Marvels Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. 1.01 Pilot **** SPOILERS ****

Episode Summary from

[i]These agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. have a mission: To investigate the new, the strange and the unknown around the globe, protecting the ordinary from the extraordinary.

In the premiere episode, “Pilot,” it’s just after the battle of New York, and now that the existence of super heroes and aliens has become public knowledge, the world is trying to come to grips with this new reality. Agent Phil Coulson is back in action and has his eye on a mysterious group called the Rising Tide. In order to track this unseen, unknown enemy, he has assembled a small, highly select group of Agents from the worldwide law-enforcement organization known as S.H.I.E.L.D. (Strategic Homeland Intervention Enforcement and Logistics Division). The group’s first assignment together as a team finds them trying to track down an ordinary man who has gained extraordinary powers. Powers that could have devastating consequences.[/i]

Please use this thread to discuss the series’ first overall and first season first episode Pilot. Rule: Please keep spoilers limited to those revealed during the series up to this episode only.

I enjoyed the Agent Hill cameo at the beginning. I really enjoyed Agent Coulson’s lines - but is it really Agent Coulson? Tahiti is a magical place after all.

I learned not to touch Lola - the car that Doc Brown must have modified. I learned that the series will have call outs to other geek franchises. But I also learned it’s not the same quality as the Marvel movies. I mean how could it be? It’s a weekly television series.

I’m hoping Joss has a plan for this to get better. Because other than this being the same Marvel universe as in the movies it didn’t really grab me. But maybe I’m just old.

What did you guys think about it?

~Shooter Out

I think I wish it was either on an hour later or on a different day so I’ll ever actually be able to watch it. :wink:

I took the time to watch this a second time tonight. I must have been in a rotten mood or tired or whatever, but the episode is appreciably better than I originally thought. It still isn’t up to the same par as the movies, but it does have Whedon awesome-sauce spilled all over it.

Coulson’s interrogation technique with Skye - shooting Wade with the serum instead was both brilliant and funny. The special effects were both modest and AWESOME. Plus there’s the 3rd party shooter at the train station and whoever set up the lab to begin with. It could be the same group or two separate groups. Who knows.

I do have a tough time seeing Wade as an equivalent for Romanov, though.

~Shooter Out

Lola was a great nod to the ‘flying Ferraris’ from the classic Nick Fury comics, it did not surprise me at all when it took off. Like many series I think this will get better as the cast becomes more comfortable with their roles, and hopefully they will develop some chemistry from working together. It worked wonderfully with Eureka; here’s hoping… :slight_smile:

I need to re-watch the episode at a normal hour not in the middle of the night after working for a few hours at home. I did enjoy the episode. The mobile command center had a very clean Serenity feel to it. I did like the “Shepherd Book” cameo. The two researchers on the team had a quality I am not sure if I will like yet. The rest of the team’s interaction was easier to follow and seemed familiar like “the bands back together” feel.

As a pilot, I think it was a fun ride and overall I enjoyed it. However, it didn’t reach down and grab me on the same visceral level that Firefly did: and truth be told, I don’t think I expected it to. It is, at it’s core, a superhero tv-series set in the slightly humorous marvel universe.

I loved that (Joss being Joss) we saw Firefly alum Shepard Book in it. Ron Glass is only credited in the pilot in IMDB, but the series cast and crew listing is pretty limited right now. Fingers crossed that we get to see more of him.

It was awesome to see Coulson again. His performance was spot on, and I have no doubt that he’s going to be able to carry the show. The truth serum bit did irk me, as it was a big risk that the “Rising Tide” would suddenly go “Hey, I don’t actually have to expose all their secrets because they’re nice guys, even though I have free reign to interrogate a level-7 security clearance agent.”. But, it moved the story forward and set up Coulson as someone definitely willing to break the rules. I think Nick Fury would have manipulated Skye somehow, and I’m not sure he would have approved. Now… if it gets revealed that it wasn’t actually a truth serum and that Ward was instructed by Coulson to play along and make her feel that she had this crazy access in order to gain her trust, thereby manipulating her… that would be more like the SHIELD we know and love. #Boom.

