‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ Takes the Battle to the Clouds

Published 2 years ago by , Updated October 3rd, 2013 at 6:47 am,

agents of shield episode 2 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Takes the Battle to the Clouds

Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD roared to life, with last week’s premiere drawing in 12 million viewers, but can the series maintain the legions of fans that the Marvel cinematic universe has amassed? These are not the members of S.H.I.E.L.D. we are used to seeing. While Thor, Iron Man, and Captain America are off saving the universe, Coulson’s new team must tackle more isolated events.

’0-8-4′ (an unknown artifact) takes the team to Peru where they find what appears to be alien technology, harnessed by a German device. We soon discover that the power inside the weapon comes from the Tesserract, which was a device that Odin himself once used, only to be manipulated by the Nazis in Captain America, and then by Loki in The Avengers.

agents of shield episode 2 simmons Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Takes the Battle to the Clouds

The backdrop of this week’s episode comes in the form of a Peruvian rebel uprising over mining operations throughout the country. This conflict introducers us to an old fling of Coulson’s named Camilla Reyes, who is played by the stunning Chilean actress, Leonor Varela (Human Target). The political struggle also gives way to some nice dialogue between Skye and Agent Grant, who discover that they have very different perspectives on the world. Grant is a hardened solider with an overly negative outlook on war and violence – while Skye, in her naiveté, sees this conflict through the lens of Twitter, and how social media can be used to bring a nation together. Neither viewpoint is wrong, yet it’s exciting to see the writers deepening the character’s relationships as the series progresses.

Melinda May’s dark past was another interesting story, and hopefully, we’ll learn more about this “Cavalry” term applied to her. Fitzs and Simmons are the weakest members of the group in terms of character development; their only purpose seems to be comic relief. At times their banter can be overkill, especially with such a talented comedic actor as Clark Gregg leading the charge. However, it’s important to remember that Joss Whedon’s shows – like Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Dollhouse - often take time to find their footing. Whedon has a slow-burn approach to building his series, so we might have to be patient.

agents of shield episode 2 plane Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Takes the Battle to the Clouds

The battle in the clouds was a thrilling affair, which gave this new team time to work out their kinks and find a solution. Watching Coulson figure out Reyes’ seduction techniques was comedic gold, and Skye’s plan to use the inflatable life-raft to seal a hull-breach was so over-the-top that it actually made the scene work. ’0-8-4′ was an episode with some much needed character development that last week’s premiere lacked. This kind of development needs to continue in order for ABC to keep viewers coming back for more.

The big surprise at the end of this episode came in the form of Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), who laments over the loss of the plane’s bar. Is this a sign that some of the other Avengers could make appearances? Perhaps that’s wishful thinking, but one of the more enjoyable aspects of this series is how they tie-in stories from the films in order to give more depth to each episode. Also, it’s worth mentioning Skye’s mysterious text from the Rising Tide. What are her true motivations? Tune in next week to find out.


Agents of SHIELD continues with ‘The Asset’ next Tuesday @8pm on ABC. You can check out a preview of next week’s episode below:


Follow David Griffin on Twitter @griffinde
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  1. The main problem with Agents of Shield is that it feels like a typical by-the-numbers Josh Whedon production with the Marvel Universe thrown in as an afterthought…

    Its like the writers look back at the script and say, “Hey, did we mention anything Marvel in this episode? ” …rather than Easter eggs like in Arrow with mentions of Bludhaven, Coast City, and Ray Palmer, AOS Easter eggs seemed forced…

    Plus, the scene at the end just seemed tacked on to appease those who feel there is not enough Marvel in the series…

    So, far, I am not impressed, but will give it some time to develop..

    • Really? Considering in the first episode, the villain’s powers were created from a mix of Super Soldier serum, Chitauri tech and Extremis and this week’s object was made out of a Tesseract cell, I’d say the Easter Eggs in SHIELD are much better integrated than Arrow’s, since they actually play a part in the plot. (And I love Arrow (more than SHIELD to date.))

      • Meaning they’re not Easter eggs if they’re blatantly up front and centre in the episode’s plot.

      • macguffins are not easter eggs.

