How would our government act in a world where superheroes exist? That’s what Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is here to show us. The big questions coming in to this show were how the show would translate as Marvel transitioned from movies into television, and would we see characters from the comics and the movies make appearances. We are four episodes in now and we have some answers, and I have to say, I’m pretty damn happy with the results so far.
The pilot of the show, in my opinion, was by far the weakest episode yet. It just felt like they were trying to hard. I won’t do spoilers here, but I will tell you that there is a flying car. For no reason whatsoever. I hated it. Also, so much of the dialogue felt forced. There were several pretty bad one-liners. It also felt like they really tried to shoehorn in a storyline from the movies. I was initially excited, as it showed that they were actively incorporating movie storylines into the show, which I still am excited for the possibilities that this opens up, I just felt that they were forcing it.
Fortunately, every episode since has gotten so much better. In episode two, we were treated to a great cameo from a major character from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I think we have a really good idea of where the storylines will go from here as well. We will see some all new storylines that will evolve from things we have seen in the movies. Episode two, the storyline revolved around an object related to the Tesseract. More so than storylines from the movies, I was hoping Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. would give Marvel a platform to bring in characters and storylines from the comics that were never going to get in screen time in the movies. I think this is the perfect format for characters like Iron Fist and Punisher to get some storylines. In episode three, my patience is rewarded as the story revolved around gravitonium and setup the future for Gravitron, who is a major villain in the comics but doesn’t have a central storyline enough to every get on the movies. And that’s what this show should all be about. It should keep us in the Marvel Universe and keep us excited in between movies.
The show couldn’t simply run off of movie hype and tie-ins alone. It had to have its own underlying story and bring in its own mysteries. There is easily one storyline that eclipses all and it brings in movie and television fans alike. How did Agent Coulson survive the Battle of New York? Going into the show, it seemed that they were just saying that he survived being stabbed by Loki in The Avengers and that Nick Fury just lied to motivate the team. Now, it doesn’t seem that this is the case. Coulson has said in the show that he died and that S.H.I.E.L.D. revived him and he spent many months recovering in Tahiti, which he keeps calling a magical place. Other agents have talked about him behind his back saying things like “he can never know the truth” and “he seems different”. I expect we will find out more as the season goes and wouldn’t be surprised if we learned the truth by the end of the season. My favorite theory is that he is now an android and he will become Vision and eventually join The Avengers. I’ve also heard theories that he is a life model decoy, which are popular in Marvel, and the possibility that he was resurrected by either Dr. Strange or Scarlet Witch and they use that to introduce either character to the story. Any of those would be fantastic. We also have the Skye storyline, and it will be interesting to see where her true loyalties lie and if she is indeed still working for Rising Tide.
The characters themselves have been pretty good so far and the acting has been pretty decent for a network show. Clark Gregg as Agent Coulson is perfect. He has such a serious demeanor but his comedic timing is sublime. I wonder if he will be on this show long term truthfully. Seeing how they resolve what happened to him will probably determine that. Skye is probably the next biggest character and is played by Chloe Bennet. I think she has played her role well as the bubbly and sometimes clueless trainee, with an enormous amount of potential. Fitz and Simmons are probably my two favorite characters. Think of two Q’s from James Bond for a new age. They are there for comedic relief and to give us a round about way of halfway explaining all of the incredible things we will see scientifically. They are played by Iain De Caestecker and Elizabeth Henstridge. I find their banter hysterical and are often there to remind us that this show is based on the human element in a superhuman world. Ming-Na Wen plays agent Melinda May. We haven’t seen much from her, or know a lot about her past yet, but I suspect that will change soon. I like her as the female badass and she plays the loner veteran role really well. The only one I can’t get behind so far is Agent Grant Ward, played by Brett Dalton. I realize he is supposed to be unlikable at times, but it’s not really the character that I have the problem with. I just don’t love Dalton’s acting so far. Not that it’s entirely his fault. He is supposed to play the badass male lead with a huge ego. It’s just such a generic character that I feel you could interchange a ton of other actors in the role and they would be just fine. He just hasn’t done anything to stand out yet. Last week we did see glimpses of him having emotion and developing his character when he opened up to Skye about his past. It was brief, but it was one of the few times I have felt any connection with his character. Give us more of that please!
Overall, I’m a big fan of the show so far. It came in as my most anticipated new show, and right now it is holding in the top three. If it continues its upward trend however, it will probably be my number one. I’m just praying that they continue to give us more character development. A movie can rely almost exclusively on action alone, but a television show can’t. I am very much looking forward to them introducing more characters and stories from the comics, as I think that should be the bread and butter of this show. If I get more cameos from the movies, well that’s just gravy on top. I’m very intrigued by the stories they have laid the groundwork for. I can’t wait to see Gravitron. I’m very interested in where the Skye story will go. And most of all, I must know what happened to Coulson after New York! Give me Vision! The show has already been picked up for a full season and is doing quite well in the ratings, so watch freely without worry of cancellation. This show is a great holdover between movies and it can be and is moving toward so much more. Mixing in and furthering the movie storylines will be the perfect lead up to when the Avengers can once again assemble!