Tuesday 9:00 PM on ABC

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S01E03: "The Asset"

If I had to rank the first three episodes of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in order from best to not best, I'd rank them like this: 1. "Pilot," 2. "The Asset," and 3. "0-8-4." While I enjoyed the result of "0-8-4" and the way the team worked together to solve their crisis, this week's episode felt more like the show was really finding its groove. The characters are all settling into their respective roles, and if you're not on board with the show by now, you're probably never going to be. 

With each passing week we're getting to know more about our team of agents (and Skye), and its nice to see that the show isn't forsaking the quieter character moments for the action and vice versa. The mission this week was to rescue Dr. Franklin Hall, an asset who'd been kidnapped. He was being held at Ian Quinn's mansion in Malta though, which meant S.H.I.E.L.D. was unable to go in with guns and gadgets blazin'. International law is kind of a pain in the ass sometimes, no?

Too bad for Quinn, because Skye isn't an official agent yet (though she's training with Agent Handsome as her superior officer), and was able to hack backdoor channels or something (I don't even know if those words are in the right order, also what's a computer?) to score an invite to the swanky shareholders party for Quinn Worldwide. This means she was the perfect person to infiltrate the party and make it possible for Agents Coulson and Handsome to get past the laser security wall (if only we had tiny monkeys!). 


When she was compromised it looked as if Skye's true colors as a member of the Rising Tide were showing. She told Quinn the truth about S.H.I.E.L.D. listening in, how they'd offered her a job (something he'd also done moments before he found her snooping around his office), and how she was sent to gain access to his office. In the end, it was telling the truth that allowed Skye access to a nearby wireless connection for Fitz to take down the laser wall surrounding the compound for Coulson and Handsome, but this probably won't be the last time we see Skye go off on her own and have to talk her way in to or out of situations. 

She's a smart girl who knows how to play people, which is a result of growing up in foster care and having been forced to raise herself, but she's still in an agent-in-training. Before reading the episode description for "The Asset," you'd never know the asset in question wasn't Skye at all, but she proved once again that she's a great addition to the team. She has committed herself to her training with Agent Handsome and is beginning to open up. 

"Hoping for something and losing it," she said, "hurts more than never hoping for anything." And Skye really wants this it seems. It's possible that she's also playing Agent Handsome, and therefore playing us, but she looked and sounded sincere in that moment and we don't actually have a reason to not trust her right now. Handsome had played story hour with her earlier in order to get her to see the importance of her training and what it means to be an agent, and while I'm not really buying their instantaneous bond, nor do I care if they eventually wind up in a relationship (because that seems to be what all their scenes indicate), I don't think we should just assume that Skye is either S.H.I.E.L.D. or Rising Tide. Right now I think she actually wants to be both, but we'll probably have to wait to see how and when her allegiance is tested (I'm guessing mid-season or the end of the season).

Back to the asset, though. Dr. Hall was a mentor to Fitz and Simmons, and the roommate and bestie of Ian Quinn in college. Together they had designed a theoretical machine powered by a theoretical substance called gravatonium. Quinn continued to look for that substance on his path to world domination or something and he found it. According to FitzSimmons—in language even a high school drop out like Skye can understand—the substance distorts the gravity fields within it. Then some other science-y stuff happens and basically it creates rooms that look like they belong in Inception

Quinn needed Hall to run point on this operation because he wasn't smart enough, I guess. But Hall recognized the danger of the situation and his bright idea to deal with it was to just level Quinn's compound, taking the machine, the gravatonium, and everyone inside the place with it as it sank to the bottom of the ocean. Seems good to me! Except Coulson wasn't really having it. There was a nice little moment in which Hall told Coulson that we have to live with the choices we make, but sometimes we have to die with them too. I will definitely not be subscribing to that life philosophy, but looks like Hall will, because in his last attempt to stop the machine, Coulson shot a hole in a window and Hall fell right into the gravatonium (remember the Inception-ized room!). And that, ladies and gentleman, is how villains are born. Dr. Frank Hall has for all intents and purposes become Graviton, but he's currently locked away in a super secret S.H.I.E.L.D. facility, unbeknownst, of course, to everyone since he's hanging out in the gravitonium right now. 



NOTES

— We learned a bit more about Agent Handsome's backstory that was only ever hinted at: he was beat up by his brother a lot growing up. That was pretty much a given though, as anyone with an older brother can attest, so maybe give us a little more next time?

— I know it might be annoying to many of you, but the mystery of Coulson was hinted at again this week. While we probably didn't need Coulson reminding us he saw plenty of action with the Avengers, or May reminding us he died there, the quiet moment at the end about muscle memory and him having difficulty with things was more subtle. The case for Coulson being a Life-Model Decoy is getting harder and harder to ignore. (And just check out the obvious implications from that photo above!)

— May is tired of driving the bus and being left behind, she wants to be back in action. So look forward to more Melinda May ass-kicking next week!

—"I thought I was joining S.H.I.E.L.D., not 24 Hour Fitness."

