Friday, 20 June 2014

Agents of SHIELD: Season 1 Review

Agents of SHIELD is finally over, and what a journey it was. This show was so up and down for so long that it's hard to draw an opinion of the overall series, but in the end I would say that I have come round to the show in spite of its flaws. Agents of SHIELD isn’t perfect, but ultimately I’m happy that we’re getting a second season. Does that make Agents of SHIELD a success? Well, kind of. There are going to be some major spoilers for the first season in this review so if you’re planning to watch it, then you have been warned. Now lets get into it.


The characters in Agents of SHIELD started off as the most generic archetypes you could possibly think up. You had the young hotshot who doesn’t want to join the team, the cute “will-they, won’t-they” pair who just can’t believe their luck, the unpredictable wild card with issues, and the serious person of Chinese descent.

These characters are not what anyone would call interesting, but I think it was Skye who got the most hate and that’s because it felt like she was being forced on us - or that's my opinion at least. To me it seemed like Joss Whedon and Kevin Feige were screaming in my face, “Look at her, look at how likeable she is. You like her. You can’t believe how cute she is, you just fucking love her, don’t you?” NO! I fucking don’t! Get her away from me.

However, after 22 hours of exposure to these characters I really do feel more attached to them, to the point where I’d say there’s a nice 70:30 split between characters I like, and characters I’m still not thrilled about. Melinda May, Fitz, Simmons, and Coulson are characters I don’t have a problem with. May is a relatively good TV-level substitute for Black Widow and Fitz-Simmons – while I was originally resistant to their adorableness – won me over in in the end and now I have to admit they’re quite a fun couple. As for Coulson, I actually wouldn’t say he’s the best character on the show, but ultimately it’s hard not to like him after his much-loved role in the MCU movies.

Fitz and Simmons began as an annoyance, but grew on me by the end...
On the flipside, Skye I’m still not totally sold on. She has improved since the pilot, but all those little heart to heart chats she had at the beginning have really tainted her for me. Those chats were even lamer than some of the quote-unquote emotional moments from early Smallville episodes. They were that bad.
Additionally, Ward is still very bland even after turning evil and killing Victoria Hand. My main reaction to that can be summed up by, "Meh, he’s still pretty boring."

Speaking of Victoria Hand though, why would you kill her off? In the comics, Hand was such a cool character, and I was looking forward to watching her flourish. And then Ward shot her two times in the chest and I was like oh. Great. The door is open to bring her back Coulson-style, but they can’t just do that for everyone who dies, especially as it wasn’t really fully explained how they brought Coulson back to life. All that was said was Fury got a robot to fuck about with his brain and some alien guy - it wasn’t a hugely thorough explanation. Also, bringing back characters left right and center would simply end up making death as meaningless in the Marvel movies as it is in the Marvel comics and nobody wants that.


Let’s talk about the overarching story of Agents of SHIELD: Season 1. The clairvoyant/Hydra. This is a story that I feel was pulled off relatively well, but still it wasn’t great. The fact that we weren’t introduced to the person who turns out to be the clairvoyant until 14 episodes in I feel is a bit weird. Plus it didn’t really come to a huge shock to me when it turned out Garrett was the Clairvoyant, mainly because we’re not really given many opportunities to get on board with the character and find him likeable. There was something about him from the first episode he appeared in that seemed off and I never thought of him as a trustworthy character.

Why is SHIELD so much cooler in the movies?
However, that being said I did like how heavily the series ended up tying into Captain America: The Winter Soldier, because it really had to given the events of that movie. I was also happy to see they didn't back down at the end of Ward's character arc. I had a terrible feeling that at the end of the series Ward was going to turn good again and it was going to be no hard feelings all round. Thankfully that didn’t happen. Like I’ve already said, Ward is boring. I’m glad he’s gone.

Ultimately, Agents of SHIELD’s story was passable, a solid C Grade, however now that the foundation has been laid – and the characters aren’t as bad as they were when the show began – I’m hoping for something a little more fulfilling come Season 2.


So it was announced a little while ago that we will be getting a second series of Agents of SHIELD, maybe just as a way for Marvel to save face but even so! The question is: What can we expect from the second season?


1.     Fitz will have some kind of brain damage that prevents him and Simmons from hooking up. Hollywood loves to drag out "will they won’t they" scenarios. Everyone knows this. Just look at Friends: How long did it take for Ross and Rachel to finally get back together? Too long. But the pair will probably finally kiss in the season 2 finale.

2.     Skye is going to have some kind of low-grade super power. It’s been hinted at throughout this series that there is something special about her, so there’s got to be some kind of pay off there I would imagine. When it comes to Skye’s ominous looking parent, I would say that it probably won’t be a character from the comics, but if it is it will be a really low-profile one that no one gives two shits about.

3.     Ward will come back at some point, either as a villain or while trying to redeem himself.

4.     May and Coulson are going to hook up because they’re the only two people on the team over the age of 30.


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