Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Eye Spy Review - Mania.com



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

Mania Grade: B-

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Info:

  • 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
  • Series:

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
Source: Mania.com


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.

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

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Wiseguy 10/16/2013 2:56:50 PM

Man I am loving this show.

I really thought going in that this chick was going to turn out to be a new version of Misty Knight.

I like that they treat phenomena as that. Even though superheroes and aliens exist it isn't and every day sort of thing so anything outside of the norms of reality is still treated as almost impossible.

 

WarCry 10/16/2013 3:43:00 PM

 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.

 

There's a problem with this, though. If they do a "Nick Fury" level moment EVERY single week, then those moments are no longer special, they're just expected. The idea is that you don't know when those moments are going to happen, or when it's just gonna be "Skye takin' a peek" moments. The point of the idea is to get you to stick around because it ticks into the next hour just a little bit and gives ABC a little more of a ratings bump. That's called "smart business." If you look at the ratings, it's scored from 8:00 - 9:01. That's not accidental.
 
BTW, SHIELD finished second this week over in 18-49, while taking the win for 18-34. That's where the money's at, and ABC/Disney/Marvel knows how to cash in.
 
 
 
monkeyfoot 10/16/2013 4:57:10 PM

Each episode is better and better done. There is still that "kiddie" feel to it but this plot put a little more edge on it. I can't help to keep comparing this show to NCIS becuase the format is so close. This was very reminiscent of one of theirs in that it was much more straight forward with too much "comic booky" stuff. If that kind of stuff turned off some viewers this one gave them a rest from it. The way Akela's abilities seemed to work at first I thought she was also physically enhanced. But it turned out not be the case.

Coulson, May, and Skye are the most interesting on the show. Agent Badass and the two science geeks are still my least favorite. Either its the actors or the writing but I could care less if they all got blown up next week and we got some more interesting agents.

Duckbeaver 10/16/2013 8:21:32 PM

 I'm still digging the show.  The Avengers name-dropping was starting to feel a little forced to me, so I'm glad it got tapered back a bit this week.

It's just a thought, but I wonder if the running gag of the whole "ESP doesn't exist" conversation was a jab at the fact that ESP in the Marvel Universe typically is associated with mutants and since Fox holds all the mutant/X-Men characters' live action film/TV licenses, Disney/Marvel can't outright call them "mutants."

lracors 10/16/2013 9:16:50 PM

This show is just flat out fun.

Shogunn2517 10/16/2013 11:37:31 PM

 I actually thought this was the best epsisode so far.  It might be a coincidence that this was more "Secret Agent" than it was "Secret Wars", more "super spy" than "super hero", but that's what I like about this show and what I looked forward to the most.  It can go from one genre to the other in the blink of an eye or epsisodes at a time.  I'm also seeming more and more lingering threads and questions that are really starting to stack up.  What REALLY happen to Coulson?  What is Skye REALLY doing in the team?  Who is REALLY behind the controlling of villains?  Is there REALLY  a connection between them and possibly Baron Strucker(who also doesn't have a right eye)?

But this episode had a lot.  They made fun of and references to Skye's "lack of seriousness".  We got to see agents acting like agents.  Investigating, infiltrating, spying.  The villain was interesting as well as the hook.  And of course, it had Melinda May being Melinda May.  Always a plus, IMO.

Good stuff.

 

 

fatpantz 10/17/2013 2:25:07 AM

Shield always WAS more spy thriller than superhero...most agents did not posess powers.  I am enjoying it, although it would be nice to see some less famous heroes. Or wouldnt it be cool if Marvel worked 2 tv episodes per season per Avenger actor contract...

Eldogg42 10/17/2013 8:02:31 AM

I also liked the episode.  It just goes to show, that Whedon and co. know what they are doing and know what the fans want.  Just last week everyone was commenting on this show needing to be more spy thriller then super hero show.  They also cut the "Avenger Name Drop" over kill in the previous episodes.  Which I think was just a way to get people into the show. 

Looking forward to next weeks show!! Wonder if the Fire guy is a real character or a made for TV villian. 

 

CaptAmerica04 10/17/2013 9:35:45 AM

I was a little disappointed in the "after the credits" scene, too, but then I realized that we can't have every ATC moment be some reveal of a super villain or something equally heavy, or it will just get old.  I think some of those scenes need to be fluff, just to keep us all honest, but at least an equal number or more should be the kind of thing we got last week with Graviton being teased or the week before with a cameo from Nick Fury.

I definitely liked this episode better than the "airplane takeover" one.

 

ElBaz13 10/17/2013 9:46:09 AM

Love this show.

We can't expect a super baddie or Nick Fury end credits every week since they have 22 episodes in 1 season. The end credits for this episode were more on the funny side like the Iron Man 3 and Avengers shawarma one.

I also love the fact they are not doing a Marvel villain/character every week. You need build up.

I'm sure the organization behind all of this is Hydra. Has to be. They will probably reveal it sometime in March, right before Cap 2.

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