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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. #102 - 0–8–4 Review

3

The team just came together and they're headed to Peru to investigate a mysterious "0-8-4." They might not be prepared for this.

The best thing about Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is the little snippets we get about the 'history' of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Hearing little hints about what happened before the "Battle of New York" and the fact that S.H.I.E.L.D. was active, covering events and preventing panics is enough to grab hold of your interest and keep you glued to these little moments in the conversation.

Unfortunately we still have a problem when it comes to the cast. It's just difficult at times to get through the episode when most of the characters are so unlikable. Agent Ward (Brett Dalton) is a jerk. Yes, he's used to working alone and feels he doesn't need anyone else. It gets to be a bit much. His disdain for Skye (Chloe Bennet) gets out of hand. Although...we'll have to wait and see.

FitzSimmons are still annoying as well. Really annoying. It seems far fetched that S.H.I.E.L.D. would send a small and extremely inexperienced team after the 0-8-4 and allow FitzSimmons out in the field. They may be the best ones to analyze it but with all the tech they have, there's no need for them to actually be present for the analysis. The addition of FitzSimmons is like a smack in the fact that the show is trying to hard to be witty and perky. We have an ensemble cast but we don't need to have attempts at humor in every scene. It does work in the movies but this show could easily deliver the goods by focusing on the action and story threads.

Speaking of action, we do have Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen). Her character continues to be the ass-kicker on the team. We find out a tiny bit about her past and why she 'retired' but when she spends most of the episode as the strong silent type, she comes across as being robotic.

All that isn't to say the episode was a complete wash. Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) is the glue for the show. His presence is what we tune in for. It's great seeing him walk into a heated argument and be able to diffuse it without raising his voice.

The team gets a big bonding moment in this mission. You can kind of see it coming. We do get some slight changes in attitude but hopefully the characters will be able to evolve some more so we can fully tolerate them. There is a little twist that you may or may not have seen coming. This, too, will add to spicing things up in future episodes. But does anyone want to predict how it will play out? It probably won't be too hard to guess.

Of course there is a surprise character cameo. You may have heard about it. It is a surprising touch. One I didn't think they'd pull so soon in the series. Hopefully you managed to avoid it. It's these little things that will help push the show forward and keep it having the Cinematic Universe feel.

As long as you can get past the annoyances of the characters, the episode does have its moments. I would prefer the show to focus more on the details of this universe. Give us the action and some character development. We don't need all these attempts at humor to keep us watching. Just give us more fun and excitement.

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Edited by Omega Ray Jay

Thought it was pretty good, Liked it more than the pilot. I agree that the characters are a little difficult to get on with but I'm gonna give it a few more episodes before I make a judgement on the over all dynamic.

Posted by GothamRed

I honestly don't find FitzSimmons that annoying and to be fair Ward wasn't really wrong in his initial assessment of the team, I mean they brought 3 non-combat trained team members out of six total into an area where Rebel attacks are known to happen and he does seem come around at the end. It might just be me but I feel like you expect him to be something that he shouldn't logically be yet. Though I do agree about Melinda. Off topic but you don't really mention your opinion of Skye as of this episode.

Posted by Guardiandevil83

Its aight. I'll give it some time, considering Arrow started off a bit slow as well. Also I like Ward and have no problem understanding the Brits.

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Posted by DaltonMunnal

I can't give either episode an honest review, because I'm so disappointed with the lack of anything Marvel (besides the unnecessary Avengers references) that I wouldn't even know if I was watching a great show.

Posted by scouts1998

I thought Arrow got off to a better start than SHIELD

and i thought this episode was a 3.5-4 stars

Posted by RedQueen

I quite like Fitzsimmons: though i've got to wait until Friday to see if they get more annoying.

Posted by Caladorcp

@judasnixon: you're not the only one. I don't care for it either. It's kinda lame.I didn't even make it through the first episode.

Posted by sparty-dbq

Man, I don't know. This show isn't gelling with me as well as I would've hoped. The whole "covert government agency tackles bizzare threats"thing is fine on it's own, but the fact that it's tied to the MCU makes the threats seem underwhelming by comparison. A small rogue band of soldiers just can't stack up to an alien army or a genetically altered psychopath.

