S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Up!: The Magical Place
Greetings Evil Geeks, now that Santa’s skipped town and the new year is in full swing, it’s time for all of our favorite shows to start coming back! This week Agents of SHIELD returns to us after leaving us with a pretty big cliffhanger before the break. Coulson had been kidnapped by the nefarious forces of Centipede and Mike Peterson had seemingly been killed after handing over Coulson in order to save the life of his own son. Will Centipede be able to figure out the secrets behind Tahiti and Coulson’s miraculous resurrection? Would the rest of the SHIELD team be able to track Coulson down before those aforementioned secrets get loose? Would someone finally get to touch Lola now that Coulson is gone?!?! It’s reviewin’ time!!!
I’m sure Coulson was hoping that Centipede kidnapped him to take him on a really fun weekend in Vegas, but sadly for Phil, it turns out to be quite the opposite. Centipede is interested in exactly what was done to bring Coulson back from the dead, so that they can then use that technology to further enhance their super soldiers. Centipede has taken Coulson to an abandoned nuclear testing town out in the middle of the desert, where they plan to use some sciencey techno-thingy to break down the barriers in his mind that are preventing him from remembering what really happened to him in “Tahiti”.
Meanwhile back over in SHIELD’s neck of the woods, Victoria Hand has stepped in to lead the hunt for Centipede. Her main goal is to bring the terrorist organization down, with finding Coulson being a secondary or even tertiary objective, but she is extremely suspicious of why all of SHIELD is so concerned with his disappearance. The fact that Maria Hill and Nick Fury have been inquiring as to the status of his whereabouts is sending up a huge red flag for her. Even though Hand isn’t really concerned with locating Coulson, of course Coulson’s team is determined to rescue him and Skye is quickly on the case; attempting to circumvent the digital leash that SHIELD has put her on. Hand doubts that Skye can be of any use to the team and moves to boot her out. Skye pleads her case, but Hand leaves the decision up to Melinda, who tells Hand that Skye will be of no use to them on the plane. It appears that Melinda is doing this solely to spite Skye, but it turns out that Melinda recognizes that if Skye were on the Bus being watched by Hand and her agents, then she wouldn’t be able to work to the best of her abilities. Skye would be more useful to them unsupervised and allowed to bend the rules a little. Melinda’s gamble pays off and Skye is able to locate valuable info on Raina (whom we remember as one of Centipedes agents from The Girl in the Flower Dress) and the location of the town where Coulson is being held. Coulson is rescued, but not before we find out exactly what happened in the magical place that is Tahiti.
Sooooooo…. SHIELD has maybe done some really fucked up stuff to Coulson. Not like going out back behind the rectory with a priest fucked up, more like crazy science stuff. Who knows though, Coulson was probably heavily sedated whenever he wasn’t busy being dead, so maybe a few nurses took a gander underneath the sheets? Tahiti was all a sham, created to keep Coulson from reliving the horror of what he actually went through. Coulson has spent his life defending the world and putting his ass on the line for SHIELD and when Loki skewered him with his staff in The Avengers, instead of letting him go to his well-earned rest, Nick Fury decided that his pal Phil wasn’t quite done saving the planet. Coulson wasn’t dead for 8 seconds like he had been told, he was dead for days and through whatever horrible experimentation SHIELD subjected him to, he managed to come back. We see Coulson with his head cut open with a robot frantically installing a network of wiring in his brain while he’s begging the doctors to just let him die. SHIELD turned Coulson into a cyborg of some sort and it’s going to be interesting to see what happens now that he remembers the horrific experience. Will he be as willing to put himself in harm’s way knowing what was done to him by the agency that he’s literally given his life for? Couslon’s the type of guy who’d stay on the job in the interest of protecting the world, but can he stay knowing that he was robbed of his humanity?
I really loved that this episode delved into the character of Coulson a little more. As much as I love the show, the characters have seemed a little flat, so fleshing out Coulson a more is definitely does a service for the rest of the show. We also find out that in addition to denying him the right to die, SHIELD also took away the possibility of ever being with the love of his life, the cellist referenced by Pepper Potts in The Avengers. SHIELD told her that Coulson died; news which left her completely devastated. Even if he weren’t now a top-secret government project, he’d never be able to return to her without inflicting deep emotional trauma upon her. Coulson has a really humanizing moment as Reina is telling him about the cellists reaction to his death, as he tears up at the revelation that she truly loved him (if you remember the story from The Avengers, she was the one who left him). Normally Coulson is the cool, calm, and collected leader of the team, so it was nice to see him let that facade down, even if it was for a really sad reason. I can’t help but wonder if the cellist will play a role in how Coulson views his employer, post the revelation of what they had done to him.
So how about that Peterson fellow? Well it turns out he didn’t die like everyone thought he did. He actually survived the massive explosion that we saw him engulfed by… for the most part. He’s been badly burned, he’s lost part of his leg and he seems to now have robotic eye. Is Centipede responsible for saving him? We assume that, but maybe perhaps SHIELD is the one who took the liberty of “Upgrading” him. They were the ones who remade Coulson, why not Mike too? Also, could it possibly be that we’re finally getting a comic character added to the show? Mike’s wounds would be consistent with those obsucred by the cybernetics of the character of Deathlok, so is that maybe who he’s being set up as? I kind of hope so, it’s a character you wouldn’t normally think of for a mainstream project and he’s not that popular, so you could take some liberties with his origin without riling up the fanboys. Plus, I’d like to see J August Richards stick around a little while longer. If they could figure out a way to give him an axe made out of half a hubcap, that’d be pretty badass. Revelations abound in this episode, but there’s still some more secrets to be had amongst the Agents of SHIELD, primarily what is Melinda’s relationship to Skye’s past? I can’t figure out if she maybe killed Skye’s mother or if she IS Skye’s mother. It looks like we may get another revelation next week, so be sure to stop back here to see what the Evil Geeks have to say about it!
Follow The Evil Geeks on Twitter! @evilgeeks
All images and characters depicted are copyright of their respective owners. Please click on the “About Us” tab for our takedown policy.
Posted on January 10, 2014, in Geekology, Reviews, S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Up!, TV and tagged ABC, Clark Gregg, Joss Whedon, Marvel, Marvel's Agents of SHIELD, Ming Na, Phil Coulson, S.H.I.E.L.D., SHIELD, TV, TV Reviews. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.