Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD Season Four Episode One The Ghost recap and predictions

Spoilers for Season Four, Episode one of Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD follow – This information may be classified.

Science and magic are usually in opposition to each other, and agents of SHIELD is bringing opposites together for season four. I’m predicting new villains arriving in season four, and artificial intelligence resurgent

Episode one of season four The Ghost has a burned-out and cagey Daisy still running from the organisation that built up her life, brought her new friends, and put her through more than one struggle for her life and family. And now she has a ghost to deal with.

Leo Fitz’s relationship with Jemma might be stronger, and he may now have a new friend he can related to intellectually, but a new secret is stepping into his life again. Life Decoy Models (LMDs) are designed to protect SHIELD’s agents, but is there a shade of something like Ultron within the program?

Regardless, it’s clear Daisy and Fitz seem to be carrying the greatest emotional weight.

Magic and science collide.

Fitz works ebulliently, yet he is heavy-hearted with a new secret to hold onto, which might distance his relationship with Jemma Simmons.

Holden Radcliffe has a new invention. AIDA stands waiting for orders in Radcliffe’s living room. Fitz has to avert his eyes, since Radcliffe has left her naked, and undressed. It’s a shock to have stepped out of his high-tech, ethical lab working with his partner Simmons, and into a “Weird-science” naked robot lady story.

What’s most interesting about this scene, however, is AIDA’s observation skills.

Switched off, she has her eyes downcast to the floor. There is something alert in her gaze, however. Radcliffe aimed to cross the “Uncanny Valley”, and he seems to have done it. There is  a sadness to AIDA, as she waits to have her voice and agency returned. Something about her is very human.

I predict AIDA might have an issue with Radcliffe and Fitz discussing her fate without her opinion.

Daisy has slipped into the rebillious persona “Quake”, and she is deeply impacted and grieving, still working through the anger of her loss from last season. Can her scientific, serial way of thinking handle a ghost?

Daisy’s pathway through life has involved a lot of serial, procedural, and analytical thinking.

She worked as a compute scientist, a hacker, and a video editor.

She learned about the ritual and procedures of the Inhumans. Terrigen has to be applied in a certain way, and metamorphosis follows a strict process. If Inhuman, grant abilities, and if else, reduce to ashes and dust. Definitely a tough and almost machine-like brutal efficiency.

So when faced with an actual shapeshifter in Ghost Rider, will daisy be able to handle this threat? She thinks procedurally, and serially. Ghost rider seems to shift randomly. Is his power motivated by a concept as nebulous as justice? Or as emotional as vengeance?

I predict Daisy might have encountered something she won’t be able to take on with her current methods and state of mind.

A gaseous woman also appears in the opening episode – could this woman be the villain Vapour AKA Ann Darnell?

Trapped in a box, a mysterious woman who seems to manifest in a gaseous state arrives at the end of the episode to menace Agent May, and her strike team of elite SHIELD agents.

Is this Ann Darnell, of the villain team the U-Foes? Based on teaser information from the next episode, It seems unlikely. Particularly since this character might be wrapped into Fantastic Four copyright, and not available to Marvel Studios.

I predict this character might be a reference to the U-foes, at least, with poisonous gas that can cause hallucinations

Do any of these predictions strike a chord with you? Let me know in the comments where you think Season Four of Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD is going.

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Tropes and Television at the Brisbane Writers Festival, 2016

Tropes are broad literary motifs and symbols, but they can also refer to ongoing and recognisable cliches and patterns that readers and other audiences can pick up on and,  possibly, glean an idea of where a story is going, or how a character arc might resolve.

Trope patterns might explicitly outline what to expect in a story. A man in a dark coat obscured in shadow means mystery and danger. The colour red invoked passion, particularly when it’s the colour of a long, evening gown. These two examples are the Trenchcoat brigade or Lady in Red respectively.

Some Tropes don’t describe specific character design, but instead build narrative, or form a coherent and believable world. When subverted, the surprise can be enough to make a story or character resonate in pop-culture.

A generation growing up with television programs is one of the reasons why tropes and television are important to look into.

The event coordinators at the Brisbane Writers Festival in 2016 are aware of this significant change in culture as a younger generation comes of age.

On Sunday, September 11 2016, the festival scheduled held a discussion as a part of their program; Everything I Know, I Learned From Television.

Master of Ceremonies Sophie Overett asked the three speakers to name examples of several pop-culture tropes.

Here’s what Alexei Sayle (Actor in Indiana Jones and the last crusade, author of Barcelona Plates), Caroline Kepnes (Author of Hidden Bodies and You), and Mark Fennel (SBS program The Feed, author of Planet According to the Movies) had to say on each point.

Going by numbers, Caroline is one, Mark two, and Alexei number three:

  • Evil is Sexy
    1. Dylan McKay from Beverly Hills: 90210
    2. Heather Locklear’s entire career
    3. Lord Petyr Baelish from A Game of Thrones
  • Forgotten Accent
    1. Ewan McGregor in any film not set in Scotland
    2. Any non-Bostonian attempting a Boston accent
  • The Unwitting Instigator of Doom
    1. Homer Jay Simpson of The Simpsons (The panel agreed unanimously)
  • Shouldn’t We Be In School  Right Now?
    1. The Cast of 7th Heaven
    2. The Cast of Buffy The Vampire Slayer
    3. The Cast of Twilight
  • Hands-Off Parenting
    1. Roseanne from the Sitcom of the same name (another complete agreement across the panel)
  • No Fourth Wall
    1. Carrie Bradshaw from Sex in the City
    2. The voices and animation of Family Guy
    3. Ferris Bueller from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
    4. Honourable mention – Snowy the Dog from The Adventures of Tin Tin.
  • A Very Special Episode
    1. Episodes of Saved by the Bell.

Have the panel missed any more good examples? Do you agree with the choices? What tropes are in some of these shows? Let me know what you think in the comments.

First post and TV tropes

Tropes are devices and conventions that a writer can reasonably rely on as being present in the audience members’ minds and expectations.”

For this so very daunting first post, I think the website tv tropes is a great way to start. It is certainly a daunting website, and I have heard stories of people who stumble on the site, not knowing that it is a bramble bush: a website with the power to draw in and trap viewers for hours. Some claim to have been trapped there for days. It is a website with the ultimate lure: a categorical view of every plot device, and lists of when and where these “tropes” appear in popular television, comics, games, books, and films.