Episode 19 – The Dirty Half Dozen
As a lead in to Avengers: Age of Ultron, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. turned what could of been a catastrophe into a marketing gem. The show had been pushed to tie-in to Avengers: Age of Ultron, and with all eyes watching, the show pulled it off.
The Dirty Half Dozen, a spin on the 1967 war movie The Dirty Dozen had big shoes to fill. The first half of the episode was focused on tactical and spearheading the infiltration of Dr. List’s Hydra base. Coulson had to get Gonzalez on board to allow him to clear his name,which took some silver-tongue talking. But to really land the impact of continuing its own plot and acting as a prequel to Age of Ultron, the show amped up the second act.
When the original six crash land onto Hydra territory, from there the show catapults to cinematic tension. With the gorgeous one-take scene of Skye taking down grunts with a mixture of her new Inhuman quaking powers and the refined specialist fighting skills she’s learned from May, this part of the episode felt more like a first-person shooter video game.
Drama was added to the episode with Jemma trying to make good on her threat to Ward the last time she saw him. While it may seem out of character for the usually composed and logically minded Simmons, her attempt to cross Ward off worked in the episode. Simmons, blaming Ward for the schism in the most important relationship in her life, for ultimately having her leave SHIELD to go undercover in Hydra and learn the dirtiness of their business, and for ruining the Bus. It was symbolic for the Bus to be destroyed this episode (and thank goodness Lola did not appear there). The Bus represents the first season, and its destruction means the show and its characters have all changed and fully moved on from that time.
But, Simmons did not fulfill her revenge on Ward. At the end of the first season if someone made a comment saying that Ward should get a redemption arc, I would vehemently stand by my ‘no’ answer. Now, with Bakshi taking the splinter bomb for Ward can prove to the team that Ward may be done with his lying and manipulation. He did not lie about having Bakshi work for him. Also, Ward planned for Kara, Agent 33, to be returned to SHIELD without him. This gesture can also stand as a testament to Ward’s redemption.
The Avengers tie-ins did a great job of not detracting from the central SHIELD vs SHIELD (vs Hydra) plot. The past several episodes it has been mentioned that Coulson has been after something, and at the end we find out just what from a quick visit from Maria Hill. Also, the vision’s Raina has while in an aggressive conversation with Jiaying served to bridge the impending chaos the Marvel world will see in Age of Ultron. Marvel played their cards right this episode, hyping up their next big movie in the show was sure to bring in more views, but the content of The Dirty Half Dozen being brazen and entertaining is sure to amount in more fans. Marvel needs to be careful not to overstep this fine line with future movie to TV show endeavors.
All in all, the episode was a blast. The visuals worked for the most part, but at times can feel too overbearing. It’s hard to detract from this episode at all with how good the camera blocking for Skye’s epic take-down scene. The cast continues to perform to standards that cause investment in their livelihoods. Agents of SHIELD dealt a real banger tonight, and hope the last few episodes will continue the stride.
- Skye's take down scene.
- Jemma's failure to act revenge on Ward to set off possible redemption arc.
- Show folds in Avengers: Age of Ultron plotline to its own.
- Some visuals can get too unrealistic.