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Agents of SHIELD: The Dirty Half-Dozen

Agents of SHIELD Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Marvels Agents of SHIELD Marvel TV

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#1 G-man

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Posted 29 April 2015 - 08:27 AM

Wow.  The gang is back (sort of).

OK, so they aren't at ease with Ward in the room ... which is understandable in connection with what he had done, and not everyone had an opportunity to confront him about it.  The reaction to Skye's admission that she doesn't regret shooting him brought a smile to my face.  OTOH, I found Ward's expression of regret interesting.  He didn't regret what he had done, he had his reasons and he also admits that mistakes were made, but what he did regret, this lone-wolf operative, was the loss of the trust and camaraderie that he once shared with this team ... and I think that regret was genuine.

Then there's Ward's actions concerning Kara/Agent 33 ... it seems to me that he is doing his best to do right by her, and to cap it off with his reaction to Simmons attempt to kill him with a splinter bomb ... it may not be redemption he is now seeking, but maybe acceptance, if not forgiveness.

And speaking of Simmons, her action really took her to a dark place.  No longer is she the happy little researcher/medic, but the girl can hold a grudge and is capable of attempting to kill someone ... I wonder how she's going to handle Bakshi's death.  While she may not have regretted it had she succeeding in killing Ward, the unintentional killing of Bakshi may rattle her some, even if she tries to justify it by remembering he was once part of HYDRA.

Coulson vs. Gonzales ... yeah, they both have secrets and ulterior motives, but quite frankly, I'm still not sold on Gonzales -- especially when he is ignoring Bobbi's assertion that Skye is a SHIELD agent.  And from this, obviously Bobbi and Mack are also uncertain about Gonzales as well.  Yeah, Coulson was secretive and didn't put decisions up for a vote, but his willingness to admit his mistakes, and that he does genuinely care about his people and is willing to go the distance for them certainly seems to raise his stock with those two.

Now, on the Inhuman front we have things starting to unravel for Jaiying, what with Cal's unexpected return and uncensored rant, Lincoln's loss, and Raina's influence growing as her powers of precognition become known.  As Cal noted, Raina's a manipulative so-and-so, and given that her particular gift is something that only she can perceive, interpret and convey ... this really is a powerful tool in her arsenal, and Raina is starting to challenge Jaiying's authority.

Meanwhile, Skye is definitely coming into her own, and I think her personal stock in the Inhuman community may increase if she can spirit Lincoln away from Gonzales' clutches and back into their hands.  Although, it does seem that next week we're going to witness the world come crashing in on Afterlife.  By the same token, it seems that Skye is going to be the focal point of disagreement in SHIELD, especially in how Gonzales will wish to treat her, and how she is regarded by those she has worked with, especially now that she does have a handle on her powers.

It'll be interesting to see how the events of Age of Ultron will impact this series.

/s/

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#2 Cybersnark

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Posted 29 April 2015 - 10:23 AM

Wow, Skye. I wish May could've seen that gunfight. Hell, I wish Romanov could've seen it; she'd have invited Skye to the Avengers then and there.

It's cute how Gonzales thinks he has two Inhumans "in custody," as though Skye couldn't walk out of there any time she wanted to.
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#3 FarscapeOne

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Posted 29 April 2015 - 11:53 AM

I think this series has shown that it will be impacted by events of one Marvel movie or another as long as it's on the air.

And I think that's by design.  The closest thing I know of off the top of my head where a series is affected by the events of a movie were the TNG movies while DS9 was on the air.  And both instances were nothing more than just a throwaway line of dialogue.  (For the events of GENERATIONS, Sisko mentioning to Worf about the loss of the Enterprise in "THE WAY OF THE WARRIOR", and for FIRST CONTACT, the briefing during "BY INFERNO'S LIGHT" when Sisko talks about Starfleet being spread thin because of the Klingons and the recent Borg attack.  Not to mention the new uniforms were not seen until that movie premiered, which the first DS9 episode to have that was "RAPTURE"... but that was more a studio decision than anything else, if I remember correctly.)