—"Every field agent has a defining moment when you have to make the hard call. When you dedicate yourself to this or curl up in a ball and run." / "How can you run if you're curled up in a ball?"

—"Skipper to Bravo. I've got eyes on Top Dog. The eagle is landing on it." 


thekaitling:list:marvels-agents-of-shield-how-did-you-like-the-asset/

 


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 5/17/2016

Season 3 : Episode 22

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The issue with Coulson's character isn't so much that he has to be a supporting character, but that his character in the films (and even in Ultimate Spider-Man) works because he's the "straight man"--a role which Clark Gregg excels at. The problem here is that there really isn't an over-the-top comedic character for him to play off of. The writers need to pen in a way to either incorporate a rotation of such characters or invent a new team member for him to play off of. (Like The Odd Couple.) He was drop-dead funny and effective playing off of Tony Stark's overgrown party animal, or Thor's anachronistic power, or even the way Coulson gushed over Cap.

This was most apparent in the scene with Nick Fury at the end of last week's episode--both are "straight men," so even with both men's acting skill, Samuel L Jackson had to really push his Nick Fury machismo in order to get any payoff from the scene.

I love Coulson (and Clark Gregg's portrayal of him) and the concept for the show, and, aside from Ward's flatness, I think they've got some potential here. However, like Thor said in the pre-reboot Avengers animated show, I say to the writers: "Remember who you are!" I think in both the sadly-rebooted animated show and this one, the writers have forgotten what made the prior cartoon and the earlier movies great--character interplay. Arrow took nearly all season to figure out that superhero stories only truly work when there is great character interplay that is developed over time, never forced. (It's the very thing that has made the Dark Knight trilogy and Person Of Interest such monumental successes.)


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What are the "obvious implications from the photo above"? Anyway, another disappointing episode. This show is going to fail the 4 episode test.
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I'm on board, though I like the show rather than love it. I hope they're not making Skye and Ward a cliché will they/won't they thing, because those two characters have absolutely no chemistry.
Like many others have said Skye is not believable as a foster kid, or as a hacker, or at all come to think of it. I generally feel Joss hasn't done as well as he usually does with casting, but I'm hoping the weaker choices will grow on me. I do love Fitz and Coulson.
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Very hot in the pink dress! I think this was the best episode so far, and not just for that reason, but moreso that it fit the genre very well.
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After three episodes I have hard time believing this show will be able to maintain the audience to stay on a network. I've found the show to be somewhat disappointing. Thus far it seems like something the SyFy channel produced similar to Eureka or Warehouse 13. I was holding out some hope for improvement but it's getting to the point where, the show probably is what it is.
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Yeah, it's a bit shaky, but... most Whedon shows are for a season or so. That's the secret reason of his "bad luck", I guess. He clearly had a good endgame for Dollhouse, but Season 1 was a bore. On TV you tend to not come back from that.

Then again, Disney has more riding on this show than just ratings. It's keeping up awareness for the Marvel movies and eventually for Avengers 2, so it's pretty much an hour-long ad on top of whatever it brings in. Maybe that'll give it time to get good? The cast can certainly do much better, so at that point it's a matter of getting the writing to click, which is the problem right now.
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I may be really dumb but I can't figure out what I'm supposed to be seeing in the mirrored picture of Coulson?
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We learned a bit more about Agent Handsome's backstory that was only ever hinted at: he was beat up by his brother a lot growing up. That was pretty much a given though, as anyone with an older brother can attest, so maybe give us a little more next time?
- As a girl with an older sister and a younger sister I kind of know what he meant. while we weren't beat up for no reason or for birthday cake, there were a lot of times I found myself having to protect my younger sister from my older sister's wrath. I thought this point was interesting not because the whole getting beaten up aspect because thats a bit par for the course, but the protection of his younger brother that defined him to want to be an agent, which can explain why he doesn't have people skills. He wants to protect people but he doesnt trust people. Because of that Im not completely sold on a relationship between him and skye or a "will they or wont they" thing either.


I really liked the fact that they showed the difference between a SHIELD agent and a civilan. Skye couldn't shoot quinn but coulson could shoot hall. neither decision could be good.

Im sticking to it just now because Im enjoying the budding camraderie but may just bail if they go too much on the "hey rememeber avengers?" and the shipping train with fitzsimmons or skyeward. Not every show needs that tension to work.
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Terrible show. Stopped watching after the second episode.
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I'm enjoying SHIELD but mostly because of Chloe Bennett. I wish each character really brought something to the table but they've basically given all the personality to Skye. She carries the show while everyone else just keeps their head down and rambles on about protocol so we know they're professional agents. It would be nice to see the personality spread around.
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I like Fitzsimmons!
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For me this episode graded out to Solid B.(probably best episode of season) Though in my opinion this show is NOT blowing me away. It hasn't grabbed me like i thought it would. (DAMN HYPE MACHINE!) (Points for creating a Super Villain though) Is it me? or the team just doesn't have enough personality.( How about putting one of the lesser Marvel heroes with the team??). The team just meanders from situation to the next.(Other great shows of today proved and arc type of storyline CAN work WELL). Maybe if they had a organization that they were actually fighting?? (Hydra? or some other Evil Group?) I am sure the potential is just scraping the surface.
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i think the show is complete hogwash but I love Sky so i keep watching it :-D
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she is so fine! my wife was like.."oh, there you go" when she was all wet and running. hah.
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I want this show to be good but its not at least not yet...not like the first season of Heroes. Maybe u need to have a main storyline underlying everything not just a bunch of unrelated cases? Major villain? I dont know. Please be better.
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Not sure why you are comparing it to heroes, since the shows are nothing alike. There aren't even really any superpowers involved, that's kind of the whole point.

