The Train Job
Here’s what I love about Joss Whedon episodes that revolve around a train – they’re fun! And this week’s S.H.I.E.L.D. which found our intrepid team lumbering through the Italian countryside was so much fun, I want to watch it again.
And why was it great? Because it was full of action-y goodness with just the right amount of character development and story to keep the season’s arc revolving around The Clairvoyant, moving forward. In short, it was a finely crafted 43 minutes of TV. And reminded me of good Joss in his heyday.
Here’s a recap: Hoping to track down The Clairvoyant, the team goes after Ian Quinn, a smarmy bastard played perfectly by David Conrad, a known associate of their prescient pal. When it’s discovered that Quinn is anticipating the recent of a high-tech piece of equipment traveling by train through the Italian countryside, the team goes in under cover to lie in wait for his reveal.
The pairings in this episode are probably part of its appeal: Skye and Fitz, Simmons and Coulson and May and Ward. While the last pair is expected, I think it was Coulson and Simmons whom I enjoyed the most. The other odd couple they can really milk some mileage out of is Coulson and Ward, if the scene with FitzSimmons’ Holotable is any indication. It was also a great example of Brett Dalton doing some terrific space work.
In truth, I could care less about Deathlok and I’m not all that excited about J. August Richards being a regular. So, that reveal wasn’t as impactful as maybe it was for some others. However, Skye’s confrontation with Quinn and her shooting were a shock and I felt that all of the character’s reactions to her precarious state were perfect. I would have preferred for Simmons to possibly breakdown in the next episode, but I’m okay with it at the end of this one and I’m glad it was Fitz who was there to comfort her. Side note: I still wish I understood their relationship; did they date? Do they want to date? Are they just like brother and sister? I’m fine with any of those scenarios, I just wish I better understood the basis for their bond.
Skye’s injury was shocking and considering this is a Joss Whedon show, I thought for a minute there she might actually bite it. However, what I’m more interested to see is if her recovery somehow reveals her O-8-4 otherness. I’m on the fence regarding that idea, because I’m not sure we as an audience or the writers of the show are ready to delve into that back story and I have a feeling it’s going to be an important element with far-reaching consequences. I guess we’ll just have to wait until early March to see how they handle it.
This review would probably be incomplete if I didn’t mention Stan Lee’s cameo near the start of the episode. In the end, it was Stan Lee being Stan Lee, which I’m pretty sure is all anyone expects of him now. It was nice to see and hopefully it won’t be his last brush with S.H.I.E.L.D.
Also, the news this week that Sif from Thor will be making a crossover appearance has gotten me excited. Now that Zachary Levi’s Broadway show has come to an end, I’d love to see Fandral the Dashing make an appearance as well. What other Marvel characters do you think would be a perfect fit for S.H.I.E.L.D.? Respond in the comments with your favorites.
If future episodes of S.H.I.E.L.D. are similar to this week’s T.R.A.C.K.S. then the show will have found its identity and might just make it to season 2.