Does ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ Prove Third Episode is the Charm?

Published 2 years ago by

agents of shield episode 3 graviton Does Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  Prove Third Episode is the Charm?

[This is a review of AoS Episode 3. There Will Be SPOILERS.]


This week’s episode of Agents of SHIELD, “The Asset”, takes a welcomed step away from any sky tales and trips to Peru. Instead, Malta is this episodes setting – perhaps its most important – as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  attempts to tell the origin story of how Franklin Hall (Ian Hart), a brilliant physicist, becomes the super villain comic book fans know as Graviton.

As with the previous two episodes, a lofty and ambitious tale is weaved on what (still) appears to be a poorly-utilized shoestring budget. All the dressings of a technologically advanced, global adventure are there in theory - and are, at times, extremely compelling. What still undermines the series, however, is its foundation (or lack thereof).

In the three weeks that Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.  has been on the air, the series has yet to truly provide a foundation for these tales to exist. Coulson (Clark Gregg), the beloved icon from the movie franchise, is somehow alive and is surrounded by a team of experts who don’t really do all that much, are not really different from any other fictional secretive team, and are largely unknown.

Mysteries are great for evolving characters and keeping viewers anticipating what’s next; unfortunately, with S.H.I.E.L.D. it’s almost impossible to tell what’s next – or what’s currently happening for that matter – because the only thing that really connects the episodes is Coulson’s mysterious rebirth, which, at this point, has become a bit of a moot subject (it’s pretty much one of these theories, right?).

agents of shield episode 3 asset Does Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  Prove Third Episode is the Charm?

Though Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  still feels weak in its third week (ha…) and still very much like a pantomime, one could make a strong argument that the series, in its current form, would make a terrific radio play. Yes, the musical accompaniments are over-the-top; and yes, the visuals are more of what Fringe would have been if WB put it on The CW instead of Fox; and yes, the dialogue is campy and often unnecessary. Yet still, in audible form, with a bit of imagination replacing the visuals of ABC, S.H.I.E.L.D. could be great. As it currently stands, the series is much like Coulson’s mystery: unnecessarily confusing and underwhelming.

That’s not to say there hasn’t been any evolution to the series – it’s just been in all the wrong places. Seeing Ian Hart on S.H.I.E.L.D.  after his fantastic work on FX’s Dirt is always enjoyable, even if his character – and acting talents – are wholly underutilized in this episode. In what may be a surprise to many, Ghost Whisperer’s David Conrad steps in as Ian Quinn, one the (many?) nemeses of S.H.I.E.L.D. , and really helps to sell the story at hand. As for S.H.I.E.L.D. , it may very well be Ming Nah’s character, Melinda May, who turns out to be the saving grace of this series.

agents of shield episode 3 asset coulson Does Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  Prove Third Episode is the Charm?

Though Coulson is put front and center in almost every situation, May is literally – but also emotionally – held back. Her silent-but-deadly persona may have been a bit off-putting at first, but in this episode, May’s slight comments to Coulson and her largely cautious demeanor helps to pull viewers in to the overall story that’s attempting to be told – which is what should have happened in the pilot.

Now three weeks in, the future and direction of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  still remains uncertain – and for a good reason: it hasn’t yet earned the season 2 pickup it will likely receive anyway. Still, somewhere in there, outside of Disney’s need for the show to work, there’s a glimmer of hope that a beautiful tale of technology, superheroes and Coulson will emerge. And if it does, it’ll be through Melinda May – so keep an eye on her.

Agents of SHIELD returns next Tuesday with “Eye-Spy” @8pm on ABC. You can check out a preview of next week’s episode below:

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  1. This is the second wk in a row i have missed this show.
    Anywhere to catch it online?

    • Save your time

    • Hulu.

    • Abc app is where I’m watching

    • ABC .com will let you watch it for free now only for the first season

    • Use

      Great site to stream TV shows from

      • putlocker. i use that for pretty much all my shows i watch.

  2. check the network website of the country your in

  3. i agree right now Coulson and Melinda are the only characters stories i care for

  4. Why does everyone like May, cause shes a silent Asian women? If thats your reason then thats said. Everyone just needs to stop hating. If you hate it dont watch it.
    And i would like to see a review of the show, not a whole page of hating.

