Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Repairs Review (Mania.com)
Review Date: Wednesday, November 27, 2013
When a disaster strike a particle accelerator kills several workers, Coulson and his team are called in to investigate a woman who seems to have telekinetic abilities. They arrive at the woman’s home to find a mob gathered, blaming her for the disaster at the plant. Agent May defuses the situation by shooting the woman with a tranquilizer, allowing the team to take her into custody aboard the S.H.I.E.L.D. plane. One aboard they isolate her to keep her from using her powers. But the plane is soon disabled and has to make an emergency landing. The team learns that the woman is not the cause of the strange events but rather it is a former employee of the plant who was caught in the explosion and left trapped between two worlds, giving him the capability to phase in and out in a puff of black mist, quite similar to Nightcrawler’s “Bamf” teleportation power. The team has to somehow stop a man that can instantly teleport anywhere he wants, trapping them inside the plane.
In the other, and even more important plot thread, Agents Fitz and Simmons plan to haze Skye with a S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy prank that plays up the myth around Agent May and why she has gained the nickname “The Cavalry”. This may have been the most effective character development thus far in the series. We learn why May has become so distant and was hesitant to rejoin the team as an active field agent. Her legend grows with each Adacemy Class’s retelling of the story but Skye gets the truth from Coulson in a poignant moment. She learns that what May did wasn’t some gung-ho, guns-blazing event but rather a tragedy from her past that resulted in her saving several fellow agents but left her scarred. Coulson says that May was different then, even had fun pulling her own pranks on teammates.
The main plot this week was another one that was highly disposable and will be quickly forgotten. It’s interesting that a particle accelerator is playing a key role this week and will soon do the same in Arrow although likely with much greater long term ramifications. The character of Tobias Ford (this week’s villain) could have been used to develop a recurring villain and perhaps he will but it certainly appeared as if this was a one-shot deal and thus a lost opportunity.
Eagle-eyed viewers hopefully noticed that the gas station used in the early scene belong to Roxxon Oil, the fictional conglomerate energy company in the Marvel Universe which has longtime ties to HYDRA and A.I.M. The MU references were almost non-existent this week which I think is a good thing. It’s time to start making nods to Marvel’s comic roots only if it means something rather than only to remind us that we are in the Marvel Universe. Loved what they did with Agent May, giving her some seriously needed depth and background. Another plus this week was the toning down of the humorous elements. This was Whedon’s MO with Buffy as well and for the show to have success it needs to take itself more serious. And of course we had the surprising development of Agents May and Ward getting together and bumping uglies and the best thing about this was that there didn’t seem to be any emotion to their tryst but rather done for convenience and need. Even if the main story was a little to X-files-ish, the subplot helped raise the bar above the past couple of weeks.
Mania Grade: B-
Episode: Repairs (Season 1, Episode 9)
Starring: Clark Gregg. Ming-Na Wen, Brett Dalton, Chloe Bennet, Elizabeth Henstridge
Written By: Shalisha Francis
Directed By: Holly Dale
Studio: ABC Studios, Marvel Television, and Mutant Enemy