TV RECAP: ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ - Episode 101: ‘Pilot’

TV RECAP: ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ – Episode 101: ‘Pilot’


I will apologize in advance if I do not pick up on certain nuances in the series that pull from the comics. My exposure to this series is just from the movies. Any comments or explanations of points I have missed or misinterpreted are greatly appreciated.

An unemployed single dad is on the street with his son when a nearby building explodes. The man goes to see if anyone needs help, and we discover that he has super powers. He saves a woman from the blaze, and is captured on a camera phone. Of course all of these people are filming a burning exploded building, and this man is the only one who actually does anything to help.

In Paris, Grant Ward is on a mission to retrieve something called (as best as I could understand it) a shitari neurolink. A hacker group known as Rising Tide has leaked the coordinates of his target, so he must work to get there before others do. He completes the mission, but is brought in to see Agent Maria Hill. She wants him to work with Agent Phil Coulson, who we all believe to have died. Phil reveals himself, and confesses that while he did technically die for a matter of seconds, his “death” served as great motivation for the rest of the Avengers.

Coulson is putting together what he calls a Mobile Command Unit, and wants to use Rising Tide to get to this superhero that was filmed during the aftermath of the building explosion. Coulson recalls his time in Tahiti after he almost died. Hill and another colleague talk about how he wasn’t in Tahiti, but he can never know that.

Meanwhile, Skye follows the superhero (Mike Peterson) to a diner, and begs him to reveal himself to the public. Not only will it make him rich and famous, it may stop Shield from trying to get to him.

Coulson is assembling the other members of the group, including Melinda May. She is on desk duty, and seems quite content with staying that way. Coulson assures her she is only driving the bus. A really nice bus. So clearly she used to be some kick-ass agent that almost died or lost someone close to her because of her job, and is afraid to get back into the game.

Agent Ward meets agents Fitz and Simmons, a man and woman team of either British or Irish origins (I’m back with accents). They are a nerd/nerd tech team that might be brother/sister, boyfriend/girlfriend, or just a couple of like minded individuals. The “bus”, as Coulson termed it, is a giant posh aircraft.

Skye is running a pirate radio broadcast from her van, the Rising Tide headquarters if you will. She is going on about they will never be caught, and right on cue the van door opens, and Coulson and Ward take her into “custody”.

It is unclear what Skye’s role was in the explosion at the building. Ward is suggesting that she planted a bomb to try and draw out Mike. She talks of a secret project called Centipede that even Coulson and Ward know nothing about. After Coulson gives Ward a truth serum injection, and lets Skye interrogate Ward in private, she agrees to help them.

May, Fitz, and Simmons are investigating the building and find a surveillance camera. With the help of Skye’s audio bug and the video from the camera, they are able to determine that the explosion was caused when a man injected with gamma radiation super power serum literally exploded due to the volatile nature of the serum.

Mike has also been injected with this serum, and the woman he saved from the fire is the doctor who gave him the serum. When she refuses to help him or let him go public, he is forced to go back to his old factory manager to try and get a job. Mike freaks out when his old boss won’t give him a job, attacking the man and almost killing him. Mike is changing, and he seems to like what he is becoming.

May goes with Skye back to her van to get the audio recordings. Skye has just finished uploading them when Mike attacks May and forces Skye to drive him and his son away. Skye deletes Mike’s identity from government computers, while at the same time sending Coulson the coordinates of where they are.

Mike is literally a ticking time bomb, and the only two options are to let him blow up (and take many people with him), or kill him (which will stop the reactions of the serum). Coulson tells Fitz and Simmons to find an option three, or it’s on them.

Meanwhile Coulson, May, and Ward head to Union Station, where Mike, his son, and Skye have gone. Unbeknownst to them, the doctor has sent a man into the building to kill Mike, and the last remnants of the Centipede project. A shootout ensues, with Coulson eventually talking Mike out of doing anything stupid. Ward shoots him, and we are to assume his is dead. The camera pans to Ward, who is standing there with Fitz, letting us know that he actually shot Mike with an antidote to counteract the serum bomb.

Mike survives, and will soon be reunited with his son. Coulson invites Skye to join the group, but she is hesitant. Coulson is called back for a case, and tells her she has until they return to the plane to decide. I’m sure we’ll be seeing much more of her.

A really good first episode. These are the types of shows that I usually wonder how they will take what generally would be a good movie, and turn it into a series. But it usually works out. And if ABC is behind it, and gives it a chance to shine, I have a feeling it will make it.

  • uncle
    September 27, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    I am sorry but I was not impress by the first episode. To tell you the truth the end was like the end of back to the future 1 movie. The car flew. Iam 34 maybe that is the reason I prefer serious dramas but that is just my opinion. I think the only way for this series to stay on air is some of theAvengers to appear on a regular base. That is just my opinion