The action takes a step back for the second week in a row but, as oppose to ‘Providence’ last time round, this episode didn’t feel like it was lacking as a result.
For much of episode 19, the focus is set squarely on the characters, rather than S.H.I.E.L.D. itself – exploration over explosions, if you will – and it’s very successful, at times.
‘The Cellist’, so delicately played by Amy Acker, was a welcome addition and there were a couple of moments of genuine heartbreak, thanks in part to Clark Gregg’s (Agent Coulson) performance. There were also some devilishly simple, but brilliantly tense, sequences; most notably, the lie detector scene, which was impressively orchestrated and totally gripping.
But it wasn’t quite the action and intrigue hinted at during the Harry Potter-esque opening scene. Which brings us to the one major complaint for this episode; Marcus Daniels was utterly superfluous. His ‘darkforce’ powers may have looked cool, but he came and went without any sense of lasting consequence. In a show that exists almost entirely to provide a cohesive sense of action-reaction within the Marvel universe, that whole character felt shockingly inconsequential.
That issue aside, ‘The Only Light in the Darkness’ was emotionally satisfying . . . but surely things are going to start kicking on a bit, right?