Edited by FarscapeOne, 29 April 2015 - 11:56 AM.


#4 RJDiogenes

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Posted 29 April 2015 - 06:22 PM

The poor Bus.  :no:  I hope Lola was not on board.  :mellow:  No, it was part of the plan, so Coulson would have taken her off.

Gonzalez is definitely going to be a problem.  But I loved his reaction when Coulson revealed his "spoiler."  Not to mention Bobbie's almost-off-camera smirk.  :lol:

Ward's apology scene at the briefing was bizarre.  The thing he regretted most was breaking up their "family."  It almost sounded like the writers apologizing to the audience for messing things up.  Okay, that's probably my imagination.  :lol:

I loved the scene with Hunter and Mack.  Hunter was a big man in that one, and there is still hope for Mack.  What I really want is to see him reconcile with Fitz.  He should really be Fitz's best friend.  He was the one who really helped Fitz out when he was struggling with his brain damage and everybody else was all awkward around him.

As for Theta Protocol, I'm confused.  Coulson mentioned it to May when they were in Puerto Rico, but now she acts like she knows nothing about it.  Continuity error?  And at the end when Coulson was talking to Maria Hill, it almost sounded like the Avengers are Theta Protocol.

It does seem that May was most upset about him seeing her ex, and she has no justification for that.  I knew Coulson would have a good reason for seeing him, but I was surprised that he was seeing him professionally.  It was a nice touch.

I don't know about Ward.  He does seem like he wants to be as rehabilitated as possible-- the scene in the ready room, the scene with Simmons, leaving 33 in Coulson's custody-- but I don't know.  I almost think that he's leaving 33 as a plant, but the look on her face said otherwise.
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#5 Cardie

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Posted 29 April 2015 - 09:19 PM

Since his family failed him spectacularly, Ward is always looking for a place to belong and someone to love. But that makes him very easy to manipulate, not to mention the psychopath thing, which makes him prone to manipulate others. Ward only sees others according to his own needs and desires. They aren't otherwise real people to him.
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#6 Christopher

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Posted 30 April 2015 - 08:07 AM

View PostCybersnark, on 29 April 2015 - 10:23 AM, said:

Wow, Skye. I wish May could've seen that gunfight. Hell, I wish Romanov could've seen it; she'd have invited Skye to the Avengers then and there.

I don't know if it was intrinsically that much more skillful a performance than any other trained agent could manage; it's just that the action scenes in TV are usually chopped up by tons of quick cuts so you can't really appreciate the skill of the stunt performers. Hopefully, especially in the wake of Daredevil, we're starting to see a pushback against that music-video quick-cutting approach.


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It's cute how Gonzales thinks he has two Inhumans "in custody," as though Skye couldn't walk out of there any time she wanted to.

I had been thinking that Gonzales would be a good candidate to take over SHIELD leadership, with Coulson going back to being a field team leader, but Gonzales is just too inflexible in his bigotry toward "enhanced" people.
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#7 G-man

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Posted 30 April 2015 - 10:12 AM

Especially in light of Nick Fury's return, that's really going to play havoc with "Real SHIELD's" claim to legitimacy.

They can whine all they want about his methods, but whereas we've witnessed Coulson's work with Talbot establishing his legitimacy as successor to SHIELD in the government's eyes, we haven't really seen anything Gonzales' Gang has done to gain recognition outside their own circle.  And given that Gonzales is pretty much following the tact of eliminating rivals or independents who he deems as threats to his regime, I gotta question just how legitimate, or strong, his claim is.  Especially when his attitude is causing the likes of Mack and Bobbi -- who were both his people -- to question his actions.

