Thoughts: Agents of SHIELD's episode, "The Hub" introduces us to a larger SHIELD universe with the Hub, an episode that featured larger scale action and a classic espionage storyline.
First off, this episode had me laughing so hard that my face was hurting. The first half in particular was funnier than the majority of most comedies that I have seen. However, among the humor, there were some great character moments, action scenes, and a sense of comradery among the team. After Simmons received some much needed character development last week, Fitz got his fair share in "The Hub." Now, we just need an episode about Agent May's background and why she is called "The Cavalry." Along with the high level of fun and adventure, "The Hub" featured some commentary on is withholding so much information morally right? That sentiment is something that the recent Winter Soldier trailer expressed as well. "The Hub" mixes of the tone of the series with a lot more humor in the first half and more of a serious tone in the second. Even though the tonal changes are a tad jarring, they worked well enough in the episode to provide us with equal parts laughs along with great character moments. As a whole, "The Hub" is a little weaker than the past few episodes. That being said, it was majorly entertaining and fun to watch. Splitting the screen time between Skye and Simmons trying to find out more about the mission, Fitz and Grant on the mission, and a few scenes of Coulson, "The Hub" was able to balance the different characters and plot threads effectively. One complaint I have heard about the episode is how easily Fitz shooting Sitwell was dropped so quickly considering that she shoot a superior officer! My theory is that Agent Hand convinced Stilwell to drop it since Coulson discovered that Hand was lying about the extraction team.
"The Hub" featured several references to comic book characters, Marvel's films, and the returning of Jasper Sitwell, who was featured in the Marvel One-Shots. Saffron Burrows portrayed Victoria Hand, a SHIELD Agent from the comics. She looks almost exactly like her comic book counterpart. While Maximiliano Hernández as Agent Sitwell was in the "Item 47" Marvel One-Shot, his first name of Jasper was not revealed until this episode, which confirms that he is Jasper Sitwell from the comics. Additionally, the Triskelion was referenced as well. As for the Marvel Cinematic references, Agent Hand mentions Agents "Barton and Romanoff" who are Hawkeye and Black Widow. Overall, the references were more subtle, which is good.
Action: Some of the action was a little too ridiculous, but Agent Ward and Fitz fighting the guards was fun to see.
Acting: Brett Dalton as Grant Ward is much improved over his previous performances. Iain De Caestecker as Leo Fitz and Elizabeth Henstridge as Jemma Simmons have become two of the best actors in the cast. As usual, Clark Gregg is noticeably the best actor of the entire series.
Production Value/Special Effects: The effects were mixed. Some of them worked, other ones did not.
Comedy: While some of the laughs could be considered cheap and potentially corny, they left me laughing, a lot in fact. One particularly hilarious scene is when Fitz asks Simmons what happened when he was on the mission and she replies, "I shot a superior officer in the chest."
Overall: 8.4/10- "The Hub" had some great character and comedic moments, but the episode as a whole is not on the same level of the previous few episodes.
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