Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Review - Episode 7: The Hub

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Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Review - Episode 7: The Hub

My question about Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s erratic early episodes was never really "Will this get better?" My question was "Will this get better... in a way that retroactively makes the earlier stuff better as well?"

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One thing I noticed that Bob didn't point out - according to what Hand was saying to Sitwell, it seems that S.H.I.E.L.D. is not only OK with Coulson and his team's insubordination, but it looks like they are actively trying to create a team that thinks outside the box and doesn't follow protocol, and might even be the reason Coulson was resurrected in the first place. The question that brings up: do Fury and the rest of the higher ups know about this, or is Hand planning on using the team as fall guys for a plot to overthrow Fury in the future?

My theory is that she's Agent Carter's child. Just placing it down here for the record. :D

Is it weird that, as soon as the episode got into the Total Recall nasal pod, I immediately began quoting lines from the early 90s classic? Just wondering.

Good theory on Skye's possible true identity. I'd be surprised to see Coulson and his agents having to deal with Robert Redford in a later episode that ties into Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

Makabriel:
My theory is that she's Agent Carter's child. Just placing it down here for the record. :D

Might actually make sense - ABC could use an excuse to get Emily Vancamp, who stars in Revenge and will play Agent 13 Sharon Carter in Cap 2 (which Bob noted is around when the season finale happens), jumping between film and tv ala Colbie Smulders, in addition to the crossover potential when/if they get the Peggy Carter solo series off the ground. If anyone should drop that bomb, it should be her "cousin."

The reveal that Skye is connected with Shield is both plausible for why she's been kept around despite being a wild card and really depressing in the "this is your destiny" trope. But her knowing more than the Avengers just deepens my confusion for why a seemingly random anarchist is being given this much knowledge. With the potential for a mega crossover that sees Shield fall apart and the Agents teaming up with the Avengers as the "rebels", I can only hope Stark points all this out in the snarkiest way possible:

Skye: "I know things are crazy right now, but you need to know - Coulson's alive."

Stark:(turns to other team-mates) "...who is she? How does she have clearance for this info? Why don't I have clearance? I want clearance."

Also, regarding the Red Skull - WHERE THE HELL IS HE?! There's no way he died in Cap 1 (especially with my theory that no actually got killed by the Tesseract since it may be the Space Infinity Stone and just teleports people): he's one of the most prominent villains in the entire franchise. I know Hugo Weaving's expensive, but it's been way too long without finding out if he's officially gone.

It makes sense in a continuity scheme. Especially if AoS is ending its season near Cap2's realese date. Would make a really nice tie-in. And I agree. Weaving/Skull needs to be around somewhere still..

I'm not sure Skye could be Red Skull's daughter. Granddaughter, maybe, but then we'd have to ask who mom was.

My theory is (and has been) that SHIELD used Chitauri (or, less likely, Asgardian) tech to bring Coulson back. This whole process of letting Coulson manage a team is just to see how he responds in the long-term, to know if it's safe to use the resurrection tech on more people.

If we're making archetype connections in this episode, I was strongly reminded of the Firefly episode when Reynolds and Wash get captured and tortured.

When they first get to the Hub the team walks past a map in the background that the camera lingers on for the briefest of moments, if you pause and check out the frame it says something along the lines of "Associated Agencies: H.A.M.M.E.R". There was a second name, something that sounded like PsiOps, but I don't remember. Subtle hint given the theme of the episode?

vid87:

Makabriel:
My theory is that she's Agent Carter's child. Just placing it down here for the record. :D

Might actually make sense - ABC could use an excuse to get Emily Vancamp, who stars in Revenge and will play Agent 13 Sharon Carter in Cap 2 (which Bob noted is around when the season finale happens), jumping between film and tv ala Colbie Smulders, in addition to the crossover potential when/if they get the Peggy Carter solo series off the ground. If anyone should drop that bomb, it should be her "cousin."

The reveal that Skye is connected with Shield is both plausible for why she's been kept around despite being a wild card and really depressing in the "this is your destiny" trope. But her knowing more than the Avengers just deepens my confusion for why a seemingly random anarchist is being given this much knowledge. With the potential for a mega crossover that sees Shield fall apart and the Agents teaming up with the Avengers as the "rebels", I can only hope Stark points all this out in the snarkiest way possible:

Skye: "I know things are crazy right now, but you need to know - Coulson's alive."

Stark:(turns to other team-mates) "...who is she? How does she have clearance for this info? Why don't I have clearance? I want clearance."

Also, regarding the Red Skull - WHERE THE HELL IS HE?! There's no way he died in Cap 1 (especially with my theory that no actually got killed by the Tesseract since it may be the Space Infinity Stone and just teleports people): he's one of the most prominent villains in the entire franchise. I know Hugo Weaving's expensive, but it's been way too long without finding out if he's officially gone.

Hugo Weaving has stated multiple times he will not return as the Red Skull as he didn't enjoy acting in the first one.

Also it's not unheard of for Marvel to abandon bits from previous films just look at the Hulk as we won't be seeing either Abomination or the Master again.

Impossibilium:
One thing I noticed that Bob didn't point out - according to what Hand was saying to Sitwell, it seems that S.H.I.E.L.D. is not only OK with Coulson and his team's insubordination, but it looks like they are actively trying to create a team that thinks outside the box and doesn't follow protocol, and might even be the reason Coulson was resurrected in the first place. The question that brings up: do Fury and the rest of the higher ups know about this, or is Hand planning on using the team as fall guys for a plot to overthrow Fury in the future?

I'd go the other way. I found Coulson's adherence to protocol strange considering the Avengers were an unsanctioned team on an unapproved and unplanned mission that started things off by stealing a transport. Fury later ignored superior orders and tried to interfere with them. Trusting the system would have had New York nuked and tesseract weapons in the hands of potentially untrustworthy SHIELD elements. Maybe not evil ones, but rushed into the hard pragmatic solution types.

I can see this team being put together with the same desired mindset: a group of highly skilled individuals that don''t play well with others so that they might find better solutions because they aren't drilled to follow orders at the cost of thought or morals.I just can't say right now if it's a SHIELD wide effort, or if Fury's going off the books in case he has to go against his bosses. Though given SHIELD history in the comics, as well as TV drama, the safe bet's on option B.

MovieBob:
Or maybe Siberia. If there was a subtitle, I missed it.

They did mention it was Siberia in passing.

Duffy13:
When they first get to the Hub the team walks past a map in the background that the camera lingers on for the briefest of moments, if you pause and check out the frame it says something along the lines of "Associated Agencies: H.A.M.M.E.R". There was a second name, something that sounded like PsiOps, but I don't remember. Subtle hint given the theme of the episode?

Wow. I'm hoping to see SWORD, though I hope that Agent Brand isn't specific to the XMen.

vid87:

Also, regarding the Red Skull - WHERE THE HELL IS HE?! There's no way he died in Cap 1 (especially with my theory that no actually got killed by the Tesseract since it may be the Space Infinity Stone and just teleports people): he's one of the most prominent villains in the entire franchise. I know Hugo Weaving's expensive, but it's been way too long without finding out if he's officially gone.

My guess he's Robert Redford.

I just thought it was interesting that Colson realized how automatic his response to Tahiti is.

jmarquiso:

vid87:

Also, regarding the Red Skull - WHERE THE HELL IS HE?! There's no way he died in Cap 1 (especially with my theory that no actually got killed by the Tesseract since it may be the Space Infinity Stone and just teleports people): he's one of the most prominent villains in the entire franchise. I know Hugo Weaving's expensive, but it's been way too long without finding out if he's officially gone.

My guess he's Robert Redford.

God I'll hate it if that's true. "Hey, maybe we could have a villain be a subtle nuance on how potentially immoral actions for the sake of security can be given merit? Nah! Let's just have it be Red Skull in disguise so no one has to think, 'Is this really a horrible thing?'"

Also, Penny Arcade pretty accurately summed this show up. It may be getting better, but the quality was so low to begin with, it's not going to make it to "good" territory any time soon.

So... yeah.... am I the only one who feels like Bob was seriously pissed off about something else while he wrote this review, and decided to take it out on the episode? It seems that he was unusually snippy and cynical today... I mean, Bob's always been one for calling clichés where he sees them, but jesus, he was doing that EVERY LINE of this review.

Bob, I love your material, man, but sometimes I feel like you've really got to chill on the whole college-chic "Ugh, we've seen THIS before..." routine. It's fine in small doses, but frankly gets annoying when overdone.

Can Coulson just be Vision? Can we do that? Are we doing that? Would that make the casting choice for Scarlet Witch weird? Science?

bigfatcarp93:
So... yeah.... am I the only one who feels like Bob was seriously pissed off about something else while he wrote this review, and decided to take it out on the episode? It seems that he was unusually snippy and cynical today... I mean, Bob's always been one for calling clichés where he sees them, but jesus, he was doing that EVERY LINE of this review.

Bob, I love your material, man, but sometimes I feel like you've really got to chill on the whole college-chic "Ugh, we've seen THIS before..." routine. It's fine in small doses, but frankly gets annoying when overdone.

Was he really that hard on it though? It seems like he concluded that it was an average episode on its own but that it improved his opinion of the show as a whole (even the pretty mediocre first three episodes) because it seems to be tying the whole thing up better.

Still a pretty damn good show, the new teamups weren't THAT interesting but it still gave the more minor characters needed screen time and development while also forwarding the bigger plot a little. Easily the best show I'm watching right now.

Halbert:
If we're making archetype connections in this episode, I was strongly reminded of the Firefly episode when Reynolds and Wash get captured and tortured.

That's exactly what I was thinking. Although in my attempts to compare Agents of Shield to Firefly, I often find it difficult to create a mapping between the characters that works for more than one episode.

Also, I hope they spend more time taking these characters out of their comfort zones. For too long at the beginning, it felt like clockwork, with everyone doing their single job and nothing else. Nowadays, everyone is showing more depth, and doing things we wouldn't expect from them. Simmons has the bravery to die for the cause, Fitz has the ability to work in the field, and Coulson now realizes his job isn't as fun as it was when he was hanging out with Tony.
I really hope the trend continues.

irishda:

jmarquiso:

vid87:

Also, regarding the Red Skull - WHERE THE HELL IS HE?! There's no way he died in Cap 1 (especially with my theory that no actually got killed by the Tesseract since it may be the Space Infinity Stone and just teleports people): he's one of the most prominent villains in the entire franchise. I know Hugo Weaving's expensive, but it's been way too long without finding out if he's officially gone.

My guess he's Robert Redford.

God I'll hate it if that's true. "Hey, maybe we could have a villain be a subtle nuance on how potentially immoral actions for the sake of security can be given merit? Nah! Let's just have it be Red Skull in disguise so no one has to think, 'Is this really a horrible thing?'"

Also, Penny Arcade pretty accurately summed this show up. It may be getting better, but the quality was so low to begin with, it's not going to make it to "good" territory any time soon.

I always figured that he was teleported to someplace in Asgard since the World Tree was plainly visible when he grabbed the cube.

irishda:

jmarquiso:

vid87:

Also, regarding the Red Skull - WHERE THE HELL IS HE?! There's no way he died in Cap 1 (especially with my theory that no actually got killed by the Tesseract since it may be the Space Infinity Stone and just teleports people): he's one of the most prominent villains in the entire franchise. I know Hugo Weaving's expensive, but it's been way too long without finding out if he's officially gone.

My guess he's Robert Redford.

God I'll hate it if that's true. "Hey, maybe we could have a villain be a subtle nuance on how potentially immoral actions for the sake of security can be given merit? Nah! Let's just have it be Red Skull in disguise so no one has to think, 'Is this really a horrible thing?'"

Also, Penny Arcade pretty accurately summed this show up. It may be getting better, but the quality was so low to begin with, it's not going to make it to "good" territory any time soon.

