Last time, on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the gang fought against the insidious motivations of Quinn and foreshadowed the villainous, Graviton, making an appearance in the future. On tonight’s episode, entitled “Eye-Spy”, Coulson is faced with leading his newly formed team against a former protege who has gone rogue. Will the recently-picked-up-for-a-full-season show deliver the goods this week? Will Coulson’s time in Tahiti be further explored? Is he secretly the Vision/an LMD/Clone/Doctor Octopus in disguise? Hit the jump to find out.
Our episode begins with a group of masked men transporting diamonds on behalf of their boss through Stockholm, Sweden. The diamonds are stolen by a rogue agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. with super-human abilities who was apparently trained by Coulson himself, so Phil wrangles the team behind him on a mission that hits close to home. An episode that shines a further spotlight on Agent Coulson’s past is always welcome, as it gives the opportunity to follow around the, far and away, most charismatic member of the cast.
However, this is sort of proving to be a double-edged sword as the rest of the cast just isn’t staying in step with Clark Gregg’s long strides for the most part. Fitz and Simmons, the team’s “techies”, are especially grating this episode, not really offering much to the proceedings. If you’re going to create a duo to fulfill the comedic relief quotient, make sure they’re able to emphasize the “comedic” part of the equation so their jokes don’t fall flat, as they did this time around. Though Skye and May did have a number of moments this episode that were great in their own rights, Skye with her inability to use a gun and May’s espionage expertise in encountering Amador.
The “antagonist” of the episode, Amador Akela, is being forced to perform rogue missions under the thumb of a mysterious person unknown. In a clever turn of events, Amador is being monitored through a camera that’s implanted in her eye, which the team is able to mimic, performing the missions she would have, to learn more about what exactly is going on. One of my favorite moments of the episode is Skye and Agent Grant needing to work their way into a military installation, with Skye reminding Grant to not look down because he has “man hands”. They run into a big snag when Grant is told, by the mysterious villain who thinks he’s Amador, to seduce a nearby guard. Grant can only let out a pitiful “help” which got a big laugh from me.
What I liked about this episode was the heavy emphasis on espionage. S.H.I.E.L.D., while being the big organization that leads the Avengers around and fills them in on what baddies are threatening the world, is at its core a collective of spies. This episode gave the team a problem which they had to tackle as a unit, using the latest in spy equipment as well as their wits. The story was a good opportunity to see everyone work as unit in a hectic situation as well as show that the characters are getting to know one another with some light ribbing here and there.
This was another solid episode from S.H.I.E.L.D., but not without its flaws. We still don’t know enough about some of our protagonists to really rally behind them, such as May and Grant, and Fitz and Simmons aren’t really winning me over, but there’s more good than bad to be found here. Gregg still has enough charisma to really carry the show by himself and Skye’s starting to win me over as well. There are hints here and there about a potential “big bad” for the season, but I wish we had something a little more concrete to go on, but that’s a personal preference.
Episode Rating: Solid B
Miscellanea and Musings:
- When you are transporting diamonds, always be sure to have 50 or so guys all wearing red masks barge through the town square. A little stealth probably would have suited this plan better on behalf of the diamond’s owners. They might as well have been yelling, “WE HAVE DIAMONDS! PLEASE ROB!”
- It took them far too long to realize they were being filmed in the van. I expected them to go into one of those routines you see in cartoons where they’re looking into a mirror and it takes them minutes to realize that the guy on the other side isn’t in fact themselves.
- ”Short Bus, calling in.”
“Next time, I get to decide what we call ourselves.”
- We almost got one whole episode where The Avengers wasn’t referenced in any way, but it reared it’s head at the tail end of the episode. To be fair, this really was just tying in with the continuing subplot of how Coulson survived the “Battle of the New York” so its a minor quibble.
- No big “after the credits” scene this time around folks, though the one they did provide got a chuckle out of me.
- Kind of strange that Amador’s psychic abilities weren’t explored further. I would think that in this world of monsters and madmen, this would be a bigger deal.
- Pretty gruesome episode. We have a severed hand to start the episode and a tiny bomb going off in a man’s head to bring us a home.