        • There is definitely misconception about MacGuffin’s vs. Easter Eggs. From what I thought, MacGuffins are usually blatant objects that serve the plot but may be forgettable as the movie goes on. But the story usually sets itself up around that particular thing but then can stray away from its importance. Ex. The weapon the Frost Giants try to steal in Thor plays little importance to the rest of film because the point of the plot was that the Frost Giants broke into the vault. They could have stolen any item and the plot would have been the same. However, the weapon serves the plot because it sets up the importance of Odin’s vault and later plays into Loki’s deception and his use of the Destroyer. Another example would be the use of Plutonium in Back to the Future. You could have replaced that with uranium, gold, mercury and the plot would be the same. The plot did not center on plutonium but plutonium did drive the plot at the beginning but plays little importance later to the plot. From what I understand its any object that has value and initially drives the plot but is not necessary towards overall plot.

          An easter egg is something that is not blatant and presents a “search and find” or inside joke for the viewer. Odin’s Vault items, Cap’s shield in Iron Man. The Wilhelm Scream, Glenn Close playing the pirate that goes into the Boo Box in Hook, etc.

        • Funny you should mention eggs…I am eating a plate full of Deviled Eggs right now while I read this, and enjoying both the eggs I am eating, and also the show. Reasonably entertaining, so I will keep watching it!

        • If you combined them, would you have an “Egg Macguffin”?

          • Goldilocks is a comedian at his best. I commend you sir for your comical trolls.

          • @ Goldilocks

            I like it. Another!

    • It is never going to develop Joss Whedons characters are dull one dimensional and painfully cliched we have seen everyone of these characters before there’s nothing new or interesting about any of them. The fact of the matter is Whedon only knows how to create two kinds of character the serious one and the quip filled sarcastic one or if he is feeling super creative he will create some one like Coulson the serious one who occasionally makes a sarcastic quip. What a shame this show could have been great but the fact is its pretty terrible.

      • Filmlover, try some punctuation marks to get your point across.

        • Patient! You can’t make bread without flour. 2/1 odds it gets cancelled. oh and yes there were some interesting side characters in buffy but after seeing all of Whedons work I can only asume no of them were penned my him.

        • I am very sorry doc the program I use to deal with my dyslexia doesn’t do punctuation. You sad little prick.

      • buddy before saying such judgemental comment like this you have to see joss whedon’s previous works namely buffy it has many characters for example giles stuttering,brilliant school librarian/watcher who was actually a rebelious rock-star who practiced magic for fun he could be really dangerous at times when situation arises . and second episode was really good and this is second episode in first don’t be judgemental after just two episode its a they are slowly unraveling the characters one by one and just be patient

  2. I’m loving this show and look forward to the next episode!

  3. Considering I was somewhat underwhelmed by the pilot (although I still enjoyed it), this was a massive improvement. While the plot wasn’t anything to write home about, that’s completely fine since this episode was all about the characters and how they came together as a team. And it worked really well. After the pilot, I’d have said the weakest thing about the show was the characters. now it’s the opposite. I admit I suspected that Whedon was going to address and work on making characters more likable as the show progressed, I just didn’t expect him to do so so quickly. And they so fantastically addressed the widely spread complaint about Skye joining, that I almost think Whedon was deliberately trying to provoke that reaction in the pilot so he could blow us away with the second.

    And the cameo at the end was just the icing on the cake. Fantastic episode.

  4. I think there’s an infinity gem inside the 0-8-4 device.

    • No sir.

  5. I am not digging S.H.I.E.L.D. Hopefully it perks up soon. Really PG13 acting going on with cheezy banter. A few more episodes and I’m done if it doesn’t perk up. Life is too short for bland tv.

  6. Nick Fury showed up…. That’s all that matters.

  7. The only thing that didn’t go well for me was the life raft. No way that works. Overall I enjoyed it.

    • I was watching the show with my little brother, and I was like, “That was smart of her……..It never would have worked in real life, but it worked for her.” Then I had to explain everything about air pressure to my brother.

    • no more ridiculous than IN jones/temple of doom jumping out of a plane in a similar raft. it’s comicbook stuff, not downton abbey.

  8. Am I the only one who for the first part of the episode wondered when Harrison Ford was going to jump out in a fedora and carrying a bullwhip? I want this show to be good SO BAD but so far it’s not working for me. I’m not out yet, I’m giving it the old four episode test, but it needs to improve fast. I love me some cheese but this is too much. Also the raft scene almost killed me, it was so unbelievable.

  9. Just gimme a Thomas Jane Punisher cameo already.

  10. Anyone else think we’ll see that 0-8-4 device in Guardians of the Galaxy? They did launch it into space and could be intercepted before it’s destination….