I'm actually feeling the opposite - the more details and lore they start hammering out, the more I'm dreading what comes next. Bob's not the only one noticing that the new pairings didn't produce anything particularly interesting and hearing how Whedon is relying on cliche' along with the PAINFULLY slow reveal of the mysteries they remind us of EVERY episode aren't helping. I'll still keep up via recaps, but shit better go down real soon or I won't be able to bring myself to watch anymore.

Also, I'm really disappointed in Weaving - he keeps taking jobs he later says he doesn't care for. Dude, are you that broke that you need to pander? Love ya but do something else.

Maybe Hugo Weaving is tired of being the villain all the time and just wants to be loved. ;D

Pyrian:
Maybe Hugo Weaving is tired of being the villain all the time and just wants to be loved. ;D

We loved him as V, vendetta and all.

Considering my favorite series is Nick Fury, Agent Of SHIELD, I am absolutely loving this series.....except for Skye. All the time put in to her story would have been better to build up going against Hydra or AIM. Skye is just so fucking annoying and I wish Coulson would fucking just shoot her in her stupid fucking face. It's so out of place for this, and not needed.

Silverspetz:

bigfatcarp93:
So... yeah.... am I the only one who feels like Bob was seriously pissed off about something else while he wrote this review, and decided to take it out on the episode? It seems that he was unusually snippy and cynical today... I mean, Bob's always been one for calling clichés where he sees them, but jesus, he was doing that EVERY LINE of this review.

Bob, I love your material, man, but sometimes I feel like you've really got to chill on the whole college-chic "Ugh, we've seen THIS before..." routine. It's fine in small doses, but frankly gets annoying when overdone.

Was he really that hard on it though? It seems like he concluded that it was an average episode on its own but that it improved his opinion of the show as a whole (even the pretty mediocre first three episodes) because it seems to be tying the whole thing up better.

Still a pretty damn good show, the new teamups weren't THAT interesting but it still gave the more minor characters needed screen time and development while also forwarding the bigger plot a little. Easily the best show I'm watching right now.

I didn't say I thought he was too hard on the episode.

I'm loving these writeups. Great for those of us who love the marvel universe, but haven't read all the comics.

Hope The Escapist keeps ordering them.

Moviebob: The bizarrely prominent fan-theory that Skye would turn out to be Coulson and May's lovechild can apparently be discarded.

Maybe notsofast? Wasn't there a Coulson/May scene that implied that May had suffered her own [possibly] life-n-death experience? Maybe the one that was the root cause of her semi-retirement from field work? Anyone know how long since she was "Cavalry"?

Between this and the Cap 2 trailer it really seems like Shield is going to be the bad guys before long. I wonder if Shield isn't being run by some super computer "Ultron" and we just don't know it yet.

I know nothing of the Marvel lore though

azriel2422:
Can Coulson just be Vision? Can we do that? Are we doing that? Would that make the casting choice for Scarlet Witch weird? Science?

Notice how many of the "level 8" Agents have titles or call signs? Hawkeye, The Black Widow, The Cavalry, etc? Fury's line when Coulson died in Avengers, "I've lost my one good eye". Coulson's job was to be Fury's eyes. To go out in the field and investigate things for Fury. To be Fury's "Vision".

Which opens up another whole realm of possibilities regarding Skye. If we assume that her identity or parentage might be an Easter Egg of some sort back to a classic comics character, based on Coulson and Agent May's discussion at the end of this episode it is probably a safer guess that her parent or parents may not have been on the side of the Angel's, and more likely their is someone truly terrifying in her past. Something that she is better off not knowing for her own piece of mind. Her being related to Agent Carter or Captain America does not really work for that. There has to be a really nasty villain back there someplace. So some thoughts.

- As Bob mentioned, Cynthia Schmidt. Sin. The Red Skulls daughter. This would fit well with the May/Phil scene, but in order for it to work even moderately requires them to take Skye to a much darker place. Sin is not a nice little hacker chick. She is a Joker level sociopath. Turning Sin into a hero seems to far a departure from the character for no real payoff. Better to just make her a new character.

