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Agents of SHIELD – The Girl In the Flower Dress

October 23, 2013

So apparently superheroes help with weird moods. I read some Spinnerette earlier, and I just watched Agents of SHIELD online. Because I wasn’t in the mood for sleep, it seems. So, I’ll now talk about the episode.

Quick recap: A crappy Hong Kong street magician with a flame hand gets kidnapped. SHIELD finds the Rising Tide hacker who leaked the information about the guy, and after Skye bow-chicka-wow-wows him, they both get busted by SHIELD. It turns out the Centipede people from the first episode grabbed the guy, SHIELD finds their Hong Kong base, flame-hands guy is named Scorch and goes crazy, SHIELD kills him.

So, this episode has some good and some bad, as usual. I continue to dislike Skye. Some bad acting there. The “reveal” that she was infiltrating SHIELD was obvious. As was the reveal at the end that she was doing it to find information on her birth parents, since the only thing she’s been able to find was an orphanage document that was redacted by SHIELD. This episode does screw up her friendship with everyone else on the team, but since I don’t like her, I don’t care. It does give Coulson some good moments.

Her Rising Tide boyfriend is a douche. Just in general. But also, he sold information about the flame-hand guy, which pisses Skye off a whole lot.

The flame-hands guy is much more interesting. The reason flower dress girl gives him the name actually makes sense, even if everyone else makes fun of it. He wants to be famous, for people to know who he is. And he feels he was given his gift for a reason. So he’s pretty interesting. Coulson trying to talk him down was good, too. The return of the Centipede group is also cool. They’re a good antagonist group.

But. But but but. I hate to beat this drum so often, but it’s really, really uncomfortable how secrecy is so consistently superior to honesty. SHIELD was monitoring the kid ever since he got his power. They went to him not long after he got it, and made sure he kept checking in every few days to keep him safe, and told him not to use his power in public so no one would go after him. They were doing everything in their power to keep him safe, without even placing any particularly strict restrictions on him.

But then, a hacktivist gets his information and gives it to someone else, and immediately after, he gets kidnapped by an evil organization who experiments on him and causes his death. And then it turns out the hacktivist who believes in the democratization of information and all that crap . . . is also a hypocrite! He sold the information for a million dollars. He betrayed the very values he espoused. So not only is the guy who supports transparency responsible for someone’s death, he’s also a hypocrite. Shocking, I know.

And it also turns out that the biggest weakness of the secret military organization keeping the public from learning about the world around them is that they’re just too trusting. They trusted Skye, someone who pushed for the freedom of information, and she betrayed their trust. Oh, but she didn’t infiltrate them for any nefarious purpose or anything; she’s just a poor, sad orphan who wants to find her mommy and daddy.

Oh, and the Centipede group? They were posing as an environmental research organization. Yes, the villains were posing as environmentalists. In terms of message, this show just got worse than ever. It’s starting to feel like propaganda. That anyone who doesn’t like secrets is wrong and also a hypocrite, and now adding that environmentalists are just fronts for evil organizations. This is something they seriously need to fix, because it’s getting creepy. Let’s see a situation where SHIELD isn’t portrayed as being totally morally right. Let’s see a situation where their secrecy actually causes a problem, and where information being available to the public all along probably would’ve prevented it from happening. Show where they keep some secrets for their own benefit, even though it doesn’t benefit national security. Show them being shady and morally ambiguous. I get that the team has to be on the up-and-up, but the rest of the organization doesn’t have to be. It’s just so frustrating.

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From → Agents of SHIELD

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