  11. I’m really enjoying the show so far. It’s good clean fun and that’s refreshing in a day and age when everything is dark and gritty. I loved the cameo from Nick Fury at the end. Great stuff!

  12. The thing that stuck out the most for me in this episode is how they exposed the absurdity of the team roster themselves and then already played the new girl as a mole angle.

    Right now this show is coasting on it’s brand connection and the idea some viewers have that a whole bunch of other characters might show up. Alphas was on par with this show in some respects and did not last, probably because it lacked name recognition.

    • Being on Sci-fi, Alpha lacked budget, viewers.

      • The clear budget gap between a show like Alphas and S.H.E.I.L.D is what I find so funny, since there is not a huge separation in quality as far as writing and some of acting goes. If this show did not have a Marvel stamp on it and was on SyFy it might last as long as Alphas did, unless it still had the same price tag in which case it would be another Terra Nova.

  13. it’s only been 2 episodes but i already don’t like Fitz & Simmons or whatever they are called…i would much rather have a serious science person and leave the jokes to Coulson, feels forced plus i can’t stand the accents (jus me)

    i don’t understand all the hate for Skye, she balances out Melinda and Mr. Ice, plus shes cute ha

    i hope they dont keep teasing us with the Coulson line “It was Magic or Magical”

  14. Looking at the screen-shot up above of Agent Grant and the soldier he is leaping at holding the knife, I thought how much easier it would be to get that shoe off with a shoe-horn!

  15. I’m sorry but that was just plain awful. If they’re not careful, Marvel will equate to corny.

  16. My theory about Tahiti. It’s a virtual reality program that Coulsons mind was downloaded into while they created a Life Model Decoy to upload him into.

  17. I’m inclined to agree with most people commenting so far. I really want this show to work but it’s just not so far. I’m gonna keep watching it for a few more episodes but if it doesn’t pick up and start integrating more aspects from the comics rather than just making stuff up that’s loosely tied to the movies I’m gonna stop. I’m just not impressed so far. They’re kidding themselves if they think the audience is gonna wanna watch a show about SHIELD agents. Everyone is just watching this show for the chance to see some other superheroes show up. People wanna see the agents interact with other heroes, not fight Coulson’s ex-girlfriend.

  18. I don’t understand ScreenRant, they style themselves as ‘The #1 Independent Movie and TV News Website’, but their style is conspicuously amateur and full of overwritten, underthought phrasings, for example:

    “Fitzs and Simmons are the weakest members of the group in terms of story, due to the fact that their importance seems only to provide comic relief.”

    ‘In terms of story’? What does this mean?! It’s a phrase thrown in because it sounds vaguely relevant – and ‘due to the fact that their importance seems to provide…’?! Read that clause again. These are empty words! Empty sentences. Meaningless. And this is grade-school level journalism. How else can we interpret this?

    I’m being too harsh. Shall I be fair? The site genuinely offers something different to other examples of its ilk. But these wishy-washy reviews? It’s like they’re practising at being real journalists. Someone buy these guys a copy-editor for pity’s sake.

    • @Sebold

      We always strive for better writing. Sometimes time-crunches don’t allow our copy editors the luxury of being as thorough as they’d like.

      But your point is taken about the phrases in question – We’ll do a second look over, you tell US if it looks improved afterward.


      • It’s funny, but this is why sites like this work compared to bigger, blander industry outlets. You could have banned me for that snarky comment, or deleted it. But you took the time to absorb and respond. And left me looking like the mean-spirited, irritable hack I am.

        So, ok, I have no problem conceding that, on a second pass, the review is zippy and punchy and as coloful and appealing to fans as anything else here. And I guess I probably lost sight of something: this is a movie news website, not an applied-science journal. I have fun here, I’m sure that will continue.

  19. M main problem with this show is that it feels too Disney-ish. Meaning it feels too cheesy and not serious enough. Even Fury’s cameo at the end felt too cheesy. I’ll keep watching, but I hope the tone improves.

    • Fury’s cameo seemed to me like a Samuel L. Jackson cameo and not a Nick Fury cameo.

      • Samuel L. Jackson is always Samuel L. Jackson.
        Which is why I never wanted him for Nick Fury.

