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October 08 2013

(SPOILER) Discuss tonight's episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. The third episode is titled "The Asset" and was written by Maurissa Tancharoen and Jed Whedon.

I lack self-control, so I watched the opening scene last night (it was a preview offered on Facebook). It looked like a Hollywood blockbuster. The budget is showing!
Directed by Milan Cheylov, whose credits include 24, Once Upon a Time, Bones. A newbie for a Mutant Enemy show.
Wow, that somewhat cheesy team-building in episode two paid off with S.H.I.E.L.D hitting the ground running at episode three!
Really loving this one so far and wasn't sold on 1st two.
Best ep so far!
Loving his episode!!! The stuff with Skye continues to draw me in. She could turn out to be one of my favorite Whedon characters
The thematic music is still too loud. Otherwise it is good fun.
The "Do you have what it takes to pull the trigger" moment was the first thing that endeared me to Skye at all.
I am honestly relieved to have quite liked an episode at last!
Loved this episode. Much smoother than the first two.

Liked agent Ward for the first time.

Skylar more than a pretty face.

Ian Quinn reminded me of a Dollhouse Ballard clone.

Music getting better. Only one bad moment tonight.

Great Marvel continuity dropping Dr. Hall into the graviton thingy.

More nice ongoing tidbits about Coulson's resurrection.

If every episode is as good as this one, ABC will have no more worries about maintaining an audience.
Ian Quinn: A working man, struggling to get by with the barest necessities on his private floating island.
Better, but my DVR cut out in the middle of the final scene. What did I miss?
Also my DVR didn't record the episode at all, because my daughter decided to record "The Voice," which knocked AoS off the line-up. Grrrrr! Arggghhh!
And here I am the dissident voice. I am pretty sure this show is not for me, and that I am way outside its demographic. It was rather cheesy all around, using old tropes and not bothering to play with them: the sad back story of abuse, the training that pays off when needed, the scientist trying to destroy the few to save the many, the untested agent whose loyalty is in question but who does the job after making you think she was going over to the dark side. How many of these chestnuts can one story have? In addition, the fight scenes are poorly filmed and look silly. The music too often signals what you should be feeling. The scientists always know just the right thing needed for the story. And I still cannot understand either of them half the time they are talking. Sky is a poor man's Faith. The quips are old and predictable, as was the "shock" ending of the hand coming out of the ooze, as if no one saw that coming. I guess I just cannot get to that willing suspension of disbelief I need to enjoy the story. Most of the time I was rolling my eyes. I am too old, and I think this is just a comic book projected on screen for people much younger than me (I'm 60).
BTW, in case it isn't general knowledge here yet, AoS plans to do the post credit teaser on every (or almost every) episode. Fury was just the first one.
So, is Dr Franklin Hall the first character from marvel comic books to be introduced on Agents of SHIELD that wasn't first introduced in the movies?

[ edited by garyyager on 2013-10-09 02:14 ]

[ edited by garyyager on 2013-10-09 02:15 ]
Really loved tonight's episode.Basically we got the origin of a comic villain on the show ie Graviton.I also really liked Ian Hart in the role too.

Also really liked the character development for Skye in this one.

[ edited by Buffyfantic on 2013-10-09 02:18 ]
My DVR cut out in the middle of the final scene as well--what happened?

I liked this episode much better than the first two. Still hate, hate, hate the music, but I think the show is finally picking up...
So nobody willing to let me know what happened in the very last scene? I knew to watch to the very end, but the fucking DVR had other ideas, changed the channel during that scene, and decided not to record the episode at all, because that last minute overlapped with two other recordings. Please??? Someone answer my question?
We see a hand come out of the ball of bad gravity hoodoo*, where it is contained in storage. And Marvel fans all went "ooooo" because it's a supervillain origin story retold for the tv show.

* technical term
Thank you, Sunfire.

The gravitron thingy was shutdown when Coulson dropped Dr. Hall into it. Then he instructed an agent to store it deep in a warehouse and make sure not to tell anyone or even record its existence.
The teaser after the credits showed the gravitron thingy with a hand reaching out of it (hence the future "villain" Gravitron).
Sure. I hesitated because I wasn't sure if I understood it well or not. I didn't know who Graviton was but I did recognize that is Looked Bad (like maybe even a Big Bad). More Marvel-aware people may hop in here to correct me later though.
Ok, so the final scene, if you mean the after-credits, is them locking the mass into a vault and then at the end a hand covered in it sort of sticks out of it sort of like how it had the bumps in it.
I'm not quite finished with the ep, but this is by far the worst episode in my opinion. The over-exposition is killing me and I'm not loving the delivery of the punch lines, such as they are. think it's safe to say that I am in the demographic or at least much closer to it, but I'm with Dana5140 for the most part. The last two eps I was able to deal and enjoy, but this ep was too much and too obvious - everything that was coming was telegraphed way in advance. Will edit after finished to say whether the rest of it changed my mind.

There were a couple of decent lines towards the end, though whoever edited the fight scene where Ward rescued Skye should be slapped. Oh look, Coulson's creating a supervillain, I thought as he shot through the glass. And the post-credits scene says I was right.

[ edited by zeitgeist on 2013-10-09 02:59 ]
This was definitely the best episode yet! While I thought the first two were good episodes, there was a lot of necessary exposition; here, I think we got a sense of what the show will actually look like on an average week.

I loved Fitz's character this week. He was hilarious throughout the entire mission scene: from his earnest insistence that they use a monkey to infiltrate the compound, to his bucket of popcorn, to his inability to find a way out of his "boobs" comment.

In general, I think the actors/writers are really starting to figure out and flesh out the characters, with the possible exception of Melinda. I'm not really getting anything from her yet, other than some bad-ass fight scenes. There is plenty of room for development, though, what with her shadowy past and all.

I actually didn't like the casting for Dr. Hall's character. I didn't think the actor brought any gravity to the role (pun intended). To me, it sounded like he was reading a script rather than actually speaking from the heart about self-sacrifice and the greater good. Then again, I'm not familiar at all with his Marvel character (or the Marvel Universe as a whole, for that matter), so maybe the characterization was spot-on, and I'm just oblivious.

I'm anxious to see what the ratings are when they come out tomorrow. I'm really starting to love this show, and I hope it's finding enough of an audience to stick around long-term.
I have no clue on the details of the Marvel Universe but I felt this episode was stronger then 1.02.
Y'know, I can't argue that this one still had lots of very obvious moments, but somehow it just flowed better and seemed more organic to me than the obvious moments in episode two.
Graviton comic character info for those who don't know and want to.
@HerbSaunders I noticed, too, that Ian Hart sounded kind of stilted when speaking and wondered if it was because of the accent issue. (He's British.)
Hope it gets picked up. The first 13 are usually striving at gaining new audience and then the real fun begins.
I'm surprised it hasn't been picked up for a full season yet. It'll come soon though!
Enjoyable. The opening truck sequence looked great. Skye does look like Faith, and Ian looked like Mal. Joss has a type or too.

