This week’s episode of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. titled “The Bridge” starts to draw together the various threads that have been woven throughout the season so far. Some of the episodes that might have been viewed as random stand alone stories are now seen in a different light as the pieces of the puzzle start to come together.
One of the common criticisms of the series so far as been the belief that there is no underlying story arc, no “big bad” for our team to fight against and “The Bridge” reveals this assumption is a false one as we learn whoever is behind Centipede was also responsible for controlling people via ocular implants as seen in “Eye-Spy” and may even have a connection to Coulson’s mysterious resurrection.
The episode is full of energy and emotional ups and downs and is sprinkled with the usual dash of humor coming mostly from FitzSimmons geeking out over Mike Peterson. The return of Peterson in this episode was a much anticipated one and J August Richards did not disappoint. Some viewers came away with the wrong impression of Peterson in the pilot episode, seeing him as the “bad guy” however his return in “The Bridge” makes it clear he is a good natured person at heart who is trying to do the right thing.
There were some welcome references to S.H.I.E.L.D.’s big screen counterparts, the obvious ongoing threads from The Avengers (Coulson’s death) and Iron Man 3 (extremis), and possibly possibly Iron Man 2 (did anyone else feel that when they saw Edison Po dining at a table in the middle of a warehouse?) It was nice to hear Agent Coulson talk about his “Cellist” from Portland referenced in The Avengers and get a sense that he struggles with having to let go of that part of his life.
In the process of drawing together various threads from the season so far this episode raises as many questions as it answers. One minute you think Raina is right near the top of the chain pulling everyone’s strings and then the next minute you are left wondering to what extent her own strings are being pulled. Does Skye’s parents and/or adoption have something to do with the bigger picture and what are May and Ward hiding from her? Are the super soldiers Raina and her crew are creating the end game or are they just part of a much bigger plan. Did Agent Coulson know Peterson was about to be manipulated when he told him he would have a decision to make between his “job” and his family? And of course how does the Clairvoyant know more about Coulson’s death than he does?
With a three week break ahead it was always going to be a big cliffhanger ending and the episode didn’t disappoint with Coulson, Peterson and Ward all being in serious jeopardy, one of the biggest disappointments this week was the promo for the next episode revealing two of the three up and about taking anyway a big part of the suspense. That said, the promo does still leave you on the edge of your seat.
It will be an anxious wait until the series returns on January 7th leaving plenty time for fans to speculate about all the possible scenarios that may provide the answers we have been waiting for all season.
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