Last time on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.;
The gang comes together just in time to stop Camilla Reyes occupation of their ship and retrieve the “0-8-4.” Skye comes to an impasse regarding her allegiance to S.H.I.E.L.D. and The Rising Tide. Her choice may have lasting implications for all on the time and S.H.I.E.L.D. at large, implications that will come to the fore sooner before later.
When S.H.I.E.L.D. asset/scientist Dr. Hall (Ian Hart) is abducted by billionaire expatriate Ian Quinn (David Conrad), the team has no choice but to send in Skye to scope the place out. What follows is a mission that may seem to test her loyalty in the eyes of her teammates and will have catastrophic implications to the general public if they fail to rescue Dr. Hall.
What I am about isn’t a major criticism of the show in general at this moment in time, as it has been a fairly enjoyable experience up to this point, but the characters are starting to feel overly familiar, and not in a good way. The first couple of episodes on any episodic serialized of this nature falls prey to this syndrome in the beginning. The main characters don’t feel like natural people but rather a number of formulated gestures, traits, and painful back stories to build up the pretense of a real living breathing person. This gripe of mine is beginning to feel more and more like something I might applaud in another context, but here it just feels like a mannerism. Skye quips and Ward has no choice but to act condescending in return. Agent Coulson tries to make light of a taciturn Melinda May and she remains stoic. It gets to the point where in certain scenes they don’t feel like characters but merely the result of witty repartee.
If the characters didn’t really grab my interest this time around (outside of a scene at the end where we see Skye utilize her training with Ward almost to the fullest), the intricate plot makes up for it in “The Asset.” As the dust settles from this episode, and Ian Quinn’s scheme to control the Earth’s gravitation with assistance from Dr. Hall is foiled (due to Dr. Hall’s crusade to make sure it never sees the light of day), we seem to be in for recurring protagonists for the S.H.I.E.L.D. team in the future with both of them.
It’s not the weakest episode yet, as “The Pilot” still stands as slightly above average, but every character feels so stuck in this sort of witticism spewing tendency that I would say it were lazy if the episode weren’t so full of energy.
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