More convinced Coulson is a robot. Possibly imprinted like a doll. I'm cool with Ward. The relationship between he and Skye might be moving a bit fast to be realistic given their personalities.

I'm with those who thought the scientist's acting was a bit stiff. But maybe it's how he was supposed to be? Also the name Gravitonian cracked me up. I know that's a comic book thing but made me laugh.
I also really enjoy the visual effects and how they have kept up with making sure it looks good on the small screen. Many tv shows have fallen short with visual effects that potentially ruin a show's quality.
Easily my favorite so far - really liked the truth serum riff. It's a subtle jab of the "all is not what it seems" kind, yet not as showy as the whole is-Skye-loyal centerpiece. Also liked the Coulson hint on his lack of "muscle memory"

Now we just need to move into a larger BigBad story arc and I'm a happy camper
I agree with most here that this was a much better episode than the first two. It felt more Whedonesque and less like an eighties action series. AoS still has a long way to go, but this is the first episode that has given me hope that this will mature into a show that I will eventually love.
Skye writing down "SHIELD is listening" to avoid her SHIELD allies from picking up on her message reminded me a lot of Lilah in Angel S3, where Lilah did the same thing to "tell" Sahjan she was agreeing to support him without letting W&H know it. I always saw that moment as one of my favourite double-talk gags in TV.

I liked this episode too. Got me laughing out loud at times, such as the recurring "is there a truth serum?" gag, as well as Coulson telling Ward to try out his people skills before the show cut to Ward pointing a gun at Skye. I did appreciate that Ward and Skye are forming a closer bond now. Hopefully, this episode caused Skye to take her fight training more seriously.
They are getting their sea legs, for sure. Another step forward for this young series on a variety of fronts. I think fans of Marvel should be fairly happy, and fans of Whedon should continue to temper their expectations in some respects considering how much big money and famous comic book universe DNA are being spliced with the quirky awesome that brings us all to this corner of the web. Jed and Mo are so far doing a fine job of juggling a huge amount of balls, and let's not forget to give them a lot of credit as they're the ones who are running the show.
Was briefly confused by Ian Hart as Dr. Hall -- thinking that he was Arye Gross, making another Whedonverse appearance. And then, I was like, is Ian Quinn (David Conrad) some mash up of Tahmoh Penikett with Fran Kranz? Or maybe I'm getting old like Jim Steranko, and think everyone looks alike.

Also, what was with Coulson wearing his suit on an ops? Now I have to go back and check if he's ever worn anything other than that suit. (Um, LMD, obvious much?)

Kind of liked the idea of a trained SHIELD monkey with adorable little hands.

[ edited by Whedonage on 2013-10-09 04:45 ]
Enjoyed the episode very much. There were lovely surprises. I was hoping, though, that Skye would not only do the thing where she disarms the person who's aiming a gun at her, but would also do at least one pull-up at some point.

I have no guess as to how Coulson came back to life (or to "life"), but if he does turn out to be a robot, could tonight's repeated references to his being "rusty" be a Wizard of Oz shout-out (the Tin Man when he's first discovered and needs oiling)?

[ edited by mozzarellademon on 2013-10-09 04:58 ]
I liked this episode a lot. Finally, some super-stuff!

The actor who played Agent Tyler (the guy who locked the gravitonium in the vault) was the same guy who in "The Avengers" tried to tell the Avengers they weren't cleared to use the quinjet, and got told "Son... just don't" by Captain America.

And the guy who played Quinn's head goon was a member of Victor's team in "Epitaph Two" on Dollhouse.
I really enjoyed Episode 3. Since the show came on, I've been having weekly viewing parties at my apartment, something I haven't done since Dollhouse. It's been so much fun getting people together to speculate in real-time, in person, about what certain things in the show could be or guessing who might show up next. Tuesday, more than Friday, has become the day I most look forward to every week.
Good to finally see some superhero world stuff for a change! Though I agree with the criticisms about over-explaining and telegraphing some of the beats from a mile away, this felt more true to the Marvel universe than the previous episodes, which frankly could have more-or-less taken place in a non-superhero world.
And more Ming-Na, please!
If I look back at the Firefly experience, it was just an entertaining show up until Out of Gas - that's when I became really engaged as a fan. I haven't had that click episode yet for AoS, but as characters go... Skye is pretty cool.
I've always liked Skye and felt her as the "average" person people can relate to who is surrounded by all these super-talented coworkers and wackiness.

Reading this thread made me realize that Coulson's being "rusty" probably went back to his dying. I'm loving this mystery and can't wait to watch it unfold -- I expect the answer to blindside and amaze me.

I'm wondering how they expect people to get the "truth serum" joke for people tuning in for the first time? I noticed that they don't have a "Previously on AoS" montage at the beginning. I just thought that those were pretty cool exchanges but that it was a shame that many people wouldn't know what they were talking about unless they'd seen the pilot.

The Skye/Ward relationship seems too predictable to me. I am hoping (and expecting) there to be a twist soon.

I liked the pilot, I was very unhappy with the 2nd episode, and I think this episode is my favorite.

I'm curious what the ratings will be. I'll admit that I'm worried. I'm guessing that the dropoff after the pilot was from people tuning in expecting it to be a superheroes show but realizing that it was about people without the big powers.
While I did find this episode more enjoyable then the previous 2, I have to agree with most of what Dana said. The writing is all so "paint-by-numbers" it hurts. The music is still very jarring in places and my god are the fight scenes truly awful.
Slightly worried about the somewhat formulaic (so far) structure of "Fly to Location X, Stop Bad Guy Y, Discover Supernatural/Alien Thingy Z" that the show has demonstrated so far. The only character that is working for me atm is Skye...I'm actually sortof disappointed in how they've used Coulson thusfar (minor spoilers ahead)

Plenty of time to right the ship and get me more invested in the other characters, and each episode features at least a few choice Whedony lines to keep me interested. But I'd like to see a little more evidence that this show has ambitions beyond what it has shown so far.
So no one had flashbacks to the first Harry Potter movie? *disappointed*
Coulson is Barney Stinson's dad, isn't he? I mean, the man is sartorial Superman and he can whoopass while never wrinkling his threads!


I think the groove's been IDed and tracked, since this flowed well from start to finish and that Skye got to be a useful member of the team...though I do have to wonder at the consequences of Ian Quinn's escape. He's able to come back with another crazy scheme, but more importantly? He knows that Skye's with SHIELD (or is she? Truth made to look like lies?) and not the Rising Tide and that could be trouble if he can find a way to pass along a message to the Rising Tide about Skye's apparent loyalties. That and I hope there's more interesting choices from Coulson similar to his decision to sacrifice Hall's life - bet FitzSimmons will be far from thrilled - to stop the gravity device...Skye's look at Coulson when she and Ward broke into the lab definitely had disgust/fear overtones IMO.

So yeah...I'm grooving on this series hard! Bring on episode 4!

