Can Deathlok Save 'Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.?
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Can Deathlok Save 'Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.?

By TK | Trade News | January 24, 2014 | Comments ()


Can An Asgardian Sorceress? Can Anyone?

My guess is: probably not.


But then, you probably already guessed some of this. Marvel’s painfully inconsistent, and often just plain disappointing ‘Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.’, a show that I desperately wanted to like but simply am not able to, is rolling the dice and, for the first time, introducing another actual comic book character into the show as a potential series regular (others include adding Elena Satine as the Asgardian Lorelei and Bill Paxton as Agent John Garrett).

The show has been fading fast - I find myself forcing myself to watch out of some sort of perverse hope that they’ll eventually hit their stride, but… Outside of Fitz and Simmons, I’m finding less and less to enjoy each week. Even the wonderful Clark Gregg is getting boring, and if they don’t give Melinda May some emotion one of these days besides a tiny smirk, I’m going to start shouting.

So the solution is apparently throw in Asgardians and cyborgs. Deathlok — who not coincidentally is celebrating his 40th anniversary this year — will be coming to the small screen. There have been a few different people to inherit the title of Deathlok in the comics — it’s more based on the tech used to create him than the actual person — but it’s always a cyborg created out of a reanimated body. This time around, apparently Mike Peterson (J. August Richards) will become Deathlok, and one can only imagine this will somehow tie into the appearance of Paxton’s Agent Garrett, who is also a cyborg.

Of course, the problem is that ‘Agents’ isn’t suffering because it doesn’t have enough superheroes. It’s suffering because the writing is terrible, the acting is all over the place, and the pacing is often staggeringly slow. The big, dark, long-range storylines are often totally uninteresting, most recently demonstrated by the reveal of Coulsen’s “Tahiti” plotline which was essentially exactly what we expected it to be, and thus, completely unfulfilling.

But hey, cyborgs and Asgardian sorceresses. For those who don’t know, here’s what Elena Satine looks like. She’s quite pretty.


So, there’s that.

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Donna SHerman

    She's like a red-headed Gillian Jacobs.

  • Sean

    Wait, Pullman is playing that Agent John Garrett? The drunken, ass-grabbing, racist, sexist asshole from Elecktra Assassin? He will be perfect! Just be the character from Predator 2. Obviously this is pre-President Wind.
    As for the Enchantress, well that character certainly has fallen in stature. She was rumored to be the bad guy for Thor 3.
    But you criticism of the show is 100 % valid. I too want to like this show. But...I can't.

  • Joshua Durant

    Lorelei is the Enchantress's sister. The Enchantress's given name is Amora and this is the comic version of John Garrett...

  • Thing is, the show would work better if they did take a page out of the competition: make it a "Gotham Central" style pseudo-anthology, showing the background work of SHIELD that is only hinted at in the films. Basically, if this was Star Wars, then the show would be about the many Bothans that died getting the Death Star plans. If they would get back to SHIELD being a spy organization and cut down on the procedural stuff, the characters would work out better (like having a reason for a super hacker). Stop trying to shoehorn everyone into the episode, and give them more room to breathe and differentiate themselves.

    Know what I would do? I would introduce spies from Latveria and Wakanda. We don't really mention the big names (but highlight that there are "interests") but basically have a Cold War style spy faceoff, with SHIELD constantly playing catchup. They know something is going down, and they are trying to keep it from exploding into open conflict. Latveria is hostile yet a known entity, while Wakanda seems to be more friendly, but is far more secretive and willing to engage in dirty tricks. This would be the MCU version of "Secret War" and would give the show a way to highlight why these people are necessary. Because that seems like the biggest problem with this show: it is hard to justify these guys flying around solving crimes that either a) don't need all that much to solve or b) are so ridiculous you wonder why a bigger gun wasn't called in.

    I really want this show to get better. Beyond keeping some favorites employed and giving some vindication, I just want there to be something entertaining come out of this Disney/Marvel machine that isn't just the films, and I want to see what people can come up with playing around in this insane sandbox.

  • Tracer Bullet

    I had to give it up. It's just too damned boring and slow and, worse, it's bad but not terrible. It would have to show more ambition to be terrible. With about 20% more effort, and 100% less Fitz and Simmons, it could be a really great show. Now it's just NCIS for 30-year-olds instead of 60-year-olds.

  • *glares* I'll thank you to not drag Leroy Jethro Gibbs' name into the mud that is SHIELD.

  • TK

    NCIS for 30-year-olds

    Ugh, I hate it when you're right, but you are goddamn right.

  • Lee

    The problem is they pulled a "bait and switch" on us. Not all Whedons are created equal.

  • That is becoming quite apparent.

  • AoS took too long to develop their plot - such as it is. They expected pretty to stand in for good, which might work for background actors who need to find their feet, but is a terrible decision for your supposed "leads." They dulled-down Coulson and apparently put some sort of restrictive collar on May, so she's just allowed to kick ass and be mean but is given only as much character development as she can steal without the writers realizing it. I found the frozen kid far more interesting than anyone outside of Fitz and Simmons, and even he was overacting (when I know he can be more subtle). This was supposed to be a fun show, not a slog. I still watch it because my son wants to, but even he - a teenage boy, the perfect demographic - is critical of the lackluster stories and performances.

  • I've seen the couple of episodes since the winter break as a step forward for the show at least from a storytelling perspective. The further they get away from the procedural/"this is a problem that requires the attention of the whole cast" elements the better the show will get. There have been steps made in that direction, and hopefully the new characters will mix things up a bit and inject some life into the show.

  • I initially mis-read that headline as 'Can Deathklok Save Agents of SHIELD' which would be a whole different kind of show.

  • TK

    A fucking AWESOME show. But alas, no.

  • I keep watching SHIELD, but I'm not such a comics junkie to know the importance of these new characters. I just want them to put together a show where I really care about the characters. They could kill Skye, Ward, or May, and I wouldn't really care. That's not a good sign.

  • seth

    Dammit. I thought I read Dethklok.

  • lowercase_ryan

    You have to stop shouting before you can start again.

  • emmalita

    The show doesn't need more pretty. It needs more quality. Much more quality. Writing, acting, all of the things need more quality. If they jettison some of the pretty, but terrible actors and whip the writers room into shape, this could be a fun show. I can't get excited about J. August Richards as Deathlok. He's not that scary.

  • SnappyChicken

    I thought I read Dethklock. And then I was disappointed.

  • luthien26

    You are not the only one. :)

  • Snath

    I think I'm in the minority here, but I enjoy Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in a fairly big way. I'm a Marvel fanboy, so that may contribute to my blind eye.

  • TK

    Dude. I'm a HUGE Marvel fanboy. The show is terrible. It's time to accept it. It's not even fun-bad, like 'Arrow', but just flat-out bad.

  • My 9-year-old daughter has enthusiasm for it, and I'm willing to spend that half hour on the couch with her and hope for an upward trajectory.

  • lowercase_ryan

    I resent you saying Arrow is fun-bad. I'm loving season 2.

  • TK

    You misunderstand me. I fucking love 'Arrow'. It's hellaciously fun. But it's also kind of terrible. It's overacted, cheesy as hell, and overall ridiculous.

  • lowercase_ryan

    ok I gotcha. that's a fair assessment.

  • Long_Pig_Tailor

    I'd say it's camp-good. Silly at times? Sure, totally, no argument from me. But it nevertheless works.

  • I think I stopped halfway through an episode two months ago and then forgot it existed because I didn't care. So it's like Girls except there's not a bunch of jackasses yelling at me on the Internet everyday.

  • TK


  • lowercase_ryan

    see, never stopped shouting.

  • Snath


  • snrp

    (I'm a non-comic book reader, so...whatever, but) whyyyyyyy didn't they have Coulson become Deathlok? The show could have been used as a two-season ramp-up to the next Avengers movie with Deathlok as the Big Bad, OR been about the team gradually realizing that SHIELD is a corrupt and scary institution and going rogue.

    As it stands, I feel like the Greater Marvel Universe is hurting the show--the stakes have to be kept low so no one asks "Hey, should we call Tony Stark on this one?"

  • So based on what they've said, AoS is going to tie into Captain America 2's plot - if you don't know, part of Cap 2 is him realizing that SHIELD is not necessarily the good guys and that they are just as bad as the people they're stopping, in a way (hints of Civil War in there).

    I think given an earlier episode, where Agent Hand basically blew off rescuing Coulson and the team "went rogue" to rescue him (whether it was planned by Hand or not), I have a feeling that as the show progresses, it'll hit that point where they no longer are necessarily following the orders of the greater SHIELD.

    This is, of course, all fingers crossed type hopes, but the hints are there, just a matter of them getting to it.

  • Muhnah_Muhnah

    I want to care. I really do. I watch out sometimes when I remember it exists, and sometimes I stop in the middle of an episode because I want a cup of tea, but I forget to return to it. Basically this show has tapped into my apathy mother lode.

  • John W

    Deathlok is a pretty cool character. I wonder if he's going to have 'puter, his on board computer he talks to.

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