‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ Reveals the Pilot That Should Have Been

Published 9 months ago by , Updated November 19th, 2013 at 10:54 am,

agents of shield episode 7 review coulson ward 570x294 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Reveals the Pilot That Should Have Been
When Agents of  S.H.I.E.L.D. made its highly-anticipated debut, fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe were more than a bit surprised by the over-the-top, cookie cutter series that stood before them. Now 7 episodes in – and on a bit of an upswing – Agent Coulson and his elite S.H.I.E.L.D. team finally receive the pilot that they, as well as all the fans, deserve. But don’t call it a comeback – not just yet, at least!

In this week’s episode, “The Hub”, Chuck writing duo Rafe Judkins and Lauren LeFrance makes use of all the good will that Day Break creator Paul Zbyszewski instilled with last week’s episode, tapping into their previous spy/comedy experience to provide Marvel’s TV series with a foundation it so desperately needed. Judkins and LeFrance elevated the series –  as well as everyone and everything in it – to a level where fans can begin to slowly phase out the qualifiers needed to justify its existence. Most importantly, though, not a single outside element from Marvel’s vast catalog was required for this success, proving that, yes, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. can stand alone, with all its “silliness”, if it so chooses.

No supervillains or Iron Man 3 Extremis leftovers here; instead, it’s a (relativity) simple separatists group with an “Overkill device” which, once activated, has the power to set off any weapon within range – essentially turning the world’s forces against themselves. The reason for what’s occurring is not as important as the conflicts it creates and their results – which in this case is the result of uprighting the entire series.

With a simple separatists group, Grant Ward is thrust into an actual case and becomes a real agent; Fitz and Simmons prove that they can earnestly be funny and useful; Skye allows the internal struggle of her past to surface, revealing the heart behind the hacker; and Coulson, well, he finally stepped up and became the leader he once was, disobeying orders and all.

agents of shield episode review grant ward 570x294 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Reveals the Pilot That Should Have Been

In this week’s episode it was all about purpose, and each and every person on the team finally has one. The resource-wasting, globe-trotting episodes are gone and are now, instead, being replaced with tales that serve the series’ own grown – and not just that of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Tales of super heroics and fantastical technologies have proven that they can only take the series so far – and if audiences’ reactions to what has been aired proves anything, it’s that the superhero influence is not what they’re looking for here. But now that Coulson has been shown to be part of a system that he, himself, finds fault in, the much-required seeds for conflict have been planted, giving Coulson a much more impactful storyline for him to drive into the future – and without any coaxing from Melinda May.

That said, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. still has many obstacles ahead of it, and next week’s Thor: The Dark World tie-in episode will reveal more about the future of the series. Though the show, itself, has now began to take the steps needed to earn its early season pickup, it’s still inherently tied to a much more impressive world which it can never compare to. So as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. works its way through its own growing pains, there’s still a constant connection to the theatrical releases that must be maintained. Will Marvel’s first attempt at synergy be successful? Right now, it’s anyone’s guess – but for the sake of this television franchise, let’s hope so.

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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns next Tuesday with “The Well” @8pm on ABC. You can check out a preview of next week’s episode below:

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  1. …..

    • Great comment !

      Must say have to differ from this review as I felt it was a step back again from last weeks ep !

      A look at a larger shield organization was nice though !

    • Worst. Show. Ever.

  2. This is the SHIELD show I wanted to see. Dirty, secret, messed up things going on. I’m still going to say that this show has been an improvement since the third episode, and it’s getting better for me. The show still needs to decrease the comedy, and improve on things but I’m liking it more and more each week. Only thing that bugs me is Skye still being there is not realistic. She’s done two stupid things that should have gotten her kicked off the team. And Fitz is becoming a likeable character.

    • You are absolutely right,this is the SHIELD that needs to be portrayed because its accurate, they’re corrupted, period. You’re also right about Skye, the actress is fine i guess but the character just dosent fit or work. Her being with the team is very unSHIELD like for lack of a better word. The other characters while ok lack depth, except for coulson. Yes the show has been improving by the week but its still overall too dull and too campy, even the music is campy.

    • I’d argue that even in the comics, SHIELD tends to be pretty tolerant of rule-breakers so long as they are more or less controlled. They are perfectly willing to work with criminals who have broken their rules before. This includes Hawkeye, Black Widow, and Victoria Hand.

  3. I thought FTZZZ was a fantastic episode… Had my poor wife in tears by the end so it must be doing something right! I’ll wager by season end a lot of naysayers will be forced to eat some humble pie.

    • Exactly; the show has been a slow burn, but it’s a fun ride. This episode wasn’t a turn-around, it is a development building on what came before.

  4. I’ve been saying it all along, Joss Whedon shows don’t reveal their full potential until the middle of their seasons and they also do better during sweeps months. The upswing in quality isn’t a reaction from fans or ratings it’s just the nature of the beast.

    • I thought that Firefly showed its potential from the start.

      And is this really a Joss Whedon show?

