Agents of SHIELD returned from a week off last night with a new episode that finally put the focus on one of its least developed characters. Obviously we're grading on a curve, there.
This being the sixth episode, I feel like I ought to now have a decent grasp on what drives all six of the show's main characters. Even with this episode, which puts the spotlight on Gemma Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge), I still feel like I'm in the company of strangers. Spoilers follow.
Episode five of Agents of SHIELD, "Girl in the Flower Dress." brings us almost a quarter of the way through the first season, and for the first time I didn't think the episode was better than last week's -- but I didn't think it was worse either. Has Agents of SHIELD found its plateau?
The main story this week wasn't as strong as last, but it compensated; this was the first episode since the pilot to really push any elements of the greater arc. For that reason, it was maybe the most satisfying episode yet.
This past weekend I was fortunate enough to get a preview of this week's episode of Agents of SHIELD at New York Comic Con, alongside several hundred passionate fans of the show. My impression at the time was that episode 4, 'Eye-Spy', was easily the best episode yet.
However, I had to wonder if seeing the show on the big screen, surrounded by a cheering, hollering crowd, made me more forgiving than I would usually be. I was curious to see how the episode would hold up on a second viewing.
No matter how you feel about the recently launched Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. television series (so far we've been disappointed, but still hold out hope), I think we can all agree on one thing: The best written, most entertaining and most well-defined character, by a pretty wide margin, is Lola. There are no vague, uninteresting mysteries associated with Lola. You know her motivations, and you know exactly why she's with SHIELD. And really, can you say that about any other member of Agent Coulson's team so far (okay, maybe Skye)?
According to Deadline, the company has developed a 60-episode package of four drama shows and a miniseries -- one of which could be the rumored Agent Carter series -- to be shopped around to different networks including WGN America. Also in the mix are video streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Video.
Week three, and what started as a recap/review series is turning into an inquest. Why isn't this show working, and can the cast and creators turn it around?
This was the first episode to introduce an established comics character to the Marvel movieverse, and it felt like a slight improvement, but I said that last week as well. The show is improving by such tiny increments that (a) it'll take forever to get to where it needs to be to sustain interest, and (b) it may not be improving at all -- I may just be acclimating.
Agents of SHIELD made a big splash last week. Indeed, it was the biggest network drama debut in four years. This was no doubt in large part thanks to the good will generated by Marvel's blockbuster movies like Iron man and Thor. Unfortunately, despite the presence of Avengers writer/director Joss Whedon on the pilot, the episode could not match the confidence, charm or quality of the movies. We're now two episodes in and forced to ask; can a show set in a superhero universe work without superheroes?
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