MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. Recap – “0-8-4″

by     Posted 360 days ago

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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D has landed, and it has certainly left its mark with an Avengers share of the viewership.  With over 20 million viewers having seen the first episode (factoring in DVR viewings, repeat airings, and online viewing), ABC/Disney studios is certainly happy with the pilot’s performance.  As for the show itself, when last we left our heroes in the first episode: the team has been assembled, a mysterious villain lurks in the shadows, and Coulson’s car flew through the air with the greatest of ease.  Tonight’s episode, entitled “0-8-4”, promised surprises for both the protagonists and the audience itself with a surprise mystery guest.

Hit the jump for a recap of the second episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

marvels-agents-of-shield-0-8-4The episode follows the team being called into Peru to investigate a “0-8-4”, S.H.I.E.L.D lingo for “we have no idea what this is”.  Recent addition to the crew, Skye, the hacker who’s out of her depth, attempts to make small talk with the wacky duo of Fitz and Simmons, while Grant and Melinda (now dubbed “The Cavalry”) generally kick ass as the two highly trained agents that they are, skeptical about the whole operation in general.  Coulson continues to be his calm and charming self, leading the team in the field while also meeting an old friend who’s now a commander in the Peruvian army, which was a nice touch as it helped to show that these characters have a world and back story unto themselves.

The group discovers that the “0-8-4” is actually a piece of equipment that uses machinery similar to that of the Tessaract, the “macguffin” from Captain America and Avengers, which emits gamma radiation.  This leads to a humorous scene of everyone slowly backing away from it, after being told “its much MUCH worse than a nuclear bomb”.  Our protagonists are betrayed by the Peruvian army while on “The Bus”, their flying HQ, and manage to take down their assailants, while attempting to save them as well, which was a nice touch.  The episode ends with the agents sharing some beers on the back of the plane, with the revelation that Skye is still working with her original organization, “The Rising Tide”.  Also, Samuel L. Jackson happens to show up and deliver an amazing performance as Fury in the final minute (GREAT cameo).

marvels-agents-of-shield-0-8-4This episode, and the series overall, absolutely needs to slow its jets a little.  We need a more in-depth look into who these characters are as people, as there’s a danger that they’re all starting to fall into their stereotypes, outside of Coulson of course.  The brains, the brawn, the quip machine(s), they’re all here, but these tropes do not a great show make if they’re not given legs.  The action is fast and furious with some decent effects work throughout, but if we don’t have characters to rally behind, then a disconnect starts forming.

I’m about the last guy in the world who should be saying this but the references to Avengers and the Marvel Movie-verse need to lighten up a little.  It’s great that we have a shared Marvel universe now, but we need these agents to stand on their own, have their own adventures that are unique and independent to themselves.  Don’t get me wrong, you can still have nods to the Marvel Universe, there’s a nearly unlimited wealth of elements to choose from outside of what we’ve seen in the movies/tv show as it stands, which should be delved into more.

Overall, the episode wasn’t as good as the pilot and we haven’t gotten enough reason to really connect with our lead actors aside from Agent Coulson.  Hopefully, as the series continues, we get more character moments that drive the story, rather than the opposite.

marvels-agents-of-shield-season-1-episode-2Grade: C+

Musings and Miscellanea

  • “Can I get you anything while I go check on the device fueled by evil sitting in our cargo hold?”
  • The subplot of Skye still being linked to her past organization is a nice addition that I look forward to seeing unravel down the road, along with the Coulson mystery
  • “The Cavalry” escape scene with breaking her wrist to get out of the cuffs was undeniably cool
  • The episode had its bumps along the way, but I’m still behind the series and look forward to the rest of the first season
  • Samuel L Jackson cameo. It was rumored a lot, but that didn’t make it any less cool.
  • Camilla’s idea that all of Coulson’s actions were stemmed from him having a mid-life crisis was great.



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  • LEM

    I probably would’ve watched if I thought Jackson may show up but after the underwhelming pilot I really just don’t care enough for this to watch. It seems more like a lazy sunday on-demand kind of show.

  • LEM

    I probably would’ve watched if I thought Jackson may show up but after the underwhelming pilot I really just don’t care enough for this to watch. It seems more like a lazy sunday on-demand kind of show.

