Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Hurdles of S.H.I.E.L.D.: We're keeping the name

So, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been getting incrementally better. Last week had an episode with real-life superpowers. Even better, it moved the awful, shallow, irritating Rising Tide story that much closer to completion. Once it safely fades into the background like The Maquis, maybe we can finally focus on major villains like...ugh, "centipede."

The previous week was very good. Quite possibly the best episode of the series yet. Sure, the superpowers were just some advanced technology, but it was played well, the story was clever and it was a joy to watch. I mean, you have to deal with the time that the total badass was having a knock-down drag-out fight and then totally stood there looking around in complete darkness for ten seconds while her opponent causally picked up a gun, but it was a great episode.

...except for one thing. Two characters that I won't name until they become the slightest bit characterized—let's call them Alpha Male and Beta Male—are playing poker. So, the Beta Male is all into it and cocky. I'm loving it; he's a science geek, but there's no reason for him not to be good a poker. He can be even better than Alpha Male at poker, a manly-man's manly game, because there's more than one way to be manly. No one has to be everything and no man can be every facet of manliness. I thought Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was going to add some dimensions to his character by making him scary good at poker. Like, maybe he paid his way through science school by playing poker or being a street magician. Maybe he's got, like, a sleight of hand thing going on. I mean, sure, why not? He's shaky in the field and excited about science, but there's no reason that he couldn't be those things and also handy with cards.

But of course, he's not. He's cheating. But wait! It's still cool that he's cheating. Maybe he's a bit resentful of Alpha Male. Maybe he just wants to win and his thing is that he's willing to cheat with all of his clever devices. That's not exactly as good as the first thing, but it's still a good twist. By giving Beta Male a healthy ego, one expressed through being knowledgeable and willing to swing above his weight class, he could be an interesting guy and more than one half of a single, scientific gestalt.

Before the scene is finished, we learn that in order to win, he's going to have to let Skye (a female) see him with x-ray vision. Disregarding the fact that I don't consider an x-ray vision view of my junk to be embarrassing (or any view, really). I was excited. Maybe Beta Male is that dedicated to winning that he's going to go in on that. Maybe he's got some iron in there. Maybe he isn't ashamed. Maybe he's swinging some pipe. Maybe he's the ladies man of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s newest team of oddballs and not Alpha Male. Imagine if the quiet nerd is the suave one. Imagine he's hooking up with ladies in every moment of down-time the team has. It could get him into a lot of trouble. It could also make  his platonic relationship with British Scientist more releva—

Nope. He folds. Fuck him. Standard nerd. Beta male. Whole scene just moves Main Female and Alpha Male closer together. Enjoy audience. Fuck you. You're morons. Try to keep the drool off your shoes during the credits.

Fuck you too, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Fuck you and your flat, uncompelling, boring, stock characters and your spineless lack of definition.

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