Mouth Vomit: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. tries for inspiring, gets nauseating

A nifty black plane is in the air, headed for something called “The Slingshot.”  The Air Traffic Controller asks if they’re all good, and Coulson says Oh yeah.  “It’s going to be blue skies from here on out.”

Nifty Black Plane--from
                                                    Nifty Black Plane–from

At which point the plane sprouts a giant hole in its side and guys go flying out the hole, bouncing off the engine.  So, for them, it’s literal blue skies from here on out.

19 hours earlier, Skye is packing up her van, and she makes sure not to forget her wiggly dashboard hula dancer.  Ward and Melinda May are expressing their concerns with deeply furrowed brows to Coulson–Skye shouldn’t be an agent, or a consultant either, she’s an inexperienced kid (according to May) and a threat who doesn’t think like us (according to Ward).  Coulson thinks those are points in her favor.  FitzSimmons are very glad she’s aboard, and one or possibly both of them may be flirting with her.  It’s a little hard to tell.

Coulson brags some more about his plane and its niftiness, and then offers Skye a coaster for what appears to be her warm, non-sweating water.  I just bet his Captain America cards were in mint condition–you know, before Nick Fury smeared blood or possibly ketchup all over them.  I bet Coulson was pretty pissed off about that.


The folks land in Peru, where a mysterious artifact has been found in an Incan temple turns out to be…another tesseract?  Weird.  The tesseract has always been referred to as The Tesseract, which last I heard was being used to transport Loki back to Asgardian Justice.  This one, according to FitzSimmons, has been here for a really long time, longer than the temple it’s in (which also seems weird) and therefore “clearly it’s alien.”  Weird stuff = alien stuff.  Check.  Also, according to Simmons (yo, I can tell them apart–can you?) the craftsmanship is German.  Which makes it…Nazi?  But  I thought the Nazi tesseract was the one that is now back in Asgard.  I’m so confused.  Yep, aliens.

The tesseract makes Simmons very nervous--from

The tesseract makes Simmons very nervous–from

Coulson tells every local to evacuate, and lets Skye know she might need to lie to everyone to throw them off the track because, uh, something vague about rebels, and Skye makes some mild protest about how that’s against everything she believes in and stands for, but doesn’t say she won’t do it.  Ward geeks out in a very manly way about how neat it is to be working with Melinda May, also known as The Cavalry, although she doesn’t like to be called that.  Still, she does prove herself to be handy when they are attacked by the militia fighting against the vague rebels–who turn out to be not-so-vague to Coulson, as he seems to know their leader, Commandante Camilla, rather well.  “We used to work together back in the day.”  Melinda May gives a little nod–“yeah, I know what you mean by ‘work together.’  I ‘worked’ with you too.”  Coulson, you…very polite player.

Then the rebels attack, and everybody has to hustle out of there, and Simmons is very upset because he can’t get over how the tesseract has its own power source (dude, we know.  Plus, that’s not really what’s so interesting about it–don’t you know it opens portals?  Simmons, you sound so smart with all your big words but clearly you know nothing Jon Snow.)  Ward snatches the tesseract and has to cover everybody from all the gunfire while Melinda May is off getting the car, and he looks very upset about that.  FitzSimmons keep yelling at Ward for driving too bumpily and for possibly making the car overheat because who knows what that’ll do to the tesseract, and Ward and Melinda May keep telling them to shut up or die.  Possibly shut up and die.  Which is what FitzSimmons think will happen to everybody if they don’t shut up.  It’s all very tense.

But everybody makes it to the plane–and I do mean everybody, even Commandante Camilla, who presumably had her own getaway vehicle, it being her country and all.  Maybe she just wanted to go someplace and make out with Coulson for old times’ sake.

Stone-faced Melinda May--from

Stone-faced Melinda May–from

Coulson apologizes to Stonefaced Melinda May for her seeing combat–and her stoneface says “What you should really be apologizing for is sticking me in an enclosed space 30,000 feet up with your other ex-girlfriend.  Jackass.”

Simmons, using many words, says that Ward is stupid for not driving more carefully while bullets are shooting at them and they have a tesseract.  Ward says, using way fewer words, that the word “bullet” outranks “tesseract” in the immediate sense.  Things get very tense, and Skye accuses Ward of not being able to tell FitzSimmons apart (ha!  I can!  Take that, Handsome Fella!) and accuses FitzSimmons of being just as inexperienced as she is, therefore, since she has been on the team just as long as anybody else, she “might as well be team captain.”  (Okay, I just went to go make sure I knew which one was Fitz and which one was Simmons, and DAMN IT I had it wrong.  So all the Fitzes I said before read as Simmonses and all the Simmonses read as Fitzes.  Got it?)  Ward thinks could have saved the day and taken all the rebels out and achieved world peace if FitzSimmons and Skye hadn’t been mucking up his lone wolf style.

