Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Review: “Watchdogs”

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Kyle’s Thoughts

My first impression, while watching “Watchdogs,” was one of skepticism. The Inhumans have been Marvel’s ersatz X-Men, so a storyline that features inhumans as the subject of discrimination should come as no surprise. “Watchdogs” came out of left field with such a story. I vaguely remembered some of the Watchdog players, but even with some familiar faces, a story of this nature takes the wind out of the S.H.I.E.L.D. versus Hydra main arc. That was the case until the episode reached its conclusion.

“Watchdogs” was a good episode that laid a lot of character ground work—any episode that features Mack is a pretty good one—but once it turned the corner and tied the events of the episode into the larger Hydra arc, it turned into a great episode. The Watchdogs aren’t just a villain of the week and a means to explore different characters. The events have lasting repercussions. And the show climbed a mountain of characterization.

I never liked Lincoln but I’m warming up to him after “Watchdogs.” He played well off of Coulson—I still view his relationship with Daisy (Quake or Skye) as forced—and the character needs more interaction with other S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. Fitz and Daisy make a good—and unlikely—team but that was another strength of this episode. “Watchdogs” shook up the status quo. Simmons and May have had little airtime together but they worked well off each other. It’s natural to see May reach out to a vulnerable Simmons because she struggles with having to track down her ex-husband. It’s also natural to see Simmons reciprocate. But the character who got the grand treatment was Mack.

I was worried that “Watchdogs” introducing Mini-Mack would lead to another forced side-story. Mack’s little brother, Mini-Mack, sympathized with the Watchdogs. As a result Mini-Mack rejected his brother’s job, when he found out what his brother really does for a living, and for a moment, it looked as if Mini-Mack would join the Watchdogs, but blood is thicker than hatred. Mini-Mack sees his brother in a different light and the episode ends their story a satisfying place.

I hated to see Bobbi and Hunter go, but Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. had to trim the fat and go in a different direction. It’s only been one episode since the couple’s departure but so far, so good. I like how Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. takes chances. It’s not afraid of change and the changes its made this season carry weight.

Thanks for reading.

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