Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Review - Episode 1: Pilot

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aeric90:
"Fitzsimmons" made me think of the Luteces from Bioshock Infinite. I wonder if maybe they tried some sort of biotech experiment on themselves.

I was just about to say this. They even have that style, haircolor, and look similar enough to pass for "siblings". Creepy creepy siblings. Just another backstory looking to be exploited.

I liked it. Well done show. Although, didn't Tony Stark stabilize Extremis or w.e its called in Iron Man 3>

prpshrt:
I liked it. Well done show. Although, didn't Tony Stark stabilize Extremis or w.e its called in Iron Man 3>

He did, although Project Caterpillar or whatever had been in development for a while (we don't have an exact time frame for Mike's involvement, and we don't know how long the first test subject took) so it's likely that the makers of the project used a pre-stabilized version for it.

It's also possible that combining it with Gamma Radiation, and Cap's Super Soldier serum re-destabilized it.

Mcoffey:

FogHornG36:
Thought it was a little slow, and i hate the lab techs and the crime scene stuff, they seemed like they were stolen out of ncis were they "are" a character but have none, although i hate ncis.

Was also hoping that August Richards was going to be luke cage so that we could finally get a black superhero from comic book continuity. His powers would be easy to do on a tv budget so i just feel they missed out on that to make up more of their own bland characters. (To my knowledge)

I was so hoping that at the end they'd give him a new identity, they'd give him his ID and he'd say something like "Luke Cage, huh?"
I guess they still could; there's plenty of opportunities to work the character back into the show.

I really liked it, and I'm definitely looking forward to seeing more. I'm with you especially on the last bit, Bob, on just how much the show will deal with the Fallout of the movies as they happen. Are we gonna see the team go to London and deal with people finding Dark Elf weaponry or something? The possibilities are very exciting!

Yeah when Skye deleted all records of him existing I thought she would give him a new identity and that it would be Luke Cage. Would have made sense and with the scene having him change identities I was sure it would happen.

Worth pointing out that there were blatant asides to the movies. In fact there's one at the end that's the kind of aside that earns loud shouts of "Neeeeerd". Lola to be specific. The reason why it can hover is because of Stark's experiments with hover cars, which is a reference to the movie Captain America, which is a reference back to the Iron Man movies' repulsor technology. The joke "people think new means better" is a reference back to the fact that Stark had made a hover car back when it was still considered a good idea.

undeadsuitor:

The twin tech geeks (I know they aren't related, but they have the same skin and hair and accents they might as well be) at least were entertaining enough to hold them up for a whole scene

Not the same accents. The guy's is Scottish, the girl's is English. Similar, but not the same.

...other people have said this already (not sure if they have on this thread, but definitely elsewhere), but it reminds me of an American Torchwood (also known as the show where I learned to distinguish different British accents); a side-act to the main series on a smaller scale, but capable of being compelling in its own right. (Torchwood peaked in its second season. Guess we'll see how SHIELD measures up?) Also glad that they didn't go in-depth into everyone's backstories to kick things off - new guy joins team, new guy meets team members, new guy doesn't know much about team members, stuff happens. That said, I'm hopeful for an eventual episode that goes back and covers how everyone joined the team, the way both Torchwood (Fragments) and Firefly (Out of Gas) did - if done well, they don't necessarily fall into the "look at all of this exposition" trap.

AliasBot:

undeadsuitor:

The twin tech geeks (I know they aren't related, but they have the same skin and hair and accents they might as well be) at least were entertaining enough to hold them up for a whole scene

Not the same accents. The guy's is Scottish, the girl's is English. Similar, but not the same.

...other people have said this already (not sure if they have on this thread, but definitely elsewhere), but it reminds me of an American Torchwood (also known as the show where I learned to distinguish different British accents); a side-act to the main series on a smaller scale, but capable of being compelling in its own right. (Torchwood peaked in its second season. Guess we'll see how SHIELD measures up?) Also glad that they didn't go in-depth into everyone's backstories to kick things off - new guy joins team, new guy meets team members, new guy doesn't know much about team members, stuff happens. That said, I'm hopeful for an eventual episode that goes back and covers how everyone joined the team, the way both Torchwood (Fragments) and Firefly (Out of Gas) did - if done well, they don't necessarily fall into the "look at all of this exposition" trap.

