Tuesday 9:00 PM on ABC

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S01E02: "0-8-4"


Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. opened big last week, but the real test of its staying power came tonight with Episode 2. How many people returned for "0-8-4"? Was the episode a success? Did you care about the story and the characters? Did it make you laugh? Did you enjoy the action-y moments? 

Based on a lot of the reviews and feedback I read about the premiere, I think there were a lot of misconceptions about what Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was supposed to be. A lot of people, myself included, loved it. But some people thought the show was going to be similar to The Avengers movie and feature superheroes, and so they were disappointed when they found out they're weren't any superheroes. Others were confused when the series wasn't as "adult" as they'd have liked it to be—which is not an unreasonable complaint—but being based in a world that originated in a comic book and airing at 8pm kind of hinted that would be the case. And still others watched last week's premiere and came away upset that the series was about a group of people with special powers, similar to the premise of Heroes. I've had a week to think about what Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is and what I want it to be, and I came up with three criteria. "0-8-4" met all three, so I was happy with the second outing. (However, I don't know what that third group of people was thinking, because this series is nothing like Heroes.)

So, what are those three criteria? Well, to be successful, this series needs to be accessible, it needs to flesh out its characters and develop its world, and it needs to find the right balance of heart, humor, and action. I think "0-8-4" did just fine in accomplishing those goals.


Being accessible means that until it establishes itself as its own series, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. cannot be heavily serialized. Fans (and potential fans) must be able to enter this world without needing an encyclopedia of Marvel facts, or a flowchart to keep things straight. And I truthfully feel that S.H.I.E.L.D.'s writers have done the best they can in that regard. Is it easier to understand the lingo if you've seen any of the movies or read the comics? Of course. But just as Skye was starting to learn S.H.I.E.L.D.'s lingo this week, you will too, eventually.

If you've seen the Marvel films of if you've read the comics, then you picked up on Agent Coulson's reference to Thor's hammer, and you understand what Hydra is, and why Tesseract-fueled anythings are no good. But you don't need to have understood those references to know that Hydra=bad and that the 0-8-4 (an object of unknown origin) the team found tonight would have been disastrous in the wrong hands. Those things were explained via exposition from the characters like they would be on any other series with heavy mythology. Plus, guys, with the amount of crap on the internet these days, and especially with the amount of Marvel knowledge you can find out there, if you don't understand something and it's really bothering you, just Google it. It'll take you more time to complain about not understanding it than it would to find the answer.


So the series needs to be accessible. It needs to follow a formula in which Coulson's specialized S.H.I.E.L.D. team travels somewhere (like Peru, as was the case in this week's episode) and assesses and contains any and all threats (like the Tesseract-fueled technology they found, and then Camilla Reyes and her team when they decided they wanted to use the 0-8-4 for their own personal gain), and then maybe everyone shares a beer afterward like any other team of co-workers toasting the end of a long work day. And also, you know, not dying.

Many of the comments I read about the premiere discussed being worried that the show was going to be boring if it followed the same procedure week after week—and that's not a completely ridiculous fear—but I think many viewers are forgetting that a great number of successful shows currently on TV are procedurals. Hell, NCIS is in its, what, eleventh season? It's the most watched show on television and it's a procedural. It's gotta be doing something right. In the post-Breaking Bad world, we tend to think that in order to be good, a series has to be heavily serialized, but that's not the case at all. Yes, of course there needs to be some sort of serialization happening; the characters need to grow and evolve and larger story arcs must take place in order to move the story forward, but being a procedural is not a death sentence. And I think many Joss Whedon fans are forgetting that each of his former series began as procedurals themselves, and they had a hell of a lot of overarching stories and character development over the course of their runs. Lots of those fans are probably also forgetting that exactly zero of his shows were born as fully formed success stories. 

The second thing this series needs to accomplish to be successful is to make its characters more human. We need to get to know who Skye is, and why Agent Handsome is so methodical and machine-like. We need to get to know Fitz and Simmons as people beyond their super brains that make the rest of us look bad. And we definitely need to get the dirt that is Melinda May's classified file. "0-8-4" made some big strides on that front. We started to see Skye—who's basically the audience stand-in—attempt to find her place as a consultant/member of the S.H.I.E.L.D. team. In fact, we got to see everyone begin to settle into their roles as members of this team tonight—this was only their second mission together—and although I get the feeling Fitz and Simmons have been working together—or have at least known each other—for quite awhile now, everyone worked together to defeat Reyes and her men and no one died, so that's got to be a good start, right? 