[ edited by BlueEyedBrigadier on 2013-10-09 08:17 ]
I had a lot of fun with this one, everything Fitz and almost everything Skye the winners as far as I'm concerned. I think the show is progressing nicely and I wouldn't fret (yet) about the overall predictability, which is there, no question. I don't know how you can expect this particular show - Marvel big franchise tie-in first, Whedon(ish) second - to be much different by the third episode.
A solid, fun if very predictable episode. I agree with everyone saying they like to see a little less formula and a little more ambition than just being a procedural in the series. I still don't feel particularly invested and I'm hoping to see more serialization happening. It's still early though.

To keep things in perspective, we're still only on the equivalent of Buffy's "The Witch" where the show was still very rough around the edges and showing just the barest hints of what it would become. To be honest, I didn't have a strong liking for any Buffy episodes until"School Hard" and didn't fall head over heels until "Innocence" (like many people) so I just hope AoS can pull off that kind of narrative escalation and character building to an epic twist.

As someone who watched all of Buffy in a month online though it's hard (but kinda rewarding) to actually wait for episode air dates! Hope the ratings stayed steady. The show deserves time to develop.
Slow build. It's weird we're only into third episode and the more "procedural" / "formulaic" elements of the show is what getting a lot of people worried.

And then I keep getting reminded of how "monster of the week" the 1st season of Angel was, especially the first 8 episodes, and it wouldn't become more mythology based until a bit later.

I remember watching that on a weekly basis, it's a different experience for people who came in later and was able to binge-watch batches of episodes.

Liked the final tag scene, but would have worked as well as an final act "cliffhanger"teaser. But I'd easily exchange final scenes for a proper opening credit sequence, I find that helps a lot to connect with the cast.

Really curious what's planned for Sweeps, want to see the team be stretched to their limit.

Back to this episode, which I did enjoy, but I still have problem to connect with Ward. I feel like he should be a bit more like Adam Baldwin's John Casey character from Chuck, but so far he's quite generic. He looks to me like the character that must be broken down, but as Disney/Marvel show, don't know how far they'd allow that to go.

Do agree with some information being filled in a very heavy handed way.
I'll do a roundup of the reviews for this episode at the weekend but from what I can see, the reviews so far have been positive.
Slow build. It's weird we're only into third episode and the more "procedural" / "formulaic" elements of the show is what getting a lot of people worried.

In today's climate I think that's pretty fair. We're not in the 90's anymore and SHIELD feels really quite dated in a lot of ways. Some of the most ground-breaking shows in the past few years (The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, Dexter, American Horror Story, The Sopranos, Six Feet Under etc) are serialised right from the start and viewers didn’t have to dredge through 5-6 standalone episodes before getting to some kind of arc. I mean, sure, you still get procedurals like NCIS and that clearly does very well, but it’s very rare nowadays for a series to get such a passionate and cult-like fanbase when it’s using the standalone format. TV has changed and viewer’s tastes have changed and I have to say that I think the writers for SHIELD are a bit behind the ball on this one.

I’m afraid I also feel the same way about people’s insistence that BtVS started out rough and then got better and therefore we should give SHIELD the same opportunity as well. Sure, that was true of BtVS and we were all very fortunate that it did grow into something far more promising but is it too much to ask that SHIELD was just good from, like, the very beginning? Why should viewers have to stick around for weeks hoping that the series will eventually evolve into something far less predictable and corny with stronger characterisation and plot? Again, in the current climate when SHIELD has to compete with such amazing writing like, for example, the calibre found in a script of Breaking Bad, why should viewers have to sit through mediocre episodes before the show “gets good?” Why isn’t it good already? It’s extremely rare that a show’s best episodes will be at the very beginning but that doesn’t mean they can’t still be very well-written or that characters can’t be interesting and layered right from the start. Right now all the SHIELD characters are just walking caricatures that can’t possibly compete with the likes of Walter White and as a passionate TV viewer, I don’t feel I’m being unfair or too hasty when I come down on this series when there is some amazing television being produced nowadays right at my fingertips.

The show isn’t terrible but if I’m just comparing it to other freshman shows this season it’s certainly not the best. Both Sleepy Hollow and even The Crazy Ones did a better job setting up their characters straight away and I feel the casting is far superior too. And whilst Sleepy Hollow’s plot may be cracktastic, to put it mildly, it did manage to jump straight into an arc from the very first episode and has managed to weave that arc through the last few eps even when they are borderline “MotW” as well. SHIELD is at best, C+ television right now with some really impressive special effects but the writing really has been very, very generic thus far.

Dollhouse may have had a LOT of problems from the very beginning but even then, each episode contained little gems that showcased the show’s ambition whereas I feel SHIELD seems pretty content at remaining the level at which it is now. And if we are comparing it to BtVS S1, I’d also point out that just in the opening teaser of Welcome to the Hellmouth the writing did more to subvert tropes and clichés than anything SHIELD has managed in 3 whole episodes. Darla (aka the Blonde Girl) turning out to be the monster instead of the victim was bold and a great twist and showed more promise than anything we've seen from SHEILD.

I'm sure everybody's experiences are different but the general feeling I've gotten from message boards and communities on LJ/Tumblr is that people want to like the show but are struggling with it. I keep seeing comments such as "I'm really, really trying to enjoy this but it's so boring" etc and that's worrying IMO. I get the impression people are trying to stick with it because Whedon's name is attached, and I'm exactly the same, but it just does not feel like a Joss show. I really hope they delve more into an arc soon because I don't think viewers will remain patient for much longer.

[ edited by vampmogs on 2013-10-09 12:44 ]
Coulson doesn't have muscle memory! Today's episode my vote is on Clone. ;_____;

I liked this episode better than the last two. Also, love that Coulson was responsible for the what is sure to be a next super-villain who will be bent on revenge.

I'm enjoying Skye more this episode. I liked seeing that she can deceive so easily. Still off on the idea that Ward with his personality wanted so bad to train her - kind of takes me out of the story.

Yay on May coming in - even if it was cause she's worried about Coulson.

Bonus, Coulson pissed about his cards! lol *fangirl glee* No matter what happened to Phil, he's in there. :)

[ edited by Mirage on 2013-10-09 12:31 ]
Phew, that was actually quite a bit of fun. Huge improvement on the first two episodes and enough to give me hope that this will become a good show before too long
Vampogs, because, you know... Some shows, somteimes, need time. Thats how it is. Well, that, and because the show is great. Best thing on tv right now along Boardwalk Empire.

And... message boards? Thats a tiny, minuscule part of the world. And a very specific one at that. Ratings matter much more. Lets wait and see.

Also and the general feeling I got from that minuscule part of the worls is actually... they like it. And last night, very, very much. Those comments you talk about exist, sure, but they are not a general feeling. Heck, theres more people being critical about it because its a spy show and not a superheroe one than they are bored by it.

This isnt BTVS. This isnt a show about subverting cliches. This is one that exists to proove that cliches exist because they are effective storytelling, and its execution what makes them cliché, not content.

And im loving it. Better than Breaking Bad? You bet.

