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

Season 1, Episode 19
Date of airing: April 22, 2014 (ABC)
Nielsen ratings information: 6.039 million viewers, 3.7/6 in Households, 1.93/6 with Adults 18-49

Ah dammit, the premise for the second season that was prepared in the previous episode with the prisoners’ escape from the Fridge has been used up in this episode already. Well, now I know that it was a boring premise, so we can move on from that and never get into it again, and now the writers were able to focus on other and much different things for the second season. Also, how stand-alone this episode was has been kind of a surprise to me, and I mean that in a negative sense. I didn’t care at all about Daniels and his weird obsession with Audrey, and the writers did a pretty bad job in painting Daniels as this ultimate and dangerous villain, who could kill people with one touch, while he only killed one person in this episode, all while being the definition of a male creep. Daniels should have been a supervillain, and not a confused man with confusing superpowers in love. The writers totally killed the creation of a villain that could have kept Coulson’s team busy for a couple of episodes, while Ward is playing the love con with the already suspecting Skye.

Agent Koenig does not trust Ward’s answer.

The episode wasn’t that bad though. In fact, some of the scenes in the secret base were actually pretty good. Beginning with the lie detector test and what everyone wants to see in the box that lies in the sand on the island (a laptop, Simmons, a pistol, the Tardis – hilarious answers), continuing with the fact that some seconds during the lie detector test actually opened up some of the characters and gave them a bit of a back story. And even Ward’s scene with Skye, when he opened up about his brothers, was sort of touching, though the question is if Ward was honest about it (could be, judging from the flashbacks in “The Well”) or if it was just his ploy to get closer to Skye, to wrap her around his fingers. The confrontation between Coulson and May was also great, and that she would just leave, since she has nothing more to do that has to do with her mission (watching over Coulson), was a kind of interesting character arc for her. Though leaving just to get a few more answers from other S.H.I.E.L.D. agents seems like just another story for one of the main characters, so some airtime can be filled over the course of the next three episodes, because the writers didn’t want to get to the season finale confrontation between the heroes and the villains that quickly. I don’t know, but maybe May’s arc would have been stronger here, if she simply would have left not only Coulson and his team behind, but also S.H.I.E.L.D.

The super-of-the-week was boring though, and it was only kept alive thanks to Audrey and her connection to Coulson. What a shame that Coulson had to be respectful for Audrey’s life and her future, and that he never stood in front of her, when she had her eyes open. Sure, it makes Coulson a positive character, because he gives a person close to him a chance for a better life, but maybe Audrey would have given Coulson a more personal arc in the next episode. On the other hand I can understand that Coulson kept himself in the darkness, and the writers kept Audrey out of the next episode. There is already enough stuff happening right now, and a one-episode romance in the next episode would have probably been too much. Then again, it’s Amy Acker I’m talking about, and I definitely wouldn’t mind seeing her again. Who knows, maybe Audrey will be important in a later season and Coulson gets his happy end. It surely would be one of the nicer endings of the show, if the writers still remember Audrey after three, four, five or six seasons.

The cellist gets to do her thing.

The way Daniels was destroyed though was ridiculous. Triplett and FitzSimmons weren’t able to destroy him with the three light lasers they had firing at him, but Triplett and Coulson did the trick for some reason. It was a pretty lame ending to a character, who was built to be one of the more badass villains that got out of the Fridge. That only shows the writers were more interested in Audrey than Daniels. Meaning Daniels was just a plot device and not really the antagonist of the episode.

That position was already filled with Grant Ward, Agent of HYDRA. But it turned out that it was a bit of a weird thing with him, and that Koenig happened to be killed was sort of boring and predictable. But when Skye realized that Ward is HYDRA, the secret base arc delivered another great scene. I believed Skye’s shock and fear, though I didn’t believe she had herself under control a few minutes later, just to start playing Ward and doing whatever is necessary to keep him on a short leash and not do what HYDRA wants her to do. Then again, Ward playing Skye and Skye playing Ward is a funny little premise for the final act and the next episode, though it robs the suspense. Ward is not gonna be played like that (he might even know that Skye knows already), and Skye continues to be in danger, until she either shows enough courage to save herself, or gets saved by her team, who is definitely looking for her already, or otherwise they would be pretty lazy after discovering the Bus is gone. After all, the secret base has some tech left, and I’m pretty sure Skye left behind a message. If not, then Skye is pretty stupid.

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