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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Agents of SHIELD: The Hub Review

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.
*Spoilers*
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.
Coulson again says his, "Tahiti it's a magical place" line, however he cuts his sentence off before finishing it when he realizes something is strange about how he says it. The final scene with Coulson trying to find out more information about his "recovery" was a great step forward since I expected him to drop the subject for a few episodes after his conversation with May in the last episode.

"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 Hern√°ndez 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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9 comments:

  1. Great review! :D I agree, it was a really good episode but some of the previous episodes are higher up on my list. Definitely! The acting was great(Joss always seems to get good actors on his shows- I also thought it was cool that a lot of these actors haven't done all that much, so a lot of them are relatively unknown). And yes, the humor was very funny as well! XD. I loved Simmons stunning that guy, I probably would have done the same thing(though I agree, it was a little odd how fast it was dropped). I also liked that camouflage sleeping bag thing that Ward and Fitz were using, I'd really like to have something like that.
    Overall, I think it was a great episode and I'm looking forward to the rest of the season! :D

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    1. Thanks! :D Yeah, some of the previous episodes were better, but this one was still good. I also liked that most of the actors are relatively unknown. Yes! An active camouflage bag thing would be cool to have! :)

      -James

      -James

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  2. I loved this episode. The wole you just destroyed the world's most dangerous sandwhich" thing was the best. It was also gratifying that Fitz turned to be more "lab specailist" than "dorky nerd b/c of working in the lab" But I wonder how did they get out of the mag-bag? It was stuck to the truck. I guess the zippers ae specially de magbetized...

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    1. Glad that you loved the episode as well! Oh yes, the sandwich scene was hilarious! I did not think about that, but I completely agree about Fitz being more than a guy working in the lab. My guess is that the mag-bag has electromagnetics so that they can stick to it and unstick if that makes sense.

      -James

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  3. The running sandwhich joke was my favorite part! Also the joke when Fitz was seeing Ward take out the guards and didn't realize it was him! That was great! The whole episode was good, though. :)

    I loved that the characters were kinda split up this time; it was neat seeing Fitz and Ward have some time together and Skye and Simmons be together. Fitz and Simmons are very very easily, after Coulson, my favorite characters. Seeing them apart and still working as individual characters was great and keeps them from becoming that one cute 'almost-but-not-quite' couples who are no good unless they're with the other half. So, excellent job by Joss Whedon, once again! :)

    ~Jamie

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    1. LOL, that sandwich part was so funny! I agree, that was another hilarious part! :)

      I did too. It had a lot of guy and girl bonding between the two "ships" in the series, and I too liked that.

      -James

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  4. It's fun, in an undemanding way, but I'm not as excited about it now as I was when it started. The plots seem too much in the Mission: Impossible mould and I want the links to the Marvel U to be more prominent. I also really hope that Coulson's secret will be more original than that he is a robot.

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    1. I do agree that this episode was not the best compared to the others. However, the Mission Impossible vibe with this particular episode was actually one of the things I liked. In some ways I also want more connections with the Marvel U. Maybe more connections with the comics and actual comic stories.I am thinking Coulson might be a cyborg, or an LMD, which is a robot. If he does turn out to be a robot, I wouldn't actually mind it.

      -James

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    2. P.S. If he is a robot, maybe it could connect with Ultron in Avengers 2.

      -James

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