So the second episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is the book and OH MY GOD IT’S NICK FURY!!! Nerd sugar rush overload!
Argh! No! That trick won’t work twice. It was a really cool Easter egg, but that’s all it was. It does, however, send a message. Marvel and ABC are willing to put the big guns on the show, which lends an anything-can-happen aura to the proceedings. Who knows who will see next week? It’s great. It is. It warms my nerd heart to see the show being treated this seriously by the power’s that be. It sends another message though, one I’m far more concerned about: as long as we drop nerd references we know you’ll the love show. I’m not down with this bit of corporate mad-science and could lead us down a path of creative laziness.
The episode was, again, middling. The first act was boring really, and I’m already tiring of Ming-Na’s dark loner shtick, please someone, anyone, give this poor woman a character with a personality. Also, I could have sworn I heard a network suit say “See? We said “Stark!” Oooooooooh!” Congratulations. Hollywood execs have figured out the rudimentary basics of speaking nerd. Now if the writing staff could just breathe some individuality into proceedings. Clark Gregg’s Coulson continues to be the only character we’re really seeing develop. His “Tahiti is a magical place” retort gets a little creepier every time he says it, and the character’s affection for classic spy gadgets paints him as a man with a love of history, who sees a story in the machinery of the past. But what of the twins? Are they twins? I’m still unclear what their relationship is, can anyone help me out here? What is clear is they are like Willow, Fred, and Topher Brink, the representative nerd characters the nerd audience is really meant to identify with. Their banter plays like classic Whedon style dialogue. Last week I worried if the show would go over board, this week I’m pining for more of it. Hmm. Like Coulson I want some sugar in my chocolate, but damnit, I want high quality chocolate.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the third act team-coming-together story. Again though, it wasn’t so much on the nose as a punch to the nose. It echoed the Avengers coming together in a way that made me roll my eyes with Ming-Na playing the team’s Incredible Hulk.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. remains a show searching for its identity. It has a strong lead in Clark, and for the time being, three characters with the potential for growth. Will the show find an acceptable level of sugar to balance out the action? I think, like another Whedon helmed show, Angel (spin-off of Buffy), it may not truly come into its own until it puts a little distance between itself and its parent, The Marvel films movie universe.
Written By David Arroyo