TV REVIEW: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – Episode 1.04 “Eye Spy″

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At last – the harder-edged episode we deserve!

 

 

 

 

We’re happy to report that we finally got the first episode that strays off the safe path with a more brutal storyline. One of Coulson’s former protégés, Akela, whom he presumed had died (or worse?) after a previous mission went bad some years ago, resurfaces back on the grid. She appears to have gone rogue, stealing a case of diamonds from a Stockholm train in a rather cold and surgical manner. Our intrepid team track her down, only to discover that she herself is being manipulated by a mysterious criminal organisation.

A significantly better episode all round: still fun with lots of good chemistry and banter between the team members, but this time with a dash of menace and some knee-crossing squeamish moments. And certainly a future arc is being seeded, as we will, I’m sure, learn over the next few weeks about this group that is controlling Akela (my money is on something Hydra-esque!). Even better, we got a hint of the fighting skills Melinda May is supposed to possess in this episode! Oh, and we also got a quote from Akela regarding Coulson: “What did they do to him?” – reminding us that the season arc is still the story behind Coulson’s resurrection after New York & Loki.

The episode was also a mish-mash of styles and clichés: the pre-credits sequence of the Stockholm diamond heist was very 70’s British TV (Who, Avengers, Prisoner) with a bunch of identically dressed men in plastic red-masks all handcuffed to a case, only one of which carries the diamonds. Akela dispatches them all, but only severs the hand (and nothing left to the imagination there, post-8.00 PM) of the one guy carrying the diamonds.

Much praise goes to Akela, as the agent presumed dead but instead gone bad (or controlled) – get ready for that motif next year in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. She came across really well in full mission mode, but also in redemption when she accepts Coulson’s helping hand. It’ll be good to see more of her in future episodes, and they can play they whole “who’s a bigger ass-kicker” between her and May. Again, much kudos on the way that they handled how she was being controlled… the old “electronic eye with an explosive embedded in your head” trick – works every time!

Just an FYI, but episode 3 dropped viewers in the UK again, down to 1.28m. Episode 4, however, held steady in the States, pulling in 7.85 million, indicating that the loyal attendance has now stabilised. It’ll be interesting to see how this episode fares in the UK.

 

Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: SilverFox

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