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GNBN Agents of SHIELD Review - Episode 2

Agents of SHIELD Review
Episode 2

The Bad Nerd Review

Things are not as bad as they seem. At least that’s what most of the Marvel fandom is hoping against hope for after this latest episode. Since last week we were introduced to the team, it’s fair that an origin story (of sorts) would need to followed up with a “how will the team function” episode. But for my money, this “tried-and-true” formula feels forced in Agents of SHIELD. By the way, at what point do I get to call the show by a catchier, quippier (yes that’s a word…now) title. SHIELD..IES? SHIELD..ERS?

It’s too calculated, or, maybe to be fairer, just calculated. I’m looking for…well, I don’t know. And that’s half the problem. The show isn’t as philosophically intriguing as LOST, or as intrinsically conspiratorial as ALIAS, or as quirky as CHUCK. And yet, it seems to be cultivating a little of each. I’m sure they’ll find their voice soon. When they do, I hope it captures everything I couldn’t have imagined.

There are things that this second episode did well, however. First and foremost, the badassery continues to get more badass. Melinda May certainly delivers great combat action sequences that Jason Statham and Jackie Chan drool over in their dreams. The tech gets cooler with each episode. And there are lots of cool nicknames for SHIELD operations and bases like Slingshot to refer to a Launchpad for dangerous 0-8-4 objects. That’s a nice touch.

I’m already over Skye. The show seems to circling its wagons around her. And she’s spinning her wheels in reverse. Every time you think she’s part of the team, they leave a breadcrumb to signal that she’s not all in. And that’s just annoying. She’s the worst example of a double agent since Archer’s fiancé, Katya. I’m just not convinced. And, as such, it just comes across childish. If this is your show’s main hero, then the Skye is the limit, because I don’t find her compelling or sympathetic, and that is the key to a successful TV show. For example, Sydney Bristow (ALIAS) was caught up in a game of spies long before she realized what has happening. She was the victim of her parentage. Something we can all relate to. And unraveling that conspiracy was some of the most fun, thrilling, and heart-breaking TV in recent history.

It’s not as though they aren’t trying their level best to make SHIELD something special for the fans. They are weaving the Marvel cinematic universe into the show. The pilot featured Maria Hill and this week we got a Nick Fury cameo to bust Coulson’s chops on the aftermath of the mission. But that’s exactly what unnerves me. Can this show stand on its own legs after they’ve exhausted their cameos? Or are these plugs symptoms of far deadlier issues within the body of this show? Only time will tell. I’ll be watching. Will you?

The Good Nerd Review

Episode 2 of Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD aired last night and despite some mixed reactions, I am still in love with this show. The episode was a very standard follow up to the pilot, first we got the team together, now we have to figure out how to live and work together. In that regard, I can understand why some people weren’t blown away, but they are missing what we did get.

First off, no one can deny that Melinda May, the Cavalry, is supremely badass. This week’s episode began the process of slowly revealing her past to us, more through her actions rather than lengthy exposition. She does what needs to be done, no questions asked, and that is exactly what this team needs. At one point in the episode in order to escape from her bindings she, without hesitation, dislocates her wrist and takes down the guard. This was the kind of holy crap moment you want from a character that is being revealed as a “legendary” field agent.

Agent Coulson was a bit off for me this episode, and I blame the past “relationship” thing that was shoehorned into the story. The whole thing felt forced and it seemed as though Coulson was as uncomfortable with it as the rest of us felt. Maybe that was the point? All it did was distract from the story and make Coulson seem weaker as an Agent.

The rest of the team was fine this episode, but maybe that was part of the problem, we didn’t get that same sense of awesome from them that Ming Na delivered.  I am really hoping for more from Fitz/Simmons because they will be the heart of this show, not Skye.

Now Skye on the other hand is a wild card. Without spoiling the episode for those who haven’t seen it, we are starting to get a hint of where her loyalties really lie. It is with her that the overall story arc for this first season will play out. So a lot is riding on her shoulders.

Finally, in true Marvel fashion, we were treated to a “post episode scene” that featured Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury. This stole the show for many people and was perfect and made sense. Of course Fury will be keeping tabs on Coulson, especially if the secret surrounding him is such a big deal. This scene however was light, funny, and a nice treat for fans of the MCU.

Next week things will get taken up a notch as it looks like we will be getting our first villain! I don’t want to spoil anything but you should really tune-in. You are in for a treat with this bad guy!
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