Only for Marvel movies do I stick around in the theater until after the credits roll for the bonus scene. I didn’t catch any of the promos to “stay to the very end” of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode 2 so I’m super surprised at the guest appearance of …
Continue Reading for my spoiler filled thoughts on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1, Episode 2.
… Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson). Damn that’s a hilarious scene! It might be wishful thinking but I hope the show can keep this tradition going for each episode.
In my pilot episode review I pointed out Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s strength and flaws. Pilots have the longest development time compared to any other episode produced. They also are typically burdened with a lot of exposition, set up and new character introductions at the expense of the plot. For those reasons, the follow-up episode is a better snap shot of what we can expect each week.
Plot wise, the second episode did not fall into the trap of the “Freak-Of-The-Week”. It also did not quite go the route of the magical macguffin which the ancient artifact in Peru initially set up. The story itself is a tried and true conventional scenario that gave the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents something to fight against. Together.
“0-8-4” is much better at fleshing out the team dynamic compared to the pilot. I got a kick out of the agents getting on each other’s nerves which I know can come across as annoying to many viewers but I couldn’t help but chuckle. By the end, they needed to respect what each member brought to the team in order to take down Commandant Camilla Reyes and her crew. It’s formulaic storytelling but if you’re a bit more invested in the team now, then the episode did it’s job.
In interviews, Ming-Na Wen is very warm, talkative and vivacious. Whereas her character, Melinda Mays is a reserved, strong-silent type; I thought the writers didn’t give her much dialogue in the pilot but it’s actually her character. I get the feeling Mays is not letting on how much she loves to kick butt or at least she did at one point in time.
This may be a terrible comparison … Agent Ward’s personality reminds me of X-Men’s Scott Summers (aka Cyclops). They are hard characters to warm up to because of their rigid, stoic personality. It also doesn’t help that actor Brett Dalton doesn’t feel authentic in his role yet. I think it would be a mistake though if they try to open up his character through a romantic relationship so soon in the series. This brings us to Skye.
One issue that this episode addresses is why Skye should be on the team. Firstly, she’s not an agent. Coulson literally pulled her out of a van in some back alley. From the team’s perspective, Skye proved she’s an asset by thinking way outside of the box. I’m fairly sure using an inflatable raft to cover the hole in the side of the plane breaks more than a few laws of physics … but I’ll go with it.
From a character angle, acts of espionage and cover ups as a member of S.H.I.E.L.D. goes against her very nature to expose the truth to the world. This is why keeping her connections to Rising Tide makes sense for her character. The look on her face says she’s conflicted about being a double agent. I like this direction, although I can guess how this will play out. Plus, Coulson and Nick Fury are aware of Skye’s liability so it doesn’t make them look incompetent that there is a potential mole in their top-secret agency.
Aside from a greater focus on the team dynamic, the strength and flaws of the pilot are still readily apparent in 0-8-4. For viewers that didn’t enjoy the pilot, there’s not much in the second episode that’ll change their mind. But if you liked the pilot like I did for the fun, breezy adventure then this episode delivered. After two episodes, I’m still excited for S.H.I.E.L.D!
What is your favorite moment from “0-8-4”? What do you think about Skye now?