Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been demonstrating a gentle incline over the last four episodes, progressing step-by-step from “okay” to “good.” Unfortunately, “Girl in the Flower Dress” warrants an underwhelming shrug of one’s shoulders. The early scenes are promising, with Renshu Tseng (later known as “Scorch”) and Raina (the girl in the flower dress) demonstrating more chemistry than most of the core cast. But it doesn’t take long before the episode devolves into more uninspired action; last week’s “point-of-view” gimmick was clever, but here intelligence is replaced with fiery special effects.
Equally disappointing was the Rising Tide plot. Aside from clear highlight Coulson, Skye shows the best potential for an interesting character, so it was disappointing to see her Rising Tide links reduced to a smug criticism of the hypocrisy of Wikileaks-esque activism and her potential double agent status left at an uninspired adoption reveal. It did provide a slim excuse for Chloe Bennett to demonstrate how good she looks in her underwear; this kind of blatant fan-service suggests a series worried about keeping its audience. There were a couple redeeming moments – “Ah crap. They gave him a name.” – but equally we were inflicted to truly terrible Fitz-Simmons dialogue. Not encouraging.