23 January 2015


Welcome to my Marvel's Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D rewatch (this will probably be the last time I use the full title). Delayed slightly as I got a little behind with finishing TNG series 3 and my computer has recently been changed from Windows to Linux, which is something of an adjustment.

Episode: 01

The title seems a bit dull and generic. I guess someone does get recruited to fly a plane, though she's hardly the focus of the episode.

What Happens
Agent Phil Coulson, who aten't dead, returns to work by assembling a small mobile team for covert fieldwork, which means flying around in a specially-adapted plane (called the Bus). Mike Peterson, an unemployed single father from L.A. takes part in an experiment that gives him superpowers. He attracts attention when saving a woman from a burning building. Hacktivist and van-dweller Skye tracks Mike down and advises him to go public before the 'suits' make him disappear. The fire was in a lab and the Shield team discover it was caused by an exploding man dosed with a super-powered concoction, it's where Mike got his powers. They also track down Skye, who previously hacked them and published intelligence. Coulson uses unorthodox methods to gain her trust and she helps them find Mike Peterson before he explodes too. Unstable and angry, Mike takes his son to Skye for help after his doctor refuses to help him. He nearly explodes in a train station while fighting Shield off. Coulson's team manage neutralise Mike without killing him and stop the sniper his doctor sent after him. Coulson provisionally recruits Skye.

Female characters often stand oddly in promo shots

Coulson's Alive!
The first mystery is Coulson's death, which he doesn't know the truth about. His existence is probably classified and his superiors are hiding something major from him. He's as charming, witty and efficient as you'd expect from his appearances in the Phase 1 films. He's stern and in charge when needed, but he's also light-hearted at times, and always seeking the best outcome with the least loss of life. His attitude to Skye is interesting, he sees her as an asset rather than a threat. It's also funny that he plays on her assumption of them as the evil monolithic oppressors, challenging her views of them with his good humour, humanity and interesting methods.

The Cavalry
Agent Melinda May is kept a bit mysterious and kinda stereotypical here. A taciturn, desk-bound veteran with a badass reputation, who insists she's out of the game. She's only supposed to be along to fly the plane, but when they're trying to get to Mike Peterson she has to take out a sniper.

Meh, Ward
Grant Ward is one of those tough-guys who doesn't play well with others and has to learn to be part of a team. I do not like him, and I did not like him at first viewing either. That said, he is used to some good effect. Especially when he and Coulsen are doing good-cop, bad-cop with Skye and Coulsen gains Skye's trust by injecting him with a truth serum, leaving him spilling his guts to her.

Science Duo 
FitzSimmons are in fact two separate people, though the show doesn't want you to think so. They're the fresh-faced young geniuses getting their first taste of fieldwork. Fitz is a bit bad with people and forgets others aren't on the same wavelength as him, but he's also kinda funny in a blunt, sarky way. Then there's Simmons who is on Fitz's wavelength, but also emotionally and socially aware and helps Fitz deal with other people. She's totally brilliant in her own right and really sweet. She's the one who wanted to get field experience, suggesting she's more willing to expand her role than Fitz, who has tagged along with her. They rise to to Coulson's challenge of neutralising the stuff in Mike without killing him.

Skye's part of a freedom of information, hacker collective called the Rising Tide. I'd forgotten how goofy she is in this episode, especially when she's trying to talk Mike into becoming a superhero, but instead freaks him out by being crazy at him. I like her more this time than I remembered. It's funny when Skye is in her van broadcasting a message to Shield, calling them out and saying they'll never find her, then Ward and Coulson open the door and take her in. She's so determined to mistrust Shield, but Coulson plays with her expectations. When she sees them in action the fledgling team is not what she expected at all. It's not entirely surprising Coulson recruits her she has useful skills and her non-conformist approach provides a fresh perspective the more specialised/institutionalised team members lack.

Weirdness of the Week
Mike Peterson's increased strength. It seems to be a mixture of extremis (Iron Man 3), a kind of super-soldier serum (Captain America), and gamma radiation (the Hulk), delivered by alien metal (Avengers). This mixture of the various origins from the MCU shows the blend of things this show is going to be dealing with.

Villain of the Week
Centipede, mostly personified by Mike's angry doctor. They're throwing everything hey can at people to give them increased powers. Their aims are unknown, but the doctor arranges to have Mike taken out, so they aren't all puppies and rainbows.

When Ward is interviewed by Maria Hill he spells out what S.H.I.E.L.D stands for (Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division) then suggests "someone really wanted our initials to spell out shield."

Coulson reveals he isn't dead to Ward by dramatically stepping out of the shadows and saying something badass. Then utterly charmingly he says "Sorry... that corner was really dark and I couldn't help myself. I think there's a bulb out."

When Skye is trying to convince Mike to be a superhero. "With great power comes... a ton of weird crap you are not prepared to deal with."

Simmons calls the ongoing operation a 'Journey into Mystery'. It is an amazing, fantastical comic book series you should totally read!

Oh by-the-by Coulson's vintage car Lola, it can fly! Given his love of original old-fashioned tech could it be the one Howard Stark was demoing in the first Captain America film?
Sorry... that corner was really dark, and I couldn't help myself. I think there's a bulb out.

Read more at: http://transcripts.foreverdreaming.org/viewtopic.php?f=140&t=8806&sid=9f7b3f1c108fc6ed4c77f9e5b67c42e1
Sorry... that corner was really dark, and I couldn't help myself. I think there's a bulb out.

Read more at: http://transcripts.foreverdreaming.org/viewtopic.php?f=140&t=8806&sid=9f7b3f1c108fc6ed4c77f9e5b67c42e1

Spoilerrific (spoilers for future AoS episodes)
Skye uses an encryption tied to GPS so she has to be in her van's usual location to decrypt her files. She'll use this again much later. For someone who never really had a home Skye puts stock in the places she expects to be.

Ward's family history is hinted at. I wondered how he managed under the unexpected truth serum, given all his evilness and such, but in a couple of episodes he reveals that was a stunt to gain Skye's trust.

Coulson says "It's a magical place" twice in this episode, whenever Tahiti is mentioned. Already it's clear that talking about his recovery prompts an automatic, unconscious reaction.

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