Friday, March 7, 2014

Agents of SHIELD: T.R.A.C.K.S. Review

Even though I have said in the past Agents of SHIELD has had one of its best episodes and that it improves upon previous episodes, I want to emphasize how much better this past episode was than any of the previous ones. The creators seemed to have listened to our complaints about the series and have made something truly different with "T.R.A.C.K.S." This is probably the best episode of network TV I have seen in a while. *Major Spoilers are ahead*
Wow! "T.R.A.C.K.S." was just all around great! It may not have been the deepest most character defining episode of the series, but the significantly darker tone, more violence, and the all around cool spy work with a healthy dose of humor resulted in a fantastic episode. It may not necessarily be everyone's favorite, but "T.R.A.C.K.S." really impressed me, not to mention the shocking ending with Skye being shot! Even before the episode was finished, I was thinking, "Hey, this a cool episode, and it might be the best!" and that ending solidified it as my favorite. The only problem with the ending is that I did not feel as shocked I should have felt since I was anticipating Skye to show her special power and that never happened, which felt me with an odd feeling. But the true standout in the episode was most certainly May and her general butt-kicking awesomeness throughout the episode. I loved the part where the guy stabs her and she uses the thing to kill all of the guys. We need more action scenes like that one because that was majorly cool. Also, the episode was a lot more violent with more blood than other episodes, which is always a plus. Her banter with Ward was great as well in the episode, especially that line about May telling Coulson about their relationship. Ward appearing to get jealous when Coulson helps May with the her injury was a good scene and I hope that some good conflict will come out of it, providing it does not result in a "love-triangle," which would be incredibly annoying.

Showing what happened in the episode from different perspectives was a brilliant move by the writers! Normally that type of storytelling is annoying, but it was executed excellently in the episode. It gave each character spotlight briefly, but May shined the brightest. The entire train setting reminded me of the episode "Train Job" from Firefly, and the setting in general reminded me of the James Bond movie, From Russia with Love, which was cool. After the stories from different perspectives, Fitz and Skye breaking into the enemy's complex had a fun Mission Impossible espionage vibe, which made the episode even more enjoyable.

As usual, "T.R.A.C.K.S." had some great humor, particularly Simmons' planned out story with her "father" Coulson.

One of the parts of the episode for sure was Stan Lee's cameo! While I would have liked him to have had a larger part in the episode since he can finally play a villain like he has wanted to do since Agents of SHIELD offers that ability, but his words of encouragement were nonetheless perfect.

At the very end of the episode, the camera zooms in on Peterson's cybernetic leg and it reads Deathlok. Fans of the comic would recognize the name as being the designation of the cyborg Deathlok. However, unlike the comics, Deathlok is from an alternate dimension and Mike Peterson is not his true identity, but the character is black and there have been cyborgs designated Deathlok, so it is not such a drastic change to the source material. Also, Coulson referenced “Blonsky” in the episode, and if you remember that Incredible Hulk movie that is somewhat of the odd man out when it comes to Marvel Cinematic Universe, he was the big guy that the Hulk fought at the end of the movie.

Overall: 9.7/10- With a darker tone, general awesomeness, and a well placed cameo by the legend, "T.R.A.C.K.S." is probably the best episode of the series thus far.

Note: This review was written before watching the recent episode this past week, which was even more awesome.

For another opinion, you check out T.M. Hall's review of Agents of SHIELD: 'T.R.A.C.K.S.' here.

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  1. Great review, James! It was surprisingly darker for the series, but still remained it's humor. (Sorry if this doesn't make sense, I just woke up) The flashbacks were somewhat irritating to me, but at least they didn't start it in the middle of the action, and then went 24/48 hours earlier. The episode was good, no doubt about it, but the ending was just amazing. I kind of figured out what would happen from the trailer, but still, it was still a shock. Thanks for putting a link to my review! Like I said before, excellent review, James!


    1. Thank you! lol That still makes enough sense for me to understand what you are saying and I most certainly agree. Oh yes, that ending really sealed as my favorite up to that point in the series, but the recent even out did this one! No problem, glad to do it. :) And thanks again!


  2. Great review! :) I agree, this episode(and the most recent one) were awesome- I really enjoyed them and I agree, the plot, action, humor, and character development were top notch. I also liked the surprise with Skye getting shot- very unexpected and a good twist. Hopefully the show will continue in the recent vein of awesomeness and the rest of the show will be just as good! :) And can't wait to see Sif next week! :D

    1. Thanks. :) Agreed, hopefully the series will continue this trend of high quality episodes and a darker tone, it is really going in the right direction! :D


  3. This was my favorite episode so far, I loved the formatting -- how they played the whole situation out over and over from everyone's perspective! It reminded me of Firefly too. :D And I'm glad the latest episode is keeping it up!

  4. I agree! Best ep so far, and it reminded me of "Train Job" too! I said to a friend that it's like Joss sat the team down and said, "Okay, we need to fix this show. Break everything! Hurt or kill characters! Mess up relationships! Let's get some actual drama going on here, people!"

    I don't think Coulson/May is ever going to be a thing, but Ward suspecting it might could add some great conflict.


One rule: No strong profanity. If you want to link to one of your posts, please do; I am always interested in other reviews and such.

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