‘The Writing On The Wall’
After last week’s woefully mediocre filler episode, Agents of SHIELD decides to do another 180 and kick things up a notch this week. Seriously, this season has been anything but consistent.
Thankfully, ‘The Writing On The Wall’ is perhaps the most focused episode of this season yet. Following on from last week’s double stinger, May leads a team to Hunt down Ward, while Coulson and Skye deal with a psychotic serial killer who’s preferred method of murder involves carving the mysterious alien writing into his victims, who as it transpires, have a connection to the alien writing themselves. Unlike last week’s silly attack on the UN plot that went nowhere, the two narrative threads this week were clear, simple and more importantly, focused.
I’ll admit that Ward bugged the hell out of me last season, especially with the somewhat forced and predictable romantic subplot he had with Skye. Yet the second he was revealed to be Hydra, I began to warm up to the lad. This week, Ward proves to be a worthy adversary to May and her team. He’s smart, calculating and calm, which makes him all the more chilling, although it was a little hard to believe that Morse, aka Mockingbird, would blow her cover so easily.
With Ward’s sudden betrayal of Bakshi, he all of a sudden becomes all the more compelling. What are his motives? Does he really believe that he’s doing all this to protect Skye? Now that he’s finally out of that box called a cell, Ward has finally become interesting. I do think he’s way beyond redemption at this point, so it will be interesting to see whatever larger plan he has in store play out across the rest of the season.
Meanwhile, Coulson and Skye make huge leaps in regards to the alien writing. After a Shield agent is murdered, it’s revealed that Coulson was not the first to be injected with the alien serum. We finally go t a ton of answers in regards to the writing and what it means. It was also great to finally see Coulson go rogue for once, something that has been teased and discussed since episode one.
While it was nice for Coulson to become a little bit desperate and go out on his own, he never exactly went full Garrett, nor started carving symbols into people’s bodies. After all the discussion and worry that Coulson would explode in a state of fury and psychotic rage, the fact that he doesn’t was a little disappointing.
But of course, the big revelation this week surrounds the mystery of the alien writing. It transpires that it’s not writing, nor a map, but a blueprint to an alien city here on Earth.
Yes, all you keen Marvel fans, with your vast knowledge, it seems that Agents of SHIELD could be teasing Marvel’s Phase Three movie, Inhumans. For those unaware, the characters of the Inhumans are a race of advanced super humans who reside in the hidden alien city known as Attilan. The prevailing theory at the moment seems to suggest that this alien city that Coulson and his team have stumbled upon is in fact that of Attilan, and with Skye being the only one not directly affected by the alien serum, another prevailing theory is that she herself is in fact an Inhuman.
It’s all just a theory of course, but given Marvel’s Phase Three announcement, it wouldn’t be surprising if the show were teasing Marvel’s 2018 release. It’s pretty ballsy of them to tease something that’s still over three years away.
This episode was a vast improvement upon last week, an incredibly strong and focused episode that advanced a major plot arc and raised the stakes for what’s to come in the rest of the season.