Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1, Episode 10: "The Bridge" Review

CLARK GREGG, J. AUGUST RICHARDS

In “The Bridge”, Agent Coulson recruits Mike Peterson when Centipede powered super soldiers break a dangerous criminal out of prison.

Continue reading for a spoiler filled review of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1, Episode 10.

Let’s Discuss the Best Moments!

Jealousy:  Oh Fitz! So you don’t like it when Simmons is making googly eyes and babbling on about somebody other than yourself? We’ve seen Fitz protective of Simmons but now he’s getting possessive in a sweet kind of way.

• The Hooded Hero Returns:  Actor J. August Richards’ nicely captures Mike Peterson’s good-nature while feeling torn over his past actions.

Guest characters on this show tend to be underwritten or merely used as a plot device. However the writer for this episode did a solid job of establishing the internal conflict of Mike Peterson and making him sympathetic to the audience. 

Having Peterson willing to crush Raina’s neck to get his son back and trying to rescue Coulson after the exchange in order to make things right are strong character defining moments.  In the end, it’s hard to fault Peterson for choosing his son over Coulson because he ran out of viable options.

Bringing back Peterson as a super powered agent adds a fresh new energy and punch to the team dynamic. I’ve gradually warmed up to Team Coulson over the first half of the season but the idea of adding more agents in the future to round out the cast has me excited at the possibilities.

According to TV Line, episode 14 will introduce two new reoccurring characters described as “an African-American agent who specializes in combat/weapons, and a high-level S.H.I.E.L.D. agent/munitions expert who has past ties to both Coulson and Ward.”

• Centipede: Edison Po has some interesting personality quirks like casually eating during the prison break out and only moving after being addressed as “sir”. This is a nitpick but I wish the actor played up his villainy and had more fun with the role. I want to believe this a guy who stabbed his friend in the eyeballs with a steak knife.

Ruth Negga who plays the woman in the flower dress is so good at making everything seem charming even while threatening Mike’s son. Raina recognizes she’s at the bottom of the Centipede food chain; basically she’s expendable to her unseen boss. When she tries to touch Po’s hand after learning he said nice things about her to the clairvoyant I can’t help but to think she has hidden motives. I’d like to see her move up the ranks by double-crossing Po!

The fight between the Centipede soldiers and Team Coulson is the best one on the show so far. The action sequences can still be more elaborate but it’s a great step in the right direction. Aside from the episode with the berserker staff, it’s rare to see super powered people fight on this comic book show.

I’m cautiously optimistic on the emergence of Centipede as the arch nemesis this season. I can see the potential of the Clairvoyant as an intriguing big bad but there’s not enough details to make me super excited at this point.

MING-NA WEN

• The Calvary’s Quick Temper:  I liked how Agent May lashed out at Ward and Skye for letting their supposed “emotional attachments” interfere with their job when really it’s her own feelings which she is angry with.

As we find out more about May’s past, it’ll be interesting to put into perspective why she represses certain emotions and is sort of a lone wolf (or is the correct animal a cougar?). If it wasn’t for Ward’s quick explanation that he took a punch for her because it was the right strategic move rather than an emotional choice she might have pushed him away.

As an aside, these events aren’t going unnoticed by Coulson who walked in on May & Ward “sparring” and heard Skye crying in her pod. He’s got an eye on his team but doesn’t interfere when not necessary which is what a good leader does.

The “previously on clips” focussed a lot on Coulson’s resurrection but there weren’t any definite answers or concrete clues. Hopefully the next half of the season won’t drag it out too much longer.

The Cliffhangers: This episode did a good job at making me feel that the story is moving forward several steps when really there are still a lot of unanswered questions which is not a necessarily a bad thing. Who is the clairvoyant and what is this person’s end game? What exactly happened the day Coulson came back from the dead and how will this info help create the ultimate super soldier? Coulson, is that really you?

If Peterson can survive a bullet to the head then it’s possible he made it through that fiery explosion. By the way, great visuals on the explosions. Even though Ward was far off to the side, away from the team, after the helicopter fired a bunch of bullets in his direction I would have thought Skye or May would have a worried facial expression or shouted “Ward!!”. It would have made that cliffhanger more dramatic even though I’m fairly certain Ward is still alive.

The Wrap Up

“The Bridge” connected several story threads and plot elements from the previous episodes. Even though the first half of the season are primarily stand alone stories, as a loyal viewer it’s rewarding to see the pieces coming together. Coming back full circle with a strong character portrayal of Mike Peterson who was first introduced in the pilot is a good way to book end the mid-season finale. 

Aside from connecting the loose story threads, it’s plain to see that the writers are addressing some of the illogical elements of the show. For instance, Mike Peterson laughably points out that Skye joined the very spy organization she wanted to expose. Even though she joined the team to find out about her parents it’s a story line that is hard to completely invest in. There’s also a few times when characters are explaining why S.H.I.E.L.D. only sends in Team Coulson to handle these big situations when they have so much more resources and experienced personnel to spare.

Overall, I enjoyed the more stream line story; it’s one of my favorites since F.Z.Z.T. In terms of an over arching story with well-timed humour and some good action, this is what I was hoping the show was to start off with.

What do you think of this episode? What do you think of Centipede?

 

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