[ edited by Darkness on 2013-10-09 12:45 ]
I keep mulling over the show and see more problems. The entire story does not make sense. So we have this highly intelligent tech developer Quinn, who has had a falling out with his buddy (think Jobs and Wozniak). And the way to get him back, after he has isolated "gravitonium," is to kidnap him in the hopes the buddy will see the potential and buy in? Like, he could not just maybe send him an email with a video clip of the device? And then Sky, who has utterly no skills whatsoever and cannot even be trusted, is the person whom you send on this crazy mission to get inside, because somehow she can send a text message and get herself invited to what ought to be a hugely secret meeting, since it is where they have the gravitonium? Like, yes, I do want to invite Julian Assange to my secret meeting, because I just know I can trust him to keep the secret! Actually, I think the show was designed, by and large, to showcase one of its true assets, which are pretty nice assets to be sure (and had the one good meta line of the entire show, what with Fitz looking for the right word to describe those assets), though I am still trying to understand how after Sky jumped into the pool her hair was wet but her dress was not. At this point, I think Ward may be the single most boring person on any TV show currently broadcast. He's a stiff. There is more acting expression in Ming-Na Wen's left eyebrow than in his entire body. And can we do away with the trope of the braniac who wears weird cloting, like a plaid shirt with a nonmatching tie? Can FitzSimmons not always be deus ex machina for the plot?

And please, please, please tell me that the second African American to be on the show will not once again be the villain?
Clark Gregg has been saying cryptic things on twitter everytime the question of Coulson's death is mentioned. Someone said that they would prefer watching the Walking Dead and he responded "Aren't you?" or words to that effect. In response to the dialogue about being rusty he posted "Tin Man". The repeated emphasis on muscle memory and his lack of it was pretty obvious.
I'm still finding this show generally clunky but did enjoy the uncertainty around Skye. I'm unsure if she ended up letting in S.H.I.E.L.D because she didn't like the other offer/ if she had been hedging her bets or what.
I thought that the show would be getting better and that this particular episode would be the best one yet... but it turned out to be the worst. I actually liked the first two episodes even though they were far from perfect. But they still had some good elements that compensated the flaws. But this one was predictable, full of cliché, pathos and (apart from a few moments) kind of humorless. It was nice to get the origin of Graviton on TV, but it really wasn't all that interesting. The family backstories for Ward and Skye were corny and boring. It actually seemed like a random episode taken from Human Target, even the heroic music was very similar.

I hope it gets better in the future, because today it didn't feel like a Joss show (at all), but like some corporate, mainstream, run-of-the-mill thing.

[ edited by Anuris on 2013-10-09 13:36 ]
Vampogs, because, you know... Some shows, somteimes, need time. Thats how it is.

Well, yeah, but I feel like you're missing my point. Some shows do need time but other shows... don't. Other writing teams manage to knock it out of the park pretty much straight away. Other shows aren't defended on the basis of pointing out how crappy similar shows were at various points in time. My point was that when there is such great television being produced nowadays it’s really not unreasonable for viewers to expect more than mediocrity right out of the gate. Shows that manage to come out swinging with fantastic characters and scripts are the standard which other shows should be judged by. Let’s not kid ourselves for a second that there are writers out there who wouldn’t want that for their shows, so why would viewers be any different?

And im loving it. Better than Breaking Bad? You bet.

Well, I'm afraid I couldn't disagree more. I wouldn't consider them remotely in the same league and I think it has a long, long way to go before even being remotely close :/

This isnt BTVS. This isnt a show about subverting cliches. This is one that exists to proove that cliches exist because they are effective storytelling, and its execution what makes them cliché, not content.

And yet the general consensus of the thread seems to be that the writing is too predictable and you can see every “twist” coming. I'm afraid I don't see what's "effective" about having characters play out exactly like caricatures and viewers being able to guess exactly how the episode will unfold before they've even watched it. The show's mission statement doesn't have to be about subverting clichés to still have innovative writing that isn't, as others have said, so "paint-by-the-numbers."

[ edited by vampmogs on 2013-10-09 13:08 ]
Hoping the reason Skye didn't help Quinn was because she's working for a much bigger bad.

I could do without her and Ward.

Liked it slightly more, which sadly wasn't much. Though I did like the new truck-driver agent and would like to see him again.

BTW, did they say the scientist was a Canadian, or a comedian?
"We're not in the 90's anymore and SHIELD feels really quite dated in a lot of ways. Some of the most ground-breaking shows in the past few years (The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, Dexter, American Horror Story, The Sopranos, Six Feet Under etc) are serialised right from the start and viewers didn’t have to dredge through 5-6 standalone episodes before getting to some kind of arc"

All those shows are on cable. SHIELD ain't on cable. It's on network, against NCIS.
Some of the most ground-breaking shows in the past few years (The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, Dexter, American Horror Story, The Sopranos, Six Feet Under etc) are serialised right from the start and viewers didn’t have to dredge through 5-6 standalone episodes before getting to some kind of arc.

Not a fair comparison: AMC, AMC, Showtime, FX, HBO, HBO. See a pattern? This is an ABC show that airs at 8 pm. It's not ever going to be like the great cable dramas because it's not supposed to be. It's meant to be something fun people can watch with their kids every week.
It's finding its feet a bit. I think it'll be fine for what it is, but as a mainstream procedural it may never be much.
I'm sure everybody's experiences are different but the general feeling I've gotten from message boards and communities on LJ/Tumblr is that people want to like the show but are struggling with it. I keep seeing comments such as "I'm really, really trying to enjoy this but it's so boring" etc and that's worrying IMO.

And I could go on Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr and find lots of people loving the show. It depends on where you hang your coat. There is a huge gulf between the social media fandom and the old die-hards who are still knocking about the place. I was going to mention something about grasshoppers and cows as well but I can't quite remember the wording of the quote.

And again, it's a mainstream family show. It was never was going to be Buffy or Firefly. I like what I see so far. The characters are fun, the lines make me laugh and it doesn't drag. I'm not in the mood these days for grim unpleasant shows where grim unlikeable characters do grim unspeakable things. I want escapism. Agents of SHIELD gives me that.
@Simon you have summed up what I like about SHIELD. I'm a huge fan of the gritty quality dramas that air on channels like AMC, FX and HBO but I need a couple of shows that are just unashamedly fun.

SHIELD is that show for me (and to my utter surprise the new Sleepy Hollow series as well). There is nothing wrong with a series that just wants to be entertaining, I much prefer that then yet another anti-hero show or an offensive network comedy.
@gossiAll those shows are on cable. SHIELD ain't on cable. It's on network, against NCIS.

Once Upon A Time, The Vampire Diaries and Supernatural are all genre shows on network television that are serialised. So far Sleepy Hollow is more arc-y as well. I only made a comparison to the cable shows because that’s the quality of writing I’ve come to expect from a Joss show.

