Just so we don’t go cold turkey with our Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD addiction, ABC has provided us with a new digital-only series for the winter break – Slingshot. Not only do we get a spotlight on Yo-Yo (Slingshot is actually her character’s name in the comics, and she’s quickly become one of my favorite characters on the show), but we also get a bit of fill-in on what happened during the time between seasons three and four. Meet me after the jump, for my thoughts on Slingshot, the digital series.
There’s a lot of set-up here, but it feels good, reminding me a bit of the mini-films included on the DVD packages of Phase One of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Yo-Yo is wandering around the underground SSR bunker that now serves as S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters and butts in on Daisy trying to get her physical regimen back as it was when she was an agent. Yo-Yo suggests that they get their stories straight regarding ‘that night,’ as soon Daisy will soon be questioned by Director Mace on her activities while a fugitive.
A flashback follows to the days just after Coulson stepped down and mace stepped up to Director. Coulson is moving his stuff on board the Zephyr and Yo-Yo is there after signing the Sokovia Accords. Together they do what most of the show’s viewers have done over the last eight episodes, mourn the loss of Coulson as Director, and muse what a bad idea it is. Coulson offers Yo-Yo Peggy Carter‘s S.H.I.E.L.D. pin as a good luck charm, and as a symbol of joining a team. Also look inside Coulson’s box for the Stan Lee pic. On the down low however, and referencing this five-minute episode’s title, Yo-Yo is also on the hunt for the man who killed her cousin.
Despite this chapter’s misspelling on the Marvel website, inexcusable really, it opens with Yo-Yo meets Mace and putting her ‘John Hancock,’ (not Handcock) or signature, on the Sokovia Accords, publically registering as an Inhuman and enhanced individual, as well as a member of S.H.I.E.L.D. When she confronts Mace her desire to seek her cousin’s killer, Mace hits her with a wall of red tape. This is the reason Captain America was so against this crap in Civil War.
This is of course before Jeffrey Mace learned to bend a little and trust his team, despite his little sayings and team-building exercises, but still, what most of the agents hate about the man. A Coulson quote from last episode comes immediately to mind, “there’s nothing he (Mace) wants more than to be liked.” Luckily, Yo-Yo has never really played by the rules, John Hancock or not, and super-speed-steals the Director’s access key before leaving Mace’s office. Now if we could only do something about those editors at Marvel that don’t know how to spell John Hancock.
Yo-Yo’s speed is used for simple sitcom gags this episode as she gets examined by Fitz and Simmons for her new tracking watch as a registered Inhuman. As she distracts FitzSimmons with idol talk and parlor tricks, she is able to use Mace’s access to track her target. This is a double-edged sword. While it may be amusing, it makes Fitz and Simmons, two seasoned agents, despite the nerdiness and labcoats, look like complete fools. Not cool.
While there is backward progress on the characters of Fitz and Simmons, Yo-Yo (who seems to have full run of the base, with or without Mace’s access key) then runs into Mack about to leave on the Zephyr with Coulson, to pursue Quake. There’s some forward motion in the relationship here that may have been stalled in the events earlier this season. Nice to see them start at least. These two have good chemistry, let’s hope the showrunners don’t mess it up.
At the end of the last chapter, May catches up to Yo-Yo, and knows she took Mace’s credentials. At the start of this one, May locks her in a quinjet hold and strips her down verbally for sloppy spy work. We know what’s going on, but still it’s fun to play out the ruse. May is not only letting her go, she’s providing a ride to Baltimore, where Yo-Yo’s target is. It’s cool, but the mini-spotlight on each member of the cast is getting old. Let’s get to the fireworks factory.
Thankfully the second half of this chapter has forward motion of the plot with Yo-Yo catching up with Colonel Ramon, the man who killed her cousin, in the Port of Baltimore. Sadly though, while Yo-Yo is weighing the morality of actually taking Ramon’s life, his men get the upper hand and capture her.
When Yo-Yo wakes up, she sees she is not just being held captive by Ramon and his men, but also the Watchdogs, and Ramon has a weapon he wants to demonstrate on her. It doesn’t quite look new or familiar, but I’m guessing it’s an Inhuman killer of some sort. The Watchdogs, while at first Red Skull-funded alt-right militia, now are more of an anti-Inhuman hate group, and constantly at odds with Quake of recent times, so guess who shows up?
Yep, Quake to save the day. This must be ‘that night.’ These two S.H.I.E.L.D. ladies are kicking ass and taking names, and it’s great to see, especially with super powers. And the Watchdogs make great fodder. I had said in my review of “The Laws of Inferno Dynamics” that I was looking forward to the renewal of the relationships Daisy had with Coulson and Mack, after this, let me add Yo-Yo to the list as well.
With Quake covering her, Yo-Yo once again corners Ramon. He knows she does not have what it takes to kill him, so he taughts her. She will not. Good guys don’t kill. Too bad a Watchdog with the Inhuman killer device does it for her, Yo-Yo sidestepping the ray with her speed. As S.H.I.E.L.D. arrives, Quake slips away. And so begins the hunt that precedes the season four opening.
In the present, Daisy deletes data on Yo-Yo’s whereabouts on ‘that night.’ This action further cements Daisy and Yo-Yo’s friendship, and as a demonstration of that friendship, Yo-Yo gives Daisy Peggy Carter’s pin, a sign of gaining a team, Coulson’s intent. And another reason Coulson should be Director and not Mace.
All in all this digital series was pretty cool. In just about a half-hour we were presented with a fairly concise and entertaining story – why couldn’t it have been padded out with more characterization or a subplot or two and been an actual episode? I mean, really, this was great, and would’ve made a terrific episode. I hope more digital series are to come, and if not, future episodes aspire to this level of quality. What did you folks think?