‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ 1.09 Recap: “So Much for the Welcome Wagon”

Taking a couple of days off last week left me a little behind in my TV watching responsibilities. I might feel bad about my delay in covering an episode of ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ that aired a week ago, except that the show isn’t on this week anyway. Consider this a tide-me-over until the next new episode.

Last week’s episode was called ‘Repairs’. When a woman named Hannah appears to exhibit telekinetic powers that she can’t control, the S.H.I.E.L.D. team arrives to on-board her to their program for super-powered individuals. Hannah, however, doesn’t believe that she has any special power. Rather, she believes that she’s being haunted by demons, as a punishment from God. You see, Hannah was a scientist working in a research lab when a particle accelerator accident took the lives of several of her co-workers. Because she was in charge of the lab, the entire town blames her for the deaths. Hannah blames herself as well. Now, whenever she gets too upset or stressed out, bad things happen. An invisible force tosses things around, accidents happen and people get hurt. And with everyone in town screaming at her all the time, Hannah gets upset and stressed out a lot.

When a mob of townspeople show up at her house, all but carrying pitchforks and torches, Coulson and team struggle to defuse the situation before anyone gets hurt. Just as events escalate, Agent May shoots Hannah with her stun gun. She and Coulson then haul the girl off to the S.H.I.E.L.D. jet and lock her up in a special room that’s designed to contain super-powered people.

Fitz and Simmons insist that they don’t believe in telekinesis. Considering all the extraordinary things they deal with on a daily basis, I don’t understand how telekinesis is supposedly less plausible than, say, Thor wielding a magic hammer that allows him to fly through the air – or, for that matter, the actual explanation that the episode delivers.

While in mid-air, and with Hannah safely locked away, strange things start happening on the jet. Fitz gets locked in a closet, and something cuts the power to the plane, forcing May to make an emergency landing in a field.

Soon, we learn that Hannah was partially right. She has no special abilities. Instead, she’s being stalked by an invisible man named Tobias. He was a janitor at the research lab, and apparently also a total moron. He fell in love with Hannah, but of course she never noticed him. In an attempt to get her attention, Tobias would break things in the lab, causing the experiments to be delayed and her to spend more time near him. He didn’t think he was breaking anything important – just the control board for the particle accelerator, without which it exploded and killed lots of people. Whoopsies.

Somehow, Tobias himself wasn’t killed. The explosion opened a window to another universe, and he’s been trapped between two worlds, able to navigate through ours, but invisible as he pops back and forth. In ‘Star Trek’ lingo, he’d be “phasing in and out of the space-time continuum.” This show doesn’t actually use those words, but same difference.

Dipshit Tobias believes that he’s in hell. He’s also extremely protective of Hannah and has anger issues. Whenever anyone threatens her, he lashes out against them, which is what caused all the mysterious events that Coulson believed were telekinesis. And because he’s an idiot, he assumes that everybody is threatening Hannah all the time, even those trying to help her. (Yet he isn’t bothered by Agent May shooting his girlfriend? Explain that to me.)

The episode climaxes with May trying to fight a half-invisible teleporting man in a barn. Eventually, when she can’t get the best of him physically, she manages to talk him down, and convinces him to let go of his fixation with Hannah and just go off to hell. He does, everything stops, and everyone’s happy again. Except Tobias, who’s in hell now. Honestly, the scene doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

This is a very schizophrenic episode. While the premise is extremely comic book-y (particle accelerators open portals to hell dimensions all the time in comic book land, don’t they?), the execution is confused and limp. A side story about Fitz and Simmons trying to prank Skye by making up an elaborate back story for why May is called “The Cavalry” also falls flat. However, the episode is somewhat redeemed when we learn some details about the actual traumatic incident in May’s past that left her hesitant to join Coulson’s team. That’s a welcome piece of character development. This episode also makes it official that Ward and May are in a secret relationship. I find that a lot more interesting than what had seemed to be an inevitable romantic pairing of Ward and Skye.

Too bad these developments are stuck in the middle of such an underwhelming episode.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *