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Why So Furious? What We Learned From Last Night's 'Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.'

By Joanna Robinson | TV | October 2, 2013 |

By Joanna Robinson | TV | October 2, 2013 |

I Told You Melinda May Would Be My Favorite: The more I watch this show, the more I’m realizing just how much I miss seeing a gorgeous lady kick all kinds of ass. I’m sure there are other current shows that provide that. Nikita, probably. But I’ve had a Buffy/SidneyBristow/SarahWalker hole in my heart for a little while now and, holy hell, is Ming Na filling it. We got a bit of Melinda May’s backstory and the reason behind her perma-glower this week. She either is The Cavalry or was once part of The Cavalry (You can read up on it here. Thor Girl? Really?) and, basically, you wouldn’t like her when she’s angry. Coulson plainly lied to her when he said she wouldn’t see any combat and in a group of hackers, scientists and ridiculously good-looking male models, she’s our best hope when enemy asses need kicking.

Agent Blue Steel Really Isn’t Getting Any Better: I realized who he reminded me of. I think he’s shooting for Boreanaz thang, but he’s coming off an awful lot like Riley Finn of Buffy infamy. That’s no good, Blue Steel.

The Tahiti Business Is Bordering On Creepy Now: One of you mentioned that Coulson keeps using the same exact phrasing to describe his time in Tahiti. Agent Shiny Hair called attention to it this week. So what’s our best guess? It’s robot, isn’t it? Is that why Coulson looks so good? The Tahiti business may get a little (intentionally) repetitive, but I’ll never tire of his description of that encounter with Loki. This week: “An Asgardian stabbed me through the heart with a Chitauri Scepter.” Anyway, I’m intrigued as to how this mystery plays out. Will Coulson get vivisected in battle only to discover gears in his innards? We’ll have to see.

This Is The Good Kind Of Cinematic: Some of your took exception last week when I said I didn’t want the show to try so hard to look cinematic. Let me parse that a bit. There are few great ways for a show to look cinematic. The vast exteriors of Top of The Lake, the lush interiors of Mad Men and the dazzling everything of Hannibal? Those are fantastic, gorgeously cinematic shows. Cheap-ass CGI? I’m looking at you Once Upon A Time. That’s doing nobody any favors and I think it’s a result of the show wanting to feel “bigger” or more “epic.” But I think it just makes your show look small and did I mention cheap? So I didn’t like some of the bigger CGI’d moments last week. But this week’s action? Oh it looked fantastic. More of this please.
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You Keep Trying To Make Me Love You, Adorable Accented Techs. It Won’t Work. It Won’t Wo-Ugh, It’s Working: I know they’re going to die. I KNOW IT. And yet I’m so in love with their adorable tech-babble and even more precious gadgetry. Named for the seven dwarves? I die.

I’m Sick And Tired Of These Motherf*cking Cameos On My Motherf*cking Plane: I’m not actually. I just wanted to use that quote. Okay, we’re going to get to the negative feelings some of you have about the show but even you, Whedon Hater, can’t help but admire this heavy-hitting cameo from Samuel L. Jackson. I couldn’t get enough of him Furying his way around the plane bus. And there have been indications that we might see future cameos. You can call it gimmicky, but I bet you eat your words as soon as Tom Hiddleston shows up.

Why So Furious? Okay, haters, what’s with the anger? I’ve seen a lot of negative text spilled about this show and I just don’t get it. Not your cup of tea? Okay. Anger, though? What could this inoffensively fun show possibly have done to incite rage? I’ve seen some folks fume that this episode was too much like the Firefly episode “Out Of Gas.” Really? This new thing reminds you of something beloved and your reaction is rage? I don’t get it.

Sure the show is currently stuck in “encounter/monster of the week” procedural territory. But so were a lot of great shows in their first season. Angel and Justified are two phenomenal shows that started in the procedural rut and broke out into larger arcs and mythology. Some shows just need to do some world-building before they get there. We can’t all be Veronica Mars right out of the gate.

At the very least, I’m enjoying the hell out of this show not because it’s truly great on the whole yet, but because of some of its unbelievably entertaining parts. As I mentioned up above, I’m a member of the Melinda May fan club. But, come on, we all know the star of this show is Clark Gregg’s Phil Coulson. Witty, dry, stylish, exasperated, fatherly Coulson. It’s a downright pleasure to spend time with him. And he ain’t hard to look at either. You know, he works out.

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