New Show Recap

New Show Recap: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, 1×03, “The Asset”

Forewarning to all reading this: I am in a DayQuil-induced haze fighting a mean cold, so much snarkiness abounds. I sat down hoping that this episode was going to be better than the second one. I knew there was a villain being introduced because S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s Twitter and Facebook were all about the #Origin and #Villain. Unfortunately, I found S.H.I.E.L.D. again played out like a Cookie Cutter Spy Show. They must have found a script for a leftover Bourne movie and inserted the team into it. 

The show opens on a trailer attached to a truck. The truck is being followed by two black SUVs. Turns out they are S.H.I.E.L.D. agents and the trailer is carrying something S.H.I.E.L.D. needs protected. All of a sudden, the SUVs and the truck go flying into the air. I kind of fangirled out because I thought it was Magneto (or some expy of), since they can’t use the Master of Magnetism or mutant powers in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

We then cut to Ward training Skye. This gives us a bit of an Obi-Wan/Luke dynamic with a bit of added sexual tension. io9 referred to Skye as a bit like Gwen Cooper and I totally can see that, especially since the series thus far has been about Skye being the newbie and integrating into a secret organization. Sadly, S.H.I.E.L.D. lacks the hotness of Captain Jack. [Ed. note – To be fair, everything lacks the hotness of Captain Jack. – Hillary] Coulson circles the wagons and lets the crew know that they are going after a missing S.H.I.E.L.D. asset, Dr. Franklin Hall. Fitz-Simmons recognizes the name, which spurs them to helping find him.

On the scene in Colorado, the team finds a small ring-looking thing that was projecting an invisible force field. Basically, it’s Magneto in a ring. At least it’s not a green ring attached to Ryan Reynolds. Coulson and Ward are able to hunt down the person with the technology used to kidnap Dr. Hall, which leads to an Old West-style showdown. At the end, gold bricks fall out of the suspect’s backpack, letting us know that he was paid for his equipment.

Fitz-Simmons analyze the bars and figure out that it came from a mine that is owned by Ian Quinn, who turns out to be a multibillionaire. In some ways, he is a way crappier Tony Stark. Ian Quinn and Franklin Hall have a talk after Ian reveals that he had Franklin kidnapped. Apparently on Malta, no one is allowed to come on the soil, especially S.H.I.E.L.D. Quinn shows Hall that he invented some theoretical device they had both dreamed up.

Fitz-Simmons are then used to explain what gravitonium is. Skye is being used as the audience so that the talking heads can provide exposition and explain what science is! It turns out that Dr. Hall is the gravitonium expert and that he and Quinn go way back.

Quinn goes into full mad science mode by revealing his evil lair to Dr. Hall, where a full sized generator is revealed.

Coulson holds a briefing with the team on how they are going to get into Malta. All I really heard was Blah Blah Blah, monkey joke, Blah Blah Blah. Skye volunteers and no one takes her seriously. Skye plays the, “I am not really an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.” card and gets an invite to a party at Quinn’s compound through some tech mastery.

Ward and Coulson debate Ward’s concerns about Skye. Ward and Skye have a training montage with more boring Ward and Skye action. Coulson begins to get the plan set up and they even have a cool war room briefing. Skye needs to reboot the computer system so a two man extraction team can get into it. Coulson pulls the, “I am going in” card with May even though May assumes she was going to partner Ward in this Bourne reject plot.

Skye makes it into the party, at which point Quinn catches her eye. They begin to talk. Quinn even knows who Skye is and he offers her a job because he knows she is a great hacker. As Quinn is giving a speech, Coulson and Ward land on the beach. During the speech, we see Hall working with gravitonium. Skye then is wandering around Chez Quinn and is discovered by Quinn. Skye pulls out a piece of paper and shows Quinn the words “S.H.I.E.L.D. is listening,” tipping him off that S.H.I.E.L.D. knows he has Hall.

Skye and Quinn sit down to have a real talk after Skye removes her ear piece. This sets off all sorts of red flags in HQ, but Skye gets Ward and Coulson in. May finds out that Dr. Hall was the leak of his own location. She realizes that Dr. Hall does not want to be a S.H.I.E.L.D. asset and wants to go out on his own.

The show flashes to Hall working with the gravitonium and Hall goes full on Mad Scientist. He wants to destroy it and take Quinn with him. Coulson wakes up to gravity being distorted and Hall waxing poetic about his plan. Cutting to Quinn holding Skye hostage, Skye regurgitates a story about bullying to parallel what Ward had told her earlier. Skye takes the gun from Quinn and runs away.

Hall and Coulson do a dance around a shaky room. Hall does the stupid Bond villain thing and tells Coulson his entire plan. Ward ends up rescuing Skye from the pool. I am getting tired of that. Coulson shoots the floor out from under Hall, causing him to fall into the gravitonium.

The episode ends ominously with the gravitonium being locked up in an unmarked cell deep in a vault somewhere. A hand is shown coming from the gravitonium. So we get a super villain from the comics! Can we please get Luke Cage to appear now? I mean seriously, we need some real super heroes. I am getting tired of the Skye and Ward show. Seriously this so is not good at all. Ugh. I do not need a cookie cutter spy show in my life. Please get better.

By Alyson

Queer Pop Culture Junkie in the Northwest. Addicted to Coffee, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Fantasy Sports, The Mountain Goats, and Tottenham Hotspur.

4 replies on “New Show Recap: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, 1×03, “The Asset””

I was so excited about this show. And now? Yawn. My friend introduced me to Blacklist and (yes I was wary) Sleepy Hollow. Guess what? Sleepy Hollow is the fun campy joyride I had HOPED SHIELD would be (and so so isn’t).

Side gush: If you’re not watching Sleepy Hollow you should. It’s over the top ridiculous and barring some unfortunate Native American tropes in the third episode is pretty dang fun every time I watch it. It’s like the writers had ten ideas for the show, different styles, origin stories and mythologies and instead of deciding on one they went ALL IN. Every one of them: police procedural starring Icabod Crane helping a diverse cast to solve supernatural mysteries including the headless horseman (with a machine gun!) who is also either one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse or lead by them. I don’t know. I have to keep watching. Also? I love me some more realistic family relationship dynamics in any show (the mother and daughter kept me watching Castle way after everything else) and the main female lead (who is also black) has a sister that I want to be regular cast! Love it. Can’t wait to see more.

We’ve talked about this a bit; I’m just not feeling this show at all. I really want to like it because I’m excited about the prospect of a live-action Marvel show. But, just as you said, it’s playing out like a tired I, Spy redux. We just now got our first glimpse of a character hailing originally from the comics (Ultimate Nick Fury aside), and they didn’t do much with him so far. I know that Graviton has been a serious headache for the Avengers in the past. I’m really hoping this means that the show will finally begin introducing some superheroes. I don’t give half a crap about following around this S.H.I.E.L.D. unit if we don’t get some canon comic goodness.

I watched this two days ago and had to think really hard on what had happened. That’s not a good sign. I really really want to like it but it’s all so onedimensional and jokes fall flat and Coulson overload (may I say that?) and I don’t want Whitebread Ward and Rebel Girl Skye as a couple waaaaah.

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