Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s mid-season finale “Maveth” had some good moments but fell flat. Even though I didn’t think the show could continue its lightning pace through the mid-season finale, I was hoping they would maintain some momentum and I guess Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. did, but several of the ongoing threads got tied up too neatly for my taste.
I’ll try to continue this review without giving away too many spoilers but consider this a warning: there may be a few. I was disappointed in how the Ward story was resolved: he won’t be around anymore in spirit and yet we haven’t seen the last of him. The Fitz-Simmons-Daniels love triangle was managed well this year but (spoiler) with Will Daniels dead, it frees up Fitz and Simmons to get together. I’m sure Simmons will struggle with Will’s death and I might have to cry foul if Coulson tells Simmons that Fitz killed Daniels; he wasn’t Daniels anymore. I don’t care if Fitz and Simmons end up together but Coulson breaking them up over a misunderstanding would be a little hard to take.
I didn’t care for the foreign planet’s name Maveth. It’s not a bad name; I just wanted to see Ego. But “It” is a bad name. You couldn’t come up with a better name than It, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.? Maybe the second half of this year’s super monsters will receive a more suitable name when Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns. Speaking of super monsters, Lash returned and that’s a good thing. Something tells me Agent May will be more than willing to pull the trigger on her ex-husband again. While that fits with her character, I’d like her to struggle with the decision more. I’m not sure if Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will fit that into the narrative. Lash is an engaging character with ties to S.H.I.E.L.D. and he serves as a good counter-balance to It and Hydra.
The plottiness of “Maveth” prevented a lot of significant growth for many of the show’s characters—and much of the dialogue felt forced because the cast had to get through it and get on to the next scene—but Mack shined despite the writers squeezing as much as they could. Not only did he take charge, he had a subtle moment with Skye (Quake/Daisy) and this moment could bloom into a struggle among Skye, Mack, and Lincoln. I’m not saying this struggle will be a love triangle, nor am I advocating one, but so many arcs were lost in this episode (Coulson and Ward, no more Hydra power struggles, the Fitz-Simmons-Daniels love triangle, and we said goodbye to the planet Maveth) that we had to gain a couple in return. Many of the storylines that got wrapped up outlived their usefulness and I was glad to see them go, but there’s still another half to the season and that was a lot for one episode.
I enjoyed “Maveth,” in spite of its plottiness, and there are enough logs in the fireplace to keep Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. warm during its winter break.
Thanks for reading.