It’s taken 10 episodes and a half-season but fans ofMarvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. finally got an episode they could sink their teeth into. "The Bridge" was the first episode of the series that fully drew upon previous episodes events while also setting up on-going storylines for the second half of the season. And best of all it, was the first episode that truly gave fans a reason to have any empathy for the characters and invest themselves into their development.
Several super soldiers powered by the Centipede device bust into a prison to free a man named Edison Po. Po is the mystery man we saw at the end of “Girl in the Flower Dress” who talked about someone referred to as “The Clairvoyant”. Raina (the girl in the flower dress) was behind Po’s breakout but he is clearly the one in charge. She has been forced to move their base every few days due to S.H.I.E.L.D. tracking them and Po decides it’s time they stop running. The Centipede super soldiers are only able to maintain their abilities with constant injections and require a great deal of maintenance.
To help combat the super soldiers, Coulson calls upon Mike Peterson (scene in pilot episode). Peterson is learning to use his powers and it’s learned he has been stabilized from exploding due to the S.H.I.E.L.D. weapon used to subdue him in the opening episode. While investigating a lead Peterson, Coulson, May and Ward are attacked by the soldiers and defeated but the enemy retreats, leaving one of their comrades behind where he is killed by the same in-eye failsafe device which was used to kill Akela Amadour in “Eye Spy”. Po and his men kidnap Peterson’s son and use him to force a trade for Agent Coulson. The episode ends in true serial fashion seemingly leaving Peterson dead and Coulson in the hands of Raina and Po who want to find out how Coulson was brought back to life.
This episode had more emotion than the previous nine episodes combined. We felt for Mike and his son. We were shocked by the explosion that apparently killed him. We’re concerned with Coulson’s safety as the team has no way to track him. And you actually had to feel sympathy for Skye who was harshly reprimanded by May for continuing to investigate her parents, leaving her sobbing andalone. Away from Skye, Coulson and May agree that Skye cannot find out the truth her background (and where have we heard that before!).
There was several good action sequences throughout that finally showed a big budget look. Unlike a lot of the previous episodes this one did not feel disposable. It was nice to see several plot elements set up for the second half. In discussing the Clairvoyant we know that he is a man and that his trying to see a man “and his weakness”. Hmmm…call me intrigued. Was he referring to Coulson or someone else?
Hopefully this episode will help boost the show’s ratings which are down some 40% since the pilot. At the very least I am now looking forward to the show’s return in January much more now than I had been.