Overall, I thought it was okay.  I felt there were too many glib lines, and while there was some mystery, not enough to keep me truly interested.

A handful of thoughts:

* I dislike Skye and Ward from the get-go.  Too glib, too competent, too attractive, too obvious. Total Riker vibe from Ward.

* Was that a Ron Glass sighting?

* Fitz and Simmons feels a little too pushed too.

* There are 50 gazillion heroes and villains in the 616 universe.  I know Marvel doesn't want to pay any extra royalties, but a few familiar names would have been nice.  Hydra? AIM? Scorpio? The Hellfire Club?

* Has the Super-Soldier Serum become the go-to evil plan?

* No good explanation for Coulson's survival.  I was really expecting to hear LMD.

* I'm just not buying into this yet. At the same time, Whedon's got a rep for pulling rabbit's out of hats, so we'll see.

* Oh yeah, the ending made zero sense to me.  Did the bullet not pierce his skin?  Was it a special bullet to fix his condition?  Really hard to tell.

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Well, bloodless now.

Captain Comics said:

I didn't know Oswalt had done any other acting. I was impressed how he would flip back and forth from impassioned fanboy to bloodless bureaucrat.

SHHHHHHH!

Rob Staeger (Grodd Mod) said:

Well, bloodless now.

Captain Comics said:

I didn't know Oswalt had done any other acting. I was impressed how he would flip back and forth from impassioned fanboy to bloodless bureaucrat.

Well, she IS an 084. Maybe it is a superpower!

Rob Staeger (Grodd Mod) said:

I'm fine with that aspect of her character, Richard. I've just got a bias against "superhacker" characters in general, Oracle notwithstanding (and even then, only sometimes). Too often -- including in Skye's case -- it's portrayed as a ridiculous superpower. I'm not a tech-savvy person, by any means, but when it comes to characters like Skye, I never, ever, ever, ever buy it. 

I realize that the characters are all the same to the viewing public, I just thought that corporate Marvel would be less likely to kill off those that they've owned forever, like Hand (who they'll need again once the Spider-rights revert, and Norman Osborn can turn SHIELD into HAMMER) (And yes, I know--odds are that things will have rebooted at least once by the time that happens), than "created for TV" characters like Skye or Ward, whose on-screen deaths would mostly be met with great rejoicing.

Captain Comics said:

Dave Elyea said:

You'd think that the original characters would be more disposable than the established ones.

Except that to people who have never read the comics -- who are probably the vast majority of people watching the movies and TV show -- there is no difference between characters from the comics and characters original to other media. Why would they care where Alexander Pierce originated? (And the Redford character had little in common with the comics version anyway, except for the name.)

And Marvel Studios is playing mix-and-match also. The TV show introduced Eric Koenig (Patton Oswalt), but instead of being a German defector and Howling Commando in WWII, he's a modern character. Meanwhile, another character has been implied to be the grandson of Gabe Jones, who is a WWII Howling Commando in both comics and the TV show.

Speaking of Oswalt, I enjoyed seeing him on the show. I feared stunt casting, but he did a really good job with the role.

Meanwhile, I've been enjoying the show more than ever. It helps that one of the characters I didn't much like has been revealed to be a double agent. Now I can enjoy hating him! The Captain America movie has really shaken up the status quo on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and all for the better.

Who says Hand is dead? It could have been an LMD! It could have been faked to test Ward's loyalty! It could have ... OK, I've run out of "it could haves."

Effective TV deaths are generally not the ones that are met with rejoicing, though. It's the characters people like that hit the hardest... a death you can cheer helps clear the decks of a bad mistake (Nikki and Paulo on Lost, for instance), but rarely can really move us.

Are you saying that you did or did not rejoice about Hand?

Actually, I'm not sure what her purpose was on the show. Red herring? Were we supposed to suspect her of being a double agent?

It's not like she was likable. And the reason Ward had a gun is that she gave it to him, encouraging him to kill a prisoner. Really, I don't see why anyone would miss her.

I've asked that question about characters in comics, but everyone it seems has a fan base no matter how small.

I don't think that death will be as toothless in the show as it is in the comics, Coulson coming back from being killed by Loki has been one of the better revivals and the episode showed some good acting as he realized who was really in charge of Tahiti.
I tend to think of betrayal as one of the worst things you can do, once you have trust and friendship you don't stab in the back, 'Et to Brutti', that sort of thing. I don't care how honorable Brutus was, he walked away from honor when he put the knife in. So Ward and the rest can die as far as I'm concerned.




Captain Comics said:

Are you saying that you did or did not rejoice about Hand?

Actually, I'm not sure what her purpose was on the show. Red herring? Were we supposed to suspect her of being a double agent?

It's not like she was likable. And the reason Ward had a gun is that she gave it to him, encouraging him to kill a prisoner. Really, I don't see why anyone would miss her.

Actually, that's a really good point about Hand -- she was the one who gave Ward the gun that killed her. So there's an ever-so-slight possibility that she knew what he was going to do, and rigged the gun (with or without his knowledge or consent) to help with faking her own death.

It's not likely, of course, but it's not impossible. (In the Marvel Universe, anyway.)

Hand's death did seem a little off--up to that point, she'd been so "by the book" as to seem incapable of independent thought, and then she suddenly comes up with the idea of encouraging Ward to kill an unarmed & seemingly helpless prisoner.  Was  she too stupid to live (the TV show certainly seemed to portray her that way)?  Was/Is she Hydra, and it was all a set-up to put Ward past the point of no return?  Heck, was she really a HAMMER Agent all along, and it's all been part of some game they're running against Hydra & SHIELD?  Seriously, the only reason I used her as my example is that, unlike, say, Koenig, she had a prominent storyline from the comics that the current movieverse couldn't do, but may yet have available to them in the relatively near future, where she serves as Osborn's version of Maria Hill.  As for LMDs, I'm guessing that if we haven't had any show up by now, they most likely don't exist yet in the Marvel Movieverse.

I was actually kinda joking about the LMD.

But, like you and Rob, Dave, I found it really out of character for Hand to give the gun to Ward. I guess we could write that off that Hand, having seen the entire organization collapse, has decided that all Hydra agents were too dangerous to live, due process be damned. But I don't find that argument very convincing, and it was a WTF moment for me (which I didn't have much time to wonder about). It would not surprise me to see Hand again -- not only was it an odd death, but her story seems unfinished.

Of course, if she turns up, and turns out to be Hydra (or worse, Leviathan), that puts the whole episode in question, and I'm going to start looking at Triplett, May and Fitz a little closer ...

To tell you the truth, one of the reasons that Hand's death seems so suspicious to me is that the only other time I had a similar WTF moment was when Ward shot the faux Clairvoyant. That seemed really out of character to me, and it turned out that we SHOULD have felt that way.

I don't think TV and movie audiences would be as tolerant of the revolving door of death as comics fans seem to be.

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