@sunfireNot a fair comparison: AMC, AMC, Showtime, FX, HBO, HBO. See a pattern? This is an ABC show that airs at 8 pm. It's not ever going to be like the great cable dramas because it's not supposed to be. It's meant to be something fun people can watch with their kids every week.

And BtVS was just meant to be a silly teen show on a fledgling silly teen network. It doesn’t mean that Joss and Co weren’t more ambitious than that or that they simply succumbed to whatever people had pigeonholed the show as being. "Something fun people can watch with their kids every week" does not have to equate to mediocre writing.
There are definitely some very good serialized shows.

However, there are also a lot of good shows that are not serialized at all.

There are also really good, successful shows that have a little bit of serialization, which is what SHIELD appears to be so far.

It doesn't really make sense to point to other shows and say, "This show was successful and it had these qualities, so SHIELD should be more like that." There are lots of ways to make a good show.
I have a feeling this won't all be so controversial by the time we had our "Hero" or "Out of Gas" or "Man on the Street" or "Angel" equivalent. They're very much doing the "ease the mass audience in and don't confuse them!" thing. Though I agree that it's a little too on-the-nose sometimes (so far). At least this time, there was no pop singer in distress, though! ;)

What I feel we have right now instead of the Big Bad or major thematic arc is characters. I like all of them. Chloe Benett does a fantastic job with those jokey lines, I feel and I'm totally on board with Skye. Plus, I still think FitzSimmons are really fun and work well as the twin-siblings who. As for Ward, I see potential for him to be the first sacrifice that gets made after he's had more time training Skye, though I could also see problems there as it would reduce the number of "field agents" unless they bring in someone new right after - Rogue Demon Hunter-style. He could have his "loner/no people skills" arc and then sacrifice himself selflessly or just be a random casualty of some failed op.

Oh and I do think Tahiti is the red-thread going through all of this still. It's the mystery that will have a big role in the mid-season or season finale. It's a magical place, after all. Maybe they're even doing the Game of Thrones thing where Coulson is only there for one season? There are definitely a ton of exciting possibilities.

Also, I think that comparing this to Joss' other works in terms of subverting conventions, etc isn't fair since those were his original creations whereas this is a spin-off of a huge movie property which is also deeply deeply rooted in comic book history. There was no chance that it would be crazy Whedony unconventional right off the bat in terms of plot or themes or even how dark stuff there was. What it does do that is, yet again, very unconventional is have the quiet type badass with a tragic/dark past be woman (that's not just gotten out of high school) and having the overall cast split equally between genders.

Oh boy, this was longer than I wanted it to be. :)


>>"Once Upon A Time, The Vampire Diaries and Supernatural are all genre shows on network television that are serialised. So far Sleepy Hollow is more arc-y as well. I only made a comparison to the cable shows because that’s the quality of writing I’ve come to expect from a Joss show."<<

Vampire Diaries also famously took six-ish or so episodes to get good, Supernatural was also very very very Monster-of-the-Weeky-y without much else going beside the brother-dynamic and even Once Upon a Time had been very "simple" and quite silly in its beginnings (I'd argue it never managed to drop the silly even). They all had interesting hooks. So does SHIELD. At least for me. Everyone can disagree and like different things but SHIELD definitely has things going for it.

[ edited by D-e-f- on 2013-10-09 14:51 ]
I watched on Hulu, I enjoyed it. And now I want a brave monkey.

Once Upon A Time, The Vampire Diaries and Supernatural are all genre shows on network television that are serialised.

Didn't those shows start with pretty much stand alones episodes?

If you look at the ratings break downs for SHIELD, the ratings have gone up during the episodes. People are turning over and watching mid-episode. I think the stat is something like 50% of viewers channel hop between shows on a regular basis. When you're very first starting out and you need 90s ratings to survive on air... I think going a bit 90s is in order. You earn "The Body" or "Out of Gas". You don't open with it.

[ edited by gossi on 2013-10-09 15:05 ]
I'm in the same general age group as Dana5150 and zeitgeist, and I had the same general observations as they did about the first two episodes. However, I think this episode was an improvement on the first two. It had some good character interaction moments within the team and some great callbacks to both previous episodes and to The Avengers. I'd give it a B+ grade.

However, I was much more blown away by last night's Person of Interest than I was by AoS. Did anyone see Amy Acker in that? She sent chills down my spine. She's like an intellectual version of Illyria on that show.

I started watching Sleepy Hollow, but gave up after Episode 2. Crane, the supposed Revolutionary War soldier, says things that no one from that period would ever say - such as calling the revolutionaries "the Patriots" - and several other items like that. It just took me right out of the story and I lost interest quickly.
"I'm not in the mood these days for grim unpleasant shows where grim unlikeable characters do grim unspeakable things. I want escapism"

Yes. Totally with you on that.
Good episode, just like the first two. The only thing about the show that bothers me a little is the way they edit the action sequences. Something off about them IMO. I've been spoiled by shows like Nikita, Chuck, Buffy, and Angel which always had great action. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D hasn't quite measured up in that department. Fights and shoot outs just lack a certain "oomph" to them in this show. I hope they work on that. I think Nikita is the standard for action on network TV right now

[ edited by Angel&Faith on 2013-10-09 15:53 ]
Hey if you want pure escapism, this is your show. No question. It does not require much thinking; in fact, too much thinking will end up getting you in trouble. Characters are more archetypes than they are characters. It is comic booky. There is not yet a lot of resonance emotionally. It is clearly aiming to be family television, meaning that Mo and Jed need to walk a line between deeper and darker and safe and secure, with so far them falling well close to safe and secure. I am sure it will do well, but it won't do it with me. It just does not speak to me meaningfully. No depth. And no, I do not have time to wait for it to get there. It should have been there from the get go. Buffy sure was.

[ edited by Dana5140 on 2013-10-09 16:02 ]

[ edited by Dana5140 on 2013-10-09 16:02 ]
Dana - I usually agree with you on most things. However, I don't think Buffy really picked up until episode 7 ("Angel") and this is only episode 3 of AoS. I think this one will pick up too, after a few more episodes. I agree that it's a show designed for families though, and because of that it will probably never have the intellectual depth of Joss' previous shows.
I liked this episode more than the previous ones, and I think part of the reason for that was that I had altered my expectations. This is meant to be family television -- the mediocre comedies that followed (that I saw for the first time last night) confirm that. The network execs required of Joss and Co. that they make a show that will suck in the "watch while eating dinner," or "sit down and watch as a family after eating dinner" crowd. Then the grown-ups put the youngest kids at 9pm to watch "The Goldbergs," which aims at 80s nostalgia while still being family-friendly/family-themed.

Also, I think it's important to remember that the first episodes of any show are written and produced before the network and the show producers get any ratings feedback. And so the job of the first episodes, at least in the network-television world (not in Cable, which has a different financial model), is to get the Casual Viewer to tune-in again for next week so they are subjected to more commercials. The Marvel fans, the genre fans who will watch because this is a Joss show -- the suits know these groups will tune in every week already. But not the Casual Viewer, who is much more numerous and lucrative to the network. Hopefully, the ratings stabilize at a high-enough number that the show producers get "a cushion" and a green light from the network execs to venture into more serialized territory, which then (from a microeconomics standpoint) have the job of turning those Casual Viewers into rabid Show Evangelizers.

