Who is the girl in the flower dress? Who is she working for? What is she after? We may have been subtly and brusquely introduced to one of the big bads for this series in the person of Raina, the woman to which the title of this episode refers, but she’s got someone else she reports to. What is their agenda, and what does it mean for our agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.? My thoughts and more on “Girl in the Flower Dress,” after the jump.
Am I the only one who still gets excited seeing the Marvel logo with flipping comics pages appear on my television? I remember when superhero TV was sad and rare, this is refreshing, especially when the TV is this good. Yeah, I know, I’m gushing, but it’s good to know we’re getting something worthwhile, and a signal to let us know it’s coming.
Our story begins with Chan Ho Win, a street magician in Hong Kong. He makes fire in his hands, as a finale to some sleight of hand. He’s approached by our mystery lady – the girl in the flower dress – a woman who calls herself Raina. He takes her back to his place, telling her that the fire is not a trick, it’s real. It’s a trap. He thinks it’s S.H.I.E.L.D., but it’s not, as two guys in fireproof suits overpower him and kidnap him.
In our other encounter with a metahuman in “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” he looked and acted very much like Luke Cage but was a new character set up to fool us. I understand that with so many Marvel Comics television and film projects out there it’s hard to find characters not used elsewhere, but I’d like to see someone. I have to wonder, could this be the TV version of Dragonfire from one of the Marvel Point One comics?
Ward and Skye have some good chemistry, playing Battleship, early in this episode. He seems warmer and more likable with her, but it doesn’t last long. As the Bus full of agents heads toward Hong Kong to investigate Chan’s disappearance, the truth comes out. Chan was taken by someone who knew about his powers, someone informed by the Rising Tide. Cue everyone looking at Skye.
Coulson tells her she has to prove herself innocent, so she turns the team on her old flame and mentor Miles Lydon, who has been hacking SHIELD and selling the information. Our favorite double agent Skye also warns Miles, and meets up with later for some reunion nooky. Surprise, the team shows up while she’s doing the horizontal mambo with Miles. They take Skye into custody along with Miles. S.H.I.E.L.D. plays no favorites.
Meanwhile, Chan wakes up to Raina’s revelation that they’re not S.H.I.E.L.D., and she gives him a name, Scorch. He doesn’t like it at first, but warms up to it. Names give power, and she cites Captain America as an example. No one knows who Steve Rogers is, but everyone knows who Cap is. She preys on the street magician’s thirst for fame. She follows this up by injecting him with a drug to increase his powers.
With the boost he can throw fireballs. Power seduces as well as corrupts. However, it seems the drug is related to the Extremis centipede from our first episode, “Pilot.” Yeah, this is bad, Chan’s metahuman heat resistance makes him immune to the explosive effects of Extremis. The bad guys don’t want him… they want his DNA…
Bad Ending, Mystery Ending
The bad guys (Are we really calling them Centipede? It seems sooo 1980s videogame…) leave Scorch, ticked off and hot tempered to deal with S.H.I.E.L.D. It’s how they deal with him that bothers me. They blow him up, or let him blow up… whichever, I don’t like this. I equate this to what Superman did to Zod at the end of Man of Steel. He didn’t have to die. He could have been reasoned with. Why does SHIELD have to kill him? If we look back to the pilot, the theoretical prequel to this episode, they saved Michael Peterson, why couldn’t they save Chan?
There is also the need to handicap Miles with a anti-tech bracelet and strand him in Hong Kong. I really had to wonder why S.H.I.E.L.D. just didn’t put him away. Or had they used up all their meanness killing Chan? Skye gets a bracelet too, but is allowed to stay. This is mostly because of her excuse for hacking – to find her parents. I don’t buy it, but maybe it’s just a case of the hacker crying wolf.
Our other closer features Raina, the girl in the flower dress, visiting a man in prison. He likes her dress. She suggests he speak to ‘the clairvoyant’ so they can get their toy soldiers off the shelf. Lots of metaphor, lots of mystery.
I love superheroics, but I am digging the spy action in this show. TV needs more of this stuff. Where is the “Mission: Impossible,” the “I Spy,” the “Man from U.N.C.L.E.” for this generation? It’s right here. Let’s see more of it please. Next time we have floating bodies… could it be the return of Graviton? Maybe. See you in two weeks…