AOS: Uprising (A Review)

Posted: 10/13/2016 in Uncategorized

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Another top run featuring the imminent threat of the Inhuman fearing Watchdogs and the supernatural aspect of Ghost Rider/Robbie Reyes (Gabriel Luna) is again teased. We learn a bit of back story on the Reyes bros. John Hannah’s Dr. Holden proves to be an mvp. A lot goes on and a lot is good. My opening offered, on to my review.

The latest run of AOS as with its two preceding runs – delivered. The only step back was the team of Jemma (Elisabeth Hentsridge) and Dr. Holden Radcliffe (John Hannah) addressing May’s (Ming-Na Wen) supernatural plight by “sciencing the  @#$% out of it” – quoting Ridley Scott’s “The Martian” liberally. The connection between the Watchdogs, Momentum and Robbie’s back story is hinted at.  We meet Robbie’s younger brother, Gabe (Lorenzo James Henrie), the source of “Ghost Rider” in the truest sense. We learn that the young man was “at the wrong place” and became paralyzed as a result of his injuries at the hands of gang violence. Robbie’s thirst for payback led him to the path he presently travels. He says as much to Daisy/Quake (Chloe Bennett) as the two embark on finding the source of the backing for the fringe group of Watchdogs.

The ep opts again for less is more even in battle scenes where they most we see of the “Rider” in this ep is a reddening of Robbie’s eyes as he and Daisy beat the hell out of looters and potential threats to his brother. The demonstration of Quake’s abilities is subtly done as she mostly chooses physical fighting skill unless needed. The toll her powers take no her already injured body is given greater illustration with this current run. When Daisy addresses Robbie’s brutal beat down of the young men, he admits it “wasn’t the rider… it was just me…” An explanation of the “spirit of vengeance” is offered in an earlier conversation in which he tells her that he became “GR” to exact vengeance but he kept thirsting for more. He speaks of the demon as a bane he wishes to escape, something which he in turn needs to feed with new missions of punishment.

The role of his brother comes into question later as he refers to himself as the one looking after Robbie rather than the other way around.  When the young man is alone with Daisy, he admits he knows who and what she is. He refers to her repeatedly as “bad” and “bad for Robbie”. The notion of who exactly the Rider is -is left open. Gabe’s asking Daisy to keep his secret from his brother to protect him might be a moot point.

Meanwhile –  the new dynamic trio, Coulson (Clark Gregg), Mac (Henry Simmons) and Fitz (Ian De Caestecker) are sent on a mission to track the source of city wide blackouts and an implied terrorist Inhuman threat. Yoyo/Elena (Natalia Cordova-Buckley) gets a fairly big arc along with some vitriol from Mac for her part in helping Daisy keep ahead of her former fellow agents. Jeffrey Mace (Jason O’Mara) proves to be a force of good despite his platitudes and “it’s classified” mantra. He advises Coulson where May is being held but charges him with heading a team to deal with the broader, graver threat. Coulson’s compliance at the moment shows that both men are on the same page. As always there is humor with this lot including Coulson’s nicknaming Fitz “Slide Rule” for his use of simple science to save the day.

The use of EMPs compromise Coulson’s mechanical arm along with all the trio’s equipment making Fitz mvp as he uses “old school” methodology  to make a device to track the pulses at their source. The rampant bigotry of the world at large is offered via guests turning on one another when an armed group  shows up to out the Inhuman in their midst. Despite YoYo’s heroic actions, her friend turns on her. Her character however is generally non-plussed and unflappable. Her moments working in tandem with Coulson and Co were well rendered, again with a less is more approach. The real issue at the heart of the matter once they discover and resolve the threat is who is outing registered/protected Inhumans and who is behind it all? An end scene sequence reveals Senator Rota Nadeer’s (Parminder Nagra) personal motivation for her anti-Inhuman stance.

The May possession arc had due drama as Radcliffe’s master plan of a cognitive reboot, namely killing her to save her, went terribly awry. His selflessly  using Aida (Mallory Jensen’s) ‘heart’  as a resource to save May shows that while hubris laden and more likely than not, a wee bit crazy, he cares enough to risk his own status as a free man.

Overall, another solid run was presented with “Uprising”. AOS has hit the ground running this season and with a potential link with Netflix’s “Defenders” the show remains on point for remaining simply outstanding and well worth your time.

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