Agents of SHIELD Season 2 Ep 7 (TV Show Review)

Last week’s episode was pretty damn intense, especially with that killer ending when Grant Ward escaped the government troops who took over custody of him from Coulson’s SHIELD agents. Throughout the episode, we were treated to one twist after another as we saw how Grant and his brother Senator Christian Ward manipulated the people around them to get what they wanted. And we got some great dynamics between two of the team’s recent additions, Bobbi and Lance, which was pretty damn great. Going forward, the implications were pretty clear.

This week’s “The Writing on the Wall” is set in the aftermath of Ward’s escape and what the team is doing about it. Moreover, a big chunk of the episode is taken up with the strange alien carvings that Coulson has been doing for a while now, writings which drove John Garrett crazy last season and which seem to have affected at least one more person as of a certain cliffhanger a while back this season. More flashbacks to the days of the TAHITI project mean that this episode is all-out awesome and we finally get a true idea of what the entire project was really all about.

Note: This review contains spoiler speculation about the ending of this episode, a possible spoiler about at least one upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe movie.

Let’s take care of the big plot first: the strange alien carvings. We’ve known from the start of this season that there’s a certain purpose behind them, that they mean something, though none of the characters know what, and we ourselves don’t either. When John Garrett did all the carvings last season, they didn’t exactly make much sense and the writers didn’t explain any of it either, just that they were somehow relevant to the madness that was taking hold of him.

Well now we know. We know what the carvings are all about. That’s the big thrust of this episode. An unidentified character has been going on a killing spree recently and he has carved the alien symbols in the bodies of his victims and also had them tattooed on his body. Skye came on board with the whole thing in the previous episode, and since then she’s been hunting for leads on what the carvings mean, and these murders ping her radar. Things get more complicated when the most recent victim turns out to be a SHIELD agent thought dead these past years. Mysteries, mysteries, mysteries. Everything goes back to the TAHITI project, which Coulson oversaw at one point and which he recommended closed. Of course, we know that this didn’t happen and that Director Fury used Coulson’s death in The Avengers to restart the project in order to save him.

And now it all comes out in the open for Team Coulson. And it is not pretty.

Learning the details about the TAHITI project doesn’t exactly make for some comfortable viewing. What the goals for the project were, what eventually happened to the volunteers, and why their memories were erased, it is all very uncomfortable. But also fascinating in some ways. And just goes to show that SHIELD really isn’t a White Knight agency. It is more a Grey Knight, straddling both the light and the dark to do what is necessary to keep the world safe.

That’s pretty dark right?




Well, the implications of what the carvings represent are pretty big. It turns out that the carvings are a three-dimensional representation of some kind of an alien city. The alien we know is the same as the living-in-stasis dude fro last season when Team Coulson broke into an abandoned SHIELD facility last year and discovered the GH-325 formula that brought Skye back from the dead, same as it had done Coulson previously. But what alien city could it be? From the flashbacks we are told that the alien is from a very, very old time, almost predating ancient civilizations.

The implications of this are pretty obvious: Inhumans. The Inhumans are a branch of humanity who were experimented on tens of thousands of years ago by the aliens known as the Kree. These Inhumans went on to create their own civilization, thanks to the advanced technology at their disposal through the Kree. And then they all vanished, disappearing into the unknown. But their city, Attilan, still exists. And with the fact that Marvel Studios is going to make an Inhumans movie as part of Phase 4 or 5, and the fact that the Inhumans are making a great comeback in the comics as well, it stands to reason that Agents of SHIELD would be used as a launchpad for this.

We know that Marvel doesn’t own the live-action rights to the X-Men and associated characters. That’s where the Inhumans come in. They are all superheroes of one sort or another, but with more of a focus on royal families rather than strangers brought together for a common goal. Marvel isn’t going to get the X-Men rights back anytime soon, so it makes sense that the Inhumans their answer, and I’m all for that, truthfully.

So the city that Coulson talked about at the end of the episode? It could well be Attilan. And the alien the team discovered last year? An Inhuman with some sort of superhero power, powers that all Inhumans of note have, of one sort or another. And you know what, perhaps Skye is an Inhuman too. She is the only one we know of so far who was injected with GH-325 and hasn’t started going crazy. She might well be a half-Inhuman too!

Agents of SHIELD Cast 0002

Either way, this was a big, big episode, and I’m really glad that something like this happening s early for the show. This is going to change things in a big way and I can’t wait to see more.

And then there’s the whole thing with Ward. We know that he is a supremely-capable agent, whether we talk SHIELD or HYDRA and he proves that yet again in this episode. This guy is seriously good at what he does, and it seems that he is turning into a lone wolf now that he is free, given all that he does in this episode. Very interesting developments certainly. I think his particular arc is going to be longer in this season than I had figured previously, and that’s fine with me. He shouldn’t be left by the wayside this season when every other character has started off so well in the new season.

All in all, this was a damn god episode, by far, and I think that things can only get better and better now.  Probably one of the best episodes of the season so far!

More Agents of SHIELD Season 2: Ep 1, Ep 2, Ep 3, Ep 4, Ep 5, Ep 6.

Agents of SHIELD Season 1 reviews can be found here. I’ve reviewed every episode so far.


Posted on November 12, 2014, in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, Review Central, TV Show Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

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