With the pilot airing last week, the world has finally been permitted behind the curtain and into the lives of the faceless black suits of the Marvel Universe in ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ on ABC. Now with the first episode in the history books and polarizing audiences, we’re ready to catch the second mission for Agent Coulson’s fresh, new team.
In this week’s episode, we find our team, along with their new consultant Skye, in the jungles of Peru as they track down and assess a “0-8-4”, which is S.H.I.E.L.D. talk for “an object of unknown origin”. Once on site, they meet an old ally of Coulson’s in the form of Camilla Reyes, who has her own team that was sent to look into the mysterious object as well. The two teams then join forces aboard the S.H.I.E.L.D. plane to get the object to safety, but a mid-air confrontation threatens the lives of everyone on board that could result in certain death, especially since the 0-8-4 turns out to be a very powerful weapon.
If I were to compare this a comic book, I’d say that this is the second issue where the unlikely team is starting to get their bearings. It doesn’t really come off as strong as the first issue, but it pushes things along a tiny bit and shows us more about the various components of the team. With this episode, we managed to learn a good bit about Agents Ward, May, Coulson, as well as Skye and where her allegiances lie, but Fitz and Simmons didn’t develop as much as their teammates. Chances are, as the story progresses, we’ll get to know them more, but at this point, they almost seem like quick-witted gimmicks rather than real, complex characters. This is especially prevalent when they realize that Agent May is the one known as “The Cavalry” and they express their thoughts on this revelation in unison. They are two different characters, so hopefully they begin to develop as such as the show goes on.
But on that note, ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ feels almost like those old TV shows like ‘The A Team’, ‘Knight Rider’, or ‘Hogan’s Heroes’. It feels a bit silly at first, but when you buy into the show and it’s premise, it turns out to be a lot of fun. Like they said before the show aired, it definitely isn’t a procedural case of the week type of action drama. This is much lighter that all of that, so I could see why some Marvel fans might be disappointed in the first two episodes. However, I still think that viewers should give it a chance as it’s just starting to find it’s footing. After all, they’re already becoming self-aware of their criticisms, like when Agent May points out that her teammates talk too much or Camilla teasing that Coulson is having a midlife crisis and surrounding himself with young, attractive agents.
Above all, I’m most enjoying the parts of the show where we learn more about Agent Coulson and his past. This episode explored one of his past relationships and his fascination with vintage collectibles, which we saw a little bit of already in ‘The Avengers’, but now it has a whole new meaning. It’s also interesting that he repeats the line about Tahiti being a magical place. While it could very well be a running gag, it almost sounds like an automated response. Could that play into what really happened to Coulson after his encounter with Loki? I know that I’ll keep watching to find out.
Finally, I enjoyed the addition of Marvel’s signature post-credits scenes to the show. This week’s tag was pretty awesome and I hope more characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe show up in this way. Without giving away who appeared for spoilers sake, I will say that I agree that there was indeed a nice bar on that plane. Anyway, in the future, I’d love to see Dr. Banner in a lab with Fitz-Simmons some time, with him trying not to get mad or annoyed by their overlapping scientific banter. There’s some good comedy that could come out of that.
While some are already throwing the towel in on ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’, I’m not giving up yet. There’s a lot of great potential in it and the show is certainly in capable hands, so let’s see where it goes from here. I mean, there are rumors of a supervillain going round, so that’s something I don’t want to miss.
‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ starring Brett Dalton, Ming-Na Wen, Iain De Caestecker, Elizabeth Henstridge, Chloe Bennet, and Clark Gregg airs on Tuesdays at 8:00pm on ABC.