‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’: Still Going Through the Motions in Week 5

Published 2 years ago by , Updated October 23rd, 2013 at 1:18 pm,

Agents of Shield Girl in the Flower Dress Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Still Going Through the Motions in Week 5

[This is a review of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1, Episode 5. There will be SPOILERS.]


In this week’s episode of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., “Girl in the Flower Dress,” written by former Lost and Spartacus writer Brent Fletcher, a beautiful title and introduction are given to a tale that essentially devolves throughout its telling, leaving a heavy-handed story of a villain’s origin and faux-allegiances to once again progress the plot inches away from the pilot. (But hey – at least the final fight fire effects were great, right?)

Chin Lin Quan, a street performer with a flair for the pyrotechnics (under the watchful eye of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s INDEX program), is seduced by Centipede into further exploring his powers; meanwhile, Centipede is attempting to evolve the Extremis virus. Quan is eventually given the name of Scorch – one of Marvel’s many ancillary characters – and a battle of betrayal, evolution, and lots of confusion (at least on the viewer’s part) ensues.

Unfortunately, like most things in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., everything is but a hint or a nod to a great tale that will eventually come – a tale that has, so far, gone nowhere.

Even though Marvel has decided to pull yet another previously known (to some) comic book character for the small screen – even gracing him with impressive effects – there’s still no actual context or purpose for what’s occurring, and even in week 5, this is something the series is still struggling to reveal. Each tale, so far, has felt as it was merely going through the motions of what a series of this (supposed) caliber should be. This, of course, leads to an important question: Is Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. being held back by the Marvel Cinematic Universe?

agents of shield episode 5 scorch 570x294 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Still Going Through the Motions in Week 5

Marvel launched Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as a way expand its universe onto the small screen, and as a result, there will be times when the show will have to reflect what’s occurring in the theatrical films. Though this sounds like a very impressive venture, the series, which must already face the many obstacles of any new television series, is now working against the clock to (logically) get the series where it needs to be by the time the first act of synergy occurs – which, if what we’ve told is true, will be around the time that Captain America: The Winter Solider is released in theaters next year.

Like many new shows on the air, S.H.I.E.L.D. is attempting to deal with the growing pains of being a new series. What the other shows don’t have, though, is numerous theatrical releases to pair with and – most importantly – writers who have the knowledge of what’s going to happen in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe years into the future. With that, Whedon’s infamous delayed payoffs also include a show that needs to be tweaked and a writers room excited about what’s going to happen, not what is currently happening.

As in past episodes, Skye’s character takes two steps forward in terms of progression, and Coulson does things that cause others to bring up his mystery. Melinda May is still as coy as ever, and Fitz and Simmons are still… part of the team. All in all, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has yet to prove that it’s better than the worst season of NBC’s Heroes. But really, it won’t be able to – not yet, at least.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. started off a bit rocky – rockier than most – so the episodes written before the series premiered on television literally don’t allow for the writers to make the fixes they need to. Right now, at episode 5, the series still has a few more episodes to go before it burns through what was already in the can. When that happens, hopeful fans will then see what the series will become, and then they’ll have to decide whether or not they want to continue watching.

Until that time, don’t be surprised if you find that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is but a show going through the motions – because that’s exactly what it is.


Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns next Tuesday with “FZZT” @8pm on ABC.

Follow Anthony Ocasio on Twitter @anthonyocasio
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  1. Anyone get the whole “Toy Soilders” reference, LOL? I like the show but overall it has been a disappointment. With given free range over the series I expected more but then again it’s still better than at least 70% of the shows out there. Is it better than Arrow? No, of course not but like Arrow, I am giving it a full season before I write it off.

    • I have to say that I have always been a huge Marvel fan, and my loyalty still lies with them, but I like Arrow much better than AoS. I like it so much that I have gotten into most of the DC comics. So now I get every main DC title and every single Marvel title. (Waaay too much money every week.) The DC titles are so much better quality writing, paper, and much cheaper. It makes me sad but at least I can enjoy both of them and look forward to so much more.

      • Loving the Arrow is the cool new hipster thing to do.

        • One is not a hipster for liking Arrow.

        • Probably, if you are writing on these message boards about comic book movies and shows, then you are a nerd like me. If you want to call me a hipster for hoping on the Arrow bandwagon, then fine. I used to love Deathstroke so I decided to watch when this site mentioned his mask would be in the first few episodes. I got hooked. Now I go to coffee shops and read poetry with the other hipsters. (Is that still what hipsters do?)

          • They also like watching Darria while drinking Past Blue Ribbon and eating Blue Cheese.

  2. Comparing the last two episodes to the first two this show has already headed in a better direction. I definitely don’t think Disney would let their tv face of their baby multi billion dollar franchise get thrown off the air. If they have to make hanged to keep ratings/respect for this show going their going to do it. I’m excited to see where the show goes with the big evil they’ve been teasing for the whole show. And for those who want to see a super hero just wait cause disneys gonna drop one or two to pick up ratings and interest.

  3. “Centiped”?
    Skype’s “charter”?
    When that happens, “hopeful” fans?

    What is this, Yahoo? What happened to doing a bit of editing before publishing an article???

    • I noticed those spelling errors too. *shakes head*

  4. I thought it was a solid episode, and I certainly don’t expect everything to be poured out immediately. They got 15 ep’s to go this season!