But the big thing hurting it is the characters. Ward's okay, but there's no need to already be building a romantic angle between him and Skye. And I don't think May's facial expression has changed once in two episodes so far. Even when she "Riggs'd" her way out of her restraints, she still looks like she's posing for her driver's license. This doesn't make her look badass, it makes her look bored. And oh my God, Fitz, shut the hell up. Coulso 's the only thing keeping the show's head above water for me right now, but unless things improve, neither that nor however many cameos they throw at us will be enough to keep me interested.

And also, I'm going to start a drinking game where I take a shot every time someone makes a promo-bait reference to the Avengers.

Posted by KryptonSabbath

Is it wrong to say, I found these episodes easier to watch then Arrow?

Posted by ogg927

@judasnixon said:

Am I the only person who doesn't care for this show? It's not bad, It's just isn't for me........ It feels like they made a Marvel TV show and took out all the Marvel Comics....... I want S.H.I.E.L.D. uniforms, I want bee keeper A.I.M. henchmen, I want D-list characters..... Looking at you Stilt-Man!

^THIS^ I'm hoping that Phil will wear a SHIELD uniform soon, I'm tired of seeing him in a suit. It felt out of place watching him in the Jungle in a suit. He's better portrayed on Ultimate Spider-man and actually kicks ass.

I hope that AIM or Hydra show up at some point. I'm tired of the people of color as the "villains of the week." Typical Josh Whedon show that's whitewashed. Agent Ward is bland, predictable, and a clone of Angel (Buffy the Vampire Slayer). He will be making out with Skye at some point. Which is a clone of Faith (Buffy the Vampire Slayer).

Posted by RoninLoganX

@danhimself said:

@war_killer: if that even is Coulson...I still think that he's an LMD or something or at the very least he's been brainwashed for some unknown reason...the " It was magical" everytime someone mentions Tahiti just screams BRAINWASHING

Oh, the moment Maria Hill mentioned how he could "never know" and the doctor saying" he really doesn't know" just screamed that Coulson was an LMD. That's probably why he doesn't say anything else about Tahiti, because he's only programmed to believe he was there "recovering" from Loki's attack, but in reality he probably was only brought online sometime after his death.

But really, it the comics LMD's were programmed to believe they were really the person they were pretending to be, even after the realize they're an LMD they still be believe they're the person they thought they were. I have a feeling that Skye's going to figure out that somethings up with Coulson and when he tries to remember his time in Tahiti he's going to figure out what's really going on.

I'll be severely disappointed if Coulson turns out to be an LMD. It'll feel like such a cop out, rather than trying to be a little more creative with his return. I mean, this is the Marvel Universe, where numerous Magical and Cosmic beings exist, there's so many ways they could resurrect him instead of just going the "He's a Robot" route.

Edited by dorsk188

Episode 2 had all of the problems that Episode 1 had, plus a few more. I think the main problem is that they know where they want the show to go: a ragtag group of semi-off-the-grid agents that are bound together by their shared experiences and frequent brushes with death rather than a common ideology or purpose, but they are rushing toward that place too quickly.

Skye is introduced as a radical anti-establishment hacker, sort of reluctantly joins SHIELD as a consultant, is hated by Ward, then Ward decides he wants to mentor her because he doesn't hate her anymore, and then is revealed to be a mole the whole time. In two 1-hour episodes. That's the sort of arc that should have been drawn out in the background of the stories over a half season. Imagine if Bruce Willis just said "By the way, Haley, I'm a ghost" twenty minutes into the movie. A twist subverts the audience's perception of a character or story, but we haven't had time to settle into our understanding, yet, so this is just a thing that happened.

It's sort of like how they handle FitzSimmons (who I have no fundamental problems with, btw). The writers want people to cheer for the underdog adorkable science duo, but they don't have the patience to let the us get to know the characters before we are supposed to like them.

