Finally! We get a S.H.I.E.L.D. episode where the tech’s in the background, people’s stories intertwine and they’re empathetic. Has someone been listening to my rants?
“Seeds” is by far the best episode of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. to date. I don’t know if it’s the writing by Jed Whedon and Monica Owusu-Breen, or that the actors are becoming more comfortable in their roles, or that the pacing has leveled off to a steady beat, but “Seeds” showed exactly what this show is capable of – exploring the human side of technological advancement and superpowers.
Fitz and Simmons are called back to their alma mater to solve a murder mystery before it happens. Ward and Skye tag along to keep an eye on things while May and Coulson go do some digging around in Skye’s backstory. There’s a nice little throwaway line when Skye sees the Wall of Valor, the list of men and women who died serving in S.H.I.E.L.D. She finds a name and says it aloud, almost to herself: “Bucky Barnes.”
While Fitz, Simmons, Ward and Skye find their way through the maze of this mystery, May and Coulson track down the one surviving person who can tell them about Skye’s origins. What they find is not what anyone expected, and it doesn’t get us any closer to answers; but it does help Skye.
I was fascinated by the dichotomy between Skye and the person responsible for the crimes. While Skye has her fair share of a shady past, this person got the chance she didn’t: a place at a S.H.I.E.L.D. academy. Skye had to tough it out, survive on her own. The cadet had access to more tech than Skye even knew existed. But when it came down to it, Skye got the better deal. Her relationships with the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents changed her whole life. She made a choice to trust them. The S.H.I.E.L.D. cadet, however, made a bad decision about relationships. While Fitz holds out hope that the cadet isn’t a “bad seed” but is rather under a bad influence, the cadet and Skye ultimately choose different paths.
The cadet waits for a rescue from a rather villainous boss who never shows, while S.H.I.E.L.D. sends their best into the eye of a storm to ensure the cadet’s safety. These are the kind of people Skye has thrown her lot in with, and while the organization itself might be suspect, Skye has found her family.
Skye didn’t get any advantages in life; if anything, she got the opposite. She has a lot of baggage. There aren’t a lot of answers about her past, and what she knows of it is painful. However, because of the type of person Skye is, she turns this into something positive. She faces her past head-on and becomes stronger for it.
Coulson and Ward talk about this in a beautiful conversation about Skye and her reaction to the information May and Coulson uncovered. It helped Coulson to see her handle it so well. When you are faced with something of that magnitude about yourself, how do you respond? You can respond like Skye, who embraced the chaotic and confusing history of her origins; or you can be like the S.H.I.E.L.D. cadet who took a wrong turn and looks to be a future super villain.
This comes at a time that is very poignant for me. I’ve been struggling with how to react to life. Life, for me and several of my friends and family members, has been awful. We’ve lost family members, we’ve been ill, we’ve lost our jobs, and we’ve endured rather a lot. I don’t know how much worse it can get. I’m kind of hoping it’s going to get better. But our reactions have been splattered all over the board. I’m on the dark side of things, with one question pounding in my head over and over: “What’s the point?”
What’s the point of living if you’re just going to keep saying goodbye? What’s the point of fighting for what you want if it’s just going to be yanked away from you? Please, someone, tell me the point of life if it’s all just a tragedy?
But “Seeds” showed me that we can overcome. Life is difficult, messy, and complicated. We don’t always have a savior. There aren’t a bunch of heroes waiting to rescue our world from total destruction. But we have friends. We have people who become our found family. And they are worth staying around for. One of them just told me she’s watching Supernatural for the first time because of me. Another is caught up in k-dramas and we fangirl about them together. Another friend was having a bad day so I brought coloring books over and we played with her one-year old son. These people are my family. And no matter what has happened to us, we are still together.
“Seeds” was a great reminder about facing the curveballs life throws at you. If you have a support system you’re more likely to turn out a hero than a villain. At least in theory.
In all seriousness, though…this episode helped me remember why I’m still around. I have some great friends. And we watch a lot of good TV together.