Last week on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the team got the chance to play spy once more as Coulson attended a meeting of world leaders to determine what should be done about the Inhuman “problem”. Unfortunately for him, his new ally, General Talbot, was being played as a piece for HYDRA. In the end, everything sort of worked out and S.H.I.E.L.D. even got the chance to jump onboard Malick’s luxury jet. This week’s advert claims that the S.H.I.E.L.D. team “will never be the same”. Will someone die? Or is this just another BS marketing ploy to get us to watch? The answer to that depends on how you feel about certain characters on the show. Scroll on to find out what ‘Parting Shot’ managed to accomplish.
First and foremost, this episode uses a lot of back-and-forth editing, so that we’re treated to a “present day” scenario while exploring the events that lead up to that particular situation. The story revolves around Bobbi and Hunter mainly. They followed Malick to Siberia and discovered that he’s trying to make friends with some important Russians in order to set up a form of concentration camp for Inhumans.
The S.H.I.E.L.D. team has shown up to help them out, so it isn’t long before a half-dozen of the crew are infiltrating a Russian prison site looking for Malick. Unfortunately, the main HYDRA baddie’s plan is to get an Inhuman Russian general on his side. From there, he’ll stage a coup, assassinate the Russian Prime Minister and have all the sway he needs to set up his Inhuman army training center.
Naturally, the team discovers Malick’s plan and sets out to stop the general. General Russian-man’s powers consist of being able to turn his shadow into separate being and attacking people with it. Then it’s a race against time – S.H.I.E.L.D. has to stop the general before he can kill the Prime Minister. The first encounter with their enemy doesn’t go so well, but eventually Bobbi puts some bullets in the real version of the general and the struggle is over almost before it began. The end result, however, is that Bobbi and Hunter are captured. Enter the present day.
The Prime Minister has no sympathy for those who saved his life. He wants someone to pay for the loss of his important political pawns. Plus, he doesn’t want to look weak in the eyes of the world by bending over for S.H.I.E.L.D., whether it officially exists or not. Coulson’s plan is to extract his teammates, but they insist on staying. The end result is the same – they walk free but can never again be a part of S.H.I.E.L.D. Exit Bobbi and Hunter from the show. But not without a scene of farewell, as the team shows up to bid the two goodbye, even if they can’t technically approach them and say it with words.
While I understand the need to have an exit episode for Bobbi and Hunter (they do, after all, need to head out to their own show), this episode felt like 90 percent filler. Not only did it derail the story arc of chasing Malick back to his HQ, it accomplished almost nothing in the way of pushing the seasonal plot forward. It was a break in the flow of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the only changes it brought about were the exiting of two side-characters.
Worse still, those two characters weren’t even that interesting to begin with. Maybe it’s just me, but I could care less what happens to Bobbi outside of the show and my love for Hunter isn’t that much greater. I’ll not likely be watching Mockingbird’s own series and, in all honesty, the loss of a couple of mediocre characters will do nothing but help tighten the storytelling of the rest of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s season 3. And so the dramatic goodbyes at the end were completely lost on me. Perhaps others feel different about this?
All-in-all, this was the weakest episode of the second half of season 3 and possibly the worst of the entirety of season 3. Aside from having little effect on the plot, the action was limited and unremarkable and the choice to edit the episode in the back-and-forth manner was more distracting than anything. It was necessary, of course, but it will likely be remembered in the future, to those who rewatch the series, as one of those episodes that you can skip without missing anything too important.
Hopefully, now that the exit of Bobbi is out of the way, the rest of the season can get back to the interesting stuff. Next week’s episode, ‘Watchdogs’, addresses Daisy’s angst a bit when a group of anti-Inhuman terrorists emerge. Just how far is too far for S.H.I.E.L.D. when they’re trying to keep Inhumans from becoming victims? Check out the trailer below.