Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Review – “Turn, Turn, Turn”

If you haven’t seen Captain America: The Winter Soldier, do not watch this episode. If the rest of the season maintains its momentum, the audience it had at launch will return, and possibly grow.

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
Bill Paxton as John Garrett
Saffron Burrows as Victoria Hand
BJ Britt as Agent Triplett
Christine Adams as Agent Weaver

Written by Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen
Directed by Vicent Misiano

Premise

Remember that big revelation that hit the fan in Captain America: The Winter Soldier? This is what happens to the people who were standing in front of that fan.

High Point

Fitz faces down an enemy agent. He reacts like a tech, but he reacts like a tech who is a member of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Low Point

The last reveal was the most predictable of the reveals. Shouldn’t the most predictable ones be the earliest ones?

The Review

This is definitely original. Yes, a lot of this is following a recent movie, but I have never seen a status quo change so many times in a single episode. The “nothing will ever be the same again” advertising is absolutely on target here. I don’t care if the series lasts for 20 seasons: there will never be a question of which episodes come before and after this week. Period. I give it 6 out of 6.

The effects were spot on, and mainly physical. They blended in exceptionally well, partly due to lighting choices made in this episode. I give it 6 out of 6.

The story cannot be watched as a stand alone. If you watch this episode and this episode only, it won’t mean what it should mean. If you come in from the movie alone, you’ll get a lot of it but not all of it. If you come in from the series without seeing the movie, it’ll be the same thing. The most rewarding experience is to treat Captain America: The Winter Soldier as the previous episode of the series, as this episode is all about the fallout of the “big reveal” about S.H.I.E.L.D. structure that came out of that movie. As part of a whole, this is quite possibly the strongest script of the season. I give it 5 out of 6.

The acting is great. Everyone has a moment to shine, if not a long one, as this is such an intense episode with a lot of recurring cast members. Still, everyone delivers. I give it 6 out of 6.

The production is rock solid. The sets and lighting not only work in-story, but they perfectly suit the emotional atmosphere of the episode. I give it 6 out of 6.

The emotional response is almost perfect. There’s only one scene that is disruptive. If you’ve seen it, there is a single conversation between two individuals that isn’t about the immediate threat. The only reason for that scene to be in this episode and not another one is to set up the final reveal, undermining the emotions in both scenes. I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, this is the game changer that makes this “must see TV” for everyone, whether you have been following the series or not. 6 out of 6.

In total, Turn, Turn, Turn receives 40 out of 42.

4 replies on “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Review – “Turn, Turn, Turn””

  1. Fez says:

    Yes, this is the MAoS we all expected. I hope they can keep it up!

    The closest parallel I can think of on TV was when they took down SD-6 on Alias (“Phase One”).

    The last reveal was predictable but if it’s the one I’m thinking of, that lingering shot at the end is meant as a tell that he received a Winter Soldier style mind wipe+reprogram.

    • quantaman says:

      I didn’t find the last turn predictable. Particularly considering he was a core member of the team and a main cast member. It’s a fairly standard assumption that the audience knows the true story of any character. Even when Whedon has had core members go bad in the past he tells the story of how they go bad. To have a core member to have fundamentally deceived the audience is unusual.

      I have a hunch your interpretation about the final shot is correct, which would honestly be a bit of a let down.

      • Don says:

        Not having seen Captain America yet, children and all that, the last seen had a different impact on me. At first I thought he was a plant all along and not only did he decieve the whole team, but also May who ended up actually hand picking the entire team. Then the tears at the end made me think he was actually a SHIELD plant to infultrate Hydra. Which made no sense since I doubt they would just kill agents to get a person on the inside. So now I really need to go see the movie!

  2. Jethro says:

    Oh great. Now TV shows have movie spoilers in them! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

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