    • This is a review, professor.

      Sounds like you want a synopsis, not a review.

    • “Ming Nah’s character, Melinda May, who turns out to be the saving grace of this series.”

      I don’t see it. They have totally under utilized her. Especially in this episode so I don’t see how they can call her a saving grave yet.

  5. Like the premise. Enjoy some of the story lines. The hand-to-hand fight scenes are poorly coordinated and last night I really noticed the music score (especially during fight scenes) is just over the top. Reminded me of a Disney live action children’s adventure movie. Change the time slot and get serious.

  6. I liked the episode. Looking forward to see what they do with Graviton moving forward

    I feel like this show has been unnecessarily lambasted. It is what it is. A fun action adventure type network show at 8pm for the family. I think just because it had the Marvel logo slapped on it, people had elevated expectations that were never going to be met. I’ve watched a ton of TV shows in my time and i’ve seen way worse than this.

    Its a solid show and has room to grow. It sure has as hell has some seasoned writers and producers behind it.

    • I have to agree with you. I think everyone was expecting the movie quality since it’s based on the cinematic universe. You can’t do that with a television series. I thought it was funny when everyone was complaining about the lack of character depth in the first episode, they’ve got at least a full season to try to fill out so of course it’s going to be a little slow going in the beginning. I don’t disagree that the characters are stereotypical or anything but it’s not all that unexpected either given most shows go this route. Is it the best show on tv, not by a long shot but it’s far from the worst either. I think too many had too high of expectations instead of just being open-minded about it.

      • You actually can do that as Revolution has proven, there can be a glimmer of that FILM feel to the series, but they’re not doing that for this show for some odd reason. It could look much better, and be more dramatic ala Iron Man/TIH

        • Oh, please don’t use Revolution as an example. That show is equally as cheesy as AOS. The only reason why I keep watching that show is because of Giancarlo Esposito as everyone else is just forgettable. Charlie is annoying that I keep wishing someone would put her out of her misery. Aaron seems more like a female role because all he does is complain about something or is fearful about something. Rachel is a mute and like Charlie I keep wishing they would put her out of her misery. Miles is tolerable since he is seems to be the more realistic type of person in which how someone would react.

          AOS, plain and simple isn’t what we all expected in which it feels more like a Disney type of show in the form of writing then the overall imagery. They’re playing it safe so far and it’s not working. I’ll still watch because I want to know how it will all tie into Thor 2, Cap 2, and Avengers 2 but it’s not a show that I would consider “must see” like a GOT/Breaking Bad type of series

          • Revolution is a funny comparison to make since they share some of the same traits. Massive amount of hype and advertising going into the project that lead to a perceived let-down for some viewers. Both shows are set up some form of Sci-Fi premise that requires an amount of suspension of disbelief in the fist place, but the issue with both shows seems to be that many of the characters are really hard to connect with or care about which makes whatever they are involved in equally hard to care about.

      • So you admit the show is lacking, yet you say those not entertained by it should ‘deal with it’ because of the medium?

        This argument has no legs to stand on. If you are entertained by the show, that is your opinion and more power to you. It is not, however, within a viewer’s interest to tolerate a show which does not entertain as is the case with me and others. Nor is it unreasonable to expect to be entertained by this show. If this show in its current form is the best television can do then I will simply shut-off the cable box and boot up the DVD player.

        • +1

    • +1

      I like it. People need to leave their preconceived notions at the door and appreciate the show own its own terms.

      I really dug Graviton’s “birth” scene, and I thought his character’s motivations actually made a lot of sense. And despite some earlier reservations, I am starting to like Skye. I do feel they need to develop more on Melinda May’s character, but I’m not in a hurry. Enjoying it so far.

      • You can’t change the minds of the people. Don’t bother trying. They have their expectations and they will call it high standards.

  7. Skye really needs to work on her punching… simply awful. Did she receive a Matrix-neo-style combat download and I missed it? She dismarms and steals the gun after one lesson? sure.

    But Graviton will be an exciting addition, if they can afford to drop a few more cars.

