Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1, Episode 4: Eye Spy

I don't have a lot to say about this episode-- to be honest I actually dozed off toward the end! I'm not sure it was the show's fault or I was just really sleepy. Either way I hope things pick up soon in this series or I'm gonna drop it.

This week S.H.I.E.L.D. investigates a woman with x-ray vision who's committed numerous high profile heists. She turns out to be Akela Amadour, a former protege of Coulson. He summons the team to capture her, believing she deserves another chance.

• Directed by Roxanne Dawson, who played B'Elanna Torres on Star Trek: Voyager. Torres directed several episodes of Voyager and has become quite a prolific TV director since.

• I've been saying for several weeks now that if this show can't be The Avengers every week, then it needs to try and be more like Fringe. Looks like they took my advice! This week's episode felt very much like a first season Fringe episode. Maybe it was a rejected script the Fringe reject pile?

• I was hoping Akela might turn out to be a character from the Marvel Universe, but instead she's just some woman with a bionic eye and x-ray vision. Marvel has hundreds of characters they could easily use on this show. I wonder if they're hesitant to do so because they don't want to waste a villain on the TV show and then not be able to use them in a movie?

• At the beginning of the episode a squadron of men wearing creepy red masks and briefcases handcuffed to them walk purposefully through a city in Switzerland (I think). Are they minions of the Red Skull? Members of the Red Tide? No, they're diamond mules.

This I don't get. Someone wanted to transport millions in diamonds and decided the best way to do so was to utilize dozens of lookalikes as decoys, only one of which was really carrying the diamonds. That way the odds of a thief stealing the right briefcase were slim at best. But then why dress all the decoys in creepy red masks? Wouldn't it have been better if they'd just worn hats and dark glasses so they'd blend in with the crowd a bit more? Why make them stand out so much and practically beg a crook to attack them?

The only reason I can come up with is that the red masks made it more comic booky, and this is a comic book universe.

• So Aleka had x-ray vision and could tell which briefcase contained the diamonds. Did she have super strength as well? She beat up a subway car full of soldiers and even ripped the hand off of one to get his briefcase. Quite a feat for a 120 pound woman.

• Once again, May is flying a gigantic airplane all by herself. No copilot, no navigator, no nothing. She even comments that she likes flying because of the solitude in the cabin. Nope!

I realize this is a comic book show, but I don't think you can fly an enormous plane like that with a crew of six.

Now that I think about it, is there any kind of crew on the "Bus?" A grounds crew? Technicians? Maintenance men? Who vacuums the carpets and cleans the bathrooms? Couslon? 

• Akela is being controlled by someone else who can see her every move through her bionic eye. If she disobeys or tries to betray this mystery man, he'll throw a kill switch and explode her head.

S.H.I.E.L.D. captures her and sends Ward to complete her mission. They rig up some technobabble glasses so that the mystery man will see what Ward sees and he's watching Akela's point of view. 

The mystery man must be really unobservant. Did Ward never once look down at his hands or feet, allowing the mystery man to see that he's not a black woman? Did he never look into his car's rear or side view mirrors? Did the mystery man not notice that his video feed is suddenly coming from six feet off the ground instead of five?

• At the end of the episode Akela asks May what happened to Coulson, then quickly drops the subject. Obviously she saw something odd about him with her x-ray vision. We can't be told what she saw though because it's only the fourth episode and they've got to drag out the mystery, LOST-style.

• In the tag scene Ward and Fitz are playing poker. Fitz wants Skye to use the backscatter x-ray feature of the technobabble glasses to see Ward's cards. Skye warns Fitz that if she turns them on, she'll be able to see his naked body under his clothes. He blushes and folds, hurriedly scampering away before she can get a peep at him.

It's supposed to be a cutesy moment, but it's just plain dumb. Have you seen what those backscatter images look like? They're about as erotic as your grandma's nightgown. We even saw a backscatter image of May earlier in the episode and she looked like an amorphous blob, so this whole little tag scene made zero sense.

I guess I had a lot to say about it after all.

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