While first impressions are important, they're not everything, and tonight I felt like I got to know more about who Skye was and her philosophy on life and why she makes the choices she makes. She likes social media and how technology is bringing people all over the world who've never met together, and to hear her talk about 100 people each having or being 1 percent of the solution, made a lot of sense. And Agent Handsome even used that logic to help rally the troops when they needed to find a way to take back the plane, so already we see what an asset she can be. Skye also helped Agent Handsome bring down some of his own walls during their conversation on the plane, so we got to know a tiny sliver about what makes him tick, though I'm concerned about his character's development more than I am anyone else's. He's got the difficult job of being the straight man on a team of quirky weirdos, which may or may not lend itself to easy character development. While we still don't actually know much about these people—or whether or not we can even trust them—we're starting to learn more about them, and that's what's important.

Lastly, and just as important to the success of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as the previous two requirements, this series needs to find the right balance of the heart, the humor, and the action. Some people thought the premiere was too quippy, while I myself found it perfectly adequate on the quippy scale. We all have differing opinions, but I think tonight's episode scaled back on the humor and still managed to do just fine. 

As for the heart, there was no big meaning of life speech this week, but there was a moment when the team quit their bickering and worked together to solve the Reyes problem. Papa Coulson appreciated their efforts and didn't once lose his cool about the fact his team blew a hole in the side of his newly renovated airplane (though surprise guest star Samuel L. Jackson was pisssssssed!). And the action? Yeah, I think they managed to get enough in to satisfy the fanboys and girls. The shootout in Peru, the fight sequences on the plane, and then everything that went down after the massive hole-in-the-plane thing was plenty of action for one episode. And just for the record? The green screen on this series is about a million-bajillion times better than Once Upon a Time, so thanks for all that cash Marvel, the world is grateful.

Whether you liked or loved or hated the premiere, I do think this was a strong second outing for a series that's got every single eye in the world trained on it, just waiting for it to slip up or make a mistake. Tonight's episode was more focused than the premiere, too. It didn't have to be showy so much as it had to really set the pace and tone for the rest of the series, and I think it did a good job in that regard. 



NOTES

– "No joy rides; it's my house." 

– "Do you need anything else before I go check on the device fueled by evil that's sitting in our cargo hold?"

– "I'm good at stuff, too!"

– "This is my fault. I should have learned kung-fu."

– NICK FURY ALERT. NICK FURY ALERT. (How much do you think it cost to get him to come do that scene?!)

– LOL @ the raft covering up the giant hole in the wall of the plane. 

– Is it just me, or is there a lot of Winifred Burkle in Simmons?

– Coulson once again mentioned his R&R following being stabbed in the heart by Loki right before the Battle of New York. As if we all somehow forgot the central mystery of the show. Give us more details, writers. Was his "resurrection" magical? Not likely. This is a science-based world. But I'm going to have fun speculating over how Coulson lives to fight another day.

– Who looks better with the double gun look? Melinda May or Teen Wolf's Papa Argent? Show your work in the comments!


thekaitling:list:marvels-agents-of-shield-what-did-you-think-of-0-8-4/

 


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I've got to vote for Papa Argent, but that's largely because I'm girl. May handled it well too however :-)
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I feel like the cast is a little too . . . I guess hipster. It's probably partly the costumes for Fitz and Simmons. The look says "my $4,000 designer outfit is specially designed to show I am geek-chic."

But with Skye it goes well beyond costuming. She seems like that person who will lecture you about how your dinner was harvested with environmentally destructive agriculture practices - and she'll do it right after you order at the restaurant. Pretty soon you stop going out to eat with her.
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'Lots of those fans are probably also forgetting that exactly zero of his shows were born as fully formed success stories.'

