Butler County Times Gazette
  • Costello: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. debut entertains, opens big stories

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  • If you intend to watch the first episode and have not yet watched, be aware of full spoilers ahead.
    Here's to hoping the rest of the season is as good as the pilot episode.
    "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." writer Joss Whedon is at it again. He introduced several characters (though some actually were seen on some of Marvel One Shot short films released on the blu-rays of "The Avengers" and "Iron Man 2") and bounced back and forth between four or five main storylines with perfect balance to both resolve the episode's main arc as well as hook the audience to what certainly will unfold into greater story arcs.
    None more pressing of the main story arcs is the reappearance of Agent Coulson (reprised by Clark Gregg). Coulson was last scene with a Destroyer gun in his hand as he exhaled his final breaths aboard SHIELD's flying base in "The Avengers". This was a point of contention for many: How does Coulson come back? (This new show takes place after "Avengers" and Iron Man 3). At first, the resolution wasn't satisfying. Oh, he faked his death and was taken to Tahiti, out of sight. Unoriginal and uncreative.
    But one or two not-so-subtle lines in the first episode create plot points that start down a path that involves a more complex answer to Coulson' revival (Tahiti a magical place? Hm).
    Right from the opening scene, our first superhero is presented to us in the form of a super strong man who can jump down tall buildings and search through fires with no problem. As word of "The hooded hero" gets around, SHIELD isn't the only one that tries to track him down. A rebel simply named Skye uses hacker tricks to watch the watchers.
    SHIELD gets wind of her, and newly assigned Agent Ward (played by Brett Dalton), who normally specializes in solo killings, tracks her down. But as Coulson and Ward try to extract information in a well-acted, tantalizing scene in the interrogation room, Skye's allegiance become unclear. Is she working for this hacker group Rising Tide? At the end of the episode, she is offered to join SHIELD. Will she? Can she be trusted? Great storyline to keep an eye on. And the lovely Chloe Bennet, who plays Skye, is devious, witty, light-hearted and versatile.
    SHIELD reputedly was going to reference the other movies and super heroes. It did. Everything is still stemming from the events of New York. A discovery about Extremis (from Iron Man 3) is made. Mentions of the likes of Black Widow, Stark and Captain America are made. Cleary this show means business with the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
    Cool tech gadgets are here, as are tongue-in-cheek lines ("It's an origin story" is uttered by the hooded hero). Funny interactions with the agents are sprinkled throughout. Stories are ever intriguing. Yes, this show is going to be fun.

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