Grab the sunscreen, bucket and spade as we head off to sun-drenched Florida for this week’s episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. However our heroes won’t have much time to kick back and relax in the Sunshine State…
In Miami a mysterious painting is found amongst the ashes of a church which was blazed to the ground – without so much as a scratch. Well not quite – the painting has the strange marked symbols on its back resembling those that Director Phil Coulson often carves when he has a free wall.
The team are therefore dispatched to provide support to Agent Melinda May and her old partner in the field, the Director himself, in going undercover as a wealthy couple at a church fundraiser to swipe the painting.
I have to say that the opening scenes of the team on mission really hit the mark in the spy stakes. It almost felt like a set up straight out of Ocean’s Eleven (emphasis on the almost). Plus we see Lance Hunter doing his bit for the team – in cosying up to the glamorous assistant to get what he needed.
However the highlight for me as the team went undercover was the steely Agent May. Clearly uncomfortable and squirming at doing anything remotely sociable, she shows her professionalism and dedication to the cause as she proceeds to laugh with fellow guests (yes laugh), engage in small talk and even share some fine dance moves with Coulson.
And boy – did they both know how to dance! Which begs the question – were they dancing partners or something more at some point in the past?
It is about time we had an episode which revealed more about May’s character and at the same time stretch the acting capabilities of Ming-Na Wen, who has brilliantly played Coulson’s cold-faced loyal lieutenant. Not only were we given hints to some history between Coulson and May – and that it may have been romantic at some point – but also we also saw a more tender side to May, especially as they both wrestled with the growing prospect of ‘the other plan’ to kill Coulson when the time comes.
“Nostalgia’s fine until life happens. It’s time to deal with reality.”
Coulson’s clever use of the quote which May previously used towards him topped off a great scene between two fantastic actors. May’s reluctance to deal with the issue in what would be a typical May-like way shows the powerful bond between the two characters and is a credit to both Wen and Clark Gregg.
It’s also a relationship which I am eager to learn more about as the series progresses – but when it comes to it will the Director ride off into the sunset in the Australian Outback or by killed by his most trusted friend?
If nostalgia isn’t what it used to be for Coulson and May, it certainly isn’t either for the boys in the team either. The lovable Lance Hunter continues to be the comical glue in the team by boring the team through re-telling tales of his ex-wife, but it’s Leo Fitz who is reeling from the departure of his partner Jemma Simmons. Still ‘haunted’ by her presence as he skulks a lonely figure around the bus, she mainly tries to encourage Fitz to join in with his team’s activities.
It takes another crisis for Fitz to become the hero and be part of the team as he directs Hunter on how to save the bus from exploding. However through sharing a beer with the boys, will he get over his feelings for Simmons so easily?
The name of the episode perhaps comes from the use of the same face camo technology used by Hydra utilised it to try and fool both Agent May and Coulson. We may have seen this somewhere before, especially for those who caught Captain America: The Winter Soldier. One thing you can’t ever fault about Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is how it continues to tie in almost seamlessly with the rest of the Marvel Universe.
I have to say that I really enjoyed this episode – I’m starting to think that this is shaping up to be a fantastic series.
Dare I say it, has Agents of S.H.I.EL.D. started to finally live up to what we all hoped it would be? Let’s all hope so!
What do you think? Tell us in the comments below!