Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Review – “The Hub”

Perhaps I should just resign myself to getting these out on Fridays…

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

Written by Rafe Judkins and Lauren LeFranc
Directed by Bobby Roth

Premise

The team is called in to the Hub so that Fitz and Ward can manage a particular mission with high levels of classification.

High Point

Rotating the team ups for different dynamics. This is getting to be more of an ensemble and less compartmentalized.

Low Point

Okay… so, you need to be level 7 to know that Coulson is alive. Got that. The Hub has a briefing section with security that requires level 7 or greater. Got it. Coulson is walking around in the open outside this area, potentially surrounded by agents below level 7 who can’t know he’s alive and walking around… Don’t got it.

The Review

This is an original mission dynamic, thanks to the agent combinations. The mission itself isn’t as unique as it could have been, but the character work that went along with it was quite entertaining. I give it 4 out of 6.

The effects were quite effective, and not extravagent. A bit with the Bus and the big finish, but the rest was predominantly physical. This is a budget that is controlled, but not blatantly so. I give it 5 out of 6.

The story was well paced and constructed. More hints about Coulson, more about Skye’s family, some revealing work with Fitz and Ward, and the introduction of Victoria Hand. I give it 5 out of 6.

The acting was well done. I still haven’t decided if Matilda May is wooden because of Ming Na Wen or because the character is legitimately wooden. The rest was nicely assembled, structured and paced. I give it 5 out of 6.

The production is solid once again. This is one category where Mutant Enemy is so consistent and dependable that I fear these reviews are already getting repetitive. I give it 6 out of 6.

The emotional response was good, bouyed in part by the S.H.I.E.L.D. geek that I am reacting to the mere presence of Hand, Sitwell and the Hub, as well as the mention of the Triskelion. I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, it’s another solid episode that feels like it’s mostly standalone. I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, The Hub receives 35 out of 42.

5 replies on “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Review – “The Hub””

  1. Blackadder says:

    Have they just de-classified that Coulson is alive and just not told the audience? Him being alive while relevant to the Avenger’s is less relevant now.

    • quantaman says:

      Yeah, I figured Coulson’s not deadness was only level 7 at the beginning.

      For me the problem was the emotional response, the Whedon style humour was better but there’s still no stakes. They’re in desperate need of a big bad or something else that gives them serious ongoing stakes. I actually found myself getting bored near the end of the episode.

      • JD DeLuzio says:

        I certainly didn’t feel the stakes, and yet, they’d be rather high, if this weapon existed. So they send in these two guys… which might make sense, if this episode did not already show us that SHIELD’s agents could populate a small country. And they have superheroes they can contact.

        Yeah, I know. Comic-book show. But the premise would be more plausible if SHIELD were less omnipresent in the Marvel-movie-tv-verse.

        • quantaman says:

          It’s not even the omnipresence, it’s the lack of strong adversaries.

          Police procedurals make the investigation the focus.

          X-Files and Fringe make the conspiracy, and the agents fighting their own organization the focus.

          Star Trek was SHIELD like in its omnipresence and power, but they got drama out of moral quandries, politics, and the occasional strong adversary.

          I get the feeling Whedon has been trying to move away from the Big Bad model since he finished Buffy and Angel, but you need something to replace it. So far AoS is the pinky finger of SHIELD going around saving the day, even if it looks like a fair fight because it’s just the pinky it’s the pinky of the 800lb gorilla and that kills the drama.

  2. Hitch says:

    I’m reasonably certain that that it’s the character that’s wooden.
    The level of expressiveness she was able to convey while doing tai chi (or, let’s be honest, whatever workout routine she was doing…I cannot claim to be able to differentiate) was impressive. she’s clearly capable of acting. the character just isn’t comfortable opening up.

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