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Written by: Joss Whedon & Jed Whedon & Maurissa Tancharoen

Directed by: Joss Whedon


Plot: After the events of The Avengers, S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Phil Coulson assembles a small team of agents to investigate a mysterious group called the Rising Tide. In doing so, they encounter Mike Peterson (J. August Richards), an ordinary man who has acquired superhuman powers.

Review: Expectation, if only there was a way to properly take control of that.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun to be excited about stuff. It’s also great to know that a project is being shepherded by a creative team that has had a great success rate. You get more excited by it.

But, sometimes even the best of the creative types can miss.

Now, if you were expecting this to be a set up on how the pilot episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was a disappointment and that I didn’t like it…well, too bad. You ain’t getting that.

Nope, I liked it, quiet a bit actually, but the expectations I had were very realistic.

I wasn’t expecting the next Avengers. I wasn’t expecting the next Firefly/Buffy/Angel/Dollhouse etc.

I wanted to see a fun show about super cool agents taking on super crazy missions.

Congrats folks. That’s this show.

It’s not the best pilot I’ve ever seen. Hell, it’s not even Joss’s best pilot (the Firefly pilot, Serenity, IS both the best pilot that Joss has made AND is one of the best episodes I’ve ever seen.)

The pilot episode does work in the fashion of perfectly setting everything up. It’s very clear what kind of show this is by the end of this episode. The characters are stock, but for the first episode, there is no room for extreme character development. It’s go go go! YET, I never felt rushed with the plot, and we get JUST enough of the new field agents  personalities to get an idea of who they are.

While I like the cast just fine, the high point, is…no surprise…Agent Phil Coulson.

Phil Coulson is everything you guys love about him from the movies, and more. He’s a man whose actions speak louder then words, but what I love is that his “actions” aren’t  punching and firing weapons. It’s about gaining trust, commanding his team to find every option, and to do it in a fashion that isn’t dictatorship.

Clark Gregg continues to deliver his quiet and unassuming charm.  It’s such a unique way of presenting a “boss” character in the show. Also, I’m relieved to know that the mystery of HOW Coulson survived The Avengers isn’t going to be a simple answer. Rather,  it will be a question that they’ll continue to dangle in front of us for the time being.

While I’m not really smitten with the rest of the cast yet, it IS only the first episode, and I am very much looking forward to see how much they will grow from episode to episode.

One surprise to me is the general tone of how the Agency is portrayed. Normally, a show about a super spy organization like S.H.I.E.L.D. would be much more cynical and dark, but this shows goals so far is to be a much more brighter and hopeful. That’s fascinating to me, and also strangely refreshing.

The episode is of course full of classic Mutant Enemy style humor, and a few hints at a possible big bad. The action was good, and actual twists to the plot was well earned and well done. J. August Richards is fantastic in his guest role as Mike Peterson (who is in fact based on no one in particular in the comics), and I do hope that we get to see him again in a future episode.

It was also really fun to see how much this episode ties in with the rest of the Marvel Movies (especially a certain movie that just came out today on Blu Ray.)

Yeah, the fun of watching this show is seeing/hearing the Easter eggs to the other Marvel Movies and to unused Marvel Comics characters, and you do get those, but this is certainly a fine enough show to work regardless of the fun Marvel Tie-Ins.

Thought, as a Marvel fanboy, I got super psyched to see that Colusons car, Lola, can do this…

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Overall, a pretty decent first episode. Keep in mind, outside of Firefly,I always felt that all of Whedons pilots were decent at worst. This was decent. Decent isn’t bad. This still solid and fun, and you know what? I want to see the next episode, and isn’t that THE most important job of the pilot episode?

Now…let’s get ready to be psyched for the rest of the season….

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