And just about every show in existence starts off with the "procedural" format. It'll take a while but it will get to the point (I reckon at the latest halfway through the season) where we get a continuing underlying plot/villain/whatever.
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Because it's Marvel my expectations are higher plus I remember Heroes pulling me in emotionally?! It was exciting! Anyway Im sticking with this one.
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So hold on, I'm a really smart villain with a brand new weapon made from a rare substance called Gravitonium. I commit a crime with it and then leaves the device on the FREAKIN ROAD so it can be easily found by law enforcement and help trace back to me.

Well done show! *shakes head*
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This rellay a case where they need to reboot the all show
Drop Whedon
Keep agent Coulson drop the other characters (not actors)
and rethink the all Idea of this series

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If this were a stand-alone show outside of the Marvel universe it might have potential, but because it is in the universe people are looking for cameos, which isn't what the show is really about. Also, I think Coulson works better as a supporting character as opposed to the main character. As a supporting character there is more room for his quirkiness, but as the main character it changes the dynamic. Although many of the characters have stuff about them that doesn't work, I think the two scientists are the ones that don't work the most. Partly because their accents are hard to follow. They should have had only one with an accent.
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The fact that Fitz Simmons talk VERY fast, at the same time, and in science / sci-fi jargon certainly doesn't make it any easier to understand them . . .
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That's a tad unfair, re: accents. There are people watching this show outside of the US, it is being aired in the UK only four days after airing in the US, so there are plenty of people who not only understand but appreciate the accents of two UK nations on this show, plus they're hardly particularly strong English/Scottish accents.
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I watch a lot of UK shows and movies with no problem understanding what is being said (Being Human, Luther, Spooks (MI-5), Sherlock, Torchwood, etc.). Maybe it's the way the present the dialogue.
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hey look, it's Professor Quirrell! lol I know Franklin Hall is Graviton in the comics, and he's Canadian, but Ian Hart's accent is kind of bad... plus it's the typical Brit trying to be American accent, which sounds almost as bad as the typical American trying to be a Brit, and so the character didn't sound Canadian at all.. I'm totally behind this show, but I'm still waiting for the eventual Whedon awesomeness to kick in full speed. it's good, but it just seems more like an ABC Family show at this point, not one of the major networks. Fitz is still my favorite character, even though seeing him just makes me even madder BBC cancelled The Fades.
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The show is alright, I just can't stand that Ken doll's "acting" ability, he has zero charisma, I'm bored to death when he's on screen.
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He looked like a wimp hitting that bag as well. I'm struggling with the guy. Maybe the Hulk can smash him. :)
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Puny Agent!
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Skye is the only interesting and charismatic character on the show. Other than her, everything is very predictable and derivative. Its not a bad show, but it isn't a good one either. This episode was better than the last one and on that we can agree.
Being the younger brother, I can attest that my elder brother never once hit me hard enough to actually hurt me. But, I have hurt him many times when I was younger. So, yeah. Elder brothers are great. Lol.
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Disagree. Skye is horrible. She can't act at all.
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I think you meant Agent Ward.
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i think she's good...and she's hot, so that helps a lot.
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She is HOT no doubt, but I don't believe her in character at all.
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Better from the ones before but still there is a lot more to be desired.
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Sky...was shall i say...is she good or bad...still not sure..even the way she played it, was so nicely done and in the end she was for Marvel, but still...bit shady about her..
Loved the special effects, especially in the begin, with the cars..was really nicely done...
Really starting to like this series..
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This episode was a vast improvement on last week. The special effects and the setting was much improved on the awful fake jungle last week. Skye turned it around for me too this week. Still not 100% on her but I'm starting to get behind her. I know she was on SHIELDs side in this episode, but we do have a reason not to trust her, and that was her text message last week. There is a big decision in Skye's future, probably with a you betrayed us story arc too.
For me the bigger picture is the grab not the story of the week, but it feels like Quinn will be back, and Graviton, who will surely feature again. Then there is what is happening with Coulson.
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As for the episode, I really enjoyed this one. I would even rank it as the best so far....the team came together as just that, working solidly in unison without seeming corny and melodramatic in the run-up to the mission moments. It just had a more fluid and smoother feel to it that helped with the banter, comedy, and the more poignant moments. Obviously (especially to those with Franklin Hall/Graviton knowledge) where the end was going, but there was enough points that kept me guessing to help me overlook those. Skye, for example. I had a feeling she was using the truth to win over Ian Quinn, but after the ending last week, there was enough ambiguity to maintain an element of doubt. Still loving Coulson, and the definite hints he is a robot/life-model decoy - especially the electrical current running down his face during the climactic moments, and his 'rustiness'. The actor really made me feel for him with his frustration and struggle.

