Parting Shot

Agents of SHIELD 3×13 “Parting Shot” Review

Keyla Alves Teixeira Agents of SHIELD Leave a Comment

[ABC media]

Official synopsis for Parting Shot:

Bobbi and Hunter become ensnared in an assassination plot after tracking Malick to Russia.

 

Parting Shot may have been the thirteenth episode in season 3, but felt much more like a back-door pilot for the show’s proposed spin-off, “Marvel’s Most Wanted”. Although enjoyable, showcasing the great dynamic and chemistry between Bobbi (Adrianne Palicki) and Hunter (Nick Blood), this episode did little in terms of furthering the ongoing plot.

The episode opens on Bobbi being interrogated in a Russian prison, showcasing her defiance under pressure, in a scene oddly reminiscent of that in the season 2 finale. The story then shifts to the previous day, with the episode jumping between timelines in a manner that seemed much better utilized in the season 1 episode, Tracks. For a show that seems to adjust its own canon fairly often, there were a remarkable number of references to seasons past this week.

Bobbi and Hunter are shown surveying a Russian compound, waiting for the rest of the team to arrive. In one of the most entertaining moments of the episode, they start to question how much time they have for themselves, versus sacrificing for SHIELD. It dawns on them that they’ve never even taken a vacation together. Hints of their departure started here, and were scattered liberally throughout the episode.

During Parting Shot, Gideon Malick acts the puppet-master once again, and one has to wonder if SHIELD are ever going to gain the upper hand here. As part of his ongoing scheme to set up an Inhuman sanctuary (which the team conclude will be a prison) Malick stages a coup to take down the Russian Prime Minister. What SHIELD isn’t expecting is a Russian General who is an Inhuman, capable of manifesting a “sentient darkforce”. After a resounding beating, the team concludes that this shadow is indestructible. Bobbi ultimately identifies that the only way out is to kill the General himself, pulling the trigger just in time to save Hunter. It is entirely understandable although rather jarring in a show that continues to preach ‘everyone deserves a second chance’.

This episode serves to remind us that Hunter and Bobbi would do anything for the ones they love. Having turned on Bobbi last season for “betraying” SHIELD, Hunter then deliberately walked into a trap to save her, leading to their reconciliation. Hunter then embarked upon a mission to get revenge on Ward, even being prepared to sacrifice Andrew Garner in the process. May confronts Hunter during this mission in a somewhat confusing scene, saying that Hunter isn’t willing to let his friends die for the greater good. Given May’s unwillingness to give up on Andrew earlier in the season, this scene was somewhat jarring.

I’m hoping that in the promised spinoff series, Marvel’s Most Wanted, Hunter’s issues with SHIELD are taken more seriously. As a man who was a soldier and then a mercenary, the secrecy of the spy life would be unsettling, and it would be great to see that conflict explored. The possibility of exploring their pasts is exciting, because the two play beautifully off each other.

Bobbi and Hunter finally conclude that the only way of not exposing SHIELD’s involvement is by the two being disavowed. There are several bizarre sequences with half the characters denying SHIELD’s ongoing existence whilst the rest clearly know it’s still very much around. Ultimately, everyone seems to just have an unspoken agreement that they’ll all pretend SHIELD isn’t a black-ops agency operating without oversight, so long as Bobbi and Hunter leave.

A highlight for me from Parting Shot was the spy’s goodbye. The scene was full of emotion from the and I applaud the actors for their execution of it. The hardest hitting goodbye to witness was Mack’s, although it would have been nice to see some interaction between the three earlier in the episode, given that they had an established relationship prior to joining this version of SHIELD.

The tag scene warrants a quick mention as we meet Malick’s daughter. She appears to be even more committed to Hive’s cause than her father, almost giving off the air of a zealot. What connection does she actually have with the Inhuman? Is she going to play a large role in the show’s mythology of Hydra?

Let us know what you thought about Parting Shot and this farewell to Bobbi and Hunter in the comments below, or hit us up on Twitter!

Edited by Cat MacRae
Inside Man

Agents of SHIELD 3×12 “The Inside Man” Review

Keyla Alves Teixeira Agents of SHIELD 1 Comment

Official synopsis for The Inside Man:

Coulson and General Talbot are forced to team up and attend a worldwide symposium on Inhumans, where they suspect Malick has an inside man. As the S.H.I.E.L.D. team gets closer to the truth, an unexpected traitor is revealed.

