agents-of-shield-0-8-4

At this point, only one of two things can happen with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. We will be showered with more good episodes or the show will start faltering. It would be wrong to say it’s not off to a great start but “0-8-4″ is a step in the wrong direction.

The Players:

  • Director: David Straiton
  • Writers: Maurissa Tancharoen, Jed Whedon, Jeffrey Bell
  • Cast: Clark Gregg, Ming-Na Wen, Brett Dalton, Chloe Bennet, Iain De Caestecker, Elizabeth Henstridge, Leonor Varela, Samuel L. Jackson

Episode Title: “0-8-4″

The agents find themselves in the middle of an 0-8-4 mission. They head to the jungles of Peru to find an alien artifact hidden within a temple. While there, they’re confronted by a group of rebels. They try their best to hide the artifact and learn how to work together long enough to survive this mission.

The Good:

  • More Group Interaction: The show is focused on a group of people banding together to protect the world from the abnormal. After a small amount of time we see these misfits unite to save us from the unknown. This episode was basically a vehicle to show that off. It displayed that they can join forces to complete a mission, even if there are snags along the way. There really isn’t much of a reason for some of these characters to be butting heads. But the I-only-work-alone nature of Ward (Dalton) is getting a old really fast. We understand you’re a lone wolf but come on.
  • Skye’s Twist: After saving Ward’s life, Skye (Bennet) is contacted by her old group (the Rising Tide) about her position. Through text she reveals that she’s in, thus betraying all of her newly found friends. Then again, can you really blame her? She was about to lay claim on part of an idea that was hers but the rest of the group claimed they all thought of it. Skye hasn’t done much of anything for the past two episodes. For her character to get pissed off and go back to the Rising Tide kind of makes sense. Where will they go from here? We’re not-so-secretly hoping she turns more evil. It would make for a more intriguing story.

The So-So:

  • This Story: There wasn’t much of a point to the story’s existence. It was just used to establish that the team would gradually understand how to work together. The villain’s over-the-top monologues were too much and felt more like a time-filler. We already know enough about Skye, let’s take focus off her intimate moments with Ward and find out more about Agent May or the two scientists.
  • Guest Star!: OK, so Nick Fury (Jackson) showed up just to yell for a scene. There wasn’t really a reason for his appearance. Will this become a situation where we’re bombarded with a bunch of guest stars in order to keep our interest? That’s a cheap trick that many shows have used before, the most recent one being How I Met Your Mother. I’d like to believe that there’s more solid story, acting and directing to keep audiences watching.
  • Fight Choreography: The fight scenes should be at least somewhat believable. It may have been the way it was shot but there were a couple instances where it looked silly. We don’t need the over the top poses at the end of each hit. This isn’t a crazy martial arts movie. Tone it down a bit.

The Bad:

  • Editing Goes Where?: In the first two episodes there’s been a reoccurring theme with the editing. It says to us,”Where exactly are we looking in each scene?” There’s been a number of moments where we’re focused on the characters and then, out of nowhere, we’re on the other side of the room. It throws off the overall flow of the shots. We understand this tactic could be used to mix it up, but it’s coming off as a bit sloppy. There are a few good shots but they’re chopped together into tiny pieces within each scene. We wish they’d let them linger a little longer or place them towards the beginning. It’s more of a technical nitpick than anything else.

Overall:

“0-8-4″ is a bore of an episode next to the pilot, but there’s room for improvement. We’re in the early stage so there’s bound to be some hiccups. We just hope this doesn’t continue on for much longer.

Rating: 6/10

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on ABC.