TV REVIEW: Agents of SHIELD: Season 3 Episode 14 – Watchdogs | FanboysInc

TV REVIEW: Agents of SHIELD: Season 3 Episode 14 – Watchdogs

By Jeff Ayers

TV REVIEW: Agents of SHIELD: Season 3 Episode 14 - Watchdogs

After the emotional goodbye of the previous episode, “Watchdogs” starts by introducing Mack’s brother, and a decidedly “normal” setting. Right off the bat, after Mack turns on the TV, we get our first glimpse of the shady group, named the Watchdogs, as they cite the events of Avengers 2: Age of Ultron, and how powered people should be kept in check. They are seen in full masks hitting the ACTU government building with some serious tech that implodes the building into itself. Coulson sends Daisy, and calls to put Mack in the field, and that puts a strain on his family time.

Fitz also tags along, and finds out that the explosives contain Nitromine, which was developed by Howard Stark as seen on Agent Carter. We also learn that a former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent is at the head of the Watchdogs, Felix Blake, who we first saw earlier in the series when he got injured by Deathlok. It is always fun when this show brings back characters from its perpetually deep roster, and Blake was definitely from left field. Also, the ties to Agent Carter, Howard Stark and the Avengers all are awesome Easter Eggs for fans of the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe, which is a resource this show needs to use more and more.

TV REVIEW: Agents of SHIELD: Season 3 Episode 14 - Watchdogs

May and Simmons intently looking at something.

Simmons and May have a great interaction, as Simmons is still blaming herself for all the people that were killed when she released Lash. Seeing Simmons with a gun is a little weird, but it could lead to some fun sequences down the road. Another great dialogue exchange happens between Mack and Daisy, as she has been tracking the Watchdogs and wants to scoop one up and interrogate them. Mack disagrees, comparing that action to the Gestapo, and rightfully calls her out for wanting to flex her powers in that way. I can’t help but think that these are all seeds for the upcoming argument in Captain America 3: Civil War, which will tackle a similar premise about powered individuals. Either way, this episode proves in two small scenes that it can deliver interesting and entertaining dialogue without losing momentum.

TV REVIEW: Agents of SHIELD: Season 3 Episode 14 - Watchdogs

Gentlemen, all suited up.

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Without viewers really noticing it, this team has coalesced into a well-oiled machine. That is why it is so terrible when some of the cast becomes background characters in certain episodes this season. This doesn’t happen in “Watchdogs” though, as we get to see everyone do their stuff; May and Simmons are trying to track down Lash, and May wants to kill him when they find him. Simmons tells her that she and Fitz have almost perfected the “cure” for InHumans, which will certainly come up in later episodes. Coulson takes Lincoln to track down Blake, while simultaneously vetting him for the team. He doesn’t trust Lincoln yet, because of his motives and short fuse, yet Daisy is starting to show the same dissent in the ranks. In fact, my real concern with this whole team is there doesn’t seem to any clear ranking among the agents. Daisy clearly doesn’t follow orders, and May is never leading the charge much anymore. Sure, Coulson is the head of the team and his word is law, yet the dissension between the rest might grow larger if it isn’t kept in check. Even though everyone is good at their respective roles in S.H.I.E.L.D., there needs to be a chain of command that is followed before someone gets hurt or killed.

The rest of the episode ramps up the action and gives the viewers some cool action sequences that Agents of SHIELD has become quite good at this season. It is always awesome when we get to see Daisy or Lincoln uses their powers, but when Mack and his brother get cornered by the Watchdogs, there might be nothing more exciting than these two words – “shotgun axe”. Daisy does realize she should step up and be a better agent, and even extends an offer to Mack’s brother to possibly look up S.H.I.E.L.D. in the future. Oh, and by the way, the brother’s nickname is actually “Mack”, while the Mack we know is more commonly referred to as “Alphie”. I bet Daisy has a field day with that one in later episodes.

FBI Score: 8.5 out of 10. A much better episode than the previous ones, we finally get to see the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and the newly made “Secret Warriors” back in action and kicking some serious butt. Along with many reference to other Marvel properties, as well as some more set up with the new Hydra that Malick is setting up, “Watchdogs” made for a solid episode of superhero television.

Jeff Ayers

Both my parents instilled in me at an early age the awesome power and incredible wonder of the written word. My father sat with me when I was four years old and taught me to enjoy reading with classic comic strips like SPIDERMAN, PEANUTS, B.C. and, later, CALVIN AND HOBBES. My mother exposed me to such classics of literature as Poe, Tolkien, Stoker and Doyle, and I started my own comic collection with allowance money from mowing lawns. I liked Wolverine before it was cool, I watched as Superman died and returned, and huddled under the covers as I turned the pages of SANDMAN. Reading is like oxygen to me, and all genres and formats are welcome and devoured equally. I am the co-host of The DW and Incredible Jeff Show, CEO of Permian Productions, and a reviewer at Graphic Novel Reporter. I am 34 and live in scenic Saratoga Springs New York, where I haunt coffee shops and dive bars and the best comic shop anywhere, The Comic Depot.

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