/s/

Gloriosus
the G-man Himself
Let me strive every moment of my life to make myself better and better, to the best of my ability, so that all may profit by it.
Let me think of the right and lend my assistance to all who may need it, with no regard for anything but justice.
Let me take what comes with a smile, without loss of courage.
Let me be considerate of my country, of my fellow citizens, and my associates in everything I say and do.
Let me do right to all, and wrong no man.
-- Doc Savage

Few people want to be moderated, most people see the need for everyone else to be moderated. -- Orpheus

#8 RJDiogenes

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Posted 30 April 2015 - 07:28 PM

There is no way Gonzalez will be anything but a pretender-- even if he is redeemed.  Coulson is Fury's hand-picked savior of SHIELD, who he literally raised from the dead because he believed him to be the only one with the moral fortitude to do the job.  Giving him a boss and putting him back in the field would betray the fundamental defining principle of the show.  Gonzalez must either go off the rails and be defeated or be redeemed and acknowledge Coulson's superior position in the scheme of things.
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#9 BklnScott

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Posted 01 May 2015 - 01:00 AM

View PostChristopher, on 30 April 2015 - 08:07 AM, said:

View PostCybersnark, on 29 April 2015 - 10:23 AM, said:

Wow, Skye. I wish May could've seen that gunfight. Hell, I wish Romanov could've seen it; she'd have invited Skye to the Avengers then and there.

I don't know if it was intrinsically that much more skillful a performance than any other trained agent could manage; it's just that the action scenes in TV are usually chopped up by tons of quick cuts so you can't really appreciate the skill of the stunt performers. Hopefully, especially in the wake of Daredevil, we're starting to see a pushback against that music-video quick-cutting approach.

It was an extremely well-executed hero shot for Skye - and that director Kevin Tancharoen seemed to do it in one (shot) was impressive. (I assume he is related to co-creator Maurissa  Tancharoen - her brother?) to me it felt like an homage to the one-shot climactic moment in The Avengers where they finally come together as a team. I also thought about that great sequence in HBO's True Detective where director Cary Fukunaga staged a spectacular raid-siege-escape set-piece that went in for about 10- 15 minutes all in just one take (with perhaps one or two disguised cut aways). The one-take cinematic set-piece (once the exclusive province of film eg Altman, Scorsese, Mike Nicjols eT al) is pretty hot in high-end TV at the moment - the Skye sequence in this ep wasn't as elaborate as those (obviously) but it definitely gave me a little thrill. I never would have thought the show would get me in Skye's corner after season 1 but they all (writers and actor) really pulled it together this year. Ever since she shot Ward and left him for dead, Skye has been firing on all cylinders. (Certainly it helps that they surround the actress with the likes of Kyle McLachlan and Dichen Lachman.)

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It's cute how Gonzales thinks he has two Inhumans "in custody," as though Skye couldn't walk out of there any time she wanted to.

I had been thinking that Gonzales would be a good candidate to take over SHIELD leadership, with Coulson going back to being a field team leader, but Gonzales is just too inflexible in his bigotry toward "enhanced" people.

I think the show is problematizing his bigotry - and I expect the larger franchise to follow suitin phase three.

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#10 Christopher

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Posted 01 May 2015 - 08:03 AM

View PostBklnScott, on 01 May 2015 - 01:00 AM, said:

It was an extremely well-executed hero shot for Skye - and that director Kevin Tancharoen seemed to do it in one (shot) was impressive. (I assume he is related to co-creator Maurissa  Tancharoen - her brother?)

Yes. He also directed the recent "All Star Team Up" episode of The Flash (with the Atom). And apparently has done a web series based on the Mortal Kombat game, which might explain the video-gamey feel this sequence had for me. Not that I have much experience with video games, though.

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I also thought about that great sequence in HBO's True Detective where director Cary Fukunaga staged a spectacular raid-siege-escape set-piece that went in for about 10- 15 minutes all in just one take (with perhaps one or two disguised cut aways). The one-take cinematic set-piece (once the exclusive province of film eg Altman, Scorsese, Mike Nicjols eT al) is pretty hot in high-end TV at the moment - the Skye sequence in this ep wasn't as elaborate as those (obviously) but it definitely gave me a little thrill.

