Hey guys, here’s another editorial piece I’ve written over on comicbookmovie.com. This time it focuses on the highs and lows of Season 1 of Agents Of SHIELD. Read it here below, or click on the link above to have a look over on CBM. Hope you guys enjoy it!
There was a host of expectations on the shoulders of Agents Of SHIELD going into its freshman season this time last year, and while it may struggled under the weight of them at times, it’s safe to say the show had its fair share of highs as well. But before we have a look at the best bits, here’s what I thought didn’t quite work…
Five Things That Didn’t Work
“You taking a punch for me… I don’t need your protection” – Melinda May
Don’t get me wrong, I like May. Over the course of the season, I thought she was one of the more consistent characters. What let her down was how the writers tried so hard to show she’s a badass, including a casual hook-up with Ward that didn’t add much. It was clichéd and set-up some peculiar May/Ward/Skye love triangle drama that nobody asked for.
‘The Clairvoyant’ Mystery
“The Clairvoyant doesn’t like to be touched” – Edison Po
Every genre show has a big-bad storyline, but SHIELD’s was incredibly underwhelming. ‘The Clairvoyant’ promised a change in style for the show, hinting at a powerful super-villain (maybe even MODOK), but instead he ended up being an arbitrary SHIELD agent. Garrett made a much better villain on his own as a HYDRA traitor, without all the tiresome Clairvoyant build-up.
The (Other) Villains
“No. I shot Skye because that’s what The Clairvoyant told me to do” – Ian Quinn
Ian Quinn, Centipede, Edison Po, Camilla Reyes… Most of the supporting villains on this show were either generic or forgettable. The writers’ reluctance to use the comics really made these one-note, Clairvoyant lackeys like Quinn hard to like. Next season looks far more promising, with the Absorbing Man, Kraken and Mockingbird all on the way.
Visuals & Costumes
“Don’t touch Lola” – Phil Coulson
A big part of the show’s failings last season was how it was visually presented. A large portion of the show’s VFX budget was channelled into CGI for the (rather unnecessary) plane and flying car sequences, when more should have been reserved for making characters like Blackout look great. Elsewhere, Deathlok was let down by a completely half-assed looking costume.
Tahiti – Coulson’s ‘Death’
“Please… Let me die” – Phil Coulson
The big mystery going into the show’s early episodes was the truth behind Coulson’s resurrection. Like many other plotlines set-up in the show’s first half, the answer was pretty underwhelming. I’ was overjoyed to see the Son Of Coul return to our screens, and it led to some powerful acting from Clark Gregg, but, like many, I was hoping for a better explanation.
Five Things That Did Work
“Fitz, I don’t know what you think you’re doing, but…” – Jemma Simmons
“I’m doing what we always do. We’re gonna fix this. Together” – Leo Fitz
Easily my favourite two characters on the show, Fitz and Simmons never fail to make me laugh at least once or twice each episode. But what’s far more impressive are their dramatic scenes together, most notably in FZZT and then again in the season finale. Both Henstridge and DeCaestecker have shown a huge amount of potential, and here’s hoping they get even more focus in Season 2.
Ward Is Hydra
“We’ve had a wolf in the herd the whole time” – Phil Coulson
In what has to be the turnaround of the century (so far…) the SHIELD writers turned Ward from bland, clichéd super-agent into a great conflicted villain. It was a shock twist that surprised most viewers, especially after the Garrett reveal, and changed the show for the better. Hail Hydra indeed.
“Hail Hydra” – John Garrett
Okay, this may confuse a few of you. Yes, while I did hate ‘The Clairvoyant’ build-up, once Bill Paxton was on-screen, and going nuts as John Garrett, I was instantly entertained. Paxton’s a man with a strange talent for enjoyable overacting, and he does it here again to great effect. Additionally, his involvement in Ward’s corruption was very interesting to watch.
Tahiti – The Blue Alien
“Fury went to dangerous lengths to keep this under wraps, lied to me, lied to S.H.I.E.L.D. This is a powerful secret – a secret men died for” – Phil Coulson
Now we’re talking. The initially disappointing ‘Tahiti’ plotline took a turn for the better when Coulson discovered a blue-skinned humanoid alien was the source of the GH325 drug. With many people suspecting this was a Kree, this opened a whole new area of the Marvel universe for the show for Season 2, and ties in nicely with Guardians Of The Galaxy.
“The baby? The girl was the 0-8-4?” – Phil Coulson
Like many viewers, I didn’t care for Skye much at the beginning. While she still isn’t my favourite character, she looks more and more like a Whedon heroine every episode, while her back-story is one of the most interesting things for fans to debate. The finale’s bloody-handed reveal that Skye’s father is alive raises a host of new questions that have me excited for answers in Season 2.
Well there you have it, my five favourite and least favourite things about Season 1 of Agents Of SHIELD. On the whole I think it was a decent enough season that did extremely well to rectify its early mistakes. With Season 2 just on the horizon (23rd September), I personally can’t wait to see what the show has in store.
If you liked what you saw here, check out some of my other CBM Editorials over on their website: