Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: The Show That Is Nerdier Than A Comic Book

Duh duh DUH voiceover about shadows and hey, now there are superheroes, and I have to ask, who did they think was going to be watching this show?  Someone who has gone to Antartica every summer and so missed that there are superheroes now?  Nobody turned this on by accident saying, huh, why does this show have a long acronym?

But wait…that’s Gunn!  He looks the. same.

[Laura: Gunn is from Angel, the Buffy spin-off. Nikki and I once watched a huge chunk of the first season in one weekend via the now-old-fashioned format of DVDs.]

[And Gunn does look alarmingly the same, portrait-in-the-attic style.]

Could be the hoodie...

They say “black don’t crack…”

[Laura: Nikki, was this the joke you were worried was racist? I think it’s fine Thoughts, folks?]

 But he has a kid!  That’s weird.  And then a building explodes and he leaves his kid with some random guy named Bernie that we never see again to jamb his hands into bricks in order to climb up a burning building and then jump out of it to save someone because…he’s a superhero.  And voiceover chick gets it on video and almost chases after him, but then her better self takes over and she stays with the victim.

Handsome fella in a motorbike (well, he has a helmet on, but we can all tell, can’t we?  He’s gonna be handsome) is ordered to stand down because the job has become too dangerous.  He says “no way, man, I’m here already, I don’t want to have flown all the way to Paris for nothing!” And his handler basically says “okay, fine, you do what you want.”  Who’s handling whom here?  Handsome fella (who is indeed handsome) uses the coolest serving tray ever to do all kinds of high tech stuff that we don’t really understand, but it’s okay, because there’s an undressed woman with a spatula who just rolls her eyes at him when the expected attackers finally show up.  (What?  Who is spatula lady?)

With an elaborate coif

Handsome Fella


We never find out.  We do learn that Handsome fella’s name is Agent Grant Ward, and he believes S.H.I.E.L.D. of the impressive acronym is in the business of “protecting the world from a much weirder world,” from news they aren’t ready to hear–though how the world could not have heard about the Battle of New York by this point is unclear.  (Maybe they went to Antartica).  What is left to be surprising?  I guess that’ll be the show.  And anyway we get a  wonderful argument about whether or not Thor is a god, and the winning point seems to be that his arms are god-like.  Agreed.  But then there’s another wonderful moment when Agent Coulson comes out of the shadows to reveal that he is…not dead!  But it is played not as drama, but as a joke.  And we realize…this serious-sounding voiceovery show is not at all serious.  It’s very silly.  It is a show written by nerds about nerdy things and they are going to have as much fun being nerdy as they can possibly get away with.


Coulson explains that S.H.I.E.L.D. has been sucking at its shielding of late, and now that he’s back from Tahiti and all healed up from being “shanked by the Asgardian Mussolini” he’s formed a small task force to step it up and deal with Rising Tide, a group that is exposing superheroes faster than S.H.I.E.L.D. can find out about them.  Ward nods and says, “you want me to cancel them out.”  Coulson gives him this hilarious look, like “no, you psychopath.  Wow, you went violent fast.  Why are you on my team again?”  Coulson just wants to ask them for some pointers.  Of course, Ward’s people skills are described as “a little poop…with knives sticking out of it.”

But then whoa!  That’s Shepherd Book!  He looks…so. old.

Nice to see you!

They lied.

But…Dr. Book is evil!  He’s with the Alliance!  He says “[Coulson] really doesn’t know, does he?”  So…not Tahiti, then?

Voiceover Girl stalks Superhero Gunn and reveals that her name is Skye.  She warns him to be careful.  S.H.I.E.L.D. is watching him…

I don't have a last name.

I don’t have a last name.

Coulson goes to find Fantastic Retired Agent Melinda May where she is sitting in the dark making red tape, and orders her to be fantastic again.  For old times’ sake.

Also, this darkness is good for my complexion.

I’m not going back in the field. This is more fun. See?

We are then introduced to the final members of the team, the unintelligible Fitz and Simmons, who speak over each others’ thick accents while saying gibberish tech-speak.  Ward finds them very, very annoying.  I do too, so far, but I’m sure I will grow to love them.  The show clearly finds them loveable.  Nerds.

"I'm not Hermione, you know."

We understand us even if you don’t.


The show also loves Coulson’s car, Lola.  I’m not with them yet, though cars have been known to be important in shows like these (Hi, Impala!)

[Laura: My reaction to you mentioning the Impala, as I introduced you to Supernatural: ]


Voiceover Girl Skye gets her comeuppance for annoying voiceovering–she gets black-bagged and interrogated!  Yay!  Only…she doesn’t actually get interrogated.  Weirdly, Ward does, and Coulson injects him with a super-truth serum and he starts babbling on about secrets and his grandma while Skye waggles her boobs at him.

The unfairness of being super and unable to tell anybody about it and unable to keep a job because of the sick leave Superhero Gunn had to take getting all super with Centipede (apparently an amalgamation of all super-inducing stuff including glowy-guys from Iron Man III and the serum that made Capt. America and Hulk)–it just becomes too much for him.  His ex-boss is “the bad guy.”  Superhero Gunn is “the hero.”  The hero takes out the bad guy, and loses the moral high ground.  He then kidnaps Skye to make her erase his identity (“Now you too can have no last name!”) and in so doing he bloodies the lip of Fantastically Retired Melinda May.

Superhero Gunn is going to explode, cause that happens, and FitzSimmons are working on a way to prevent that without killing him.  Ward just wants to kill him.  Other folks are there too (Rising Tide?  Woman with spatula?  Hard to say).  Superhero Gunn gives a rousing speech about how the world is stacked against regular folk and he’s a good guy, really, and nobody buys it so he starts to explode, but in the end it all works out and Superhero Gunn is put to sleep with FitzSimmons’ Nighty Night Gun, and Skye comes to work for S.H.I.E.L.D.

…And then Lola the Car flies away.  Thereby sealing the deal.  Nerdiest. Show. Ever.

Superhero Count:  1

Pithy Line: “Sorry, that corner was really dark and I couldn’t help myself.”

Overall Grade: A-  The minus is just there because I do not love anybody yet.  Except possibly Ward, because we can be annoyed by everybody else together.

Watch it on ABC at 8pm EST! Also on Hulu Plus the day after.