I would consider this the first good episode. The action and events in the previous two felt extremely forced and rushed. I really like that we're getting to the point in the series where an overall arc is being created. There's nothing wrong with monster-of-the-day style shows, but without something tying the episodes together they get stale way too fast. My biggest problem with the first two episodes was how they both ended with the terribly formulaic "we just defeated the bad guy and learned a life lesson, let's reflect on it and then laugh and smile awkwardly at the camera for a freakishly long five minutes." Asset's stinger at the end and overall higher production value showed me that they do intend to deliver more than a cheesy kids show.
I remember a while back Jon Stewart, when he was on the Bill O'Reilly show I believe, pointed out that his job (and the job of every comedian) was just to point out absurdities in everyday life. If this isn't what South Park is about, then I have completely missed the point of the show for a few decades now. It's kind of amazing that Bob seems to not understand this.
Then again, Bob has ALWAYS just taken the most hipster view he possibly can. People like South Park? OK, let's talk about why that's crap. People DON'T like South Park now? Just kidding, I like it.
Didn't have time to read through the other comics so someone might have already mentioned this.
re: Coulson struggling to reload his gun as a possible allusion to his being a robot/clone double. Another interesting note: at the end, Coulson mentions that reloading the gun should just be a matter of muscle memory (linking back to the earlier discussion between Skye and James Bond Jr), possibly indicating that, while SHIELD was able to reproduce Coulson's body (as a robot or clone or whatever), they weren't able to reproduce his more subtle physical qualities. It's a nice little touch. If you could implant someone's mind into a new body, would it maintain the original's fine motor skills?
Well here's the thing, are the decoy robot whatever things built to be able to bleed, as Coulson did in the second episode? If so, fair enough. If not, I'm still thinking clone.
I turned to my wife and said the same thing. If he didn't want it to fall into the wrong hands, why not put it on the slingshot and hurl it into the Sun. Perhaps the Gravitonium would have a catastrophic effect on the Sun? They mentioned that if an electrical current is passed through it that it goes unstable (or something like that). I'm guessing all the radiation generated by solar activity may cause it to go gangbusters. Then again, who knows.
While that may work as a reason not to hoot it into the sun, it doesn't really work with how Coulson said it. If what you said were to be true I would expect Coulson would have said something along the lines of "Because of how unstable Gravitonium is we can not risk sending it to the sun, so (list how I want to make sure nobody touches this stuff)" or "(list how I want to make sure nobody touches this stuff), since we can not risk shooting this into the sun." Instead Coulson listed making sure it did not get flagged for slingshot within the "list of how I want to make sure nobody touches this stuff", which kind of implies that if it goes to slingshot, people are going to mess with it.
Coulson knew the doctor was absorbed into the Gravitonium. He didn't want it destroyed because of the sacrifice made to keep it stable.
A few statements were made in Ep2 that confirm the slingshot sends things to be destroyed. The first is.. incidental. Skye said they went through a lot of trouble for something that was just going to be destroyed, to which Coulson said that the Slingshot was protocol for these types of devices.
Second, FitzSimmons comments while the rocket was taking off. Saying it was going beyond the Lagrange points (which are points of orbit) so it doesn't hit Herschel (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herschel_Space_Observatory). Also mentioned the coronal mass ejections of the sun, implying that the rocket was going in that direction...
The thing about those statements is you are assuming that they are the truth. If I remember from the Avengers correctly Tony Stark said Shied's secrets have secrets. Something like a top secret research space station is not something that standard field agents need or even should know, especially when one of the team members is considered a risk by everybody. As for Fitz Simmons comments, you are assuming they were told the actual flight plan the rocket was going to take (assuming they told them even that much, since they are both geniuses, if you just told them the rocket was going to the sun, they probably figure out the supposed flight path just on that, and know all that info) Its not like they where going to be tracking the rocket outside of their visual range.