Agents of SHIELD: Fun and Games


Gaius, this is NOT what I meant by dinner and a show


The Agents of SHIELD are heading for a milestone, approaching the 100th episode of the series. Before they get there, they hit another important event. “Fun and Games” marks the directorial debut, on the show at least, of Clark Gregg, better known as Agent (sometimes Director) Phil Coulson. With as much as he’s put into the character, it’s cool he’s being given a chance to do this, and better yet the rest of the cast supporting him doing it.

The show opens with a day in the life of a young kid we eventually hear called Flint. He’s a scavenger who runs around trying to scrape by, including doing a quick deal with our resident antagonist/junk dealer Grill. Flint is also apparently a friend of Tess, the pilot that’s been working with our heroes. Flint’s daily scramble comes to an abrupt end when he gets grabbed by a Kree soldier. This gets explained when Tess tells Coulson, Mac, and Yoyo that “The Blues are harvesting children.”

Up in Kasius’ opulent chambers, Fitz-in-disguise gets caught up on various bits of gossip by a man named Gaius, who looks human enough to me. Then again, there are a lot of more or less human races in the Marvel Universe. Enoch tells Fitz he’s worse than anyone else in the room, a deadly marauder called Boshtok. Personally, I’d have gotten briefed on my cover before mixing with the wealthy and dangerous, but that’s me. Enoch seems very pleased by his work on Fitz’s new identity. Fitz’s concentration breaks when he sees Simmons walk by. Kasius and Sinara talk about their guests, and Enoch’s cover for Fitz seems to have impressed Kasius.

There’s a scene that’s both touching and comedic when Fitz manages to drift over to Simmons and have this very heartfelt conversation with her, not having any idea that her hearing has been turned off by Kasius. Eventually, he figures out something is wrong just before Kasius himself turns up. Showing his great intelligence and a talent for improvisation, Fitz manages to persuade Kasius to turn Simmons’ hearing back on. Kasius praises Simmons as a companion of the Destroyer, and he and Fitz banter about who Fitz is going to buy and the proper way to motivate workers. Kasius also explains that the harvest we heard about earlier is grabbing a few kids, subjecting them to Terragenisis, and seeing if they get any new Inhumans to sell.

Tess explains to our heroes that the Harvest is usually once a year or so, but the last one was just a few months ago. I guess Kasius is getting desperate for more “product” to sell. Flint complains that he wasn’t supposed to get “misted” for another two years, and Tess tries to reassure him. Yoyo commiserates on having to go through Terragenisis in front of a crowd (although that’s normal for Inhumans in Attilan as we saw in their own show). Of the four kids tested, of course only Flint gets the cocoon that indicates powers, but then when it breaks open, Flint is gone. We see afterwards there’s a very good reason for that.

Kasius is giving a feast for his guests, and Gaius spends a bit of time needling him, which seems like a really dangerous plan to me. We do learn that Kasius was apparently exiled from home, although he denies it. As all this goes on, Ben the telepath and Daisy talk. She tries to get him on to her side, and he’s resigned to being a slave, even with his power. Lady Karaba wonders how Kasius is controlling the humans so well, and Fitz comes out with a blunt theory, that wins him a laugh from Kasius. After Sinara comes in to whisper in Kasius’ ear, he announces the fight to the death is just moments away.

As the puzzled Kree search for Flint, Coulson works out what happened. Team SHIELD tries to calm Flint down, and Yoyo, reasonably enough, points out that people who buy people aren’t good people, so Flint shouldn’t be too happy to become another of Kasius’ exports. What might be the best exchange of the episode happens when Flint asks if Mac is Inhuman, too, and Yoyo tells him that no, Mac is “just cool.” They make a plan to try and keep Flint hidden.

Fitz, as much as it’s making his skin crawl, plays buddy-buddy with Kasius and gets a good seat for the first demonstration. Ben, the telepath, will be fighting legendary Agent of SHIELD Melinda May. May looks up to see Fitz and even she is a bit confused at seeing him. May has a staff, Ben knives, and they fight. Ben’s telepathy gives him a nasty edge, and May’s injured leg isn’t helping. Kasius babbles to Fitz that May came through time with the Destroyer, and Sinara thinks there are more. It’s an ugly fight Fitz tries to end by saying it bores him, and he didn’t come to see a SHIELD has-been, which earns him a glare from May. May is to be sent to the surface, which Ben says is just delaying the inevitable.

While Tess plays dumb with more Kree about what happened to Flint, the young man himself is talking with Yoyo. She talks about her origin, which I don’t think we’ve heard before. There’s a great line about tacos in the future that made me laugh. Unfortunately and stupidly, Yoyo’s talking about this in the main room of Grill’s shop, and he overhears them. To no surprise, he magnetizes their metrics to the wall. Back at Kasius’ place, things don’t go well for Ben as an earlier choice he made comes back to haunt him.

Coulson and company tell Grill who they really are, and don’t get the reaction they hoped for. Simmons and Daisy talk about a recent loss, and both wonder how Fitz managed to turn up. Things get chaotic when a new arrival throws off Fitz and Enoch’s plan to quietly buy Daisy and Simmons and escape. Back in Grill’s shop, the villain overplays his hand and finds out exactly what Flint’s new power is. It doesn’t go well for the salvage dealer.

After Fitz complains, to no avail, to Kasius about this new development, Fitz and Enoch swing some other new plan into motion. Coulson and company play hide and seek with a Kree patrol as they try and figure out their next plan. The new bidder is very insulting to Kasius and Sinara both. After some squabbling, what’s finally decided is a fight to the death between Sinara and Daisy. How this is going to help anyone buy Daisy, if she’s that valuable, I have no idea.

Coulson, his agents, and Flint try to map out their next step, and the agents try and make Flint feel better about some necessary actions he’s taken. There’s some banter about Mac’s high school exploits, but the laughs come to an end. The Kree are using Tess to drive home a point about the missing Inhuman.

The annoying new bidder continues to make cutting remarks about pretty much everyone, and is not impressed when he gets to see Daisy. The fight starts off, and it’s a nasty batle. Weirdly, as she keeps doing, Daisy uses her powers for only a few parts of the fight, although she does it well when she remembers to use them. Things go off the rails, and Simmons, Fitz, and Daisy are forced to flee, not at all how they hoped to escape. There’s more banter and a follow up to Fitz’s earlier conversation Daisy never heard. The episode ends with Enoch off on some mysterious mission, now looking like a Kree.

What I liked: Despite a lot of serious moments, there was some great humor throughout the episode. I’m glad the Daisy/Simmons/Fitz contingent is together now. I’m hoping with some of the events that happened here, we finally see what the surface is like. Fitz played his role really well, and Enoch is entertaining. Both the fights were well done, and I always enjoy seeing May in action specifically. I’m fine with one of the deaths this episode.

What I didn’t; I don’t buy the legend of SHIELD has carried over to the future like this, but no one has even mentioned the Avengers. I know it’s SHIELD’s show, but this doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. The new bidder is even more obnoxious than Kasius. It’s too bad about two of the deaths that happened.

It was a mostly good episode, with a few down spots. I’ll give it a low 4 out of 5. It’s been an interesting story, but I’m really looking forward to SHIELD getting back to when they belong, even with all the mess waiting for them back then.