In the latest episode of Marvel’s ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’, Skye embarks on her first real mission with the faceless organization that she once was (or potentially still is) against. When scientist and asset Dr. Franklin Hall is kidnapped, Agent Coulson and his team are tasked with solving the puzzling circumstances surrounding the doctor’s abduction and retrieving him from enemy clutches. But to do that, the S.H.I.E.L.D. rookie/expert hacker is the only one with the proper requirements for the job, despite being in the middle of basic training with her new Supervising Officer, Agent Ward.
Last week, the kids on the Bus managed to save the world, but in the most recent episode, things seemed much more heightened and dangerous. Sure, the world was probably in danger because of the 0-8-4, but the Gravitonium experiment appeared to be more life threatening. Things were just on a bigger scale this week in terms of a threat, so that made things more interesting. A lot of that came from the possibility of a supervillain joining the ranks of the show. So since they introduced Dr. Hall in this episode, I really hope that his evil alter ego, Graviton, makes an appearance somewhere down the line.
Speaking of Dr. Hall, I really enjoyed Ian Hart’s portrayal of the character. After giving great performances in ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’ and the recent British show ‘My Mad Fat Diary’, he continued his streak of complex characters that the audience could get invested in. I loved his choices with his American accent. For me, Hart and his Dr. Franklin Hall were the best parts of the episode.
In terms of the worst parts, I’d say that the name of the element would be at the very top of the list. I’m reminded of the extremely on the nose classification of “unobtainium” from James Cameron’s ‘Avatar’. When I first saw that movie, I was beyond annoyed that they couldn’t think of anything better than that to name this rare and sought after element. I found myself having similar feelings while watching this episode, but I eased up on them when I realized that not everyone knows that Hall becomes the villain Graviton in the comics. While I’d like to see him make the transformation in the show as well, we have no idea if it’ll happen or not.
Another part that could have been done better was the joke with Agent Fitz being flustered about Skye being an attractive woman and just uttering the word “boobs”. Seeing Fitz be a spaz with his hand movements and uncomfortableness was a little endearing, but I feel like the gag lost some of it’s luster when he actually came out and said what he meant. Obviously, a joke isn’t as funny when you have to explain it, so that one didn’t exactly land like it could have in my book. But an upside to that scene was that Fitz and Simmons are being established more as separate people. Sure, they’re still mostly a unit, but I see more of their own personalities emerging as each episode airs.
Overall, ‘The Asset’ was a solid episode. Rather than relying heavily on quips and smart remarks, we got to know our cast much better than we really have gotten to in the past while not drowning out the action or the plot. It also laid a bunch of great groundwork for potential storylines coming up like Skye and Ward’s relationship and Coulson and May’s relationship. Above all, I love the idea of a big bad possibly coming back to haunt this team later on down the line. I really, really hope that happens because Ian Hart as a villain just sounds like so much fun.
‘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.