 

The death of Grant Ward still shakes me up, but last night’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. with Hive’s revival is softening the blow. Hive now has a fully strengthened body and is hopefully ready for a little action. I’m dying to see a look at his powers, even more so to see his powers used against the agents, but clearly that’s going to have to wait. My anticipation is only heightened by the fear from Lucio, the Inhuman who can freeze with a look, as he realizes his powers have close to zero effect on Hive.

What are Hive and Malick really after? The end to the world? Death to all humans? Malick clearly has an agenda, especially with the government influences he’s cultivated. It became clear during The Inside Man that Malick was frustrated by what he perceived as Hive’s ongoing weakness. He finally suggests that an Inhuman be Hive’s next host, leading to the reveal that the host needs to be human. The next horrifying development is Hive demanding five humans be brought to him, proceeding to feed on them until they are skin and bones. Ouch.

In another highlight from last night’s episode, Coulson and Talbot had to work together. As the new head of the ATCU, Talbot was one of the major players at a political symposium to discuss the rapid spread of Inhumans with world delegates. Coulson meets him there and as they are preparing for the summit a familiar face returns: Carl Creel.

Carl Creel is apparently no longer under Hydra’s influence and is now Talbot’s bodyguard. I’m glad to see Creel back on the show, not only because his abilities are awesome to watch, but also Hunter hates him for good reason. It injects some much needed humor to see Hunter’s usual bickering antics aimed towards Creel. It makes me wonder how the show will handle losing Bobbi and Hunter if they don’t do double duty on their new show as well as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

During the summit, Talbot was revealed as a traitor, and the episode’s titular ‘Inside Man’. After Coulson makes a heroic speech about Inhumans, Talbot reveals Coulson’s true intentions, and that he was spying on the delegates. And it doesn’t stop there – in a jaw-dropping moment Malick walks into the room and points the finger at Coulson, “He’s the leader of Hydra.” For a moment I believed that Talbot was working for Malick, and I even caught myself cursing Talbot’s name, but it turns out, Malick was blackmailing Talbot with his captured son.

Eventually the team manage to escape the situation, even rescuing Talbot’s son from Malick, but there’s one significant message from this entire situation. Gideon Malick is powerful, and I’m not talking superpowers. He’s a master of misdirection, with the show setting him up as something of a puppeteer. Not only is he absurdly wealthy, but he also has influence and reach that goes beyond governments. It’s power that S.H.I.E.L.D. has difficulty matching.

Am I the only one who feels utterly indifferent to whether all Inhumans do live in a ‘sanctuary’ in Russia’s backyard? It seems oddly reminiscent of the now never mentioned Afterlife, a sanctuary set up for Inhumans by Inhumans in the mountains of China… This show has had moments showing a clear connection to the larger MCU, but there is still a question over the relevance of S.H.I.E.L.D. Inhumans in the wider universe. Could there still be a connection if the Inhumans do end up having to live in a sanctuary? Remember there is an Inhumans movie slated to arrive in theaters in 2019.

In another convenient reveal, Creel’s blood might actually be a way to stop Terrigenesis from happening. Again, what could this mean for the larger MCU if the team is successful with the vaccine?

The rest of the season has to maintain a solid momentum seen during The Inside Man. Revelations like Hive’s transformative change and an Inhuman vaccine changes things for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. I’m just hoping the momentum sticks around throughout the rest of the season. What were your thoughts during “The Inside Man”? Any theories for the rest of season three? Comment below or chat with us on Twitter!

Inside Man

Agents of SHIELD “The Inside Man” Sneak Peek

Cat MacRae Agents of SHIELD Leave a Comment

Official synopsis for The Inside Man:

Coulson and General Talbot are forced to team up and attend a worldwide symposium on Inhumans, where they suspect Malick has an inside man. As the S.H.I.E.L.D. team gets closer to the truth, an unexpected traitor is revealed.

This sneak peek from the next episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. shows that Malick is once again collecting Inhumans for Hive. Perhaps the most interesting reveal here is that Hive appears to be immune to the powers of other Inhumans, something that’s sure to play a role in upcoming episodes once the SHIELD agents discover his existence.

We know that the comics version of Hive is able to mind control others and it seems that this might also be a feature in the show. The end of this clip seemingly showing Hive sending out a sandy simulacrum of himself towards Lucio, whilst uttering the words “what are we“. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see!

