TV Review: Marvel’s <i>Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.</i>3×13

MARVEL'S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. - "Parting Shot" - Bobbi and Hunter become ensnared in an assassination plot after tracking Malick to Russia. As S.H.I.E.L.D. races to save the lives on the line, the team is changed forever, on "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," TUESDAY, MARCH 22 (9:00-10:00 p.m. EDT) on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/Kelsey McNeal) CLARK GREGG, CHLOE BENNET, HENRY SIMMONS
MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. – “Parting Shot” –  (ABC/Kelsey McNeal)

Welcome back to our weekly coverage of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.! This was an atypical episode for the show, slowing down the season plot progression in order to say goodbye to some beloved characters. There were things I loved and things I didn’t but it all served one purpose. Let’s dive in! *Spoilers* follow.

In the cliffhanger from last week’s episode, we see Bobbi and Hunter stuck in the undercarriage of Malick’s plane in order to track his movements in Russia. Malick is going with a Russian representative in order to plan the “sanctuary” for Inhumans. He obviously is hoping to get Inhumans all in one place in a sort of zoo in which Hive can have a massive feeding day. Some sketchy stuff going on, clearly.

I was really happy to see Bobbi and Hunter take the lead here. These two characters have balanced the cast very well and do shine amidst everyone else, but they haven’t had too much time devoted to just the two of them, and certainly not an entire episode. Sadly, this ended up meaning that the two had to leave the show. They had their last moment before riding off into the sunset. Now, granted, this is all happening because these two characters have received a pilot order for their own show called Marvel’s Most Wanted, but I am very sad to see these two leave. I’ll get to my feelings on that towards the end.

The plot for this episode was rather thin for me. The progression for Malick’s overall scheme seemed sort of halted. He didn’t accomplish anything to help himself or Hive, and S.H.I.E.L.D. didn’t come any closer to stopping him. This is the first episode in a long while that has slowed down the larger scale season story in order to focus on something smaller and it only half worked for me. Most of this had to do with the back and forth time jumps that kept occurring throughout the episode that showed Bobbi and Hunter both kidnapped and being investigated by Interpol. I understand the gimmick they were trying to go for here but the effectiveness wasn’t really there. The only purpose I can see is to set up the eventual decision both characters make which is to leave the S.H.I.E.L.D. team. With that decision however, the lead up to that moment for me occurred right at the end when Hunter was brought into Bobbi’s interrogation room. Any other allusions made within this week’s show fell emotionally flat.

MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. – “Parting Shot” – (ABC/Kelsey McNeal)

What did work for me in spite of the time jumps was Hunter’s humour. I don’t know what it is about this character, or perhaps it is just Nick Blood’s portrayal of him, but I can’t stop laughing when Hunter is on screen. It seems so simple, but Hunter’s continued mushroom bit throughout the episode just killed me. This is a good and bad thing for two reasons. It’s good because hurrah effective humour, but it also showed just how much this show is going to miss now that he’s gone. And while Bobbi as a character isn’t typically funny, she is leaving a void in the show as well. Since the beginning of season two, Bobbi has been a great counter voice for Daisy to think about issues with. Bobbi is quite practical in her approach to most things and it was good for Daisy to see that side of somebody. It was good for Daisy to see somebody who is a little more objective about things when it comes to aliens, Inhumans, threats, and Hydra as a whole. Now it’s not that Daisy won’t have somebody else to talk to in order to have that divide in mentality dynamic, in fact Mack is also filling that role, but I felt it was really cool to see Daisy and Bobbi develop as characters together.

Saying all of that, I am having a catch 22 moment. With Bobbi and Hunter leaving in order to have their own adventures, this opens up more screen time for everybody else on the team, even somebody like Lincoln who has largely been on the outside looking in since he joined S.H.I.E.L.D. Lincoln also has a good chance at getting some more attention being Daisy’s pseudo boyfriend and all. I do hope in that scenario that he is getting more screen time because Daisy is getting more screen time. She deserves it. The title of the Secret Warriors has been dropped a lot from the producers throughout the course of this season and if we’re meant to get to that point by the end, then Daisy is going to need more time to grow as a leader. She has some great skills and she is getting better with every passing episode, but there is also still a long way to go before I feel like she would be capable of leading such a team. The other pairing that deserves some more screen time are Fitz and Simmons. Like I mentioned in last week’s review, I am really hoping that their “introduction” to each other doesn’t mean they are simply going to ignore their romantic impulses. I hope they tackle them head on. The extra availability in screen time would absolutely help with getting that story right.

The ending to this episode was gut-wrenching! I am going to miss Bobbi and Hunter dearly, but mainly Hunter for his quick wit. But for the show as a whole this is a big departure and I only hope the show will attempt to continue moving without dwelling on these sorts of developments. Not going to lie though, I was in tears when Mack held up his shot glass, and then took his time walking by the pair. This scene was another testament to the growth that each character has shown over the past two seasons. I felt for every single character in that bar. It was a very emotional scene that I thought was shot beautifully. They didn’t rush the moment. They let it happen organically. It was also nice to see the team refuse to not see Bobbi and Hunter one last time.

You’ve probably noticed that I’ve spent basically no time talking about the conflict of this week’s episode. That is largely because there wasn’t one. We saw everyone fight Russian soldiers, and an Inhuman that can control his own shadow, but it all felt quite hallow this week because Malick gave up on the Russians almost immediately after arriving. In that regard, the main plot felt rather hallow.


Overall Episode – 7/10

Goodbye Scene – 9.5/10


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