spock: logic is sexy

Some thoughts on SHIELD

Spoilers for the last three episodes.


I like my characters flawed. I think it's interesting when people have conflicts with friends. I like it when friendships are every bit as complicated and nuanced as romantic relationships. But I don't like the way May and Coulson are treating Skye -- not because I think they're treating her badly (they are), but because it's a bad storytelling decision that doesn't fit the story arc established for either character. The mid-season finale pretty clearly established Coulson as Skye's father figure, and I just don't see him going from that to dumping her in the wilderness. Taking her off active duty, sure, but not quarantining her like she's a dangerous object instead of a human being whom he views as family. (Or a Corvette. Seriously, what the fuck was that?) May's behavior makes marginally more sense because I think detachment is a way of life for her. After what happened with Ward, I think she's especially wary of allowing her personal feelings to affect her decision-making in the field -- but I still think she would at least be conflicted about completely removing Skye from SHIELD. Again, I think it makes sense to take someone off active duty if they have unpredictable superpowers, but I really see the team rallying around Skye rather than fearing her. If Bobbi, Hunter, or Mack were afraid of Skye, that would make more sense - they're all outsiders, and they haven't had time to trust Skye in the way that Coulson and May do.

Jemma's and Fitz's reactions are the only ones that make sense to me. I hope that Fitz and Skye get more scenes together; I love seeing him as her champion, and how he uses his own experiences with disability to empathize with her (and I'm also glad that the show hasn't forgotten that he does have those issues, even if he has an easier time now). Although it breaks my heart to see Jemma's reaction to Skye's powers, it makes sense to me. Jemma is a scientist. She studied the data and concluded that people with powers are dangerous. She draws a distinction between her feelings for Skye as a person and her feelings about Skye's powers. I don't agree with her viewpoint, but I understand how it fits her character.

I'm sure the "real" SHIELD will probably turn out to be evil, but I actually agreed with what they had to say. When Edward James Olmos was giving his presentation about the deficiences in Coulson's leadership, I was thinking YES FINALLY SOMEONE SEES A PROBLEM. I also really like the insight into Bobbi's character. I think it was absolutely true what she said about how hard it was when their friends turned their guns on them. She probably doesn't trust people very easily, so finding out that her friends were HYDRA would have been awful for her.
Honestly, I agree too that Coulson needs to take a serious step back and think about the SHIELD he's building and the leadership decisions he's making. If I liked Bobbi's guys, I'd be flat out rooting for her to finish her mission successfully.

But that's me.

I just don't get May's statements in the last episode. They directly contradict her statements to her ex that Skye should stay with her "family."

I believed Coulson's weird way of showing protectiveness. Disagreed but believed. Not May.
This kind of affirms for me my decision to bail after the winter break, wait until the season is over, and check reviews to see if I want to get it on DVD and put myself through the second half.

But then, I've been feeling a lot of Incoming Ominous about the MCU in general lately. If it goes from the comparatively (to DC) shiny, team-y superheroverse to Dark and Gritty and Team vs Team, I am extremely out of here.
When Edward James Olmos was giving his presentation about the deficiences in Coulson's leadership, I was thinking YES FINALLY SOMEONE SEES A PROBLEM.
This was me too. :P
When Edward James Olmos was giving his presentation about the deficiences in Coulson's leadership, I was thinking YES FINALLY SOMEONE SEES A PROBLEM.

I agree with you there.
Absolutely, Coulson's heart may have been in the right place, but that was before he was Tahiti-ed. I can see this maybe as him swimming in dark waters because he was all. about. that city. And now he has... nothing. His leadership was all about building a better SHIELD, but with HYDRA still all over the place and everyone for themselves at this point, he doesn't really have much leadership aside from the handful of people who didn't cross him.

The way Whedon and Tancheron write is very slow, very deliberate, so I can see this a slow build as to what is going to happen toward the finale. Since I don't think SHIELD will mesh much with Age of Ultron, we'll see more Inhumans build. Also possibly... two SHIELDs? Civil War what?

Can we talk about Ward's disgustingly excellent emotional manipulation? *shudder* I felt gross watching him. I don't even care what his plans are, someone kill it with fire!
Yeah, I've been having some issues with the characterisation this season. Coulson just dumping Skye in the wilderness like that just doesn't seem like something he'd do, even if it was protocol or whatever. It's almost like it's a plot device for whatever is coming up, than a rational in-character decision - and there's nothing I hate more than character being molded to fit the plot rather than the plot molded around the characters.
Yeah, I agree. I watched that scene where Coulson drops Skye off and just sat there kind of like, wtf? Weren't you just telling Sif how she's family and now you're going to put her in isolation like that's actually going to help her? And why was May telling Coulson they should cut her out when in the previous episode she immediately rejected that option when her ex suggested it? It doesn't make sense to me.

For a long time I've wanted transparency in SHIELD, because I think Coulson basically resurrected it to be exactly the same as it was before, with all the problems except for actual Hydra agents, in direct contradiction to everything Steve was fighting for in CA2. But those dudes were super creepy and are obviously being set up as the enemy. I hope that doesn't mean Bobbi and Mack's very valid concerns are simply going to be shunted aside.