Also FTW: The hints at the emergence of future super-villains, and the potential of Melinda May returning to the field fully.

Still not feeling the love for Simmons, however, to the point that I have already envisioned her demise as a way to further direct Fitz towards awesomeness and some sad/dramatic moments.

Line of the night: "Hoping for something and losing hurts more than never hoping for anything"---Something I think Franklin Hall/Graviton will agree with when he inevitably returns with a vengeance.
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Best so far yes... But that is not saying much. I'm not sure why some viewers gush over marvel references sprinkled in within the dialogue or picture in background. Is that supposed to make this show cool? Are we really buying this?
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Am I the only one that is really starting to like Fitz? He seems to be a lot more comfortable in his role this week, and edged ever closer to matching the brilliantly quirky/geeky characters that became staple in other Whedon productions. He really brought out the chuckles in me this week, especially with his increasingly obvious adoration of monkeys.
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I'm still not able to warm up to agent C. Most of the time I just want to wack him over the head and to lead the team and not just telling them to accomplish whatever he decides there is to accomplish.
On teh other hand I love Ward more and more. And May. And FitzSimmons. And I'm getting to like Skye in her ambiguity as well as her relationship with Ward.
I liked Ian Quinn, he was an interesting villain, I hope he comes back.
And I hope they keep those little vignetes at the end of each episode.
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I am loving this show more and more every week, I like that 2 potential future villains have been introduced.
I like the tension between Skye and Handsome, I think they should have sex now but decide to keep it casual, leaving it open to make them a couple in the future.
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I think they should have sex, agree to keep it quiet...but there actually is a truth serum and the team get accidentally exposed to it and hijinks ensue
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hahaha awesome!
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Quick question: are the ratings good enough? I read the show slipped some more this week but I honestly don't know what the standard is. What do you think, is it looking good or bad?
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It's too early to tell, I think. The ratings have been falling at an alarming rate, but it's hard to predict how far they're going to fall.

It's a really good thing that such a large percentage of the viewers are the "right" age. This episode, which had about 8 million viewers, got a higher 18-49 rating than NCIS with about 18 million viewers.
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Ratings falling at an alarming rate? Happily, ABC didn't see it that way. Full season pick-up. Lola's going to get a full case of Turtle Wax!
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I rated the shows the same as you did.
This episode just looked a lot slicker than the previous one.
It is finding a groove, but I think it will take a few more episodes until its totally in its stride - Fitz and Simmons need a bit more polish imo.
Of the entire group, i would like to see more of Melinda May and Coulson.
Skye was better in this episode -less of a 5th wheel - and it was good that Coulson laid out what she can bring to the group.
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I've missed Ian Hart! Took me little while to work out where I had seen him last (Dirt! - Don Konkey : I loved that show and he was probably my favourite character) and I'm hoping we get to see more of him in his Graviton persona.
I liked the episode but can't say I loved it. I think I paused it and got up to do little things about 5 times while watching. That's my gauge to let me know how invested I am in the show I'm watching. Never leave my chair if I'm watching The Originals, Supernatural, Hell On Wheels or *coughGleecough* but tend to get up at least twice with anything else!
I do find the science nerds kind of grating. I don't think it's their accents, well definitely not his, but they just annoy me. I totally tune out every time they are on screen. I like my science geek with a bit of cool or hidden ninja skills or something, anything to make them more than just the brains (the very annoying brains!)
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Ian Hart, cool actor. I guess he may be back if he gets outta that gravi-whatever-tron. Something a little bit kid's television about this show, maybe I just hate surprise flying cars. I love Whedon's other stuff, especially the witty and heartfelt dialogue. Did like the talk delivered by Gunn in ep.1 (I imagine it resonated with a lot of people given financial crises and feeling powerless)
Finding Skye too cutesy, part Kaylee, part Willow (of course she's gonna have her true alliance with her new shield family, although they better get a lot more charming a lot faster). Agent Handsome just is badly written or something, no matter how committed he's supposed to be he's no Malcolm Reynolds, no Gunn, no Angel or Jane. Something just blank and not in the good way a spy is supposed to be a mystery or a blank. May is resuscitating this thing in every scene she is in, she is Zoe and Walsh combined but I'm not sure it'll be enough. I fear this show will be mediocre and run forever while people squint at it sideways, lie to themselves and say it's comparable to Whedon's earlier shows if not better cause its got the Marvel logo. Maybe Dushku needs to come in as an agent and get tossed off the team for solving missions by shooting people, blowing stuff up and enjoying it too much.
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I'm trying not to think and just enjoy the show for what it is, the characters are going to be a bit superficial and glossy, and looking past that it can be a fun watch. It still is a little corny and predictable, even with the brain turned off, but I'm hoping that will go away when it becomes more serialized and less villain-of-the-week.
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This week didn't impress. It was repetitive and held my hand WAY too much. Skye learns how to take a gun, Skye takes a gun. Handsome shares past, Skye shares past. Villain falls in vat of science, new supervillain born. Gimme something new, something I can't predict without thinking.
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I agree
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Also, there was a better pic of Coulson from this episode, one during the end of that same scene with a bolt of electricity running down his face. /RobotCoulson
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I agree with your order of these, but I would caution that is only because 084 really was weak sauce, not because The Asset was exceptional. I found this episode generic to the action/adventure TV procedural genre, the characters were still really cardboard and Coulson is now getting kinda annoying constantly talking about how he hung out with the Avengers and he died and blah blah blah. All this and they had an actual supervillain origin story that wasn't able to elevate it. I'm giving it 50/50 because I watch NCIS:LA and stuff like that, this wasn't much worse than that.