    I know the agents regularly refer to the movies, I wonder if at some point in the films will someone refer to the tv show, in true crossover fashion. Coulson’s “death” will likely be the only crossover topic used.

    • Yeah, it’s gonna be interesting to see how the Avengers react to Coulson being alive.

      I like the little nods to the MCU sprinkled throughout the show, but they feel really forced and unnatural. The show’s got a lot of potential, but so far it just seems like a cash-grab that they hoped could ride the coattails of the Avengers’ success.

  8. I enjoy it, yeah it can be cheesy. but i still find it an enjoyable hour to spend in the MCU once a week. and Sky is starting to grow on me. I thought she was kind of annoying in the premiere but shes getting better.

    • Yeah, Skye is growing on me.

  9. This show is exactly what i ecpected to be and the tone is very much in keeping
    With what the movies have already established. Its entertaining and not much more
    Which is exactly what i would expect from a comic book show.

  10. I had high hopes for this show, but it sucks and if it keeps on sucking, I will take your advice and stop watching it.

  11. I watch this show for two reasons.

    Coulson is awesome and it takes place in the mcu. Beyond that the show isn’t that great but it’s nice to be in the world of the avengers even if the avengers arnt there. Skye is actually pretty interesting though.

  12. Out of the 3 episodes so far, I thought this was by far the best. But I guess thats not saying much. But once Almost Human airs on Fox, I’ll end up forgetting this show existed.

    • I agree. Based on reviews from early screeners they are comparing it to Dredd which is a good thing. If AH is anything like Dredd then AOS will have to be placed on hold until there is nothing else to watch

  13. so they have introduced graviton as a new villain. Hope they use him in later eps

    • I guarantee they will. ;)

  14. The promo for next week’s episode is awful camp on a cringe-worthy level.

  15. I thought skye enjoyed some great character development in this episode- really beginning to like her when I originally couldn’t stand her.

  16. Im enjoying it. No need to think to hard, It’s by far the best marvel tv show on television. So quit bitching and enjoy. It can only get better

  17. Definitely thought this episode was an improvement. I have the feeling we won’t be seeing Graviton for a good long time though, the soonest being the end of the season. I agree that Coulson and May are the only engaging characters at this point, but I did feel a glimmer of connection with Skye. Granted it is a very slight connection, but it’s better than thinking she was the most obnoxious character on the show. Here’s hoping they can improve upon this episode next week!

  18. I preferred last week’s episode. This one wasn’t very interesting imo and the guy who played Franklin Hall was so awkward an unconvincing. You’d think for a relatively major comic book villain (who’ll no doubt have recurring roles on the show and maybe even the movies), they’d get a better actor to play the part.

    So far AoS is very hit-and-miss, but I think I’m gonna stick with it.

  19. So far, AoS feels exactly like what Whedon’s Dollhouse did after the first few episodes, but Dollhouse got pretty epic after a while, and I trust this will too.

    • Thats the problem though. Byb the time Dollhouse got great, it had lost too many of its viewers. Will the same happen with SHIELD?

      • I’m betting the view count will average around 7 million each episode when everything settles. Not too bad, though I’m not sure what the expectations of the studios are.

  20. I really enjoy the show but I feel like everybody wants it to be like arrow or smallville and be more serious in tone but that’s not Marvel’s style. I think the show will evolve into something great. i do agree with what the avenger said. couldn’t they have found somebody a little less wormy to be graviton?

    • Re: “couldn’t they have found somebody a little less wormy to be graviton?”

      That guy may look nebbish, but it’s only because of those glasses. You would not believe the total transformation when he takes those glasses off and puts on some body-hugging blue and red. He suddendly looks taller, more muscular, and pretty much god-like handsome. You’d never recognize him.

  21. We really need stronger back stories for the unknown characters. Ming-Na can hold up because she delivers in everything she has done. Coulsen already has had years of Marvel movies to prove his worth. The other kids stories though are weak and need some serious tweaking.

    Sometimes people we don’t like at first can grow on you when there is a better story arch or a more developed foundation. I think some of these characters might work if the writing broadens or them out more.

