I seem to be stuck in something of a whiplashy week-to-week like/meh relationship with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Nothing in last night’s episode engaged, compelled, or surprised me, even though I know they were trying to make both things happen. It’s a mid-season finale, after all. That’s what those are designed to do.
I’m not sure where, exactly, the blockage is between the show and me, but I find myself inordinately distracted by things like how cheap the prison break looked (Nikita looks like it has more money, yet Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is made by Disney?) and how Coulson and Ward managed to drive perfectly straight for several minutes without stopping or turning despite Coulson cranking the steering wheel left and right like he was having a seizure while the chroma key out the windows showed them blowing right through residential intersections with stop signs.
Something seems to be making the people behind this show lazy or cheap, or maybe it’s the people with the money behind the people behind the show, but if they don’t care enough to work at it, why should I?
I don’t understand why Coulson lets Peterson off so easily, flatly telling him he made the only choice he could. It’s patently untrue. Peterson could have told the team what Centipede demanded of him, and Coulson — of course — would have volunteered to be taken, without hesitation or second thought, which would have bolstered the hopeful and humanist streak the show toys with now and then. Instead, we get Peterson betraying the team and Coulson telling him there was no other choice. Did the writers not notice there was another choice or did they just not care there was another choice? Did they not notice that pretending there was no other choice was itself betrayal of the Coulson the show has shown us before?
I felt no empathy or compassion for Peterson here, precisely because there was another choice. I’d rather at least Coulson have said, “There was another choice. You could have told me, and I would have done it.” In the very first episode Coulson berated FitzSimmons, saying that they were never to tell him there wasn’t a way. Yet here, he just lets Peterson off the hook for not finding that way.
Is anyone paying attention to these characters from one moment to the next?
Obviously last night left me more on the “meh” than the “like” side of my personal equation. I still, for whatever reason, feel like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. somehow can claw it’s way to being consistently engaging, but it’s really become a “watch while doing other things” sort of show for me at this point, which is actually not an inherent bad it’s just not what I was hoping to get.
Meanwhile, can “he’s standing right behind me, isn’t he” be subject to some sort of WGA moratorium? There’s no real excuse for that gag unless you figure out how to do something new with it. Which neatly summarizes my problems with the show: no one is doing anything new with it.