Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: “The Asset”

Grade: A

Airdate: 10/8/13

I waited a while to watch this episode of Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD, but I might be the best episode of anything I have watched this week. I don’t know if it was the awesome dialogue, Chloe Bennet’s facial expression or Agent May (Ming-Na Wen) deciding she is better suited to be the ship’s Zoe than its Wash. The episode starts with a truck driver rolling down an abandoned highway, so we know this is going to go poorly.

1 truck

Turn left at the plot point.

The truck driver is actually a Shield agent and he is transporting an important “asset.” We are not given much time to process this before this happens:

2 oh no

You have arrived at your destination: plot point.

The truck gets pulled into the air by some unseen force, which later turns out to be an invisible force field that switches up gravity and causes semis to fly into the air. The technology was invented by Dr. Franklin Hall (Ian Hart), but he never finished it.

3 dr hall“Are we there yet?” That is the actually line, because Joss Whedon is aware that the prop
department just made a big car seat.

Dr. Hall gets kidnapped by a bunch of army guys, who work for a anti-government business mogul named Quinn (David Conrad). He lives in Malta, because it is against other countries sending people in and messy with its stuff. Hall gets flown to Malta and Quinn explains that he wants him to help finish what he started and make a much bigger anti-gravity device thing.

Meanwhile back on Serenity, Ward (Brett Dalton) has decided to be Skye’s (Chloe Bennett) supervising officer and is trying to tell her that learning to fight is important if she wants to be a field agent and not just a computer hacker. But, Skye is too busying joking around and letting the sexual tension build.

4 ward backstory

Take this seriously.

5 skye jokes

I can’t my dialogue is too well written, joyless love interest.

Ward’s character development actually does take a nice turn in this episode. He explains to Skye that she needs to find the moment when she realizes fighting and protecting people is important. His was when his dad beat his little brothers and he stepped up to protect them. Ward and Skye had three punching bag scenes and each is done incredibly well and gives us lots of character development.

Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) gathers the crew and tells them about what happened to the truck driver. FitzSimmons (Iain De Caestacker, Elizabeth Henstridge) are especially worried because Dr. Hall was their chemistry teacher at the academy. That is talked about a lot. I hope we get to see it at some point. Coulson found the device that caused by gravity goof and everyone goes off to figure out who kidnapped him.

6 mission

British exclamation!

In Malta, Hall agreed to help Quinn after he gives a very good speech, the first of many, about how the government and agencies like Shield shouldn’t decided who can know and have what. I’m glad the philosophy aspect came back. It seemed to be replaced with fight scenes and car chases last week.

The team gets into a rather long agreement because they can’t just waltz into Quinn’s compound and the party he is having that day because Malta laws. Through this whole scene Skye is doing something on her phone and telling everyone she can go. Ward replies saying she isn’t ready and they don’t have a way in.

9 I know but I got an invitation, well technically its an e-vite

“I know. But, I got an invitation…Well technically it’s an e-vite.”

Everyone is impressed and they decided that Skye can be their man on the inside and a two-man team will go in to get her and Dr. Hall out. May almost elects herself to go, but Coulson is set that he can do it even though his last mission ended up with him dying. May points that out but still lets him go.

10 colson

But, I fought alongside Captain America that one time.

The team heads off to the compound and Skye gets inside. In a nice twist, she is actually there as herself, a hacker for the Rising Tide. I thought she as going to have a cover or something. As Coulson and Ward sneak past guards and get into a gun fight, Skye is getting closer to Quinn. I thought this was going to be played out as Skye’s big proving herself to Shield moment. But, it turns out Skye still hasn’t chosen what side she is on. She tells Quinn Shield is listening and then drops her comm in water.

11 skyes big moment but actually time she realizes needs shield

Paint me like one of your French girls.

Quinn breaks into another nice speech about how Shield finds people like Skye, alone, without families and in need of someone to protect them and believe in them. Though everything Shield stands for is against everything Skye was for before we meet her, it might be what she wants. She also does take Quinn’s gun and points it at him. That seemed to be the one thing she retained from Ward’s training. Ward told her pulling the trigger is the real test. Quinn asks her is she can do it. She says nope and jumps off the balcony into the pool.

Down in the lab, Coulson is trying to get Hall to come with him as they are both being thrown around because of the changing gravity. Coulson starts to realize Hall is actually destroying the technology, so Quinn can’t us it for evil. But destroying it is going to kill everyone on the compound. Coulson tells him that FitzSimmons is on his plane and they will die too. Hall said that is the price you sometimes have to pay for the greater good.

12 the inception hall set was on sale!

The Inception hallway set was on sale!

Outside, Skye is running away from the guards chasing her. She looks terrified the whole time and realizes she isn’t ready to be a field agent yet. Luckily, Ward spots her and flattens the five guys coming toward her. She’s still freaking out and Chloe Bennett was so good, I can’t even make jokes.

13 skyes moment

No jokes.

The compound is still about to explode until Coulson uses the gravity goof to his advantage and gets Hall to fall into the device, which destroys it and kills him. Well, probably not,  a T-1000 looking hand did come out of the device in the last scene of the episode.

14 whoops

(Totally not going to turn him into a super villain)

Everyone makes it back, barely. Coulson seemed to have problems fighting the whole time. May comes in and tells him that she is tired of everyone not being as awesome as she is. Coulson think she is going to leave the team, but instead she agrees to be a fighting field agent again. To protect the world and watch after Coulson.

15 too bad ass

I’m too bad ass for this just-a-pilot shit.

Down at the punching bag, Skye was training without Ward having to yell at her first. She relieves some of her back story, by telling us she grew up in foster care, only ever lived in one house and one time had a family she actually wanted to like her. But, they sent her back and said it didn’t work. She admits that she wants everything Quinn said Shield was. I don’t know if that means she is done with the Rising Tide, but she is now a member of the team. Just still in training with Ward, which is how the episode ends in great contrast to the opening.

16 picks sheild

Skye: excellent vulnerability face. Ward: unnecessary hunk stance.

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