Monday, October 3, 2016

Oh, The Metahuanity! (9/27-10/2)

It's not subtle imagery, but it works.
A good week for superhero shows before this week's CW deluge. I'm going to try to keep with at least one Luke Cage per week, but regular readers of this space know how that shit usually goes down.

Agents of SHIELD: "Meet The New Boss" (0% Stupid)

There are three things going on in this episode, which is a lot simpler than the premiere. There's Daisy and Ghost Rider stuff. There's SHIELD investigating the Ghost People stuff. And there's Coulson and the new director. And all of it is great stuff, and when the three threads cross over, it gets even better.

And man, how about that Daisy-Reyes chemistry? I mean, maybe it's just really evident after spending a season with Daisy and Lincoln, but man, the scenes with the two of them just work on a whole other level.

Obviously, the big deal this episode is the revelation that new director Jeffrey Mace, in addition to being a slightly skeevy public relations guy and slick politician, is also super-strong and invulnerable and possibly up to something, as he captures a ghost-crazed Melinda May and then we see an ominous shot of her strapped to a gurney, screaming. I hope His Deal is that he's actually not evil, since they're dropping every single New Boss Is Evil trope they could into this episode, so I'm thinking misdirection.

Luke Cage: "Moment Of Truth" (2% Stupid)

Marvel's third Netflix series is, if nothing else, committing to atmosphere. If you thought Daredevil or Jessica JOnes had a unique look, Luke Cage makes them look simple and plain by comparison. The premiere is paced very deliberately, which is good, because it introduces a bunch of characters, a bunch of settings, and a bunch of relationships over the course of the first hour.

So the pacing really helps you grasp the MCU version of Harlem they're unfolding for us. I only had three small issues - the arc from Luke Cage throwing away a woman's number because he's haunted by the memory of his dead wife to bringing Misty Knight home with him is a bit short. Also, they never drop Misty Knight's name, which I get because she's a big deal from the comics, but it made the middle of the episode, where the most characters were flying around loose, a little tough for me to track.

But man, we got a bit of Luke Cage backstory tease, a few moments of MCU Netflix Ultraviolence, lots of great acting, a couple nods to the comic, and a nice, community-oriented twist on With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility. When Cage finally decides to do something at the end of the episode, it's a great moment. Looking forward to more.

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