Agents of SHIELD: 313 “Parting Shot” Review
Reviewed by Ollie Gregory.
As soon as it begins, it’s made clear that Parting Shot isn’t just going to be your standard episode of Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. The quick recap of last episode reminds us that episode 12 ended with Bobbi and Hunter going full spy mode and hiding aboard the ship on which big bad Gideon Malick is. After the recap is finished we’re greeted by a very sad looking Bobbi Morse with handcuffs around her wrists leading the audience to think “Well erm… that lasted long?”
This episode mainly follows the actions of Hunter and Bobbi, who anyone who reads about Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D will know, are soon to depart from the show and star in their own spin-off titled Marvel’s Most Wanted. As the title suggests, this is the episode that separates the star crossed lovers from the rest of the team, while also attempting to convince the audience to watch the new show.
In terms of things this episode desperately needed to get right, the chemistry between Bobbi Morse and Lance Hunter needed to come across as really strong. Fortunately Adrianne Palicki and Nick Blood are clearly very comfortable working with one another, and work together well. Bobbi’s no-nonsense and stone-faced character works well alongside the cheeky and full of quips, Hunter (it’s bizarre that one is referred to simply by their surname and the other simply by their first name). While I’m still unsure as to whether I completely believe the two as husband and wife, there are a couple of really nice moments between the two, such as the moment where they rest their foreheads against one another. Even if the romance between the two isn’t that interesting, they work well enough together that I believe that the proposed TV show for the two could work.
Hunter and Bobbi aren’t the only characters this episode though. Daisy, May and Mack all come down to help Hunter and Bobbi with whatever their weird little mission is. As usual the banter between the team is pretty great and helps hold the episode together. Unfortunately, we still don’t get any proper Fitzsimmons actions, but Fitz does have a couple of lines here and there, which he delivers fantastically. Hopefully the departure of Hunter and Bobbi will make more room for these two characters who are currently being unfairly under-utilised.
One issue I had with this episode was the fact that I didn’t really understand what was going on. One problem, and this is purely a personal issue, is that I didn’t actually know what either a ‘cabinet minister’ or a ’coup’ was (the amount of time I spent googling ‘what is a coo?’ is a little bit embarrassing). From what I could gather I figured that the current Russian President didn’t really want anything to do with inhuman, so Malick tried to cause an assassination so that someone else could be President, possibly him, I don’t know. The S.H.I.E.L.D squad therefore has to save the President, in order to prevent Malick’s plan. Long story short, it’s all unnecessarily complicated and there are far too many moments where a revelation seems to happen, and the audience are left going ‘Wait, what does that mean?”
But the basic idea of the team having to protect the Russian President was simple enough, and the action accompanying this idea was pretty great. As seems to be the norm with these types of shows, the spies are pretty terrible at being spies, and just end up using fisticuffs to get themselves out of every tricky situation. That’s not to say fisticuffs aren’t fun though, as they literally are. We also get another cool inhuman, a man with the ability to control his own shadow. As ridiculously stupid as that sounds, good special effects turn what should be a dumb ability into the means to create a legitimately intimidating and powerful creature for our heroes to fight.
The highlight of this episode was definitely the very end of the episode though. After the battle is over, a number of dead Russian soldiers are found and the blame is placed on the recently captured Bobbi and Hunter. Not wanting to cause harm for the rest of the team, the two refuse to simply break out and escape, knowing that if S.H.I.E.L.D is revealed to still be alive and working with the American government then they won’t be able to deal with the inhuman “problem” (I don’t want to upset Daisy).
So instead, Hunter and Bobbi claim to be no part of S.H.I.E.L.D and have no choice but to leave their past completely behind them. This point is illustrated perfectly in the final scene in which Hunter and Bobbi are given a spy’s goodbye. Hunter and Bobbi are sitting together in a bar, when suddenly they receive a drink from a secret admirer. They turn and see Gemma sitting by herself (I instantly thought Gemma had something secret going on and was going to be a big part in Marvel’s Most Wanted) and they realise it is Gemma who bought them the drink. Then another drink arrives, followed by another, and they realise the whole team has turned up and although they can’t speak to them, as the saying goes, a free drink says a thousand words.
Everyone then proceeds to cry, and it’s really sad, and then Mack starts crying and my goodness I was close to tears. The final moments of this episode were really touching and a perfect way to cap off what was a well made episode. While I’m still unsure as to whether Marvel’s Most Wanted will be any good, this episode was an incredibly fitting send off for the two characters.