Actually I think you'll find Firefly was!
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Fully formed - yes, but success story? Hardly
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In terms of the quality of the show, which that sentence seemed to be refering to, Firefly was born as a fully formed success story.
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If it was, it wouldn't have been immediately canceled.
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Yeah, because the quality of a show is the only factor that decides whether it stays on air!
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I suppose we interpret the sentence differently, but we do agree on Firefly being amazing from the start :)
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On that we can certainly agree.
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Who looks better with the double gun look? Melinda May or Teen Wolf's Papa Argent?
r u kidding? Melinda May all the way! now THAT'S what we call fighting EFFICIENTLY! (papa Argent shoots and shoots and hits nothing! back to the training range for him)
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Good God I am so excited about this show!!!!!! Do you know how long I have waited for a Whedonverse show??????!!!!!!????!!!! Seriously tell me!!!!! I am so excited about this show that my brain is going bonkers!!!!!
Simmons does have a bit of Fredness about her.
Haha Melinda or Papa Argent with double gun? That is a hard one, I can't choose!!!!
I am loving getting to know the characters and I am looking forward to learn a lot about them in the future!!!!
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I just hope the Marvelverse doesn't hold back the Whedonverse.
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Oooo, good point!
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I liked the second episode more than the pilot, but I'm still not blown away. I think it will take a little time, but I worry because I don't find Agent Handsome and Skye to be particularly compelling as actors YET. I feel like Joss Wheadon has proven himself in the casting department before, as has certainly Marvel, so I'm hoping I'm wrong about that, but if they are bad, it will be quite difficult to get into the show. Ming Na (ehh I don't know what her name is on the show) and Coulson are good. Though with Coulson I just see Old Christine's ex-husband (not a bad thing!).

The show doesn't have to be Breaking Bad, but some overarching story would probably be a good thing in my opinion.
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I have a bad feeling where this series is going. A boring and predictable storyline and a not really likeable cast compared with weak acting is never a good sign. Please don´t get me wrong I´m open for the no superhero thing in a Marvel series but you have to give me something to work with and this episode felt more like the good old day of a series called Relic Hunter or a cheaper but more expensive version of the A Team. And then there is Agent Coulson in the Avengers in small doses I love him but as the lead role he is kinda not interessting enough. So I think I will stick a round a few more episodes but like I said I have a bad feeling about this.
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&...and this episode felt more like the good old day of a series called Relic Hunter or a
&cheaper; but more expensive version of the A Team.


And there's nothing wrong with that; we could use a bit more shows like that. Nowadays everything has to include drug-running serial killers - and those are the good guys! I'd also add a bit of Warehouse 13 and Stargate SG-1 into your show equation. Some good old fashioned fun.
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Coulson is a clone. I just see it coming, though hopefully not till at least the end of season 2. I hate it when the solve evrything in the first season, leave some mysteries from the first few epps for future seasons.
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am i the only one that got a heavy "the a-team" vibe from the second episode. i mean, other than coulson saying "i love it when a plan comes together". explosions, airplanes, foreign militia, off road car chase scene... sure there was a lot of talk about sci-fi, but in the end it were punches, gunshots and explosions that prevailed. i expected a lot more after the pilot, i really didn't even care skye being a possible double agent by the end. i'll keep watching but not with the same expectations.
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I'm going to give it the 4 episode test and see if I want to stick around.

Right now, I don't get Skye. I know you love her, but I don't. With you have Fitzsimmons, you don't need another genius, and Skye just makes it too many cooks in the kitchen. Like Ward, I'm constantly wondering what the hell the point of her being there is. And unlike you, I really like Ward. And May. But I am having a hard time caring about Coulson. I guess I was expecting Coulson to be, like, the Charlie of Charlie's Angels. Just handing out the assignments, but actually not that involved. But with him as the frontrunner, I'm just sitting here struggling to care about him.

So, that leaves me with the 2 main characters - Coulson and Skye - on my, "I just do not care" list, and that makes it a very hard show to watch for me. I like Ward, I like May, I love Fitzsimmons, but they aren't the focus, and loving them may not be enough to keep me around. We'll see.
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i'm waiting to see about Coulson but i totally get your point about Skye? y would Coulson want her in the team? it's not only that she hasn't passed an security checks and the security risk is unacceptable at the level they operate -aren't they like...level 7 or something?-) but Fitzsimmons r awesome! they need Skye for what again?
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'' I'm going to give it the 4 episode test and see if I want to stick around.''

You know, I thought the premiere was ok, but it was phenomenal compared to the second episode. If that asian girl wasn't on there' i wouldve changed the channel.

I guess I'll give it two more eps as well.
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Corn upon corn topped with a huge slice of cheese. This episode was bad but not as bad as the pilot, and it was only saved by an even worse savaging by an appearance by Samuel L Jackson that literally had me LOL.
If things don't improve quickly and this nonsense sticks around it will be based solely on the success of the Marvel movies.
Corny stories, weak characters, Poor acting and a lack of new 'supers' we where all expecting is making watching this disapointing to say the least.
I almost feel sorry for Clark Gregg as Phil Coulson having been shifted into this Television role with writers who can't decide whether hes a smart and tough leader or a blithering idiot with rank.
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Meh. I'll give it two more eps, but my opinion hasn't budged an inch from last week. Weak cast, "puppet string obvious" acting, mediocre script, weak plot, all in all: kiddie stuff. I maybe an Ubergeek, but I don't think I'm the target audience for this show.

