Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Series One, Episode Four
Eye Spy is the closest thing yet to a good episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but the show’s many problems are still jumping out at the audience like a bad 3D effect.
Let’s start with the biggest problem: FitzSimmons. It would be offensive to walking clichés to call them walking clichés, particularly because they’re hugely incompetent at their job. For example in Eye Spy both of them seemed panicked by the very concept of fieldwork.
When they actually enter the field, it gets worse. They act like a pair of children on work experience, asking helpful questions like ‘what counts as dangerous?’ and ‘where do we pee in the van?’ The punch line to this ‘gag’ (and I use the term loosely) was the standard empty bottle with a S.H.I.E.L.D. logo. Is it just me, or is it a bad idea for a secretive organisation to take branded water on missions?
The show’s other major problem lies in its attempt to keep up with its cooler big brothers. The Marvel movies have always been edgy, funny and hip. Sadly any purposefully ‘cool’ dialogue tends to die in the mouths of the TV characters.
Then we have the low-budget attempts at the cool set pieces. This week, the show opens in Stockholm. We know it’s Stockholm because everyone carries a small Swedish flag when a group of mysterious red masked men all carrying metal suitcases enter a subway train. Ok fine, to be fair we do get to see Stockholm’s distinctive Sergel’s Square, but not for very long. The mask wearers are there to move a large amount of diamonds on public transport because the owner he is scared they could be stolen. That’s entirely logical, isn’t it?
Clearly the very best way to move diamonds is on the subway while wearing bizarre outfits that make them stand out like a sore thumb. It would be less obvious if they had dressed these guys in bright pink onesies.
However, despite the silly bits that don’t hold up to close scrutiny, the show does have it’s good moments. We have another interesting villain of the week in Akela Amadour (Pascale Armand) a former protégée of Coulson with a ‘weird eye’ super power. In fact, Akela might be the potential big bad that could give the show the tension it so badly requires – although knowing this series, next week we’ll be onto a different villain and Akela will be forgotten about.
The best part of this week’s episode was Ward’s undercover mission filled with surprising twists, light comedy and excellent characterisation of both himself and Skye. This is the show I want, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – more of this please.
Marvel Movie Reference of the Week: No random lines of dialogue about Thor or the Hulk this week so instead let’s look at Agent Coulson and the ham-fisted attempts to tell the audience that he’s changed.
Bad Science of the Week Award: This week’s award belongs to biology with Amadour’s super sight. The episode suggests that a new eye has been placed into Amadour’s head. Now, I’m no eye doctor but you can’t just re-attach someone’s optical nerve in the way the show suggests. Tsk.