Sunday, 27 March 2016

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 'Parting Shots' Review

This review WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS for the episode to be discussed, if you do not want certain plot points or story spoilt, please do not read further.

Marvel have been looking to make some more television shows for a little while now to cash in on the popularity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and join their growing roster of Netflix series.  One of these proposed shows was a spin off from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. that focuses on Bobbi and Hunter on the run as wanted people.

Whilst the pilot for 'Marvel's Most Wanted' has already been filmed 'Parting Shots' acts as a pre-pilot or backdoor pilot for the show that removes Bobbi and Hunter from the show in a satisfying way as well as setting up the main concept for the new series.

Following on from the previous episode Bobbi and Hunter  have stowed away on Malicks plane and have followed him to Russia, where he is working with members of the Russian government to establish a sanctuary for Inhumans.

They quickly discover that there is more going on than they first thought as a member of the Russian cabinet and military is an Inhuman, and is planning on assassinating the Russian President for refusing to agree to the plan to build an Inhuman sanctuary.

With the help of Mak and Daisy, Bobbi and Hunter are able to stop the assassin and save the president's life, but get themselves arrested in the process.  Despite Coulson managing to get the President of the United States involved to get them out the two of them are under international suspicion as being Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and make the choice to leave the organisation to protect their teammates.

The main bulk of the story is an entertaining spy story, with the team infiltrating an enemy base, Bobbi stealing a Russian uniform and going under cover whilst Daisy tries to hack into their system, despite not knowing cyrillic.

The episode has some great character moments, fun banter and some cool action as Bobbi and Daisy try to fight the Inhuman shadow monster that's been unleashed to kill the president.  Whilst normally this would be a great episode, the loss of Bobbi and Hunter means that every time Bobbi does something action packed or Hunter makes you laugh out loud it just highlights how much their loss is going to be felt on the show.

Yes, S.H.I.E.L.D. has added a lot of cast members over the course of it's time on the screen, and some of the original characters from season one haven't had as much of a chance to do as much as they once did, but with characters like Bobbi, who's on par with Melinda May as far as action goes, and Hunter, who is easily one of the funniest cast members I can't help but feel that their absence will be more of a negative to the overall quality of the show, despite them getting their own spin off series.

The final scene where Bobbi and Hunter are in a bar and get their 'spy goodbye' in the form of the rest of the team silently toasting them goodbye is surprisingly effective and gives the episode an emotional resolution, especially when it's Mak' turn to say farewell.

Whilst a lot of backdoor pilots can be dud episodes because they're introducing new characters or new concepts, 'Parting Shots' works well because it uses characters we're used to and the story is part of the overall season narrative.

The loss of Bobbi and Hunter will be felt going forward, hopefully 'Marvel's Most Wanted' will be a success and we will get the characters back on our screens, if not 'Parting Shots' proves to be a great farewell to them both.


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