Remember all the hype about how Marvel’s AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. would be set in the same universe as the Marvel movies and we could expect events from the big and small screen to at least have an influence on each other? Well, Marvel is now backing away from that idea.
Take last week’s guest appearance on MAoS by the Lady Sif (Jaimie Alexander), a major player in Thor’s movie series. Like most people, I expected this to be a major event, not merely ratings-bait stunt casting — especially since Sif was to go up against Lorelei, the sister of the Enchantress, who is expected to be one of the baddies in the eventual Thor 3 movie.
Perhaps Enchantress might be angry about her little sister’s treatment on the TV show? Don’t hold your breath…
Attention, fans of MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.! Get thee to a cinema forthwith to view Thor: The Dark World, which opens today — because the Nov. 19 episode of AoS is going to pick up on plot threads left over from the movie.
According to Entertainment Weekly, the AoS episode, called “The Well,” most likely will not feature any Thor cast members (barring a surprise cameo), but rather some “connective tissue” in the storyline.
Check out the official synopsis from ABC:
“In the aftermath of the events chronicled in the feature film Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World, Coulson and the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. pick up the pieces – one of which threatens to destroy a member of the team.”
Putting this together with what we’ve all seen in the various trailers, it looks like there will be lots of Asgardian/Elf technology expended in all the fighting, so Agent Phil Coulson’s team most likely comes across something dangerous in some wreckage while cleaning up after the battle.
With a lot of the film’s action set in Greenwich, England, it seems like a natural setup for a crossover with TORCHWOOD, doesn’t it? If only that reconstituted UK team was still in action, that is…
One of the things I find most interesting about MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. is the way episodes hinge on decisions that Agent Coulson has to make, as opposed to a shoot-out or some other action set piece. Whether it’s choosing to let Skye tag along with his team from the pilot or a life-or-death decision about the person his team was chasing. And he makes these choices on the spot, and rather coldly and without sentiment. I like that he takes his job seriously and is willing to make the tough calls.
Those of you keeping score at home know Coulson sometimes gives the prey the benefit of the doubt — Skye and Akela — but sometimes doesn’t — just ask Dr. Franklin. I find that the most interesting aspect of this show, which isn’t always all that interesting. After all the action and chases and hand-to-hand combat, Coulson usually has a split-second to weigh the life of a bad or dangerous person against the lives of his team (or the safety of the world), and he doesn’t let sentimentality get in the way. (Or would Akela disagree, even though she benefitted from it?)
The fourth bombastic episode of MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. saw our heroes pitted against a… diamond thief? Er, um… a really good diamond thief. One who stole a whole bunch of diamonds. From guys wearing red masks. On a subway. In Stockholm. Yeah, the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division took on a jewel thief.
I know the show has a few mandates and guidelines to follow in order to air at 8 p.m. on ABC (curbs on violence, etc.), but I think the show’s producers are aiming a little too low. For a while it was hinted that the thief might have super powers, but no, she just had a camera (and a bomb) installed in her eye.
From all appearances, this episode of MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. was meant to be a run-of-the-mill, this-is-how-we-do-it story of a regular SHIELD (it’s too much trouble to type all those periods) mission — and thus, it was a bit on the dull side. Solving a kidnapping was just the McGuffin to push Skye into fieldwork before she’s ready — and before anybody, including SHIELD, knows she can be trusted.
It also served to start sketching in a background for Mr. Stuffed Shirt, aka Agent Ward, and pushing the two most conventionally attractive people in the cast together, just as everybody watching expects. But where “The Asset” worked best was in laying the groundwork for SHIELD’s first super-powered adversary.
I can best sum up my feeling about AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. by saying that I really wanted to like it more than I did. And I did enjoy it; I just didn’t love it. Even though I wanted to love it.
It felt like the show was coasting too much on Executive Producer Joss Whedon’s reputation and its association with last year’s blockbuster The Avengers movie. I got the sense that the pilot was Joss slapping together a demo piece and telling the network, “This is just a placeholder; trust me, the real series will be great.” And, yes, the script was generously stocked with Whedonesque quips and Easter eggs, but I expected it all to be much more… well, polished.
As such, the pilot for AoS was pretty okay, but it demonstrated nothing close to its potential. It felt a bit like one of the characters, Grant Ward — shiny and a bit smug, and not as charming as it thinks it is.
Now this is how you sell a movie with still photos! (And this isn’t.) Joss Whedon’s The Avengers kicks off the summer blockbuster season on May 4, so lot of teaser images are being released to get fans stoked — and it’s working! (Disney’s John Carter marketers should take notes!)
Don’t mess with the best: Avengers Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Captain America (Chris Evans) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) look determined to kick some butt. I wouldn’t want to be Loki (Tom Hiddleston) or his mysterious minions (*cough*FrostGiants*cough*)!
I wonder what the balance of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes — Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), not to mention Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and the rest of S.H.I.E.L.D. — are up to while this trio is on the move.