Howdy ladies and gents of the internet, time to talk about some Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. with the second episode “Purpose in the Machine“, so after last week’s great episode does AoS continue it’s good streak? Well read on and find out.
As usual in these reviews I’m just gonna present the plot and then say what I liked and what I didn’t like. Cool? Okay let’s keep going.
Fitz and the team enlist the aid of an Asgardian to unlock the secrets of the ancient monolith that swallowed Simmons, and Agent May is at a crossroads in her personal and professional life.
What I Liked
This was another solid episode. It was definitely more character-focused and was set up for things that would take place later in the season. Let’s firstly talk about the return of May and Ward. With Melinda May, she’s been off living the quiet life with her father, it seems like she’s trying to get out of the dangerous life with S.H.I.E.L.D. and because of her personal issues with Andrew Garner and Phil Coulson, however, she doesn’t have the mentality to let go of her warrior-like instinct. I found it interesting to learn more about May from her father played wonderfully by James Hong and I loved how she eventually got onboard with Hunter’s plan to take out Ward. As for Grant Ward, he’s gone into full-on villain mode, he has people, resources and a plan, one that is calculated, smart and involves infiltration. Brett Dalton continues to excel at being the bad guy and there’s that one point when he takes out several men, but then one man gets in one good punch… And Ward’s not too happy about that and shoots him down, that moment alone was badass.
It’s true what they say, you don’t mess with Ward. Not with those eyes.
As for the main plot I found it pretty interesting. Since the end of last season some fans have speculated that the Kree monolith was possibly a teleporting device and this episode confirmed that and it was cool to watch. Seeing the return of Peter MacNicol as Elliot Randolph was awesome, his character is humourous but also full of knowledge and he was a great addition to this episode. Fitz again was the strongest character of the show, his knowledge, courage and unwavering determination to save Simmons has to be commended and clearly it paid off when he jumped into the monolith portal, found Simmons and was able to bring her back. I was surprised that Fitz was able to find her so quickly and I was sure on at least two occasions that Simmons wasn’t coming back when she was grabbing for Fitz’s hand, and then when that monolith exploded, damn. I thought it was over. But beneath the rumble, we had Fitz and Simmons, still alive and well, I’m curious to know what Simmons expected over there. I also liked the moments between Andrew and Daisy with their conversations about Joey, recruiting Inhumans for the Secret Warriors and Daisy becoming a leader. It was referencing to the comics but also highlight Daisy’s progression and where she’ll grow in the future. And speaking of Daisy, I loved how instrumental she was in saving Simmons when it came to using her powers to save Simmons, even though there was a high-pitched noise that seemed to be causing her distress.
The only other major thing I took away from the episode was the person that Ward was after, he was no one special except the son of Baron Von Strucker! Spencer Treat Clark did well as Werner von Strucker, acting like this spoilt, fun-loving guy one minute, but then being crazy aggressive the next, he’s definitely got some Hydra in him and Ward knew it too. While Strucker Sr. was poorly handled in Avengers: Age of Ultron, the fact that his son remains alive allows for some interesting possibilities with the future of Hydra, Ward’s power and influence and potential crossover with the MCU films (though the last one probably won’t come to pass because of the lack of connectivity between the film and TV universe).
What I Disliked
Most of my problems with the episode were nitpicks at best. Firstly, after getting such an action-packed episode last week I did miss that with this week’s episode. I know not every episode needs some Inhuman superpowered madness, but I am an action junkie after all haha. And the other thing I wanted to mention was the return of Simmons, even though I loved having mystery behind the monolith solved and seeing her returned to Earth, I had hoped there’d be more time dedicated to them finding ways to save her and seeing more of Simmons out on that world. But hey maybe we’ll see more of her time on the alien world via flashbacks?
In conclusion “Purpose in the Machine” is another strong episode, I mainly liked the expanded history with the monolith, the return of May and Ward and seeing the reunion of Fitz and Simmons. While it wasn’t as good as last week’s episode for me and there were a few things I would have changed, I still liked it a lot.
So what did you think of “Purpose in the Machine“? Whatever your thoughts are, be sure to drop them in the comments below and I’ll see you on the next episode review! 😀