelJ, that'd be cool if it turns out to be the case. Simmons said a bunch of agents were coming into the room she was working in--I figured it was to apprehend her once it was discovered that she was communicating with someone on The Bus. Would rather it be your explanation, though, to tie in seamlessly with the film.

Would be awesome if a cameo for one of these characters had been figured into Cap 2.
Dammit Tev, now I'm imagining Gregg Clark interrogating platypuses...
Having seen Cap 2 already watching this episode was extra intense and if you aren't the kind of person to watch a movie on the opening weekend I suggest changing that if you can as it really does tie in directly with events on the show.

Overall a great episode especially the stand off at the end. The final batch of episodes are going to be crazy.
Yep having seen to movie explains a lot :-)
Will be very interesting to see how the events in the film are handled in the next eps.

Would rate this as the best episode so far but it might be only because of the integration with the film.

And yes the final episodes could be great, if people act like they know what they are doing that is.
I really enjoyed the episode, and I'm not taking anything at face value right now. I don't believe Ward shot "The Clairvoyant" because he was blinded with rage or because he's in love with Skye. There's something bigger behind it, and I'm looking forward to finding out what that is. You'd think evil masterminds would have figured out by now that the convenient killing of a minion before s/he can spill important information is only going to spur the white hats on to look harder.
If I'm guessing correctly, the identity of Clairvoyant will be the meanest thing Joss has done since .
How did Coulson and Paxton get out of the car jam? I think I'm giving up on this show. Sorry Joss.
I suppose it's possible they wanted Dourif mainly for his famously creepy voice, and decided they might as well have him play the guy in the chair as well... but I doubt it. I think we'll see him again.

Another big question is, is Victoria Hand a genuine bad guy or has she been manipulated into thinking Coulson's team are bad guys? Who was she giving orders to at the end? Pretty sure it wasn't Deathlok, or they would have showed him.

The way Ward, May, and Hand have been acting makes me suspect there's a whole lot of mind-messing going on here that will be unraveled in the coming episodes.

One possibility is that Agent Hand is really a Chitauri (standing in for the Skrulls in the MCU), and this is all part of the Skrull/Kree war. The Chitauri hate disorder and disobedience, which kind of fits Hand like a glove. (See what I did there?)
I loved this ep. and I can't wait to watch it again. So many things happen.

Ward killing who he thought was the Clairvoyant makes perfect sense... He is completely in love with Skye (DUH!)AND, as her S.O., he feels responsible for her safety. When the Fauxvoyant goes off on that rant about all the horrible things "we" would do to Skye, he realizes the most effective way to ensure that doesn't happen is to "eliminate the threat" like he tried to do in the Sif episode. ... That's what he does, Ward kills people.

I've read a few comments about clunky dialogue. Personally, I think it's the actors who can't handle the dialogue correctly that make it clunky. To a lesser extent I thought a couple of the regular actors had this issue early on but it's gotten a lot better. However, Agent Hand almost ALWAYS sounds like she's reading a script to me. Maybe she just hasn't had enough time to adapt to the Whedonic pacing.

Speaking of Hand, did I miss something? I don't think we can assume she is the insider/clairvoyant (even though she probably is) just because they showed a clip of her saying "take out everyone on the plane and leave Coulson to me". There was no context for it, so we don't know what led up to it. Maybe Hand herself was tricked by the Clairvoyant into thinking Coulson was the traitor.

Lastly, for all of us who have yearned for years to have Firefly back, this is it. Or at least the closest we may ever get. Who can help but think of Serenity every time they show the bus doing a vertical landing, or a Crazy-Ivanesgue turn around in the sky? Clearly, "The Bus/Boat" = Serenity, Coulson = Mal, May = Zoe, Ward = Jayne, Fitz-Simmons = Kaylee-Simon, and Skye = River. The character attributes have been shifted around a little bit, but otherwise AOS = FF 2.0

[ edited by Penthos on 2014-04-02 15:48 ]
@Penthos: Needs more horses!

Loving the insanity that slowly unravels. Always knew they were building to something cool and wouldn't just let us hang in the "wtf are they doing with this show?" state. Of course there were always problems but this episode and the promo seem to validate sticking with the show as worthwhile.

Also interesting how they have epic chaos in episode 16/17 which other shows would save for their season finales.
Re-watched over morning coffee as I missed a couple minutes here and there due to stuff.

My conviction that Victoria is the Clairvoyant was weakened based on her "Bet the Clairvoyant didn't see that coming" line after Brad "Creepy" Dourif was shot. Line reading seemed sincere enough

Also, upon second view Brad's dialogue is much grander - "forces beyond your understanding" (or something to that effect) than Victoria would represent.