As I said, I'm hopeful that means we're getting a pushback against all the years of hyperquick cutting, and that more directors will be influenced by the trend and give us more master takes, in both drama and action scenes. (Wasn't pretty much the whole Birdman movie with Michael Keaton filmed that way? Sort of a modern-day Rope? At least, that's what I heard.)
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#11 BklnScott

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Posted 01 May 2015 - 11:59 AM

Did you not see Birdman? You really should check it out. It's extraordinary.

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#12 Cardie

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Posted 01 May 2015 - 03:49 PM

Birdman is terrific technically but I had little sympathy for self-pitying protagonist who had made everyone around him miserable for decades, yet they masochistically came around to help him through his (admittedly extreme) mid-life crisis. The broader satire of theatre folk and everything about Edward Norton were OK, though.

Christopher, it is made to look like one take but there are quite a number of cheats; nevertheless it is a tour de force of direction/cinematography. The quick cut vs. long take aesthetic argument has been waged in film studies for years. One or the other approach cycles into favor regularly. We seem to be heading toward long-take at this moment.
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#13 Christopher

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Posted 01 May 2015 - 05:30 PM

View PostCardie, on 01 May 2015 - 03:49 PM, said:

Birdman is terrific technically but I had little sympathy for self-pitying protagonist who had made everyone around him miserable for decades, yet they masochistically came around to help him through his (admittedly extreme) mid-life crisis. The broader satire of theatre folk and everything about Edward Norton were OK, though.

Not sure that would interest me. And I've never been that fond of Michael Keaton.


Quote

Christopher, it is made to look like one take but there are quite a number of cheats

Well, yes, that's what I'd expect for anything really long. Rope had to do a cheat dissolve/cut every ten minutes or so, since that was the length of a reel of film. (Despite how the film is promoted, though, I think there are five overt, unconcealed cuts in it.) Although these days, with digital cameras, that's no longer a limitation. There is a film you've probably heard of called Russian Ark, which was shot in a single, unbroken 96-minute take with a Steadicam attached directly to a hard drive. Amazingly, it took them only three tries to get a complete, viable take. I have that in my Netflix streaming queue, but I haven't gotten around to watching it yet.


Quote

The quick cut vs. long take aesthetic argument has been waged in film studies for years. One or the other approach cycles into favor regularly. We seem to be heading toward long-take at this moment.

I've always preferred long master takes, because they're more like live theater, and you get the energy of a complete, continuous performance rather than thirty-seven separate snippets stitched together in editing. And in action scenes, quick cuts don't really let you appreciate the stunt work, as I said. (After seeing Summer Glau's uncut tour de force fight scenes in Serenity, it was frustrating when The Sarah Connor Chronicles hacked up her stunt performances with lots of cuts.)
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#14 Sci-Fi Girl

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Posted 05 May 2015 - 11:26 AM

View PostYoukai, on 15 April 2015 - 11:30 PM, said:

But remember: May should know what Theta Protocol is. Coulson told May just before they entered the Kree temple that if things went bad and he didn't come back to execute Theta Protocol. So I think she knows what it is, although she may not know everything Coulson's been doing. It'll be interesting to see where this all leads.

View PostRJDiogenes, on 22 April 2015 - 06:28 PM, said:

I'm still not sure how much May is playing along with Gonzalez and how much she is being swayed.  Was she really kept out of the loop?  Coulson did tell her to initiate Theta Protocol at one point.  She certainly didn't seem too happy to seem him side-by-side with Ward.  Bobbie, on the other hand, seems to be questioning nuSHIELD more and more.  And Simmons isn't happy at all.

View PostRJDiogenes, on 29 April 2015 - 06:22 PM, said:

As for Theta Protocol, I'm confused.  Coulson mentioned it to May when they were in Puerto Rico, but now she acts like she knows nothing about it.  Continuity error?  And at the end when Coulson was talking to Maria Hill, it almost sounded like the Avengers are Theta Protocol.