I am not on board with this show still, but I want to keep giving it a try because I am hoping it'll get its shit together soon enough, find sparkle in it.

Coulson didn't see a lot of action with the Avengers, that was such a stupid line, he saw a little action with Tony Stark and then a tiny amount with the Avengers before he died, and that was all on the Helicarrier. That line was proverbial nails on the chalkboard for me, that felt like a line written by someone who didn't watch these movies.

May is already upending her character's singular trait, that she's badass but tired of combat, so now she's generic action agent just like almost everybody else on the damn Bus.

So, not going to mention how the convoy was incredibly stupid in the first place, how taking a truck and 2 SUVs wasn't particularly smart, and how their heads-up display futuristic equipment didn't do jack squat?
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Haha, yeah, I'm sorry Coulson but you ain't no Captain America, you ain't even at Black Widow or Hawkeye level. Your Loki's pin cushion and a guilt trip for superheroes to team up. I mean Tony Stark won't willingly let him in the mansion let alone hang out with the guy. Coulson talks himself up like he and the Avengers had barbecues and were all knocking back some cold ones, laughing and swapping war stories.

Yeah the May reluctance for combat and some mysterious history behind it just got blown up, she was the most unique character and they taking it away, however given the team they're all pretty much cannon fodder but her. I did prefer her being reluctant but capable though, like when she put the bulletproof SUV between the team and bullets in the nick of time in the last episode, they should just continue that. Driving the bus in a way that saves their collective asses but not technically field active.

Oh that convoy, horrendous! Was I supposed to like the driver/undercover shield transporter or laugh at his circumstance? I did neither.
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So far I am enjoying this show. Is it the best thing ever? Nope, but it's a ton of fun. I feel like the show is really finding its feet. There is some great action and then nice little character moments.

It was nice to learn a little bit more about Skye this week. She does have some skills and those skills are she's smart and can talk to people. I don't trust her. What she was saying about SHIELD seemed to be the truth. She doesn't fully trust them and is still Rising Tide. Yet, she likes Ward and can't just ignore everything that they're doing for her. Ward and Skye are so going to have a thing. I think we're starting to see her be a little torn between the two.

I liked learning more about Ward as well. It sounds to me like he wasn't just beat up by an older brother, but that his older brother had serious issues and took it out on them. It makes sense that he learned to fight. Also, he looked really good in those jeans and that t-shirt. He should dress like that more often. Speaking of what to wear does Coulson not have anything but suits? Does he sleep in a suit?

I felt like we got to know Fitz and Simmons a lot better this week. Or maybe I'm just starting to understand them better. Fitz seems to get an idea and just stick with it. He thinks outside of the box though. I would have liked to see the monkey. Simmons is the more down to earth one. The do well together. Yay Melinda wanting to get back into the field!

I knew as soon as Dr. Hall fell into the big black ball of doom that he was going to be a villain. I mean it's how it happens a lot in comic books. And hey, there really is a super villain like him. Who knew? Well played guys, well played.
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I (sorta) liked the episode. But I have to point out that I'm not a Marvel fan (never read a single comic and enjoyed the movies to a degree) so I never had any great expectations about the show. So far it's OK. I mean, sort of bland with brilliant moments. Oh, and it also helps I've been mesmerized by Chloe Bennet since I saw her in Nashville. But I don't know what a die-hard Marvel fan is expecting; probably more.

As I said, some brilliant moments and Whedon's characters have heart. Like when Skye disarmed the villain and said she had learned a thing or two. Then he asked her, "but do you have what it takes to pull the trigger?" And she just admitted, "Nope!" and jumped off the balcony or something. The gravity room effect was great, and the end, quite intriguing. "And that, ladies and gentleman, is how villains are born." - I loved that in the review.

