Mania Grade: C-
46 Comments | Add
Rate & Share:
- Episode: The Hub (Season 1, Episode 7)
- Starring: Clark Gregg. Ming-Na Wen, Brett Dalton, Chloe Bennet, Elizabeth Henstridge
- Written By: Rafe Judkins & Lauren LeFranc
- Directed By: Bobby Roth
- Network: ABC
- Studio: ABC Studios, Marvel Television, and Mutant Enemy
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: The Hub Review
Not a lot of activity at The Hub
By Tim Janson
November 14, 2013
Not a lot of activity at The Hub
© Marvel Studios
It’s a damn good thing there isn’t an actual S.H.I.E.L.D. in real life because the ease of which Skye has repeatedly been able to hack into their systems would spell certain doom. So can someone explain to me why Skye needs Coulson to dig into her mysterious past when she’s able to hack mission files that require clearance level 8?
Coulson and his team are summoned to S.H.I.E.L.D.’s HQ better known as The Hub for a briefing on a mission that requires level 8 clearance…as if that actually meant something other than to entice everyone who isn’t level 8 to get in on the action. A group of separatists from a small Eastern European nation have built a weapon called the Overkill Device that can emit a sonic pulse capable of triggering nuclear devices or knocking airplanes out of the sky. A team is assigned to slip over the border undetected to deactivate the device before it can be used. Because of the technology involved, Fitz is assigned to accompany Agent Ward even though he doesn’t have the necessary clearance level or field experience.
Coulson is mum about the mission when questioned by Skye and Simmons, falling back on the “It’s classified” and more annoying, “Trust the System” retorts. Naturally the women are none too happy about being left out of the loop and decide to hack into the S.H.I.E.L.D. systems to find out what’s going on. I mean, it’s not like Skye is on any sort of double secret probation ALREADY for proving that she isn’t trustworthy. Skye learns that even Coulson has been deceived and that there is no plan to extract the two agents after they’ve completed the mission, essentially leaving them to fend for themselves. Since no one who works for S.H.I.E.L.D. seems remotely capable of following orders or the chain of command, Coulson of course dashes off with Agent May to rescue their imperiled teammates.
Seven episodes into its first season Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is definitely not trending in the right direction. Sure, it’s a TV show based upon a comic book but S.H.I.E.L.D comes off as an organization run by people who couldn’t run a McDonalds. Skye hacks their system, Simmons knocks out agent Sitwell when he catches her trying to access a computer panel, and Coulson throws diplomacy out of the window, threatening the peace in the region when he takes the S.H.I.E.L.D. plane and invades a sovereign nation’s airspace to rescue Ward and Fitz. I want this show to succeed as much as any die hard Marvel fan but it’s becoming hard to take the show serious when the writers don’t seem to be taking it serious themselves. The scenes with Fitz and Ward felt forced and formulaic.
Then there were the ridiculously cheesy special effects when Fitz disabled the weapon and then quickly adapted into a portable firearm, turning it on the soldiers and disabling their guns. I gave the episode a slightly better grade than last week for two reasons: First there were some funny moments between Skye and Simmons as the latter clumsily tried to talk her way out of getting caught red-handed by Sitwell. Secondly, two developments continued to forward the show’s mysteries as Coulson discovers that it was a female S.H.I.E.L.D. who dropped Skye at an orphanage when she was a baby. The other was Coulson being unable to access a file about his past at the end of the episode. Who is denying him access and why? Unfortunately, these last second plot twists were not enough to turn the tide this week.