I may end up warming to Ward and Skye, but right now it’s a bit too early to tell. Both characters seem to have walked right out of a stereotype, but let’s be honest, I suspect it’s going to take a few episodes to get to know them. Similar to the tech/biotech guys; we’ve seen these characters before, so let’s see where Joss goes with them. It would be way too easy (and boring) to keep all of these characters “vanilla”: the geeky tech folks, the sexy streetwise hacker, the hunky agent. Please, give us more Joss!

I actually really dig the Melinda May character. I think she has some great potential, and I’m probably most excited about her past and what she brings to the table aside from “driving the bus”.

Lastly, I’m wondering if project centipede being a combo of Extremis, gamma-radiation and an early build of the super-solider formula wasn’t the easy way out. OK, I get it, someone nasty has access to all the superhero stuff, and that justifies pulling out all the stops. But did it have to be? It seems like, aside from the intro and Skye’s monologuing, it was another attempt to reiterate that “Hey, this is in the Ironman-Hulk-Cap universe… see… it’s all connected… so go see the movies!”. Would either a proto- or derivative version of Extremis alone not have accomplished the same thing?

The ending SPOILER:

Personally, I get ALL the reasons why they couldn’t kill the hood.

  • He was a nice guy.
  • He was a single dad with a kid.
  • He is probably going to be a recurring character.
  • It justified Coulson’s angry “don’t tell me you can’t do something” moment.
  • It reinforced that our tech and biotech geeks are really good.
  • It allowed Skye to trust Coulson and integrate into the team for the series.
  • It confirmed Shield is fundamentally good.

BUT what if he was about to go all Extremis-explody and they actually shot and killed him. That would have been a bolder move.

  • He was a nice guy BUT in this universe even good guys are mortal.
  • He was a single dad with a kid BUT the kid could either grow up to be a villain OR grow up to fight against the folks that experimented on his dad.
  • He is probably going to be a recurring character BUT is it so hard to write more characters
  • It justified Coulson’s angry “don’t tell me you can’t do something” moment BUT maybe Coulson can’t have everything his way and has to deal with that.
  • It reinforced that our tech and biotech geeks are really good BUT maybe they can’t do everything and they have to live with the consequences.
  • It allowed Skye to trust Coulson and integrate into the team for the series BUT if she saw that they had no choice, maybe she would understand, or join the team to prevent similar things happening in the future, and set up some interesting conflict.
  • It confirmed Shield is fundamentally good BUT maybe they have to be the ones to protect everyone else and make the hard decisions.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the show and it’s a fun ride, but I guess I’ve come to expect more from Joss Whedon. Then again, this is Marvel & Disney, so maybe, just maybe, this time I shouldn’t.

We laughed a lot when we watched it…it was a fun ride (the truth serum scene was pretty hilarious), but it felt a bit short…guess that’s what happens when you’re trying to cram an entire universe and walk through and getting the characters to meet and you have 40-some minutes of TV time to do it… the second they said (he must NEVER KNOW who he is)…I thought he was a clone (being a DC kid I didn’t know about LMD’s…oops)…I set the series to record on DVR, but I’m kinda leery about falling in love with it…it looks high budget and expensive and I’m still pissed at ABC for pulling the plug on V after season 2 with no real warning given…I want more…I just hope the network lives up to their end of letting the story be told as needed…


I’ve seen this 4 times now. And I’m very grateful for everyone’s insights to help frame things in the show for me including this scene. On the surface it is funny and an astute way to gain her trust. Did Coulson and Wade pre-arrange it? Maybe. If if they had they ran the risk of Skype asking about it and Wade would have to tell the truth about it.

