TV Review: AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D – S01E02: “0-8-4”
Marvel set the precedence of creating the first ever shared movie-verse with its 6 movies, while continuing to move onto more in Phase II. The comic book publisher and production house continues the trend by launching its new TV Series which bridges the gap, or connects the movie-verse to other stories… or something, with AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.
After the awesome-tastic Pilot last week, Episode 2 of Agents Of SHIELD from earlier tonight sees a drastic dip in the freshness that the show premiered with. Titled ‘0-8-4’ referring to a code that is assigned to a situation that is of unknown origin, the newly recruited team investigate in Peru, where they run into a familiar face and some trouble, naturally. This episode really focuses on showcasing the conflict between the members of the team, and how they overcome their differences. However, something is lacking throughout.
Right away the episode starts with Brett Dalton’s Agent Grant Ward, the only active special agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. in the whole team, raising severe objections regarding the inclusion of new member, and recent enemy-turned-ally, Skye. In the Pilot, Skye, played by Chloe Bennet, was introduced as working against S.H.I.E.L.D, only to be offered a spot on the team with her unique skill set by the end. After setting up the ‘unknown’ nature of the situation similar to when they found Thor’s Hammer in the movie THOR, anticipations are raised and we’re on our way to Peru.
Joss Whedon didn’t write or direct this episode, and it shows. Unlike the Pilot, there are very few things at work in Episode 2. Basic premise is all about the team coming together after initial bickering to… well, become a team. That’s really it. There aren’t many layers to this episode. The beginning is formulaic, opening with a dramatically climactic scene, then cutting to ‘ X hours ago…’ The twist is predictible in the later half, and the more Marvel universe orientated tid bits aren’t as accessible to newer fans as they were in the Pilot.
The Tesserect & the evil group known as H.Y.D.R.A. from CAPTAIN AMERICA are mentioned, but never really explained as to who, or what they are. This can be detracting for an audience not familiar with the movie universe. Unlike the Pilot, there are no issues of interest or sub plots set up that reach beyond this episode itself. It’s a self contained episode, which, after the various threads introduced in the Pilot, is a little disappointing, despite the somewhat cliffhanger ending. It was a good attempt, but doesn’t make up for the overall sense of ‘eh’ during most of the episode.
I realize not every episode will be of Whedonesque caliber, but Episode 2 should have built on the Pilot’s momentum more than it ended up doing. Despite it all AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. is still a unique concept, possibly unprecendented and in the hands of TV God Joss Whedon, should be able to get over these fanboy, nitpicky ‘flaws’. The characters have chemistry, the cast is fresh, lots of Superhero name dropping and a potential to be breeding grounds for a slate of Marvel comics characters in future films or spin-off series means I’ll be giving this show a lot of slack. Within reason.
Let me know your thoughts on Episode 2 of Agents Of SHIELD below…
Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. on IMDB