‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ Takes Two Steps Forward & One Step Back in its Return

Published 1 year ago by

agents of shield season 1 episode 16 hand tate sitwell Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Takes Two Steps Forward & One Step Back in its Return

[This is a review of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1, Episode 16. There will be SPOILERS.]

It’s been another lengthy hiatus, but Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has finally returned for its final set of episodes. This week Skye becomes real agent; a mole in S.H.I.E.L.D. is revealed; and everything gets set up for the Captain America: The Winter Soldier tie-in episodes.

In this week’s episode, “End of the Beginning,” written by Paul Zbyszewski, agents Blake, Hand, Sitwell, Garrett and Triplett team up with Coulson & co. to track down the Clairvoyant, and Deathlok receives an upgrade to help protect his handler’s identity. When the investigation leads to a vegetative man named Thomas Nash, who is said to be psychic, Skye receives a deathly prophecy, while Coulson turns on his own team in order to find out who the traitor is.

In terms of story, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. touched upon more story-arcs in this week’s episodes than much of the previous episodes combined. Whether it’s Skye becoming a full S.H.I.E.L.D. agent as a character convenience, or to call upon Hand, Blake and Sitwell to be thrust into situations which will pay off in the future, this week’s episode successfully rounded some of the series’ edge and helped establish some intriguing storylines which could smartly connect to Captain America: The Winter Soldier and deliver a truly entertaining tie-in. If fans of the series are looking for a clear sign that AoS is making an attempt to right itself, this episode most certainly accomplishes that feat – more than any surprising tag-line shift of “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Uprising” ever did.

agents of shield season 1 episode 16 deathlok Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Takes Two Steps Forward & One Step Back in its Return

Now 16 episodes in, the strengths and weaknesses of the series are more than apparent, and it’s interesting to see how the producers are attempting to juggle everything they have to work with, shifting things around until they find things that work. Initially, the B-list agents – Garrett, Hand, Blake, Sitwell – meet-up and subsequent pairing off for the mission felt stiff and unnecessary; but the more the characters spent time together the more enjoyable they, as well as the story, became.

Even so, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. still appears to overextend its characters by forcing them in to multiple, overly-emotional scenes which puts the entire adventure on hold. Sure, Skye was a part of each one, but it’s unfair to point to her as the problem. Yes, Skye needed to become an agent in order to make her a more complete character; however, it’s highly unlikely that anyone expected it to happen with an “official” ceremony and one-on-one with Garrett. Of course, if Nash’s premonition is correct, then it doesn’t matter.

agents of shield season 1 episode 16 may ward Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Takes Two Steps Forward & One Step Back in its Return

At this point, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. appears to be setting itself up major reveal during the Captain America: The Winter Soldier tie-in episodes, and for all intents and purposes it could realistically prove to be a successful shift that will propel the series up the hill it’s been climbing. Deathlok’s costume may look “too Smallville” for Smallville, and the series may sometimes overreach, but there’s something intriguing about what all might occur if Marvel’s synergistic experiment is ultimately successful.


Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns next Tuesday with “Turn, Turn, Turn” @8pm on ABC. You can check out a preview of next week’s episode below:

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  1. NO EVERYONE DOES NOT KNOW THAT! Thanks for the spoiler

  2. How in the f— can you write that “everyone knows” — the movie hasn’t even opened in the USA.

    • @kevin:

      I don’t recall the advertising ever saying it was tied in to the movies, only to the Marvel Universe and at that, the non-super part of it (the tagline was ever “Not all heroes are super”).

      I disagree with the sentiment that AoS needed established characters to begin with. That was the point, to create a show with new characters that may or may not connect with other ones. Just like Agent Coulson was a new character in the films (and the secondary SHIELD agents in the one-shots), this was the premise for AoS. I liked the journey and the character development.

      I’m sure ABC had to modify the series a bit to pander to those who wanted more tie in with the cinematic universe but I wouldn’t care if this didn’t directly connect to Cap 2. The fact that it does, is a bonus but that doesn’t make or break the series for me.

      I am able to separate this from the main Marvel Universe and I think it’s more entertaining when you do so.

      • While not explicitly stated as such, one can’t help but notice that certain elements, Agent Sitwell who appeared in Thor for instance, automatically gives the show the status of tying in to the movies.

        Now, you could certainly make the argument that Sitwell on AoS is a different portrayal than than the Sitwell that appears in Thor and just happens to be played by the same actor, but then you run into the problem of him being ordered in this episode to report to a certain aircraft carrier that he then appears on in the first act of Winter Soldier, a carrier that has the same name as the one he was ordered to be on.

        As such, I would find it logically impossible to separate unless one were to state that only certain scenes just happen to coincide with the film universe and yet are in no way connected.

        That would seem to require far more mental acrobatics than just accepting that they are related.

  3. Marvel need to step up in the game in the small-screen department. DC is flaunting its stuff with Arrow and the upcoming Gotham series.

  4. Whoever said Ultron is the clarvoyiant has a great idea going on. Shield made AI off of Stark’s Jarvis program to assist them and in turn Hydra corrupted the AI to do it’s dirty work. Stark will make Jarvis into the vision in Avengers 2. Just off of that you have opened the door for all kinds of characters and sub plots. I would like to see phase 3 get a bit more darker though, have the super hero registration act get enacted, avengers are fighting against each other because of it, and Thanos in the background masterminding it all.

    AoS have begun making good tracks. I have been a fan all along, but have been waiting for these episodes to finally take root. I think the first part of season one was building characters and getting us accustomed to the new crew. Then when they brought Peterson back it started getting better. The Deathlock suit is ok, considering you have to remind yourself that its more like a prototype going through different changes. I did see some skin missing from his forehead near the end of the show and saw the metal underneath it, as well as the xray vision little flying bots Fitz has.

    As far as Shield being behind a lot of stuff, remember the episdoe where one of Coulson’s prior agents went rogue and had the Clarvoyiant telling her what to do. At the end of that episode they fixed her eye and removed the explosive device from her. It only made since if they knew how to disarm and remove it; then they knew how to implement it as well.

    My suspicion is that Hand is part of Hydra and May is working for Fury, since the plane was Fury’s gift.

    • That would be awesome if it’s true. I know Hydra has it’s ‘Hand'(pun!) somewhere In there. And it may be that May is talking to Fury. If so I would think that should fess up pretty soon

  5. All this tie-in media makes little sense and clearly hundreds of millions aren’t watching the show are the same ones going to see the movies in theaters. Its just diehards or the 10 people on Earth who don’t use DVRs and are waiting for this show to end so they can waste some time before their favorite of the night starts.