I’ll take it a step forward, though. Phil Coulson new - or at least had a big hunch - that he would need Wade the loner agent to work with Skye the (loner?) anarchist. Getting Skye to trust Wade was going to be tougher than the other way around. Phil knew that Skye knew a lot of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s secrets already, so the exposure risk was low. It was a beautiful play that will play off. I see this series full of those plays and moments. The main reason I’m growing more and more fond of it.

It took me a while to get the tech geeks names. They are referred to as a team “Fitz-Simmons” but the guy is named Fitzs and the gals is named Simmons. Thus the team name Fitz-Simmons. They are the source of say 60% of the geek references in the pilot as well as the tech team enabling Phil’s team. They are pretty one dimensional, but they have potential. I’m counting on that potential to keep me interested in them.

It will be interesting to get her background and see just why she doesn’t want to do any more field work. I hope this role will restore my likability of Ming Na and her acting after Stargate Universe. I’ll admit I’m scared by that experience and have an anti Ming Na bias right now.

I think they HAD to make the connection. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. will be an integral part of Avengers Phase II. It will increase the stock of both the Series and the movies.

True. But before you pull a Whedon and kill off a character you need draw the audience in to like them. I don’t care who you are and what your storytelling magic is, it takes much longer than one television episode to make me care that much about a character to enable true impact when losing them.

Perhaps. But the kid was too young. The payoff would take too long. And it is an 8 PM Prime Time television show. There will be storyline consessions for that.

I don’t know if he will be a recurring character or not. But take a look at Person Of Interest. JJ Abrams has HIGH success in creating recurring characters with depth. The more invested an audience can get in a character, the more background we learn about the character, the more defined and deep a character is, the more an audience will become invested and attached to the character. So there is a payoff on recurring characters beyond just not having to write a new one.

I’m sure this will be the case. But for the series to work he needs to appear to be in control for now. Until Wade or May can step up anyway.

Whedon showed his willingness to go down this path with the beginning of Avengers. I’m sure we’ll see it again.

I see the series going in this direction anyway. Give it some time. It is Whedon after all.

Perhaps. But I get a sense that’s why Fury gave Coulson this assignment. Coulson - whatever he is - has the ability to think outside the box and demand better. I don’t think he will always succeed but if you don’t try you can’t succeed.

You know, even Lucas and Spielberg did their best work when they had equals or production companies telling them “no” from time to time. Disney knows Whedon is a PROVEN commodity. I see them working WITH him to incorporate what Whedon is best at and using his strengths, but also providing guidelines of when he crosses the line and has to pull him back from the brink. We’ll see though.

Hmmm. I never thought of Serenity as “clean.” Especially after they transported a herd of cattle.

Ah, Shepard Book. I hope we see him again. He was perfect for the role he played. Knowledgeable, confidence, kind but firm.

I certainly hope so. The Pilot rarely is the same feeling as the series in general

Yup - I’ll agree with the threat of cancellation. This is the only new series this fall I’m watching. I did watch Defiance this summer but that is on hiatus until June 2014. So if I lose it, it’s only one that I lose instead of 10-15 which normally happens each year.

In backchecking V’s run the pilot episode received a rating of 14.3 million viewers but by episode 9 it dropped to under 5 million. It hovered around 5 until it was cancelled 10 episodes into season 2. In comparison SHIELD received a 12.5+ million rating. But SHIELD is being streamed on WATCH ABC and also has the upcoming Marvel movies to maintain everyone’s interest. These are things V did not have going for it. Bottom Line: We’ll see.

At the beginning of the episode the trio of Coulson, Hill and Dr. Streiten pointed out that Wade was healthy. “Too healthy.” Any theory on this statement into Wade’s past and/or his parents?

*** Credit to AwsmEngrGrl for pointing this out ***

It is looking like Jed Whedon might be doing more of the writing on this show than Joss, which I can understand since he has a lot on his plate right now. I smiled when I saw that Star Trek alum Roxann Dawson will be directing episode four, she has directed shows like Lost, Heroes and Caprica; so SF is hardly anything new to her. Joss has Milan Cheylov doing episode three, which is a great choice as well. Google him and you can see all the SF shows he has directed episodes for… David Straiton who is directing episode two has a very impressive resume as well… Some of it on Whedon projects such as Dollhouse and Angel. So it looks like Joss has chosen people he knows and trusts with his new baby, which pleases me. Good luck buddy, I’m rooting for yah!

