Monday, 7 October 2013
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D: 0-8-4
“It’s the best chocolate in the world.”
“Could use some sugar.”
So far this is looking like a typical Joss Whedon show in the way the early episodes develop. As with Firefly, we have a first episode to establish the premise and a second episode to fully introduce us to the characters and get a full handle on who they are and what they are like. This was something that was lacking last episode.
We begin with some bloody good CGI of a plane and that, and Agent Coulson in grave peril. We then cut to a caption saying “19 hours earlier”, just as once happened with Mal Reynolds. Again, very Firefly. We are then introduced to this week’s McGuffin, sorry, 084. This gives us an excuse for the team to go to Peru and engage in a team building exercise, except in this case with peril instead of paintball. Along the way, we get to meet and old flame of Agent Coulson who will no doubt never be referred to again, especially as she’s now dead and that. Oh, and we end up with a cameo of Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury (ooooooh!). That’ll be the plot then.
But the point of this is to flesh out the characters for the benefit of us, the viewer. So let’s have a look at them. Agent Coulson is all cheery and mysterious and that, and yes, he gets a line to remind us of his recent unexplained death. Agent May is a real badass who, for some mysterious reason that will no doubt be explained in, oh, about four episodes from now, hates combat and much prefers to just fly everybody around. She is taciturn, mysterious, and so far comes across as a bit of a female Wolverine.
We have our British scientist types, Fitz and Simmons, for comic relief and to do the science bits of the plot. Presumably some background will be sketched in later. Skye, we know from the first episode. And finally there’s Ward. He’s gruff, militaristic and generally a bit like Riley from Buffy. Again, no doubt he will soon acquire a hinterland.
So that’s it. We know them all a bit better now and will know who they are next time. That was this episode’s job and it did it well. This being a Whedon show, I confidently expect the initial set up episodes to be followed by quality. And it seems the season arc may have begun. Skye, our audience identification character, turns out to still be working for these Rising Tide people. OOOh errrr.