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

An impressive opening sequence in which cars and then a semi are mysteriously thrown into the air . . . The semi, it turns out, is carrying important S.H.I.E.L.D. cargo, namely Dr. Hall, a physicist both Fitz and Simmons have studied under and love. I have to say, F&S (for brevity's sake) are almost too precious to be believed, but I like them.

Agent Ward, meanwhile, has taken on the task of supervising Skye, starting with strength training. I'm actually already pretty sick of Skye and her is-she-isn't-she-trustworthy story line, and I find Ward rather one note. So bleh.

Turns out Dr. Hall has been taken by a guy whose parents were thoughtless enough to give him the rhyming name Ian Quinn. Geez, I'd be a villain too. But seriously, the thing about Quinn is that he and Hall used to work together or something, and Quinn has taken something they'd designed some twenty years ago—a theoretical—and made it real. Now he needs Hall to . . . Do something else to it or with it (the specifics aren't actually that important). But Gravitonium? Really? Still not as stupid as Unobtanium, but close.

Quinn has set up shop on Malta, which shelters him via international laws that won't allow S.H.I.E.L.D. to touch him. But since Skye isn't an actual agent, sending her in isn't technically breaking the law. (I find this flimsy, since they then send in Coulson and Ward anyway.)

Whatever, whatever, whatever. Long story short: Quinn tries to entice Skye into working for/with him, and we're supposed to wonder whether she'll double cross S.H.I.E.L.D., but of course she doesn't. Coulson finds Hall and tries to liberate him only to discover Hall had planned to get Quinn to kidnap him because Hall wants to destroy the machine Quinn has built lest it fall into the wrong hands and be used for evil purposes. S.H.I.E.L.D. has spent a lot of time and effort these first three episodes in bludgeoning the audience with this idea of moral ambiguity. I don't mind it—I like my shows to have some grey, some talking points—but they're being a bit heavy handed about it, and not actually opening up any dialogue.

Clark Gregg is the best thing about the show; his delivery and timing are impeccable. Unfortunately he has far fewer moments in this episode, even though he is allowed to go out into the field. This development was clearly designed to frustrate Melinda May, who found being left behind on the bus to be irksome; she feels helpless and useless as Coulson and Ward go in to retrieve Skye and Dr. Hall. She tells Coulson at the end of the episode that she's signing on for combat duty next time it comes up.

Oh, and Wardrobe: way to dress everyone at a party in drab colors and put one of the leads in bright pink so we don't lose sight of her. (Worst party clothes ever, and I mean Skye and everyone else.) Boo. Hiss.

A better episode than last week at least. But I'd like to focus on someone other than Skye for a change. She's starting to get on my nerves.


Christine Rains said...

I completely agree. If the focus continues to be on Skye, I'm going to lose interest in the series. I'm much more fond of May, Fitz, and Simmons.

M said...

I really like Fitz and Simmons. Want more of them.