      • Not really. He had some input, and you can see his flair in a few places. But if this was really his show, it wouldn’t be made of cardboard cutouts like it is now.

  5. The show has improved some. It’s more entertaining to see the show use it’s own characyer traiys than rely on mentioning characters from the MCU.

    Example: Simmons (or is it Fitz) watching the guards with the x-ray ad Ward eliminates them. Hilarious stuff thst didn’t seem forced.

    • Right PP. That’s the kind of humor I’d like to see more of.

    • What!? major miss spelled things. I had no idea what you are trying to say….

  6. Better. I haven’t been a hater, but it was starting to lose me, despite my desire to see Marvel do well on TV. This one was better. And they are heading the right direction with Fitz and Super Agent Guy. They need add some gravity to Simmons, somehow.

    I don’t mind humor, I just don’t want the humor to focus on goofy Coulson and his rag-tag band of clumsy geniuses so much. Maybe they could turn them into, like, agents who work for SHIELD or something.

  7. Poor Screenrant. What are you going to do if the show bounces back? LOL

    • Probably hail its improvements and take pride in the fact that Screen Rant has been rooting for the show to succeed but not being given many reasons to support it for over a month of its existence?

      • I’m in the minority here I think. I’ve liked every episode and think it’s getting better and better. But I like everything.

        • It is getting better, but it just has so many issues. At least they dug into the whole SHIELD corruption aspect which needed to happen.

          • What corruption? Secrecy, yes. Sending agents to their deaths, yes. Corruption? So far, nowhere to be seen.

        • I’m with you… I think that it simply wasn’t the show that some people wanted it to be. It was pretty much what I was expecting. I thought it would be fairly family friendly Marvel Universe fun.

          I don’t pine for the next episode or anything… just enjoy it when it’s on. A good time.

      • +1,000,000,000,000,000!!!!! Yeah, when it happens. Honest, it ain’t that bad…it’s just bad for Marvel standards, but isn’t that bad.

  8. Dear Screen Rant, spellcheck does not catch words that are spelled right but dont belong..i.e. range instead of rage, growth instead of grown…read your articles aloud once complete before submitting..lol

  9. Shield is slowly improving but its still pretty bad. I liked seeing the shield organization tho

  10. series plot twist: fitzsimmons are actually hank pym and janet van dyne.

    • Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about. haha.

    • series plot twist 2: Coulson is really Zemo and Skye is really Moonstone.

      • Series plot twist #3: Grant Ward is his own grandmother.

        • Series Plot Twist #4 Melinda May is the real Mandarin.

  11. Bash me for saying this but, I really want Skye to turn into Mockingbird by season 3 (if the series gets to live that long). LOL X0D

    Since her origin is still shrouded in mystery and she seems smart (although with too much added quirkiness), seeing her evolve from rebel hacktivist to prominent SHIELD agent would be cool. Heck, all of the characters in the series should potentially be turned into something else right?

    Oh and kill May. It would devastate the audience and it would be a very Whedonesque narrative move.

    • No bashing sir, I think that’d be pretty cool

    • You had me at “kill May”.

      Worst.

      • Yeah, I like her a lot too. All the reason to break my heart if this happened. =0(

  12. Although it was a little better it’s still not there. Next episode should be the “turning point” of the season if we are to compare this to Arrow. Arrow by 8 episodes in started to turn around, had a clear direction, and started to reveal/connect things. I gave Whedon about 10 episodes in which it should be enough time to provide a clear direction and also correct any “issues” with the show. I just hope this show can make the turn around that Arrow did by the end of season 1.

  13. This was a step down from the last two for sure. I was glad to finally “see” SHIELD, true, but – that Coulson and his little army of newbies/outlanders were able to not only skirt the system, not only mask and access the system, but to then shoot it with the nite-nite gun and everything ends up ok as they head from whereever to arrive to save the day as a giant vertical defense platform that no one shoots at? Meh. I get bucking the system, but that they’re given so much rope to hang themselves here = too much. Eager to see and review the next entry for sure.

  14. Anyone else have the feeling that Coulson is an LMD (life Model Decoy) of the original that died in the Avengers?
    I don’t know why but that just popped into my head after watching the latest episode.

    • Coulson is the mind gem given form :o

    • To me, it’s a mortal lock. Skye’s (not so subtle) line about Coulson acting like a robot version of himself all but confirmed it for me.

      • Damn, should have added a spoiler alert.

  15. Well… At least Coulson didn’t mention him dying one time this week. FINALLY! The i died count was 5 last week.. They have toned down the im bitchy for no reason asian woman and for once the “scientists” weren’t bickering back and forth over nothing.