But i had no idea what a "Life-Size Decoy" (or whatever) is and expecting viewers to make a case for that is hard to put up with. I mean, if this kind of knowledge is necessary or expected, the show won't build a big enough general audience. OK, I get it, Coulson must be a clone, or a robot, or a replicant. Please, put it in words that a Marvel-school dropout would understand.

Let's see how the show develops. And even if I'm not head over heels for the show, I'll be watching it all the way this season. And that's a hell of a commitment with so many good new shows competing for my attention. This is how I feel right now:


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I personally enjoyed this episode a lot, but I'm starting to think that the people complaining need to do a little reflection:

1. Of course the show isn't phenomenal out of the gate, it's a Whedon show - anyone here actually watch the first season of Buffy? The first few episodes of Firefly? If so, they should go back and watch them again: The whole first season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer was just "good." There wasn't anything phenomenal, nothing particularly brilliant. Just, "good." Firefly was the same way in the first couple episodes as well. Joss Whedon's shows take a little while to get off the ground. Agents of SHIELD isn't any different.

2. re: the characters' two-dimensionality - again, go back and look at Whedon's other shows: valley girls, geeks, cowboys, tweed-wearing English scholars, kind-hearted prostitutes, frontier doctors, etc. Joss Whedon populates his shows with stock characters. What makes his shows great, however, is that he develops those characters wonderfully over time and gives them real dimension.

I'm not instructing anyone to "just wait for the show to get good." If they don't want to watch, they shouldn't watch. I will say, however, that I think their expectations of how the show was going to start out were rather unrealistic.
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First episode of Firefly, the characters were defined right out the gate by 2 things: the quality of the acting, and the quality of the character writing. First episode of SHIELD, I could not tell you their names aside from Fitz, Simmons, and Coulson, and I couldn't even tell you what they did. I can't quite figure out what the hell... um... prettyboy, whatever, Ward? I couldn't tell you what he really is supposed to be here, he's like Coulson Junior except much stupider and worse at the job, I guess? And May's already become less unique a character at the end of this episode. And Firefly's original pilot, "Serenity" (not the movie by the same name) was amazing with character development and setting development. SHIELD has failed to identify the task at hand beyond the nebulous procedural X-files/Warehouse 13 thing, it's failed to identify the enemy or threat credibly, it's failed to develop compelling characters.

And if the expectations were unrealistic, whose fault is that? I'd argue it's the ABC/Disney/Marvel hype machine making this thing out to be something it's not, a noteworthy part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This is a bad knockoff of Firefly. SHIELD itself isn't interesting, The Bus isn't interesting, the people on the show aren't terribly interesting, so it's only offering sci-fi-lite action.
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Damn, you have put into words exactly what I've been thinking for the past few weeks! That's crazy

Despite all that,I'm still watching. Because I still "meh-like" the show, so I'll give it a season.
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Concur, Malcolm Reynolds lost his war but he had Zoe's loyalty cause he was a capable leader and we the audience saw it. Ward can beat up French bad guys with his faux-waiter tray and talk "defining moments" but talk is cheap buddy.
Who's team would you join? I'd like to know whether the reviewer herself would jump on the SHIELD BUS or Serenity given the choice, for me it's a no-brainer, does Whedon have creative control? Is this show getting micromanaged by family friendly agents of Marvel? Get Adam Baldwin on the show I'll tune in each week half hour before it starts and watch every commercial. Maybe an agent that throws knives or is a master in the art of zen and handguns. :-
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I know I have no place commenting as the only episode I've watched all the way through is the pilot- but so far, as full of potential as the concept seemed to be, the show sounds like a dud. Can't... resist... changing... the channel...
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I'm really waiting for this show to liven up but it's so damn bland I'm not sure I can last much longer and this is coming from someone who managed to get through fifteen episodes of Revolution.
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lmao.
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Coulson being a Life Model Decoy is too simple of an answer. I don't forsee Whedon going that route. Has there ever been an LMD that both bruised and bled like Coulson has in the past two episodes?
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I agree that Coulson being an LMD is too simple. And in answer to your question; yes, LMD's are capable of bruising and bleeding. At least some of the newer versions in the current comic book universe (616)
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Show plugging along nicely IMO, ratings dropped again but still have hope. This episode I felt was the weaker of the 3 so far. BUT first hint at a recurring storyline with Gravitron-Man
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Especially after this episode the problems this series has seems pretty obvious: It is too Hollywood clichéd in every way.

Music - Epic trumpet music in most of the scenes, although nothing epic happens. If there already was some tension, this overly dramatic music just kills it for me.

Characters - Very one-dimensional, the scientist geeks, the cold-blooded femme fatale, the blunt super agent. The only refreshing and interesting character that does not behave as expected based on their roles is the hacker girl.

