Last week marked the premiere of what was probably the most anticipated show of this fall: Marvel’s Agents of S..H.I.E.L.D. If for some crazy reason you missed the season premiere of S.H.I.E.L.D., we have the episode recap below. Also, check out Josh’s and Violet’s thoughts on the premiere, and see if you agree! Let’s get into this week’s recap of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.!
Don’t need the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode recap for the Pilot? Click here to jump directly to Josh’s thoughts on the episode!
To see Violet’s thoughts on the premiere of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., click here to get directly there!
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. series premiere Recap Overview
Need a quick Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode recap? Here is a summary of events for the episode. Each event is linked to the more detailed Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode recap if you need more information!
- The show begins with a prologue leading from The Avengers to the beginning of SHIELD. We meet Michael Peterson, who is our first hero of the show.
- Agent Ward is introduced, who seems to be a very capable agent of SHIELD, and retrieves an alien artifact
- Agent Hill scolds Ward for his recklessness. Coulson shows up, reassigns Ward to his annoyance. Also, there’s a secret surrounding Coulson’s non-death
- Skye tries to convince Peterson that SHIELD is dangerous, and that he should go public with his powers. He declines
- Coulson convinces Agent May to rejoin the team. Skye is then apprehended and taken by the team.
- Peterson becomes more violent, and dangerous. Coulson and Skye seem to be coming closer together in their viewpoints.
- Michael Peterson is captured after Fitz and Simmons come up with a solution. Skye joins the team.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. series premiere: the Details
J. August Richards Saves the Day
The episode begins with narration, telling us that the events of Agents of SHIELD follow the epilogue of the Marvel blockbuster The Avengers. The first character we are introduced to is a man that we eventually find out is named Michael Peterson (played by J. August Richards). Through his conversation with his young son, we learn he has fallen on hard financial times. He tries to assure his son that he will find work. Suddenly, there is an explosion, and Michael is compelled to assist. We see him use enhanced strength to break into the wall of the building, climb it, and he jumps into the blazing building and rescues a woman. As he sets her down, another woman has used her camera phone to get his picture. Michael, meanwhile, scurries away, and makes his way back to his son, now without his jacket on to blend in.
Agent Ward Kicks some Butt
The next scene of Agents of SHIELD introduces us to Grant Ward (played by Brett Dalton). He is an agent within S.H.I.E.L.D., and is the midst of a mission. Another agent has warned him that other groups are moving in on whatever he is looking for and that they should abort. Agent Ward disagrees though, and continues the mission.
He uses disguises and subterfuge to break into their target’s house/apartment. He finds a hidden wall, and finds an artifact he is looking for. He is jumped by some other agents, but he is able to defeat them through an entertaining action scene, and makes his getaway via hanging from a helicopter.
Agent Hill and Agent Coulson are Back!
Agent of SHIELD then reacquaints viewers with Agent Hill (Cobie Smulders) who we last saw in Avengers. She doesn’t seem too happy with Agent Ward’s performance. Hill tells Ward how the world has changed since New York. We learn that Coulson took Ward out of Paris for his mission, but Ward thought Coulson was dead. Then through a satirically funny scene, Coulson “ominously” enters the room, and we learn he is not dead after all.
Agent Coulson explains he survived his death at the hands of Loki, but stopped breathing for an amount of seconds that seems to change with time. We learn that the Avengers do not know of Coulson’s survival. The agents begin reviewing the footage of Peterson, and they plan on going after information that a group called the “Rising Tide” has, a group bent on exposing the superheroes. Ward is reserved, but Coulson is determined that he is fit for the team. Meanwhile, the S.H.I.E.L.D. doctor (played by Ron Glass from Firefly) reveals to us viewers: something has happened to Coulson and it’s something Coulson doesn’t know about.
Skye wants to make Michael Peterson Famous
Back on the streets, Michael Peterson is being stalked by the woman who took his photo after his heroic rescue. Peterson has sat down in a diner, looking for a job while seeing his heroics on TV. The stalker girl named “Skye” tells him that he is in danger–from S.H.I.E.L.D, and she tries to convince him to go public. He declines her offer for help.
