Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D is a spin off from the MCU, following the exploits of Agent Coulson, played by Clark Gregg, and his bunch of agents as they search, track down and fight against rogue elements of society, secure alien technology and generally fight the bad guys as they should. Created for ABC in the US by Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen it comes across as really well made and polished in terms of style and substance.
This is my second attempt at watching the programme. The first attempt failed after the first couple of episodes as it hadn’t dragged me in. This time I had more incentive to watch it; It had run for more than one season so it must be decent enough to get renewed, I had heard some ok reviews of the series so far, and I had actually paid for this first season.
Agent Phil Coulson is the driving force behind the series, keeping the team in line and keeping them together whilst also struggling against his own troubles stemming from his ill-fated role in the MCU films.
Agent Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen) provides some cool-headed thinking whilst also being completely badass. Has many skills including being the main pilot of Agent Coulson’s plane, incredibly loyal just don’t call her “The Cavalry”!
Agent Grant Ward is the more straight-laced agent, all action and focus. His primary role in the early episodes is to try to train Skye up to SHIELD standards, not an easy task! As the season goes on he really shows his skills as a “Specialist”
Agents Fitz and Simmons provide the science and technology support to the team, starting as smaller roles but building into being key elements due to their immense knowledge and quick thinking. They also provide most of the light relief from the action and fighting.
Skye is an ex-Rising Dawn hacker (read enemy of SHIELD) who is recruited at the start of the season and works her way, slowly, towards becoming a full agent and also is a focal point for the season.
It does suffer a slow start but that is understandable due to having a large cast of main characters and being introduced to them all early on detracts from the actual story-line. Once past this the series picks up pace and delivers a main story arc: The uncovering of a super-soldier project called Project Centipede and then the person behind it all The Clairvoyant. Throughout we explore the individual characters, their backstories and their troubles and trials and it leads to them being well developed and rounded.
The week by week investigations slowly give way to being all consumed by the overall story arc, giving end last half-dozen episodes over to it completely and it doesn’t suffer for it at all. The whole season is well thought out, building blocks being placed all across the 22 episodes and being used to create a really compelling season. I admit that I was pretty keen to keep finding out what happens next across the final few episodes (not wanting to give anything away).
Cameo appearances from Samuel L Jackson as Director Nick Fury give the season some gravitas and further link it to the MCU and the events that have occurred in those films. It feels nice to be lining them up together with the events of the films.
Plenty of action and story to keep you entertained throughout this first season, I will be watching the second season with interest.