Thursday, April 24, 2014

Thoughts on Marvel's Agents of SHIELD

After watching Captain America: The Winter Soldier, I decided to give Agents of SHIELD another shot. I didn't care for the first episode, due to the character roles being very generic and thinking that the sole reason for the show was MOAR COULSON.

I'm now 15 episodes in and, while not completely caught up, I am happy with my decision to give the show another shot.

Skye, Simmons, Fitz, Coulson, May, and Ward.
If you don't know what the show is about, Agent Coulson, who had apparently died in The Avengers, is back. On top of that, he was told to create a special team of SHIELD agents that would work mostly independently, under Coulson's supervision. He recruits some of the best SHIELD has to offer... and a nerdy, anti-establishment hacker named Skye who managed to hack SHIELD in the first episode...

True, most of the characters do have their stereotypical roles (Machine Wiz, Computer Hacker, Science Chick, Badass Secret Agent Man, Ice Queen, and, well, Coulson.), but the characters within the roles grow and change. Even Coulson, who I was sure would be 100% deadpan 100% of the time, has shown some pretty tremendous changes (and acting skills I wouldn't have guessed!). The rest of the cast shows some minor growth, though the most interesting changes come from Skye for the most part. Fitz, the Machine Wiz, actually has some truly subtle moments of a shifting personality that I'm not sure if they're accidental or actually building to something interesting.

Several characters have private agendas that we learn over time:
Coulson wants to learn about how he was saved from death. While the truth isn't exactly what I was hoping for, I'm coming to terms with it. I'll do a spoiler section below to talk more in-depth.

Skye wants to learn about her past and her parents, and her only link to that info is a redacted SHIELD document she recovered... She recruits Coulson to help her. Their relationship quickly becomes father-daughter like, but it's handled lightly enough to not get awkward.

Everyone else... Well, they get different motivations as the show goes on, but they're trained agents and that's enough for them. Fitz and Simmons (Science Chick) are getting first time field experience, Ward (Badass) is unwillingly being taught to work with a team, and May (Ice Queen) is being reintroduced into active roles after some emotionally damaging trauma.

The best part of the show, for me, is how it connects to the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe. At first, I thought it would be fairly weak in terms of actual references, so that anything important can be saved for feature films. Fortunately, Marvel has a rich history and enough of a roster to play around with things. For example, I just watched the episode where the Asgardian Lorelei came to Midgard and started recruiting men for her army. Most folks might not have any idea who the heck Lorelei is, but fans of the comics will recognize her as Amora the Enchantress' sister, one of Thor's major enemies. Lorelei's power to control men is similar to Amora's, while saving the better known character for a throw down in a future Thor film.

I'm really anticipating the episode where events from Captain America: The Winter Soldier come into play. I'm also mildly wondering how they're determining what to spoil and when to do so -- I imagine MAJOR spoilers for the Cap movie must be revealed in the TV show, and I don't really think that's ever been a problem for a movie before.
One step closer to Maximum Carnage!
Before I jump into spoiling about Coulson's death (as much as I know if it, anyway, still not current!), I want to say that the show is definitely worth watching. It brings fans of the movies in with references to the feature films, and it also keeps the comic fans interested by dropping fairly interesting hints/characters. I mean, we've already met the characters that will become Blizzard and (probably) Deathlok! And, what's more, they were done pretty damn well!

Oh, and I'm also offering a prediction that the Big Bad, the unknown "Clairvoyant," is from the future. To me, that's the only way to really tie in Deathlok...

SPOILERY discussion below. Go away if you haven't seen at least Episode 14. Everything below the image of dead Coulson are spoilers.

Coulson's death discussed below!

Alrighty. I was hoping that Coulson was going to be an LMD (Live Model Decoy, or, you know, robot). That's something SHIELD is famous for in the comics and it even seemed as if they were hinting at it in the earlier episodes. 

Instead, the answer was revealed to be... a lot of surgeries. Wait, what? And he was dead for days? Well... They got a little better when they introduced that the medicine used was extracted from the corpse of a Kree alien (I'm assuming it is Kree, they haven't officially stated what it was by episode 15). This made me a BIT more excited because they also used the "medicine" to cure Skye. I don't know how well folks recall Ms. Marvel's back story, but all of her powers came from the Kree. I'm not expecting Skye to step into that role, but it is a thought. I'd love to see some more on that end, despite being sick of "aliens" being the problem. I'd much rather have some of the awesome earthling baddies crop up to fight SHIELD and the Avengers. Kang, anyone?

Alright, that's all I got. Maybe I'll post a response to the entire season when it's all finished up (and I've actually caught up). Until then, watch the damn show! 

No comments:

Post a Comment