Agent May will be Driving the Bus, Skye isn’t so Sly
Back at S.H.I.E.L.D., Coulson has began to sweet talk Agent May (Ming-Na Wen) into returning to the field to “drive the bus”. She isn’t too keen on returning, but agrees after being reassured she is only “driving the bus” (anyone get the feeling she won’t just be driving the bus?).
We then see their “bus” which is a gigantic plane. Ward then meets Fitz (Iian De Caestecker) and Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge), two lab geeks to help with investigations. Coulson arrives in Lola, his red old school car. Agent May has found a potential find for The Riding Tide, and the newly formed team moves out. Skye is podcasting or something about the success of the Rising Tide, but she is rudely interrupted by Coulson in her van, and is promptly “black-bagged” .
She is brought aboard the fancy plane, and they begin their interrogation. Coulson asks about Peterson, and who he is. Agent May, Fitz and Simmons meanwhile have begun to investigate the explosion from the beginning of the episode. They entered the building, and located some film data they think they can recover. Skye reveals a “project centipede” which Coulson seems unaware of. After some bickering between Ward and Skye, Coulson takes a different approach: he decides some truth serum–on Agent Ward. He then allows Skye to interrogate him rather than vice versa.
Peterson becomes Violent, Skye Becomes More Understanding
Back with Peterson, we see an object installed on his forearm, which seems to be leeching drugs into his system. He pleads with the doctor on the phone to reveal his power, but they seem to not willing.
Peterson returns to his previous employer, and pleads for his job. The employer snidely declines, which angers Peterson. He begins breaking stuff and even severely injures his previous boss, but insists he is still the good guy.
Back at headquarters, Skye and Coulson seem to be seeing more eye to eye, and they resolve to figure out how to help Peterson with his. They begin to figure out how to view the security footage from the explosion. Also, Peterson visits the girl he rescued in the hospital, and we learn that the rescued girl is a doctor related to whatever procedure Peterson has had done. We also learn that there was another person in the experiment who went crazy…and killed people. Peterson insists he isn’t like the other subject, but she scoffs at him. She warns that the people who gave her the technology she used on him will not be happy with his exposing of the secret.
Peterson is Apprehended. Skye Joins the Team
After putting together the footage, the agents see that they test several methods, but aren’t having luck yet. They locate Skye through some hacker tricks of Skye, and find her van. Peterson isn’t happy to see them, and flees with his son and Skye in tow. Skye is able to create a distraction, and makes for an escape.
Some action scenes ensue, with some seemingly evil cops shooting at Peterson. Coulson seems to think that it is another group after Peterson. Peterson recaptures Skye, but one of the bad cops shoot Peterson, who falls over some railing. Agent May jumps into action and saves Skye from the cop. Peterson is fine, and gets up as Coulson approaches. Peterson and Coulson have an exchange about who is good and who is evil. Ward has his sniper rifle trained on Peterson. Peterson talks about the “gods” stepping on the ants. Coulson tries to talk him down, and seems to calm him. He is then shot by Ward, but we learn quickly that it isn’t a fatal round. Fitz and Simmons came through on a way to subdue him.
Coulson and Skye pay a visit to Peterson family, and afterwards Skye and Coulson decide to make an alliance. It looks like they will be working together. For a while at least.
Josh’s Thoughts: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. series premiere
Overall, I enjoyed the premiere Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. I was glad to see Coulson back, as well as Agent Hill (Cobie Smulders). The writers also did a great job of tying in the events from The Avengers, so it all feels like one big storyline. Another fun part was seeing J. August Richards and Ron Glass, both notable “Whedon-Verse” actors. The show also had a very cinematic feel to it. The budget for this pilot had to be expensive. All of the special effects looked great, which I am sure meant big bucks to make them great. It was also neat how they brought other Marvel elements in to the show–Extremis from Iron Man’s storyline, Gamma Radiation, which comes up in a lot of comic book related stories, and various other tidbits.