Skye comes to flirt with--whoops, sorry! apologize to–Ward, since they are wrong-footed.  So she brings him a bottle of what appears to be gin.  That he’s supposed to drink straight up.  She’s hardcore.  She tells him that the Vague Peruvian Rebels are just like Rising Tide–a lot of people who’ve never met coming together via Twitter to make the world better.  Ward makes a hate face (and I make one too) and then she says, “one person doesn’t have the solution.  But one hundred people with one percent of the solution?  That’ll get it done.”  Which sounds so inspiring…except I saw those folks in Zuccotti Park, and they knew how to dance gracefully to steel drum music, and that’s about it.  But Ward looks charmed (or…furrowed, anyway) and then moves in such a way as to impress Skye with his manly bullet wound.  “Wait, you got shot?  Did that happen protecting us?”  “Oh, it’s nothing.”  Manly.

Coulson takes Commandante Camilla back to his cabin to show her all his nifty stuff, and she gets super flirty super fast.  Coulson’s alarm bells go off…or maybe he just doesn’t like her touching his walkie-talkie watch.  Ward’s got alarm bells too, because Commandante Camilla’s men are nursing their drinks instead of downing them like proper soldiers.  But Ward can’t get it done, because there are too many wimpy folks he’s got to take care of–Skye is being held by a burly fella, and Fitz has a scary-looking needle pressed against his throat.

Coming up with 1% of the plan--from

Coming up with 1% of the plan–from


Oh dear.  Well, our fearful team is tied up next to Lola, and they don’t know how to get out.  They want Melinda May (who still doesn’t like to be called The Cavalry) to save them, and she says, yo, I’m just the pilot, don’t you geniuses have anything?  FitzSimmons look blank and panicked, and Ward says, “Take a breath.  You don’t have to come up with the solution.  Just part of it.  Right, Skye?”  And I vomited all over myself.


But Melinda May has a really good part of the solution–she dislocates her own wrist so she can take out a guard (who, you know, has a gun and a regular, non-dislocated wrist).  So her 1% contribution is cool.

Commandante Camilla is being deeply annoying, taunting Coulson about his lack of relevance and calling his new team and new plane and new red car a midlife crisis.  “It’s more of an afterlife crisis, really.”  Clearly she was the injured party in the relationship.

Fitz’s part of the solution is to send a minirobot named Sneezy to sneeze at the tesseract and blow a hole in the plane–and here we are, back to the beginning.  Ward’s 1% is to take out all the soldiers (which kinda feels like it should be at least 20%, really) and Skye blows up a raft to plug the hole in the plane.  Simmons does nothing.

Melinda May tells Ward that he should act as Skye’s Superior Officer, help train her to be a field agent.  He jumps at the chance, and Melinda May almost cracks a smile.  They all sit around and watch a rocket ship take off to toss the tesseract into the sun and drink beer and chat about how good it is to be alive…but Skye abstains.  And then she receives a text message asking if she’s in, and she says yes.  Never trust a non-drinker.

The end.  Except wait…I read facebook, I know there’s something coming after the credits, and OH MY GOD IT’S SAMUEL L. JACKSON.  I was hoping for this, but I didn’t figure it was going to be already!  And he’s funny and gives Coulson a hard time and there’s a bit about a fishtank but who really cares because SAMUEL L., YO.

Samuel L. Jackson!--from

Samuel L. Jackson!–from

Superhero Count: 0

Pithy Line: “You guys talk a lot.”

Overall Grade without the last minute: C

I originally typed B-, but I downgraded it to a C.  Because this episode wasn’t funny.  Because the characters are boring–who thinks that having interchangeable characters could possibly be a good thing???  Because Coulson says every sentence exactly the same way.  Because Melinda May never changes her expression.  Because this was just a normal procedural show episode with some references to gamma rays.  Because things with Skye and Ward are moving along awfully fast, and because did Coulson sleep with everybody back in the day?

I know ABC asked for this show to be a) procedural, and b) filled with lots of romantic entanglements.  But I feel like Buffy and Angel were filled with lots of romantic entanglements that were handled in a funny, occasionally sexy, and fairly emotionally realistic way, and AOS so far is not.  And as for the procedural aspect–yeah, not my favorite, but it can be done well.  See Fringe, for example.  And yes, Fringe had Walter, and not every show can have a Walter, but so far AOS has no one that is even close.

2nd episode slump.  That’s all it is.  I hope.

Overall Grade with the last minute: A++++


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