Previously, on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Coulson and the gang matched wits with a rogue agent with abilities stemming from her cybernetic eye. Skye and Agent Grant got into espionage hijinks as Fitz and Simmons made witty retorts. The “Cavalry” showed off some of her fighting prowess, Agent Coulson revealed a bit more of his past, and viewership overall waned. Tonight’s episode, “Girl in the Flower Dress”, finds the team stumbling across a new super soldier. Will this episode be enough to bring folks back into the fold? Hit the jump for our recap.
We start our episode with the Agents of M.A.L.T.A landing in Stockholm, Switzerland and…kidding guys, kidding. The episode begins with a street magician, Chan, with powers beyond those of mortal men, think the Human Torch, wrangling a beautiful woman from the crowd. The woman, of course, is more than she appears to be and takes the magician hostage with the help of two men in hazmat suits. Meanwhile, Skye and Grant are playing Battleship in a whimsical scene to help further Skye’s training. Coulson looks on with Agent May, sowing the seeds of a possible romance as she states that she’s willing to bust out the mats downstairs for some *ahem* training.
Good start to the episode, as they give you a clear goal of what the gang will be dealing with, but also give some time to the interactions and developing characters of the team itself. I found this scene to be charming, and one of the more “Whedon-esque” interactions which the show has been without these past few episodes. Fitz and Simmons are….there, which is starting to become a problem. I almost feel like Skye could be given their roles moving forward, as there isn’t much meat on the bones for them.
I was digging the antagonist, “The Girl in the Flower Dress” aka Raina, as she seemed unassuming at first and not the typical villain that you would see S.H.I.E.L.D. tangle with. Her proposal to Chan, now dubbed “Scorch” (Not the best code name out there by any stretch of the imagination), is to increase his powers so he’ll be remembered forever, a la Captain America. Though as is the case with most shadowy organizations, not everything is as it seems. Skye, on the other hand, helps an old friend who’s still a part of “The Rising Tide” and finds herself in some trouble as her allegiances or questioned.
There were some good twists and turns in this episode, with just the right speed for the overall pace; not too fast, not too slow. I didn’t foresee Scorch going full-on super villain once S.H.I.E.L.D. rescued him, in quite the horrific display of power, burning a hole through his original liaison and later, burning one of his captors alive. This also led to some of the funniest scenes of the night from Agent Coulson with some great line delivery. As I’ve said in previous reviews, Clark Gregg really does carry the show and its great to see him get some lines he can really play up.
Ultimately, the episode hit a lot of strong beats and was, in my opinion, the strongest episode since the pilot. Having a full blown super powered villain was a breath of fresh air, regardless of the corny codename which was rightfully ridiculed. While I felt the resolution of Skye’s subplot with “The Rising Tide” may have been a tad cut and dry, it was better to see it come to a conclusion with some new mysteries sown into the plot. To be fair though, I thought the big mystery being revealed to be Skye is looking for her parents is a bit…out of nowhere. Heroes are only as good as their villains, and putting faces to Centipede, as well as hinting at something bigger with the “Clairvoyant”, was a good decision. The episode did something that the previous episodes could have taken a hint from, it made me want more.
-The List is an interesting concept, though I think it was a tad unbelievable that S.H.I.E.L.D. would just let some of their super powered folks walking the streets, liaison or no.
-“Hacktivists” Haven’t heard that one before.
“You almost got scorched” The villain was almost endearing in his need for showmanship, but the turn into a full blown villain who would burn anyone in his way made for a good contrast to show he meant business.
– Centipede WAS the name of the organization!
– Best Coulson lines of the night – “We’re good, right?”
“Ah crap. They gave him a name.”
-Give Fitz and Simmons something to do already!