  • LEM

    I probably would’ve watched if I thought Jackson may show up but after the underwhelming pilot I really just don’t care enough for this to watch. It seems more like a lazy sunday on-demand kind of show.

  • Leo Spacema

    Damnit, after watching the pilot I thought to myself I would be quite happy just letting this show (and the Agent Carter series which will suffer just the same on the family friendly abc) go and sticking to the movies. Then this episode got listed as a C+. I didn’t bother with anything other than the grade. This really let me feel like I didn’t have to care any more about this show and I could just wikipedia it to stay current. Then low and behold Mother F**king Sam Jack decides to go ahead and show up and now I have to at least skim through the episode.

    On a side note, its more about my hatred for the networks than the shows. I just cant bring myself to watch 24 hour long episode seasons of family friendly fare. 13 episode stretches are about my max and on networks that permit murder and drugs and evil chemistry teachers.

    I suffered through last season of law and order SVU but that was only out of an never fading guilty pleasure of Stabler and Munch (wait what the F**k did I just say, I’m male). I watched the season premiere and I decided Im done with it. But other networks big shows of the seasons are all the same. Lost, Terranova, Sleep Hollow, Under the Dome, Alcatraz, The Event, V, Fringe, Once Upon a Time, Revenge, the BlackList, Scandal, Revolution. They are all shows I just plain refuse to watch.

    • Eric H/

      Try Hannibal if you haven’t. It’s on a family friendly network, but isn’t family friendly at all.

      • eternalozzie

        Hannibal tries too hard to be deep and insightful …. and fails.

      • eternalozzie

        Hannibal tries too hard to be deep and insightful …. and fails.

      • GrimReaper07

        Why does it fail? Its the best new TV show this year methinks.

      • GrimReaper07

        Why does it fail? Its the best new TV show this year methinks.

      • Badger

        it’s currently the best network television show imo.

      • OhDawg

        I’m not sure it tries to be deep. It’s a grand serial killer opera wrapped in exquisitely crafted imagery. “Elegant horror”, as Bryan Fuller put it.

      • dungeons and draccus’s

        Hannibal is the best new show this year! Sherlock still leads the pack, along with Breaking, Sons of Anarchy, and Game of Thrones.

      • LEM

        It’s also a 10pm show.

    • Eric H/

      Try Hannibal if you haven’t. It’s on a family friendly network, but isn’t family friendly at all.

    • GunzOfNavarone

      If you refuse to watch Fringe, you’re missing out on a fantastic sci-fi show. I saw it through to conclusion and thought it was really good.

      • http://www.scifihistory.net/ E. Lee Zimmerman

        It’s last season was a bit bloated and meandering, but the finale was still pretty solid. Otherwise, yeah, FRINGE had a great run.

      • http://buzzabit.com/aaron/ Aaron Sullivan

        Big fan of Fringe, but the first season is very hard to get through while it finds its legs. Also the finale to season 4 could have been the series finale was messed up by using different writers even though conceptually it was cool. The last season was solid for me.

      • Ashtalon

        I really liked it in the first season or so. I found the alternate reality stuff to just be dull. I actually preferred the monster-of-the-week type episodes.

    • Ashtalon

      The only way to watch SVU is to treat it as a spoof of crime shows. Otherwise, it’s unbelievably awful.

  • Leo Spacema

    Damnit, after watching the pilot I thought to myself I would be quite happy just letting this show (and the Agent Carter series which will suffer just the same on the family friendly abc) go and sticking to the movies. Then this episode got listed as a C+. I didn’t bother with anything other than the grade. This really let me feel like I didn’t have to care any more about this show and I could just wikipedia it to stay current. Then low and behold Mother F**king Sam Jack decides to go ahead and show up and now I have to at least skim through the episode.

    On a side note, its more about my hatred for the networks than the shows. I just cant bring myself to watch 24 hour long episode seasons of family friendly fare. 13 episode stretches are about my max and on networks that permit murder and drugs and evil chemistry teachers.

    I suffered through last season of law and order SVU but that was only out of an never fading guilty pleasure of Stabler and Munch (wait what the F**k did I just say, I’m male). I watched the season premiere and I decided Im done with it. But other networks big shows of the seasons are all the same. Lost, Terranova, Sleep Hollow, Under the Dome, Alcatraz, The Event, V, Fringe, Once Upon a Time, Revenge, the BlackList, Scandal, Revolution. They are all shows I just plain refuse to watch.