    Now they need to get rid of the sky character… She is just awful and i find it incredible lame that she keeps doing all this illegal crap and they love her for it. oh you got one of our level 6 scientists to shoot an officer in the chest while trying to hack shield computers AGAIN…

    Thats ok, we forgive you…. Anton Vanko just wants to make profits off what he helped Howard Stark invent? Straight to prison for 20 years and we keep all your crap…

    Seriously she is just awful and the fact that they keep over looking all this BS she pulls is even worse. She would be in prison or executed for they crap she has done so far…

  16. i feel like i’m watching Scooby Doo and the gang, this episode was better it should have been episode 2 though

  17. I actually feel like this was one of the worst episodes so far… I never felt that Fitz and Ward were in danger (unlike last episode), and there was really nothing standing out. The acting was okay, the dialogue was meh, the story was bland… Since the show is a part of what’s going on in the MCU, I’ll keep watching, but it needs to get much better real soon.

  18. SHIELD is turning out to be like a modern-age A-Team, and that’s a good thing. Everybody on the team is a misfit with a specific skillset, and it is beautifully entertaining.

  19. This show just needs improvement. Is it a fun show? Yes, but is it worthy of being branded a MCU type show? Not yet. Like Arrow though, I didn’t see it fit to call in DC worthy up until episode 8-12. That’s when the show really turned around IMO to be called a DC series

  20. I’m sorry, but this was the most boring episode so far. I nearly dozed off during the first half of the episode……I will continue to stick with the show (only because of the Marvel name attached to it), but this episode was a step back imo.
    I disagee with the person that posted that May should be killed off. Other than Coulson, she is the only other character that I care about and whose background would probably be interesting to expand on. If anything the two scientists Fitz & Simmons should be killed off, since they serve no purpose other than to support the “silliness” or Disneyish” feel to the show that needs to be removed in order for this show to be taken more seriously.
    I seriously hope next week’s episode puts this show on the right track.

    • I think having smaller superheroes on the show will go a long way in improving things because as of right now it’s just an average show at best

  21. I’m watching this episode right now and I don’t know how this episode can be a step in the right direction. There’s still no main enemy and the joke a minute is getting old. Also they go against Shield and there are no consequences?

    • Yeah, not to mention a couple of teenagers (including a hacker who’s not even a member) secretly broke into an unauthorised area and got classified information from The Hub of Shield while shooting a high level agent in the process,, nope of course there’s no consequences,

      So why didm’t they have an extraction plan anyway? (They seem really easy to pull off)
      Were they told they had one (cause Ward seemed to definitely think they had one, who was he indicating too?) was that just a lie? Did that lady with the glasses really say they couldn’t have one because all the other agents were busy? WTF, (that hub place had a billion people walking around it doing nothing, i guess they weren’t agents)

      Do the writers want me to hate Shied, the organisation seem completely incompetent and appear to be a bunch of a**holes now

      This stupid show doesn’t make any sense at all. (this was my last episode) Oh and another thing, even though I’ve already mentioned it below, but hiding in a sand coloured sack in the middle of the road to jump onto the bottom of a speeding truck is one of the most stupid things I’ve ever seen on TV

  22. How about this for a SHIELD TV show? You have AIM introduced in Iron Man 3 (a 1.2 billion dollar franchise) how about a show that deals with espionage, a cast of lighthearted misfits lead by a “dead man” because no one would expect them, minor relatively unknown Marvel villains causing semi weekly mayhem as a result of AIMs experiments and serving as a distraction, a serious morally conflicting dilemma’s you’d believe a group that secretly saves the world would have to make, drama in the form of the lovable heroes put in such hard roles, multiple antagonists each with their own potentially world altering agenda. You don’t need to have Iron Man or super special effects to make this happen, all you need is some tension and some non hokey drama and you have a hit on your hands.

  23. Disguising yourself as sand to jump onto the bottom of a speeding truck, Ah come on now Shield, you’re haven a laugh. What if the wheels had of just drove over them, doesn’t seem like a sensible plan to me.

    Anyway, is anyone else annoyed by the fact that Skye clearly should of been kicked off the team at this stage? That’s the third or fourth time she’s directly disobeyed orders or done something stupid or untrustworthy. I mean, she shouldn’t even be there in the first place, Coulson man, she’s makin ya look soft and making the whole of Shield look crap.

  24. test

  25. I didn’t see a reboot at all. It was business as usual. One of the most generic mission objectives imaginable and the ususal character dynamics. Sure, they added the Hub, which finally gave us a glimpse of SHIELD as we know it from the movies, but that wasn’t enough to make it a good episode. I still have hopes that the show turns into something better, but this wasn’t it.

    • p.s.: that sandwich scene was terrible. Yeah, sure Mr. Top Agent. Throw that sandwich into the shallow water right outside your hiding spot. That’s much better than putting it back into Fitz’ airtight bag. Those dogs will never pick up the scent of a sandwich that is floating in a puddle right next to your position.

      • The scent was by them anyways…The puddle of mud easily masks the scent. If they would have put into the bag it would’ve just kept giving of the scent…You obviously know anything about smells…

  26. I was thinking about how Coulson could’ve returned from the dead. Here is my theory. SHIELD perfected the Extremis and injected it into Coulson’s body and he is now alive.

  27. This was a terrible episode. Maybe the worst one so far. I really hope they can turn this around. Now I’m just hate-watching it to see what they screw up next.

  28. Cancel this show already.

  29. The same s***…

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