Maya Zach ’17/ Emertainment Monthly Staff
By the look of the first three episodes, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is going to steer much closer to an episodic procedural than a serialized drama. Though the viewers watch the same agents (and “consultants”) develop and bond, each episode focuses on a singular objective–one threat to mankind–at a time. The closest that the show comes to an overarching storyline is the questions that surround Coulson’s (Clark Gregg) trip to Tahiti and May’s (Ming-Na Wen) decision to retreat to desk duty.
Agent Ward (Brett Dalton) takes his duty to train Skye (Chloe Bennet) as a field agent incredibly seriously, while Skye complains about the amount of work he expects from her. Coulson suggests to Ward that the only way to make Skye think like an operative is to talk to her like a person. Skye is smart enough to see through a strategy and will only resist. By the end of the episode, Skye realizes how vital fighting skills are and is eager to train, she even does so on her own.
Dr. Franklin Hall (Ian Hart), a Canadian physicist, a S.H.I.E.L.D. asset, and one of FitzSimmons’ (Iain De Caestecker and Elizabeth Henstridge) favorite professors, is kidnapped by seemingly invisible captors. The team soon discovers that Hall’s captor is Ian Quinn (David Conrad), a notorious philanthropist with a sinister agenda. Quinn built his not-so-secret-hideout in Malta, a country where S.H.I.E.L.D. can’t touch him. Or so he thinks…
Since Skye is not technically a member of S.H.I.E.L.D., she is sent to infiltrate Quinn’s lab. Quinn catches her trying to break into his office, but his anger is quickly assuaged when Skye alerts him of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s presence. It appears to the audience that she is selling the team out for information she can use for the Rising Tide. But don’t underestimate Skye! She alerts the jet that she is in, which sends Coulson and Ward running to her aid.
Once Quinn realizes he has been duped, he sics his guards on Skye. Unbelievably, Skye manages to snatch a gun from a guard in the manner that Ward was trying unsuccessfully to teach her earlier that day. She points the gun at Quinn, but isn’t willing to pull the trigger. Instead she (quite literally) bails out the window, where Ward is ready for the assist.
While Skye is fighting for her life, Coulson heads to the lab where Hall is being held. This plan goes awry when he uncovers that Hall purposefully got himself kidnapped. He was intrigued by the gravitonium (an element that most believed was nonexistent) that he believed Quinn was in possession of. He plans to use the gravity generator to protect mankind, to set the world right. After Hall alters the physics of gravity in the room, Coulson shoves him into the machine, killing him and returning gravity to its norm.
Coulson makes the decision not to slingshot (destroy) the gravitational generator. The fans of the comics either winced at his stupidity and/or cheered at the thought of the villain that is surely to appear in the near future of the show. Dr. Franklin Hall in the comics messed around with gravitonium until he made a mistake and merged with the gravitonium particles. Though he tries to resist the urge at first, he becomes the super villain Graviton, who has the ability to control gravity. Soon enough, the strange glowing gravitational generator will surely spit out Graviton.
Throughout the episode, Skye tries to determine whether Ward was lying when he told her that there is, in fact, no truth serum. Since Coulson doesn’t give her any useful information, she has to come to her own conclusion. In the hopes that Ward actually revealed his secrets to her (including that he found her attractive), she tells herself–and Ward–that the truth serum exists and that he was under the influence.
Though the viewers still don’t know why Agent May retired herself to desk duty and was adamant against joining Coulson’s team, they learn that she can’t resist the allure of returning to the field. She has seen a lot more combat than she was hoping for, but it looks like it has reminded her why she signed on in the first place. Hopefully the next episode will include Melinda fighting alongside Ward and showing the fans what Coulson sees in her.
Though these past two episodes have not been as strong as the pilot of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., they are still worth watching. The plot is intriguing (If you have any sort of interest in superheroes or spies), the characters are developing quickly, and the dialogue is crisp and snarky. Check out Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on Tuesdays at 8pm on ABC.
Maya Zach ’17/ Emertainment Monthly Staff