This week’s episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D is about an 0-8-4, an object of unknown origin. Actually, it’s about several objects of unknown origin, and how they’re learning to be a sharp crime-fighting team.
We know about Coulson, but not much about Melinda May, Agent Ward, Fitz, Simmons or Skye. We get bits and pieces, like Ward asking May what happened in Bahrain, while she insists no one call her “the Cavalry.” We also find out Fitz and Simmons actually met when Ward joined the group.
The episode starts with an explosion that blows a hole in S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Bus, and Coulson looks like he’s about to be sucked through the hole.
We turn back the clock 19 hours earlier, just as Skye is about to move in with the crew. Agent Ward thinks it’s a bad idea because she hasn’t been trained, she “doesn’t think like we do,” and he doesn’t trust her. Coulson says Skye is worth the risk, but they have to deal with a “0-8-4.”
It turns out to be a laser weapon stuck inside a Peruvian pyramid. Apparently it’s Tesseract technology from HYDRA back in the 1940s, and it could cause a lot of damage. Soon, there’s gunfire, and a reunion between Coulson and Camilla Reyes, who’s with the National Police but had a mission or two with Coulson a while back. In fact, he shows he’s got more combat skills than most may think.
However, it turns out Reyes wants the weapon, and the S.H.I.E.L.D. bus, to put down any rebel attacks. Not only that, Peru had asked a former HYDRA scientist to make that weapon years ago. She even has the nerve to call Coulson’s crew- and his car- a mid-life crisis.
Before that happens, we see everyone taking tentative steps towards each other. Coulson expects Skye to provide a distraction to cover up the really strange from the public, which is what she didn’t sign up for. She’s also surprised that the job included gun battles. Despite that, she acts like she should be team captain because the crew barely know each other. Coulson admits they have to iron out the kinks, but they should work at it. That’s why he is the team captain.
May is not happy at all that the recovery of the item included gunfire. Her silent treatment towards Coulson is very intimidating, but she should have known she wasn’t hired just to drive.
Simmons is starting to remind me of Willow, especially in her nervous way of talking.
Ward wonders why Skye likes the Rising Tide. She explains it’s part of people getting together. Maybe she joined because she wanted to belong (more on that later). Ward, who’s used to working alone, understands he and Skye look at the world differently. Maybe they can work on that.
Anyway, the group finally put their heads together to take down Camilla and her crew, and it involves, you guessed it, blowing a hole in the Bus. All-out fighting in a plane with a hole in it is pretty tense. Skye winds up saving the day by covering the hole with an emergency raft that she found by reading the emergency instructions from the plane. A little too convenient, but it works.
That gives Skye a lot of trust from her new crew, and it leads to Ward training her. So, as S.H.I.E.L.D. sends that laser to space, everything is great, right?
Nope. Skye gets a text from the Rising Tide. It looks like she is spying for them after all. It tells her they’re planning to go dark, but she texts them “I’m in.” From the look of her face, she knows she’s over her head. Once we hear her real story, which Coulson may or may not have guessed, we’ll see if she really has a future with S.H.I.E.L.D. If she does, she’ll have to prove herself.
The second episode was the agents’ first test as a team, and they passed. However, they still have baggage they have to toss out, especially Skye.
But that wasn’t the end. There was one more scene with a…
BIG SPOILER! Turn back now unless you have seen this episode.
There was an epilogue that may become a regular part of the show. We see Coulson getting chewed out by his boss. He’s told the Bus better be rebuilt exactly as it was, and no adding anything, like a fish tank. Coulson agrees, because he knows his boss can demote him to a Winnebago. The boss also knows Skye is a risk, and Coulson better not be wrong about her.
And yes, the boss is Nick Fury, the ultimate callback to the Marvel movies.
And lastly, the weekly ratings report: Most entertaiment websites noted ABC had a terrible Tuesday night, with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D falling to a 3.1 rating or more than 8.4 million viewers. While it’s a good number, it’s well below the previous week. If it can hold, and maybe increase in future weeks, it should be good news for the network. It may stay as a steady third behind NCIS and The Voice.
I dig it. I see it for all that it is and isn’t and I could pretty much tell from the first episode it was going to lose some viewers. It was a week debut in some ways- needed to be double in length as there was so much to establish paired against so many folks’ predetermined hopes and expectations. I appreciate it for being a fun, family friendly (a lost art in itself where both kids AND adults are interested-people do one or the other but rarely both very well anymore) and an over the top fantasy, action show. This takes me back to the classic shows of the 70’s and 80’s that did this so well and didn’t need to compete with Silver Screen effects and sophistication to be a success. I miss that. I am glad to see it return. in a way with this show. Too often shows that do that are written off by the viewing audience as they compare them directly to films and their enormous budgets. I for one am ok seeing that rolled back a touch although this show does have some pretty sophisticated effects and sets. I hope it picks up a bit. I thought bringing in Samuel Jackson really helped and I think the first episode needed the shot in the arm he brings. He helped sort of validate it in a way as the REAL S.H.E.I.L.D. Coulson of course helps this too. I’m in for more episodes and wish it success. I’d MUCH rather be watching this than NCIS or The Voice- anyday.