Note: This is a spoiler free review for season one.
This television show had three things going for it right out of the gate: Joss Whedon, Marvel, and the enthusiasm left over from the wildly successful Avengers movie. Woven into the Marvel cinematic universe, Agents of SHEILD depicts the lives and missions of SHIELD agents from behind the scenes.
In the movies, SHIELD is always the powerful and well-funded intergovernmental agency propping up the Avengers as first responders. And in Tony Stark’s case, they’re also the big bad rule book getting in the way of everyone’s party. But in the show we get to see how that agency works and the people who make it happen. Specifically, it follows Agent Phil Colson (of Iron Man, Thor, and Avengers movies fame) and his hand selected team of elite agents.
Admittedly, the plot started off slowly. Every episode felt like Joss and the rest of the creative team were just dumping in new information without any direction or overarching plotline. Instead it was more like playing a game of Jenga backwards, stacking blocks in ridiculous patterns and hoping it doesn’t fall over. It was only towards the end of season one that Joss starting filling in a few of the gaps to make the show more stable. And holy mother of god did this show get awesome. I should have had more faith in Joss. He never does anything halfway and this show was no exception.
You fall in love with all the characters as you go along. There’s Skye, the orphaned hacker looking for intel on her parents, May, the silent but deadly ‘cavalry,’ Ward, the lone soldier turned CO, and the joined at the hip tech geniuses Fitz and Simmons who Colson refers to jointly as “Fitzsimmons” for short. But by the end of the first season there’s only one thing you know for certain: trust no one. Everyone on the crew has a secret (or two) and they will be revealed.
Every time you think you know where you are and what’s happening in the show, Joss gives you a reason to second guess yourself and the team. Its unsettling, but thrilling to watch and that momentum has continued into season two. You never quite know what’s going to happen.
I had my doubts about Agents of SHIELD when I first started watching. The first seven or eight episodes are nothing too exciting. But I highly recommend giving SHIELD the benefit of the doubt and watching through the slow start and into the second half of the season. I can promise it will be worth your while.