The Ninjabot

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D: Team-Building Exercises [SPOILERS]

Posted on October 1, 2013 at 11:00 pm by Frank Wingrove

After much anticipation, the debut of the small-screen adaptation of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., arrived last week and crushed all pre-conceived notions. With 16 million viewers and generally positive reviews, S.H.I.E.L.D. was sure to have an audience hungry for more. We return for round two this evening to find out if the pilot was a fluke or the start of something marvel-ous.

[Final warning: SPOILERS!]


The episode started Tarantino-style by dropping us in the middle of the climax as Agent Coulson hangs out of a hole blown through the side of his decked-out plane (aka, “The Bus”), only to rewind us nineteen hours before the incident. Skye is moving in to the Bus, and Agent Ward is complaining to Coulson about the addition of their new “consultant.” Their expositional conversation here sets up foreshadowing for later events in the episode, and also details character arcs that will either take the rest of this episode or the season to develop. We also learn that the team’s first assignment is to recover an unknown object from Peru that’s lodged in the wall of an ancient temple. Before they can uncover much information, a Peruvian military outfit arrives to retrieve the object themselves.

As it turns out, Coulson knows the leader, Camilla Reyes, who was once his partner from his time as a younger field agent. The two groups then band together to fight off rebels that descend upon the temple, escaping on the Bus with the unknown object. While in the air, tempers flare between Ward and the two scientists, Fitz and Simmons. When Simmons scolds Ward for his lack of concern for the unknown object they had to retrieve, Ward laments that he could have done the assignment better if he were alone and rather than having to protect Fitz, Simmons, and Skye. Remind anyone else of another group of super heroes? More exposition/bonding takes place between Coulson/Camilla and Ward/Skye. These conversations lead to the discovery that Camilla and her group plan to kill Coulson’s team and take the object back to Peru.We get some pretty awesome action towards the end of the episode that eventually forces the team to set aside their differences, come together, and save the day. Go team work!


If last week’s pilot episode was meant to preview the general look and feel of the show, then tonight’s episode was meant to preview the relationships between these characters. Skye and Ward are set up to be the most dynamic of the characters in the show, and chances are they won’t be the same as they are now when the season comes to a close. In true Marvel tradition, the episode ended with a huge question as to Skye’s motives for joining S.H.I.E.L.D. A nice inclusion was a cameo by Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, showing that we never know who might show up from the MCU.

In the end, this episode was a bit slow, but it’s still laying the ground work for what I’m sure will be a massive series. Already this feels like a “Joss Whedon” show with its witty dialogue and intriguing character relationships, and that kind of show with the backing of a major production company can only mean great things. Here’s looking forward to next weeks adventure! Leave us a comment letting us know what you thought!

Team Building Exercises: B+

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D “Team Building Exercises” aired on ABC October 1st, 2013 at 8/9c. 

    • So, which witty dialog are we talking about here? I still didn’t find S.H.I.E.L.D interesting the second time around. I want so much to like these characters, but they’re a total snooze fest. Best part of the episode was the two minutes at the end when Nick Fury reams Coulson.

      • Frank E. Wingrove III

        To be fair, I didn’t mention May because she was barely in the episode and her relationship with the rest of the team doesn’t seem to be as important as everyone else’s relationship with each other at the moment. She maybe had six lines of dialogue and one of those lines were repeated and she had very little screen-time overall. I enjoy her character and look forward to learning more about her, especially why she’s called “The Cavalry”.

        Like I said in the article, these first two episodes are simply for laying the foundation, so I’m going to be much more forgiving of the lack of deep, sophisticated storylines. Looking back, I don’t think that I’ve ever been “hooked” on a new series after only two episodes. With that being said, I understand your hesitation. Lol.

        Like you, I hope that things begin to kick into gear soon. The writers on this series are very talented and the sooner they can flex their muscles the better. For the time being, I’ll continue using S.H.I.E.L.D. as an enjoyable stop-gap between Marvel movies.

        Thanks for reading the article. 🙂

        • I think Ming Na Wen is the worst part of the show, well other than the fact I can’t understand a goddamned word Fitz or Simmons say. She couldn’t over-act and look more woefully out of place trying to be a bad-ass if she tried. Blech.

          I am still on the fence about the show. I want to love it, but I only like it right now.

    • Jennifer

      I love it! I’m super excited to see where it goes! I’m really curious to find out where Coulson really was when he thought he was in Tahiti. I think the Fitz & Simmons duo is a bit silly, but silly is kind of expected in a universe filled with super heroes. I think Sky & Ward will end up being amusing once they’re settled in. And Melinda May is AMAZING! She’s mysterious & tortured.
      I think you’re correct sir, great things are coming!

    Sharing the Legacy on Flickr

    See all photos