Sunday, November 1, 2015

What I’m Watching: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D: Season 3, Episode 5 “4,722 Hours” (B+)

I have to hand it to this show for doing something that I don’t think it has ever done before, prompting many to call it the best hour this show has ever produced. I’m tempted to partially agree, but I think that there’s no doubt that it featured the best performance this show has ever seen. Elizabeth Henstridge has always been a solid and reliable player, contributing comedy and drama on a regular basis opposite her onscreen partner, but we got to see a whole new side of her here. Seeing her unravel and start to lose it was compelling, to be sure, but her initial visit to the planet was even better. The humor she consistently used to keep herself sane and the way in which she applauded herself for her discoveries and breakthroughs was incredibly engaging and entertaining at the same time. I’ve seen it compared to Matt Damon in “The Martian,” and that’s definitely true: this was a superb showcase for Henstridge and for Simmons. The notion that NASA sent astronauts to investigate the monolith is intriguing, and I suspect that Simmons’ new friend will be back again, especially with Fitz behind her in her pursuit of the person that she left behind. It’s strange to spend a whole hour devoted just to Simmons’ time spent in the monolith when there’s so much else going on with the inhumans and the other characters, but obviously this is a crucial part of where the show is headed and will come back into play very soon.

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