Maya Zach ’17/ Emertainment Monthly Staff
Following the intense pilot, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been incredibly lackluster. However, with the episode “Girl in the Flower Dress”, the show is finally rising to its potential. The episode delves deeper into the characters’ personal lives and gives the viewers a feel for what is in store with both The Rising Tide and Project Centipede.
Chan Ho Yin (Louis Ozawa Chanchien), a street performer with pyrokinesis, is kidnapped by Centipede. Raina ( Ruth Negga ), a member of Centipede, convinces him that they will help him achieve his full potential, rather than smother his abilities and hide his identity, like they do at S.H.I.E.L.D. When injected with a serum that temporarily enhances his abilities, Chan tests out his new superhero name, Scorch. But, of course, Raina and Centipede are not there to assist him. They alter his blood platelets so that he burns himself when he plays with fire, thus allowing them to run tests on him without fear of retaliation.
Meanwhile, S.H.I.E.L.D. is hacked by The Rising Tide. Skye (Chloe Bennet) is eager to prove that she is not the culprit, so she tracks the hack back to Miles Lydon (Austin Nichols). But she meets with him before Agent Ward (Brett Dalton) can capture him. After some playful banter and a warning that Miles has to back off while she is “on the inside”, they sleep together. Melinda (Ming-Na Wen), who didn’t trust Skye from the start, is waiting for her outside. Even after being detained by her teammates, she still defends them and the organization.
Miles admits to heaving leaked the information. The “girl in the flower dress” seemed harmless; she was just studying insects. But no one who would give away $1 million for information about bugs–nor would they need S.H.I.E.L.D.’s top-secret information.
Coulson leads the team in their infiltration into Centipede’s lab. He does what he can to talk Scorch down, but he believes that S.H.I.E.L.D. and Centipede are the same; they just want to lock him up. Chan then proceeds to blow up the entire building, presumably killing himself in the process. Raina manages to get away and proceeds to speak to a man behind a wall of glass in a prison. Though he appears to be her boss, she orders him to speak to the clairvoyant (someone who can see the future), or their plans will never be achieved.
Skye decides to stay with S.H.I.E.L.D., unlike she had previously thought, they are doing good. And her mentor, Miles, is not the man she thought he was; he is just a sellout without a real cause. Ward refuses to put in a good word for her, because he is feeling completely betrayed. Coulson gives her a piece of his mind and demands that she tell him the secret that he knows she is hiding. If not, it is her end. She admits to him that everything that she has done–learning how to hack, joining the Rising Tide, and infiltrating S.H.I.E.L.D.–was to discover who her birth parents are. All she knows about them is that there is a redacted file on them in the S.H.I.E.L.D. database.
Before Loki stabbed him in the heart in The Avengers, Coulson never would have trusted Skye after this betrayal. He wouldn’t have even let her on the team when they found out she was a member of The Rising Tide. But something about him has changed. Drastically. He decides to give her one last chance and welcomes her back on the team. Hopefully with a shorter leash this time.
Now that the team is battling the same organizations as before, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is beginning to feel more like a superhero drama and less like a procedural (that just so happens to have superheroes). The writers are putting names and faces to the terrorist organizations that the team is facing and will hopefully continue uncovering their hidden agendas.