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TV REVIEW: FTN reviews Agents of SHIELD S01E19 “The Only Light in the Darkness”

April 23rd, 2014 by Todd Black Comments

After two episodes that evolved rapidly at almost break-neck paces, it was a little nice to have a slower episode in “The Only Light in the Darkness”. That doesn’t mean we didn’t get some great action, and some great reveals. It was just done in a different way.

We knew things weren’t exactly going to get better, but it was unclear how things would get worse other than the obvious betrayal of Ward that we knew was coming. Luckily, things escalated and broke down in ways some may not have expected. And sadly, there was another victim of Hydra.

With Ward “back” with the team, the “truth” about Hydra’s plan slowly began to unfold. Naturally, Coulson was most worried about the breakout of the prisoners. Interestingly, we find out that one of them has a history with Coulson, and a certain lady friend as well.

The true backbone of “The Only Light in the Darkness” was about Coulson reuniting with his love, The Cellist. We had only heard tidbits of her before from both Avengers and an episode or two earlier in the season, but to see her (played by Amy Acker no less!) was very nice, and lended some much needed emotion to the episode. And by that I mean not only her love of Coulson which was clear she still had, but her belief in Shield. Which at this point is something that very few people have. Hearing her talk with Simmons and Tripwell about her faith and Shield was a very nice touch.

As was watching Coulson struggle with the fact that his true love was so close, and yet so far. It’s a trope that’s been played out before, but with this, you knew exactly why it mattered. Not just because of the villain that was out to get her, but because of the enemies looming that would use her to get to Coulson if he tried to reconnect with her.

Now on to the real fun, Blackout. This was really one of the few times we’ve seen an actual supervillain before. Scorch, Deathlok, both awesome, but both can be sympathized with. Blackout? Not so much. Though simplistic, his powers were nicely rendered and showed just how powerful he was. Though some might consider him a one-note villain, it’s important to remember that he honestly didn’t need to be anything else. His drive and desire to meet The Cellist was simplistic and yet pure, even for a psychopath. His expression as she played her cello showed that he meant what he said about her.

His takedown was interesting as well, as they used weapons (made by Bruce Banner, nice) to overpower Blackout, literally! One has to wonder though if he really is gone. His control of the Dark Force (“cause nothing good can come from something called the Dark Force!”) might be more powerful than they realize. Especially after his “leveling up” thanks to Hydra. One has to wonder if any other detainees got enhanced thanks to them…

Meanwhile, the rest of the team were back at the secret facility trying to work out their next move. Patton Oswalt continued to be epic as he demanded that everyone go though “orientation” before leaving on their mission. This was both hilarious and eye-opening as we saw the various answers from the team. From how they viewed different objects, to what they would have if a box washed up to them, to their legacies and reasons for still being around.

Agent Tripwell is gaining points in my book as we found out he’s a Howling Commando! Or at least a descendant of one. Simmons wanting the Tardis was hilarious, and Fitz wanting Simmons was equally funny. As their relationship continues to both build and stall. Hopefully this doesn’t get to the point where we’re just shouting at them to say something and get it over with. Some of us may be there actually.

But as in all things, there’s a dark turn in our tale. As Ward needed to get the info from Skye. Which he found out was harder than he originally believed, which meant he had to go to Plan B.

…..RIP Agent Koenig, you will be missed.

It’s sad to see him go, and a little aggravating to be honest. We already knew Ward was evil, we’ve even seen how evil. Killing Koenig, especially with Skye still around was a big risk. One that we find out backfired. So was it necessary? Maybe. But it would’ve been more interesting to keep him around so that he could possibly coming back later. Oh well.

The true jaw-dropper though was May. As after another argument with Coulson, she straight up leaves. Bold. And who does she go running to? Mom. Nice. Their back and forth was funny, and raised a few questions of their own. As well as build a lead-up to a very welcome return of a fan-favorite character.

In the end, “The Only Light in the Darkness” toned down the action in light of character moments, which was most welcome to be honest. As we draw ever closer to the Season 1 finale it’ll be great to see how things progress, and how much better, or worse, things get.

4 out of 5

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Todd Black is reader of comics, a watch of TV (a LOT of TV), and a writer of many different mediums. He's written teleplays, fan-fictions, and currently writes a comic book called Guardians ( He dreams of working at Nintendo, writing a SHAZAM! TV series, and working on Guardians for a very long time!

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