Anticipation

Back during the hiatus, I wondered why the brass at Marvel had allowed the synopsis of Marvel’s Most Wanted to come out even before Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. resumed, giving away that either the show’s leads were going to have some terrible falling out with S.H.I.E.L.D. or the organization itself was going to get wiped out again, although the latter looked less likely after the show was also announced as renewed.  Then we opened up the second half of the season with its conclusion, and now I’m think Marvel’s taken the next step in the art of plot twists and secrecy: giving pieces of the end away beforehand, then leaving us second guessing the entire way about how things are going to happen.  This week’s episode even did this whole process within its running time.

I admit, there have been things to take me by surprise.  Of all the ways Lance and Bobbi could’ve headed out, the way they did wasn’t one I thought of.  It did prove one of the highlights of the season, though; were anyone’s eyes dry by the time those farewell toasts were done?(Also, why did Marvel have to air *that* episode four days after dropping *that* season of Daredevil?  Do they want their viewers to die of heartbreak?)  Not always good, though; I’m getting a little concerned about Daisy’s characterization, especially in “Watchdogs.”  There is, of course, room for a character to tragically forget her principles, but there’s a thin line between that and being out of character, and there were moments when Daisy came perilously close to crossing it.  Next week may be very telling there.

Also, there’s the question of how much the writers think the viewers will guess.  I think the moment Daniel Malick was introduced this week and especially once it was established they’d be participating in that stone-drawing ceremony, everyone watching realized exactly what was going to happen to him.  But did the writers expect that we might also think immediately Gideon might have something to do with the fate his brother was going to suffer?  That possibility definitely crossed my mind pretty early on.  Even so, the painfulness when the full chain of events was revealed was effective, especially when combined with the other twist, the one that was more genuinely surprising: who didn’t die this episode.

Because we have it now firmly established that any vision of future deaths absolutely will come to pass, and since we even saw Gideon Malick’s face and know the vision is his death, there’s now no suspense over his fate, so you’d figure they’d get that over with.  His daughter’s fate genuinely was in suspense; you wondered if he might even take his to save her, and yet she proved the one to die immediately.  But we are left with a genuine question: was Hive lying when he said he wouldn’t be killing Gideon now, or does he genuinely intend to keep him alive for his usefulness, and will instead be forced to change his plans by the actions of a grieving father?  Gideon’s exposure to last week’s events was just limited enough he might not even be convinced his death is inevitable, which increases our uncertainty of what he’ll do next further.

But it’s not his death we care about, ultimately.  It’s the other one we know is going to happen, if not to whom.  Also that there’s going to be betrayal next week, which is especially bad when you figure it’s going to be by either Joey or Yoyo, and neither’s a character anyone wants to lose(especially when TV’s been killing too many LGBT characters and WOCs in recent days as it is!).  Unless it’s Lincoln, but I doubt we’d be that lucky, and besides, Daisy’s already suffered that kind of betrayal once; again would be a bit redundant.

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