Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D Television

Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Slingshot – Season 1

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Source: vortl.com

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is on it’s winter hiatus, and in lieu of releasing a new episode, they released the entire first season of a spin-off web series entitled “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Slingshot”, or simply “Slingshot”. It focuses on a personal mission of everyone’s favorite Columbian Secret Warrior, Elena “Yo-Yo” Rodriguez (codename: Slingshot), who has the Inhuman superpower of ultra-fast super-speed, with the limitation of always snapping back to her point of origin after a single heartbeat. Here we will recap each short 2 to 7 minute episode, and provide a rating of the entire season. It will be judged on it’s own merits as a web series, and will not be unfairly compared to the movies or TV shows. Here we go!

 

S1E01 – Vendetta:

It is present day, shortly after Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S4E08, “The Laws of Inferno Dynamics.” Newly reinstated agent Daisy “Quake” Johnson is aggressively training on a punching bag in the S.H.I.E.L.D. base The Playground as our protagonist Elena “Yo-Yo” Rodriguez walks the halls. Yo-Yo enters the gym and notes how rigorous Daisy’s training is, and she says she is simply trying to get back in shape. Yo-Yo says that since the new director has been debriefing Daisy, they need to get their “story straight” about “that night”. Mysterious.

We jump back several months. S.H.I.E.L.D. agent-in-training Dr. Lincoln Campbell has just sacrificed himself to save the world. His girlfriend Daisy has gone on the run as the vigilante Quake to hunt the anti-Inhuman hate group The Watchdogs, and Director Phil Coulson has just stepped down because S.H.I.E.L.D. is preparing to go public again. Under the new director Jeffrey Mace, Coulson and Mack are preparing to go on a mission to find Daisy.

Agent Anderson walks Yo-Yo into the base, telling her to wait for the director. She quickly walks over to a computer and tries to access the data using her keycard, but the access is denied. As she curses, Coulson walks down the stairs, holding a box of his things and the axe that chopped off his arm – his “good luck charm”. He notes that she is here because Mace asked her to sign the Sokovia Accords. She asks what happened to the “Secret” Warriors, and Coulson shrugs – new boss, new rules. She continues, saying that when she uses her powers it should be her choice, and America is supposed to be the land of freedom. She says she misses him as boss and starts to tell him about this personal mission of hers, but he stops her and tells her to take it to the Mace. To remind her that she is joining a team and isn’t just giving something up, he reaches into his box of stuff (including a framed picture of Stan Lee) and hands her a small jewelry box. As she opens it to see a S.H.I.E.L.D. eagle pin, he tells her that they handed it out at the formation of S.H.I.E.L.D. – and this one belonged to Agent Peggy Carter. Yo-Yo is taken aback and refuses his gift, but he asks her to hold to it for him and leaves to board his stuff on to the S.H.I.EL.D. jet Zephyr One. She remarks that the base won’t be the same without Coulson and Mack, and wishes him luck in finding Daisy.

As we see the image of corrupt Columbian Col. Victor Ramon on the phone in her hand (remember him?), in voiceover from the present, Yo-Yo tells Daisy that she couldn’t let the man who killed her cousin walk free – but she had no idea what he had stolen, or how dangerous he had become. As she says this, Ramon kills two men and opens a briefcase in the trunk of the car, smiling as a blue glow illuminates his face.

S1E02 – John Hancock:

Yo-Yo waits impatiently in Director Mace’s office, staring at a clock. Mace enters, attempting to greet her in poor Spanish, but she quickly tells him that English is fine. She notices that he has her dossier pulled up on the screen, including photographs of her deceased cousin Francisco. As Mace makes small talk and prepares a digital copy of the Sokovia Accords, Yo-Yo notices his all-access keycard. Mace asks for her John Hancock, and Yo-Yo has no idea what that means. After an explanation and some hesitation, Yo-Yo signs, then being asked to provide her thumbprint and retinal scan. Mace explains that there will be a medical exam but it will be non-invasive, and Yo-Yo remarks that none of it has been non-invasive. Mace notes she has a sense of humor and expresses pleasure in working with her, so she uses this to segue into briefing him about arms dealer Victor Ramon – to which he appreciates the enthusiasm, but asks her to submit a detailed threat assessment report. Since Daisy is on the loose, enhanced individuals cannot choose their own missions; if she went anyway, she’d be turned over to General Ross at The Raft. Mace’s bodyguard Cecilio shows up and advices Mace of his upcoming conference call, so Mace asks him to escort Yo-Yo to the lab so Agents Dr. Fitz and Dr. Simmons can finish her registration.