  20. The show is pig s***, and it’s a shame.

    Poor casting, scoring, directing and most surprisingly, poor writing. You can’t make a film like Iron Man, which is very much grounded in reality with raw themes and narrative, and then throw in a bunch of pretty twenty something year olds who do nothing but tell bad jokes and do karate and expect it to be believed as one fictional universe.

    Coulson casually saying things like I WAS STABBED THROUGH THE HEART, and then everyone around him shrugging it off as if he never said it. The young male agent repeatedly saying, ‘Speak english’ to the geeks, and Coulson mentioning the bloody battle of New York every scene. Utterly dreadful, how can someone green light this?!

    I’ll keep watching as I love the MCU and Marvel in general, but I really hope the cast will gradually change with hopefully gruesome deaths for the outstandingly terrible actors. Shield all this time was hyped up to be the best of the best agents, with experience and skills and wisdom and intelligence, and instead we get this group of models. Why?

    The more I watch films and TV these days, the more it is evident that middle aged – elder actors are far better than the young. It’s not even just about skill either, but it generally serves the story better having older characters in the centre of it all. There’s more room to explore the depth of a character, more intriguing histories, adult and complex themes, and it increases the scale of validity in terms of their actions.

    Having a bunch of ‘new to the job twenty whatever year olds’ just degrades the whole purpose of the show for me. They should have cast actor’s such as Jonathan Banks, he would have made an AMAZING Shield agent. A great poker face, he can act the mysterious figure which was what I was led to believe the agents are, what with their black uniforms and shades. Charles Dance, he would have made an incredible gadget technician. Instead we get irritating, teenage humoured and cheesy looking types. A lot like the writing. And directing.

    I’ll keep watching, but they need to get some Coulson types in fast. No one wants to see Skye teetering toward both sides for a few episodes to end up eventually siding with Shield. No one wants to see the supposed ‘smart guy’ tied up and complaining, ‘it’s my fault, I should have learned kung fu’ with brutal honesty in his tone. No one wants to hear about the Battle of New York every two minutes, we saw the Avengers, it’s literally the only reason why we’re watching this dismal show!

    • I tend to agree. I was so psyched for the show that I felt like a little kid on Christmas. Now, I’m wondering if it will ever escape the bland, cliched hole it has dug.

      I think they need street level heroes to save it. Something like Arrow over at the WB would be great. You can have more powers in it bc it’s already been established.

      Really the stakes aren’t high enough. I don’t care what happens to any of them so far. In fact, I’d like them all to die except maybe the Calvary lady and Coulson. (Coulson only bc of his past appearances on movies, not his part in this show.) This is all coming from a lifelong Marvel and Whedon fan.

  21. I think they need to drop the obligatory name drops (Thor, captain America) and just sort out the characters in the show
    Also Coulson we get it Tahiti is a magical place – tell us more or stop repeating the same phrase

    Nick Fury cameo was the highlight of the episode though – which I guess shows how the rest of the show is lacking somewhat
    But still going to give the show a chance

  22. This is Marvel’s version of Torchwood.

  23. I really want to like this show, but it really lacks that ‘oomph!’ element. Maybe becase we’re still 2 episodes in. What this show need is actually super-powered characters, in SHIELD’s side and the main bad guys side (actually the one on this side is a given). Just get some C or D list Marvel characters that are relevant with the show and we’re set. Oh, and lose the Saturday Morning Cartoon feels too.

    • got no oompph man but carl does yah lets hear it for carl

  24. dude this takes the battle to the totally lame.

  25. Missed the pilot, so I anxiously awaited the second episode. Thought it was… meh. Typical network fare. Over acted, with very one-dimensional characters. Basically a spy show with “Marvel” and some tie-ins to the movies thrown in. I’m going to give it 6 episodes to grab my attention… but I’m not holding my breath.

  26. Episode two demonstrates that this show has some promise. I just can’t shake the feeling that it is written way too safe for prime-time TV and should be on the ABC Family Network instead.

    I agree with other poster’s comments about the cast being so green it feels like the Young Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D. Why would an elite spy organization trust the containment of some of the most dangerous objects on Earth to a group of junior agents and a want-to-be cyber terrorist?
    Beyond that, they are given a dinosaur of plane that can only land in large airfields. It’s a show based on a comic book movie… give these folks a Quinjet from the Avengers movie or at least a stealth plane like the X-Men fly around in.

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  28. This show is Torchwood. Like Shield, they deal with the smaller incidences whilst earth bound, while Doctor Who deals with all the end of the world stuff.