Tuesday, October 8, 2013

'Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' 103 "The Asset' Review

ABC
When someone mentions Marvel Comics, the instinctual first thought that comes to mind most likely involves superheroes in tights using their powers to fight off supervillains that have a similar fashion sense. It’s the image of the more popular adaptations from Marvel and likely what some expected to get on the small screen from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. But the reality is that in many books Marvel has produced over the years what is more commonly seen usually has to do with the concept of global conglomerates pushing the ethical limitations of what nature and science should be allowed to do. These leaders of industry are then aided by genius scientists and the like that either embrace the megalomaniacal ambitions that come from such power, or come to realize that the discovery is too much and mustn't be allowed to continue. Dr. Franklin Hall, a former mentor of Agents Fitz and Simmons, is firmly in the latter group when the discovery of a powerful rare element leads Dr. Hall to make his own ‘hard call’.




ABC
Or at least that was his intention until Agent Coulson and S.H.I.E.L.D. got involved turning a supposed rescue mission into something that wound up creating a worse situation to deal with down the line. Unfortunately, that’s the way it goes for the agents as most of their assignments, sanctioned or not, reside firmly in the land of catch-22. The end of episode tag this week featuring the birth of Graviton (look it up if you’re unfamiliar) showed that the necessary actions of Coulson’s team can sometimes complicate matters further. But that’s just the way it is in this brave new world where people are more concerned than ever with pushing the boundaries of science in order to make a quick buck. Following the Battle of New York, assault rifles likely hold little value in a world where everyone has seen there’s something better out there--if a little extra ingenuity is accessed.


ABC
With this new breed of villain operating in shades of gray, it’s only natural to assume that an organization like S.H.I.E.L.D. should do the same. Ian Quinn hides out in countries like Malta that apparently lie completely outside of S.H.I.E.L.D. jurisdiction with the intention to exploit that standing for all its worth. Last week, I questioned ‘hacktivist’ Skye and her mole storyline but it seems that tonight it may have been shifted over from this point into gaining a sincere desire to learn how to take care of herself and fight. The turning point for Skye or her moment was the realization she could fight, not exactly for what’s right which is difficult to define, but instead against what she’s sure isn’t. I really wonder how people are going to react to how Agent Ward was the one to come to her aid when the op got a bit messy. I felt that it was refreshing she wasn’t suddenly some badass killing machine lady after just a few training sessions--Agent May already fulfills that need for the series thank you very much. Ward has the experience and the skills and it’s not some sexist display that he used those skills in order to save the very inexperienced Skye from certain danger. I wonder if they’re aware of her original intention to infiltrate the agency from within--Coulson certainly seemed to act as though he was fully aware that’s the kind of thing she’d pull until she had her ‘moment’.


ABC
As for furthering her character we did get some backstory to help viewers understand why she’s so reluctant to go all in with S.H.I.E.L.D. and her motivation there is less ideological than it is that she’s had a rough life bouncing from foster homes. A classic loner by choice to avoid getting hurt and it seems that Agent Grant Ward had family but it was his relationship with an abusive brother that was his moment and it helped turn him into the man he became--impersonal but beyond able to take care of himself in a fight. Sure, they’re not the most original of origin stories but character must be built over time and at least this is a step in the right direction. Hopefully, Agent May will be next to get some backstory as we still can only infer that something horrific happened to her in the field. Possibly something along the lines of losing an entire team due to one of her calls which would fit with the generic action hero stereotypes this show is embracing hopefully to subvert. It does seem like we’re going to see Agent May resume field work soon however, as she’s getting incredibly restless watching rookies like Skye or colleagues like Agent Ward doing the types of operations she could likely do in her sleep. I’m reasonably sure that’s exactly what Coulson was doing when he brought her onto the team ‘just to drive the bus’--he knew she couldn’t stand back on the sidelines for long before she threw herself into the mix again. She’d never go back into field work if asked to do so, it was up to Coulson to find a way to get her back out there while letting her believe she was the one to decide it was time.

ABC

Tonight’s episode seemed like a tease to going beyond a case of the week formula for the series. They certainly didn't have to hint at the creation of a genetically-altered villain near the end of the episode but I believe that’s the kind of flashy adversary our agents will be dealing with later on. The type of conflict they dealt with tonight was true to much of what the S.H.I.E.L.D. operations are like in the comic books as the usual origin story to something far worse than the original situation. It’s a good thing that Skye seemingly committed to becoming a field agent in tonight’s episode because the next scrape she finds herself involved in might involve her having to learn how to take the gun AND pull the trigger. It may not be ideal but it’s the kind of hard call that Coulson made tonight in hopes that killing one would save many more lives in return. And if these people weren't existing in a world with comic book rules then it might just have been the end of it.

1 comment:

  1. I truly value your post furthermore like it in particular. Your article is astonishing and most accommodating to chic identity. Much obliged to you such a great amount for sharing us such a decent sort of data. Motorbike Jackets

    ReplyDelete