Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Seeds Review (Mania.com)
Review Date: Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Well, so much for Agent May being Skye’s mother…After last week’s episode revealed some of the mystery behind Agent Coulson, this week’s tackles Skye’s shrouded past. Ward, Skye, Fitz, and Simmons travel to S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy to investigate an attack on a student who was frozen while in an indoor pool. A device is found which was responsible for the pool’s quick freeze. During a lecture in which an instructor mentions both HYDRA and A.I.M., another student named Donnie Gill is frozen solid and only the quick actions of the team are able to save him. Fitz bonds with the brilliant, but introverted Gill, and even helps him solve a problem with a new type of battery he built. But the team realizes too late that Donnie and another student are behind the attacks and are using the battery to build a bigger and far more powerful device that is capable of quickly freezing large amounts of moisture. They discover that the two students have the financial backing of ruthless businessman Ian Quin (seen last in episode #3) who wants to buy the device but only after the students prove it works. But in unleashing the device the pair creates a super storm that rains down volleyball-sized chunks of ice.
While most of the team is at the S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy, Coulson and May track down a lead about Skye’s past. They learn that the agent who dropped Skye off at the orphanage, Linda Avery, was not her mother and was killed trying to protect her. Avery’s partner Seth Dormer disappeared shortly after. May and Coulson locate Dormer in Mexico City where he reveals that Skye was an “0-8-4” and object of unknown origin and a S.H.I.E.L.D team was sent to protect her. Dormer is the only survivor.
There was no ugly in this week’s episode of MAOS but there was some (mostly) good and some bad. We are finally starting to get some serialized storytelling in the series that was lacking for most of the first half of the season. Coulson is dealing with the own traumatic revelations of his return to life which prods him to help Skye learn about her past. Noteworthy is the fact that Dormer didn’t just state that Skye was an 0-8-4 but that she had powers. So just as with Coulson last week mysteries are revealed but new ones take their place. One thing we don’t know is how much Coulson told Skye. Clearly he told her about the agents who died trying to protect her but my assumption is that he said nothing about her powers.
In the name Donie Gill sounds familiar to Marvel fans then pat yourself on the back. Donald Gill is the real name of the Iron Man villain Blizzard although in the comics his powers are derived from a suit. However we see at the end that Donnie has apparently absorbed the abilities of his ice creating device which sets up another potential super villain. The fact that Quinn also has a connection to the Clairvoyant elevates his status as well.
The plot involving S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy was mundane and reminiscent of too many of the first half season disposable episodes but at least this time the writers (and Joss Whedon co-wrote this one) built on the events and have setup several plotlines and a couple of new villains for the future.
Mania Grade: B
Episode: Seeds (Season 1, Episode 12)
Starring: Clark Gregg. Ming-Na Wen, Brett Dalton, Chloe Bennet, Elizabeth Henstridge
Written By: Monica Owusu-Breen & Jed Whedon
Directed By: Kenneth Fink
Studio: ABC Studios, Marvel Television, and Mutant Enemy