Shows occasionally have to do low budget clip and backstory episodes that take place entirely on set in order to make up for higher-budget episodes that include things like, say, exploding buildings. So, it's pretty much a given.

sleeky01:
Just one nit-pick. Why the different style of shield logos?

Well, read what S.H.I.E.L.D. stands for on each logo, and I think you'll find your answer.

I'm already thinking that Coulson really died (and not just the few seconds they talked about in the show) and "the new Coulson" is either 1) A robot/AI with fake memories or 2) A clone made with tech that implies some level of genetic memory so he can remember everything he was before the original's dead...

AliasBot:

undeadsuitor:

The twin tech geeks (I know they aren't related, but they have the same skin and hair and accents they might as well be) at least were entertaining enough to hold them up for a whole scene

Not the same accents. The guy's is Scottish, the girl's is English. Similar, but not the same.

Ah, my mistake. I was too busy wondering why they aren't the main characters instead of boring lone wolf guy with lone wolf pains.

Anyways, yeah it does remind me of torchwood. And Warehouse 13, and Alphas, and Eureka, and Sanctuary, and Fringe and..I guess the new show "The Tomorrow People" that's coming out soon.

damn theres a lot of shows about teams of undercover people dealing with weird tech/magic stuff.

I really hope it finds a way to stand out from the crowd outside of "HEY WERE CONNECTED TO SOME MOVIES", because if it didn't have that connection it wouldn't have been any good.

Breaking bad startet with a guy in underwear beign a bit nuts.... look where we are now.

For a pilot, this was good. If thy manage to introduce arc stories that PAY OFF (hey fringe... ye that was waste of time...) and avoid the XYZ of the week, one can hope.

Dedwrekka:

AliasBot:

undeadsuitor:

The twin tech geeks (I know they aren't related, but they have the same skin and hair and accents they might as well be) at least were entertaining enough to hold them up for a whole scene

Not the same accents. The guy's is Scottish, the girl's is English. Similar, but not the same.

...other people have said this already (not sure if they have on this thread, but definitely elsewhere), but it reminds me of an American Torchwood (also known as the show where I learned to distinguish different British accents); a side-act to the main series on a smaller scale, but capable of being compelling in its own right. (Torchwood peaked in its second season. Guess we'll see how SHIELD measures up?) Also glad that they didn't go in-depth into everyone's backstories to kick things off - new guy joins team, new guy meets team members, new guy doesn't know much about team members, stuff happens. That said, I'm hopeful for an eventual episode that goes back and covers how everyone joined the team, the way both Torchwood (Fragments) and Firefly (Out of Gas) did - if done well, they don't necessarily fall into the "look at all of this exposition" trap.

Shows occasionally have to do low budget clip and backstory episodes that take place entirely on set in order to make up for higher-budget episodes that include things like, say, exploding buildings. So, it's pretty much a given.

Yeah, I have no illusions as to why they happen, but I thought those two were very good examples of making a quality episode from that starting point (maybe I just like that type of origin story, who knows). At least they didn't resort to hour-long clip-shows like Stargate SG-1 did at least once a season (great show, but they loved their filler).

I found it completely underwhelming. And most of the original characters were awful. Then again, it was a pilot, so I'll give it a few more episodes to catch my interest.

I liked it, but I might have to give it a few more episodes to really sink in. Also, the theories about Coulson's involvement are starting to sound very interesting...

I was left feeling okay with the pilot. Can't say that I can name off any of the characters who are not named Agent Coulson or Maria Hill. I guess Sky was somewhat memorable, if slightly annoying; but not quite as annoying as the two techies. I was really, really hoping that the super-powered freak of the week was going to be Luke Cage, but I guess we're going to have to wait and see any for any actual Marvel characters to show up later on (a la Smallville).

