Friday, 27 September 2013

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1 Episode 1 "Pilot" Review


This is a series that I've been excited by for quite a while now and I'm glad that it's finally out. Following the greatness of the Marvel Cinematic Universe so far I was slightly sceptical when I heard that they were developing films for stuff like S.H.I.E.L.D. as although I like S.H.I.E.L.D. I don't think it would work as a stand alone film. A TV series however is much more interesting as it can explore the more unique things that S.H.I.E.L.D. agents go through so I was happy to hear that they went down this route. 

Plot


With the emergence of a new superhuman called the Hooded Hero, Agent Phil Coulson puts a team of S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents together to handle this Level 7 task.

Review


This was a very good episode and although it wasn't quite as good as I personally hoped for it was still outstanding, being one of the better opening issues that I've seen from a new TV series. The episode was however slightly slow paced, as although that is a good thing for an opening episode of a new series, it does take away from the excitement. I did however love how it tried to be comical, though I did question whether it was necessary at certain times. I also really enjoyed the comic references in this episode, and especially Journey Into Mystery getting dropped in as a line. I also felt that it was very well written and directed by Joss Whedon as although he has yet to match the brilliance he has produced in either The Avengers or his previous TV series', it is certain showing a lot of promise.

With this being the pilot episode it would see the main cast put together, also having some added cast members as well. The main cast would be Clark Gregg as Phil Coulson, Brett Dalton as Grant Ward, Ming-Na Wen as Melinda May, Chloe Bennet as Skye, Iain De Caestecker as Leo Fitz, and Elizabeth Henstridge as Jemma Simmons. All of these cast members played their roles brilliantly, though with most of them being new characters that would help, as there's nothing to base it on. The stand out cast member however was Clark Gregg as Coulson as he brought the same charm and humour that he added to the previous Coulson appearances. The other cast members included J. August Richards as Mike Peterson and Cobie Smulders making a cameo appearance as Maria Hill, one that I seriously hope she reprises in more episodes of this series.

The Team

The team that was created out of these characters were overall very interesting, as although none were quite as interesting as Coulson, this is only the first episode, and I'm sure I'll get like the others more as the series progresses. The main character that interested me however was a civilian hacker named Skye as she had an interesting nature to her, being mysterious yet wanting people to know the truth. I also found Ward, Fritz and Simmons interesting, with the Ward managing to seem both intelligent and naive at the same time, and Fritz and Simmons adding humour. I was however not too interested in the all round action agent May as although she added some brilliant action she didn't have a lot of personality.

One of the big questions about this episode has been how Coulson is still alive, as he died in The Avengers film. Now I won't detail how he came back but I will say that it wasn't a spectacular reason, being rather simple, and making his death seem slightly meaningless. I am however very happy that Coulson is back though, and can easily overlook the way that they brought him back, as he is such a great character, and I don't think that this series would last long without him.

The superhuman in this episode would be called the Hooded Hero, with the his real name being Mike Peterson. I found this character to be very interesting, and it's nice to see that the series is introducing some new superhuman's, even though they're not in the same league as Captain America or Thor. I also liked how there was a lot of depth to this character, and how there was more to him that we initially see. I also enjoyed seeing J. August Richards again as I enjoyed him in Angel, and it seems that Whedon hasn't wasted time adding his regular actors to this series.

The Hooded Hero

This episode would also hint to a group of villains, as although it doesn't go into much detail it would mention a group of people who are supplying the technology that is creating superhuman's. This is a brilliant development, leaving a mysterious development point for the series as I'm sure this questionable group will have a hand in future events in this series. It also leaves the speculation of whether this is a group that we know from the comics, or whether this is a new group for the series, either way it's a mystery that I look forward to seeing developed.

Final Verdict


A great opening episode to this new series as although it is slightly slow it introduces all the characters perfectly, showing off their characteristics throughout. The episode also had a lot of humour, as well as some interesting mysteries and some exciting action. It also shows a lot of promise for the future and I for one can't wait for the next episode and would highly recommend watching this, especially if you're a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Rating: 8/10