So - my revised opinion: Victoria is a flunky. The Kree are coming
Can I ask a question of the informed: how involved is Joss Whedon in this show? I would think the AGE OF ULTRON is pretty time consuming. Fair to say he is to AOS, what JJ Abrams was to LOST after season 1?
Not sure exactly how involved JJ was, but I know that Joss reviews every episode. Can't say for sure if it's just the outline, or if it's the script (been too long since I read that interview), but he reads it and then gives feedback.
Well, I really enjoyed the hell out of this episode; not only cranking up the action to awesome heights but leaving time for the heartfelt moment of Skye officially becoming a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent (although what it will mean to her now with the shit raining down is anyone's guess). As far as complaints about dialogue go, don't get it. To my ear, it sounds like dialogue from a graphic novel/comic transplanted into a TV show; i.e. apropos.

Re Brad Dourif's appearance, I find it hard to believe he would be on for one short scene as a Clairvoyant decoy and then get offed. I'm smelling triple/quadruple sleight of hand where he's concerned.
Also, regarding Ward killing the Fauxvoyant, it was Ward who earlier specifically said to Triplet: "we all have axes to grind, but our orders are to bring him in alive"... Yet it was Ward who ground his axe as soon as the Fauxvoyant started threatening Skye.

[ edited by Penthos on 2014-04-03 14:09 ]
"Simmons said a bunch of agents were coming into the room she was working in--I figured it was to apprehend her once it was discovered that she was communicating with someone on The Bus."
Kris

I think she's gonna be bait for 'our guys' inevitable assault on HQ.
Could it be that all the agents we've been introduced to are being played off each other by an as-yet-unseen Clarivoyant? Not necessarily sold on Hand being 100% evil yet.
Just wanted to mention that Comicpalooza (April 23-26 in Houston, TX) has just announced they are offering a Shield VIP pass, with two more guests still to be named. So far they have Ming-Na Wen, Brett Dalton, and J. August Richards. I am probably more exicted than is respectable.
About Dourif playing a decoy: maybe he's a decoy for us, the audience. Since he's a big name, I'm sure most of us believed he really was the Clairvoyant, despite the obviousness of the trap.
I love Skyyyyeeee!! <3 Chloe Bennet is seriously such a fucking awesome actress. Everyone in the group were top notch in their acting too. Hashtag DAT CONFRONTATION.

I can't wait for the upcoming line-up of episodes now, because I am not just confident but certain that it will get better and better as we get closer to the finale.

"You can't take the [Skye] from me." ^-^
Absolutely loved the way this ep intertwined with Winter Soldier Really, really great stuff. If the show keeps this up for another six eps, the second half of this season will be a home-run.
My conviction that Victoria is the Clairvoyant was weakened based on her "Bet the Clairvoyant didn't see that coming" line after Brad "Shoot on sight" Dourif was shot.
TallMichaelJ

FTFY :^)
I have NO inside info,
but after watching this, I am even more convinced that Sitwell is the body under the sheet in "Winter Soldier". They way foreshadowed his death in this episode.
Cap's hostage rescue on the ship goes South for "inexplicable" reasons and Jasper catches two in the gut. He is one dead dude walking.

Which is kind of sad, because I always liked him. He was sort of Coulson lite, when you don't have time for the full Phil experience.
I'm putting together three facts:

1. Wards uneven action by shooting the fauxvoyant.
2. Paxtons dialogue with Skye about their middle piece Ward which ended in the title of the next episode: Turn Turn Turn (Who turns what? Who was turned by whom?)
3. The promo of the next episode.

It's not May (or even Hand) we should be concerned about right now. It is Ward. He will be involved in some kind of trouble.
Haha RobynH, Sitwell is Coulson Lite. Tastes great, less Phil-ing!

Jokes aside, I hope he doesn't die. Does anyone know if he died in the SHIELD comics?
Turn, Turn, Turn is likely a reference to the song made popular by the Byrds which quotes the Book of Ecclesiastes:

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, a time to reap that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.


Sounds like another heavy episode is on the way.
Nebula1400- The reason they hired the man in the chair was the way Thomas Nash sold the fact that whatever was coming for her-wasn't going to stop until it got it-and to oppose is a useless situation. See? The way I say it sounds TOO creepy!

