AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.: The Payoff For Persistence

Many comics fans have panned Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - then, we got to Episode Thirteen, arguably the game-changer for the series. Was this a case of fan ire that changed studio plans, or was this planned out all along? Patient or impatient, hit the jump!

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By bropous - 2/5/2014
A battle has raged on this site, and all over the Interwebs, over the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. series. We all know the complaints, **** show (Grif, lolz!), boring, not enough characters from the comics, not as good as a certain other comic house's show on another network, ratings nosediving, etc. Heck, some have even been cheering for cancellation since the very first episode.



Admittedly, the show HAS stumbled a few times in the early episodes. But, for me, I kept hanging in there because I KNEW this show was going to find its sea legs, as many great series have done before. To me, the entire first half of the season was character development and laying the groundwork for establishing a team of people that viewers actually cared about when the heavy-duty stuff started coming down on their heads.

And, for me and for many others, Episode Thirteen turned the corner for the show. Many who had given up on the show thought the episode was finally something they enjoyed. Some of us, who have patiently watched and kept "rooting for Liverpool" from that first episode, saw our patience and our devotion and loyalty pay off.

There is SO much about Episode 13 and where it leads; here are some of the high points of the episode for me:

*Stan Lee and his cameo.
*Coulson threatening to reassign Ward to Alaska to watch over Blonsky's cryo-cell.
*The conversion of Mike Peterson into Deathlok.
*Skye's shooting.
*Quinn's cold-blooded-ness.
*Fitz and Simmons' maturation.
*Simmons publicly accusing Coulson/"Dad" of "porn and prostitutes".
*Ward's battle with the blonde.
*Skye surviving the shooting and being placed in the hyperbaric chamber.
*Coulson freaking out and pistol-whipping Quinn.
*Deathlok walking in and destroying the room of goons on the Clairvoyant's orders.
*Quinn referring to Skye as "Coulson's pet project".
*Ward getting jealous of Coulson patching up May.
*May getting hung by her hands, getting stabbed, and her killing everyone in the barn.
*The ENTIRE team completely wigging out over Skye getting shot.

There is SO much more from this episode, and waiting for it to hit On Demand to watch it MULTIPLE times.

Like I said in another thread, the patience that some folks have shown for this show since Episode One finally paid off. And I am VERY pleased to see that a lot of other people who were getting impatient with the show have, as longtime poster Priest said, "come over to the dark side".

Now, going forward...



Interesting speculation, here and other places, about the identity of The Clairvoyant, from MODOK to the High Evolutionary, to The Leader and the Mad Thinker. Any could work, but MODOK, High Evolutionary and The Leader have been hinted at, or have solid ties, to characters and plot points in the MCU films.

For me, I want it to be MODOK. And I want the Giant Brain to be portrayed by none other than Mister Peter Dinklage. He would be PERFECTION.

The High Evolutionary has ties to Pietro and Wanda Maximoff. He can also be connected to Rocket Raccoon to lace up Guardians of the Galaxy to the rest of the MCU.

The Leader was hinted at with Samuel Stearns and his accident when he put Emil Blonsky on the table in his lab.

And I do think that Skye is definitely Jessica Drew, as I've been saying for a good while (as have others, I've no precognition!). And once she gets her powers, the show will take off in an entirely new, and more powerful, direction.



Marvel has absolutely upped the stakes with this episode, but although I do agree that Marvel DOES listen to the fans, I am convinced that this has been the plan all along from the beginning, that the first half of this season has been the exposition/character development phase, and that now we move into the plot complication phase.

The entire first season was laid out pretty solidly by the writers and production team before the first episode was filmed. Not getting any inside information on this, but by looking at the Marvel Avengers Film Initiative phases and the coherent story that has been established, it makes sense that they would not have mapped out a few episodes, put them on air, and waited for fan reaction and "Internet message boards" (sly reference to "All Hail the King", a.k.a. "The Mandarin REDEEMED") to guide the writing and help chart their course for the rest of the season.

Going forward, having Jessica Drew, Deathlok, Ward possibly morphing into Wonder Man, and all the other comics characters who have been referenced already, we have an opportunity to actually get the show we Marvel fans REALLY want to see. I think Spider-Woman CAN work for television, as can a lot of other characters because of advancements in low-cost special effects.

And if the Clairvoyant DOES turn out to be MODOK, all they have to do is show him in silhouette or from the back or whatever for multiple episodes and use a full reveal as a season-ending cliffhanger.

'Nuff Said, True Believers!

