Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. Review: “Scars” (Season 2, Episode 20)

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It’s understandable that we wouldn’t want to trust Raina. She’s a shifty one whose allegiances seem pretty flexible so long as they meet her end goals. So when she suggested last week that it’s time for Jiaying to go, and then again this week implying to Gordon that Jiaying wasn’t going to standup to S.H.I.E.L.D., it was pretty easy to detect the whiff of opportunism. Considering the way things turn out though, was Raina actually looking out for the Inhumans?

Meanwhile, Jiaying was the one making all the right moves. She was understandably suspicious of Raina, she was willing to listen to S.H.I.E.L.D. on Skye’s endorsement, and she took Cal up on his offer to surrender himself to seal the deal. This thing looked like a success before it even began, which I suppose is why it was doomed to failure. Isn’t it suspicious that Cal would be taken into S.H.I.E.L.D. custody with a bunch of empty vials of his super-strong serum? It seems like there was a plan…

One might understand the trepidation of Jiaying in getting close to S.H.I.E.L.D., but it’s hard to see why starting a war was an immediate necessity by offing Gonzales with a Terrigan crystal and sending Cal in as a Trojan prisoner. I think we’re meant to see the actions of Whitehall and the incident in Bahrain as signs that S.H.I.E.L.D. can’t be trusted. So far as Inhumans are concerned, S.H.I.E.L.D. and HYDRA are the same. But S.H.I.E.L.D. does endorse the draconian procedure of indexing people with abilities, which, as comic book fans know, is often at the crux of the political problems of mutants in the X-Men comics. It’s hard to breed trust when you’ve got to be listed in order to “keep the public safe,” but is it something to go to war over? Apparently.

Incidentally, the surprising death of Gonzales is the second departure of a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent this week. Mack went somewhat low-key and just quit, unable to trust Coulson in spite of everything and seemingly burnt out on all the spy stuff. Either they ran out of things to do with Mack, or there are bigger plans for him. It’s a shame to see Henry Simmons go because he added a lot to the cast, and he worked well with many of the other actors.

Back to the story, and Jiaying wasn’t the only one with a secret plan as Agent 33 launching some revenge scheme on behalf of Ward that involves Bobbi and a Quinjet, but while it’s easy to see that 33 wants simple payback against an agent that she thinks left her to suffer under Whitehall, it remains much more nebulous the plot and intentions of Ward. His subtle jab would lead me to think he’s going to convince Agent 33 to go in as a suicide bomber to take out S.H.I.E.L.D., but beyond that, what’s his endgame? There’s a lot of stuff to consider going into the last two episodes, which are conveniently airing back-to-back next week, but it’s pleasant for me to see that those moves are going to come out of this show and its plot rather than an outside source, even one as huge as Age of Ultron.

Before wrapping up, the TV upfronts are next week and we will learn when and how Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will return, because it seems unlikely that it won’t return. The real question is, is ABC is going to rubber stamp the proposed Mockingbird/Lance Hunter spinoff? If they do, I’d like to propose the following: West Coast Avengers. I’m sure Jeremy Renner might be persuaded to put in at least a part-time appearance if the dump truck full of money is big enough. So give Hunter a superhero identity (Machine Man?), cast a Wonder Man and a Tygra and maybe sign-up Deathlok full-time and that’s a pretty good recipe for awesomeness. It’ll never happen, but I thought I’d float it just the same. What is there to lose, right?

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