Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.:T.R.A.C.K.S. Review (Mania.com)

By:Tim Janson
Review Date: Wednesday, February 05, 2014
Source: Mania.com

Even before the final segment of last night’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Episode, when the camera zoomed in for a close up on the manufacturing tag on a certain cybernetic leg, we already knew…Yes, we got DEATHLOK!  First implied a couple of weeks ago, there was no mystery this night.  No cute hinting around it.  But before we get there let’s look at the rest of this week’s show.

The team is tracking an important package purchased by evil businessman Ian Quinn which is being transported by train through Italy.  The team goes undercover aboard the train but their cover is quickly blown.  Here’s where the episode gets interesting.  The next few segments are told from different team member’s perspectives cutting from the present to the recent past to show what happened to each of them.  Coulson and Ward have to leap from the train as they apparently watch it disappear before their eyes.  May is captured and beaten before making her escape.  Skye tracks the package to Quinn’s mansion and sneaks inside and is shocked by what she discovers.

She finds Mike Peterson unconscious in a hyperbaric chamber, badly scarred and missing his right leg at his knee (which we saw in “The Magical Place”).  Quinn arrives and the contents of the package are revealed: a high tech cybernetic, prosthetic leg.  And it’s also revealed that Mike is now working with…or being controlled by the mysterious Clairvoyant.  Quinn shoots Skye leaving her for dead where she is found by Coulson and taken back aboard the S.H.I.E.L.D. The Hyperbaric chamber is keeping her alive…but barely.  The ep closes with the above mentioned close up of Peterson’s new leg with a tag reading “Deathlok Project”.

Now, true Marvel Know-it-Alls knew even before the cybernetic leg was shown where the episode was going.  Early on its mentioned that Quinn purchased the device from Cybertek which, in the Marvel Comics Universe, is a division of Roxxon Oil, and where Michael Collins, the third character named Deathlok, was created. But will Peterson be the only Deathlok or will Centipede try to build an army of cyber-soldiers?  Will Peterson get more enhancements to make him look closer to the comic book version?  The comic book Deathloks were always more machine than man.  Whatever happens, Deathlok is a great character for the show.  He’s not a household name and he’s not overly powerful to the point where he wouldn’t fit well within the confines of a TV show.

As dire as it looks for Skye we know she isn’t going to die.  The question is, will her implied powers be the thing that saves her?  It was one of Chloe Bennet’s strongest episodes yet.  The same can be said for the incredible Ming-Na Wen.  She is breaking the mold of the tough guy role by being female and doing it with beauty and ass-kicking style.  She even stupefies Agent Ward.  One puzzling aspect to last night’s ep was how Peterson got into the hands of Centipede and the Clairvoyant?

Like a lot of AOS episodes, “T.R.A.C.K.S.” tends to gloss over a lot of details. Skye’s infiltration of Quinn’s mansion was inexplicably simple.  Quinn’s shooting Skye felt forced and it was kind of a weird scene that played out between the two.  Hopefully everyone caught Coulson dropping Emil Blonsky’s (The Abomination) name and we now know where he has been kept since the end of the Incredible Hulk film.  And of course I can’t forget to mention the cameo by Stan Lee aboard the train who gives Coulson the business.  Great scene!  

I do have one problem this week not so much with this particular episode but the show in general…They took a month break over the holidays, then came back with two new shows before breaking again for three weeks.  Now after last night the show will again be on hiatus until March.  I get the fact that it’s a slow time for TV and the Olympics will be going on for a couple of weeks but it sure seems to be a silly way to try and build and audience and momentum.  We are getting four new episodes over a span of nearly three months. 
 
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Mania Grade: A-
Episode: T.R.A.C.K.S. (Season 1, Episode 13)
Starring: Clark Gregg, Ming-Na Wen, Brett Dalton, J. August Richards, Stan Lee,
Written By: Lauren LeFranc and Rafe Judkins
Directed By: Paul A. Edwards
Network: ABC
Studio: Marvel Studios, Mutant Enemy, ABC
Series: