TV Show Review

TV Review: AGENTS Of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Season 1, Episode 9: Repairs [ABC]

Ming-na Wen Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

ABC‘s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  Repairs TV Show ReviewAgents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Season 1, Episode 9: “Repairs” highlighted two aspects I have grown to alternately like and dislike about the series. Two aspects that have neatly split the show’s characters down the middle, separating the team’s field operatives from its support staff by way of professionalism versus childishness.

Hannah Hutchins (Laura Seay), head safety inspector for a Particle Accelerator project, survived an explosion that killed the project team. As they were all residents of the nearby small town, and given her job description, the community had blamed her for the deaths. If that wasn’t bad enough, she may have developed an unconsciously destructive – even malicious – telekinetic ability as a result of the explosion. This was where S.H.I.E.L.D. came in.

Agent May (Ming-na Wen) got the lead for this assignment. Apparently, she had some experience with new found super power. This stemmed from a mission which made her into the legend she had been avoiding up to joining the team. Skye (Chloe Bennet), on the other hand, thought Hannah was being handled insensitively, and that May was about as insensitive as they come. Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg), did his usual best to talk Hannah down. Hannah, however, didn’t think she was so much empowered as being divinely tormented. She wasn’t alone.

The strange occurrences around her turned out to be the work of deceased colleague Tobias (Robert Baker); only he wasn’t a ghost. Thanks to what could only be described as a school yard crush, Tobias was left caught between two dimensions. As he was convinced one of them was Hell, he had been acting on his guilt by serving as Hannah’s guardian poltergeist. In that capacity, he caused a forced landing of the “Bus,” tangled with Ward (Brett Dalton), and chased after May and Hannah. May held her own, but resorted to a Coulson styled talk down in getting Tobias to move on.

There was also a sub-plot involving Fitz-Simmons (Iain De Caestecker and Elizabeth Henstridge) hazing Skye, but the less I speak of that the better.

At the team briefing, after Hannah’s first questioning, Tobias was visible over Coulson’s shoulder for the entire scene. The fact that Ward and May, the two sharpest blades in  Coulson’s drawer, stood directly across from him without noticing Tobias seemed unlikely. The fact that Tobias’ supposed ghost could not enter Hannah’s shielded cell should have been a tip-off that he wasn’t a ghost at all.

If May was perceptive and nimble enough to evade and elude phantom Tobias, and getting him clear of her people (by using Hannah as bait) was her plan, then trapping him in the cell he was so intent on getting into seemed like the simplest solution. As it was established that Tobias was moving between dimensions, and not being a “Bat outta Hell,” the whole “let it go” spiel rang a little hollow. More so in that it was a recycling of Coulson’s speech to her, after her life-changing mission. I had to wonder whether May said it because she believed it, or merely adopted it as useful tool. Either way, the fate of Tobias, and the nature of his destination would be an unforgivable missed opportunity, if not addressed at some point. I suppose I can rule out the Negative Zone, domain of Annihilus (thank you, FOX); but something really should be done with this.

We were finally given a glimpse behind May’s stone cold visage, and thankfully her Dark Horse status was left intact. With Ward becoming more than the team straight-man, and Coulson displaying more characteristic management chops, the field team seemed better than ever. The Fitz-Simmons hazing scheme, however, might have undone two episodes worth of positive character growth for them.

Skye has grown far more condescending than her team standing and experience has warranted. She has gone from flaunting the rules, and being a general security risk, to openly challenging and lecturing her team mates. Somehow, she not only keeps getting away with it, but has begun to receive encouragement for it. Coulson had better be grooming her for a role no one else can see her filling; otherwise, I may have to start holding him responsible for her.

Childishness may have actually played a role in “Repairs,” but a little goes a long way. Less, considering how much of the season had been given over to silly moments. I am hopeful, however, that the Skye-Fitz-Simmons half of the team will be taking its cues from the Coulson-Ward-May half, and not the other way around.

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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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