Okay, I have to say, that this week’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Turn, Turn, Turn really should not have come as a surprise, the twist at the end…The double twist that is? I should have seen it coming. How many times has Bill Paxton played a variation on the same role. Sure he was a good guy in the 1996 film Twister, but before that he was the obnoxious Pvt. Hudson in Aliens, the horrific Severen in Near Dark in 1987 and the first thing I ever saw him in; Paxton was boogery big brother Chet in Weird Science. Bill Paxton, for the most part, equals either bad guy or a**hole type character who is so annoying that even the audience want to shoot him.
Which is why no one should have trusted Paxton as “good guy” John Garrett. Sure he acted like a colleague and good old pal of agent Phil Coulson and Garrett was Grant Ward’s old boss, for crying out loud. It was a sneaky move by Joss Whedon and co by allowing us all to believe that Paxton was playing against type.
Add into this the fact that Victoria Hand is just downright dislikable and so uptight as to be hemorrhoidal, that it was all too easy to see her as the HYDRA head in S.H.I.E.L.D. and the traitor that the agents needed to defeat. Turn, Turn, Turn kept things moving swiftly and confusingly right up until the double twist at the end.
Or was it a double twist?
As much as I wanted to believe that Bill Paxton was playing against type; because in spite of his usual type casting, I wanted him to be a good guy damn it, I’m annoyed that the show fooled me. But now it seems that agent Ward is also a baddie and that is disturbing. Almost as upsetting as when we found out that Melinda May was reporting on agent Coulson without his knowledge.
Considering that it has taken the television show a long time to hit its stride, Captain America: The Winter Soldier has been a “Godsend” to the show. All these double agents, sleeper agents, Deathlok and the clairvoyant have cranked this spy show up a notch or two and Cap fighting HYDRA on the big screen, as well as the possible death of Nick Fury…This slow moving series needed this shot in the arm to keep it from suffering from the Joss Whedon TV curse.
Leaving all that analytical mumbo-jumbo to the critics for a moment. Let’s talk about a highlight or two in the show. Towards the end of this week’s episode, award of the “Best Line” of the show goes to Clark Gregg, as Phil Coulson. When Paxton, as Garrett says he did not enjoy torturing Coulson and states, “Phil, this is me being honest.” Coulson replies, “No John, this is you being a psychopath.” Yep, best one of the night by a long shot.
Mad props to Iain De Caestecker as Fitz, his tearful threat to Garrett was just brilliant and made his character all the more loveable because of it. The explosion gag was humorous enough, although a variation to the old dynamite fuse joke that’s been around for ages. Of course the most mysterious thing in the entire show tonight was just how did Melinda May get those very impressive cuffs off?
One second she’s still got them clapped on. The lights flicker, we hear a subdued sound of gears clicking, and suddenly, agent May has both hands free, the cuffs are nowhere to be seen and it is never explained just how she got out of those pesky cuffs. It must have wound up on the cutting room floor and just not noticed by anyone else.
But we noticed, didn’t we?
At least I did, and I rewound and played that particular part of the show repeatedly to see just what happened. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Turn, Turn, Turn kept me guessing from the very first frame. Not having seen the big screen Marvel offering of Captain America: The Winter Soldier I’ll still assume that the good guys win by the time the end credits roll and take for granted that the world of the super spy organization has been changed forever. Tonight’s show was great, although I am disappointed that Hand was not the HYDRA agent, and this episode was well worth the slow build up that has been the series so far. But, really? I should have seen the Bill Paxton thing coming…
By Michael Smith