shield1The fourth bombastic episode of MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. saw our heroes pitted against a… diamond thief? Er, um… a really good diamond thief. One who stole a whole bunch of diamonds. From guys wearing red masks. On a subway. In Stockholm. Yeah, the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division took on a jewel thief.

I know the show has a few mandates and guidelines to follow in order to air at 8 p.m. on ABC (curbs on violence, etc.), but I think the show’s producers are aiming a little too low. For a while it was hinted that the thief might have super powers, but no, she just had a camera (and a bomb) installed in her eye.

In Stockholm, Sweden, a bunch of identically dressed men wearing red masks marched into the subway, followed by a woman who hit the train’s emergency brake, put out the lights and killed disabled all the men – severing the wrist of one (he must have bled out) to steal a fortune in diamonds. S.H.I.E.L.D. takes the case – or, rather, Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) takes the case, off the books, because he suspects the perp is one of his former operatives. Of course she is, and Coulson discovers that Akela Amador (Pascale Armand) has been compromised by baddies who control her through a camera and bomb they implanted in her eye.

shield2Fitz and Simmons (Iain De Caestecker and Elizabeth Henstridge) rig a way to hijack the control signal and give Agent Ward (Brett Dalton) a pair of glasses to mimic Amador’s implant and carry out her next mission for her while Fitz and Simmons work to remove her cybernetic implants. Ward completes the mission (to photograph some kind of formula written on a chalkboard) but gives himself away; Fitz is able to sever Amador’s cybernetics before her handler can detonate a kill switch. When Ward confronts the handler, the man’s eye explodes and he drops dead (indicating that he was also just a pawn). Back at the SHIELD plane, Amador asks Melinda (Ming-Na Wen) what SHIELD did to Coulson, but says no more than that.

Yeah, so that happened. A pretty dull episode – even more than last week’s. This episode did have some nice interplay between Coulson and Skye (Chloe Bennet), but cute banter isn’t really a substitute for character development in an episode that had little else to recommend it. This would have been a good time to dig a little more into Coulson’s “Tahiti” time, but no. I suppose we could say that Coulson’s stubborn insistence that not all the facts were in on Amador’s guilt proves that he is fiercely loyal to his people, but I think we pretty much understood that already. Still, I guess it’s nice to know he’ll stick his neck out for you even if you’re accused of lots of international crimes (including murder).

So, about the red masks in the beginning. Supposedly, there has been a rash of diamond heists in Europe, so this diamond firm has hired several dozen men, outfitted them identically with metal briefcases and masks and sent them on random routes to deliver diamonds… er, somewhere. No one knew which guy had the case with the actual diamonds. Well, if the idea was to confuse a thief, why give the men red masks that make them stand out in a crowd? There appears to be some kind of festival going on in town, making the couriers in their suits and hats and masks stand out even more clearly. They should have dressed in civilian clothes and ditched the masks.

shield3How did Amador manage to knock out or kill all those men and sever one dude’s wrist in mere seconds? She had a bionic eye, not a complete endoskeleton! And about that eye – when she closes her eyes the camera goes into backscatter mode – so did she scan Coulson when we saw her close her eyes while talking to him? What did she see that made her ask May what SHIELD did to him? Did she see that he’s a robot?

Finally, is it just me, or does the SHIELD plane appear to have more engines every week?


“Did you never learn the thing that boy parts and girl parts are different, and that our parts aren’t penises?” – Skye

“What did they do to [Coulson]?” — Amador

Oh, yeah? Sez you!

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