“I don’t know what’s happening to me…”
‘Agents of SHIELD’ is back! The second series was a massive improvement on the first, and some episodes were among the best TV I saw last year. Of course, there were still a few duds littered about, but you’re always going to get that with a series of twenty-odd episodes. The show changed from being a chore to watch to being a pleasure to watch. I was looking forward to the new season of AoS. However, I should have done (or there should have been) a recap, as I had forgotten some events from the second series (and couldn’t put names to some faces!). That being said, the Season 3 opener was, for the most part, a success. Apart from a few boring exposition scenes, there was enough action and enjoyable dialogue to bring AoS back to our screens with a bang!
As for that opening sequence…what a beginning! Action-packed, full of wit, and enough gadgetry to put Bond to shame, this showcased the best of AoS in five minutes! ‘Joey’, who had the power to melt metal objects (I think…), was a perfect plot device to remind us of the events of the last season. The Terragin has been released worldwide, and the chemical is creating Inhumans at a steady pace. Along with Daisy/Skye and Mack, Joey was involved in some very funny conversations, which managed to make the exposition entertaining. His parallel to Daisy’s situation in the second half of Season 2 was a delightful aside to things, as he immediately asked “Can you cure me?” much like Daisy did after discovering she was an Inhuman. We see the Daisy of old here, brimming with confidence and in full control of her powers. She’s proof of the benefits of an Inhuman transformation.
“So…I’m An Alien?”
Of course, it’s always good to see Coulson, but now he somehow feels naked without his entourage. Bobby, Mack, Hunter and Daisy complement him in very different ways. Coulson’s banter bounces easily off any one of the above, and there’s always a small joke or punchline waiting for us. May’s absence was felt the hardest, even without the show poring over her. Coulson mentioned her once, but her absence doesn’t need to be shoved in our face. However, it felt like the producers believed the audience would keep forgetting about his severed left arm; thus we saw him constantly taking off and putting on his artificial arm for unnecessary reasons!
Like the constant reminders of the artificial arm, sometimes the dialogue was reduced to long strings of mere exposition. Even Daisy splurged out some babble about the Terragin whilst trying to comfort the scared Joey. It bogged down a few of the early scenes, but was present mostly in the middle. I was glad of the recap, but surely the writers can give us a recap without being so boring? It caused Bobby to sound like a robot reading out lines during one scene. All of the main cast members, at some point, almost stopped playing their character to give us this exposition. Fortunately, that was my only major complaint for this episode.
“He’s going nuts”
It was particularly jarring as some of the dialogue exchanges were the most enthralling in ‘AoS’s’ history. I was flummoxed by Fitz’s sudden change in personality; last season he could hardly speak, but in ‘Laws Of Nature’ he was as smooth-talking as James Bond! We could have had a little aside from Coulson about how much Fitz has improved! However, his new personality gave us an engrossing scene as he met a (presumed) terrorist to gain information about the Monolith. His search for Simmons brought out the best in Fitz; his scene towards the end of the episode was another highlight. Although it’s jarring, I like this new Fitz! Another instance of snappy dialogue was Coulson’s meeting with the mysterious ‘Rosalind,’ as they sparked off each other in wonderful ways.
That’s the ‘AoS’ we know and admire: witty dialogue, and people trying to get one over someone else through words rather than action. And although the opening action sequence was brilliant, the action sequence involving an ‘evil’ Inhuman towards the end looked ridiculous, as did the aforementioned Inhuman. He looked like a human Sonic the Hedgehog! Some things just don’t work on the screen, and he didn’t either. The consequent battle between him, Daisy and Lincoln failed to excite as well. It was simply a CGI light show!
But, on the whole, ‘Laws Of Nature’ was an fitting return for ‘Agents Of SHIELD.’ Apart from the dull exposition and the awkward final battle, the episode was full of notable occurrences and dialogue. The new and improved Fitz, whilst a little confusing, is a blast! It feels like the events of Season 2 have affected everyone, which is a good thing to observe. The issue of an ever-growing number of Inhumans will be an intriguing development to follow. May the quality of this opener continue through Season 3!
VERDICT: 8/10. SHIELD is back, and ‘Laws Of Nature’ showcased the best of the TV show. Exposition and a dodgy battle spoiled things a little, but not too much!
(Click here for my review of Agents of SHIELD: Season 2: Episode 22: S.O.S Part 2)