I just went back and checked the episode "What They Become", and Coulson didn't mention Theta Protocol to May, it was to one of the Koenigs! :oh:

Clearly, Theta Protocol is a project that Coulson is carrying out for Fury. :)

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#15 Sci-Fi Girl

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Posted 05 May 2015 - 11:31 AM

I thought there was a very interesting parallel in this episode to a scenario in The Winter Soldier.   Here, while raiding the HYDRA base, May and the others work to take the base and save the hostages.   But May finds Coulson hacking into a computer for information.  When she catches him at it, she says "That wasn't the mission! ... Or was it?" :o

It parallels the scene where Cap and Romanov recapture the hijacked ship.  Cap finds Romanov accessing computers, and thinks she has strayed from the mission.  But it turns out that she was on a secret additional mission, on orders from Fury.  And it also turned out to be the entire reason for going there, and Cap and the rest had been kept in the dark.  

It's the exact same scenario in both!  In this case, May is in the same position as Steve, and Coulson fills Natasha's role as Fury's agent.  

This is all one big clue that Fury is still giving orders.  

View PostG-man, on 30 April 2015 - 10:12 AM, said:

Especially in light of Nick Fury's return, that's really going to play havoc with "Real SHIELD's" claim to legitimacy.

They can whine all they want about his methods, but whereas we've witnessed Coulson's work with Talbot establishing his legitimacy as successor to SHIELD in the government's eyes, we haven't really seen anything Gonzales' Gang has done to gain recognition outside their own circle.  And given that Gonzales is pretty much following the tact of eliminating rivals or independents who he deems as threats to his regime, I gotta question just how legitimate, or strong, his claim is.  Especially when his attitude is causing the likes of Mack and Bobbi -- who were both his people -- to question his actions.

/s/

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When Coulson gave Gonzales the box, he said something like "have fun with that ... until Fury comes back to get it".  This totally took the wind out of all Gonzales' plays for power, by telling him that Fury is still around.  Coulson and Gonzales can compete for power all they want, but Fury's still really in charge, so there's no point!  

Because that final scene with Hill clearly leads into Age of Ultron.  So the next episode will take place after the movie, in which I suspect Fury reveals himself.  So Gonzales is done.  And after the events of the Avengers are over, Fury could stop by the SHIELD season finale and straighten things out himself!  :D (He has a way of doing that.  ;) )

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"A song is like a picture of a bird in flight; the bird was moving before the picture was taken, and no doubt continued after."   - Pete Seeger

Pete Seeger's life was a picture of an idea in flight, and the idea will continue long after.  As long as there are people with goodness and courage in their hearts, the idea will continue forever.

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#16 G-man

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Posted 05 May 2015 - 12:26 PM

Hmmm ...

It's hard to say, though I'm hoping that we'll find out what the Theta Protocol is in tonight's episode.

Is it concerned with Fury's return? Or is it concerned with something else?

Stay tuned, true believers, and find out ;)

/s/

Gloriosus
the G-man Himself
Let me strive every moment of my life to make myself better and better, to the best of my ability, so that all may profit by it.
Let me think of the right and lend my assistance to all who may need it, with no regard for anything but justice.
Let me take what comes with a smile, without loss of courage.
Let me be considerate of my country, of my fellow citizens, and my associates in everything I say and do.
Let me do right to all, and wrong no man.
-- Doc Savage

Few people want to be moderated, most people see the need for everyone else to be moderated. -- Orpheus

#17 RJDiogenes

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Posted 05 May 2015 - 06:54 PM

View PostSci-Fi Girl, on 05 May 2015 - 11:26 AM, said:

I just went back and checked the episode "What They Become", and Coulson didn't mention Theta Protocol to May, it was to one of the Koenigs! :oh:  
Ah, thanks for checking that out.  Not a continuity error, just an implanted memory.  It's a magical place.
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