I think they desperately need to shake up the tone, which is too perky and snarky, and get some better fight coordinators, get the actors some proper gun training, and stop just chasing weekly "movie reference" McGuffins. Oh, and even though I'm not a big fan of Whedon-style dialogue, this script was particularly bad. The "cleverness" was mostly bickering with movie cliches.

I really want to like this show, and this is probably the normal growing pains of a cult genre hit (with massive external franchise hype and expectations). Right now, I don't.

Edited by dorsk188

@roninloganx said:

I'll be severely disappointed if Coulson turns out to be an LMD. It'll feel like such a cop out, rather than trying to be a little more creative with his return. I mean, this is the Marvel Universe, where numerous Magical and Cosmic beings exist, there's so many ways they could resurrect him instead of just going the "He's a Robot" route.

Actually, off-hand I can't think of any other "He's a Robot" resurrections from any TV show, and the only cases of robot replacements I can think of were malicious doppleganger types, rather than what this probably is: an attempt to preserve the memory and skills a fallen hero in some fashion. In recent sci-fi TV, we've had a fair amount of clone anxiety (Farscape/Lois & Clark/probably plenty of shows I don't really watch) and a fair amount of Pinocchio syndrome (Data/pretty much every humanoid robot ever introduced), but this is a fairly unique situation where people won't expect Coultron to be completely normal because they know he's not, but people want the best for him, even if that means pretending he's actually human.

Done right, it could be very interesting, but I'm afraid the writers will rush this catharsis like they're rushing everything else.

Posted by greeneagle

Loving it so far....as far as references to Avengers and other Marvel films go, I think it matters. The Battle of New York changed everything in this Universe.

Posted by TheManInTheShoe

I didn't see any large problems with this episode. I can relate to some statements but I would have given it at least a 4/5.

Posted by Mellow_Hype

@br_havoc:

Yes they could come across several street level characters like,The heroes for hire or Miles Morales. These could be some pretty intersting storylines. them helping hone Miles spider powers and chasing escaped convict Luke Cage and his partner Danny Rand etc.

Posted by Herx

Fitzsimmons just make me cringe (so far... you know, 2 episodes and all so i probably should wait... but this is the interwebs so who cares about that :P). Firstly, as a lovable Brit meself (corr, up de apples and pares, gimmi a cuppa now luv :P) I just find the accents of the 2 irksome. It's the standard "hollywood brit" which means (in this case) a girl with a 'proper' southern 'acting-school' accent and a guy with you 'stereotypical' not-Scottish accent, which just makes them seem unreal to me as they don't display any form of characteristics in their voice which make them seem genuine. Secondly, the whole *Inhales and prepares for a long arse workd* talkingveryfastwithoutbreathingwhilespoutingjargeninthehopesofmakingmelooksmart while also not translating the jargen into proper muggle language (muggle felt appropriate here) is just one of the oldest cliches in the book, as well as being one which is no longer true as though scientists (or any proffesional in any field what so ever) do tend to use their non-normal-dialect to talk to one and other they can simplify it (or as episode 2 put it "speak english!!!") to someone who doesn't quite understand what's going on without being asked to do so repeatedly (hell one of my favouret lines in Avengers was Tony's remark to Banner about finally having somebody there who can speak english as it plays on they whole notion of science-jargen from the hyper-scientists point of view, turing the whole "say it again in english" on its head). Thirdly, seriously, SHIELD has an entire hellicarier and various bases filled with the heads of their field in various sciences and other accademic disciplins, many of whome, though they may not have had actual battle experiance, have been trained in combat and self defence in the off chance that they are sent out on a field mission yet instead of picking up 2 of them they go for the non-trained fresh out of the accadamy duo..... seriously, plus if their job is to survey the site in which they can just use those tiny little helicopter cams why did they need to be on the site itself? why not let the other members of the team carry the copters to the site, radio in and say that they're there and then Fitzsimmons can activate them from the plane and start the initial processing from there? there's no need for them to be out in the field.

