Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD 01.01 Review – ‘Pilot’

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Review

Agents of SHIELD cast

Here’s the honest to God truth, when we here at Real TV Reviews were discussing what shows we were going to review for the Fall 2013 season, I was planning on reviewing The Originals. In between that time and now, season 4 of Vampire Diaries ended and I grew disenchanted. Spoilers from the CW vampire, werewolf, hybrid shows hit the media and I realized I really had very little interest in watching Elena, Klaus and their various crews (let alone coming online to complain about them every week)*.

So I begged to review Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. because I am in awe of Joss Whedon. Now, you may be wondering, why didn’t she just ask to review S.H.I.E.L.D. in the first place if she thinks the guy is so great? One must realize that reviewing Joss Whedon is even more frightening than being trapped in a house with a crazy vampire, after your Watcher drugged you and took away your Slayer powers. Duh.

There are many articles that explain just how great Whedon is at what he does, and all of them are true For me, however, he was the first television creator that made me realize that TV could be more than mindless fodder. I was a freshman English major guys, I was a tad bit pretentious in the hierarchy of art (and yes, as someone who now watches the Real Housewives franchise on Bravo, I am well aware of how the mighty have fallen).

Why have I taken 3 paragraphs to tell you this? I want to be upfront. I am one of those people. The people who talk about the greatness of Whedon at length, who scoff at all the newbies clamoring to get on the train after seeing Avengers and who tends to repeat “he doesn’t give us what we want, he gives us what we NEED,” with such fervor that I may possibly need professional help. Still, I promise to try not to gush about how groundbreaking every episode is and how Whedon deserves all the awards all the time (no matter how true that may be).

Oh, also, in the interest of truth, I enjoy all the Marvel super hero movies and have seen them multiple times. Never read the comics and have no prior knowledge of anything other than what I’ve seen on the big screen.

So yeah, I’m a Whedon-loving, Marvel comic book virgin and I’m your recap/reviewer! If you know more than I do about something in the Marvel world, tweet me or leave me a comment. I want to learn.

Now let’s talk Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Unsurprisingly, I enjoyed ‘Pilot.’ It was witty, it was suspenseful and it was full of characters I already love (Coulson), actors I love (I’m especially looking at you, J. August Richards) and characters I didn’t know, but want to know more about. This show has no competition for best new show, everyone else can bow down.

Agent Coulson Lives…What? How? Why?

After gaining access to Level 7, Agent Ward and the rest of us learn that Agent Coulson didn’t really die! Agent Ward isn’t jumping up and down and shrieking with happiness like everyone else on earth, but I’m pretty sure he’s got some emotional issues due to his family. So,how is Coulson still alive? He claims that he was dead for like a minute and then whisked off on an all expense paid vacation to Tahiti. I’d be dead for a minute for a vacation like that. Agent Hall and Dr. Streiten sidebar with surprise that Coulson doesn’t know what really happened, so it’s fair to say that Tahiti was probably just an island in his mind and it was science, magic or a combo of both that brought him back.  How? Why? We don’t know, but we want to know! Especially because we saw what happened to poor Michael Peterson.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Agents of Sketchy

Like most pilots of new shows, ‘Pilot’ spent a lot of time introducing us to the people who inhabit S.H.I.E.L.D. We already know (and love) Agent Coulson. We were happy to see Agent Maria Hall, even if it was only for a moment (please let us have her back, CBS/How I Met Your Mother).

agents of shieldAgent May is a S.H.I.E.L.D. legend hiding in a cubical and is more than a little annoyed when Coulson pulls her out to “drive the bus.” Not only is she a legend, but despite not wanting to be in the field, she had no problem throwing down and doesn’t seem like the type to retreat. Coulson promises no red tape, so I’m guessing she was screwed over by the guys in charge. I want the story there.

Then there’s the sexy loner, Agent Ward. As I mentioned before, he seems to have family issues and his family is mysterious, has limited people skills and doesn’t want to be part of a team. When Coulson shoots him up with truth serum to earn some trust from Skye, he’s grumpy façade fades and he’s easily flustered by beautiful women and adorable. Oh Ward, I hope your issues aren’t all “my parents didn’t love me enough” so I don’t have to roll my eyes while appreciating you.

Fitz and Simmons are the pithy science duo who trade barbs and use in Harry Potter references. I will die if they don’t eventually throw out a Firefly or Buffy reference. Die.

Skye is a gifted hacker and runs Rising Tide, an organization committed to giving people the truth about S.H.I.E.L.D., superheroes and end of the world type stuff. She looks great all the time, despite living in a van, and she lives in a van so she has ethics and doesn’t steal from the rich for a down payment on a nice condo. When Coulson and Ward hunt her down, she stays strong and doesn’t give up her intel on Michael Peterson until she’s sure it’s in Peterson’s best interest. Then, after working with S.H.I.E.L.D. for 10 minutes, she puts aside her misgivings, gives up Rising Tide and joins the team. So many questions about this one; why look for answers in the first place and why join the group you originally were working to bring down? Is she on the up and up or planning to go double agent?

So many mysteries classified in dossiers and I want to know them all!

*I fully acknowledge I probably will watch both shows and complain about them every week. Just privately via twitter and at the forum.

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  1. There’s no doubt that Joss weeden’s fingerprints are all over agents of shield. But I was wondering if you knew that this show although executive produced by Joss and written by Joss it’s rund by his sister-in-law Marissa Tancharoen and his brother Jed Weeden. in my opinion they are brilliant writers in their own right. Here’s something funny Marissa often calls her itself the female Joss Wheaton it is documented look it up. I’m so glad to hear that someone else is enjoying agents of shield I’ve heard nothing but negative comments from people I really have to make my company better.

    • I don’t pay close attention to the credits so I always thought Joss was a writer and a producer. I had no idea who this Marissa woman is.

      She must have written the first 3 because the 4th episode was definitely JW’s work. It was the best episode since the pilot.

  2. I liked “Pilot” alright but I am confused about one little detail. It bugs me that Skye went from layman to Level 7 agent. I hope your theory about her being a double agent is correct.

    Her joining the team is too easy. There has to be more to it.

  3. This is my first blog comment ever! I have to say I love the love of Joss. I wasn’t a hardcore Buffy fan but it was undeniably a defining era of television. As I mentioned in the episode thread they brought it. The pilot fulfilled the anticipation.

    I am a Marvel virgin so all the characters’ are new to me. I’m excited to know them. I hope the show is character driven and with Joss at the helm, I don’t see it going any other way.