Scenery and Artistic Direction - The set on SHIELDS looks uninteresting and really "comicy". It creates no sense of realism, who thinks that high-tech planes would really look that cold-blue, edgy and metallic. It's simply generic, it is how everyone would have pictured it ten years ago.
You can instantly spot how dull and monotone the SHIELD HQ looks like and how misplaced the green screen looks like. The scenery is empty and there is no love to detail. Just compare it to the other SciFi-show's "conference room scene" in Fringe, you'll notice the details.

I can't help myself, I think the show is very mediocre. There is nothing special about it, nothing gripping and it really is a stretch to call the characters "fleshed out" or "interesting".

The four-episode-treatment ends next week and I doubt that they will improve.



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Fitz suggesting monkeys for a plan - favorite character set.
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He seems to have a thing for monkeys. He talked about monkeys in episode 2 as well. I love it.
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I remember! He mentioned how many species of monkeys were in the country they visited (and Simmons something about Dengue fever).
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So does anyone else think that a super villain created on the TV show will appear in a Marvel movie at some point?
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I'm guessing it depends on what superheroes he had contact with in the comics. I never really read marvel stuff, but the wiki says he joins a kinda techno group -A.I.M. - so if that gets introduced it might happen
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A.I.M. has already been introduced in Iron Man 3, so there you have it.
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this show is good and interesting and has a lot of potential. So many haters on here, if you really dislike things about the show that much, why are you still watching? There are always characeters on shows you like more than others, but some people saying they make me sick and such, just stop watching.
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The so called haters dislike the show not because they are sarcastic, but because they really, really want to luv this show. However because of it's premise, they are so dissatisfied instead.. the show seems to be going down the same senseless path, and so far nothing is being done to fix their disappointment.
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Mostly agree with your sentiment, just want to point out a couple of things:

1. Disliking a show isn't necessarily grounds for avoiding it, altogether. For example, I only chose to endure that atrocious and deplorable final season of Dexter because of an obligation for one of my former-favorite television shows, but also due to genuine human curiosity in seeing just how terrible it could become.

I suppose there are some viewers out there who've already made up their minds with regard to S.H.I.E.L.D. and simply want to see how it proceeds before finally calling it quits. I'm not denying the unbridled hatred for S.H.I.E.L.D in some quarters, but it's better not to generalize as some people are providing constructive criticism.

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2. In today's internet subculture, releasing vast amounts of detestation on a public forum apparently makes people feel better about themselves. Why? I don't know. I doubt there will ever be a consensus to that enigma. There's always been this part of my psyche that desires to live in the '80s or '90s before the internet became so prevalent in our everyday lives, because life would be so much simpler and convivial.

I'd say there's a lot of evidence giving credence to the idea that society is gradually degrading into masochistic concretions of bitterness. It's as if people inherently feel that insulting something or someone is essential for offsetting whatever unfortunately problems they're dealing with outside of the internet.

Again, it's not to disregard the legitimately productive disapproval targeted towards the show, but it's frequently drowned-out by the more extreme elements of opinions.
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no one can avoid negative things to say all the time, but i think if you dislike something, why you wasting your time on it... i make comment on shows i do not watch sometimes on here, just because i read the reviews, which are more entertaining than the shows most of the time... but if i find i do not like something, i am not going to waste an hour of my time on it just to waste another 15-30 mins on here complaining about it. No show is perfect, but i look to be entertained, so i try my best not to nit pick everything.

But i do hear what your saying, people want to find something to complain about and they do. I am not sure about the whole watching it to see how bad it could get though. I walked away from shows i have liked before because they made changes i did not like. Just to give examples, ER and Chuck. I was close to giving up on CSI, but when they added Ted Danson, i found my interest renewed. Everyone is different, and they have all the right to be, but if your just going to badmouth everything, i do not get why your wasting your time watching. Guess it is just my way of seeing things.
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Meant to type *unfortunate*, not unfortunately. >_>
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worst of all series
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I try not to focus on Ward's childhood (or Skye pretty face), but the SHIELD agent that looked like a truck driver. More of those please!
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I just have to speak out against: "he was beat up by his brother a lot growing up. That was pretty much a given though, as anyone with an older brother can attest" I am an older brother, I have done martial arts for years, and I never have "beat up" my younger brother, so I'm just shocked at that abhorrent generalization
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Yeah. I'm the younger brother and I always used to beat up my older brother and he never once in his life hit me hard enough to actually hurt me. That's a very broad generalization in the review.
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I'm very happy to hear you didn't beat up your brother.
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I LOVE Whedon but I am having real problems with what should be awesome on all counts. I love Ming Na and Coulson....every one else especially "Handsome" and Skye really ugh. I realise this episode why Skye annoys me. I think her character was written for Eliza Dushku or a combination of characters Eliza has played for Whedon before, and she would do it better. There is a gritty sassy edge to a Dushku performance that would make the Skye character more believable as a foster homeless child. This girl plays it soft and clean and I just don't see her motivation. There is a clash between decision making and performance that Eliza would nail.
I guess this is a little of the problem with Agent Handsome too. He is too "clean". There is no edge to his character for me to believe that he is a hard ass and they keep pushing this relationship on us too!