Well now with my accumulation of hatred (built up from 2 episodes) of fitzsimmons done all i can say is that this episode felt like filler. The retreval aspect of the story was bland as we're told that an 0-8-4 is a call for an object that we do not know about, with reference being made to their last 0-8-4 which was thor's hammer (which just rises more questions. in Thor Colson brough an entire sheild branch over to new mexico to create a temporary headquaters and defend to location. Here he has 5 guys including himself, 3 of which arent combat trained.... either shield has been suffering cut backs or sane rational thought was forgotten). Their plane is taken over with to much ease (seriously. wouldn't shield have had some protocalls to prevent this) and the happy cheery ending with the rocket launch just felt "bleh". Other than Colson the other characters still feel like their cookie cutter stereotypes (unfortuanatly) which havent had much time in the oven (keeping with the cookie metephore), though sky's character does get a bit more interesting Right at the end.

The real saving grace of this episode in my opinion was colson (obviously) who, so far, is the only character tying us into the greater marvel cinematic universe and who's had more time to develop, and his little collection of old things in his room/man cave (i just love that). Plus the cameo at the end. Oh boy did i just squee a little inside and feal as though the series might be good (plus i thought it was funny). I really don't want to dislike the series, i actually want to see it do well as it might finally break the tradition we see in adaptions of the fil universes being separate from the television ones which could result with television series being adopted rather than films for many characters and then films for the larger events. Yet if i must compare the first 2 episodes of this series to the first 2 episodes of arrow (which being the only other live action hero universe show in tv at the moment) i was sold more into arrow than i was into AoS.

Hopefully the third episode will blow us away.

Posted by Miss_Garrick

I don't understand why people keep complaining when a character in a movie or in a tv show is the quiet type. Natasha in Iron Man 2 and Melinda May act reserved and professional, yet some people gripe that they are acting like robots. I think it makes much more sense when agents like these have control of their emotions instead of over acting. In fact I prefer that. This was one of the few problems I had with the Avengers movie is that Natasha didn't act as calm as before. Granted crazy-changing-the-world-stuff was happening, but still. I would think given how spazzy Skye and Fitz-Simmons are, having Melinda May acting unemotionally would be very refreshing.

Everybody has different ideas of what makes good acting I guess. At least Coulson is still solid!

Posted by McG

I really reaaaaally wanna like this show but it just comes off mostly forced and a feel of been there done that kinda show, doesn't feel fresh or new, feels like something I've already seen many times just this time its got Marvel stamped onto it :( Hate the britis, the female T101 and the ass-twat agent. Can keep Coulson and Sky as I do enjoy them but you could see here plot twist coming 20000 miles away.

Posted by SlickyMike88

I liked the pilot episode, this episode ? not good. The characters suppose to bond in this episode , I din't feel it at all :P

The characters I like in this show so far are , Coleson , Skye and Grant Ward. Fitz and Simmons should tone it down , be a little more human. I don't really have a opinion about May, she's just there. I hope that superhero character from the first episode will return , I see potential in him :)

Posted by Noteworthington

Don't find FitzSimmons annoying at all, I think there are plenty of other characters that feel a bit more forced, along with the constant one liners. But I'm assuming that's the best we are gonna get until the writers are satisfied with cementing the character development.

I can hang in there for a while watching with out uttering any damning statements about a show only in its second episode.

Edited by Sachmoo

I said it after the last episode and im gonna say it again because HE said it again. Coulson saying, Tahiti is a 'MAGICAL' place every time he references it has to be a nod to something. Dr. Strange maybe?

Posted by Herokiller12344

4 stars at the premiere and 3 stars at the second episode.

Is it safe to say that things are starting to come apart?

Edited by MrMazz

This episode was bogged down lin clunky delviery of meaningless ci-fi mumbo jumobo. Thankfully the well worn plot tied everything together but it also showed how each person ahs their function, except for Skye. She is the audience surrogate and the switch off from Ward to her in the pilot was nice but audience surrogate isn't an actual job on this team. Now if they turn her interloper status into her function that could be interesting but for now her and the rest of the team functiion more as cogs than even archtypical characters. Yea they'll eventually deepen the characters it's just a lil rough at the moment.

