Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D: The Asset

You forget, I saw plenty of action with the Avengers!”

And you died…”

At last! After the introductory episode, and an episode which serves to introduce us properly to all the characters, we get a regular sort of episode. Finally, I get a chance to pass a value judgement. And this episode, while not exceptionally good, is not only the best so far, but is quietly promising for the standard we can expect.

The plot is a classic bait and switch, with our supposedly kidnapped S.H.I.E.L.D scientist having manipulated his own apparent abduction from our less-than-stellar millionaire baddie for his own ethical purposes. It also plays on the fact that we don’t quite know Skye yet and therefore have doubts as to her loyalty. I’m sure that her continued links to the Rising Tide will have real significance later, but for now her apparent conflict of loyalties is just a bit of misdirection. Another thing which will have significance later is the mysterious fact of Coulson’s resurrection, of which we are again reminded.

The episode looks good, beginning as it does with an amazing CGI sequence. But the episode is essentially about the characters. Agent Ward may be abrasive, and he may have doubts about Skye in particular, but he seems more and more to be doing this for fatherly reasons. He seems to bond a little with Skye, however, which is both surprising and a possible hint of a possible future romance between the two of them. Skye, still new to combat, shows her bravery and resourcefulness both by volunteering for her underground mission and being bloody good at it.
Just to round up with a word about the other characters… Fitz and Simmons continue to be comic relief with no hint of any further depths, while Agent May, interestingly, finally decides that she actually wants to become involved in combat again. Surely her backstory can’t be too far away. The baddie, tycoon Ian Quinn, is something of a Bond villain cipher, and the script mocks him for his free market, right wing views in a pleasing little example of a dig at this show’s big corporate parent. Let’s see what happens next week, though. I want more superheroes and supervillains!

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