I admit I’ve been hoping for the best from this series, however I will not jump into berating. Yes, there are many things that can be done to make it better and right now, after three episodes we see the struggling effect of juggling the whole MCU, incorporate bits and pieces from all the movies, comics in 43 minutes per week, make it unique and able to stand on its feet. It’s not an easy task but when you have Joss Whedon and the whole Marvel team behind you, the fine line between tolerance and telling as it is, goes from thin to non-existing.
Here’s the deal folks. Agent Phil Coulson is back, he didn’t die compliments to one Asgardian Mussolini and he’s putting together a team. OK, think of the Scooby Gang from Buffy and try to identify your Buffy in this ensemble.
Who we’ve got ? Coulson, agent extraordinaire, Agent Grant Ward (Brett Dalton) – if Captain America and Hawkeye would have had a love child, he might have fit the profile, sassy yet hole-some; Agent Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen), she kick ass, The Cavalry, the tales that are being told by rookies at S.H.I.E.L.D. about her skills, priceless; two lab rats: Agent Leo Fitz (Iain De Caestecker ) and Agent Jemma Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) proficient with science of all shapes, forms and sizes yet we’ll all end up using good ol’ Caps saying : “speak English” when the two start their explanations. Last but not least, Skye (Chole Bennet) a hacker from the organisation Rising Tide. She’s the unlikely hero who ends up being part of the team yet her loyalties (again use your Avengers wisely, this character is a combination – yet to be seen at full potential – of Tony Stark meets Bucky Barnes).
Every now and then, we’re treated with guest-appearances from your favorite S.H.I.E.L.D. operative likes agent Hill and Director Fury. If Hill’s showing up in the pilot had been divulged earlier on, Fury’s popping up and telling who’s in charge was supposed to be a big surprise.
Let me start my rant/review meets geek time glory. I’m not opposed to see every now and then a character from the MCU coming on board. The Pilot episode gave a taste of the fact the writers don’t forget subplots and there are big chances to get some answers to some big questions – yes, I’m addressing the whole Extremis issue. We’ve seen Michael Peterson (J. August Richards) functioning with the Centipede – the whole Soldier Super Serum, Extremis technology meets what was left in the wake of the Chitauri Attack, Hydra’s research and S.H.I.E.L.D.’s work on harvesting energy from outer space. With some luck and good scripts what can be given in full measure in the movies might be told here – given the fact the series lives for more than one season.
A team is not an easy thing to put together and make it work over the night. Sure, we were given a boost in The Avengers but let’s not forget the whole Coulson Death factor used as a motivation by Fury and the different background of each member of this merry little group. Coulson wanted unique individuals. He got the tech and science geeks, the muscle and strategist and the time bomb aka Skye.
Melinda May remains for now a strong female character yet to be explored and hopefully we might get more background and more layers.
If the first episode served as a meet and greet of the cast assemble, the second one simple put in front of us agents who are taken by surprised by a Peruvian army unit. Camilla Reyes (Leonor Varela) wasn’t used at full potential against Coulson and if the writers will want to dig deeper, here lies a character that can be exploited and with a strong motivation: Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned or in our case tossed aside.
What we’ve learned at the great school of Joss Whedon is the fine work a Big Bad character can do to the story-line. This series needs an evil mother-f***er who will stop at nothing to bring S.H.I.E.L.D. down. May it be an inside mole, the World Security Council – although they might be busy with the events happening in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, HYDRA cells, Rising Tide.
For now we’re left with three elements that can be improved and create some much needed tension, drama and turmoil to this series who is in need of a good kick – and might just happen.Franklin Hall aka Garaviton (Ian Hart), nothing beats a man in search for vengeance.
Ian Quinn (David Conrad), he’s rich, he looks good, he oozes charm and has an accent, he lives in Malta and he wants everything and he’s not afraid to brag. This is the character you’d love to hate yet swoon over because of the great treacherous lines and charm meets sadism. For me right now he’s another Justin Hammer in the making. Help Ian Quinn to polish his act and be the ruthless bastard this show needs and we can all be happy. It’s not that hard.
And we’re left again with Skye. I want her to be the slippery agent in the making, I want her to be the Alex Krycek of this series, I want her to betray Coulson then come back and help, then go back to her renegade ways and hopefully not suffer from what the real Krycek went through compliments of Chris Carter. Here’s *the* character that can make or break the show. At some point in time we will learn how Coulson survived. Right now what I want is to see more structure, more drama, more intensity and more dept in this show. It has a following, it got a full season, it has the writing team, a good cast and stories than can be spin and twisted, tied to the movies and go beyond. Yes, I’m the one sticking to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and hoping for the best. There are some seeds of hope and we’ve only seen three episodes. Give me some Titus Welliver, improve Ian Quinn, hey, add a bigger villain who plays the cards, be wise when using a guest appearance.
Until next week, let’s enjoy the trailer for episode 1×04, “Eye-Spy”: