Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Episode One: Not All Heroes Are Super

We take a look at the premier of the much anticipated Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. with a little love and a little snark.


So, if you took Alias, Heroes and Torchwood, threw them in a blender and then strained them through a Joss Whedon filter, you would get Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. That is to say, the pilot didn’t show us anything we hadn’t seen before, but it was still fun.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is unabashedly a spinoff of the Avengers movie franchise. The movie references fly and you don’t get a crib sheet. This show just assumes that since the movie made a gazillion dollars worldwide, you probably saw it and it just expects you to keep up.

We kick off with a bang—literally. A building blows up. A seemingly-ordinary stranger (played by Whedon alum J. August Richards) decides to go and see if anyone needs help. And then he does a brute-force impersonation of Spider Man to get to the top floor.

Like a true hero, he saves a damsel in distress and then leaves the scene before anyone can discover his identity. Well, anyone but Skye, the intrepid hacker and truth-seeker who provides the voiceover for the beginning. She works for the Rising Tide, but purely in a hacking capacity.

Rising Tide, it happens, is a thorn in S.H.I.E.L.D’s side. We learn this in the next scene which introduces the handsome, stone-faced Agent Grant Ward. He’s one of S.H.I.E.L.D’s fix-it men, and he has to retrieve something that Rising Tide shouldn’t have their hands on.

This basically introduces our two extremes—the rebel girl and the company man. You can bet these two are going to wind up together. But at least we can rely on Joss to make it interesting.

Grant gets the first great bit in the episode.

Agent Hill: What does S.H.I.E.L.D. stand for, Agent Ward?
Agent Ward: Strategic Homeland Enforcement and Logistics Division.
Agent Hill: And what does that mean to you?
Agent Ward: It means someone really wanted our initials to spell out ‘shield.’

Classic Joss.

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