Cast: Clark Gregg, Ming-Na wen, Brett Dalton, Chloe Bennet, Elizabeth Henstridge, Iain De Caestecker
Director: Milan Cheylov
Network: Airs on ABC Tuesdays @ 8 p.m.
Original Telecast: April 15, 2014
Warning there are probably spoilers to CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLIDER inside.
Obviously a lot has happened over the course of the last few episodes of MARVEL’S AGENTS OF SHIELD. There was the whole Hydra taking over thing and the collapse of S.H.I.E.L.D. as a result, Nick Fury is dead (presumably), Agent Ward (Brett Dalton) has revealed his true self as a Hydra agent and the rest of Agent Coulson’s team is now in peril and on the run. Yeah, bad times.
While “Providence” wasn’t nearly as entertaining or fast-paced as the previous three episodes, it did a good job of setting the stage for what happens next. This episode also did a very good job of tying together much of what we saw during the first half of the show – maybe just in a way for the writers and producers to poke at fans to say “See, we knew what we were doing.”
It also did what I thought was the impossible: It made Ward actually interesting. I really enjoyed that they opened him up as douchebag that has been playing the team this entire time. He even recited some of the lines he originally said in the “Pilot” episode word-for-word in typical boring Ward speak only to go into his true personality of an a**hole. Now, I have a feeling this wasn’t originally what ABC and Marvel planned for his character but given the negativity the show has received they pulled a mulligan making him a bad guy.
And the show is definitely better for it. For one, none of the other team members knows which will obviously lead to some waterworks and confrontations next episode judging from the previews. Second, it gives a face – along with Bill Paxton’s John Garrett – to fight against. That’s something that has sorely been missing from the show. Yes, there has been Deathlok but only sort of as he has wavered between bad guy and good guy for a while now.
The other good thing that “Providence” did was bring back much of the items that the team searched out and recovered during the boring first 14 episodes of the show. Originally, Coulson told the team that the items were going to be launched into the sun and destroyed forever. We found out in this episode that was not the case at all and instead everything was being stored at The Fridge, which consequently was raided by Garret, Ward and Hydra in order to get to all the goodies inside.
Again, I doubt this was the original plan for the show. I think that originally these were just one-off episodes but after the flak the show took they brought the items back in order to bring some sort of continuity to the show and maybe show those that have stuck with the show that those episodes weren’t just wasted but part of a greater whole.
MARVEL’S AGENTS OF SHIELD is a different show in a post-THE WINTER SOLDIER world, and that’s a good thing given how bad this show was leading up to the movie. I just wish that they had started the show in the mid-season as we could have bypassed much of the boring parts and gone right to the good stuff. Hopefully they keep Ward a bad guy as it would be such a cop-out otherwise.
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Article: TV REVIEW: MARVEL’S AGENTS OF SHIELD – Season 1 – “Providence”