Still expecting them to reveal that Coulson is an LMD (Life Model Decoy). Why else would Stark mention that classic Marvel trope in the Avengers movie? Cute reference? Or, FORESHADOWING! (♪Dun dun DUNNNNNN!!♫)

My main problem with the episode is Ward being kinda bland and spineless. His new boss injects him with a truth-serum and he doesn't seem to mind at all.

Nion:
My main problem with the episode is Ward being kinda bland and spineless. His new boss injects him with a truth-serum and he doesn't seem to mind at all.

Unless I'm mistaken, he did appear to be disoriented from the serum, which could imply that it was suppose to relax the subject (and we see him passed out later). I do recall him being very annoyed by this, but by then he was already succumbing to the effects.

My biggest complaint is that it was too short, and I don't mean that in a good way. I might be wrong but must shows similar to this (at least that I have watched) usually have something like a 1 1/2-2 hour pilot (SG-1, warehouse 13, alphas, farscape...) Being only an hour really made every thing seem rushed. There was really no good introductions to the characters. Take Melinda May for example Obviously it is implied that that there was some mission or something that went wrong. It's also implied that she is in some way famous or infamous within the agency. That should mean that other characters would probably know about the "event" in question with the secret being there is more to the story. I feel as though there should have been a reference to the event, to at least give us an idea of why she is acting that way. I guess the best way to describe it is that it's like receiving an invite to a party, but when you show up all the people their all know each other and chatting amongst themselves, and no one is really bringing you into the conversation.

As a side not I do not believe that Coulson is a LMD. The shows creators have constantly been stating that this show is about "average" people in a world with super power related things and part of the appeal of Coulson was that he was an everyman. To have Coulson turn out to be a robot would kind of take away from that premise unless they are planning on dropping him from the show. So my bet is he is either a clone or some magical item brought him back.

I enjoyed the first episode. I liked the smaller reveals that there is more to Coulson than even he suspects. Hope that the rest of the season will be top notch while integrating itself into the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Plus I'm curious as to who is behind the centipedes used in the pilot. Could be A.I.M. picking up where it left off in Iron Man 3 or it might be the Leader briefly seen in The Incredible Hulk. Perhaps both.

sleeky01:
Just one nit-pick. Why the different style of shield logos?

image

image

I'm curious about that myself and its not just the different phrasing of the SHIELD name. I felt that the switch from the classic SHIELD logo to the Ultimate Marvel Universe version was based on those who worked in the helicarrier. Could be a different ranking like Level 7. Hope someone explains that soon.

I liked the episode but it wasn't incredible. I wante dto feel something like the pilot episode from Lost. It doesn't matter that Lost went o crap 2.5 seasons in, the pilot is nothing short of great. SHIELD has a good episode, leaves tiny bread crumbs all over, but didn't grab me as intensely. I love Agent Coulson's character to pieces, and Skye could work. Fitzsimmons is cute, but they have to work a little to make them feel more believable. Agent May I liked, reminded me of Black Widow in a way. The sore point for me is Agent Ward, who seems competent but bland. It's his acting, not really the character. I hope Maria Hill keeps chiming in every so often to keep the link to Nick Fury's management more present.

I somehow dont' want Coulson to be a robot. It may tie in lore-wise, but I think it would just kill the character.

Storm Dragon:
So did anyone else notice Coulson dodging that car door that was thrown at him near the end? The show didn't draw any particular attention to it, it took barely a second, but he demonstrated what seemed like superhuman reflexes and agility there.

Good catch! I didn't think too much about it, but now that you mention it there's nothing in Coulson's character history that would indicate he'd be capable of that move. Others got hit by the door, after all. It definitely speaks to something being new about Coulson.

Anyway, I was pleased with the pilot. Good humor, dialogue reminiscent of Avengers (unsurprisingly), and the characters felt more natural than they had a right to be compared to other, similar shows. My only complaint is that much of the length of the pilot was taken by introducing the new characters, which crimped the potentially interesting story. I would have preferred to have a later episode dedicated to it rather than it being part of the pilot. With so many links to the films in the Caterpillar technology, I would have liked to see more time dedicated to exploring it.