As Yo-Yo leaves, she glances at the photo of her cousin Francisco on the screen. Knowing what she must do, she quickly uses her power to zip over to Mace’s coat, stealing his keycard and pocketing it, smiling and leaving before he notices she moved at all.

S1E03 – Progress:

Yo-Yo makes her way into the lab, finds a computer in the corner and uses Mace’s keycard to access the data. She pulls out her phone and begins remotely uploading the data, searching for Ramon’s location. As the computer searches, agents Dr. Leo Fitz and Dr. Jemma Simmons enter the lab, arguing over whether or not they should fill their room with an 80-inch UltraHD TV, which Fitz has affectionately named “Bridgette”. Simmons notices Yo-Yo standing by the computer (trying to play it cool), and remarks that sharing a room on base requires a bit of negotiation. Fitz approaches dangerously close to the computer to take Yo-Yo’s S.H.I.E.L.D. signal watch, as Simmons also gets very close to discovering Yo-Yo’s secret as she takes her pulse. As Fitz tweaks her watch, Simmons notices an open cabinet behind the computer, sighing and asking if the lab technicians were born in barns. As she moves to close it, Yo-Yo quickly uses her powers to knock over some equipment at the other side of the lab. Simmons leaves to pick it up, refusing to have a messy lab, as Yo-Yo quietly closes the cabinet.

To distract Simmons as the computer search slowly approaches 100%, Yo-Yo asks if they have thought about getting an apartment off-base (as Fitz frantically gestures for her to stop behind Simmons), claiming it would have more room for “Bridgette”. Simmons is excited at the prospect of a breakfast nook, to which Fitz fakes a smile. As Fitz finishes calibrating the watch and fits it to Yo-Yo’s wrist, he sarcastically thanks her, saying that Simmons is going to be obsessed now. He notes that her watch has a GPS so they will always know her location, and advises her not to take it off.  As Fitz leaves, the search finishes, locating Ramon in Baltimore, MD.

Yo-Yo walks through the hall and is stopped by Agent Alphonso “Mack” Mackenzie, the man she is flirting with at this point, who will become her boyfriend. He says that what is she is doing is not cool, which worries her – until he playfully jokes that the Zephyr One is going to take off and she was going to let him leave without saying goodbye. He says they are going to look for Daisy, and Yo-Yo questions if Daisy is “bagged and tagged” by S.H.I.E.L.D. too. Mack admits that he thinks the Sokovia Accords are a good idea, and Yo-Yo accuses him of being a choir boy (they needed someone to sing bass). He reveals to her that he is going to be her case officer, so he can see her more often. He asks her out to dinner, and she kisses him on the cheek, telling the “Turtle Man” to stay safe as he enters the hangar and takes off.

As she watches the Zephyr leave, Agent Melinda May approaches and angrily tells her that the director’s credentials are missing – and she knows where they are.

S1E04 – Reunion:

Yo-Yo asks if May thinks she took the director’s credentials, showing her the signal watch and telling her she came to register. May tells her to come to the Quinjet immediately to answer some questions.

On the Quinjet, Yo-Yo starts to protest when May locks her on board and starts telling her that she is disappointed in her, calling her a terrible spy. She says that the only people who had access to the director’s office were Agent Burrows (“a brown-noser”), Anderson (“who doesn’t have the balls”) and Yo-Yo (“who happens to have super-speed”). Yo-Yo accuses May of singling her out for being an Inhuman, until May points out that anyone can check the search history of the lab computer. She takes the director’s keycard from Yo-Yo, remarking that it was sloppy work, and saying that the next person who catches her won’t be her. Yo-Yo asks if she is going to report her, and May refuses, telling her to think long and hard about that, and leaves.

The pilot boards the Quinjet, telling Yo-Yo to buckle up, as they will touch down in twenty minutes. Yo-Yo is surprised, noting that it is a few hours until they reach Los Angeles. The pilot, confused, says that they are headed to Baltimore. As the bay door closes, Yo-Yo and May share a knowing smile.

In Maryland, Ramon walks down a hallway carrying a briefcase. He goes to enter a door when it slams shut, and Yo-Yo takes his gun and pistol-whips him. In Spanish, she asks if he remembers her and her cousin Francisco. He says he remembers and she whips him again, knocking him off his feet. Spitting out a tooth, he notes the irony in Yo-Yo taking the law into her own hands, pointing out that he was “the law” trying to serve and protect, before S.H.I.E.L.D. and Yo-Yo killed the (corrupt) police. She accuses him of abusing power, and he accuses her of the same thing. One of his henchmen bolts in the hallway with a gun, as another one knocks Yo-Yo out from behind.

