Unordered List

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Agents of SHIELD: Eye Spy.

Previously on Agents of SHIELD: The Asset.

This week's episode didn't really have enough... content... to deserve a full review. So! Have some bullet points.
  • Clark Gregg really was performing at maximum Cute Dad status in this one, wasn't he?
  • I can't tell if Skye's incredibly awkward ~emotional bonding~ dialogue is just bad writing, or if she's purposefully trying to get on Coulson's good side in order to better infiltrate SHIELD. Either way, this show still appears to think that it's OK for characters to literally narrate their character development directly to the audience??
  • If Skye is trying to infiltrate SHIELD by getting all friendly with Coulson, I assume that Coulson will see through it. Then, in the finale, there'll be a revelation scene where he's all, "I'm disappointed in you, Skye," and then she'll decide to side with SHIELD after all. Coulson always plays the long game.
  • Agent Ward was marginally less dull than usual. Partly because the glasses gave him a distinguishing feature so he could avoid looking like a walking mannequin.

  • I read some interview with the actor who plays Ward, where he said he'd been given advice by Nathan Fillion on how to navigate being a central actor in a Whedonverse TV show. As in, how to tackle being passionately loved by thousands of superfans. But seriously: this guy is NOT Nathan Fillion, and AoS is only barely a Whedonverse show. It's Whedon-adjacent, at best. And Agent Ward is the kind of square-jawed personality vaccuum that would only show up in shows like Buffy or Firefly so the main characters could make fun of them.
  • When Ward was tying to talk about girls with the security guard guy, I think it would've been pretty funny if the guard had just looked at him, completely stone-faced, and said, "No, I'm gay." That's a good gay joke, not, "Haha, the straight guy has to ~seduce a man." It would've turned the tables on Skye's comment about the guard being straight because he looked like a slob -- particularly since Ward is the most clean-shaven and in-shape guy ever, and is almost certainly straight himself.

  • Was anyone else really disappointed when the weird mask dudes turned out to just be transporting diamonds? Particularly since the crowds didn't seem to be reacting to them NEARLY as much as they should've been. Honestly, I thought the first couple of minutes of this episode were VERY Doctor Who, including the music. The revelation that it was all about diamonds made the whole thing seem totally banal, after that. Particularly since having a crowd of guys in masks walk through a major public thoroughfare is a completely stupid way of keeping your diamonds safe.
  • That being said, I think the secret eyeball spy people are the first genuinely interesting antagonist we've had so far.
  • Did anyone keep their eyes open during the eye surgery scene? Anyone? Anyone? 
Do they all go to the same SHIELD hairstylist, or what? They look like triplets.

    • THANK GOD Melinda May finally got something to do in this episode. I could've done with more interactions between her and Akela, though. Obviously. I'd like to imagine that Akela will be back in later episodes, but TBH that seems pretty unlikely.
    • Are they spending all the budget on location shoots, or what??
    • I really hope they go a little further with the whole FitzSimmons business. Have you noticed that Coulson actually refers to them in the singular, as if FitzSimmons is one entity rather than a nickname given to two people? SHARED CONSCIOUSNESS, PLEASE.
    This episode was reasonably entertaining overall, but the dialogue is still weak, and the worldbuilding/character backstory is still nonexistent. NOT WEIRD ENOUGH. NOT INTERESTING ENOUGH. More detail, for the love of god.

    The pitch for Agents of SHIELD was a show about the ordinary background humans of the Marvel movie universe. The normal folks like Coulson, who get the job done, but don't get much credit or media attention. The general expectation was that we were getting a slice-of-life show, but in a slightly weirder world than our own. Instead, Coulson's team are (STILL) a collection of overly simplistic cliche characters, who we barely ever see doing anything more "normal" than eating a snack and playing poker on their zillion-dollar secret airplane. The scientists have multiple PhDs before the age of 25! There's a cute young hacker! Both the agents are stoic and badass! Please. Rather than going for the personal angle, AoS is relying on single-episode storylines that just aren't smart enough to measure up to shows like Torchwood, The Middleman, or even the X-Files. To put it bluntly: it's bland.


    1. I always look forward to your commentary after the episode and I felt the opening was VERY Doctor Who-esque. I really wanted monsters to pop out at any moment. It felt very British and I was disappointed when American voices spoke. However, they still deserve massive props for the set up of that opening, even if it didn't pan out the way I thought it would, I mean I would probably instagram or twitter seeing that, but I would NEVER get on a train with people looking like that - I like being alive!

      Thanks for always putting forward really great commentary - I look forward to reading your reviews as soon as I finish the episode!

    2. While it's still not as great as I hoped, I think AoS is getting better as it goes along. The dialogue and plot worked better for me in this than previous episodes, with the fun bits feeling less forced, and the characters are growing on me, albeit slowly.

      That said, I'm disappointed by the lack of Marvelesque crazy super-villain shenanigans. The start of the episode really got my hopes up - I thought all the guys in masks might be working as something villainous, and the truth, while fine, was less exciting.

      But now the question that I can't answer for myself - has Simmons started wearing her hair more like Sky? Seriously, I've got a lousy eye for costume design, and I'm even worse where hairstyles are concerned. But I noticed last episode that it seemed more like Skye's than before, and it made me wonder if this is part of Simmons's response to having a cool kid on the crew.

      Oh, and FitzSimmons as a shared consciousness - that would be awesome, but sadly I'm starting to think that the show's not quite that wacky.