We've reached the halfway point (sort of) of Agents of SHIELD
's inaugural run with the mid-season finale and our first cliffhanger.
There are two potentially dead agents who are both certainly alive; a kidnapped Coulson whose fate is up to the whimsy of Raina, creepy Po and an entity known only as "the Clairvoyant;" a now-in-charge May issuing a mayday; and FitzSimmons mourning a perfectly good non-electronic tracking scent rendered useless by betrayal.
Oh, and May made Skye cry. A few harsh words about that poor, beautiful girl's parents left her in tears, and I don't know if either of us will ever recover.
Determining the final Agent of the Week before the holiday season, however, is more challenging than sustaining an army of super soldiers. Or getting your kid the entire Heroes of New York collection for Christmas. Heck, Mike Peterson needed to work at the SHIELD training facility 24/7 to afford that.
The main reason it's so hard to pick a winner is because no one really did anything worthy of praise, and I have no dead agents like last time to award it to posthumously. In "The Girl in the Flower Dress," Agent Quan Chen took a fireball through the belly to earn his award. But in "The Bridge," not so much.
Who Can't Win?
Even though Mike Peterson was solely responsible for everyone surviving the warehouse raid, he also connived, back-stabbed and lied, eventually giving Papa Coulson to the bad guys. And I don't care if he was doing it for his kid, he clearly doesn't respond well under pressure. And even when he tried to redeem himself, all he ended up doing was what he was supposed to in the pilot episode -- burst into flames.
The best thing FitzSimmons pulled off was stabilizing Mike's combustion issues, but they accomplished that weeks ago and did it unintentionally. Skye's highlights included tracking down the video of Raina and Po in jail, finding the super soldier's sister in Ohio and annoying everyone with off-mission questions about her folks. Oh, and crying.
Ward lost his sparring match with May, was reprimanded for flirting, had his ass kicked, got berated by May for taking a punch for her and then got shot.
Who is Left?
Agent May? She of episode-long PMS? Seriously, who didn't she get pissed at this week? She made Skye weep, yelled at Ward twice and rejected his flirtations, and even gave Coulson crap about bringing Mike on board and passing Skye off to her. I don't even care if she was right about everything. I'm not rewarding that.
She'll have chances to step up now that she's in charge of the group, but her first act was to call for backup. Hmph.
So I Guess the Award Goes To...
The 10th Agent of the Week, by default, is Phil Coulson. He made his fair share of judgment errors, highlighted by all of May's concerns, and he trusted Peterson more than he should have. But in the end, he went willingly and put himself in harm's way rather than risk the team's safety.
He's also doing his best to manage the team, be a dad to Skye and FitzSimmons, a bro to Ward and an odd husband figure to May. He even seems to know when to talk to Skye and when to leave her 14-year-old girl version alone, and at the end of all this, he might actually learn something about himself.
Still, I did not want it to be like this.
Agents of SHIELD
returns Tuesday, January 7, at 8pm on ABC.
(Image courtesy of ABC)