Agents of Shield - Joss Whedon, Marvel, and ABC


The thing that had me scratching my head was “She was there with an astronaut and she’s only talking about him now?”

Otherwise I enjoyed it. It was like I was watching Agents of Shield and an episode of The Martian broke out.


I continue to try to watch this with my 14 year old daughter as she loves it and now my 9 year old daughter watches as well. My 9 year old asked about the phone, but I just said she just got a really good deal on some batteries as I missed the magic tech explanation. The dialog just seems strained and weak to me. The whole scene with them running in and out of the dust storm near the end just about made me leave the room. He is right behind her and they are on the way to freedom and he just stops and tells her to run so he can presumably take out this slow walker that is somewhere that maybe he can see, but I am not sure. Then they stand around when they should have been running in the same direction. Then they lose each other, then zombie astronaut comes after her, then he finds her again and then he tells her to run again and then they separate and he predictably fires into the white out conditions at something or other and is later fine, but out of bullets while she makes it back.

I think my brain is simply too old and cranky and no longer accepts comic book logic.


No Tyjenks, I think Lloyd nailed it. The more you think about it, the more it makes no sense. I did wonder about the phone too, but then I caught the line about it being ‘engineered’ for long battery life and okay, I’ll buy that. Why not? But she was caught in that deadly dust storm when she had no idea what was going on and nothing happened to her. It’s not that she cleverly escaped or lucked into some protective spot, she did nothing! But somehow later that thing is omnipresent, where was it that first time?

That thing in the water, it attacks things on the surface of the water, okay I’ll buy that. But what does it eat when there are no humans wandering around? There’s NOTHING on the planet! It’s not like some indigenous animals occasionally wander by. If what it eats is always underwater, how did it learn to go up for food too?


Yeah, I think there was some moment when I swung from being able to shut off my brain and enjoy the ride to not being able to. Some time after the Sopranos and before Breaking Bad when serialized TV with story arcs that made sense became more prevalent. I know that sounds douchey and condescending. I wish I could watch this and Supernatural with my kids; teenage or even 20-something me would have loved it. Now, it just seems too ridiculous. Sorry, I am glad you people and my kids like it as it is growing in them a love for comics and sci-fi, which is where I started. ;)


Yeah, “what does it eat without Jemma around?” was one.

Another: If someone “over my pay grade” knew there was a habitable world at the other side of the portal, why the spacesuits?

And did Will just have a bamboo cage around for fun, or did he build it in the brief time she was unconscious?


Oh man the cage! When I saw that I couldn’t decide between: He built that cage randomly during the 14 years because reasons. OR he built that cage for her, in record time. He built the cage for someone who might not be real. So did he think the cage was real? And that reminds me, if he’s going to hallucinate a dream girl in his loneliness, she’s going to have an accent? That just seems like such an odd thing to dream up, I would think that’s a major clue she’s real. Unless he’s into women from the UK but that would be a huge coincidence.


Geez guys NASA sends an ACME Instant Bamboo Cage kit on every mission they run through mysterious interplanetary portals. I thought everyone knew that?
This episode is like a scab, if you continue to pick at it, it will leave a really bad scar.


You guys are the polar opposite of fun :P

I enjoyed the ep, but that might have something to do with my deep and unabiding love for Elizabeth Henstridge.


I’m starting to think this episode is a litmus test that determines if one’s heart still contains the magic of youthful wonder and imagination. :)


HA! I think you are correct sir! Mine has been squashed out of me by the rigors of adulthood. ;)


Or whether someone has recently seen The Martian.


I think I would’ve been fine with it, if they hadn’t tried so hard to set up the alien world as some desolate wasteland filled with danger. If it was a tropical jungle type land, or even a regular forest, I could swallow her being stranded for months, desperate to get back, but surviving. The fact that it was a rocky desert, with no sunlight, and apparently some Sith sandstorm master on it, made it really implausible that anyone could live six months there let alone 14 years.


Yes! Focus on surviving the alien threats, and take food and water completely out of the equation.


Near the end of the ep, she was seen harvesting some hidden plant- or fungal life, presumably for food. Aside from that, NASA-dude presumably had supplies leftover from his mission (enough to feed four dudes for at least a year, presumably), and his subterranean home near the magical heatsource may well have had other edibles in it.

There’s also the question of how long the planet’s been like that. If it was really a desolation caused by the creepy dust-ghost, it could have come at almost any point, so theoretically not-so-very-long-ago (in cosmological terms), it may have been life-bearing, thus explaining the pond-monster, et. all.

Or, ya know, a blue gel melted onto their only dust-proof camera so they just said fuck it and went with no sun for the eps filmed on that soundstage/in that locale ;).


I think the divide on opinions is this: when things are left unexplained (at least to a degree) are you looking for reasons to believe it or reasons to disbelieve it?

They showed enough to make it possible that resourceful people could survive: some plant and animal life (Jemma harvested fungus, Will mentioned eating bugs), planetary heat source, potable water. On the monster, its not clear if it is actually out to kill them. When they went for the portal, Will mentioned that it didn’t want them to leave.


Since the episode is framed as Jemma recounting events for Fitz, I think we can treat her as an unreliable narrator. The implausible battery life could be an exaggeration since she knows how proud he is of his tech. The bamboo cage might be a metaphorical fabrication based on her mental state at the time. Looking at it this way allows us to suspend disbelief and be overly analytic at the same time.


Damn, I like that. Being overly analytical is totally my thing, but I like comic-book-style absurdity too. Well stated, sir!


In fact, there wasn’t even another person there; he was just a manifestation of her loss of hope in Fitz and increasing self-reliance. Also some weird Electra Complex shit regarding her dad and those long nights spent stargazing.


I could go for the unreliable narrator angle, it explains a lot. It explains how, even though she has gone through a portal to a featureless planet that has nothing on it but some sticks and a scummy pond, she winds up doing lab work there just like back home.


Kudos Douglas, it would be awesome if that were in fact the case. I also like the concept that Will does not exist and is more of a wish fulfillment. Alas, the power of The Lowest Common Denominator that runs all creativity in Hollywood would probably not allow such thinking out into the air waves.