At least that's my take, not having taken any microeconomics courses. But I think that's how the business world in TV thinks. If this is their outlook and it's successful, then it just makes me more excited for when the show builds and brings Joss-style storytelling to this larger audience.
Dana5140 said:
And please, please, please tell me that the second African American to be on the show will not once again be the villain?

Since you begged I suppose I can tell you.

It is Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury and he is in the 2nd episode. He's not a villain.
Surely it would be Ron Glass who appeared second? He wasn't a villain either, just kinda grumpy.
No, Samuel L Jackson was the third. Don't forget Ron Glass. And he wasn't a villain either.
As far as we know.....

Beat to it. Great minds, Simon.

[ edited by Lioness on 2013-10-09 18:50 ]
Actually Simon, Ron would technically be 3rd or so. Since there was the son at the beginning of the ep. Now quit ruining my snark. :p

(edited after re-watching the opening)

[ edited by danregal on 2013-10-09 18:54 ]
danregal: He is a known quantity, from the movie, and had a cameo. Not the same thing. Two major guest roles for the show in 4 episodes, and both apparently evil or close to it. BTW, Quinn's assistant when he was first introduced was a black woman. He handed her his phone was he was done with it.

Steverogers, I was hooked with Buffy from the moment they introduced Willow. Completely taken at the time Cordy commented on the "softer side of Sears."
Dana, I was also hooked in episode 1 (Cordelia - "What is your childhood trauma?" - every other character in film/tv history would have said "...problem?"), but single lines aside I still think that "Angel" was the first really gripping full episode...

I'm certainly going to give AoS a few more episodes to build.
I loved gravitons new origin for the show! However, I know that he is one of shield's most important villains, but I'm confused why they introduced him to the show. He is way overpowered for a show that only has spies, and even the full movie avengers line up would be hard pressed to beat him.
Hey if you want pure escapism, this is your show. No question. It does not require much thinking; in fact, too much thinking will end up getting you in trouble.

So not only is the show bad, but if you find any redeeming value in it, you're a witless moron. Is that what we're getting at here?

The show's not perfect - far from, but if you're really not enjoying it in any capacity and can't hold out a single episode longer for it to get any better... there's no need to wait for Edward James Olmos to tell you not to watch it. There are far more important things to be angry about - Congress, various family members, co-workers or that whole damn 12 pack of "select-a-size" paper towels you bought thinking they were full size.
All right, that's more than enough of that. BringItOn5x5, step it down a notch. Dana5140, if you can't discuss the episode without insulting people who disagree with you, this is not the place for you to discuss it.
Also, Fitz? Totally into Skye. Simmons? Totally not cool with that.
I noticed that, gossi. That should be fun going forward. And of course, Skye is totally into Ward and Ward's gonna be all conflicted about his feelings for her as soon as he realizes he has them. Fun stuff!

Can't wait for an old fling of May's to show up and see what reaction Coulson has or vice-versa. :)
I really hope the next episode features someone *other* than Ward and Skye. Let Melinda take the lead, or one of the TopherTwins.
Great episode. Why?
- Intense acting
- Child friendly, adult friendly
- Great chemistry between main actors.
- Brilliant scenes, esp. the one between Dr. Hall and Coulson.
- Great sense of humour.
- Skye. I love her.
- Melinda May's comment behind Coulson's back. I feel we are being set up for something great here.
I think this might have been my favorite episode thus far. Sure the "But do you have what it takes to pull the trigger" reprise was predictable, but I liked the toss the gun and dive into the pool as an out. I like the truth serum continuing gag, and the monkey. I really liked the monkey idea, first time I actually liked Fitz. Ward and Skye's backstories are a bit trope-tastic, but I'm hoping the Coulson-May relationship will continue to build (in any way J-Mo wants to take it).
I liked this episode as soon as the redneck trucker turned on the heads-up holographic computer display in his cab. And I loved it at "Are we there yet?"
In general, I'd say that I find SHIELD to show promise, but I haven't fallen in love with it yet. There's bits and pieces I really enjoy, but it hasn't really clicked.

Dollhouse was the first Whedon show I watched live. With it, for the first half of the first season, I found myself wanting to like it, desperately, but failing. Then, around episode 6, that feeling diminished, and by episode 8, it was basically gone, and I was genuinely enthusiastic about it.

I'm feeling pretty similar about SHIELD right now, but I'm still confident that by midseason, I'll be enthused.
I really want trucker dude to show back up. He was great.
Agreed, he made the intro the best scene so far.
Another v enjoyable episode. I didn't enjoy it quite as much as the first two, but it is a show I very much look forward to watching every week.

I'm quite surprised at the b*tching going on. We are only in episode 3. Do people give up on the 3rd chapter of a book?
I like that episodic storytelling is inherently bad and everyone wants their life changed by a silly comic book show.

Also that people think Walking Dead is good.
There's no need for insulting sarcasm.
Shows just can't be fun anymore.

They have to be "challenging". Even though most of the people demanding challenge don't actually want real challenging material and it's, what, just gonna be sepia toned shipping pictures? Agents of SHIELD isn't my favorite new show, unless you're intentionally spelling Brooklyn Nine-Nine wrong, but it's a pretty competently done, fun action show.

Explain to me why people are crying about no serial arcs when every episode has hooks for future plots at the end of them and also it's the third episode. These are the exact complaints that you think people begging for serialization WOULDN'T make, because they want that slow burn.

Except not really. They want all the climax now, which would be episodic storytelling, not serialized storytelling. And they'd be getting their wish, as there've been three episodes so we've gotten three climaxes.
I'm on the side of finding this the most enjoyable episode so far. I have actually found the show gaining in strength with each episode. It is still not perfect and I wouldn't call it even great yet, but it is getting there.

I was little unsure with this at first though. Initially, the character side felt a little lacking and it was pretty much all exposition. That changed when Skye pushed to be given some field work and suddenly it all got a bit more interesting.

I can understand why people may not be enjoying it so much, definitely if you are trying to compare it to the likes of Breaking Bad. But it seems a little unfair to be comparing something that is aiming for escapism first to a show that is heralded by many critics as one of the greatest ever created (something like The Walking Dead would probably be a better comparison and this is definitely better than that.)

You also have to remember how early we are in the shows life and we also don't know how much of these plot points are going to be returned to. This episode had the creation of a new supervillian, a possible new baddy in Quin and the ongoing questioning of Skye's loyalty along with her developing field skills. These are all plot points that are likely to be returned to again, not to mention things like May returning to the field, a little more detail on what is wrong with Coulson and Ward getting a little bit of character.