The cast also needs to grow some chemestry, FitzSimmons and Clark Gregg have it. That post credit scene had more verve and quality than the 45 minutes prior. That shouldn't happen, even if there is the novelty seeing Sam Jackson on my TV screen.

cheap plug to user review

Posted by patrat18

Lame jokes with horrible actors, other than that it's not that bad.

Edited by Barkley

only 3 Stars?.....show is very good

Posted by greenlucario

Honestly this episode was good, better than the first, the one liners were dialed back somewhat. And yes FitzSimmons is terrible, but the the show is decent, even good at points. This episode overall improved on the worst parts of the first episode, so I have hope that this will be a good show, yes I worry that it will be cut short if it doesn't build momentum but the critiques are a bit harsh imo.

Edited by SynCig

I thought this episode was a step down from the pilot (which I loved) but still enjoyable. I disagree that Agent Ward is in the wrong for disliking Skye. He should dislike someone that has dedicated almost all of her time taking down the agency that he works for. The cast is kinda skin deep at this point but I think we will see some development and I will continue to watch.

Posted by fodigg

I think this show is still getting its sea legs. I just want it to be as good as Arrow, is that so hard?

Posted by The Mast

Whedon isn't even doing this, is he? He did the pilot because he's the name, but that's it.

He didn't even direct or write a majority of Buffy.

Posted by MadeinBangladesh

The show and the characters are so cheesy and bland. The plot is boring also. I'm gonna stick with Arrow.

Edited by Damian_Arrows

every abc show feels the same. like they're all dipped in disney gloss. at least the next episode seems like there might be more on the line. and would they stop with the cheesy heroic blaring music all the time? we get it, it's adventurous.

Edited by ThomasElliot

2nd episode was another character and team building episode. Its also establishes what their mission typically entails. Its going to take a few more before the whole thing 'gels' really, but that goes for just about any sci-fi TV series.

Go back and watch Seasons 1 of Star Trek TNG (uber-geeky), Battlestar Galactica (slow), Alphas (also slow), etc. Or look at Fringe... if you base your opinion of Fringe on the first 4 or 6 episodes alone, it looks and feels like an Xfiles rip-off. Its not until you make your way to the end of season 1 that the true nature of the show is clear.

Heck, as much of a Trekkie I am, even I know that it was TNG season 3 where the writers really hit their stride.

I also think... or maybe I'm being overly optimistic... that your SUPPOSED to get the 'generic' vibe from these characters until more is revealed about them. I have a suspicious feeling that some of the criticism some of you feel is intentional so it can be flipped on you at some point. I don't believe Joss Whedon is infalliable, but this is the guy who wrote an entire movie about stereotypical characterization (i.e. Cabin in the Woods).

I like Arrow a lot, but I am baffled to no end at comments liking Arrow and then calling SHIELD 'cheesy'. Arrow is so full of cheese, you can call it a danish. And, Arrow got so much better in the LAST HALF of its first season. The first half, like any other show, was nothing but establishing the characters and somewhat boring.

And speaking of generic... in Arrow what was 'Laurel' Dinah's character UNTIL that episode where she kicked some dude's ass? She was the generic pretty face... a carbon copy of Lois Lane more or less. The moment she whips out some martial arts is when you realize 'oh... she's something more'.

Posted by sagejonathan

I don't like this show but I'll keep watching for a while.

Posted by Mxyzptlk_CV

@the_stegman said:

I'll give this show two more episodes to be more than mediocre, otherwise I'm done.

I said I was going to give it all season...but I'm stopping after tonight. lol.

At this point I'm desperate for Arrow to premiere.

this. I feel like it's getting worse and worse with each episode. I only started this show because i loved firefly but now i'm dropping this...can't wait for arrow!

Posted by Owie

This was pretty bad. Not only was it generic in every way, but the dialog was just terrible. Laugh-out-loud bad. And it simply isn't interesting to have a show about generic spies when the obvious potential to bring in other superheroes is right there. I'm giving it one more episode.