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.