Honestly, as procedural Whedon goes, this is pretty serialised so far.
ImmaDeker, The Walking Dead isn't good. It's Great. It's okay to like different types of shows at the same time.
I was mixed/negative on the first two. This one still had a lot of problems, but I thought, as others have, it was definitely the best/most promising so far.
I guess I'll add my voice to the chorus of those who found this episode enjoyable.

And I find myself wondering why Coulson's muscle memory has gone all rusty.
His muscles are not his muscles anymore I think. :(
Fake spoiler: Coulson's a cylon!

For a show that some here say has been quite flat with little going on I feel there are already a lot of burning questions.

1) What is Tahiti? Is it actually something IN Tahiti or is Tahiti just a codename for whatever program Coulson went through in order to be "revived"
2) What "is" Coulson now? Or what happened to him? Is he a clone or has he been augmented with a phlebotinum?
3) Who is Skye playing? SHIELD or The Rising Tide? Both? None?
4) How soon will it be revealed that The Rising Tide is controlled by some supervillain/other shady people? (My guess, unless this is actually a thing from the comics I'm not aware of?)
5) What happened to May to make hear stay clear of field work?
6) Are they just playing with the "they argue so they must be in love" trope or are they gonna play the Skye/Ward thing straight? Or are they just gonna not even trying to play us and actually just not make it a thing at all? (I don't want it to be a thing since it seems so super obvious)
7) How soon is the cutesy FitzSimmons duo gonna break into actual fighting due to differing philosophies or potential screw ups? (re: Fitz having a crush on Skye, Simmons not being too thrilled)
8) Is Ron Glass' character involved in the Tahiti stuff directly? Is he gonna play a bigger role later on?

I find that an awful lot of big-picture/long-term questions for three episodes so I don't think we should worry about serialization or lack of juicy character stuff and darkness.
Just noticed that the "Special Thanks" in the closing credits included Jim Shooter and Sal Buscema, the writer and penciller for Avengers #158. It will be kinda fun to see other creative teams credited as more classic Marvel characters are brought into the fold.
OneTeV, good catch. Avengers #158 was the first appearance of Gravitron. It also has Vision on the cover which some have speculated ties in with the new Coulson.
One more thing.

I want more Ron Glass.
Trying to figure out Skye's motivations is just giving me a headache :) I would guess that she is/was keeping her options open - staying in with the Rising Tide in case this whole SHIELD thing didn't work out. With the conclusion of this episode, it looks like she's committing to SHIELD. But who knows.

I found the scene between Hall and Quinn incredibly tedious. Tons of exposition with nothing fun to break it up; I didn't care at all about their complicated history with each other. On the other hand, the scene between Hall and Coulson was great. I was on the edge of my seat.

[ edited by Rachelkachel on 2013-10-10 15:56 ]
Okay, I just watched, and I'm relieved to see a significant improvement over the first two episodes. I really don't get how people can see this as the "worst" of the three. At least there were some intelligent, interesting little twists. The truck driver, the question as to whether there really was a truth serum.

And Coulson finally seems to be shedding some of the unrealistic idealism he showed in the first episode. Admittedly though, this does seem to lead to consistency problems. Why is he willing to sacrifice Dr. Hall for the greater good, but willing to risk mass destruction to avoid killing JA Richards?

It's ironic that people are liking Skye more and more, given that people found her so annoying after the first episode. I continue to like her, and she delivers her one-liners quite well.

There were a number of good funny lines this episode, and that's good. But at the same time, I think the writers have to be careful about overusing them. Of particular concern is the tendency to have characters deliver zingers at absurdly inappropriate times, such as when they are trying to avoid imminent death. This feels very "written" and totally deflates the intended suspenseful moments. This is especially problematic in a show like AoS, which has had difficulty building suspense in the first place. I have yet to feel like any one is in any real danger or that there is anything really big at stake -- quite a problem for an action show.

In terms of characters, I continue to like Skye and Coulson, as well as the Topher twins. Ward and Melinda, by contrast, feel like bland, shallow stereotypes. Did I miss something about Ward's troubled backstory or did it really amount to nothing more than, "my older brothers bullied me"? Really? Welcome to the world of having an older sibling.

I agree with the need to try to cut down on cliches. The thing that made my eyes roll most was the shot of the whole team walking toward the camera in silhouette -- very cheesy, to the point where I couldn't tell if the show was trying to make fun of itself.

All in all, though far from perfect, I'd rate this episode a 7, whereas the first episode was a 6, and the second episode was a 3 or 4. Just MHO, of course. I'm certainly hoping for more improvement and that the quality trajectory continues to go up as it did in the first seasons of Buffy and Angel. I know this a family show, but I think they could go (and really really hope they go) a lot darker. And yes, we need more serialization, though I think this show has had more serialization than some are giving it credit for.
The second episode depressed me. It relied too much on formulas that compose most network series. The Asset was actually really fun! Everything that Joss does in television SHOULD be comparable to the quality of his other shows. I think that's the responsibility of attaching your name to something, especially when the quality of Buffy, Angel, Firefly and Dollhouse went beyond the box that studios wanted to lock them into. AoS has all its work still ahead.
I find it ironic to see people complaining that 8pm on Tuesday is a bad slot of a Whedon show. :P
I agree with D-e-f. Lots of seeds being planted & I find the show to be good fun. I think it's replacing Merlin for me, which was also a fun family show (that got much better with age). And Skye has been steadily growing on me--I really like her now.

I enjoyed the whole episode except for the backstory treacle. I hope they stop doing that, and I'm also hoping it's all lies (Ward's an only child and Skye grew up in a mansion with loving, wealthy parents.)

The one sentimental moment that worked for me was at the end when Skye said, "I really want this now." I felt that.
After reading various comments, I find myself once again grateful that I'm so easily pleased. It makes life much less stressful.

That said, I'll repeat that my investment level for this show is rather lower. I won't hold Joss's feet to the fire over quality until it's his own show, with his own original characters, on a network that trusts him (or isn't paying attention). So yeah, some of this feels a little telegraphed and yet simultaneously rushed. What of it? I've watched worse.
Weary of people negatively comparing Agents Of SHIELD to Buffy, Firefly, et al, when this is so obviously about completely different aims and intents. I’m okay if someone's not into AOS. But it seemingly being because they think everything should be targeted to the audiences and styles of prior Whedon shows? Not so much. For now, it has a nice childhood memories family adventure/hero show nostalgia groove that I’m totally into. I’ll ride it from there gladly.
> Nice run down from the ever reliable Drew McWeeny at Hitfix (major spoilers if you haven't seen the episode).

[ edited by
Jack Diamond on 2013-10-10 09:01 ]

[ edited by Jack Diamond on 2013-10-10 09:03 ]

[ edited by Jack Diamond on 2013-10-10 09:05 ]

[ edited by Jack Diamond on 2013-10-10 09:05 ]

[ edited by Jack Diamond on 2013-10-10 09:06 ]
"And Coulson finally seems to be shedding some of the unrealistic idealism he showed in the first episode. Admittedly though, this does seem to lead to consistency problems. Why is he willing to sacrifice Dr. Hall for the greater good, but willing to risk mass destruction to avoid killing JA Richards?"

