After a rather lacklustre opening episode to this half of the season, SHIELD is back on form this week, with Eddie McClintock guest starring alongside Jaimie Alexander. The former Warehouse 13 agent gets a chance to throw himself into some fight scenes with Sif and with Mockingbird, counterpointing the dramatic reason his character has come to Earth – Skye and Raina’s transformations have attracted interest.
Finally, we get some clear explanations regarding the gas, and the effect it has on people, with strong reminders that this show is a core element of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With the announcement of The Inhumans movie, SHIELD is clearly being used to set up audience awareness of their presence, and there’s some rather worrying questions asked at the end of the episode regarding Phil Coulson – is he in as much control as he would like to think he is?
A number of other plotlines start to kick into gear as well: there’s another conspiracy going on culminating in an end of episode action which will be hard to come back from easily. And the rift between Fitz and Simmons grows dramatically, and again any rapprochement between them is going to need a lot of time…
Verdict: It’s going to be interesting to see how many – if any – of these plotlines are setting up Age of Ultron because there’s a lot to resolve in half a season otherwise… 8/10