Agents of SHIELD: Season 1, Episodes 1-8
I started watching Agents of Shield recently, and while it doesn’t reach the highs of other comic/superhero spin-offs like Arrow, its a decent show. Reviewing 23/24 episode long season isn’t really an option so I’m just going to split season 1 into three halves and give my overall opinion.
If you’re a Marvel fan, there’s a lot here to interest you (but don’t expect Avengers cameos) with plot threads from Iron Man 3 (the Extremis) and Thor: The Dark World (An Asgardian Staff) cropping up alongside cameos from SHIELD characters like Maria Hill, Jasper Sitwell and Nick Fury (though no Black Widow, sigh). Clark Gregg is as good as ever as agent Phil Coulson (wish the films had given him more to do) back alive and well after his apparent death in the Avengers and is one of the best things about the show – he’s a likeable lead character. Good thing too, because for the first few episodes there’s only one other team member that gets any interesting material. Skye (Chloe Bennet) is a hacker who is inducted in Coulson’s new SHIELD team, and is the focus of quite a few of the opening episodes (so if you don’t like her, skip ahead a bit to Eye Spy).
The other team members include geeky double act Fitz and Simmons (who come across as walking nerd cliches in the first few episodes, but improve after their given some good storylines in FZZT and The Hub), action hero Grant Ward (whose bond with Skye is the only interesting thing about him, though he’s likeable enough) and Melinda May, a kick-ass pilot who clearly has some regrets from past missions that generate a very cold exterior. Unfortunately this makes her character quite hard to relate to (or care about).
As for the episodes themselves, none are terrible but none are brilliant either in the first third of the season as the show tries to find its feet. While there’s several ongoing mysteries (Coulson’s resurrection) and a shadowy conspiracy (a project called centipede) to get your teeth into its a bit hit and miss and could use a few more supervillains to hold our attention. Fortunately the from episode 4 onwards there’s a bit more character development and mixed interaction (pairing Fitz and Ward together works wonders in The Hub) and the show has signs of promise. I’ve watched the second third of episodes already, which fixes some problems, so it’s worth giving the show a go. But if you’re a DC fan watch Arrow instead. It’s bloody marvellous.
Here’s my scores for each episode:
Pilot – 3.5/5 – Promising rather than great. Coulson and Skye are the only interesting characters.
0-8-4 – 3/5 – Even a Nick Fury cameo can’t drag this episode above average.
The Asset – 3.5/5 – Still lacking that spark of greatness.
Eye Spy – 4/5 – That’s more like it, even if they are ripping off Torchwood.
Girl in the Flower Dress – 4/5 – A super-powered villain definitely helps the show.
FZZT – 3.5/5 – Predictable but i finally care about Fitz and Simmons now.
The Hub – 4/5 – Probably the best episode so far. Oh and Fitz is awesome when he’s scripted well.
The Well – 3/5 – Predictable but could have been so much better.