By using our website, you agree to the use of our cookies.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “The Only Light in the Darkness” 

Photo Credit: ABC/Justin Lubin
Photo Credit: ABC/Justin Lubin

Previously, on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D: Our team is in Northern Canada, and some random costume designer has earned my eternal derision, because that is not how you dress if you want to survive north of the 60th parallel past exiting the plane. I live in Southern Alberta, it’s April and if we wore what they’re wearing we’d be underdressed, cranky and eyeing the weakest member of our party, wondering when we could overtake them, steal their clothes and confiscate any food they may be carrying. And that’s kindergarten recess. 

Patton Oswalt (Justified; The United States of Tera) is amazing in everything I’ve seen him in, and nobody plays ‘I’m desperate for attention/respect’ like he does. His character, Agent Eric Koenig, was clearly out of his depth with the arrival of our SHIELD agents, (and probably would be with anybody, really) as he obviously had been on his own for a while at Providence – the name he had given to the nameless facility he was in charge of and living alone at (fun fact: ‘Providence’ means ‘Protected,’ generally by a higher power of your choosing). Probably because nobody in SHIELD wanted him involved in anything important. It’s like he somehow got recruited by SHIELD by accident. I have no idea how, a bet maybe? He’s somebody’s nephew? And then the organization didn’t know what to do with him so they sent him to the Canadian arctic to head up a ‘Top Secret’ facility because how could he possibly screw that up, it’s practically Siberia, and then: Oh crap, there’s a damn coupe de HYDRA and here comes Coulson with his crew and now the poor dweeb has responsibilities and is holding court to an elite SHIELD team and his newfound “lanyards will be given out on a case by case basis” power is going to his simple little head. Oh, sweet, Agent Eric Koenig. Take a juice box. Let the big kids play.

And, of course,Ward works his way past Koenig’s lie detector test and earns his lanyard by using something metal shoved in his finger; I learned how to do that while watching White Collar (but then it was a thumb tack to the thigh and way less gross). I’m starting to believe that the only criminals who get caught in this world are the ones who can’t afford cable.

Speaking of the lie detector test, the adorability of Fitz saying ‘Simmons’ was in the box if he were left on a deserted island and Simmons saying ‘The Tardis’ to the same question just bought me one more day on this earth. But I digress.

If anything, this episode is about the things we leave behind. Skye admits that ‘Skye’ is a name she gave herself after shedding the identity given to her at the orphanage. After figuring out that Ward – who she’s allowed herself to trust and is one of the few people in her recent history she’s let herself be vulnerable around – is HYDRA and is using her, she leaves behind her team, trying to find out what his game is. These are only people who can help her, and I’m fairly certain that Skye probably left behind some clue or way of tracking her and Ward, but the visual of them flying off together disturbed me a little, to be honest. She looked tiny and frightened. It was like a stranger picked up my child at school in a windowless van and drove off towards the Saskatchewan border.

In the secondary story, Coulson’s former girlfriend, cellist Audrey Nathan (Amy Acker: Person of Interest; Angel) referenced in The Avengers movie, is being stalked by Marcus Daniels, or Darkforce, who absorbs the energy around him. Agent Coulson has to make the decision to leave her with the assumption that he’s still dead, instead of revealing the truth and interrupting her healing process in hopes of resuming their relationship. And, let’s face it, odds are good he might die again, so why put the girl through that?

While the cellist storyline might have not been the strongest, execution-wise, it did effectively illustrate the internal struggle everyone in a position of being a SHIELD agent must go through. You want to love someone, and to be loved, but people are trying to kill you, and therefore, by extension, your loved ones suffer, and is it really worth it? Audrey Nathan misses Phillip Coulson, but she goes on every day; she works; she has her music; she runs; I’m sure she has friends. Her life goes on. She loves him, but that part of her has been left behind. It wouldn’t be fair of Coulson to come in and suddenly be alive again and expect to be part of her life. It’s heartbreaking, and so very, very sad, but realistic, and completely necessary. And Coulson knows, as hard as it is, to let her move forward, he has to leave her behind, too.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on ABC.

Related posts

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.