“The Inside Man” airs 9:00PM on Tuesday, March 15 on ABC

Dead or Alive Bouncing Back

Agents of SHIELD 3×11 “Bouncing Back” Review

Keyla Alves Teixeira Agents of SHIELD 2 Comments

Official synopsis for Bouncing Back:

“No longer able to keep powered people out of the public eye, Daisy and Mack press forward to find more Inhumans, building a team of secret warriors whose mission is to train and protect powered people. However, the growing presence of Inhumans proves to be a polarizing issue, and the S.H.I.E.L.D. team must face conflicting public opinions and defend their team from groups who have a more extreme ideology.

The divide between those who want to protect Inhumans and those who seek to destroy them is constantly widening, and Hydra, now strengthened by Grant Ward, looms once again. However, Ward is no longer the same villainous traitor that they once knew, and the team faces an all-new enemy, whose motivations, goals and strengths are unclear. Uncertain about who (or what) they are facing, the stakes for S.H.I.E.L.D. and their assembled group of Secret Warriors are higher than ever, bringing some members of the team closer together and driving others apart. Will S.H.I.E.L.D. be able to stop one of the most powerful Inhumans to walk the Earth?”

 

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returned last night and asked a lot of questions that will need answering in the back half of the season. What’s going on in the random ‘3 months ahead’ flash-forward? Are they teasing the possibility of another dead agent this season? Whoever’s blood that was, I hope it’s not the newcomer to the series, Yo-Yo (Natalia Cordova-Buckley), because her appearance last night was one of the coolest to date.

There were notable moments from the series’ return last night, but nothing to get too excited about… yet. Bouncing Back felt a lot like set-up, which will hopefully pay off in the last half of the season. Having said that, for me, the return of the show was disappointing. The only real highlights were Brett Dalton returning as Hydra’s terrifying new villain, Hive, and the introduction of Elena ‘Yo-Yo’ Rodriguez to the show. We know from interviews that she’s the Secret Warriors comic character Slingshot but, as with Quake, we’re still waiting for this name to be acknowledged in canon.

Yo-Yo Rodriguez is a badass, and that’s due in no small part to the work of the visual effects team this week. The SHIELD team is sent to Columbia to investigate someone they suspect is Inhuman stealing weapons from the police. It emerges that the police are corrupt and the Inhuman, Yo-Yo, is simply trying get rid of the weapons. We meet another Inhuman who can freeze people with a look, taking Bobbi and Hunter down during the mission, in another cool visual. The overall mission was unfortunately a snooze fest, but we got a couple of cool Inhumans out of it.

Yo-Yo is somewhat limited as she can only be a speedster during each heartbeat, but she’s a vital part of the team before leaving at the end of the episode. Since her comic equivalent is an integral part of the Secret Warriors, I’m crossing my fingers that she’ll be back. It seems that she’s also going to play the part of Mack’s love interest, which should be interesting given his suspicion of all things Inhuman. It looks like we’ll have to wait for that to pay off though. 

Speaking of pay-off, we’re still waiting on some for Fitz and Simmons. After three seasons they finally kissed, but after everything they’ve been through, they decided to start over last night. Does this mean we have to wait three more seasons to see the two kiss again? One of the only storylines on the show that I find truly satisfying is that of Fitz and Simmons, so I’m praying that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. doesn’t ruin it for us.

I didn’t find the subplot of Fitz feeling guilty for Will’s death at all believable. It doesn’t make any sense to me for Fitz to feel guilty, since he find out that Will was dead long before Hive took control of him. Fitz essentially killed nothing more than a vessel for the ancient Inhuman. Am I missing something?

After the hiatus announcement that a Marvel’s Most Wanted pilot with Bobbi and Hunter is going ahead, I can’t help but speculate how they’re going to leave the show. I suppose there is a possibility that they’ll be doing double duty and appearing on both shows. For now, however, as Mack says, Bobbi and Hunter deserve each other. 

During Bouncing Back a brooding Director Coulson continues his usual antics, still mourning the death of Rosalind Price. Did he think murdering Grant Ward would somehow give him closure? It didn’t, and the world moves on, with a new head of the ATCU being picked by President Ellis. Guess who? General Talbot. Talbot returning to the show should be hilarious since he’s long been on the anti-Coulson train and, by extension, suspicious of SHIELD.