  • Bob

    Episode was great to me; didnt see any problems myself. Was expecting like a B or B+ rating. Dont no why a C+ honestly. I like all the characters but the weakest one is the tough agent guy. He needs to expand more. Everyone else I like.

    • Guy Smiley

      The show is pointless… Why have this barely competent team to do what SHIELD normally does. Why (if they were real) wouldn’t they send in the guys (and ladies) who normally do this stuff? Why does this particular team exist?

      Other than Coulson, and maybe May, this cast of characters is bland, dull, and embarrassingly bad. Fitz and Simmons are just annoying and barely understandable.

      If it weren’t for all the Marvel references sprinkled into the scripts, it would be another generic action show with some funky gadgets. Coulson’s turncoat ex-gf? Predictable. The hole in the plane that can blow out a 200 pound man but is stopped by flimsy raft (that appeared to have a rip in it, no less)? Laughable.

      This show should be embracing the rich 50 year history of the Marvel universe and blowing our minds with it. Instead, we’re getting a by-the-numbers action show that barely distinguishes itself from, say, NCIS. A shame.

  • Bob

    Episode was great to me; didnt see any problems myself. Was expecting like a B or B+ rating. Dont no why a C+ honestly. I like all the characters but the weakest one is the tough agent guy. He needs to expand more. Everyone else I like.

  • Unique Jenique

    The episode was okay. To be honest Samuel L. Jackson’s cameo made me more excited to see the next episode than the entire hour did…

  • Unique Jenique

    The episode was okay. To be honest Samuel L. Jackson’s cameo made me more excited to see the next episode than the entire hour did…

  • Lance

    I actually thought this episode was better than the first one. The first one was too fast. This one the pace felt better.

    I’m betting Valentine gets his wish as the series goes on. The first order of business was probably clobbering the audience over the head with the notion that “It’s the Marvel universe! On TV!” Sure, the Comic-Con crowd and people like us get it by now, but there are probably a lot of people still just finding the show for the first time.

    But there’ll be more character centric stuff as it can’t always be action, action, action all the time. They’re going to start running out of money in the budget, for one thing…

  • dungeons and draccus’s

    Agree. To frothy, too foolish, too funny. It’s like a barnacle leeching on The Avenger’s fame. Guilty pleasure at best, but that function is fulfilled by CW’s Arrow. Here’s what I say to this: Meh…

  • Jim

    Seriously, why all the hate? Agents of Shield is awesome! It feels like a spiritual successor to firefly. New team, new ship. And the episode was basically all about team building. I love it. Nick Fury cameo was awesome. “Cancel the fish tank”. Awesome. I Love it.

  • Nico

    I enjoyed this episode, although, I wasn’t too happy with the tough Grant Ward character trying to save the rebel guy who was just trying to kill him in the plane. I would have preferred Grant just kick the guy who was hanging onto him. Everything felt alittle too sweet at that moment. Uhh, they want to kill you. Don’t save him please.

  • Jim

    Wanting to see Sam Rockwell show up for an ep as Justin Hammer. That will be the best. He is friends with Clark Gregg. Gregg directed him in Choke and his new film as well. I feel this will happen.

  • Nick

    This show is trying a bit too hard to be relevant in the marvel universe. Hope it gets more grounded

  • thatguy

    While I thought this episode was definitely better than the pilot, it was still subpar for me. I still don’t give a crap about any of the characters, in fact I hate them all except for Coulson. When the shooting started, I found myself wishing that some of them, any of them (except Coulson) would die. I WANT ALMOST ALL THE CHARACTERS TO DIE. That can’t be the vibe Marvel/ABC is looking for.

  • http://buzzabit.com/aaron/ Aaron Sullivan

    This is a show that will be around for awhile. It’s going to make the ratings I think. I’m not thrilled with the tone or the characters yet. There are none I really care about besides coulson, BUT there will be time to address that going forward. The cheap thrills are to draw people in at this point, but there’s plenty to work with.

    I think the music is a bit generic and cheesy. Actually, that’s true for most of the Marvel movies actually, so maybe it fits. :/

    I’m rooting for the show however and already it is sprinkled with some great dialogue and a couple solid moments.

