Today I’m gunna talk about Marvel’s flagship TV Show ‘Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D’ and whether of not it is worth your time and support. The short answer is yes, however I’m sure you won’t watch it just cause some guy on the internet said it was good (well you might do, whatever floats your goat)
Okay, so I suppose some context is needed here. Shortly after The Avengers had hit cinemas, Marvel Studios announced they would be bringing their world of superheroes to the small screen in the form of ‘Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D’ (AoS). This would be a 22 episode series shown on ABC in America and Channel 4 in the UK and would allow casual fans, and hard-core fans, a look into the top secret organisation called S.H.I.E.L.D that was a predominant feature in The Avengers film as well as brief encounters in all films before it via Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg: Avengers, Iron Man).
Speaking of Agent Coulson, this was a character ‘killed’ by Loki in The Avengers and brought together the Avengers in order to save the world. AoS would see Coulson revived to become a main character in this series where he would lead a team of select agents on top secret missions around the world. As a concept this is a brilliant idea for a show, it would make fans happy and keep them content between Marvel movies as well as adding some background to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
In September 2013 the show got off to a bang in its first episode, drawing in 12.2 million viewers in the US, and it showed the assembling of Agent Coulsons team where we’re introduced to Skye (Chloe Bennet: Nashville) a hacker girl who worked for ‘the rising tide’ a organisation committed to leaking information to the world, Grant Ward (Brett Dalton: Killing Lincoln) an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D, Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen: Mulan, Stargate Universe) another agent of S.H.I.EL.D a.k.a. The Calvary, and also Fitz (Iain De Caestecker: Coronation Street, Filth) and Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge: Hollyoaks) two scientists who are the technicians for the team.
From left to right: Skye, Simmons, Fitz, Coulson, May, Ward – Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D
I won’t go into great detail about the first episode, as I don’t want to ruin anything for anyone, but I can safely say it satisfies everyone in terms of action, humour and story telling and it proved to be a good start for the show and set the bar for the rest of the season.
However, the show started to falter in the next few episodes with the story telling being a bit repetitive as the team would go on mission after mission with no clear over arching story, in these episodes we were told there would be a ‘Thor tie-in’ this turned out to be just another mission showing clips to ‘Thor: The Dark World’ as the team tracked down an Asgardian Staff. Safe to say fans were not happy and ratings were dropping fast.
Then the show picked up. Coulsons story line about how he had mysteriously come back from the dead was suddenly the main focus with him being captured in the mid-season finale and put into a ‘memory’ machine in order for him to reawaken memories of his recovery.
Coulson had been filled with memories of a place called Tahiti “a magical place” but this then all turned out to be a lie. It transpired that Coulson had in fact been injected with a drug called GH.325 which (according to Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson: Die Hard, Star Wars)) was designed to revive a fallen Avenger but the side-affects were so severe that Coulson had to be filled with fake memories in order for it to work.
The rest of the series picked up its pace, brought back the viewers and it hasn’t slowed down since. In the second half of the series the team had to team up with Lady Sif (Jaimie Alexander: Thor, The Last Stand) which was much more the ‘Thor tie-in’ episode that we had all hoped for and then for the final 7 episodes a tie-in with ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ happened.
With S.H.I.E.L.D collapsing in ‘Captain America’ and Hydra re-emerging the team discovered rats within their own team and were joined by Agent Tripplet (B.J. Britt: Vampires Suck, One Tree Hill) to stop Agent Garrett (Bill Paxton: Thunderbirds), who was a reappearing agent within the series.
I shan’t ruin anything else for anyone but I can guarantee that if you love a casual action/drama show that has superheroes in it then I can promise that Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D is a shown for you with season two currently being broadcast in both the US and the UK now.
Despite the slow start AoS really did pick up and is a show well worth a watch as a small dosage of the Marvel universe each week with regular cameo appearances from Nick Fury, Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders: How I Met Your Mother) and Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell: Captain America). Honestly, go check it out, you won’t regret it. The show is currently running its third season on TV now.
Now on ABC and Channel 4
(Any images used in this are not mine but all the opinions are)