One of the biggest surprises of the episode was seeing Werner von Strucker again. Despite being in some sort of vegetative state, Coulson elects to put him through the tortuous memory machine of season two. Strucker provides enough information to Coulson to lead to an eerie phone call later in the episode with Malick. It’s clearly not going to be an easy undertaking for Coulson to find Gideon. When he does though, Coulson’s going to end up face to face with his demons and I hope that one of them will be Hive.

The midseason finale left me wondering what Hive can actually do, and what that might mean for the agents. We only got a glimpse of Hive’s powers at the end of last night’s episode, but it was enough to get me speculating. I also want to applaud the man who portrays the Hydra villain, Brett Dalton. When I first saw Hive in that isolated room, I felt nothing but the anxiety coming from Malick. Once I saw the dead glare coming from Hive’s eyes, it truly gave me chills, and that’s thanks to the portrayal of this new character. Finally we seem to have a formidable villain that’s not only terrifying, but also mysterious, as we have no idea whether the show’s direction with Hive will resemble that from the comics. Either way, I’m looking forward to seeing Dalton’s continued stellar performance as Hive.

So why was I disappointed and how can the show get better? By stopping the continuous tease of the Secret Warriors and actually giving us the real deal. It’s fun to see Daisy with Joey during the field mission this week, allied with people who have similar strength to her, and seeing Daisy fight alongside Yo-Yo is thrilling. Let’s have more of that! 

Overall, Bouncing Back was a mediocre return for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. My most memorable moment was seeing Hive for the first time, and one can only imagine what it’ll look like once its regained its strength. I’m also relieved to see that there is finally major set up for a Malick and Coulson showdown.

Did you enjoy the return of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. last night? Comment below and send us your theories for the back half of Season 3.

Trust No One

Trust No One – Exclusive Interview

Lily Miranda Uncategorized 3 Comments

Brett Dalton and Simon Kassianides recently got together to give BrettDalton.org an exclusive interview about their latest project together. Last month, the two friends launched an ambitious Kickstarter campaign in the hope of crowd funding an independent short film they’re planning, co-starring Outlander’s Caitriona Balfe.

Written and directed by Simon, Trust No One follows Ben (Kassianides) who has intel that many are trying to get their hands on. With time running out and choices getting harder to make, Ben quickly realizes that there really is no one left he can trust.

With approximately 60% of the project currently funded, the team behind Trust No One is getting close to the finish line in hopes of making their goal.

Brett and Simon sat down to answer a few questions for us about Trust No One, including questions from fans on Twitter. Click on the link below to find out all you need to know about this incredible film, including why this project is worth your time – and money!

Be sure to visit the Trust No One Kickstarter page here for more information about this fantastic project, and to make your pledge before it’s too late. The deadline according to Kickstarter is on March 14th at 6:55PM EST. Don’t forget to check back with us here and on Twitter for some exclusive content from this interview that we will be posting as the campaign continues.

Update 3/14/16: Trust No One is now fully funded with $69,176 pledged.

Brett Dalton talks Grant Ward and Season 3

Cat MacRae Agents of SHIELD Leave a Comment

Brett Dalton gave this interview with ScreenSlam back in January. In it he talks about his feelings regarding Grant Ward, and the way that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has evolved since it premiered in 2013. Brett discusses why he enjoys being on a TV show and his enjoyment of being invited into people’s lives on a weekly basis. He concludes by teasing a little about what’s to come in the back half of season 3. Brett suggests that the agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. think that everything is fine, with Maveth, Hydra and Ward all vanquished, but that the opposite is likely to be true! Watch his interview below:

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns on March 8, 9PM EST with “Bouncing Back”

Hive

What Will He Become? – Brett Dalton previews season 3B

Lizzie Hanna Agents of SHIELD 2 Comments

TVGuide has just released a new interview with Brett Dalton, recorded back in early January, concerning his character’s return. A shocking mid season finale contained the death of Grant Ward and, below, Brett discusses the impact of his new role on the upcoming second half of season three.

Brett reveals that the ‘Creature’, as it’s referred to in the interview, is an enigmatic being. He goes on to tease the long history of this presumed Inhuman, and how it has played a significant role on both Earth, and the planet Maveth. For Hydra, returning this being to Earth has been the work of centuries, and their mission is now complete — so what next? 

