WHEN THE READ IS WRONG

Spoiler alert: This article contains a few spoilers about season one of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

We were very excited when Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. became available for streaming on Netflix.

We loved the Marvel Avenger movies (Thor, Captain America, etc.) and were really looking forward to the television series set in that interesting universe.

As we started watching the series, we were not disappointed – it was kind of like a tongue-in-cheek X Files.

As we moved through the first season we came to appreciate the characters, and the episodes did a good job of interweaving character development with action and story-telling. We liked all of the team members and appreciated the unique gifts and personalities they brought to the stories.

Until one character was revealed to be an enemy agent.

This kind of plot twist was one the Navigator was not accustomed to. In most of the movies and television we watched, the black hats and white hats are usually pretty obvious, or at least clearly suggested so that when they revealed their true nature it was not usually a surprise, let alone a shock.

This plot twist was shocking to the Navigator and really upset him. The Navigator was angry about how the character lied, and play-acted at being a friend.

“They trusted [the character] and [the character] trusted them, and then [the character] turned [the character’s] back on them,” he said.

It is wrong to lie and betray your friends, he concluded. Along with just being a violation of how people should act, he said it bothered him most that he couldn’t tell that the character was deceptive.

For a child for whom reading faces and body language didn’t come naturally, the idea that someone could use facial expressions and body language to lie about one’s intent and to cause harm was especially disturbing.

The Navigator had seen the character as an attractive and loyal person as demonstrated by what the character said and did.

The Navigator used the skills he had learned and then learned he was wrong.

In a way, it was lucky the Navigator learned about this kind of behavior through a television show. While there are very few people in real life who approach a relationship with complete deception as the goal, when relationships go sour it is not uncommon to feel that the entirety of the relationship was false and to question how signs were missed.

That is not Autism, that is human nature.

Though we were expecting fun entertainment only, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. gave us the opportunity to talk about a complex and abstract reality of relationships without the Navigator having first experienced that kind of pain in real life.

Maybe he will be somewhat better prepared when it does happen.

When the Read is Wrong

For more information on the series, check out the review on Common Sense Media.

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