Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode 1 review
As a huge fan of the Marvel universe, I was excited to see a non-superhero approach to the universe. What better way than through the normal men and woman who protect us from the secrets that threaten to destroy us?
Our team of heroes consists of Agent Ward, our tough guy with a big heart inside; Agent May, a more experienced agent who is sick of field work; Skye, a computer hacker brought in to help; Agents Fitz and Simmons, both are very intelligent scientists; and of course, COULSON!!!!! Our team is assembled to investigate a recent superhuman problem codenamed "centipede." This introduces us to an average joe named mike, who has superpowers and is down on his luck. There is conspiracy and mystery behind how mike got his powers, and mike is on the verge of fatal collapse. It's up to our heroes to learn how to work together to save mike and those around him, and start to figure out who is behind the centipedes.
The star of this show is Coulson. Clark Gregg is been the perfect combination of seriousness, toughness, comedic timing, and representing the superhero fan in all of us. He has been ever since his first appearance in Iron Man back in 2008. Coulson is such a fan favorite now, he is even a staple in the Marvel comic universe. He is back in top form in this show, nothing has changed. That being said, let's address the elephant in the room, yes he is back from the dead, technically. It is addressed with an answer, but there is a lot of mystery behind it, maybe even to Coulson. So not only is Coulson the best character of the show and as amazing as ever, but he is also one of the biggest mysteries of the show.
The rest of the agents are good, but a little stereotypical. Ward is your usual tough guy who can take out a room of guys easily, but who is sensitive inside and is funny. It isn't as bad a stereotype as Barbie in Under the Dome, but Ward isn't original, but he is enjoyable. May is the "I'm getting to old for this" joke in person, but she is also funny and enjoyable. Fitz and Simmons weren't given too much depth this week outside of them being adorable geniuses, maybe that'll come next week. Skye is also your typical "rebellious" girl who is a genius and the men find her attractive. Again, nothing new here, but she is an enjoyable character.
What makes this cast work is their chemistry. Coulson of course is always great, but he also had a great ability for bouncing off other's words as well. The agents work great together. Everyone benefiting from Joss Whedon's amazing writing.
Mike as the "hooded hero" is a great deep character. He shows a lot of the outcry the public has towards their government right now, and gets to lash out a bit with his powers, feeling like he too could be a hero like he was talking to his son about in the beginning of the episode. He is conflicted between having his life ruined and trying to do the right thing, and he is great. His only problem is that his blame towards S.H.I.E.L.D. is a little misplaced.
Also, Maria Hill appeared a couple of times, which was a great way to connect the Avengers to this show. That is the other big strength of this show, it perfectly sews itself to the world the Avengers created. It truly feels like it is part of the Marvel movie universe, and it is wonderful. There are references to our main Avengers heroes, except Hawkeye oddly enough, and the things in their movies (extremis, which is handled better here than in Iron Man 3), gamma radiation, super soldier serum and others. It's not overkill either, it is all paced well. It tells its own story with its own characters, but it is still respectably tied to its mother universe. It is very well done.
Overall, this is a great show! It is well written, well acted and the story is filled with several layers of mystery and awesomeness. Coulson is back with his own agents to help him save the world the way S.H.I.E.L.D. can. The only thing I'd say needs a little fine tuning is the depth and development of the other agents, which should come from more episodes. There are many questions leading into next week, but we have a solid premiere that is laying the foundation for something truly super. Joss Whedon has done it again, and the good news is that we will be getting more of this greatness.
I give Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode 1 a heroic 4.5 out of 5.