Hopefully, this will be the latest review of the season. There’s a story behind the delay, and that story will be told in the comments.

Cast and Crew Information

Clark Gregg as Phil Coulson
Ming-Na Wen as Melinda May
Brett Dalton as Grant Ward
Chloe Benet as Skye
Iain De Caestecker as Leo Fitz
Elizabeth Henstridge as Jemma Simmons
Ruth Negga as Raina
Tzi Ma as Agent Kwan
Louis Ozawa Changchien as Chan Ho Yin
Shannon Lucio as Debbie
Austin Nichols as Miles Lydon

Written by Brent Fletcher
Directed by Jesse Bochco (yes, Steven’s son)

Premise

A pyrokinetic is brought in by another organization, and is subjected to experimentation by a group we’ve seen before.

High Point

“So, we’re good now, right?” is the ultimate choice. “At least you know what you’re looking for” was a serious contender until they paid it off this episode instead of laying more threads in the web. This is a spy show! I want this baby as intricate as Secret Warriors!

I’m also enough of a New Warriors fan to enjoy seeing Scorch on screen, even if it was effectively an entirely new incarnation. (Heck, I’m enough of a New Warriors fan to pay actual money on all ten issues of Speedball, knowing how bad most of them are.)

Low Point

Killing a character that didn’t need to be killed. No, I won’t say who, but I saw a lot of story potential there that hasn’t been realized yet.

It also bugs me to see so many incompatible operating systems represented on a phone screen.

The Review

This isn’t original in the sense that it’s bringing back many elements that were similarly used in the pilot, but they are going in new directions with the team dynamic with them. We also get new developments and twists in old plot threads. I give it 4 out of 6.

The effects were well done, both in terms of makeup and CGI. Editing helped smooth the transitions, but it’s hard to notice the trickery if you aren’t consciously looking for it. I give it 6 out of 6.

The story holds together in every non-computer science category. New threads are planted, old threads are picked up, new characters are introduced, and the status quo gets a pretty good rattling. All in all, it’s a good fifth episode. We’re even seeing depth in Melinda as she interacts with Coulson (or a close approximation thereof.) I give it 5 out of 6.

The acting is generally good. Some of Bennet’s moments fell a bit flat this week, but overall, it’s pretty convincing. Her scenes with Ward and Coulson were great, but some of her moments with Miles Lydon just didn’t sell me when they were being held together. I give it 4 out of 6.

The production is one category where Mutant Enemy has consistently delivered for over a decade. They found their groove in the second season of Buffy and never lost it. I give it 6 out of 6.

The emotional response was good, but not spectacular. I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, this feels like an important episode, not so much for what it does this week, but for what it sets up for the future. Comparing it to Babylon 5, this feels like the equivalent of Signs and Portents. It’s an entertaining hour at present, but will send the entire series in a particular direction. I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, Girl in the Flower Dress receives 35 out of 42.