- Since this is SHIELD, then her parents likely have some ties to the more classic Hydra. Maybe a child of Baron Strucker? Or how about Madame Hydra? Which might make her Jessica Drew?

- if Coulson is in fact the Vision, than Skye may be the daughter of another well known Marvel villain (who cannot be named in the Disney stuff, at this time). She does have that sort of slightly yet indiscriminately exotic look about her. Her hacking skills don't make a lot of sense. They are almost supernatural. As if she is bending probabilities to gain access. I wonder how she would look in a red leotard with pink tights?

- long shot, but SHIELD seems fond of obscure characters. (Agent Mack), the daughter of AIM scientist Supreme Monica Rappaccini, the latest Scorpion and occasional SHIELD Agent Camilla Black.

Bob sure comes off as bored and mad at this show when he recaps each episode. I like how they raise the mystery stakes, like Skye's real parents, and the truth of Coulson's revival. For the time being, I'm sticking with my cyborg theory, where he was revived and kept alive by tech that S.H.I.E.L.D. "acquired" from the Soviet Union, the same nice bunch who rebuilt the nearly-dead Bucky Barnes into their Winter Soldier (and if the cut out the U.S.S.R. connection in the next Cap movie, I will be pissed).

As for Penny Arcade's take on AoS: who pissed in their Cheerios?!

Her turning out to be Sin would actually make a whole lot of sense, given how they're treating her.

faefrost:

- if Coulson is in fact the Vision, than Skye may be the daughter of another well known Marvel villain (who cannot be named in the Disney stuff, at this time). She does have that sort of slightly yet indiscriminately exotic look about her. Her hacking skills don't make a lot of sense. They are almost supernatural. As if she is bending probabilities to gain access. I wonder how she would look in a red leotard with pink tights?

Sorry... but can I have a name? I gotta look up this hero you are thinking of, and I don't know my marvel heroes well enough to just pluck her up from the vague description of her costume, and powers. (guess I should turn in my marvel fanboy card...)

Also I don't think making her spiderwoman makes sense, because you know if she becomes a full on superhero then she has to leave the tv show most likely.

The robot comment in the episode is almost too heavy-handed to be foreshadowing. XD

My vote is still clone.

Also, are the decoy's generally built to be able to bleed realistic blood like coulson did in the second episode? "Yes because technology" is a fine enough answer if it is.

Balmong7:

faefrost:

- if Coulson is in fact the Vision, than Skye may be the daughter of another well known Marvel villain (who cannot be named in the Disney stuff, at this time). She does have that sort of slightly yet indiscriminately exotic look about her. Her hacking skills don't make a lot of sense. They are almost supernatural. As if she is bending probabilities to gain access. I wonder how she would look in a red leotard with pink tights?

Sorry... but can I have a name? I gotta look up this hero you are thinking of, and I don't know my marvel heroes well enough to just pluck her up from the vague description of her costume, and powers. (guess I should turn in my marvel fanboy card...)

Also I don't think making her spiderwoman makes sense, because you know if she becomes a full on superhero then she has to leave the tv show most likely.

Sorry about that. I was referring to the aforementioned Scarlet Witch. Daughter of Magneto. And long associated with the Vision and the Avengers. Of course Magneto cannot be directly used or named in any of the Disney shows at the moment because Fox holds the rights to the X Men movies. (I do wonder about television however?). Whereas Disney/Marvel retains the Scarlet Witch as she is mainly tied to the Avengers. (Fox's deal includes "All of the Marvel Mutant's, except 2. Scarlet Witch and her brother Quicksilver, who are part of the Avengers license... although Fox sorta broke that deal with the new X Men movie by including Quicksilver in it.)

Also it's the cinematic universe. She doesn't necesarily have to be "Spider Woman". The actual Jessica Drew backstory is very tied into SHIELD and Hydra, above and beyond her kind of vague Spider Powers.

They simply can't hide the fact that Coulson is alive from them if they're to be working from him.

They do have higher clearance than the Avengers though, but that's only because the Avengers aren't officially shield agents (except maybe Captain America)

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