Plus, I just bought the Firefly steelbook (it's a scam btw, the so called Blu-rays are no better qualities than the original DVDs.) and just watching the pilot made the huge discrepancy of quality between those two shows even more obvious. Hint: AoS ain't winning that one.

Oh well, Scandal is back and kicking some mighty ass both in the plot and acting department, so maybe I'll just stick to this then for my dose of grownup spies/political animals with a sharp tongue.


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''the so called Blu-rays are no better qualities than the original DVDs''.

That's a damn shame. The eve greater tragedy is, I'm not terribly surprised.
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AOS 02 = AOL: Agents of Lame
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I watch for Fitz-Simmons I will always love corky nerds, never tire of them and I really like this pair. I really don't care for Skye, maybe it's the casting but she and agent what'shisface aren't really working for me. And I like agent May wanna hear more about her past though
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I'm glad I'm not the only one who finds something off about Skye, I find myself cringing when she delivers lines, she just doesn't seem right for Whedon material. Agent Handsome, who I found off-putting at first too, seems more natural as straight man and his personality might be starting to come through bit.
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I liked the premiere but the second ep was very meh. The 'case of the week' was boring and cliche and everyone could see that Coulson's ex-squeeze was going to end up being the baddie. And while the team members are likeable enough (if underdeveloped as characters so far), the dynamics in the team are a little too obvious ie mismatched individuals under enlightened leader (Coulson) overcoming differences to do good - nerds vs. cool guys, indie girl & agent handsome... It felt too high school drama for me.
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Then again, its a pretty standard move on TV: the ex-lover is always the baddie. Its never the civilian contractor, the second-in-command or an actual random. As soon as you see the ex, you just know this is it.
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the problem is not with the characters themselves. We all have watched at some point cliche characters and loved the hell out of them. It's all in the delivery and writing. Had the writing not been so lazy they could have made cliche not so obvious or at least more enjoyable or they could have added a little bit of third dimension to some of these characters with a masterful line or two, enough to feel for them.
Anyway, I think by now, anyone was a baddie at some point in television so everyone is a little bit cliche in this type of shows.
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Watching the pilot I thought it might hold something. But the 2nd episode blew it for me. I don't mind team clichés with the father figure (alpha, heroes, etc) if they come up with a twist, but that was just one big pile of recycled plots with empty characters for decerebrated teens.
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The episode was ok for me but not great. I can't feel the team, nor the characters yet, especially Skye. So far the ones I like most are the FitzSimmons duo (sweet as candy) and May.
I hate to say it but the story was kind of lame. I started out ok but that commandante just ruined it from there on. Everything on her from her clothes to her attitude screamed fake (there's no way an army girl would look like that). She was just so overly sexualized that it made it painful to watch. And her attempt at being seductive with Coulson made me want to trow up (and the fact that he responded to her made me like him less). Other than that, the story was standard and predictable and a little lazy.
The only bit I truly loved in the show was when Coulson was in the cockpit trying to talk to May (after they got back on the plane) who wasn't talking to him. Yeah, I can see May becoming my favorite character on the show .
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Too much action, too few actual storylines. you could tell that that comandante chick was up to no good the second she showed up, the rest of the time was waiting for it to happen. and then there was a lot of noise, screaming and what they nowadays call "action" and thats supposed to be enough. I know its a comic-series but still. a little bit more story and less action for actions sake would do the show good. actors had more time to actually act because they wouldnt have to talk so fast to get their words out in between cuts. And stop it with the "I am so cool right now" filming effects (rotating camera round someone with guns for example) You could see the difference right at the end. they gave Nick Fury a scene with very few cuts and he acted tem all against the wall in the few mins he was on. and not only because hes samuel jackson but because he had the room to act. in between exploding things, running around shooting and agent coulson none of the other have that oppurtunity. all we learn about the team is spit out in standard sentences used in every other series before because they dont take the time to develope them. was much better with buffy. or angel. or dollhouse. and especially firefly. they didnt need to be cut so quickly. there was action enough but in between you got a feel for the characters and not because they told you who they were but because you watched them.
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Im just not feeling this show atm. It's too predictable, the dialogue is quite cheesy and, worst of all, the characters are not that likeable. The Whedon magic is missing! I hope its just a case of him playing it safe in the first few episodes, only to blossom jnto the unique awesomeness that I know Whedon can bring. I haven't given up hope yet.
ps thx for letting me know abt the nick fury cameo, I totally missed it the first time around. Must've fallen asleep :(
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I agree. I'm not really feeling it, but Joss has proven himself too many times in the past for me to want to give up so soon... I just worry that it's badly cast (Skye and Handsome especially), but I'll give it a few more weeks.