  22. Why are marvel fans even defending this? It’s a terrible show, big cash grab.

    • Are you referring to Agents of Shield or Iron Man 3? ;)

      • Iron Man 3,

        There still hope for Agents of Shield to improve.

    • It’s being defended because we want it to be & expected it to be much more than what it’s turning out to be.

  23. Why is not more espionage focused. Hydra should be their main adversary with Baron Von Strucker as the main villain.

  24. I was never expecting this to be awe-inspiring drama, 1. its a Wheadon show, which is great because he’s awesome, but his shows are not rich in dialogue even my beloved Firefly. 2. its Marvel, Avengers was awesome but not because of the script or drama but because of the overarching story and the action, lets face it but Marvel has built its business on campy stories and characters, it wasn’t till the eighties and nineties where they started to get a little deeper (sorry if this offends any diehard Marvel fans, i too am a fan) that’s not to say this show doesn’t have its cringe-worthy moments, but it’s certainly better than a lot of shows I’ve seen, and at least for me personally is worth my patience to see where it goes, if it doesn’t approve towards the back-end of the season i will join in the movement to ban it from my TV screen.

  25. ABC fails to understand the difference between what viewers want and what they are trying to do.

    People want to see character from the Marvel Universe show up each week and be a part of the story. Not, showing up in the last 5 minutes and certainly bigger characters then the 2 that have bothered to show thus far.

    Unless the formula changes soon the ratings will continue to slide and it’s only going to run one season… maybe two, but I doubt it.

    • People misunderstand the point of the show, it’s not supposed to be superhero cameo the series.

    • @your mom

      Joss Whedon said they wouldn’t be relying on movie characters showing up. He knows that’s what people want, but he also figures if they start doing that, the show becomes about waiting for the cameos.

      Plus, the cameos would be expensive simply signing the actors, and then add special effects.

      But you are probably right that that is what people are expecting and wanting.

  26. So much focus on Skye. Felt like I was watching an origins show for Kim Possible.

  27. I agree with some on here, I don’t get the love for May. She has very few lines and the delivers the ones she does have very hammy. I think she’s a weaker aspect to the show, along with fitz/simmons.

    • I agree. Not impressed with May, but so far she’s better than any of the young characters by far. That just isn’t saying a lot.

  28. So far I like it, and I think there were too many unreasoanble expectations of the Movie whiz-bang. This was supposed to be centered on the more Human side of SHIELD with the Global Intrigue and Espianage.

    Sure it has its weak points, but lets be honest, when you have an ensemble cast for a series like this you need more than 3 episodes to bring everyone together.

    Episode 1 was about Coulsen, assembling his team, and brief introduction to those Members.
    Episode 2 was about Team Building, Collaborating (Ward), Acceptance (Skye), and Leadership (Coulsen).
    Episode 3 was about Overcoming one’s past (Melinda), Misplaced Trust and Loyalty (Franklin Hall AND Skye*).
    * From the first episode they have paints Skye as a likely Double-Agent, but I think what’s coming out of Episode 3 is her loyalty is leaning toward SHIELD however like Hall she still has the potential of selling out. She will remain conflicted and as she said “Keeping her options open”.

    Let’s not rush to Judgement too quickly like Fox did with Firefly.

  29. Another disappointing episode for me
    Feels like the show lacks that something
    I’m actually not even sure I like Coulsons character anymore, which is a shame considering his role in building the MCU, still curious about the specifics of how he is back (but given the way things have gone since avengers I am losing confidence that it will be worth the wait)

    Really getting tired of the obligatory avengers references, I get that this is a shared universe but a universe is a big place and we don’t need to be constantly reminded of the fact that we are watching the MCU (the tone and cheesy joke do that)
    Its starting to be similiar too say – a friend of yours met a famous person and then kept forcing the story (or name dropping) into each conversation you had with him every time you saw him for the next year and a half

    Not convinced by graviton either, mostly due to the actor choice just didn’t think he was good enough to warrant a big villain role plus I doubt we’ll be seeing him for long time

    Melinda May is a positive at the moment if only because she seems to the character that seems to be of a high enough skill set to actually be a part of a crack team of shield agents