S1E05 – Deal Breaker:

As Yo-Yo wakes up tied to a chair, Ramon apologizes for the delay to his associates – two members of the anti-Inhuman hate group, the Watchdogs. He tells them that if they want to win the war on Inhumans, they need the right weapon. He opens the briefcase and pulls out the 0-8-4 (from S.H.I.E.L.D.’s adventures in Peru in S1E02 “0-8-4”), a Tesseract-powered weapon capable of disintegrating people (see: The Clairvoyant). Briggs, one of the Watchdogs (from the blackout in S4E03 “Uprising”) asks what it does, so Ramon points it at Yo-Yo to demonstrate. As he boots up the weapon, an earthquake rattles the warehouse. One of Ramon’s men leave to check it out, and is blasted through the door by the vigilante Quake. She blasts Ramon against the wall and undoes Yo-Yo’s shackles. The two of them take out two more thugs. One of the Watchdogs shoots at them, forcing them to hide behind a crate. Daisy asks if S.H.I.E.L.D. assigned her to this, and she admits that she is avenging her cousin Francisco and S.H.I.E.L.D. doesn’t know. Briggs picks up the Peruvian 0-8-4 and Yo-Yo picks up a gun. Daisy agrees to cover for her and starts an earthquake.

Ramon walks through the warehouse as Yo-Yo appears behind him with a gun. He surrenders, and she tells him that it isn’t an option anymore. He tells her to kill him like he killed her cousin. She says that what he did was murder; what she is doing is justice.

S1E06 – Justicia:

Ramon tells Yo-Yo that she can call it justice if it makes her feel better, recalling how it felt shooting her cousin. He again asks her to shoot, and Yo-Yo realizes she can’t do it. Ramon laughs, and the Watchdog behind Yo-Yo fires the Peruvian 0-8-4. Using her super-speed, Yo-Yo runs out of the way of the laser beam, taking the machine from Briggs’ hand and returning back to her original spot once the beam has passed. Ramon’s eyes widen as the beam hits him and he disintegrates. Yo-Yo tells Briggs to leave before she changes her mind.

Hearing the S.H.I.E.L.D. Zephyr One landing, Daisy prepares to leave. She tells Yo-Yo to leave the 0-8-4 because it’s probably what they are tracking, but Yo-Yo confides that they are tracking her earthquakes. She offers to help and Daisy refuses, saying one Inhuman fugitive is enough and asks what happened to Ramon. Yo-Yo simply states that he won’t be hurting anyone anymore.

In present day, Daisy hacks into Mace’s desk, removing the data from her watch showing Yo-Yo at the scene of the crime. Yo-Yo isn’t happy about breaking rules again, but Daisy points out that with one click of a button Mace will only know what they tell him. Yo-Yo hesitates, and asks Daisy to clear the data. She does and logs out. Noticing something is on Yo-Yo’s mind, Daisy asks what’s wrong. She tells her that she didn’t kill Ramon – she wasn’t capable of it. She gives Daisy Peggy Carter’s S.H.I.E.L.D. pin, saying Coulson gave it to her to remind her that she isn’t giving something up – she’s gaining a team. Yo-Yo smiles as Daisy takes the pin.

Conclusion:

This is a fun little series that serves only to give some characterization to all out protagonists with great scenes. We don’t necessary learn anything game-changing or new, but it’s really interesting seeing the team through the eyes of Yo-Yo, from the heartwarming scenes with Coulson and Daisy in S1E01 and S1E06 respectively, to the funny scenes with Mace and Fitz-Simmons in S1E02 and S1E03. Every episode seems to feature a character that just gives you an intense appreciation of both Elena and that character.

 

I was surprised that the effects for this series were on-par with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., considering it was probably shot in-between episodes with little to no budget. I appreciate how each episode is directed by a different newcomer on the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. staff, making it almost a “training ground” for upcoming directors.

I would love to see more spin-off web-series like this in the future, almost like a serialized One-Shot from Phase One and early Phase Two. Think of all the characters we could explore, from Joey Gutierrez to Turk Barrett to Deathlok. Maybe they will splice up the “Most Wanted” pilot into a multi-part web series. The possibilities are endless!

I give this series a 9/10 for what it is. My only problem is that it was too short! I’m very glad it happened, wouldn’t mind more Yo-Yo and would love to see what they can do with the format!

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