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Review: Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD Episode 1 (Spoilers)

agents of shield logoSo. I watched the pilot of Marvel’s brand new TV show. Scott Deaux, being the unrelenting slave driver that he is, called me up and told me that I had to do a write-up or he’d beat me with my grandmother’s prosthetic leg. Well, I was a little bit worried, in that I didn’t realize until that moment that it was SCOTT who kidnapped her. So let it be known I am under duress. Send help. Now, you can go to plenty of other places for the full rundown of the plot. Instead, let me hit you with some of the broad strokes.

  • Man, I was not in love with the first scene of this show. The cheesy voiceover reminded me of Heroes’ Mohinder Suresh telling us about how special these times are, about how this is like a brave new world and all that. There’s even a single father, African American, struggling to make ends meet for his comic-loving son. That’s DL and Micah from Heroes. Ugh. I’m sorry. Is it obvious that I spent a lot of time in an abusive relationship with the last superhero show I cared about?
  • Agent Ward’s opening fight scene was balls-to-the-wall awesome. Just excellent choreography and a great way to get the bad taste of Heroes out of my mouth.
  • Cobie Smulders’ scenes just remind me why she was so perfectly cast as Assistant Director Maria Hill. She’s Assistant Director, right? Anyway. A bigshot. She conveys plenty of confidence.
  • Lingering mystery: what’s up with Coulson? I’m excited to watch this mystery play out over the course of the season. [My guess? The real Coulson died on the Helicarrier, and this one is an LMD implanted with fake memories.]
  • I love how they’ve begun building a mythology in this cinematic universe. Mike is exposed to Extremis and Chitauri tech! That’s stuff from the movies! I mean, how cool is it that we can watch this little show cross over with those big blockbusters?
  • It must be mentioned that all the classic Whedon hits are there:
    1. Strong female characters. Few writers create realistic, badass chicks like Joss Whedon does. Melinda May, Skye, and Maria Hill are among the more compelling and charismatic characters.
    2. Comic timing intercut with moments of drama. This episode features Coulson explaining in vaguely Doctor Who-vian terms that there are no people that aren’t important. This occurs like two minutes after Skye makes Agent Grant whimper about his grandmother in no context whatsoever.
  • Special nod goes to the always fantastic Clark Gregg, who just nails it as Coulson. He’s really a phenomenal actor – it seems like Coulson and his Level 7 buddies are always going to be walking a moral tightrope, and he’ll be the one leading the way with quips and stern expressions and everything in between. The thing I’m most excited about in the future of this show is watching the character develop.


  1. That first scene. Typical wobbly pilot start…or so I thought.
  2. The scene at the end in which Ward switches guns and disables Mike. Confusing. It took until everyone started high-fiving each other – until then, I thought Ward had just shot Mike in the face and killed him and Coulson gave him a knowing nod. I was like…”Wat.”

Final words: I am absolutely sold on this show after one episode. I’m ready. More Coulson, more Melinda May, less goofy voiceover.

About JK Leo

Favorite comics: Blacksad, Daytripper, The Goon, Fantastic Four, Batman

Defining Quote: "If it's true we might die, let it be without regrets. Let it be with vigor. Let it be as giants." Jonathan Hickman via Namor

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