Agents of SHIELD 1.09 Review: “Repairs”

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Without slamming any other cast member, Ming-Na Wen has been one of the strongest characters of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. ever since the pilot. Agent Melinda May has been a character people have connected with from the get-go and last night, we saw a deeper side of may at last.

Despite all the amazing fight scenes that the viewers get to see with her almost every week, there are still a lot of things that fans doesn’t know about this character. “Why is she always so serious?” has been one of those mysteries. There was always the speculation that something horrible happened to her that made her become the way that she has been for the past couple of episodes.

The event that changed her was a compelling story and it makes one wonder if this will be something that the show will present in a flashback later. While there isn’t much nitpicking about this episode, the one thing that the show could benefit from is perhaps have a flashback or two to some of the main character’s backstories. In the case of a character like Agent May, the backstory they told here would be the perfect choice to feature flashbacks of and hopefully they will do that later in the season. Wen’s performance in “Repairs” was one of her strongest ones and it did tell a lot more about her character.

It’s a shame that this episode wasn’t placed in October because it would have made a great Halloween episode as “Repairs” was the creepiest installment of SHIELD yet. The case of the week with Tobias Ford as this “between Earth and Hell” victim through some mystical force was intriguing. The teleporting was visually impressive,  and the Hannah Hutchins character was also something that was able to add some depth to the episode, especially with the inclusion of religion.

It seems that our speculation was wrong from last week as Agent Ward and Agent May did indeed sleep together. It’s unsure how far they are taking this, but it may be safe to say that the Skye and Ward relationship may be put on ice for now. While there is no denial that Ward and May do connect to each other for several reasons, to have them hooking up was a surprise.

While they have been geniuses right from the start, the writing decision to have Fitz-Simmons pull a prank on Skye as their own “freshman” was outstanding. It wasn’t too much to break the balance between the comedic and dramatic beet that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been able to maintain for the past few weeks. Skye’s “SHIELD Hogwarts”- line was definitely a highlight and it was fun to see how the Twitter people were responding to it.

Interesting enough, with the character of Hannah, the viewers got a little bit of Skye’s backstory as she gave her view on religion. The interesting part was when May was listening to the whole conversation and one has to wonder once again if there is perhaps something connecting Skye with her that viewers doesn’t know yet.

The post-credit scene was actually fantastic, and while there is always the assumption that those scenes will set something up or give an Easter egg or two, it’s not always necessary. This week the fans get to see how close this team has gotten and they are definitely starting to feel like a family which is necessary for the show. It also showed that Agent May is starting to open up a bit by pulling a prank on poor Fitz.

The episode was written by show-runners and executive producers Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen and while they wrote good stories in the beginning of the season, “Repairs” was definitely one of their best scripts so far. It gave some great character development to a popular character and they are keeping up with the established new tone that Jeffrey Bell introduced in his episode “Eye Spy”.

“Repairs” was overall a phenomenal episode as it gave the viewers a clearer image to Agent May and a very compelling case of the week with the Tobias character. The show is really starting to find its place slowly and safely. With one episode left before the winter hiatus, it will be interesting to see what it will feature and what it will set up for the second half of the season.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will return on December 10 with its mid-season finale, “The Bridge”, 8/7c on ABC.

[Photo via Kelsey McNeal/ABC]


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