Progressive/Nerd/Parent Review: Agents of SHIELD, “Watchdogs”

Progressive/nerd/parent Review (spoilers!)

Mack's special power is the character strength to carry the whole show.
Mack’s special power is the character strength to carry the whole show.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Season 3, Episode 14 “Watchdogs”

Bechdel-Wallace Score: 3/3 – May and Simmons had a few scenes together. They discussed men a bit, but mostly they discussed themselves. Good stuff.

Shukla Score: 3/3 – Mack and his brother, Ruben, had a number of good scenes together. Really, they opened the episode and then drove most of the developments. Good stuff.

Russo Score: 0/3 – No LGBTQ representation in this episode. None in sight for the near future, either. Boo! Do better.

Kittehs: 😺😺😺😺/5 – This was an above average episode. Mack is one of the best characters on the show, so I was hooked into the arc with him and his brother from the get go. Daisy and Lincoln each had good arcs this week as well. Mystery, action, family drama, implosions – it was a good hour of TV.

Low points: I am not a fan of guns, so I did not personally enjoy seeing Simmons shooting one to make herself feel better and/or more secure. And while the episode being set in Indiana was a highlight, it was definitely a low point that Daisy and her team left before doing something about our villainous legislature and governor. And really, those aren’t much in the way of actual complaints because this was a really solid episode of SHIELD.

Highlights: Mack, Mack, Mack. Mack is great when he is with his brother, Mack is great on a mission, Mack is great in the plane talking about ethics – Alfie Mack is just great. I especially enjoy any time when we get to see a friend or family member learn about someone’s secret powers and/or identity. Mack’s brother rolling up with a smile while Mack and his superpowered partner are staking out a warehouse full of armed nutjobs is about as good as it gets. The moral quandaries faced by characters in this episode were surprisingly deep and refreshingly well executed. We got to watch Daisy becoming more radicalized and less willing to be confined by protocols and procedures, while at the same time Lincoln is beginning to learn to be part of an establishment, even if it isn’t the establishment, by learning to follow and believe in protocols and procedures. I hope the showrunners and writers keep those two character development arcs – and the romance between those two characters – going, especially if they continue to avoid any use of melodrama in the process. So far it is all substance and I am loving it.

Dad edits: If my kid were old enough to watch this show I would love to talk to him about the ethical argument Mack was making to Daisy, “it’s not about how they act, it’s about how we respond,” and how that plays out as we watch Daisy break rules, Lincoln follow orders, and May and Simmons deal with grief.

Tell TLP what you thought of this episode! Send an email, comment on Facebook, or tweet on Twitter. There is also Tumblr and the comment field below, if you’re into that kind of thing. 

(Click here for previous reviews)

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs on ABC on Tuesdays at 9/8c 

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