This week’s episode, scripted by Jeffrey Bell, who’s writing credits include Angel, Alias and The X-Files, is the strongest episode of the series so far. It seems to be improving every week, so my hopes are starting to climb for the rest of the season. Directed by Star Trek alumni Roxann Dawson (who played Torres on Star Trek: Voyager, as well as directing episodes of it, Enterprise and Charmed)
Pascale Armand plays Akela Amador, a former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, Coulson’s (Clark Gregg) protegé, who has some special gifts, and is being ordered around by someone who watches everything she does through an implant in her eye. Coulson uses his team to go after her, instead of bringing in back-up, because he feels responsibility for her, as well as believing they police their own.
May (Ming-Na Wen) doesn’t Akela is so innocent and thinks she should be taken out.
Skye (Chloe Bennet) hacks the tech (which she does a lot better than handling a gun), and Ward (Brett Dalton) pretends to be Akela, which leads to a nice comedic moment when Akela’s watchers give him instructions.
It allows Ward to have some nice little action sequences, and it’s nice to see that I’m starting to like his character a little more.
Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) and Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) have some nice moments, with the nite-lite gun, as well as operating on Akela, while Coulson attempts to hunt down her controller, known simply as Englishman (Dominic Burgess), who also may not be all that he seems to be.
Ward infiltrates a think tank, and photographs a rather odd display that didn’t look like equations, but who knows…? Alien writing?
I like that Akela is well aware that something has been done to Coulson, he’s not the same person she knew. I don’t see them keeping that secret for longer than the season, in fact if they get past the halfway mark and still haven’t revealed what’s happened to him I’d be surprised.
Of the four episodes so far, this one has the best balance of action, comedy and procedural, that we are led to believe will be the standard for the show. The references to the Avengers, are becoming less prominent now that the world has been established, and the characters are slowly coming into their own.
Their interactions are getting better, the humor is working, and the show is gearing up to do what we want it to, entertain, letting us spend more time in the Marvel Universe, without having to wait years for the next installment. Right now, each episode seems to want to make sure that each character gets a beat or a moment, without focusing too much on any one character. I’m looking forward to seeing some solo stories a little further on, like Coulson, or May…
But for now, I am entertained and glad I stuck with the show, as I hope it will get stronger and stronger each week, until it becomes can’t-miss television.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs Tuesdays on CTV.