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Agents of SHIELD – Pilot

September 26, 2013

I watched the debut of Agents of SHIELD last night. I would’ve watched it Tuesday, but the outlet my TV is plugged into wasn’t working. Luckily, that problem’s fixed now. But I watched the show last night on my computer. Legally! At the CTV website, since I couldn’t watch it at ABC’s site. Anyway, having watched it, I figure I should give my thoughts on it, since everyone else in the world has. There will be spoilers here.

Well, to start with, it looks great. Perhaps because it is the very first episode, they didn’t seem to spare much expense in making it look good. Fitz’s drones are really neat, the plane headquarters is cool, there’s some nice fancy computer screens, and we even get a flying car at the end. I loved that bit. Yay for SHIELD flying cars! So the show looked great. Really nice work with the visual effects.

So now let’s talk about the characters. Coulson is Coulson. He is always awesome. Hill was cool, in the scenes where she showed up. Fitz and Simmons were reasonably cool, even if I did sometimes have trouble with their accents. Hopefully, I’ll get used to them. Melinda May was very cool. I like her, and I’m looking forward to seeing more of her. (Though I think it would’ve been amazing if she’d been named Barbara Morse. I’d be fine with her staying Asian – the actress did a solid job, and it’s always great having some diversity. I just would’ve liked it if her name had been Bobbi Morse. But that’s an incredibly minor thing, just a personal matter, it doesn’t make me like the character any less.) Ward was OK. He’s not my favourite. My least favourite, though, is Skye. She’s a total stock character, a walking cliche. The actress didn’t help with that. So Skye has a definite uphill battle to make me like her. The rest of the team, I’m totally fine with. It’s just her who I think may get on my nerves.

Which brings us to Mike Peterson. While there were some problems with him, overall, I think he was pretty good. I kinda liked the story about a guy trying to be good, trying to do the right thing, trying to do everything he’s supposed to do, only to be screwed over.  Jim Steranko said it felt very “P.C.,” but I think making him black actually helped matters. The truth is, black people get screwed over by society. A lot. So I think it really heightened Mike’s struggle. Now, it’s fair to ask if that story really belonged in this pilot in the first place. Criticisms that Mike Peterson’s story hurt the pacing of the episode, or that it didn’t really fit the theme of the episode, or things like that, are totally fair.

For the record, I am terrible at that sort of thing. I tend to be limited to liking or disliking something. But I think those particular criticisms are actually correct. I may not have been able to put my finger on quite what was wrong with the episode, but something was definitely missing, to me. And I think the criticisms of pacing and themes and stuff might’ve been it. Regardless, while I thought the episode was OK, I didn’t think it was great.

On the other hand, pilots are tough. It takes a few episodes for things to come together. So I’m willing to be very forgiving of the pilot, and of the next three episodes. After that, though, the storytelling quality needs to improve.

From → Agents of SHIELD

  1. It’s interesting reading everyone’s thoughts on the SHIELD pilot. I thought it was good but not great. It does show potential. I actually like Skye but I knew right away that many people would dislike her haha. I agree the flying car is very cool!

  2. Diyeho permalink

    It’s good but I’d rather a little of mutants in the scene. Imagine Dazzler or an other mutant like enemy or better yet like part of the team. A little LGBT character would be good too.

    • Mutants can’t be on the show. Fox owns the rights to the X-Men, and mutants in general. Marvel might be able to get away with using someone like, say, Firestar or Justice, since they’re not really associated with the X-Men. But they couldn’t be called mutants. If the series runs long enough, I would think Inhumans are a possibility.

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