There be spoilers here.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is back on UK screens. Each week, we’re hoping to bring you the episode analysis that matters, the key insights and critiques that can be derived from those tense forty-three minutes of television…
Ha, just kidding. No what I really want to do instead is talk about the five things I loved and hated this week. So what did I make of season two opener “Heavy Is The Head”?
Loved: Having a quinjet
The revelation that the quinjet got back to the Playground in one piece was a relief. I’d been worried that we’d be shown a moment where the team was unable to get the jet back in one piece. It was good to see them catch a break after the brutality of episode one. Of course the stealth tech that the plane had was a huge bonus too.
Hated: Talbot trying to turn Hunter
After Hunter had been left in the crashed 4×4, it was obvious that Talbot would try to turn him to his side. While it would have been dramatic to have Hunter either work as a double agent or hand everyone over to the US military, part of me wanted the team to continue catching a break. They lost a lot of good people in episode one and Hunter was obviously hurting from that and what Coulson’s decision making had wrought upon Hunter and the people he was close to.
Loved: Coulson’s jokes
Coulson is going through a great deal at the moment, so I loved hearing him crack the odd one liner. Not everyone else heard or appreciated what he said in response to their queries. Like the moment where everyone’s worried that Hunter is going to hand over the Playground to the military, and they all have to evacuate if it happens and Coulson jokes, “I know and we just re-tiled the bathrooms.”
Hated: Fitz’s continued problems
No, he won’t be fixed over night and he may never be his normal self again, but it’s still heartbreaking to watch him struggling along. He might not always have been the bravest or most action orientated of characters in the previous season, but his mind was so important to him and defined him a great deal, so to have it in pieces that he’s struggling to pull together as he desperately tries to help is depressing to watch. Oh Fitz.
Loved: People talking rather than holing up their emotions
The crews at the Playground are pissed at both Coulson and Simmons. Coulson for becoming so detached and Simmons for leaving Fitz. But rather than characters expressing this being admonished or told to keep their feelings to themselves, they were allowed to say them. Skye and Hunter also had a cathartic heart-to-heart. They may be under huge amounts of pressure, but at least they’re not being kept under Coulson’s thumb.
Hated: Creel being such an idiot
I don’t expect my bad guys to always be rocket scientists, but Creel saw in the previous episode just how dangerous the Obelisk was. While he gets props for trying to insulate himself by turning into rubber when he first picked it up, when he realised that he couldn’t control the substance, he should have given up on the idea of heading into public places, as he clearly didn’t want to just raise merry hell by inflicting the device on others.
Loved: Raina being back
She’s not working for Hydra – brilliant. I was hoping Raina would be back in some capacity and to find that she is working closely with an element that was only brushed upon previously was a nice touch. Though what’s even better is how Talbot, S.H.I.E.L.D. and Hydra appear to be oblivious to the fact that there is a fourth player in their game of world domination vs protection.
Hated: Talbot remaining a pig headed idiot
The determination of Talbot not to co-operate with S.H.I.E.L.D. while making some sense is just awkward to watch. It’s clear that the military don’t really understand what they’re dealing with, and I’m not looking forward to seeing how far this will go. I’m expecting that Talbot is going to fudge up big time in the season and that if he’d worked with S.H.I.E.L.D. there probably won’t be the inevitable loss of human life, but this is pure speculation.
Loved: Mack helping Fitz
Mack isn’t all brains, it seems he’s compassionate too. Fitz did have it tough in this episode, but the way Mack realises that he can help Fitz think was wonderful to watch. Mack was patient and kind and Fitz responded to that slowly but surely, his suspicion turning to relief as they worked together to find a way to deal with Creel. Though this does show-up the rest of the pre-Hydra revelation team, as it seems none of them had had the time or the patience to deal with Fitz.
Hated: Coulson and the symbols
It was creepy watching the way May talked to Coulson about needing to carve the symbols they’ve been puzzling over for months. Then when they took a moment near the end of the episode for Coulson to, as if he were an automaton, to butcher a wall with the alien symbols, and have May document it, it made me very concerned for Coulson’s future. I really don’t want him to go crazy.
That’s it for our first S.H.I.E.L.D. Declassified. “Heavy Is The Head” was a thorough follow-up to the season opener. I am still looking forward to see where things go. Until next week…
What did you think of “Heavy Is The Head”? Let us know in the comments below.