The Life & Times of an Auteur.

Commentary on Pop Culture, and maybe creating some of my own.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Tyrion may be innocent, but Agents of SHIELD is guilty

Once again, "Game of Thrones" hits a home run with its most recent episode, "The Laws of Gods and Men". Many subplot are pushed forward, such as Daenerys discovering that conquering is easier than ruling; Reek's messed up relationship with Ramsay Snow (who I swear is the scariest person on television); and, of course, Stannis and Davos traveling to the Iron Bank of Braavos... and Davos heartfelt speech about how much he believes in Stannis, which convinces the Iron Bank to invest in him.

I don't believe I've mentioned how much I love the idea of the Iron Bank. A cold, soulless organization that just about everyone is afraid of, even the Lannisters. It doesn't matter how big and bad you are, if you are in debt to the Iron Bank, they will recover their money one way or another. Most fantasy I have read doesn't feature an institution like this. It kind of reminds me of Sallie Mae.

But all of those plot lines, excellent as they are, pale before the real meat of this episode: Tyrion Lannister's trial for regicide. The trial is, naturally, a farce. Tyrion is innocent but he's going to be found guilty because that's what his father, Tywin Lannister, wants. The coldest aspect of this had to be when Jaime made a deal with Tywin to spare Tyrion's life... and considering how fast Tywin agreed to it, it was all about Jaime. The coldness, the sheer monstrosity of all this. I know there is a meme out there about how Norman Osborn or Fire Lord Ozai are the worst fathers... but I think both of them pale before Tywin Lannister.

Then Shae, Tyrion's ex-girlfriend (or ex-whore) is brought out to testify in a scene that is so painful, Tyrion finally breaks. Tyrion had been married to a whore before, until Tywin had her gang-raped and the marriage annulled... because he's a super nice guy, that way. So, years of anger, bitterness, hatred and resentment in Tyrion finally exploded and... what can I say about this scene? I think it speaks for itself. Give Peter Dinklage an Emmy, now. Please!

I love this show. Thank you, HBO, for continuing to offer quality television a midst a cesspool of garbage.

Sadly, it's time to talk about "Agents of SHIELD". The season finale was so bad it made me wonder how the hell it's legal to produce television like this. Now, people say the show has gotten better since "Captain America: The Winter Soldier", so I came back to check it out and see how things would play out. At least no one can accuse me of not having an open mind.

The Big Bad of the season, John Garret (played by Bill Paxton), at first seemed like a breath of fresh air... then he turned into a cartoon character. I don't know who directed the season finale, but they shouldn't be allowed near actors ever again. Paxton's performance was so over the top that Cobra Commander and Rita Repulsa would be embarrassed. I know Garret was supposed to be crazy at this point, but my god...  Faye Dunaway's performance as Joan Crawford in "Mommie Dearest" was subtle compared to this. It was painful to watch. Gods, I hate this show.

The show continued to demonstrate its lack of balls. Ward is still a villain, but he survived and was taken into custody (if he's still a regular next season, expect a lame redemption story). Fitz and Simmons were thrust into a situation where only one could survive and, naturally, both of them survive. If this were any other show with Joss Whedon's name on it (and I know he's barely involved), Fitz would have been dead. Gods, I hate this show.

They tried to leave a few mysteries open, like teasing Mary Sue Poots' father... naturally, I don't care. Why is this character still alive? Gods, I hate this show.

Oh yeah, and Samuel L. Jackson returns as Nick Fury, helps them beat Cobra Repulsa Crawford, and disappears again. I'd ponder why SLJ chose to do this, but he had no problem appearing in the "Star Wars" prequels. So Coulson is now director of SHIELD, and his first course of action is to rebuild... which could be a fascinating show, but this is Marvel TV under the direction of Jeph Loeb, so it won't be.

And so ends the debut season of the worst television series I have ever watched. Normally, this would be the part where I rant about how it is beyond me that ABC could renew this, but nobody ever went broke underestimating the tastes of the American public.

Game of Thrones: A+


  1. I rather enjoyed the season finale of Agents of SHIELD. It had a lot of things going for it and hey, Garrett has the advantage of being played by Bill Paxton. I'll take him over the aforementioned three.

    Personally perhaps season two might be better. Just me? Maybe but I'm just a big fan/enthusiast of Marvel in general.

    But thank you for posting this because I want to tell you that I finished season one of Breaking Bad and yeah, consider me a fan. I'm digging it. In fact, I argue the theme of the first season is the butterfly effect.

    Small factors triggered Walter White to even consider by all means what should have gotten him killed and there's no turning back undoubtedly.

    P.S. From what I've seen of Game of Thrones, prediction: The Mother of Dragons is the only survivor.

    1. I'm a big Marvel enthusiast, too. I think "Agents" is garbage. And I don't care if he's Bill Paxton, the performance and character was awful.

      "From what I've seen of Game of Thrones, prediction: The Mother of Dragons is the only survivor."

      I'm not so sure about this one. Daenerys is getting darker and I don't think she's the hero of this saga. A couple of weeks ago, she crucied over a hundred people... most of them had it coming, but still.

    2. Oh don't get me wrong, I'm not blind. I mean dude, the Tim Story Fantastic Four movies are crap, twist my arm if you force me to choose between those and Agents of SHIELD, I'll take the latter; it has the advantage of Ming-Na Wen at least, she's an awesome woman. Outside of the show I mean.

      And well about Daenerys, if that's the case, well someone has to come out on top as the victor, right?

    3. Someone has to, but I stopped making predictions long ago, because who knows? Aside from GRRM.

  2. At least there is some good news. Thundercats didn't even get the two seasons it was planned to have. And people are still swearing up and down that it is a good show and got better towards the end.
    Though I agree with you, it was bullshit. I never trust ANYONE that says that a shitty show/movie/video game/whatever gets better HOURS into it. It's never worth it and it is never worth my time.