For J.A. Richard's character, he had a back-up plan (Ward doing a lethal takedown) if FitzSimmons couldn't come up with a solution which is why the scene was played in a way where we are supposed to think that Ward got trigger happy and just flat out killed the guy until it is revealed seconds later that FitzSimmons are at the scene with a fancy sci-fi gun that shoots magic healing bullets. The audience not knowing Ward that well makes this work. At that point he could've been the buttface that goes "better safe than sorry" and just takes out the target before anything can go wrong especially since he's not integrated into the team or even fully on board with Coulson's Way of Doing Things yet.

In Ep 3, Coulson had no other choice than to sacrifice Hall since he wouldn't cooperate and basically gave him the okay by continually saying he's cool with dying if that means keeping this thing contained.
Coulson tried to reason with Dr. Hall first, just like he did in the first episode.
BTW -- In the comics, apparently Franklin Hall worked at a research facility in the Canadian Rockies.

Note the name on the side of the truck at the beginning of the episode: "Rocky Mountain Office Supply".

Nice touch there, folks.
Posted this erroneously in the ratings thread.

I found this episode to be the weakest of the bunch by far (and I like the first two). It just looks so rushed. I hesitate to say lazy, as an incredible amount of work goes into making these shows, but there are loads of narrative shortcuts, very few surprises, tropes played out straight, and really cheesy sets and locations. (rather cheap looking lab, with no apparent security near the entrance?)

The whole disable the laser grid thing looked entirely silly, because it simply looked like a 2m squared barrier, with endless beach space to go around it. Also, I'm not sure a lethal invisible perimeter would go down well with the local authorities.

I'm watching Fringe for the first time ATM, and I think it's fair to compare as they are both network genre shows. Now I have my issues with Fringe, but in terms of set design, lighting, and general acting (besides the two leads), it just seems like far more care and attention to detail and plain effort was involved.

For example, regarding attention to detail, at the beginning we see a truck lifted into the air and then dropped. Well, despite that being a good way to get your passenger killed, when the kidnappers broke into the truck, they then procdeeded to move lots of very neatly stacked boxes out of the way. Now, I'm not expert but I kind of think after a drop like that those boxes would have been strewn everywhere. It's not like they were secured. Irrelevant to the story, but very jarring to the viewer.

Similarily, Coulson catches up with the guy on the horse who sold the construction equipment ( a highly stupid plot point, considering the resources of the company involved ) and he was carrying the gold bars that he was paid with around with him?

Maybe they were rushed to get the show out in time for September, but I honestly expect far better from the talent involved.

Also, why did the guy in the truck apparently have to be restrained. It was almost implied that these "assets" were being held against their will. Couple with Coulson basically murdering the guy on a hunch, it basically left a bad taste.
And the fight scenes looked like playground acting! Which is a shame because the fist fight in Paris in the pilot was quite inventive.

Also, Checkov's disarm?

[ edited by bivith on 2013-10-10 14:26 ]
I really liked the episode, and thought the characters and storylines are starting to develop well. There seemed to be more gray areas in this episode, raising questions about people and institutions walking the line between good and evil -- for example: Dr. Hall's comments about SHIELD's research into an ultimate power source bringing an alien invasion to Earth; Coulson killing Hall to stop the gravitonium; Skye's duplicity and whether she is working for SHIELD or Rising Tide; and the conversation between Skye and Quinn about organizations controlling individuals and suppressing freedom. It starts to paint the picture that SHIELD is a force for good, but also has its flaws and is dangerous. I thought there were some really good scenes, like the genre-bending with Ward and Coulson confronting the cowboy in the "Old West," and the opening scene with the truck driver, whom you expect is a bad guy or is hauling some illegal cargo, when they flip the stereotype on its head and you learn he is a SHIELD agent.
I watched it just there now. It was fun, very 80s in places and then when Coulson shot the window, I was reminded of what I liked about Joss' shows in the first place. That was a good scene. And I was very pleased to see Ian Hart on US network tv. He's one of my favourite actors.

Still not sure why everyone fears Malta.
Ep 3 was the weakest episode. my wife said afterwards she wants to quit watching the show. I told her we would give it a few more episodes.
I'm not even trying to get my wife to watch, and she watched Buffy, Angel, Firefly and Dollhouse. But she's not into superhero stuff at all.

My kids, on the other hand are all over it. It's got that Doctor Who vibe going for it.
@bivith - it reminds me very much of Doctor Who as well. I'm wondering if, when Joss and Jed and Maurissa were told 'family show', they took Who as the most successful model of a genuine family show.

Yes, it was a Chekhov's disarm. If a new agent is taught a disarm in Act One...

Some people appear to be feeling very impatient. Episode Three and AoS has to be extraordinary? Even Doctor Who itself was wobbling along until they introduced the Daleks - which was about Episode 5.
This was my favourite episode so far. I’m really enjoying watching these characters now. Also I like that it’s getting deeper into the questions about what SHIELD does and why others might dislike it.

And, yeah, I missed most of the first conversation between the scientist and Ian Quinn because I was too busy covering up the top of his face with my hand to see how similar he looked to Paul Ballard.

My favourite moment was Skye’s “Nope” to “But can you pull the trigger?” because the episode had seemed to be setting up the opposite. I’m glad this isn’t one of those shows where all the characters can kill lightly. I also loved Skye not taking “The girl’s got balls” as a compliment and Fitz doing “boobs” and being left hanging for Simmons to notice, only for her to be disgusted at his reductiveness.

Fitz clearly has a crush on Skye, but am I the only one who can really see them together? They’re both technically minded and it would be unexpected compared to Skye and Ward. And I thought I saw a smile when Fitz got her complexion right. Also with the hints that Simmons doesn’t like Skye much, it would be interesting. It would be fun to have some big, soul-crushing rifts in the group when Skye changes her mind about working for Rising Tide after it’s too late and everyone has to decide who they trust. (Oops, I ran away with my predictions!)

Coulson’s muscle memory not working was intriguing. I'd say a robot's out, because in the second episode when he got hurt his mouth was bleeding.

The one thing I didn’t like was the supervillain creation at the end, but that’s a problem I’ve had every time I’ve seen Marvel use that trope (my experience is only limited to screen incarnations). It’s just that every time a relatively normal person is suddenly made ‘evil’ by something it gives me a bad taste in my mouth. It strikes me as a narrative shortcut which removes the need to properly develop a villain and their motivation. Bottled evil feels cheap.
(I know, I know, how is it different from someone being, say, sired by a vampire? Maybe I’m fickle, but at least we had the explanations of souls and why people have a conscience. Plus folklore.)
@Bluelark - bit late, but you can see the 'evil' part early on. He's willing to kill possibly an entire (small) country just to stop one person.
True. But he had a point about protecting the world from the weapon he'd created. So I'd call him extremely misguided, not evil. That's a level of complexity I liked in this episode, and I hope he keeps it even though he's now a swirly goo-monster.

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