Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: The Asset Review -

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Review

Mania Grade: C+

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  • Episode: The Asset (Season 1, Episode 3)
  • Starring: Clark Gregg, Ming-Na Wen, Brett Dalton, Iain De Caestecker, Elizabeth Henstridge
  • Written By: Joss Whedon (creator), Jed Whedon (creator), Maurissa Tancharoen
  • Directed By: David Solomon
  • Network: ABC
  • Studio: Marvel Studios
  • Series:

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: The Asset Review

Episode 3

By Tim Janson     October 09, 2013

Nick Fury has appeared on AOS, who will be next?
© Marvel Studios

 For those that have lamented the fact that the first two episodes of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. were too cheesy and laden with humor, I give you “The Asset”, a fairly straight forward action/thriller episode that featured Bond-style espionage elements and the possible birth of one of the Avengers most powerful enemies.  


A S.H.I.E.L.D. transport truck and escort vehicles are waylaid by an invisible force in Colorado.  The truck’s valuable cargo, a physicist name Franklin Hall is kidnapped by a wealthy industrialist named Ian Quinn (David Conrad of The Ghost Whisperer).  Hall is a leader in the theoretical use of a particle called Gravitonium and it was this particle, and alas not a super villain (yet!) that was able to toss aside the semi-truck and SUVs like they were Matchbox cars.  He is taken to the Island of Malta and put to work by Quinn to develop a gravity generator.  Coulson gathers the team to undertake a mission to rescue Hall from Quinn’s high-tech stronghold.  Skye infiltrates Quinn’s palatial mansion, using her status in the hacker group Rising Tide to get invited to an exclusive party.  As she works to discover Quinn’s plans, Coulson and Ward, attempt to breach Quinn’s security and rescue Hall.  Problem is…Hall doesn’t want to be rescued.


Now I suppose you have to be a true Marvel nerd to recognize the name of Franklin Hall.  Hall is the name of Graviton, one of the Avengers most powerful foes.  Once again we can see the wheels turning.  We have a well-known character from the Marvel Universe essentially have his origin story told.  Will we actually see Graviton?  If you stayed past the last commercial break the character is definitely being kept in Marvel’s back pocket for possible use at a later date.  If we do see him it would likely be in some reduced form as Graviton has been known to single-handedly defeat the Avengers WITH the Hulk.  I would doubt we would see a character of that high a power level onS.H.I.E.L.D. but I view this has further expansion of the sandbox the show is creating.


Skye answers the first big question as to where her loyalties lie; fooling Quinn into thinking she is giving up S.H.I.E.L.D.  The premise of her being invited to the party in Malta was thin at best.  What does Quinn need with a rogue hacker when he has the technology to erect invisible barriers?  And for all of said technology, Coulson and War have little difficulty in gaining entry to Quinn’s mansion.  But I’d be lying if I said seeing Skye running in that that tight, water-soaked red dress didn’t bring up the score by a half a grade.


Disappointingly, Ming Na-Wen as Agent May had very little to do this episode other than to stand around and reaffirm her desire to return to combat…but we already knew that was coming, didn’t we?  There were a few bits of genius such as the redneck-looking driver of the semi-truck being shown to actually be a S.H.I.E.L.D.  agent who brings up one of those Tony Stark hologram displays in the cab of his truck.  While I loved seeing the development of a potential great villain the writing was simply far too loose on this episode.  


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jedibanner 10/9/2013 1:20:13 PM

For me this one was a B- since the show was simple, fun and the action is still interesting.

TheCGI is still awsome, the sets still interesting, the view and environment still awsome, C seems low for the whole thing.

And let's be honest...Sky in her wet red dress was a bit of a cheap move...nice to see but, cheap.

SarcasticCaveman 10/9/2013 1:56:01 PM

 I agree with jedibanner that this episode deserves a higher grade...I probably would say B though...a B with aspirations of B .  Decent story, good special effects, and some character development for those who were complaining that there was none the first TWO episodes of the series.  Although, Tim....I'm not sure I get your gripe about Skye's invite.  Yes, Quinn had a lot of technology.  So does S.H.I.E.L.D.  You may as well ask why they keep her around if you're going to ask why Quinn wanted her.  

tjanson 10/9/2013 2:03:00 PM

Sarcastic...I guess I just thought the excuse was flimsy just to get her on the inside.  As I remarked last week even other SHIELD agents including Fury were questioning why Coulson brought Skye aboard.  I liked how they sort of made fun of it themselves.

makabriel 10/9/2013 2:56:26 PM

Quinn wanted her to use her ties to Rising Tide.  He believed their goals meshed.

I liekd the episode as well.  As can be said from my previous comments (Yes, I'm lamenting) I enjoyed the humor was not forced unpon us.  It was a lot more low key, it flowed a lot better and the actors even felt a lot less wooden.  Coulson even felt like the Coulson from the movies.

And come on... the wet red dres wasn't -that- provocative.


Higgy 10/9/2013 4:55:53 PM

I think this was the best of the 3 episodes so far.  To me they've just kept getting better.

And the red dress was awesome.  And who cares if it was just for some eye candy.  Like all the other shows out there never do it.


almostunbiased 10/9/2013 6:02:07 PM

Her running in the wet pink dress made it better, no but seriously I liked this one a lot too.

monkeyfoot 10/9/2013 7:36:00 PM

I also liked this episode better than the first two. Generally, it came across as an NCIS with sci-fi attitude. It even had the interpersonal emotional bonding and humor that those shows have. It's interesting it airs directly across from that no. 1 show. I wonder how it faired in the ratings against it?

It's improving but I'd like it to be better. It still has a very light feel to it like it wants to stay completely kid friendly. Hey, kids can take little more grit and mature themes.

One thing that I really didn't like was the fight scene at the end. It was awful. I don't remember the actor or character the badass agent plays but that was the most stilted TV fight I've seen in a long time. You could almost feel them counting off, "1 and 2 and 3 and kick. Now duck!" That guy again comes across as the kid friendly tough guy. Nothing to scary for the 8pm hour. They need to get the fight choreographers they have for the show Continuum. Those are the best martial arts fight scenes I've ever seen on episodic TV. And they even get the actors to do them, not stunt people.

Dazzler 10/10/2013 3:47:04 AM

They are missing something in this show.  Glad the ratings are showing that for next season when picked up hopefully.  Not sure how many are filmed yet for them to improve them now. 

toran 10/10/2013 4:31:04 AM

I liked this episode as well. My only real problem with it was when Coulson and Ward got on the island. Ward was dressed in tactical gear like you would expect. Coulson was dressed in a 3 piece suit! I mean come on. He's walking into a combat situation and he has to look like a Wall Street banker?  Did the producers think we wouldn't recognise him unless he was wearing something from Brooks Brothers?

Okay, rant over.

All in all, good episode. Can't wait to see what they do with Graviton later. The show has already made him more interesting then he ever was in the comics.


hanso 10/10/2013 4:59:47 AM

 If they reference The Avengers, take a shot!

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