I’ve been keeping up to date with Agents of SHIELD and have been willing the series to be amazing; in truth, the first few episodes were up and down – there were some flashes of brilliance, some great character development, particularly with Coulson’s story and just why he’s still alive. But there was also something missing, I couldn’t quite put my finger on it but something just wasn’t clicking. However when I watched episode 6, I felt the series really came into its own.
Revolving around Agent Simmons, the team are investigating the after effects of when a group of people come into contact with a Chitauri helmet. Unfortunately during their investigation, Jemma Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) becomes infected with the same virus and it’s a race against time to find a cure for her. Now the show is finding its stride, its focusing on developing all of its characters (not just Skye); before this episode, I really enjoyed the double act of Fitz and Simmons, the science geeks that Coulson recruited. The moment where Coulson realises Simmons is infected is a bittersweet moment; Clark Gregg does a great job at showing the disappointment and hurt in his facial expressions and the way he delivers the ‘I’m so sorry Jemma’.
What this episode does so well is finally bringing the team together, and making the audience care for the characters. When watching this episode it finally clicked that that was what I was missing; apart from Coulson these characters, as a group, were lacking chemistry but now we saw them coming together to try and help one of their own with each character getting a moment to shine. The dynamic between Fitz and Simmons is lovely to see –they have a sibling bond, bickering constantly but knowing what the other is thinking, willing to do anything for each other. Skye is integrating into the group and forming a real bond with Simmons, and even Ward is developing and becoming less grumpy.
We also get some really interesting character development for Coulson, helped along by Melinda May. He refers a few times to some medical tests his doctor’s have ordered for him, and he particularly connects to a fire-fighter in his last moments before his death due to the virus from the Chitauri helmet. We find out at the end of the episode that in fact Coulson ordered the tests himself; he feels something is wrong and he confesses that he feels different. The show has brought a different kind of Coulson than we’re used to in the Marvel cinematic universe, and it’s great to see Gregg be able to flesh out the character. It’s interesting that Coulson can feel he is different and in upcoming episodes, I’m sure that angle will be even further established.
With the show now firmly hitting its stride after a few bum notes, and a full 22 episode series on the horizon, I hope that the show continues to develop even more.
Melinda May: Whether it was 8 seconds or 40, you died. There’s no way you can go through a trauma like that and not come out of it changed. You know how long it’s taken me to…
Phil Coulson: I know.
Melinda May: The point of these things is to remind us that… There is no going back, there’s only moving forward. You feel different because you *are* different. (Agents of SHIELD, F.Z.Z.T)