Dee Discusses: Agents of SHIELD 1×2

Posted: October 7, 2013 by Dee in Dee, General Media, Recaps, SHIELD, Television
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Okay so previously on SHIELD: We were introduced to the main cast. Phil Coulson is back from the grave and he was given lead of a task force researching/stopping supernatural people/objects. It’s sort of a vague concept, but that’s on purpose I expect. We have Ward, the team leader, who doesn’t like people; Fitz and Simmons, the brainiacs who create all the tech and do the science parts; May, who is supposed to be the pilot but is so much more; and finally Skye, the new girl, a super hacker they recruited from the enemy. Or she sees them as the enemy. It’s still on the fence there. Last week they dealt with a man who was experimented on using Extremis, gamma radiation, and Super Soldier-ish technology to create a superhero. This week the team is attempting to get comfortable together and they face the other type of threat, an unknown alien device.

The episode was fairly basic, I’ll be honest. But I’ll get there. First, they are now getting settled as teammates, and Skye gets her own bunk. Oh first they show us the end of the episode, with the plane being ripped apart and trouble everywhere, and then the classic ‘nineteen hours earlier!’ tagline. Ehhh. Fine. Sort of unnecessary? I know those things build up the tension, but it usually just feels like a cliche. So Skye is brought onto the plane and Ward is not happy she’s there. He argues with Coulson extensively¬† that she is not well trained or able to be trusted. Both of which I think are ultimately true, but he’s sort of a lughead about it. Coulson gives about zero fucks what Ward thinks, but May agrees that all three of them aren’t combat ready. This is a really good point. They’re not being trained at all for combat so far? I think Fitz and Simmons are supposed to have basic at least by this point, they just don’t have the viciousness or drive to be a field agent. At least I hope so. Because Coulson, seriously, Ward and May can’t always be there. This becomes relevant later. And hopefully from here they’ll all learn more, I don’t know.

Agents of Shield

They get a call in about an unidentified object and land. FitzSimmons gets on it with their tech, and they don’t have an idea about what this strange device can do yet. It looks like high tech but apparently had to be there for many years. Ward talks to May and we get a bit of backstory for her, she’s called the Cavalry and has a reputation as a serious badass. We knew that before, but clearly there’s some darkness there, and I do love her continuing to play a sort of Zoe-like position on the team. Zoe from Firefly, to explain the reference. They are approached by a dangerous group of locals with guns, and Coulson knows their leader. She’s a beautiful Peruvian officer named Camilla who SHIELD worked with in the past. And he in particular did, since their relationship is clearly saucy. She also is clearly evil, because this show is relying on a few too many tropes. I know it was supposed to be a “surprise,” but come on. Who else was going to be the bad guy? She says there are bandits who will come and try to steal it, but they were the ones who got there first, Coulson.

They are forced to take the device and flee to the plane. The team argues because FitzSimmons and Skye were about 0% helpful in the field. Also because they now have a very dangerous alien artifact on the plane with no idea if it’ll blow up or cause troubles a la Tesseract. They couldn’t leave it there either though. It’s not too long into their flight that Camilla and her people are evil. Although I do think after some explanation on her part, I can understand what they were going for. She’s arguing that she is getting the artifact to give her people power. And Coulson counters she’ll use it for the wrong reasons or her leaders will. Which is fair, but at the same time, SHIELD takes these items a lot and they were just trying to make weapons with the Tesseract. Who knows how much they can be trusted with the power they’re taking in, so I think it is a gray zone. She’s not right, but SHIELD’s hands aren’t clean. Or maybe I’m reading too much into it because I didn’t want her to be a typical cliche villain.


While Coulson’s out of commission with her and she’s trying to force him to get past security checks in the plane, his team have to work together to get out. May is a badass again when she snaps her wrist, takes out the guard, and fixes it again. Ward does his own part of kicking butt while FitzSimmons and Skye try to find a way to use the artifact. They blow a hole in the plane, which gives them the upper hand but almost kills everyone too, and their gamble pays off. Coulson’s glad they worked together, and Ward decides it’s possible Skye and the others could be agents with the right training. So I hope that means they’ll do it from there. I know Skye is supposed to be the odd man out, but it’s not like FitzSimmons seemed totally competent, they could use it too. As far as I can tell. At the end Skye texts someone that she’s in, although she looks a little guilty since she’s a spy. I think Coulson knows she’s a spy, come on. Also in a hilarious end tag, Nick Fury shows up and yells at Coulson for destroying his new plane after one mission. That was wonderful.

I love this show for a bunch of reasons. I like how they’re using the MCU world. There’s a lot of open doors and creative avenues they can take. At the same time, I feel the show so far leans a little too much on basic storytelling and characters. Naturally this is only the second episode in, so I’m definitely willing to give them more breathing room as they set up the story and team. I personally think Ward and Skye are weak links, at least for me while I’m watching. I’m disinterested in them both, they’re way too trope-filled, at least in ways that don’t appeal to me. Still, they could grow on me. When I first started watching Dollhouse I was indifferent to Paul and Echo, and that changed over the course of the show. I’m in it for now, and I continue to be interested in Coulson here. I’m still fairly positive he’s a LMD, he keeps using the Figi thing as if it’s a safe word or code. Something people would require him to repeat for programming reasons. I’m just saying. The Nick Fury tag was great, I had no idea it was coming. Yessss. Overall I am very pleased with SHIELD. I hope it starts taking a few more risks though and make their characters more three dimensional with time, but I’m confident Joss and his staff can do that.


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