I knew I was going to love the first episode of Marvel’s Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D as soon as it was announced. I’ve missed having a Joss Whedon show on my screen and I loved the team up of Whedon and Marvel in the Avengers movie. I spent the first half hour geeking out over reference to the wider Marvel universe and going insane whenever another actor from the Whedon universe appeared (“There’s Gunn! Oh my god there’s Shepherd Book!). Now that I’ve had the chance to calm down I thought I’d give my opinion on how this tv spin-off has worked.
Well there was plenty of the Whedon wit that I love so much, some good twists-I had no idea the damsel in distress was the doctor, and Centipede sounds like an interesting villian. I also hope we see more of J. August Richards’s troubled Mike and Cobie Smulders’ agent Maria Hill. But what about the agents of S.H.I.E.L.D? Its only the first episode so some had more focus than others but here’s my opinion of them so far.
It was great to have a familiar face in Clark Gregg’s Agent Coulson. Although it’s an ensemble show, Coulson proves to be a great focal point for the audience. Many of the show’s funniest moments come from Coulson, highlights include his overly dramatic entrance, and stabbing agent Grant Ward with the truth serum. The show quickly whizzes through his death in the Avengers film, Fury faked his death to inspire the Avengers. However it appears Coulson is unaware of the real circumstances of his ‘death’, which will no doubt lead to much angst later on in the series. So what is his secret? At the moment I’m thinking clone but its way too early to tell.
Of the rest of the cast, Chloe Bennet as hacker Sky also impresses. She’s funny, smart and somehow manages to have glossy hair, flawless skins and great clothes all while living in a van. Only on tv.
Brit Scientists Fitz-Simmons make for an adorable pair. I like their enthusiasm for the job and their bickering and talking over each other like a married couple. In the wrong hands they could have been annoying but I found them endearing. As Joss Whedon projects always involve the death of the nicest, sweetest character (alas poor Tara, Fred, Wash etc) I’m predicting one half of Fitz-Simmons will bite the dust somewhere along the series. I’m leaning more towards Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) with Fitz having a breakdown and avenging her death. Ian De Caestecker was great in tv shows The Fades and The Secret of Crickley Hall, so he definitely has the acting chops to handle such emotional arcs.
Ming Na-Wen as Melinda May was unfortunately not used that much in the first episode so its hard to tell what she’ll be like, however she showed great promise. It’ll be good to know why she gave up field work for a desk job. She also seems to be the show’s kick-ass female (another requirement for any Whedon show) and had a great fight scene. Hopefully we’ll see more of her in the next episode.
Grant Walt was the least interesting of the main characters, coming across as a bit dull. Howeverhints at his mysterious family history could provide some interest in the future. Actor Brett Dalton also showed some great comedic skills when he was hit with the truth serum so maybe his character will improve soon.
All in all a promising start. Lets hope it continues onto the next episode.