I was really surprised to see Sam Jackson even if it was just for a minute (literally). Good work, producers or who ever gets to decide these things.
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I have to agree on everything our intrepid reviewer has to say. She nailed it!

As did the second episode of Agents of SHIELD. As with all Joss shows, we are now in the "get to know the team" stage of the relationship while fleshing out this new universe. It takes time and that's the right way to do it.

If we knew everything about everyone and everything from the first 5 minutes of the show we would never have a chance of growing with the characters.

And as they grow and we grow with them, that's where the bond forms. I just hope the network gives it enough time.

As for Agent Coulson... "It's a magical place." That line is already starting to creep me out! And I am absolutely dying to know what happened to him!

Agent May is really kickass with those double guns. I wasn't the biggest fan of Ming Na going into this, but I think this show might just turn that around. I can't wait to learn more about The Cavalry! (Sorry, yes, I know I'm not supposed to call her that.)

And then there's Skye..... and her mysterious little text. "I'm in." Do we trust her? Is she evil? What's her agenda?

All in all, I can't wait for next week's episode to see what's coming at us next. To quote another favourite Joss-created character, Rupert Giles: "But that's the thrill of living on the Hellmouth! There's a veritable cornucopia of, of fiends and devils and, and ghouls to engage. Pardon me for finding the glass half full." Just substitute living on the Hellmouth for working with SHIELD. ;)
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For a show that is trying to balance so much, it shocks me how people can be having such ridiculously high expectations for the second episode. Was I absolutely addicted and thrilled this entire episode? Not completely, but I enjoyed it and appreciated what the writers are trying to do.

Basically, a lot of the comments on here seem to neglect almost every major point this article mentions. No Whedon show is going to be super intricate already. Over a full season, we have plenty of time to build. I say give it time and sit back.

I know I will.
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I think the problem the show faces is that people have wrong expectations when it comes to what this show is. It's not about the superheroes, though all of the nods are great, it's about regular people in a world that has superheroes. I found the second episode to be pretty enjoyable. I didn't like the shootouts with the rebels though, it seemed really cheap to have offscreen enemies that they were shooting at.

And I'm also super curious as to what the story behind Coulson's recovery will be. I'm guessing LMD, but I trust they will give a spin on it. I like the cast but I feel like they should probably expand on their backstories in upcoming episodes. Apart from Fitz and Simmons they all seem to have quite a lot of stuff the writers could dig into.
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I honestly found this kinda bland. Not enough reason to keep tunimg in once the Marvel novelty wears off. I pray Tomorrow's People escapes thio banality.
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I really loved this episode. One complaint though, I personally love Leo Fitz (he has a shoe in for favorite character) but they need to give him (and Simmons) their own distinct personality outside of the duo. Right now the two are virtually enter-changeable. It is only the second episode though so lets hope they correct this.

Also drop "Marvel" from the name. It is unnecessary and it irks me.
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I think Fitz and Simmons are quite likeable but they are lacking some sort of depth to their backstories. With Grant we had the mention of his family, May her nickname 'The Cavalry', Skye has her ties to The Rising Tide and Coulson has his death/resurection thing going on. But the two whizzkids don't have anything of the sort. They could in future episodes but what seems to be missing for most characters is depth to their characters, backstory and things that really set them apart.

