Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Recap: "Agents of SHIELD" - Eye Spy

About halfway through Tuesday night's episode of "Agents of SHIELD," I turned to my husband and said, "This is easily the best episode of this show so far."

"Eye Spy" represents the episode that really showed the true potential of this show, and I am more excited than I've been since the pilot.

"This is my excited face."

In "Eye Spy," Coulson and his crew faced off against a former SHIELD agent who disappeared after a supernatural-seeming diamond heist. It turned out there was more than meets the eye (HAR!) to her, and it was up to our team to trace the threat back to its source. 

And, fellow nerds? The episode worked, from beginning to end. 

One of the things that's been missing so far on "Agents of SHIELD" was connection between the characters, but tonight we got it in spades. Coulson and Melinda May had a showdown over how to deal with the threat of the week, and it showed both their mutual respect for each other and the vastly different ways that they deal with issues. (And I have to say, it's refreshing that the man is caring almost to a fault and the woman wants to go in guns blazing.) 

Coulson also had a moment with Skye at the end of the episode, which was touching and sweet. In fact, Skye is connecting with almost everybody. I don't particularly remember her bonding with Melinda, who is a very prickly character, but she had moments with Fitz & Simmons and with Agent Ward, as well as with Coulson. Those moments felt real, not forced, and when they happened I just kept thinking, "FINALLY!" 

Skye took a big leap forward this week altogether, actually. I felt like they figured out the sweet spot between having Skye as a brilliant hacker that SHIELD would actually be interested in recruiting and having Skye as the everyman who doesn't quite know what she's doing. She definitely makes some mistakes, but in previous episodes it's felt a bit like, "Derp derp, I'm Skye and I don't know what I'm doing!" This week, it felt like she, like the rest of the team, was respected for her talents and not degraded for what she doesn't know. That's what we needed.

Even Ward, who has been incredibly bland thus far, had some personality this week. He is still a little stiff, but I felt some softening there. He and Skye had some cute moments, and he wore glasses for part of the episode, which was FANTASTIC. (He looks at least 50 times hotter and has much more personality in glasses.) I also am starting to feel like maybe they're making Ward a little extra bland and straight-laced in order to sock us with some emotional character development later in the season. 

AND, Fitz & Simmons had separate personalities a little bit this week. I love the whole Fitzsimmons gag (my husband doesn't agree), but it is nice to see that they're separate people, too. I love it because they're totally adorable when they're chattering at each other, but they are becoming actual characters that I am starting to care about and not just comic relief. 

The plot of the episode was right on target this week, too. It had some background built in to it, which made "Agents of SHIELD" feel like it has its own, non-Avengers-dependent history. That's so important, because although a connection to the cinematic universe is important, the show really needs to not feel like an extended commercial for the next movie. This week, for the first time, it really felt like these people had a history that didn't depend on the superheroes from the silver screen, and it's not a coincidence that it's also the first week that the show felt really, truly successful. 

All I can really say is: More of this kind of episode, "Agents of SHIELD" people! This is what is going to work going forward, so do it every single week and never screw it up, OK? There are millions of nerds depending on you!

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