Mania Grade: B-
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- Episode: Eye Spy (Season 1, Episode 4)
- Starring: Clark Gregg, Ming-Na Wen, Brett Dalton, Chloe Bennet, Pascale Armand
- Written By: Stan Lee (Marvel comics), Jack Kirby (Marvel comics), Jeffrey Bell
- Directed By: Roxann Dawson
- Network: ABC
- Studio: Marvel Television, and Mutant Enemy
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Eye Spy Review
The team takes a back seat to Agent May
By Tim Janson
October 15, 2013
The Eye Spy Mania Review
© Marvel Studios
For the second straight week Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. gave viewers an episode that was much more spy thriller than superhero action in easily its most straight-forward dramatic episode thus far. S.H.I.E.L.D. is investigating a diamond theft that occurred in Sweden. Somehow the thief knew which one of the dozens of identically dressed masked men was carrying the diamonds giving rise to the theory that the culprit might have telepathy. That theory is quickly dismissed in a silly running gag about ESP being unproven in a world of superheroes, aliens, and portals to other dimensions. Even for this show’s camp humor it was a little much.
As it turns out, Agent Coulson (Gregg) takes on this seemingly non-S.H.I.E.L.D. type assignment due to the fact that he recognizes the thief as Akela Amadour, a former agent that he trained but who was presumed dead. While Coulson wants to capture her and bring her in, Agent Melinda May (Wen) argues that the woman is a dangerous weapon and needs to be taken out. This was a good, strong scene between Gregg and Wen as the two veterans of the team create a bit of genuine, internal conflict.
The team soon discovers that Amadour’s powers do not come from any psychic abilities but rather a highly advanced camera that was installed in her eye that provides her a form of x-ray vision as well as night vision, and that someone is controlling her and sending her commands. The team is able to tap into the camera to pinpoint her location and May goes after her alone. But things soon turn complicated when Amadour relates that the camera has a bomb which will go off if she does not follow orders. Fitz and Simmons have to work to remove the camera while Coulson and Ward go after the person controlling her.
A mixed bag episode…The humor and campiness was scaled quite a bit back as this episode was played almost strictly as an espionage drama. Very few comic book references although the device in Amadour’s eye is said to be at least ten years advanced, again possibly hinting at HYDRA or AIM. Amadour also had an interesting comment about Coulson at the end when she asked May what happened to him, further heightening the mystery of how Coulson came back from the dead…or if he ready did come back from the dead and is not, in fact, a S.H.I.E.L.D. LMD (Life Model Decoy).
It was nice to see Agent May play a key role in this episode after being primarily a spectator last week. Her character is the strongest aside from Coulson’s and she needs to be more front and center. Was it just me, or did Agent War look a hell of a lot like Clark Kent when he had to go undercover. I supposed with his looks just putting him in thick-framed glasses is all you need but no way was that coincidence. It reminded me of Thor back in the Walt Simonson run where Thor put on glasses and street clothes as his “secret disguise” as Simonson took his own little dig at DC.
The episode was a on the ordinary side. There could have been a bit more creativity in making Amadour more fantastic than merely a jewel thief. This episode also had the weakest after the final break moment. Skye using X-ray glasses to sneak a peek at Ward is hardly a surprise worth sticking around.