  5. “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has yet to prove that it’s better than the worst season of NBC’s Heroes.” You need to go back and re watch Heroes and then apologize. Seriously I watched Heroes on Netflix recently, let me give you some reminders: Peter Petrelli never achieving anything despite getting new powers almost weekly, Sylar’s daddy issues, Villains whose plans make no sense (Peter’s dad is going to sell superpowers to people??), the feudal Japan story line, cellos and rainbows, Hero’s dead Mom curing his brain tumor by kissing him in a dream.

    • The Heroes analogy might not be that far off, that show was popular even though the story was fluff. The massive fall off in viewers probably came when people realized they had been on a treadmill for three seasons and they moved on.

      • “The Heroes analogy might not be that far off”

        Yes, yes it is…..

        • Why because the ratings already dropped by half or because it might not last as long as Heroes did on potential alone ?

  6. Did anyone else notice that when Skye was kissing that guy she pulled his shirt off and suddenly it was on again? Is that her super power?

    Anyway, I have tried so hard to like both this show, and Arrow and I just can’t get into them. I’m happy for those that do enjoy them, but I think I’m done watching for now.

  7. I liked the Episode. but I´d also want some conclusions soon.

    BTW, Did they just change Scorche(r) race too?

  8. “Even though Marvel has decided to pull yet another previously known (to some) comic book character for the small screen – even gracing him with impressive effects – there’s still no actual context or purpose for what’s occurring, and even in week 5, this is something the series is still struggling to reveal.”

    What does a SHIELD show have to reveal? The sole purpose of this show is to show what SHIELD does when they’re not saving the world on a grand scale. Do people really not understand that? This show started off rocky, but since episode 3, each episode has been an improvement.

    • What you need to understand is this website is a giant hater of this show. Its actually pretty nuts. There drinking some serious haterade. There so obviously Pro DC its *shake your head* worthy. And this is coming from someone who loves Arrow more than Agents of SHIELD.

  9. All the hype didn’t do this series any favours.. What’s wrong with being surprised now and again by something that comes out of nowhere and makes a big impact because of it?

  10. AoS it’s like a plane going down really fast, the characters are lame and boring in my opinion, not even Coulson contribute with his presence in the show. I think this series will just end when The Winter Soldier arrives on theaters.

  11. I love this show – I’m a Marvel fan – mabey folks are expecting too much from a TV show – With Marvel now producing so much these days – the knives will be out for them to fail at somepoint – but I’m a child of the 70′s and remember when all we had were Marvel TV Shows – which were a Million miles from what we’re getting now.
    Hopefully SHIELD will be a show that’ll be with us for years and years – like Dr Who – and give it time to really find its own place amongst the Marvel Universe.

    • I’m a child of the late ’60′s and I too grew up with the Marvel TV shows in the 1070′s. We had the Hulk… that Spiderman on the Electric Company was cool… otherwise… I guess we are like those who lived during the depression. We have seen the worst. I am a die hard fan of Marvel (I do love DC as well, but Marvel meant more to me as a kid, I’ll admit it) and I would LOVE for this show to lead to other comic properties being made in to tv shows.

  12. They’ve stepped up the violence in the last two episodes. I’ll give them that. Scorch burning a hole through an agent and then cooking the doctor kind of takes away from the family friendly aspect of this program. It’s Terra Nova all over again. They want a family friendly program where the viewer has to cover their kids eyes. Doctor Who has aliens, monsters, and scary moments…but they do it campy enough that the entire family can enjoy the program.

    AoS creators – know what you are and own it. Don’t try to be the campy family friendly show and an edgy/gritty program.

    • I agree that the show is improving with each episode and that the producer’s need to find focus. Joss had a long time to think about what he would do with Buffy. That is why it was such a great show. I think he has problems with stuff like this. The solution — in my opinion — is that he needs to surround himself by the type of people who can take the show where it needs to go. He has (mostly) amazing actors. He needs better fx and better writing. The overall vision appears to be OK, but we won’t know until the season finale. I think he needs to shore up his weaknesses with others strengths.

      • @Dan – I never said it’s improving. I feel as if the show is basically in a holding pattern of mediocrity.

        I WAS saying that I have programs that I enjoy watching with my family (Doctor Who) and I have darker shows that I enjoy watching on my own (The Walking Dead). AoS is trying to straddle that line in between and that never works well. Name another family action-oriented show that has violent death scenes: the only one I can think of is the cancelled Terra Nova.

  13. Completely convinced that everyone at Screen Rant hates this show.

    • And I’m completely convinced that people that like this show must have loved Saved By The Bell!

      • Dude, there wasn’t anything else on when Saved by the Bell was out. Yes it was stupid, but so was everything on TV then.

        • Wrong, right, wrong but thanks for playing…

          • What good shows were on Saturday mornings in 1989-1993?

            • Captain N: the Game Master

  14. this show is really bad but i watch it anyway cause im a fan of marvel. If this show wasnt marvel nobody would watch it.

  15. You know what would make this show way better, if it had an “actual” superhero in it, having only coulson is not gonna cut it anymore.

  16. please for the love of god, kill off Fitz and or Simmons. Even the blogger girls backstory is awful. “I want to know about my parents, and I’ll never stop looking!” Ok, great…So that means you can be selfish, throw the only family youve ever had under the bus? This is just a hunch, but I think Skrulls would really help this show. Tons and tons of Skrulls. They just really need to embrace the MCU and show signature Marvel characters and locations. Stop making up characters, you have thousands and thousands of characters to put into this show.

    • YES!!! Bring on the Skrulls!!! Break the monotony!!!