  • William Muniz

    If people are watching this thinking that this will be just like the movies… you’re wrong. It is the second episode of a tv show. The first half of the first season is always slow, case in point how many “great episodes” were in the first season of Buffy? none the less it became one of the best shows in tv history. I’m not saying that this will be one of tv’s greatest all I’m saying is give it time. If it is too slow we complain if it is too fast paced we say it feels rushed. just give it a break people.

  • Strong Enough

    really corny stuff. even the great sam jack can’t keep it going

    • Griz

      It’s better crafted than any moment in The Dark Knight Rises….and it’s f-cking awful.

      • Griz

        Also, does anybody know if there is a Trayvon Martin impersonator that i can hire to come to my house, gather my family in the living room, drop his pants and start pissing in my open mouth while yelling “ACTION”? I’d really like that, in fact, i’m pretty sure that it’ll be the best birthday ever! I’m willing to pay $300 cash. $350 if he can make it taste like CORN. ;-) Lulz!

      • eternalozzie

        Griz keepin it classy up in here.

      • Strong Enough

        lmfao. o griz (or any one of the many clones on collider) you crack me up

  • http://www.collider.com/ DNAsplitter

    Thought the show was rather bland. I enjoyed the 1st season of Hero’s over this. It just felt very vanilla and I’m not sayin it’s terrible but not enough to keep my interest. But I give them points for originality as no show has ever tied into a current movie franchise. Honestly, I’m more excited for the Gotham show on Fox as I think it will be dark and more serious and if WB is smart they can find a way to tie that into their films by having whomever they cast as Commission Gordon in the new film appear in the Pilot episode and from there do a flashback to when he 1st started at Gotham. That way you can cast another person as a young Gordon who then can be the star of the show and it won’t intefere with the upcoming films.

  • Reggie1138

    I’m sorry but this show isn’t working for me so far. Shied just isn’t that interesting when the guys wearing the capes aren’t involved.

  • Christian Leroux

    I actually loved the first episode because it was fast, simple, and had great and witty dialogue. However, this episode we can all agree on was a huge hunk of shit. So many cardinal sins were committed:

    1. The show is about superheroes and the supernatural. It makes a point in the pilot of saying that everything has changed since New York, and yet the villain in this episode is human. This wouldn’t be as much of a problem though if the character were actually threatening. All the cards were on the table, and she tried to make a single pair look like a royal flush. If I were Coulson, I would have said “Do you know what the purpose of this task force is? It’s to protect the Earth at all costs. Everyone knew what the risks were going into this, so please, let me personally ask HQ to blow us out of the sky. I was flexible when I still had something to lose, but now my team and I are tied up, so you aren’t giving me many options here. Lose 6 agents, or put 6 billion at risk. The decision seems pretty damn clear to me.” It’s really funny, because this episode is meant to parallel the dilemna in The Avengers, and in that Coulson unites the team by faking his death and showing the dead what he was willing to lose. His actions in this episode completely contradict that.

    2. I found it remarkable that after only one episode, I had developed some empathy for all the characters, given the amount that were introduced. However, this episode quickly destroyed any of that by making everyone come across as whiny little children. The only one who’s kind of spared is The Cavalry because she doesn’t say virtually anything. She just stands silent and tries really hard to contain random bursts of laughter (doesn’t she look like she’s ready to crack at any second?). As mentioned in the article, the fact pace is turning the characters into stereotypes. I don’t think that it has to be this way, but as for this episode, this concept could not be closer to the truth.

    3. Everything about this episode was formulaic and super-predictable. Worse, it was bad cheesy. The Avengers is cheesy, and it knows it is, but it’s also really smart. This was just dumb, and thus instead of getting a really threatening villain, you get Doctor No. It’s really a bad sign though when you can pretty much lay out the entirety of an episode before it reaches Act II.

    I could spend hours talking about this… but I just bought GTAV yesterday. Let’s hope next week’s episode isn’t as poopy.

    PS. That cameo! The ONLY good thing about that episode. However, the makeup job was horrible. The guy was probably given 2 minutes to pencil in the veins as Sam’s pay rate is pretty high.

  • sunshine

    way better than the pilot. still needs work, but it’s a good time for sure.

  • Reggie1138

    Maybe this show would play better if it were more X-Files and less A-Team.

  • Reggie1138

    Maybe this show would play better if it were more X-Files and less A-Team.

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