I never thought I would get to write about a Whedonverse show. Let alone a Marvel-Based Whedonverse show. The fact that I am writing these words right now after having watching a Joss Whedon directed episode of television that I’m guessing did probably okay in the ratings and may last more than this one season is kind of blowing my mind.

Cobie Smulders and Clark Gregg as Agents Hill and Coulson (Photo courtesy of ABC)

Cobie Smulders and Clark Gregg as Agents Hill and Coulson (Photo courtesy of ABC)

Yet here I am. And there they are. Including Coulson. He lives, in case you hadn’t heard. Inside is my reaction to the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. premiere episode. Here’s a hint – I liked it enough that I almost don’t care how cumbersome it is to type Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. anymore.

As with all good “Episode 1″ stories in the comic book world, this was all about the origin story, baby. Or because it’s the 1 hour set up of probably 22 hours of season 1, it’s the origin of the origin story, baby. We can’t origin every character in an hour because that would be awful. As it was… I mean Holy Exposition, Batman. (Wait a minute…)

Despite an interview between Agent Maria “Only On This Episode Until He Finally Meets the Mother and Stops Telling That Story” Hill and our new hero, Grant Ward (Brett Dalton) which basically could have been written as a breaking the fourth wall narration to the audience, the episode didn’t always feel entirely too heavy on the set up. But it certainly was just that – a set-up.

The Scooby Gang

We got to meet the team. Besides Ward (the handsome and talented agent recruited up to Level Seven) there is Agent Coulson, of course, who believes he was on a mandated rest in Tahiti after that whole incident with Loki, but clearly he wasn’t based on a small conversation between Hill and Dr. Streiten (Ron Glass aka Firefly/Serenity’s Shepherd Book). Melinda May (Ming Na Wen), the pilot whose back story probably includes some PTSD inducing tales since she is a bad ass fighter but doesn’t want to be in the field. Leo Fitz and Jenna Simmons (Iain de Caestecker and Elizabeth Henstridge) together are Fitzsimmons, the “Geek Squad” if you will. Fitz is tech, Simmons is bio, together they are super awkward and nerdy delight. The fun part of any Whedon show. Last is Skye (Chloe Bennet) who at first was working to take down the big bad suits of S.H.I.E.L.D., but of course was eventually won over. I’m not saying it’s because of Grant’s handsome face and Coulson’s flying car… but those probably helped.

Beyond meeting the team we will inevitably come to know and love and expect many snarky comments from, we also were introduced to our first Big Bad who was played by Shannon Lucio. I found it funny she is playing a Big Bad because the two characters I think of when I see her (from The O.C. and Grey’s Anatomy) are so universally disliked, it’s as if she is just leaning into the fandom’s frustration. Well played, Lucio. Well played. As for who she is – we didn’t get much except that she is a doctor who has been fitting poor saps with The Centipede which is basically a constant injection of all the super powers we’ve learned about in the Avengers-based movies rolled into one. Including the whole fire thing from Iron Man 3. Apparently Lucio’s character missed how that ended for all those guys? I don’t know….

Into Phase Two 

Speaking of, I would LOVE to hear what someone who doesn’t normally watch all those movies thought of this show. (Do these people exist??) I have seen every part of Phase One of the Avengers movies multiple times. And I’ve seen the start of Phase Two – Iron Man 3. A lot of what we saw in this hour acknowledges all of that, and since we are keeping this all in the family and the show is being helmed by Joss Whedon’s brother, Jed, and Jed’s wife, Mo Tancharoen, they will have some good access into what is to come so that should continue. If you don’t normally watch the movies, how did this play out to you? Because I appreciated the nods to the movies and the continuity, but I wonder if it made it harder to follow for those who didn’t see the movies. I feel like it shouldn’t have, that everything was vague enough. I’m also curious as to how they will keep up that connection as we continue to march forward into Phase Two.

The World Of Joss

It’s almost hard to review much of this episode. Basically I sat on the couch giddy at the Whedonverse alum popping up on screen and loving the nerdiness of all the Marvel world being part of my weekly television schedule. It was also just nice to have the words of Whedon on TV again. That interrogation scene played that silliness just right. Also loved Coulson coming out of the shadows when Ward found out he wasn’t dead with a super cheesy line, only to be followed up by Coulson saying that he couldn’t resist because he was in a dark corner where a bulb is out. It was all classic Whedon. My only real complaint – that the stupid ABC announcer talked over my “Grrr Arrgggh” during the Mutant Enemy vanity plate.

There is something comforting about having a show that is simply fun and exciting on the air. There is a lot of mythology for Whedon and Tancharoen to explore. And by a lot, I mean, a heap crap ton. It’s mind boggling how much there is, really. Plus so much to go with on their own as they explore these new characters and how they came together, how they will function as a unit, how they will pair off romantically (because that is obviously coming). There’s a lot I could be weary of – a mythology that loses itself, a strained connection with the movies, ABC suddenly becoming FOX and screwing over anything Whedon. But for right now I think I only want to bask in the happiness that the Whedonverse lives on TV again. Agent Coulson lives again. And I am here to write about it.

Hit the comments with your reactions on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D!

Follow me on Twitter @serrae

Read more recent articles:
« | »