What I Watched Today: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (season 2 episode 6) & The Flash (episode 4)

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.:

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I’m not even sure where to begin with this week’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. There was a whole lot going on. From the personal relationships between the team members to new characters, from old characters stepping back into the spotlight to just general developments for SHIELD’s world.

I guess we’ll start with Hunter and Bobbi as they may have been my overall favorite part of the episode. I commented last week on my interest in the new dynamics Mockingbird was going to be bringing to the team and at least the dynamic between her and Hunter definitely got to shine this week. The back and forth between them, and how well they end up working together in the field is a whole lot of fun. As much as I enjoyed those two though, theirs was not the most important dynamic of the episode. I believe that prize definitely goes to the Ward Brothers. We all know Grant from his soul-crushing heel turn (I’ve been watching a lot of wrestling lately, probably talk about that in the next week or so) last season, but his older, Senatorial brother, Christian made his (I believe) first appearance on the series this week. While they never had a scene together in the episode, I have to give credit to the writers for how well they played each brother’s individual scenes off of each other. My one complaint about this situation is that Christian appears to be yet another on the quickly growing list of ongoing villains for this season. I count at least four with Whitehall, Skye’s father and the Ward Brothers.

Elsewhere, I think the most important things to note are, first, the evolution of the relationship between SHIELD and the U.S. government/military and specifically General Talbot. While it’s definitely weird to see them on friendlier terms and I’m a little disappointed to see those issues resolved so soon, it is probably for the best. And second, the first real interactions between Fitz and Simmons since her return from her undercover mission. While everything that’s going on with them isn’t clear quite yet, I am glad that it wasn’t a situation where she returned and suddenly everything was wonderful. I feel pretty confident saying this was the best episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. this season, and maybe even just in general. Hopefully they can keep up the momentum throughout the season.

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The Flash:

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I know it’s only the fourth episode of the series, so all of the episodes are kind of important at this point, but this was definitely the most important one so far. Captain Cold was one of two villains (three if they actually dare to do Grodd) that this show absolutely had to get right. I don’t feel comfortable talking about how accurate Wentworth Miller’s portrayal is to the comics, but as a villain for this show, I think he may be just about perfect.

Honestly, I don’t think I can say enough good things about Wentworth Miller as Leonard Snart/Captain Cold here. The character is smart, cold (who would have guessed) and calculating and Miller plays that to a tee. I don’t know how, but he manages to wrap every line he delivers in this episode with this “I’m better than you and there’s nothing you can do about it” attitude that gives him this wonderful quiet menace. I actually kind of want to go back and rewatch/finish “Prison Break” since it’s the only other thing I know that he’s done. Speaking of “Prison Break” though, has anyone else noticed how ingrained that show’s alum is in the CW’s DC Universe? Besides Miller as Captain Cold, we’ve had Robert Knepper as the Clock King on Arrow and on The Flash in the future, Peter Stormare as the second Count Vertigo (again on Arrow) and Dominic Purcell upcoming on The Flash as Mick Rory/Heat Wave. It’s both awesome and kind of insane. Also, if there’s more that I missed, please let me know.

And the best part about Captain Cold this episode…SPOILER…he won. Not only does this make him, very appropriately, the first villain on the show to best the Flash, but it leaves him conveniently at large and able to upgrade the standard crew he started the episode with…and that means the Rogues! On that subject, they teased Purcell’s Heat Wave at the end of the episode, which presumably means he’ll be the focus of the next episode (and I assume Cold will be back as well). And just so I don’t forget, they reference Kahndaq in the episode. While I don’t expect them to actually do Black Adam (at least not this season), I do have to point out that Teth-Adam has shown up in the Arrow Season 2.5 digital comic, so who knows.

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