[ edited by BarryC on 2014-04-03 05:00 ]
I thought it was an amazing episode, again. Very tense and building up to twists and turns where I'm really excited to find out what happens next, who's really on which side and who or what the Clairvoyant is and what he's after. I'm loving what they're doing and wherever they're going. I have complete trust in the show that the resolutions won't disappoint me and are even very likely to surprise me.

And the way this connects to Captain America: the Winter Soldier (which, in my opinion, is the best superhero movie to date) - outstanding! I'm VERY curious to see the aftermath effects of the movie on the show!
One interpretation of the Fauxvoyant scene and the "Bet the Clairvoyant didn't see that coming" line that still fits with Hand being The Big Bad, is that the Fauxvoyant seemed to be focused on provoking Coulson with the Skye threats. Hand/the Clairvoyant was unaware of Ward's feelings for Skye, and thus his reaction.

I'm not sure if I believe Hand is the Biggest Bad, but I am looking forward to next week and the continuation of the May-Phil show-down and the Simmons-Hand scene.
So did anyone else notice Fitz's face when Agent Triplett came to welcome Simmons back to the Hub? Heh. Actually, not sure if he was a little jealous of Triplett, or the Hub...

Brad Dourif was perfect in his role -Ragondux makes an excellent point about him being a decoy for us - I was thinking 'Yes, he is the perfect Clarivoyant!' And then 'Ohhh..'

I can't wait until next weeks episode, and I'm off to see Winter Soldier tomorrow and it sounds like it's going to be great :)
You know, they made a point of showing us earlier in the episode that guns can be switched to different bullets. Who says they don't have one that gushes blood and makes everyone not in on the gag think they killed Dourif? (So they can reveal later that Ward was following Coulson's orders to get the Clairvoyant to shut up in front of all the other agents so they can get his statement privately.) Just a thought...
Yes, I was also thinking that (though an elaborate show to have Ward taken away looking shell-shocked). Good job Jjsquid.
After rewatching it I think Ward was deliberately manipulated into shooting the guy. Who was talking to Coulson but was saying everything precisely to push Ward's buttons. There's also the Rage Stick factor to consider. If you know SHIELD records then you know Ward's capable of it and that Skye is a weak spot for him. It tracks with Coulson realizing they've been tricked, too. It just didn't occur to me the first time through. It's a lot cleaner to have the guy you're setting up to seem like you get killed by a hotheaded agent once he's tracked down.

I'm a little confused about the Clairvoyant vs the "Clairvoyant" in that scene though since supposedly the fall guy is a master of manipulation, so it would make sense that he's doing the talking there. It's his special skill. But in broader plot terms it makes more sense that someone else is actually making it all happen, so I'm not entirely clear on who's really doing the talking.
It would be cool if "killing" Nash was a ruse cooked up by Coulson and Ward because they didn't know if they could trust the other agents. You could even explain how Nash flatlined... if you mess with the heart monitor to make it give a fake reading, maybe the other guys won't bother actually checking the body for a pulse.

But it still doesn't explain the angry private conversation between Coulson and Ward that happened afterwards... unless they were aware that someone had bugged the room.

It's a theory that could pay off. I'd give long odds, though.
I can't help but think that Victoria Hand is a misdirection. If you know anything about her in the comics she is likely to have been your first choice for Big Bad of the S.H.I.E.L.D. characters we are so far aware of on the show, but it's exactly that that makes it a little too obvious a direction for them to go in. I certainly think that she may have been played by the actual Clairvoyant, having been led to believe that Coulson and his team are the real danger. She might even be (un)willingly working for him/her (her comic book counterpart worked for Norman Osborn after all) but I don't see her as being the sort of character to have done all this on her own.

Of course, all that is based on the assumption that she's being written anything like the version of Victoria I'm used to. Either way though, a reveal this early in the final run of episodes would be unlikely, so I'm convinced we are still far from knowing the truth behind the Clairvoyant. Who clearly would have to be Squirrel Girl. Obviously.
Re: Turn, Turn, Turn ep name. I figured it was a literal "We need to turn this plane around!" type thing.
Seeing all those agents together on the plane? Fantastic. That was incredibly well-done. And a really good episode to boot as well.
Anyone else suspicious of Garrett? He had that story wrong that he "shared" with Coulson in the car ride full of detours. He has a history with Ward. And Coulson found him in the basement before he found Nash.

But the biggest factor for me? I can't believe Bill Paxton would play just a side kick like character. I've seen him do kind of crazy on Big Love and it's disturbing.
Garrett is at the top of my suspicious list, yeah. Something's up there.
hann23, if you think Paxton was disturbing in Big Love, check him out in Frailty (his directorial debut). *shudders*

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