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.