Agent Coulson successfully puts his team together just in time to stop Mike Peterson, a ticking time bomb filled with all kinds of superhuman inducing serums, before he cause any real damage. The only real straggler, however, is spunky computer hacker Skye who, despite her involvement in last week’s efforts, still feels a conflict of interest between her newfound placement on the S.H.I.E.L.D. team and her duties towards underground activist journalism network “The Rising Tide.”
After the pilot’s Back to the Future-flavored cliffhanger sets up the titular code of this week’s episode, “0-8-4,” we soon learn even our trusted Agent Coulson doesn’t know exactly what that means, only that they have to attend to it fast, whatever it is. So, they gun the jet top speed to a temple ruin in Peru, where they discover an object of unknown origin and come up against some Peruvian military in the process, headed by Camilla Reyes, a commander of this particular platoon and a former romantic interest of Agent Coulson.
This episode was quite the improvement over the pilot. Without the need to speed things up so much in the name of getting the team together as quickly as possible to fight an impending menace, we have a far more natural progression of events and surprisingly robust storyline. Our team learns how to become a team, or at least feel more cohesive as a unit at the end of this episode than they did at the beginning. It’s also a pleasure to get to know more about Agent Coulson, who would seem disaffected if it weren’t for that quasi-smirk Clark Gregg always wears. Emerging as my favorite character for the episode, however, is Melinda May, or The Cavalry as she is called, much to her chagrin. She carries the trademark “Whedon”-styled stoic female fighting machine (as opposed to the also “Whedon”-styled bubbly and repartee uttering female fighting machine), but she truly lives up to her name when dislocating her wrists in order to get the team out of a jam.
0-8-4 was an entertaining ride that doesn’t try to get too fancy regarding the pacing and keeps things fairly light.
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