The premise of the show seems good as well–seek out and help the “different” people, and their newly found agenda–locate the source of this Project Centipede. There seems to be some side stories already developing as well–What is S.H.I.E.L.D. not telling Agent Coulson about his death? Is he a clone? Robot? I am really curious to know what happened to him between The Avengers and now. I am also curious about Skye’s allegiances. Is she really going to help S.H.I.E.L.D.? Is she trying to play a double agent to get some information out of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Coulson? I am curious about her organization “Rising Tide” too. Are they good guys? Bad guys? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
Unfortunately, the show is not perfect for me. The biggest problem for me are many of the actors. The two major problems for me acting wise were the people playing Agent Ward and Skye. For Agent Ward, I felt the actor was way too young to come off as a “seasoned” agent. To pull that off, you need someone in their mid-thirties at least. Ward looks like a fresh-faced Agent more than a grizzled veteran.
As for Skye, her character seemed a little out of sync with who she is supposed to be. Her attitude and demeanor did not strike me as one of the hacker/nerdy girl type. In my opinion, Emily Rickards, the actress who plays Felicity on Arrow, does this role much better.
Overall, I feel the show may have been a little overhyped, which may have left me a little underwhelmed, but I indeed still enjoyed the show a great deal. Considering the number of premiere viewers along with who is behind the show, I have a feeling this show will go the distance.
Violet’s Thoughts on the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot
I hate to say it, but I am not yet sold on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. I wanted to love it. I really did. I mean, I’m a huge Joss Whedon fan. I love Buffy, Angel, and Firefly. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. — yet. Granted, we are only one episode in. But I am holding out hope that it will improve over time. I think my reaction may be partially due to the fact that the show was over-hyped. Following San Diego Comic-Con, where the pilot episode was first screened, everyone who saw it was literally gushing about how good it was. Then it was again screened at D23 Expo, and there seemed to be the same extremely positive reaction. As a result, my expectations were set really high. I went in expecting a masterpiece of Whedon perfection. But that’s not quite what I got.
One of my main problems is that it felt too cheesy at times. Some attempts at humor went over well, such as when Coulson steps out of the dark shadowy doorway to reveal himself to Ward and then pokes fun at himself. However, others felt a little weird or out of place, like when Ward is injected with the truth serum and begs for his mommy. I don’t know, maybe Brett Dalton (who plays Agent Ward) just can’t do comedy. I’m also not a fan of Chloe Bennet’s acting. Or maybe I just don’t like the character she plays, Skye, who I found really annoying. I hope they tone her down a bit going forward. I don’t really get Coulson’s obsession with her, especially to inject the truth serum in his own agent rather than her. She doesn’t seem all that special to me. The ending of the episode, where Coulson’s car turned into a flying car, felt really cheesy to me for some reason.
Another problem I had was understanding Fitz and Simmons. Not only do they usually speak at the same time, which in itself would be hard to follow, but they also speak with accents, which makes them even harder to understand. As a result, I feel like I may have missed a couple of important things, which is bothersome when you’re watching a detail-oriented show like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., because every detail matters.
Regardless of the negatives, one positive that you always get when you’re watching a Whedon project is that you get to see familiar faces. It was nice to see Ron Glass (who played Shepherd in Firefly) pop up as a S.H.I.E.L.D. doctor, and I especially enjoyed the performance of J. August Richards (who played Gunn in Angel) playing the role of Michael in this episode. Honestly, I thought Richards was the best part of the whole pilot and stole the show. Too bad it doesn’t seem like he’ll be a permanent part of the show.
Overall, it seems like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will be a fun show, and it did a good job of tying itself to The Avengers, as well as establishing mysteries to keep you watching, such as the details surrounding Coulson’s supposed death. Even though I wasn’t ecstatic about the pilot episode, it’s Whedon, so I’m going to keep watching and give it a chance to develop into something better.
Scenes from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Episode 2, 0-8-4
Here are scenes from next week’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode titled 0-8-4: