It took, well, two episodes, but Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. finally hit its stride a bit with this episode. True, the characters still need some fleshing out, but, hey, the plot actually involved supervillains for once.
Admittedly, the show wasn’t wall-to-wall special effects, but it did have them where it counted and it was actually a well-plotted episode with some real surprises to it. Especially welcome was the fact that the episode focused, finally, largely on Coulson and how he has to make the hard decisions.
It helps that the bad guy in this episode has a point; you can’t really trust S.H.I.E.L.D. with superweapons. They’re going to wind up using them, sooner or later, even if ethically speaking they really shouldn’t. An especially nice touch is that Coulson actually listens to the antagonist, and even agrees with his line of reasoning to a point, instead of just letting the face-punching do the talking. Of course, that doesn’t stop Coulson from punching people in the face, but hey, at least he’s a reasonable, fair-minded face-puncher.
There was also finally some character development of Boobs McComputerstuff and Stiff Punchlots, er, Skye and Ward. True, it’s not exactly surprising Ward got beaten up a lot as a kid, because honestly, you kind of want to beat him up now. And one hopes the ongoing theory in the comments is true and his violent older brother turns out to be Crossbones or another Marvel villain. But he does actually manage to get through to Skye, who, it turns out, is a lot less annoying when she’s actually doing stuff and justifying her slot on the team.
So it’s not much. But at least it’s a start, and this episode felt a lot more like the show we wanted it to be from the beginning. Now to see where it goes from here.
Some more thoughts:
- Ward is apparently so manly, he makes double barreled shotguns grow pump-actions, or at least that’s what the sound editor thought.
- This episode is actually a supervillain origin; Franklin Hall is the real name of Graviton.
- Ian Hart, who plays Hall, would also make a great Thaddeus Venture. It’s cool we’re going to see more of him, especially since he’s got every reason to be ticked off at Coulson.
- Melinda May knocking it off with the pilot shtick is very, very welcome. Ming-Na Wen getting more screen time is a good thing, as she’s more interesting by far.
- Coulson’s lost “muscle memory” seems to be another subtle hint that he’s not what he seems to think he is.
Anything we missed? Let us know in the comments.