One of the annoying things is characters who don't want to do what they're doing. While this works for people who have to do something because they're the chosen one, since being the chosen one was forced on them, it makes no sense for people who have chosen to work at SHIELD. Seriously if you don't want to work at SHIELD get another job somewhere else.

Yojoo:
but now that you mention it there's nothing in Coulson's character history that would indicate he'd be capable of that move.

Actually, he's always been hinted at being a super agent under his nice face

I mean, why else would he work directly with Fury?

Plus this

undeadsuitor:

Yojoo:
but now that you mention it there's nothing in Coulson's character history that would indicate he'd be capable of that move.

Actually, he's always been hinted at being a super agent under his nice face

I mean, why else would he work directly with Fury?

Plus this

I never got that impression. He's probably capable, but if he were "super" on some level, I would have thought we'd have seen something like that in the films.

I've never seen that short. Is it canon?

MinionJoe:
I enjoyed the pilot, except for the 3,000 lbs of flying, red cheese at the end. ;P

Oh no no no. The flying car is a staple of classic SHIELD. It's actually something that many old school fans were sad was missing from SHIELD's appearances in the movies. It shifts them to being a little more James Bond than Homeland Security.

As far as Coulson? Pure speculation on my part, but I don't think he has been put in an Android body. I think he has always been one is how it will play out. (Well ok probably not as written in IM1) . Coulson has always seemed less an "everyday normal man", so much as someone who seems slightly strange or quirky. Someone who seems a little out of place or out of time. In the scene in Captain America where we see Starks first flying car, we also see the first Android. With Coulson's affinity for older things and ideas it is not outside the realm of possibilities that he too is a relic from SHIELD's earlier Cold War era days. Phineas Horton's Mark II.

As far as Phil Coulson being a normal Everyman, if you haven't seen it, pull up the 10 minute teaser short that takes place during his drive to New Mexico between IM2 and Thor, to see just how inhumanly badass he is.

Cody Holden:

sleeky01:
Just one nit-pick. Why the different style of shield logos?

Well, read what S.H.I.E.L.D. stands for on each logo, and I think you'll find your answer.

A) I'm not sure what the difference would be and

B) neither of the logos in the pilot had any wording on them. Just the logos themselves.

For example. The symbol on Hills shoulder and the one on the door are different.

image

The Gentleman:

Silent Protagonist:
I worry that him being head Cool Badass Superspy Agent of Team Cool Badass Superspy Agents might ruin the "ordinary" quality that Agent Coulson has that makes him, ironically, extraordinary in this universe.

If there's one thing that is apparent in the pilot, it's that he's not a badass (at least not in the vein of Fury). He's more in the mold of the bureaucrat with a sense of humor and purpose. The badass is covered in the pair of the combat specialists May and Ward, sufficiently diluted with their lack of interpersonal skills.

Also, my money is on Colson being a clone with memory imprints.

On a side note: the episode plot struck me as something more suited for a 4th or 5th episode rather than a pilot (obvious longer-term antagonist, clear concern about the true nature of the organization, a "John Q. Public" antagonist, kids, etc.). Pilots for sci-fi/action shows tend to be more focused on building the individual characters of the team, which this does, and explain how they got mushed together. The plot for the pilot is pretty much "here's the case," and didn't require the building of the team for it.

But not every launch can be perfect, and this one was serviceable. I'll totally-not-pirate the show and watch as soon as it's uploaded.

Coulson is a badass. Did you watch the short of him heading down to New Mexico where he stops a robbery?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QAMgkpQYOSQ <-- I can't remember how to embed video.

sleeky01:

A) I'm not sure what the difference would be and

B) neither of the logos in the pilot had any wording on them. Just the logos themselves.

For example. The symbol on Hills shoulder and the one on the door are different.

image

In the comics Shield has changed names a couple of times though the acronym always spelled out shield, as well as I believe their logos.

