One of the first things I was wondering about at the start of the pilot of ‘Agents of SHIELD’ was which character the show would focus on. Sure, agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) has certainly gotten most of the fans attention but it became clear quite quickly that an aura of mystery would surround him and his resurrection for a very long time. Instead we have an ensemble of other characters such as agent Grant Ward (Brett Dalton), a former black ops specialist who seems to act as the character that the audience can relate to and so stay vested in the show. On the other hand, there is agent Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen), who is an ace pilot and weapons expert but also seems to act as the groups conscience. I say group, but for this first episode they are all just as weary as the audience. Then there is Skye (Chloe Bennet), who isn’t a member of SHIELD and is initially the person SHIELD is trying to catch. Skye is a hacker who seems to try and make sense of all the superhero mayhem that has troubled this parallel universe. By the end of the episode Coulson makes her an offer to join SHIELD but due to the roaring engine of his ‘Lola’ we never get to hear the answer. We will find out next week I guess.
On a whole this leaves four main characters that viewers are expected to relate to, sounds pretty much like The Avengers and Firefly all over again. There are numerous other characters such as Fitz and Simmons who are the tech specialist and epitomize the geek culture what is supposedly watching this series. Cobie Smulder reprises her role as Maria Hill for the pilot but I think it is save to assume we will see her again from time to time.
Put together the group of SHIELD superhero hunters have to find man named Mike Petersen because he has allowed himself to subjected to medical experiments that has increased his strength drastically. Agent Coulson’s motive to detain him is to prevent him from becoming the guinea pig of some unscrupulous party. However with he help of the rest of the team it is discovered that the strength increasing ability comes from a mixture of alien technology seen in The Avengers and the extremis program seen in Iron Man 3. That means that Mr. Mike Petersen is a ticking time bomb, but Coulson insists that he must be taken alive to undo the medical experimentation.
It isn’t a superhero show if they don’t succeed, and they do, though in their own quirky Joss Whedon way.
The first episode of Agent of SHIELD was good, it’s very promising. There may be pitfalls up ahead for the show as it has to deal with the procedural aspects that has caused many other superhero shows to fail. I believe that is truly where the strength of Joss Whedon comes into play. The playful dialogue and geek homages are a clear second in my opinion. The fact that were looking towards a full season of 22 episodes means that there will be more time to explore the background stories of characters and work towards a meaningful season cliffhanger.
My main concern with Agents of Shield is whether the suspense of disbelief will be maintained. During the pilot this was hardly a problem but it become more pronounced when during the last minute agent Coulson turns his car Lola into a flying DeLorean. I kind of lost it there, the special effects weren’t too convincing either.
Some reviewers have criticized the humor an witticisms, but I think it is just plain good old Joss Whedon working his magic on the dialogue.
Score; 8.5 / 10. Maybe a slow start but that is TV pilots for you, I hope Joss Whedon can last out 22 episodes with this show. Ooh, by the way, Ming-Na Wen can use some better make-up because in a few scenes she just scared the crap out of me.