Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Review – “T.R.A.C.K.S.”

When this series was originally picked up, it was ordered for 13 episodes. Had that been the final order, the season would have ended here. This was well structured to act as a compelling cliffhanger to gain fan support for another season. Instead, we get 9 more this year.

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 Lauren LeFranc and Rafe Judkins
Directed by Paul A. Edwards

Premise

The team tracks high value technology on its way to delivery to Ian Quinn. Things do not go as planned.

High Point

Holographic table.

Low Point

They made it very difficult to be online in the past couple of weeks and still avoid the spoiler that came up in the final shot.

The Review

The structure is original for a prime time drama, although it’s been done before by Eisenstein, Kurosawa, Kubrick and more. It’s a difficult device to use effectively, and they did. I give it 5 out of 6.

The effects were nicely done, particularly when overlaying CGI over moving faces. That’s not simple. I give it 6 out of 6.

The story is well done, with a lot of notable events and great individual lines. It’ll be a month before the next episode, but it’ll be worth the wait to see where these are going. I give it 6 out of 6.

The acting was great. The guest stars also play well, largely because the bulk of them have played their parts before. I give it 5 out of 6.

The production was extra challenging this week due to the non-linear story structure, but they found a way to reorient the viewer without getting repetitive very quickly. I give it 6 out of 6.

The emotional response is strong. Every character is in a different place than the pilot, and we’ve got some significant actions that have taken them there. I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, it’s a strong episode, and is definitely going to keep people interested in the “back nine” of the year. I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, T.R.A.C.K.S. receives 38 out of 42.

9 replies on “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Review – “T.R.A.C.K.S.””

  1. Jethro says:

    Agree about the high point.

    This isn’t really exactly a Rashomon-type plot. They’re not all remembering things differently, it’s just different tracks with some minor overlap.

    I avoid spoilers like the plague so I had no idea that was going to happen.

    Overall, I really enjoyed this episode.

  2. JD DeLuzio says:

    I liked the spoiler part– we had some good directions suggested by the developments at the end, and gave us some reasons to care about the characters. Honestly, though, this felt to me like they were throwing everything they could at us to make us stay with the show. The role-play bit could have been funny, but it felt completely out of place with the rhythm of that section. I found this episode, like this week’s Arrow, really choppy.

  3. I’m looking forward to seeing where they go with Deathlok, but I was one of the few people that actually read that book in the early 1990s. (I was young and apparently had poor taste in comics.)

  4. Fez says:

    Gah, my local affiliate had signal issues on Tuesday night (damn snow/ice!) and I still haven’t seen this yet :(
    We might watch it tonight, but more likely we will do so tomorrow (since we will be seeing The Lego Movie tonight)

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