Television: Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., "Pilot"

Clark Gregg's Agent Coulson comes to the fore in the television take-off of the hit film franchise. Alas, we do not have Iron Man and the like, but the characters introduced for the small screen are engaging in their own right.

S.H.I.E.L.D. picks up after "The Battle of New York" (as the end of Avengers has come to be called—and btw, didn't I say Fury was a liar and Coulson wasn't dead? Apparently you require Level 7 clearance to know that, though). The goal: to assemble a group of agents for a mobile unit tasked with investigating strange events (and people) across the globe. It's, you know, a really hi-tech Scooby Gang.

In the pilot Michael Peterson is an unemployed factory worker who happens to have super strength. Like, super strength. And S.H.I.E.L.D. is interested in that. Or him, rather. As well as a hacker named Skye who promotes a group called "The Rising Tide." Which is to say, Skye tries to warn Michael about S.H.I.E.L.D. coming after him, only to get snatched by the organization herself.

Turns out Michael's powers come from something called "Centipede." A device attached to his arm. But when Michael calls the doctor running the trials for the device in the hopes of finding a way to monetize it, the anonymous doctor merely reminds him of the NDA. Frustration (and desperation) sends Michael back to the factory that laid him off where, after being denied his old job, he assaults the foreman. When Coulson shows Skye the news footage, she agrees to help S.H.I.E.L.D. help Michael.

Turns out Michael doesn't respond very well to help, at least not at first. But I'll leave that for those who want to watch the show.

The show also comes with all the spot-on dialogue that one expects from Whedon (be it Joss or Jed). Just the right amount of smart and funny. And interesting enough, and moving quickly enough, to hold my interest. I didn't even get up for a snack. It's early in the new season, but so far S.H.I.E.L.D. is my favorite new show.

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