What’s Going On?
So far, this season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has thrown our favorite characters and the audience for a loop. It juggles teammates scattered throughout galaxies, secret blossoming romances, and one new enemy wearing the face of the recently departed. These disparate plot threads raise more questions than answers. This second episode of the season, however, begins the arduous task of revealing just what is going on.
. With SHIELD hot on their trail, the episode leads to an intense standoff—likely the first of many. Off in space, Fitz tries to blend in as an alien species but fumbles key details, leading to the discovery of him and Enoch as unwanted stowaways. With the ship under the command of a ruthless taskmaster, Fitz must use his know-how to get him and the others out alive.
In Media Res
Season Six throws viewers so many new characters and relationships that feels like the the audience has been dropped in media res. In this episode, we get a better handle on what’s going on with both these new characters and the preexisting ones, and where they are within their various missions.
Agent Keller takes the time to mourn the loss of Agent Fox. One of the antagonists, Jaco, needs to huff his own specific atmosphere once in a while, and Dr. Benson becomes rightfully indignant about being kept in the dark regarding Coulson. Through them and other small moments, we gain enough exposition to fill in pieces of the overarching plot. With that, it provides some cohesion to what previously felt like random events regarding what the SHIELD team has been dealing with.
It’s one big game of catch-up as May and her strike team arrives after Sarge has already begun his assault on the jewelry store vault, but once the action begins, the audience is given a firmer connection to these fresh faces and their motivations.
Great Fight Scene
Speaking of action, director Kevin Tancharoen delivers yet another knock-out episode with a spotlight on Agent May. Cramped spaces are notoriously tricky to film, in general, and they are even more difficult for staging fight scenes. They expertly handled the planning and mapping of who was where during the brawl, making it easy for us to tell who was hitting whom and on which side of the dimensional portal combatants were on.
Watching May take on the much larger Jaco and use the environment around her as extra weaponry was a delight. We felt May’s frustration after clearing all of Sarge’s crew only to be unceremoniously chucked back through the portal after standing face to face with the specter of the man she loved.
Out in Space
Back out in the depths of space, Fitz and Enoch find their own troubles, staying in or out of airlocks. Compared to the plot line on Earth, this was the weaker story. Fearing for Fitz and Enoch are one thing, but it dragged out unnecessarily without pushing the plot along. While drab, rundown, muted colors matched the setting and tone, it was a marked shift from the slightly more vibrant palette of the Earth crew.
Hanging in the background of Fitz’s storyline is the will they/won’t they find him arc Simmons is on. It culminates in the near-miss at the end of the episode. The quicker this tangent wraps up, the better, as the far meatier story is what happens when this lighter side Fitz reconnects with a darker Jemma.
“Window of Opportunity” delivered a good grounding beat to the bonkers season opener, establishing the new characters more firmly and expanding on the many questions raised by Sarge and his truck load of issues. The puzzle pieces are slowly coming into focus. Hopefully, this will create a fulfilling story for Season Six.
Score: 3.5 out of 5
- If you look closely during the opening act, Sarge’s tongue is already blue from multiple takes with the slushie.
- Some people do ‘Elf on a Shelf’ as a yearly tradition, Fitz does ‘Enoch in a Wall’. Who are we to judge.
- You know that museum they busted through in episode one? Chock full of P-E-Gs!
- There isn’t a retail worker alive who wouldn’t have been jamming the alarm button the millisecond a dirty, bedraggled man walked into the store, asking about merchandise and money not being an object.
- Pax’s “Oh no, the scary lady is about to wreck me, please send help” face when squaring off with May is priceless.
- Unless the Sarge Truck shifts realities as well as turn invisible, it’s going to be real easy to find. Just follow the trail of accidents caused by crashing into a TANGIBLE INVISIBLE MAC TRUCK.
- The video Dr. Benson digs up raises a lot of questions. Is Sarge’s crew creating or running from the destruction?