Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Review: Atonement

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Was I the only one who was hoping we would find out more about May's past this week?

I was a bit disappointed because Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1 Episode 9 did a great job of scaring me to the point of needing a change of pants, but fizzled when it came to any real meat and potatoes about May's history.

May's Secrets

The multitide of stories about May to pull Skye's leg were well done, but it was a letdown after Coulson told the "real" version that we didn't get anything else.

I was expecting May to fill in the gaps when she talked to Tobias and Hannah about what Tobais had done. However, while her words were moving, they didn't accomplish this task.

You can't undo what's been done, that will be with you forever. But trying hold to this life, clinging to the person you thought could be, that's hell.


But it could really apply to anyone in any situation. It wasn't until she was talking to Coulson after everything was finished that we learned it was what Coulson thought she needed to hear. 

Coulson: What did you say to her?
Melinda: The same words you said to me in Bahrain.

That was it? What happened to the girl in Bahrain? What did May do? How many men did she really take out? Would it kill Jed Whedon to include a flashback just once? 

Given that it was pretty clear that May pulled the prank on Fitz at the end, I'm hoping that she opens up a little more and we can get some real facts about why she has her nickname and what the event was that took her out of the field. 

On the flip side of that small disappointment, I'm thrilled that it looks like they are carving a niche for Skye to fit into. It seems to be a natural fit for the non-SHIELD trained member of the team to be the one most comfortable understanding and dealing with the troubled souls that the team finds. 

Here's hoping they can bring her up to speed quickly so she can start pulling her own weight.

Well... so she can pull her own weight and we can find out what the "Intake Assessment and Evaluation" process gets renamed to. 

I have a sneaky feeling that much like the big reveal in Iron Man that "Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division" turned out to S.H.I.E.L.D., the assessment program is really something else we already know under another name. 

Overall, it was a well written episode that might have felt more at home being aired around Halloween rather than Thanksgiving.

Still, we did get to see that Ward and May have continued their arrangement and that should lead to some interesting events down the crime-solving road.


Editor Rating: 4.2 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (53 Votes)

Jim G. is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.


Good episode. It's not that I don't like Ward and May together I've just never pictured them together and It's going to take more than both of them have the same type of troubled past I think they need to have more because right now they aren't anything close to a couple right now they're just friends with benefits. I thought we were going to learn about Mays past but we didn't learn much. Fitz trying to prank Skye and the prank he set scary all of them when they were in a hurry was funny. If Fitz has said are you my mummy when he was wearing the mask it would be funny but also kind of creepy because that was the scariest episode of doctor who I've seen it totally freaked me out. Can't wait till the next episode it looks really good.


Am I the only one who likes Skye,but if Ward and May are to be an item,and Fitz and Simmons then thy need to bring someone in for Skye,I'm mean she has to have someone!




Sky is not my favorite character - ok, she is my least favorite out of the 6, but I don't hate her; and I think she brings something to the show as she is like us (the audience) in not knowing much about S.H.I.E.L.D. and their procedures. I don't like the idea of her and Ward (as it seemed it was going to lead to at the start), so I was actually happy with the pairing of Ward and May. But I also don't want this turning into the type of show where everyone pairs off and FitzSimmons are the obvious "meant to be" couple.


Unlike a number of commenters here, I really like the Skye character. She can be annoying at times but she also has the greatest potential for change of all of the characters on the show and, most important of all, she's a real cutie. I really like this show and I am looking forward to the rest of the season. I care about all of the characters to some degree and I am curious where the writers will take them.

@ Gregg

I actually like Skye as well, my only comment against her was that too many early episodes were "Skye-centric" and we needed to see more of the team.


i do not think the details of what happened in Bahrain matter that much … no matter how many people died / were saved it had an effect on May … and going from "prank" to "legend" to the mere facts made it more forceful … seems that "fuzzy" used to be "warm" as well … May is a "silent one" … some day she will open about Bahrain and tell it with her own words … just not today … this show is a 20+ episode per season … with many more seasons if we are lucky … i like a relatively slow pacing for the background stories … episode was great going from funny to scary … i just wish fitz had said "are you my mummy ?" when he was wearing the mask …


I agree with r, all Skye does is whine, whine whine, look/listen to me. Either get rid of this character or have it mature and become part of the team. Ward and May are awesome. Fitz and Simmons are entertaining, Coulson. Humanoid or clone is great. Skye-I hate whenever she opens her mouth.


This series showed a lot of promise, at least from seeing the first two or three chapters - but it rapidly descended into the depressing muck of Standard Predictably-Lame Television with the "need" to highlight the Human Dimension (i.e. turn it into a soap opera). All of those longing glances between Skye and Pretty Boy in the initial episodes were annoying enough, but I knew that the fun was over when she turned up naked in her old friend's motel bed. These characters, for the most part, supposedly possess a superior intellectual and physical discipline - so it seems more than just a little bit incongruous to have them endlessly getting drunk, lusting for and copulating amongst each other. (I understand the desire to rope in as many viewers as possible, and that there are millions out there whose mental focus rarely strays above their waist, but one can still hope!) The writers also overdid the weekly glaring "hints" about Coulson actually having died and been cloned, and Agent May's terminal scowl quickly grew tiresome; I realize that it is (supposedly) the sign of "a strong woman" to have PMS every single day of the year, but hers must even be annoying the female viewers by this point. And now we are expected to embrace the idea that she is a practical jokester, as well? Puh-leeze. Stick a fork in me, I'm done with this pathetic yawn-fest!


I'm sorry but I find Skye really annoying and bratty. I just feel like she doesn't want to actually learn anything, she just wants to go in there and tell everyone else how to do things and wants to be told EVERYTHING. She doesn't want to earn anything.


джимчо, много си тъп! и дебел!

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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1 Episode 9 Quotes

Fitz: You! Do not touch that!
Skye: Alright, I get it, I’ll go do your stupid Hogwarts School or whatever.

You can't undo what's been done, that will be with you forever. But trying hold to this life, clinging to the person you thought could be, that's hell.