TV Recap: Agents of SHIELD – 1.03 – The Asset

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Marvel’s “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” is a decent show. I like it. I get what they’re trying to do and I think that so far they are doing a good job. So I am going to put this up front for the detractors of the show. STOP HATING!!!! It’s called “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” not “The Continuing Adventures of the Avengers”, or “The Government’s Avengers”, or “Avengers in Suits”. It’s about the agents and that’s what people need to focus on, not what heroes, villains or whatever should show up. It’s great to speculate, but to hate on a show simply because they haven’t featured any major characters from the Marvel Universe, cinematic or comic is just plain silly, as that was never what the show’s focus was going to be. Now, moving on to this week’s episode “The Asset.”

I am setting up a format for this show review from this episode forward. I will break it down into what are the three most important aspects of the show; Coulson, the crew, and the story. Any cameos and such can be discussed in the comments. Reviews will be spoiler-free for the most part, but the comment section is fair game, so if you want to stay away from spoilers, keep out of the comments.

YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!!!!

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Coulson:

The mystery of Coulson continues on as we see the veteran agent struggle with a couple things that should be second nature to him. Disarming an assailant and then unloading the gun should be easy, but Coulson’s muscle memory seems to be lacking. Another hint as to what happened? On a lighter note, Coulson goes into the field for action, allowing Ming-Na Wen’s Agent May to sit out of the action. This is only funny because before the mission he tells everyone to suit up, and I actually thought we’d get Coulson in some tactical gear, but once again he jumps into the fray with his trademark suit and tie! I was waiting for some Justin Timberlake to start playing! Coulson also displayed his strength as a leader, making a very hard decision in the episode.

The Crew:

Coulson’s merry band of Agents came out on top again, and also showed some promise as well as some vulnerability. Agent Ward (Brett Dalton) continues the whole hardass with the heart of gold shtick, being tough on hacker and newbie Skye with her physical training, but opening up to her a bit at Coulson’s suggestion. Coulson continues to play big brother/father to the team, and Agent May is the big sister. As I mentioned earlier, she gets to take a back seat in part because of her request to not be in the field. Throughout the episode she shows that she’s tactically sound at running an operation from the base, but her comfort doing so is definitely lacking. I really like her character though, and between her and Coulson they are the stars of this show.

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Fitz and Simmons (Iain De Caestecker and Elizabeth Henstridge) are still the little nerdy siblings that everyone loves and respects. Their banter is either a delight or a distraction depending on how you feel about them. Personally I love them, and the fact that they aren’t Americans is actually even better and adds some much needed diversity to the show. Skye gets a chance to shine here, showing of her quick thinking and willingness to do what’s right for this new group that she’s become a part of. There is still a little ambiguity with her true allegiances but I think that it’s pretty much answered by the end of the season, and I look forward to her becoming a full on Agent by season’s end.

Story:

This episode was pretty good. It definitely shows that this world is a lot bigger than the Battle of New York. The threat or problem, if you will, is one of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s own making, as the Asset is one of their own scientists, a Dr. Franklin Hall, who in the comics becomes the gravity powered supervillain known as Graviton. Here we just get a scientist with good intentions played by Ian Hart. His story intertwines with David Conrad’s Ian Quinn, a multi-millionaire that makes his money off of other people’s work. International laws and espionage are the order of the day for the episode, and it was pretty well played out. The ending is almost telegraphed, however, but the aftermath is definitely worth it. By the end, the team has finally figured out for the most part who they are and set clear goals for themselves. The episode was about commitment to a cause, and hopefully the ratings for this show will even out as people commit to watching it.

In closing, I think the show has some real promise and there are so many different types of stories to tell. A second season would be the place to introduce characters from the comics, and maybe the films, but for now let’s just let this group come together fully first. I think adding J. August Richards’ character from the Pilot as a powered Agent would add some extra diversity and a cool twist to the show as well.

Until next week folks!

Preview of Next Week’s Episode, 1.04 – “Eye-Spy”