I think I heard that Jonathan Frakes is directing an episode too.

I may need to watch it again, but the first episode really didn’t grab me the way I was hoping it would. My favorite part of Coulson in the movies was how they had him act/react around the different heroes. The way he was completely unimpressed by Stark, essentially because Tony hadn’t proven himself, but was then a gushing fanboy around Cap who he obviously felt was basically the template for what a hero should be.
I think that’s what got me; the writing didn’t seem to have the same sharpness and pacing that I expect from something with Joss’ name attached to it.

Shooter - dude, thanks for the super detailed response sir! All valid points :slight_smile: Maybe I would have liked a tad bit darker (totally not BSG or even Arrow dark, but maybe a wee smidge bit more) but I have to keep reminding myself that it’s a prime time pilot. Really looking forward to this week’s episode!

RT TV 86% beta certified beta fresh. The ratings are almost gulp cable ratings high. Wow.

With five ABC shows on the chopping block, one on the bubble, maybe two not surviving the mid-season culling, TVBTN is rather safely calling the ball: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. ABC Renewal Predicted ABC won’t be messing with this golden goose anytime soon, honeymoon falloff or no.

My peeves:

Over 40 something tropes: tvtropes: Series: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Previously, infamously on ABC trope infestations: V. Uhoh.

But this is all about cheeky referential humor as established by Tony Stark snark that made Marvel feature film franchise an instuition for at least another decade and Robert Downey obscenely wealthy. In the presence of charm and wit, and who has more of that than Joss Whedon, a trope is a not an automatic bad thing. Still, that’s something to be quickly exhausted if that’s all you got every week.

Which brings me to… okay, so with two of the five main cast members over forty, the remaining three absolutely have to be well under thirty. Maybe because of this lack of diversity in the middle, I’m so far flat lining with the Ward Skye chemistry. She does not live out of a van, not with those bouncy curls. Why do television hackers and engineers always have to be wet behind the ears and nearly teenaged? Whatever happened to Nick Fury and the Infinity Formula? Best I can remember from Nick Fury cameos in various comics, the typical S.H.I.E.L.D. agent in the field was world weary and grizzled. I once was a kid reading about mostly adult superheroes and their adult problems in Marvel comics. You could say that was a elemental appeal of comics in the first place. Spiderman, Jubilee, Johnny Storm, et. al. were almost minorities in a world of grown ups. I seem to get a whiff that this show is overly age conscious, at least in its initial creation and casting, when it doesn’t need to be. Maybe that’s just the concerns of television, youthful pretty faces.

I did like the subtext about what with superhumans running amok in the world, what’s the point of struggling as a mere mortal? Carried over from the Captain America movie with a dash of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods.

You all said it better but I’ll throw my 2 cents in.

I liked it. I didn’t love it but truthfully I didn’t expect to. It’s a pilot. I has to introduce all the main characters and the world in 45 minutes or less and let’s face it, when you do that story takes a back seat to character development. The story was fine and got the job done. I’m happy with it.

They’ve got me for now, and Hulu for the time being has me back after almost a year of not watching it. We’ll see how it goes but if you take into account how the pilot versus the show went for some of my favorite series’ of all time (Next Gen and Stargate come to mind) then I figure I’ve got a pretty good shot of a new favorite show right here.

Hi. My name is Solai. How are ya doin’?

Seriously. Catching up on a lot of content. Probably watched the Pilot two weeks ago so details are fuzzy but I do know that I walked away from the episode satisfied. There were definite Joss moments (truth serum) and I will admit, I have got a mancrush on Coulson. Funny, no-nonsense (think about how hard that is to pull off for a moment), direct and whimsical. He is the impossible leader. And he is perfect.