It was an improvement over last week’s ridiculousness (dear God, that stupid inflatable life raft was so DUMB), but I’m not feeling it just yet.
MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD!
I liked the opening with Agent Mack (a reference to artist David Mack, perhaps?), the trucker dude who turned out to be an asset. I wish he was a principal cast member. I would seriously watch the adventures of a S.H.I.E.L.D. trucker each and every week. Probably be more interesting than the cutesy tween-age crap we’re getting so far.
Anywho, the story goes that there’s a rogue scientist, an ambitious and morally ambiguous industrialist, and a strategically useless yet improbably pretty hacker who can infiltrate said industrialist’s compound and lead a covert S.H.I.E.L.D. task force (Coulson and Ward) in to rescue the scientist, who they think is innocent in all of this. And, y’know, stuff happens.
So, the good: I still like Melinda May’s grumpiness, because I feel like there should be someone on the team who’s willing to call the others out on their bullshit. Ward was slightly more tolerable in this ep, but he’s still got the personality of a wet blanket. Skye actually did have some good moments in the episode, like when she was sweet talking the industrialist and kinda went all double agent on us for a sec. And Fitz’s constant wish for a brave monkey to infiltrate the compound was both sad and hilarious at the same time.
The badness: Coulson seemed to be, ahem, malfunctioning a bit in this episode. He also seemed less funny, and he makes kind of a cold decision at the climax that will undoubtedly have consequences for the team. Skye has gone from hot and interesting to annoying and vapid in the space of three episodes for me, and her thing with Ward is just… Man, I wish they’d just have them get it on already so we can move past the festering relationship issues. And FitzSimmons are less irritating, but still not very good at what they do, unless what they do is break stuff.
Overall, I’d say the cast is the main issue I have with the show. No one is that compelling; they’re just all walking cliches so far. The dialogue lacks the finesse And spark on display in Buffy, Angel, and Firefly, and the effects are kind of just…sad.
Lastly, I get the feeling that this show is ashamed of the fact that it’s a comic-based property. It’s the antithesis of Joss’ work on Avengers in that regard. I mean, would it kill them to mention A.I.M., for God’s sake? I mean, they’re the perfect foil for S.H.I.E L.D. They even have the same obnoxious abbreviation fetish going on.
I honestly expect better from this show.
And yes, I still love the pilot, but these last two haven’t done it for me. Sorry, fellow Whedonites.