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“Girl in the Flower Dress” is the fifth episode for ABC and Marvel’s “Agent’s of S.H.I.E.L.D.”, and it was a return to the strange and spectacular. This week’s episode focused on another powered individual and the clandestine organization that keeps eluding S.H.I.E.L.D., whom I will refer to as Centipede for now as they are the same people that came up with the insect-like device in the pilot.
Not much about our favorite character here. He mentions his death yet again while speaking to Agent May (Ming-Na Wen) and basically plays his part, that of leader of the team. What is interesting is that when things go south he is still the rock, and keeps a very cool demeanor. Not even registering really how much of a betrayal there was, he’s still giving people second chances where protocol and gut reaction would be to do away with the problems. This is partly the man we’ve all known, seeing the silver lining in everything, but is it more than just that? Will we get a flashback and see hard-ass Coulson? That remains to be seen. But Clark Gregg holds his own and continues to make the part fun and loveable. A great scene in the episode is during a car chase and there’s all this crazy driving going on and Coulson almost has this look of enjoyment, not concentration. It was just fun to see how unfazed he is by all of this. This is truly Coulson’s world and I’m glad to be along for the ride.
The dynamic among the team has changed drastically with this episode. Without giving too much away there were some revelations (or confirmations if you had already guessed where things were headed) about Skye (Chloe Bennet) and her ties to the group “The Rising Tide.” Trust was broken, there were some I told you so’s and things got complicated. And yet somehow things also got more personal. Coulson truly seems to care about Skye, but he’s not stupid enough to let her bite them again. So he subscribes to the “keep your friends close, and your enemies closer” strategy by episode’s end. Agent Ward (Brett Dalton) is more than a bit upset, and yet he’s been waiting for it. Not much from Fitz and Simmons this week though. But it was Agent May who was the most vocal about the situation, being Coulson’s second-in-command. She is the logic to his empathy and they play off each other well. There’s also a hint of sexual tension between them. That said, whatever happened to Phil’s musician girlfriend?
The story was a return to the more “X-Files”/”Fringe” side, with the agents following weird happenings. This time in the form of a man in Hong Kong who can produce fire. Chan Ho Yin (Luis Ozawa Changchien) is a would-be street magician who idolized Houdini. When his abilities manifested he saw it as real magic, but was approached by S.H.I.E.L.D. to keep it under wraps. All Chan wants is fame, and Centipede sends an agent in to play on that. Manipulations and double-crosses abound in the episode and Chan, nicknamed Scorch is used as a pawn to further Centipede’s agenda, which can only be guessed as weaponizing abilities. S.H.I.E.L.D. needs to make sure they find Chan and also figure out who took him. Oh and also someone hacked their information and sold it, which is how Chan was found in the first place. Tensions run high in this episode, and I believe it’s the beginning of a larger revelation.
The show continues to build the intrigue, as now Centipede and who they really are becomes the major plot point for me. Coulson’s fate is still way up there, but the more that Centipede gets away with and comes up with, the more I want to know who these guys really are and how they’re getting their hands on all this stuff. Hopefully the show is building to something climactic. I’d also love to see Maximiliano Hernandez show up as Agent Jasper Sitwell in an episode reprising his role from “Thor” and “The Avengers”.