Last week’s episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., “the Asset”, managed to do two things: Introduce a super-powered protagonist, and get me to pay attention to a member of the team not named Coulson. Said villain is Professor Hall, AKA “Graviton” (at least in the comics) who can control gravity and use it as a weapon. Said team-member was Skye, who did an amazing job of running around in a low cut dress. At first I wasn’t sure if this was actual character development or hormonal manipulation, but then she jumped into a swimming pool. At this point, dripping wet and still running around in that amazing dress, Skye became my absolute favorite character.
This week’s new episode, “Eye Spy”, opens with a bunch of red-masked men in business suits boarding a train in Sweden. People find them a little un-nerving, and there is a young woman with some sort of power that follows them onto the train. She smashes the light panel, plunging the train into darkness. When the lights come up, she’s gone, all the Red-Masks are dead, and one of them is missing his briefcase. His briefcase full of diamonds!
Cut to Coulson and team, who are en-route to Sweden to investigate the theft. Coulson briefs the team on the Red Masks, who were former military operatives, dressed identically and given identical cases to throw off the diamond heist. The young woman who pulled the heist is Akela Amador, a former S.H.I.E.L.D. operative personally trained by Coulson. Agent May thinks Amador has gone rogue, Coulson thinks she can be saved. Spy stuff ensues. Girls kick each other. An eyeball explodes.
Okay, I’m solidly on board now. Last week was light and fluffy, but this week was everything I’ve been waiting for. Intrigue, cool twists, and some solid development for our intrepid Agents. We get some solid running gags throughout the episode, and Skye says penises. The team is starting to develop some of that great, patented Whedon patter. Oh, and Agent May kicks some ass!
I still have some miss-givings with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., namely with Fitz and Simmons. I get that they’re two halves of a mightier, geekier whole, but they do very little for me other than provide the techno-babble that our beloved genre spews so much of. The writers have caught on to the short-comings of Agent Ward, and made a few jokes about how robotic he is. Fitz and Simmons, though? Just background chatter. I’m sure something will be done to make these two more interesting, more vital feeling to the team. As it stands, though, their roles could be adequately filled by JARVIS without anyone caring.
We’re starting to see elements of a greater Marvel universe at play now, first with Graviton, and now with whatever evil agency is behind Amador’s actions. If we start seeing elements of AIM, Hydra, or other insidious Marvel baddies, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will have crossed over from a mildly entertaining diversion to a fully integral part of the Marvel cinematic experience. Between this and Arrow, I am most definitely getting my Super-hero fix. It’s a really good time to be a geek!