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Agents of SHIELD – 0-8-4

October 1, 2013

So I watched the second episode of Agents of SHIELD. I actually got to watch it as it aired this week, because the outlet my TV is plugged into is working again. It didn’t work last week. Just a circuit problem, I guess. Guy flicked it on and off a few times, and it worked fine.

Anyway. The show. This week’s episode was better. More cohesive. It wasn’t weighed down by too many plots with too little connection. They go to Peru, find a weird fancy weapon powered by Tesseract technology (despite having been buried in a temple for 1500 years), run into some Peruvian soldiers, and then get attacked by rebels. The agents and the Peruvian troops retreat to the plane, where the agents argue a lot until the Peruvians take over the plane. The team has to work together to get free and beat the soldiers, which they obviously do. Their strategy involves using the Tesseract weapon – the titular 0-8-4, as an aside, which is the term used by SHIELD for shit they don’t know anything about – to blow a hole in the side of the plane, where the Hollywood-style explosive decompression sucks some of the troops out and lets the team save the day. Hurrah. And then Nick Fury chews out Coulson for blowing a hole in the side of the plane. You apparently don’t want to talk to Nick Fury about authority.

We also get a little more character development. Fitz and Simmons continue to be charming British people. May kicks more ass, and we learn that she used to be called the Cavalry, and is just a seriously hardcore person. When she’s handcuffed, she escaped by snapping her wrist and barely even flinches at it, then snaps it back just as easily. I’m not sure if the human body actually works that way, but holy shit, is it ever badass.

And then there’s Ward and Skye. Ward continues to do little for me – he’s a pretty generic character. Skye, I continue to actively dislike. She’s an annoying person in addition to being an annoyingly generic character. And, of course, we’re getting the beginnings of their romance, done in the most generic way possible. It’s formulaic. The romance is definitely going to be the worst part of the show, because it’s just so formulaic that it makes it boring and frustrating. Skye also gets to have another formulaic plot, as she’s still working for her Rising Tide group, but is keeping it a secret from the SHIELD agents that she’s getting to know and like as people, and it’s pretty obvious that it’s eventually going to lead to her having to choose between SHIELD and Rising Tide, and she’s going to choose SHIELD and help them beat Rising Tide so she can redeem herself and ugh. What makes it even worse is that it could be done way better than it’s clearly going to be. If Rising Tide really were just a group dedicated to fighting secrecy and revealing the truth to the world, then Skye could still be a member, and could outright tell Coulson that she’s going to tell the truth about some of the things she sees. She could see the value in keeping some secrets – for example, troop movements, security codes, locations of secret bases, things like that – but still want to tell the public about other things. For example, from this very episode, she could send out a message about finding dangerous tech in Peru, that Peruvian security forces tried to seize it, and that the device has been destroyed after being deemed too dangerous for anyone to have access to.

My point is: Don’t turn the people who want transparency into bad guys. “Trust shadowy government agencies implicitly” is a very uncomfortable message to send, and I get the feeling that’s going to be the message this show sends. SHIELD are the good guys – they can’t really depict them as being ethically questionable. Rising Tide, the group fighting for transparency, are already being set up as bad guys – it says that whistle-blowers are evil, and that we should all shut our mouths

The episode also made use of Hollywood’s understanding of decompression. The hole in the plane had people and things being sucked out until they blocked it. That’s not how it actually works. Decompression is simply the pressure inside an object equalizing with the pressure outside. While it can cause people to be blown out, it doesn’t really take very long to equalize. After the first few seconds, it’d be fine. It’s a standard cliche in TV and movies and comics and everywhere, but it’s still silly.

Samuel L. Jackson’s cameo was pretty awesome, though. He’s always great. He was pretty pissed about the damage to the plane, and not in the mood for an explanation from Coulson. He also didn’t want a fish tank installed. Aw. A fish tank would’ve looked cool.

Anyway. Good episode.

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From → Agents of SHIELD

4 Comments
  1. “My point is: Don’t turn the people who want transparency into bad guys. “Trust shadowy government agencies implicitly” is a very uncomfortable message to send, and I get the feeling that’s going to be the message this show sends.” EXACTLY. well said.

  2. You should give Agents of Shield another chance. It seems to be following the clichéd paths for the first 10 + episodes then after that switches it all around and goes crazy. Season 2,3, 4 are completely different and are really god

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