You Should Be Watching Elena Rodriguez Take Center Stage In SHIELD Web Series
Slingshot is a good one-shot story told in six webisodes about Elena Rodriguez (Natalia Cordova-Buckley), the super-fast Inhuman fans first met in “Bouncing Back”. She was introduced as a woman who used her powers to battle drug crime and corrupt cops in Columbia, and find the man who killed her cousin.
The story starts just after “Laws of Inferno Dynamics” ended, as Daisy (Chloe Bennet) gets back into shape as a SHIELD agent. Elena says they should get their stories straight about “that night”. Let’s say it involves what Elena thinks is justice.
Much of the story looks at how Elena is being seen as an Inhuman by SHIELD. It’s glad to have her, but she’s hasn’t earned its trust. This is illustrated by new director Jeffrey Mace (Jason O’Mara) being eager for her to sign the Sokovia Accords, and warning her to follow them. As Elena tells Coulson as he’s about to leave his post as director to find Daisy, “I thought America was all about freedom. When I use my powers, it should be my choice.” She has a point, so if her new boss is afraid she’ll be a vigilante, she’ll only get some freedom and has to earn the rest. The ironic thing is that this is before he admits he’s an Inhuman.
She also discusses Daisy with Mack (Henry Simmons), and there’s a hint of romance, even back then.
Still, Elena will use her abilities to bend the rules if that’s what it takes to find the guy who killed her cousin. That even includes stealing Mace’s pass to help her use the computers to track her target down. She eventually finds him, Colonel Ramon (Yancey Arias) , and she finds that he’s been working with the anti-Inhuman group, the Watchdogs. They have a weapon that can get rid of Inhumans, and it’s not surprising that Daisy soon gets involved. Elena has a chance to finish off Ramon, but he asks her if it’s justice or murder, just like what he did to her cousin. That gets Elena thinking, but the resolution is sudden.
The web series gives all of the agents a chance to shine, and it’s interesting to see where they were between seasons three and four. At least it’s revealed why Simmons was looking for a new place with a breakfast nook. Melinda May (the real one) even appears and tells Elena her spy skills need a lot of work. With a couple of additional scenes this could have been a full episode.
Cordova-Buckley is very good as Elena, who’s become a key asset to SHIELD. While she wants revenge she soon learns there are some lines she doesn’t want to cross, even if it’s for family. Besides, “Slingshot” is a better nickname than “Yo-Yo”.
There’s also an interesting scene where Coulson gives Elena a valuable piece of SHIELD history, and it soon winds up with someone else. That may hint to the new owner’s future.
It’s the first time Agents of SHIELD has released a web series that supplements the current season. If this is popular, maybe there will be a web series connected to Agent Carter. It looks like the ideal way to reveal if Agent Thompson survived being shot and whatever happened to Dottie Underwood. Come to think of it, as one Twitter member pointed out, why not have a web series about Deathlok, and ex-agents Morse and Hunter?