Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D is a spin-off in the best possible way. It promised a fun adventure in the same mold of the Avengers and delivered. It was like the happy version of “Fringe” we always hoped for.
In case you somehow missed that movie, the pilot episode went out of its way to reference when the Avengers repelled an alien attack on Earth. It is now known as the “Battle of New York” . It makes sense to bring that battle up because the lead agent on the show is the recently deceased Agent Coulson. Last we saw Coulson he was on the wrong end of Loki’s spear thingy (I won’t pretend to remember the name), but in the beginning of the episode he reappears to recruit this new team of agents.
Coulson claimed that S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Fury faked his death, and he spent a bunch of time rehabbing before returning to duty. Only when he leaves is there a quick discussion between Agent Hill, played by the lovely Cobie Smulders, and a Doctor about the real way Agent Coulson was brought back to life. It will be a plot line we see revisited all season. Was some sort of alien technology used to bring Coulson back to life? Is he maybe now more alien than human? We shall see.
Here’s a brief look at the Agents Coulson found during the first episode of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Agent Melinda May – When we first meet May she is behind a mountain of paperwork. She seems like a normal office worker, but no one on this show is what he or she seems. May is the show’s pilot. Speaking of planes the show does a great job with production design. The giant bird on their huge flying command center was particularly memorable.
Agent Grant Ward – Agent Ward is a tough one-man army sort of guy. He loves defusing bombs.
Skye – The most attractive computer hacker ever seen on television. She starts out against S.H.I.E.L.D., but is recruited by Coulson to join the group.
Agent Fitz & Agent Simmons aka Fitzsimmons – These two represent the “Q Branch” of the show. The difference here is that they have two fast talking agents of British extraction.
The episode concerned a man fashioned with a superhero serum that could cause him to spontaneous combust at any moment. The final showdown was beautifully shot by Joss Whedon at Union Station in Los Angeles. In the end the group was able to take down the bad guy before he exploded. No one was hurt, and that is what concerns me.
Even with all of the great parts of the pilot this is still an 8pm show on network TV. There isn’t going to be a scene of Agent Ward breaking necks anytime soon. How many times can the show end with no one getting hurt, and everything wrapped up?
The good news is if S.H.I.E.L.D. ever runs into problems they can just dial up an appearance by some of our favorite heroes. The second Thor movie comes out in November. Anyone want to bet we see Marvel’s Norse god make a cameo in the build up to that film’s release? We shall see. Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. feels like a tremendous hit.