But it's only the second episode and it seems like most of the pieces are now in place to expand on these aspects. I'm liking the show and will stick with it.:)
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I find it a bit predictable and childish, like it needs a darker side, or more mystery to balance, also I don't care much about the characters so far, I guess I'll se what happens in the next episodes.
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It's still pretty meh to me. No compelling story(ies), I still don't care about the characters (I care a bit about Coulson, but that's still because of the movies). Even the score by Bear McCreary is so average and he's the guy responsible for Battlestar Galactica's. Only the visual effects are good and that's not enough.
Hopefully, it'll get better...
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I'm really likening it so far and will continue to watch. Grant and Melinda are standing out for me, I like me some good fight scenes. Skye hopefully will come to her senses or grant will help her come to her senses and fully join the team and stop being a mole on the bus
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Skye is a mole but will save the team and join proper eventually.
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Strong second episode. The touch of Whedon can do miracle as he did for Buffy in her time: right mix of action, fun
I hope for short season(S) with a lots of guest stars and especially from the Whedon's Univers
Keep up the good work
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When I watched the pilot, I thought it resembled Alphas in some part (I put that as a good thing). The second episode, which I think was better, seemed to me as very much alike to The Human Target (in its first season) - maybe because of Leonor Varella, or the heavier action.

Overall, the show improved, and it was a lot of fun. Clark Gregg and Ming-Na ("The Cavalry", he-he) continue to be a flass above everyone else, but this time Chloe Benett started to actually feel useful, and Agent Handsome might have some deepness in him. If it goes on like this, all the better.

By the way, is this intended to have a full, 22-24 episode season? Because if it does, it may prove to be too expensive at some point. I think a shortened season would look better, saving some budget for guest appearances and effects.
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Definitely a strong second episode. Loved that last minute, but really want to get down to the reveal that Coulson's really a robot these days. That's where my money is. Not really digging Skye's double-agent business, but it's a necessary plot point.
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I agree with the the review. I thought this second outing was well done. Agent handsome even developed a little chink in his armor. Fitz-Simmons are a great together. Then there is Coulson, the father figure, cool as ever and always encouraging his kids to play well together. The villain of the week (Reyes) succeeded in getting the bickering siblings to cooperate and unite as a team. Ming-Na is the second coolest character next to Coulson and she does not need a lot of words, she can just say it with a look.
If there was anything that did not go well, it was pitting a new show up against the juggernaut that is NCIS. Thank goodness for DVR's.
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It was a great second episode. I like how the team gelled. I'm curious now why she's called "the cavalry" and what really happened to Coulson. I wouldn't be surprised if Samuel Jackson made a couple of more appearances. I could definitely see them using in for something like sweeps week or the season finally. And while they don't really have superheroes working for S.H.I.E.L.D. I could see guest appearances by Black Widow, Hawkeye, or even the introduction of Mockingbird.
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I got the impression that May is the one that got sent into to rescue agents in a bad situation. And given that she was able AND willing to dislocate her wrist to get out of the restraints; she earned the name. Scary that Ward knew what the sound was. Ouch.
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Well, way back when someone "called in the cavalry" it was a mounted regiment which had a massive power advantage over regular foot soldiers.
They call her "The Cavalry" to hint that she's a major bad ass one woman army that has the skill to save the day as needed
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i think the can use Tony Stark or dr. Bruce banner (as civilians) cameos.
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Well that would be awesome, and a ratings winner for sure, but I don't think they have the budget for it (even cameos), and the fact that Agent Coulson survived is "top secret" so I don't think any of the Avengers "knows" that he's still alive..... though in Capt America II apparently Steve Rogers knows that he is alive, and that Fury manipulated them, so what do I know. But the "top secret" thing is an easy way for them to exclude all the big stars sans Sam Jackson :(
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Can't say too much about the second episode since I only half watched it on tv, but I will say this. Coulson keeps referring to Tahiti and how magical it was. Tahiti is a magical place. Tahiti. Magical. Magical Tahiti.
Just saying, that's gonna be a thing. (haven't read any of the comments, somebody probably already pointed this out, but needed to share.
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Probably didn't take much to bring Sam Jackson on for the cameo. He's said at least once that he loves working with Whedon and he really enjoys playing Nick Fury. I'm imagining a conversation where Whedon was like "hey, Sam, we'd like to bring you on for a cameo on Agents of Shield - can you make it?" "Hell yes I can make it!"
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I like this idea, I'm going to imagine that it was like that and not some diva-esque Hollywood thing with a huge payout for that (literally) one minute scene. I feel like that's possible since as you said he loves working with Joss (lots of stars who have worked with him say the same thing and return to his projects) and also he's been willing to take himself less seriously in things like Extras.
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Remember he wanted to appear on an episode of Breaking Bad as Nick Fury for free!
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What???
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"In a very interesting interview with The Playlist... Samuel L. Jackson once again admits that he has no idea if Nick Fury will be a factor in Marvel's planned S.H.I.E.L.D tv show, but he still thinks the eye-patch wearing spy should play a "Charlie from Charlie's Angels" type role at the very least. When The Playlist joke that he should do a walk on cameo in the background, Jackson tells them that he had hoped for such an appearance in Breaking Bad of all things. Both The Avengers and the AMC show shot in New Mexico ("They shot in the studio right across from us in Albuquerque"), and Jackson had tried to walk into a shot in costume and order some chicken from Pollos Hermanos, but he said none of the producers would allow him. "I just wanted to order a three piece and really freak people out," he chuckled. "Then people would be going, 'Wow, was that him?". Obviously even if he had of [sic] been allowed, something like that would never have ended up in the actual show (Fury vs Fring?), but how cool would it have been if this existed somewhere as an outtake? "
From http://www.comicbookmovie.com/fansites/rorschachsrants/news/?a=71903#QeTrDOItIbIXwG08.99
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Fury v Fring! Now that sounds like a scene I'd pay to see! Thanks for the link, that is hilarious.
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I'm hoping this show will do everything right that OUAT did (initially) and stay clear of going completely off the rails. =D Right now, am pretty happy on the whole.
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Did anyone else notice that in the end of the first episode when Coulson walked up to skye's van and told mike to come out, when the van's door came flying agent Coulson ducked beneath it in a very Neo from matrix move? maybe they gave him some upgrades when he was put back together?
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Watch the Agent Coulson short on Thor's Blu ray. He's always been that awesome.
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True, I had forgotten "A funny thing happened on the way to Thor's hammer"
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I preferred the first episode. I thought this episode was boring. I was interested in the tesseract but then this army crowd show up, and it was clear that they were the bad guys. I thought the episode was going to be about the tesseract, why was it there, who put it there, how to use it. Instead it drifted to this mundane plot about the bad guys trying to take the plane and the tesseract, and using this as a team building exercise for our group. I didn't doubt for one second that they wouldn't overcome their foes or that any of them would die, so for me this makes boring television.
I don't mind the case of the week, I know this will turn into a bigger picture. I do have an issue with some of the characters. Fitzsimmons are really annoying, and I'm finding it hard to like Skye. I don't know what it is about her, but maybe it's that she is too CW, if that makes sense. It's early days yet, so I won't give up on it. This is mainly due to an unwavering Whedon loyalty.
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It was a fairly average second outing. Too much by the book, cliched, and too predictable in many aspects.

