TV Show Review

TV Review: AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.: Episode 2.15: One Door Closes [ABC]

Adrianne Palicki Edward James Olmos Henry Simmons Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. One Door Closes

ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. One Door Closes TV Show ReviewAgents of S.H.I.E.L.D., season 2, episode 15, ‘One Door Closes,’ certainly lived up to the title; with Team Coulson (Clark Gregg) effectively shut down, while any number of possible directions lay ahead, for the series.

Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) may have been too all-business to notice that Skye (Chloe Bennet) just wanted a bonding session, during their streaming chat (Skye having been relocated to a remote ‘cabin’); but at least the therapeutic gauntlets, she provided, brought Skye one step closer to her source character’s look. I don’t think fans of the show are ready for a boy-cut hairdo, though.

Another critic might be Gordon (Jamie Harris). He was not entirely for the curbing of Skye’s power; and after a convincing breakdown of its nature (a brief faucet scene would have seemed kinda silly, without it), offered to take her back to some genuine peers. The fact that he didn’t just grab her, likely made it an offer worth considering.

On a side note: given the ‘impression’ left, by the retreat’s previous occupant, I thought the front door looked a little flimsy, for the structure’s given purpose.

‘One Door Closes’ was not the first episode to resort to a parallel flashback narrative, but it came in very handy, in this case. Much of what could have been a drawn out conflict was covered – if only by way of demonstrating what the unknown half was about.

The flashback thread followed how arc conspirators Mack (Henry Simmons), Bobbi (Adrianne Palicki), and would-be Coulson nemesis, Robert Gonzales (Edward James Olmos), first crossed paths, in a way that would understandably cement a bond between them. The fact that this occurred during the Winter Soldier coup should put concerns, over the arc being a retread of the HYDRA insurrection, to rest.

Anyone weary of all the daggers, hidden behind backs, should have been plenty pleased by so many of them having come out, all at once, past & present. With them, came a familiar face, as I imagine someone like Lucy Lawless was too good a get to get rid of, as quickly as Agents seemingly did. If flashback Izzy is all we get, it’s still a get. Oddly enough, it wasn’t Lawless’ turn, as a Cylon, that brought back memories of BSG, but seeing Olmos’ Gonzales character, as a battered survivor, among dead HYDRA moles. Good times.

The real point of the flashback was to muddy the present clash of Agents, and  keep us from automatically rooting against Team Gonzales. Familiarity breeds bias, however, as I couldn’t help but side with the Agents I’ve known longer.

Don’t get me wrong – I respected how MacBobbi handled its self, after its cover was blown, even if Mack didn’t seem to learn his lesson, about co-workers turning on him. Bobbi didn’t get everything her way, either (Hell, yeah, Simmons! You’ve come a long way, since Bobbi bailed you out of your HYDRA cover), but she did put on a helluva show, going up against title holder, May (Ming-Na Wen).

To my delight, the Art of S.H.I.E.L.D. project rolls on – now called ‘Art of Evolution,’ since the Terrigen element was added; this week’s installment – courtesy of Delicious Design League – highlighting Bobbi Morse unleashed, past & present, on friend & foe, alike, all in the name of the Agency.

Adrianne Palicki Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. One Door Closes

Defender of founding S.H.I.E.L.D. ideals, or enforcer of new order rules? I suppose the answer would be subjective, based on how you felt about Bobbi (and who you rooted for, during the throwdown with May).

For the sake of clarity, a face-to-face, between Coulson & Gonzales, had to happen; so the outcome was a forgone conclusion. The resolution to the flashback events was a little on the corny side; but leave it to May to be the cavalry, in more ways than one. Her reset, of Team Coulson’s bad end, was quite the palate cleanser.

By bringing the Winter Soldier events back down to series level, ‘One Door Closes’ also served as a reminder of there being more to the Agency than just Coulson’s outfit. The HYDRA insurrection has brought new context to previous touchstones, like the Academy, allowing for the introduction/ reintroduction of other survivors. Watching the HYDRA moles go to work allowed us to appreciate the hawkish tones of Gonzales aides, Calderon (Kirk Acevedo), and Weaver (Christine Adams). Weaver, given that she was head of the Academy, retained some of her regard for Fitz-Simmons; but Calderon was the team attack dog – necessitating a Bobbi escort, for loose end Skye’s retrieval.

Calderon’s role, as bad cop, came in handy, after all – that is, provided anyone wanted another major demonstration of Skye’s ability. No doubt, Calderon’s disposition will not be softened, after the experience; but it was a treat to see, all the same. If Agents manages to maintain (or even up) the coolness factor of scenes like Skye’s, I’d be willing to declare its slower moments as saving up, between superpower payoffs.

It was also at that point that Skye conceded to Gordon’s offer. Considering that it was something of a whisper, I was left wondering if Gordon is always… I dunno – looking? Listening? Just always on.

‘One Door Closes’ had a pretty open ending. Team Coulson may have been brought to heel; but all, save one, of its most dangerous persons were left standing (one, in particular, standing a little taller than before). I won’t resort to a “Skye’s the limit” pun (even if I kinda did – I’m tired), but this has been as broad a potential reset as the series has been offered, since the last civil war. Suffice to say, a much bigger Civil War is in the works; so kudos to Agents, for at least wetting our appetites, if not staking out a really early front seat.

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About the author

Sam Joseph

Sam is an Avid consumer/observer of Geek culture, and collector of Fanboy media from earliest memory. Armchair sociologist and futurist. Honest critic with satirical if not absurdist­­ wit with some experience in comics/ animation production.

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