I'll get the obvious talking point out of the way early. Yes, as rumoured, Samuel L. Jackson cameoed as Nick Fury (there must be a decent golf course near the set). And yes, it was awesome, even if it did result in the premature death of the Bus' new fish tank. Oh well, at least they still have that really nice bar.
After giving us a superhero origin story gone wrong in the pilot, which served both as a nod to the series’ comic book roots and as a reminder that these characters exist in a world where superpowers and aliens are public knowledge, the show went full on Harrison Ford with this episode. We started off with an Indiana Jones-style rumble in the jungle, followed by a dose of Air Force One and mercifully avoiding anything remotely Hollywood Homicide.
This episode could’ve easily been called ‘Team Building Exercise’, as that is basically what happened. For the first half of this episode, Coulson’s handpicked team were acting like nothing of the sort. Ward still wants to be working solo. Fitz and Simmons are questioning their decision to leave the safe confines of the lab now they’ve realised being in the field means people shooting at you. May is keeping mostly to herself. And Skye is unsure where exactly she fits in with this group. Worse still, bickering is at an all-time high. These people need to learn how to work together as a team and they need to learn fast because
Two episodes in and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. continues to be a show I really like, if not one I love. Yet. I think I'm getting there, but it's gonna take a few more episodes. My only problem with this episode was just how bloody predictable it was. From the moment Camilla and her men stepped onto the Bus it was obvious they were going to take it over. And it was equally obvious that our dysfunctional heroes would put aside their differences and grievances to save the day.
Rather conveniently, this whole situation resolved all the character conflict from earlier in the episode. Ward learned to work as part of a team and accept Skye. Fitz and Simmons were more comfortable being out in the field. May was starting to open up and joke with her teammates. As for Skye, well it seems like she has finally found a place she belongs, which is unfortunate since she turns out (Holy obvious twist, Batman!) to be a double agent.
The question now is who is playing who? Coulson was very insistent that Skye join the team despite her questionable background. At first I thought it was because he saw some potential in her, but now I’m not so sure. Fury referred to Skye being on the team as a risk and I can’t see a master spy like him allowing Coulson to bring an outsider into the fold unless he was 100% certain about their loyalty. Are they aware she's a double-agent and simply using her to bring down the entire Rising Tide network? That shouldn't be too hard since they communicate with their double-agent via text. And not even a coded text at that. Honestly, where did these people learn spycraft?
Intel and Assets
--The 0-8-4 was a piece of HYDRA tech that had been developed by German scientist who, Boys from Brazil-style, had fled to South America following the fall of the Third Reich. It’s a nice reference to Captain America, but so was last week’s McGuffin. Is everything this team investigate going to be connected to a member of the Avengers? How long before they’re sent to investigate Thor’s long lost dirty laundry?
--We got a few more breadcrumbs about May's past, but part of me doesn't really want to learn any more. I kind of like her as this enigmatic absolute extreme badass.
--Did S.H.I.E.L.D. really send the device in a rocket to the sun? Or was it secretly shipped off to a lab to be analysed? My guess is the former.
--S.H.I.E.L.D. standard issue life rafts are incredibly tough.
--It is becoming increasingly creepy how Coulson automatically says “It’s a magical place.” whenever anyone mentions Tahiti. It's almost like it's a programmed response.
Ward: "Where's your side arm?"
May: "If I need a gun I'll take one."
Coulson: “Ward, you speak six languages. Simmons, you have two PhDs in fields I can’t pronounce. Fitz, you are a rocket scientist. So work it out.”
Skye: “You took a bullet?”
Coulson: “Do you need anything else before I go back and check on the device fueled by evil that's sitting in our cargo hold?”
Camilla: “You’re having a midlife crisis!”
Coulson: “More an afterlife thing, really.”
Three out of four gone before their time fishtanks.
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