As to why they are using different logos on the show, well in reality my guess is the prop people were not on the same page, when getting stuff made or for the show they are using one logo, but they are also using props from the avenger movie to cut down on costs which used a different logo. It could have been done on purpose though too.

In story (whether they meant to use different logos or not) it will/is probably written off as the agency changed their logo. For example inside the office they use almost exclusively use the spread wings logo except for on the at least some of the uniforms and computer screens while on the "old" mobile command aircraft they use almost exclusively the wings down logo. (which one is the old vs. new can be debated, Maybe the offices had the new logo but some people were still wearing their uniforms with the old patch and the old mobile command aircraft had yet to be updated or maybe the change had happened a while ago and the office building was never updated which explains why the uniforms have a different logo since changing a uniform is much cheaper, easier, and faster, while swapping out perfectly good windows costs a lot of money takes a while, and much harder especially when you are still trying to continue operating.)

It could also be written of as different divisions within shield use different logos. for example in the Avengers they where using the wings down logo(I don't remember if the spread wings logo showed up in the movie) on the helicarrier and the mobile command aircraft is a military style plane so maybe combat type units use the wings down while espionage type units use the spread wings logo.

As a side note assuming this was done on purpose, a common theme when dealing with things like superpowers is there is almost always some type of government conspiracy plot that come up. So the two different logos may end up being used to differentiate the "evil" and "good" sides of shield.

Hmm... now that I am thinking about it, I have some speculation though I'll put it in spoiler tags just in case some one would prefer not to know any possible future plot points even though this is all just a guess.

aeric90:
"Fitzsimmons" made me think of the Luteces from Bioshock Infinite. I wonder if maybe they tried some sort of biotech experiment on themselves.

You know it's funny, I've been getting a weird vibe from them, that maybe they're more/less than human or something even stranger. I now think that may be because in the back of my head they seem a bit reminiscent of the Lutecs. Thanks for clearing that up.

AliasBot:

undeadsuitor:

The twin tech geeks (I know they aren't related, but they have the same skin and hair and accents they might as well be) at least were entertaining enough to hold them up for a whole scene

Not the same accents. The guy's is Scottish, the girl's is English. Similar, but not the same.

I think you're being too forgiving. Those two accents are pretty different, to me at least!

I finally watch it and I think it's alright. Honestly I am wondering how long the show can keep up before running out of the movies references althought that is probably when they used more comicbook reference (AIM and Hydra anyone?). As of right now I'm not sure wheater I sould watch more of it or not.

It was just ok for me, I'm a bit concerned as to whether or not it will gain any momentum. The whole hunt down/find super heroes things played out extremely fast in Heroes and that show just tanked incredibly fast. And this show seems like it's going to go the episodic adventure route rather than a continuous story route and the episodic thing can burn out interest quite quickly. Interested to see where it goes but it's not going to be one of those shows I have to watch when it airs; I probably catch more of it when the full season comes out.

sleeky01:
Just one nit-pick. Why the different style of shield logos?

< img snippity >

It's not unusual for agencies to use multiple stylized emblems. I did quick searches for Navy Emblem and Seals Emblem... You can see a similarity where the primary emblem uses a spread winged eagle with embellishment and the Seals emblem is both somewhat simplified as well as depicting an eagle in an aggressive "wings down" pose.

Scarim Coral:
I finally watch it and I think it's alright. Honestly I am wondering how long the show can keep up before running out of the movies references althought that is probably when they used more comicbook reference (AIM and Hydra anyone?). As of right now I'm not sure wheater I sould watch more of it or not.

I that's what I'd thought at first too, but then something started bugging me. They kept saying, over and over, that Tahiti was such a "magical" place. I'm thinking that was foreshadowing for a twist since most comic savvy individuals would expect an LMD. This is Whedon after all, the same guy that killed off a popular minor character in the same episode she made it into the Theme Song.

So far I'll keep watching, but I'm not all that impressed with the cast themselves yet. I get they haven't had much time to grow on me, but I just felt like J. August Richards stole every scene he was in.

Also, did someone clone Eliza Dushku? Maybe it's the hair, I don't know, but to me the similarity is striking.

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