The way they pictured that tesseract weapon was rather inconsistent. Starting with Ward being so careless as to tear it out from the wall (despite Fitz's warnings and despite, I would think, his own training). It could've only obliterated everyone and everything. Then once aboard the plane we are told how powerful and dangerous it really is, the gravity of the situation supposedly weighing on everyone. And finally, the team uses that very own unstable weapon to blow a relatively small hole in the hull of "the bus"... Oookay.

Coulson's old flame of course had to turn into an evil bitch that would stab him in the back. Despite their history and all that. All for her country, and blah blah blah. And of course she couldn't be smart enough to understand that playing with alien technology wouldn't be a good move. So typical.

As for the inner workings of the team, we had Fitz-Simmons over(-using) their science talk and Ward playing so dumb that he couldn't even understand a single word that wasn't plain. How did this man learn six languages, again?
Naturally everyone soon ended at each other's throats. But then also naturally a common threat emerged that brought the team together, made Skye seem actually useful (conveniently illustrating her "pieces of the puzzle" talk), and gave everyone a chance to shine. By the end of the episode the hate turned into love. Could you feel it?

I want to like Simmons, but it's like they are going out of their way to make her annoying. #cantstopsmiling
And it's a cute smile, no doubt, but you can overdo with everything. Especially when it's not really appropriate to a situation, and when she keeps being so overly sweet and despite two PhDs quite dumb when she talks about working in the field. The character is dangerously close to self-parody.

At least Fitz grew a spine when he barked back at Ward.
Ward himself actually had a nice not-so-typical moment when talking to Skye.
Skye I'm still indifferent about, so far they are pushing the mole angle ("will she or won't she?").
Agent May is still sulking.