Furthermore, Brett teases that this Creature has the power to inhibit bodies, much as we saw it convincingly possess Will in Maveth. The true motive and intentions of this entity remain to be seen, as does the extent to which Ward’s memories remain. Certainly knowledge of the team will have a great impact on any future interactions with SHIELD and, potentially, also those within Hydra. 

As we reported earlier this month, Elizabeth Henstridge let slip that Brett will return in season 3 as Hive. Dalton’s description of the new character, however, leads us to believe that the writers have diverged from comic canon. How that will play out on screen? We’ll have to wait and see! 

Do you think the Creature will raise hell on Earth? Will Malick decide that he’s made a huge mistake? Perhaps both. Tells us what you think! 

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns 9PM, Tuesday March 8 on ABC

Oscars Giveaway

Gavin Stone – Oscars Giveaway

Lily Miranda The Resurrection of Gavin Stone Leave a Comment

This weekend marks the 88th Annual Academy Awards and Vertical Church Films is using the biggest Hollywood event of the year to launch their first giveaway for their upcoming film. They’ve asked fans to tweet them their “Best Picture” predictions for a chance to win a signed photo of their film’s star, Brett Dalton.

With this giveaway announcement, we’ve also been given a never before seen still of Gavin Stone from the upcoming film. Fans have been patiently waiting for any news surrounding this highly anticipated project, such as a confirmed release date. With the company kick starting their marketing campaign for the film again, it’s possible that an announcement for the film’s release is just around the corner. There had not been any new information or footage released about the film since December.

There is still no word yet on an exact date, but The Resurrection of Gavin Stone is expected to be released sometime this year. Keep checking back as we bring you more updates regarding this film and some exclusive content later this year.

Beside Still Waters

Giveaway – Signed Copy of Beside Still Waters

Cat MacRae Giveaway 3 Comments

After the success of our initial giveaway last year, we’re delighted to announce our first giveaway of 2016!

We have one copy of Beside Still Waters, signed by Brett Dalton, to give away! You must be following our Twitter @BrettDaltonOrg to be eligible for the prize. More entries are up for grabs by tweeting, following our Instagram and signing up to our newsletter – more details below.

This giveaway is open to all and we will send internationally. The giveaway starts on February 25 and will close on March 25. Good luck!

Hive

Grant Ward confirmed to be Hive?

Cat MacRae Agents of SHIELD Leave a Comment

At Wizard World Portland this weekend, the actress Elizabeth Henstridge from Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. let slip a pretty huge spoiler for the show’s return. Although it’s long been speculated by fans since the reveal of Grant Ward’s supposed reincarnation in Maveth, she confirmed that Ward has in fact returned as the character Hive.

During her panel, it’s stated that Ward has made some changes lately, and Elizabeth is asked if we should expect big things from him. The actress responds:

“I did not see that coming. It [Ward’s changed character] is going to play a big role and it’s so nasty.”

Later she discusses her character’s increasingly pragmatic attitude, and apparent willingness to go to any lengths to destroy people whom she deems a threat. This segues into a discussion of Simmons’ current feelings for Grant Ward.

“She hates him. It is fair, but I think that’s the first time she’s felt such strong emotion. And I think she’s still feeling it, you know? And now Ward is Hive and takes on the memories of people he’s killed, so that’s going to have some interesting situations for her.”

Listen to the panel:

Hive, who would have the memories not only of Grant Ward, but also of Will Daniels and his relationship with Simmons on the alien planet, certainly has the potential to be a very real threat. Not only has there been the suggestion that Hive brought about the destruction of the deserted planet, leading to very real questions about what might be coming for Earth, but many of the agents have very personal histories with the people whom Hive’s memories belonged to. It should make for some interesting confrontations when the show returns.

We imagine that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will be putting their own spin on Hive, as they have done with many other characters, but here’s what we know of the comic book character:

Hive was a former Hydra agent, selected for a special program codenamed “Ravenous”. He’s placed in a room of parasitic pods who attach to the agent, eventually forming a mutated human/parasite hybrid. Hive is able to gain control of others by placing his parasites on the body of a victim. He also has enhanced strength and excels in hand-to-hand combat. Despite the fact that Hive’s individual parasites are deadly, it still has the physical limitations of its host, no doubt making Grant Ward a perfect choice.

It remains to be seen how much of the 616 Universe backstory the show adheres to, but it sounds like it’s going to be a wild ride! Let us know what you think below, or find us on Twitter.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns 9PM, Tuesday March 8 on ABC