Agents of SHIELD: The Bridge, review

Review Marc Buxton 12/10/2013 at 11:10PM

The mid-season finale of Agents of SHIELD is a doozy, and it shows promise for the second half!

Well, that was certainly a cliffhanger. This week’s mid-season finale of Agents of SHIELD saw the return of the pilot’s Mike Peterson, played by Whedon alum J. August Richards, as a newly minted SHIELD agent. Things go sideways (as Agent Ward says) and we are left with an intense ending that will cause SHIELD fans to count the days until the show returns.

Halfway through the season, let's take stock: The mystery about Agent Coulson’s resurrection is in full swing; Agent May took her place as one of the most badass women on television; Fitz and Simmons continue to be a needed human element in the show; Ward has gone from robot to complex character in just a few episodes...and Skye just sort of exists.

Starting with Skye, this episode gives her some due diligence as she continues to seek out the secret of her parents’ identities. At this point, they better be She-Hulk and Galactus to warrant this level of wheel spinning. There is some interesting interplay between May and Skye regarding the parents, with May getting as exasperated as some of the viewers, but of all the subplots, this one is just not as gripping as the secret of Coulson, the identity of the Clairvoyant, or the fog surrounding May’s past.  

The bulk of the action this week centered on Peterson. When fans last saw Peterson, he was taken down by the Agents after a rampage in New York. Now, Peterson is training to be an Agent and must help Coulson take down a group of Centipede super soldiers. Peterson’s path of redemption has been one of the show’s more effective character arcs and his need to make up for his time as a monster makes him a sympathetic character in a very classic Marvel sense. There is a sort of a "Hulk" feeling around Peterson, a man who fears his powers but wants to use them for good. Sadly, Peterson has a weakness, something the enemies responsible for Centipede can exploit: his son, Ace...which leads to the episode’s cliffhanger.

What is bad for the Agents might be good for fans, as Peterson betrays Coulson to save his own son to the Girl in the Flower dress. As she takes Coulson away in a combat helicopter, she tells him that she wants to know the secret of his return from the dead, something fans are clamoring to know as well. Could the mysterious Girl in the Flower Dress unlock the secrets of Tahiti? Fans will have to wait to 2014 to find out.

On to the Clairvoyant, the shadowy figure behind Centipede and many other threats that have faced SHIELD. The villain’s identity will cause much debate among pundits, and hopefully there will be a comic book connection to his or her true face. Fans have been clamoring for a deeper Marvel connection, and this is the perfect route to go to introducing a meaningful villain to the proceedings. As the helicopter holding the captured Coulson sped away, fans couldn’t help getting an Empire Strikes Back vibe with Coulson in the Han Solo role, a beloved hero in mortal danger with his only hope in his friends on the ground. Thiswas certainly a fiery, action packed climax...let's hope the rest of the season keeps the momentum going.

Marvel Moments:

Coulson’s cellist. Seriously, the guy talk between Ward and Coulson while cruising in Lola was one of the best moments of the season.

“Did I beat Captain America’s time?”

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Disqus - noscript

"Did I beat Captain America's time?"
"Not even close."
I love the little references that put them in the marvel universe, without having a lot of super hero stuff.

This episode was nice. Agent May showed herself a little bitter this time, about Skye research. Maybe the girl in the flower dress has some serum to help Coulson to remember. Did Mike Peterson really died?, maybe he's still alive, that way he can give us more demo of his power. Good episode....Cliffhanger!

Did you just say Ward has gone from robot to complex character in a few weeks? Well, then, you're an idiot. Ward is still a walking, talking caricature who is almost as boring as Skye. Just being told 'oh no, person has tragic backstory' doesn't make them more interesting. When are TV characters going to realise that a characters future is more important than their past?

Fans aren't clamouring to know the secret of the resurrection. They're bored by it and just want to be told so they can move onto something more interesting for the rest of the season.

Yeah I liked that. And when coulson said he had to keep playing dead for the Avengers' sakes. I'd like Cap to be a guest on the show and make the discovery, none too pleased.

You're rating this series too highly, it's poor and destined for cancellation.

FYI The lowest rated episode of "SHIELD" still got more live viewers than the highest rated episode of "Arrow."

Be nice to have an actual Superhero for once on this dull show.

If Mike Peterson died I hate this series forever. He's the most interesting character on the show, I love JAugRich and I want him to become a cast regular.

I kinda disagree. I'm fine with them not including superheroes as long as the characters are good. Which they aren't. That's what's really killing the show.

I'm Jack, by the way, but Disqus has thrown me out of my account for some reason so I'm appearing as a guest.

I don't watch either of them. Arrow is on the CW, you can't compare the series.

I still have to have a laugh at all the pretend "experts" on the internet who think a show bringing in over 6 million live viewers is going to get canceled. I honestly don't understand why this show has so many basement-dwellers going psychotic with hate. It's not perfect but it's very far from bad.

6 million viewers out of 300 million potential viewers (in the US) speaks for itself. The show is bad. I'm a huge Joss Whedon fan and even with his input, it's still generic, bland, by the numbers television.

So you think a show isn't successful unless it's watched by 99% of the US population? My god you're an idiot.

Throwing insults around. A sure fire way to know you've lost the argument / discussion. 5.5 million aren't good ratings for ABC. The show started with almost 13 million.

i still cant understand how it was renewed for the 2nd season, its just bad.

No, factual errors are proof you've lost an argument. No AoS episode has fallen anywhere near 5.5 million viewers. "Bridge" got over 6 million live viewers. Counting DVR viewers, no episode has fallen below 10 million. I don't understand the hatedumb attached to this show. If you don't like it, don't watch it and don't go on comment boards that talk about it. It's that simple! Why are you people so obsessed with it being canceled?

I have better things to do. Anything than this actually. It's a TV show.

If you refresh the page and then stop it before its fully loade it'll show a different, more accurate and critical review by James Hunt. "any viewer with critical faculties would be able to spot the attempt at misdirection. Not very satisfying."

Yeah the talk between Ward and Coulson may have been good. But look at Coulsons hands on the steering wheel, they are on a straight away, yet he is constantly turning. Very distracting.

the week before xmas and this is what they show? I'm already so sad I could slit my wrists and they show this. Well, this is the LAST time I watch this POS.