Todd Karella writes…
When Chan Ho Yin, a man with the ability to create fire, disappears off the S.H.I.E.L.D. radar, Agent Coulson gathers his team together to track him down. The only clue is that someone from the Rising Tide resistance group has hacked into S.H.I.E.L.D.’s data stream.
Having been one of the members of this computer-hacker network, Skye is tasked with tracing the hack back to its original source, which just happens to be her boyfriend, Miles. Trying to both protect her boyfriend and save Chan from whatever danger he is in, Skye ends up caught in the middle as her new team thinks that she has betrayed them.
But her opinion changes in regards to her boyfriend when she finds that he hacked the information for the purpose of getting paid instead of the noble idea of freedom of information. Following the money trail, the agents manage to trace it back to the mysterious Centipede Corporation, which is responsible for the Extremis formula. Since the formula has been causing people to burn out, they determine that the reason Chan was abducted was because his body has some inert fire resistance in his blood platelets that could be used to stabilize the serum.
While this episode isn’t quite as good as last week’s, I would still have to say the show is improving. There was a lot of character interaction this episode, although most of it was between Miles and Skye. Even Coulson showed a little emotion and was angry.
The weakest aspect for me was the villains. They just never seemed that powerful or bad enough to generate any kind of tension. The confrontation at the end was fairly brief and once again it was one person just going a little over the edge forcing the agents to have to put him down. I believe that’s the same ending in just about every episode thus far.
So while I’m enjoying the episodes more than I was, I’d like them to keep pushing the envelope, continue developing the characters, and maybe along with the villain of the week they could introduce an uber-villain that can thread the episodes together and give us someone to hate from week-to-week.
Gordon S. Miller responds…
Can’t go as far as saying I enjoyed this episode. It was too much of a retread of the pilot with the Centipede organization using someone to further the Extremis project. And I was slightly disappointed when the episode opened in Hong Kong because I figured my guess that we were going to get the Japanese character Sunfire was incorrect.
The continual references to the Marvel Cinematic Universe seem forced, as if the writers need to constantly remind viewers of the potential because the series isn’t satisfying on its own. And I am so tired of hearing Coulson talk about getting stabbed by Loki. No doubt it was traumatic, but we all remember what happened in The Avengers. By the time they reveal the truth about Coulson (Life-Model Decoy?), I am not likely to care.
The “Skye as a double agent” plotline is apparently done now that Coulson and the team discovered her betrayal. While she is given a good reason for trying to infiltrate S.H.I.E.L.D., not sure how the writers are going to rationalize keeping her. A spy organization should have strict guidelines regarding security breaches. Also, while Chloe Bennet looked gorgeous in her underwear, having sex (during the commercial break) while S.H.I.E.L.D. agents are in pursuit is unbelievably immature.
See you next week, though I am not sure I am going to last the season.