Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D S1x03 – “The Asset”

I review the third episode of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, entitled The Asset.

Agents of SHIELD 

Well now, this is where things get interesting (or more interesting than the last two episodes). After two episodes of nothing but mediocre drama and disappointment, The Asset is where things start to step up in quality (if only slightly) for Coulson and the team. However, there are still many, many things wrong with this series so far that prevent it from becoming great, and it lacks the likeable characters (minus Coulson) that made the other shows great. With the series renewed for a full season with extra episodes, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D is going to have to start to improve drastically if it wants to be worthy of those added episodes, because right now I think the only thing that’s saving this series from dropping its viewers to the point of cancelation is the fact that it’s associated with Marvel, created by Joss Whedon and starring Clark Gregg. Aside from that and the hope that traditionally, Whedon shows take a while to get going – I would not be watching anymore episodes of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

The first and biggest problem that we still have with this episode is the characters. There’s only two mildly interesting ones, the ex-S.H.I.E.L.D operative Melinda May and of course Agent Coulson. Agent Ward is bland and unlikable, Fitz and Simmons are annoying but tolerable when you consider that Skye, the other member of the team – is playing a longer role than I would have wished as she’s easily the most annoying character in the entire lead cast – although given previous Whedon works, it’s somewhat hard to say that she’s the most annoying Whedon character ever, especially when you consider the existence of Xander Harris.

The big major talking point of The Asset however will not be its heroes, but its villains. It’s the most comic book-style storyline of the season so far, pitting the SHIELD team against David Conrad’s Quinn – who is unfortunately another bland and forgettable character – but all the while, the episode works pretty well in concealing the origin story of the lead villain until the very end, setting up what could possibly be our first returning non good guy.

There are also some pretty funny moments found within this episode as well, but of course, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D throws a few too many in to the point where they become forced and cheesy. It’s also getting to the point now where it’s starting to turn me off the main reason why I’m sticking with this show in the first place, the references to the Marvel Universe. Three episodes in and it’s consistently reminding us that Coulson was in the Avengers, in case we might forget. There’s a decent amount of references, and then there’s going overboard with them, and I think that The Asset has, with its third episode, managed to do just that.

The amount of cheese in this episode is also unnecessary and doesn’t really work. The opening scene where Agent Ward disarms Skye was a blatant example of something that would show up later on, and it wasn’t very surprising when it did. Fitz and Simmons have become more annoying as the show goes on and it’s gotten to the point where the show needs a serious shakeup in the cast to make the main characters more likeable – even the characters in the first episode of Revolution have more interesting qualities (mostly) than a large portion of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D’s main characters, and that’s saying something considering that by the end of the episode I had decided that Charlie, the lead character – was easily the most unlikeable ‘good’ character on TV. I say ‘good’ because otherwise that would open it up to all characters and try as they might, neither the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D or Charlie are not as detestable as a certain character named Joffrey.

For me, the action sequences, Coulson and the birth of a supervillain are the highlights of this episode and everything else is mostly forgettable. I believe I’ve mentioned this before, but unless this show continues to improve, I’ll stop watching – as much as I love the works of Joss Whedon and Marvel.

Also, just FYI – there’ll be no review of Orphan Black Episode 5 today as I’m yet to watch the episode. I have it on record and will watch it tonight.

VERDICT: 3.5/5

AGENTS OF SHIELD SEASON 1 EPISODE GUIDE: S1x01: PilotS1x02: 0-8-4S1x03: The Asset, S1x04: Eye Spy, S1x05: Girl in the Flower Dress, 

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