There are 4 types of people who watch (and sometimes don’t watch) Marvel’s Agents Of SHIELD: Comic Book fans, Joss Whedon fans, fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (Every marvel film non-spiderman and non-X-Men related since 2008), and fans of all of the above. Since Joss Whedon wrote and directed The Avengers (a.k.a the best superhero film not called The Dark Knight), it seemed interesting, exciting… and odd, to know that he wanted to create a show that focused on the organisation who brought a bunch of superheroes together to fight aliens. But the oddest thing wasn’t the fact that it was SHIELD. It was odd because of who the main character is. The legend himself, Agent Phil Coulson.
Upon learning of Phil Coulson’s involvement in the series, a lot of people assumed it was a prequel to The Avengers. Why? Well, spoiler alert, Coulson was killed in The Avengers. It was a moment that gave the heroes something more to fight for, and it was sad because the character was incredibly likeable and funny.
From the pilot episode you’ll notice that they have potentially pulled a Bobby Ewing from Dallas. Coulson emerges from a dark corner in a cool fashion, and then comments on how he always wanted to do that. Only instead of saying that The Avengers was all a dream and therefore he never died in the first place, here he is. Alive. Somehow. And we don’t know why. At least for a while. The first episode was great fun, but they’re right in saying that it was all rather light-hearted and not much going on in terms of a threat. Afterwards came about 8-9 episodes that were stand-alone stories. They were designed to show us how SHIELD operated and the types of missions and assignments they got caught up in. But most importantly, they provided development for all of the main characters, including the ones that seemed a little 1-dimensional at the beginning.
Around the time they were broadcasting episodes 2 to 9, I could understand why some people were put off by the show. For 1 thing, yes superheroes and villains do appear. But many of them are not as well known, unless you read the comics (Which will then lead some viewers to go and find out who these characters are). You’ll hear them mention all of the Heroes from The Avengers by their real names, but they don’t appear in the show itself. Also, by episode 9, why Coulson is alive remains unexplained.
But by episode 10, everything changes. All of a sudden the last 9 episodes begin to come together. They exist for a reason. Everything becomes bigger, more menacing and for a TV Show, pretty darn epic! The Show also coincides with Marvel films released around the same time. Thor: The Dark World occurred just before Episode 8, and part of the episode includes them cleaning up Thor’s mess. But then…for those who have seen it. It coincides with Captain America: The Winter Soldier…anybody who has seen the movie knows what that means. It becomes amazing! Well and truly amazing! By saying this, I’m not spoiling anything. I’m just saying it’s worth seeing.
The show’s finale is well worth it! Whedon not only provides a satisfying conclusion to the show, but we have been given so much more to look forward to in Season 2. Not every question has been answered, and not every back story has been fully explored. Truly like Marvel’s post-credit endings, we’ll be seeing more, and I’m looking forward to it.
THOUGHTS ON MAIN CHARACTERS (Spoiler-Free):
PHIL COULSON: Coulson is very much a true professional. He’s there for a reason; because he’s really good at his job and possesses a lot of skills. But at the same time, his personality is very much more human compared to his line of work. He’s more like a Dad with a great relationship with his kids or an incredibly well-liked teacher. The type of person who can bring a range of personalities together as a team and make it work. At the same time, he struggles with his identity. Since he was resurrected, the question of how and why he came back is something that plagues him.
MELINDA MAY: May is the team pilot, but also the best fighter other than Ward. At first she seems like the stereotypical emotionless human weapon, but in time it becomes clear that this is somebody who has seen a lot of pain and darkness along her journey. She’s also practical and resourceful. Capable of taking her emotions and using them constructively.
GRANT WARD: The team’s Muscle and a black-ops specialist, Ward shows more emotion than May, but he has fewer social skills. His choice of words don’t always make him friends, but at least he tries.
LEO FITZ: Fitz is the team’s weapons developer and engineer. He possesses a dry, sarcastic sense of humour, and hates stepping out of his comfort zone more than the rest of them.
JEMMA SIMMONS: The team’s life sciences specialist and easily among the more cheerful characters. She is rarely seen without Fitz, and acts like an older sister to him. She’s also capable of great risk and sacrifice.
SKYE: At first, Skye is the character the audience potentially relates to the most. Since she is the newest addition to Coulson’s team and is fascinated by super heroes, she is “Miss Exposition”, the character who is told the back story. Even within Shield, she is among the most street-wise, and possesses a rebellious streak to her. A world-class computer hacker and an excellent actress who thrives outside the system, this quickly makes her a very valuable player in the game. She also has an interesting backstory that you’ll have to watch the show to find out about.
In Conclusion: Without knowing how good the show was going to get, the first 9 episodes would have received an 8/10 from me. But due to how good the show got, and how the 2nd half put those 9 episodes into context, it bulked up the score. Everything about this show is well presented, exciting, interesting and enjoyable. It possesses both Marvel humour and Whedon humour (for those Brown Coats and Buffy fans out there). And it has become as important as the movies in telling the story about Stan Lee’s world of Superheroes. ‘Easily 1 of the best shows on TV over the last 2 years. 10/10.