So I guess there wasn't much I liked about this, after all. Mediocre as far as mediocre goes.
Thumbs up for Samuel L. Jackson's cameo. Even though Nick Fury berated and belittled poor Coulson a little too much, it was still fun to see. Gives one hope for more of those.
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I'm going to show some faith in the awesomeness that is Samuel L Jackson and believe he did this cameo for nothing. If I was him, at this stage in my career where opportunity and money is really no option, I would just wanting to have fun with my work and my roles. And following on from the Avengers, and his experience working with Joss, I have to imagine that this scene must have just sounded like too much fun to pass up. I am hoping such scenes, tacked on the end, are not too regular though.
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I am sure that I am going to miss the fishtank
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This episode was much better than the first one. Still hate that Skye girl though.
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First of all NICK FURY CAMEO how frikkin cool was that. And the No fish tank thing, hilarious.

Is too quippy really a problem? People seriously invent new ways to complain, just stop complaining your lives will be better. Also who thought the show was about people with powers? Or still does?!!! I like the show, Whedon is amazing, if you don't like why do you watch?

I think it's realistic that the team wasn't a perfect working machine in just 2 missions, & the bickering made sense. Skye isn't alone in the Rising Tide thing as suspected. Her hesitation to answer text shows she is beginning to believe in S.H.I.E.L.D & the team.

I think I will answer the "who does better at the double gun look" when we've seen May do it a few more times. But yes I agree, she looks bad ass, not only with the guns but whatever fighting move she does
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I was really surprised to see Nick Fury in the episode.
The episode in itself was fine even though everything was derivative mainly due to the humour. Unlike many, I find Skye endearing and her double agent thing is intriguing.
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I really liked this episode, so much better than the pilot. It was a lot of everything but one thing, can someone please explain to me how using a emergency raft can cover a hole in a giant air plane, flying very high in the air? I was so confused :S but overall good episode, can't wait for more :)
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It was a super-duper-Shield raft, obviously. Created in a super-lab down in New Mexico or the supposedly magical land of Tahiti, designed to withstand any situation of amount of pressure.
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It can't, but the action was so well-staged, I didn't care. On a worse show that would have bugged me.
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"and to hear her talk about 100 people each having or being 1 percent of the solution, made a lot of sense."

No it didn't; "Too many cooks spoil the broth" predates Skye the Sage by centuries. Everyone is different. The more people you have working on the same thing, the more of a mess it becomes.

Anyway, bad philosophy or not, I'm loving this show. Why would anyone pick NCIS over this? Or hell, why does Sleepy Hollow seem to have picked up ten times the fans that this did?
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It was all part of "wisdom of the crowd" and "crowdsourcing" philosophy. I don't quite buy it myself, but whateve
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Skye is a 20something idealist; of course she buys it. There are worse things to believe.
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Will watch the next (3rd) episode. Slight improvement over the pilot, but still only hanging out on my liking Coulson and maybe the Calvary. The rest of the cast (barring cameo's) just fading more and more into the background. My just not be my cup of tea.
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I don't like the nickname any more than Melinda May does, but someone had to carry Hawkeye legacy and the Calvary beats Black Widow's nickname.
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I learned on Mythbusters that that's not what happens when you punch a hole in a plane, contrary to all TV ever.
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Staff
God bless MythBusters.
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Master-class team building. :-)

That last text, 'I'm in.' Does anyone think that the cell towers at a black site aren't monitered? If I was visiting a place like White Sands, Groom Lake, or even Langley, I would assume that any cell-phone activity was monitered. In fact I would think it negligent security if it wasn't.

It seems like Coulson is aware that there is something fishy about his survival. The way he keeps saying: "Tahiti. It's a magical place." It seems rehearsed (and I don't mean bad acting).

Everybody seems to be complaining about lack of character development. I have to say, relax, it's only the second episode. It takes time to develop properly. Buffy had plenty of well developed characters, but you're comparing 2 episodes to 7 seasons.
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Everybody seems to be complaining about lack of character development. I have to say, relax, it's only the second episode. It takes time to develop properly. Buffy had plenty of well developed characters, but you're comparing 2 episodes to 7 seasons.

Thank you!
And as the review stated, Whedon's shows need several episodes to find its pace (Buffy and Angel began to be great at the end of their first season).
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I don't think Coulson realized that he is saying it. He wasn't in Tahiti, but he's been programmed/brainwashed as a cover for what did happen him.
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They don't even have a four person squad protecting the Labrats. Thisa show just feels outdated and boring... I'll keep watching it but I will probably lose interest after a while.
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Very good episode; the highlight for me? "She's The Cavalry!!!!!" Ming-Na is great in that character; dry, inexpressive and right to point (or the head, or the crotch, or the ribs, wherever)!! I'm almost sure Skye is going to bug the hell out of me, but we'll see.
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