Episode 1×01 – Pilot
“Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” (and typing that is going to get old very soon) isn’t perfect, but it’s only one episode in, and what it is is a whole lot of fun.
Post-Avengers and it’s a new world. The public now knows about superheroes and gods. They’ve seen and/or experienced the Battle of New York. And nothing is ever going to be the same. Enter S.H.I.E.L.D. Well, not so much enter, as we’ve seen S.H.I.E.L.D. in the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But we haven’t gotten to see very much of the human side of the agency (yeah, typing it out got old very quickly).
And that’s what “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” is aiming at. The non-superpowered side of the Marvel universe. The not-quite-a-team-yet consists of Grant Ward (a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who doesn’t work well with others), Melinda May (who’s “driving the bus”), FitzSimmons (Leo Fitz and Jemma Simmons, engineer and biochemist respectively), Skye (hacker), and Phil Coulson (returned from his death in Avengers).
The team comes together to deal with the “unregistered” heroes. In this case, Michael Peterson. That plot line was good, if a little predictable, though I admit to being happily surprised by the explanation. And the show is full of wonderful little moments. “Journey into mystery,” for example.
But it’s not a perfect show in any way. I like FitzSimmons, think I like Melinda May, but have no real interest in Skye and Ward. And as someone who sticks with shows based on the characters, that’s not such a good thing.
The highlight of this episode, though, is Coulson. That should surprise exactly no one. From his first scene (“Sorry, that corner was really dark, I couldn’t help myself.”) to the mystery surrounding his not being dead (“Tahiti. He really doesn’t know does he?” “He can never know.”) all the way through to Lola, it is obvious that Coulson is the heart of the show.
My biggest issue so far is that the show felt unfocused. Was this pilot episode an introduction to the team? Or an action story? Or an introduction to S.H.I.E.L.D? Something else? It was hard to tell.
Of course, it’s only the first episode. There’s plenty more to come.
“Don’t touch Lola.”