by Brandon Coulson
I’m mad at Agents of SHIELD. No, more than just mad, I also am confused. These feelings and several others ran through my mind while watching 'Code Yellow'. Though this time it wasn't because of a bad plot choice or a terrible set piece. No my anger and confusion stemmed from the fact they made me actually like Deke!
Alright, like is far too strong a word. The amazing feat that occurred was the writers seemed to hear the collective gnashing of teeth from fans over just how annoying and unlikable Deke was and they found the perfect modern day occupation for him: a Boba tea drinking tech giant with a girlfriend named Sequoia (yeesh), who is an Instagram influencer. As a couple they are basically Millennial Yahtzee.
Deke as a weasley and kind of thieving game developer was thoroughly interesting and my biggest hope is that we get to see much more of his professional world. Starting off with an obvious simulation (Deke would never be that cool) that is tagged with what I’m sure is already a meme with a sexy damsel version of Quake in love with Deke. The joke was pretty funny the first time and when Mack sees it later on and gets offered two percent of the company to keep quiet I literally laughed out loud.
As we find out, Deke is using a stripped down version of The Framework as a new VR gaming system with basically all of its contents inspired by SHIELD tech and agents. Great writing, to me, is subtly introducing logical questions in the viewers' minds and then answering those questions. In this episode, a great example of that would be that as we see Deke and what he’s been doing, the logical question is number one: why isn’t he mourning Fitz? And number two: why would SHIELD let him develop all this tech without supervision? Well they make sure to have Mack address that he doesn’t even know Fitz is dead(ish), and then we get the great reveal that Deke’s best bro and coworker is an undercover SHIELD agent in case of a Code Yellow, which is in itself a very funny throwaway gag that they hit on just enough to be funny without being too heavy handed.
I would say about ninety-nine percent of the Deke related material was fantastic to watch, funny, quick moving and kept me engaged. Even the inevitable 'trick the bad guy into a VR simulation' was well played though I saw it coming a mile away. I do have questions as to how Deke reads similar to the creatures Sarge and company are hunting. On the surface, having him being not from this world sounds like a legit reason but he’s still human, just a human from a possible dystopian future. I’ll give them a pass though since we got to see Sarge pumping him for info and thankfully Deke still having a brain and tricking Sarge into revealing he’s not Coulson.
On the slightly more boring side, we also followed Yoyo and her boytoy with Dr Benson investigating a supposed murder victim of Sarge which turns out to be a parasite. I found it a little frustrating that they couldn’t figure out Sarge had killed the thing and not implanted it, and even more annoyed they did the autopsy in a room the parasite easily escaped. The way this thing takes its hosts out was pretty crazy though, basically turning them into a suicide bomber of spikes growing out of them. Of course Yoyo’s new beau, who we don’t know or care about at all, gets infected and while his death at Yoyo’s hands looks cool, it had zero emotional impact.
But over all, the episode was another great outing that completely surprised me. With May being taken by Coulson in the end after another badass fight we have a lot of pieces set up moving forward. Also from the previews it looks like the mystery of Sarge will be learned next and I’m all for not dragging out a misdirection as his 'evil' motivations seem to be.
Agents of SHIELD airs Fridays at 8:00 PM on ABC.
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Read more of Brandon's reviews on Hotchka.com
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