Why is everyone but the evil guys, Daddy Coulson and Mommy Ming Na, friggin teenagers?

So far.... everything is rather super predictable. Not Whedon style I might add.
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Have to agree about Handsome and Skye, I said last week she is too CW. They are too glossy. Pity Handsome isn't played by someone like Tahmoh Penikett. Handsome is some kind of super agent, but he doesn't have any gritty feel to him, like someone who has seen awful things and had to make hard choices. They look like actors playing detective.
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Tamoh! Thats exactly what I thought too! When I saw him in the last episode I was like damn now that is grit and agent right there.
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Looked up Tahmoh Penikett, loved B.G., but at this point I'll even settle for Danny Trejo to replace Ward who can die in some "defining moment". Skye is too shiny for (what's her backstory again?) a foster child. I keep thinking of Joseph Gordon Levitt in DKR about some new family always wanting the kid to smile, but it seems smiles just come too easy to this girl. The living in the Combi is just too hip or kitche and she's got so many zingers she loses whatever sinister tension there is with the rising tide story arc.
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LOL I think I love the Trejo idea! Definitely spice things up and be VERY interesting! :)
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Yes! you folks figured out what was driving me nuts about Skye.

She reminds me of the super rich kids I've met, who decide to play rebel. She's supposedly living in her van, but has perfect hair, trendy accessories, and an expensive wardrobe carefully designed to look shabby-chic.

I just didn't buy the foster kid thing at all. If she said she wants to tick off her CEO daddy, I would have bought it.
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Haha Danny Trejo would bring a different feel to the character all right. Take the phone off Skye too, she looks like a moody teenager when her head is in a phone. A step away from screaming 'you don't know how awful my life is, I hate you all'
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I think we should start a section about Agent Coulson to put all the hints of the mystery surrounding him .So we can keep track as a group. Just an Idea thought it would be cool if we had all of them together. You could update each week and if someone saw something that no one did.
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"The case for Coulson being a Life-Model Decoy is getting harder and harder to ignore. (And just check out the obvious implications from that photo above!)"

maybe its just me but i don't see anything obvious about the picture. then again i'm not that familier with marvel comics and LMD so can somoene explain it to me please
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Previously, I wasn't really onboard with Coulson being some sort of clone or machine. However, this week I am starting to believe that this may be the case. My reasoning is his muscle memory. Muscle memory isn't just a figure of speech, but actual pathways your brain develops as you do certain actions repetitively. This allows your body to carry out actions instinctively without conscious thought.

A really good example of this is the Bourne Identity. For those who haven't seen it, it follows a CIA black-ops operative who loses his memory. In a scene early in the movie, he is confronted by police, and takes them both out without even thinking, and has no idea how he even did it. This is muscle memory. Even after losing your memory, the pathways for these actions would still be there, and react accordingly.

With Coulson, the opposite is true. He has memories of carrying out the training with guns, but simply doesn't have the pathways there to carry out the actions, aka muscle memory. This sort of thing wouldn't carry over if you cloned someone, as its not tied to your DNA or anything, and similarly if you had some sort of cyborg or android, again the pathways would not be there. Only the original person would ever have them. Thus, Coulson's inability to operate the gun the way he *should* have been able to gives me a good idea that he is not actually the original Coulson, but some sort of double.
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i don't disagree. That is clearly what they were trying to convey in the episode (in my opinion they make it so obvious its gotta be a red haring) but do you get what is so obvious about him being a lmd in the photo ?
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Kaitlin is getting at the mirror images being metaphoric for their being two Coulsons.
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and/or the way his mirror image seems to have mechanical armatures attached to his back, given the placement of the computer screen apparatus
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Agreed, regardless of what Coulson is, he isn't in the same body anymore in my opinion.
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Looking at it realistically, that can't be his heart - if only because of the spot Loki stabbed him - but I hope the rest its still him.
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I don't see it either.
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I loved this episode! I definitely don't think we're done with Quinn or Hall though. And if Coulson was actually a Life Model Decoy I honestly think I would cry.
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Jeez, Agent Ward got beat up as a kid because his brother ate somebody's birthday cake? It's a cruel, cruel world out there.
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I think Agent H's backstory may have been underplayed.
Coz I know little bros are for beating up & all but to give special emphasis like that, sounds like his big bro may have done worse.
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Oh his family life is hella messed up. That can only be one tiny sliver of his backstory.
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Out of 3 episodes so far,I thought this one was the best. In my eyes it did improve(or the fact I dropped any expectation for this show) a bit,but I still can't get into those 4 characters. That goes double for those 2 lab rats. I can't explain,how much I hate them and I cringe,whenever they are on screen...which is almost all the time. Only way to watch those 2 for me is on mute and subtitles.

And the fact they used Graviton has my hopes for this show,but if they don't kill or fix those characters...uhh,I just don't know. Told myself I will watch as long as Coulson is there and I also think,this show might tie-in into Avengers 2 somehow,even if it's just a tiny bit tie-in.
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