EXCELSIOR!

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kinghulk - 2/5/2014, 9:08 AM
i want to see deathlok slowly transform more into his comic book counterpart, maybe he loses his arm in a fight against shields agents, or they give him some cool armour. just the leg isant enough
Praetorian - 2/5/2014, 9:18 AM
Didn't read cuz I'm currently watching episode thirteen but it's pretty badass and Deathlok looks sweet.
Praetorian - 2/5/2014, 9:19 AM
They should definitely give him badass armor.
kinghulk - 2/5/2014, 9:28 AM
good, i think it would be weird to just have the leg and nothing else. i hate haveing to wait 4 weeks for the next episode.
WYLEEJAY - 2/5/2014, 9:33 AM
Im really enjoying this show. Have been since episode one. Only a couple episodes I wasnt impressed with. The way they introduce the comic characters is my favorite part. Gravitons origin, Blizzards, now Deathlok. The best episodes. With more to come. Lorelei and Sif soon. The Clairvoyant will finally be revealed. Not to mention more answers when it comes to Coulsons revival and Skyes past. I just want to know, WHY did Fury want Coulson brought back that badly? What makes him any different or more important than any other SHIELD agent? Hopefully we find out soon.
WYLEEJAY - 2/5/2014, 9:34 AM
@Kinghulk. He has a cybernetic eye too.
kinghulk - 2/5/2014, 9:36 AM
yeah but id like to see him upgraded so he looks a bit more robotic like in the comics
WYLEEJAY - 2/5/2014, 9:55 AM
I think that will come with more missions, and more battle damage. You have to keep in mind on television shows they get to progress a character through seasons, where in film they have to accomplish it in a couple hours.
kinghulk - 2/5/2014, 10:00 AM
yeah, i cant wait to see more, it's gotten much more interesting since the midseason finale, and i think it will only get better as we get closer towards the winter soldier and season 1 finally. i hate how long we have to wait for the next episode.
WYLEEJAY - 2/5/2014, 10:24 AM
@Bropous. I think the Jessica Drew theory is correct also. I can see it happening. Great article by the way...got a thumb up from me.
Praetorian - 2/5/2014, 10:41 AM
My theory at first was that she was Suzi Endo aka the Cybermancer, which may still be correct but it's either that or she's something new.
Praetorian - 2/5/2014, 10:43 AM
Or perhaps Skye is from Kun Lun.
MalteseFalcon - 2/5/2014, 11:28 AM
They say Modok will be Killian (Guy Pierce) in Avengers 2.
KeefNCookies - 2/5/2014, 11:29 AM
Ive stuck with it in HOPES it would get better... for me, it just hasnt.
Liverpool4life - 2/5/2014, 11:33 AM
Amen to Yoss' commentary.
ThePowerCosmic - 2/5/2014, 11:39 AM
Yes I hung in there even though It had a slow start. The last 5 episodes have really paid off! It is getting to be a great show finally.
Liverpool4life - 2/5/2014, 11:40 AM
Maltese:

Who is "they"?
Liverpool4life - 2/5/2014, 11:41 AM
Melinda was awesome last night.
Godzillafart - 2/5/2014, 11:41 AM
Good Review! I haven't seen the episode yet, and have been one of the voices complaining about the show, but I will definitely check it out.
TheCaptainIsRight - 2/5/2014, 11:45 AM
Yoss, that was brilliant.

This show leaves so much open its great to speculate where it goes. I've been thinking about episode 0-8-4. Outside of establishing what an 0-8-4 is, it might serve a bigger purpose. What if Shield kept it? What if its what the Clairvoyant is after? It has some power, could it be an infinity gem inside a case? Perhaps the time gem. A minor mention in a movie about a Shield team finding it and them keeping it, an event we've already seen play out.

So many 'what if's'. This is the shows true strength. Oh and for the record Coulson's reveal was probably the turning point. So goddamn messed up.
SauronsBANE1 - 2/5/2014, 11:48 AM
I stopped watching a while ago so maybe in the eyes of some, that automatically disqualifies my comment. Whatever. But I don't think we should be rewarding a show for taking it's time to finally reward us for "our patience and our devotion and loyalty."

Great shows suck us in right from the start. Lost, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, and countless others were amazing right from the pilot episode. There was no long wait where we had to wade through the muck and simply tolerate terrible episodes until 13 episodes in where they finally "reward us" with a decent one.

So I'm not entirely sure why Agents of Shield gets such a pass from you guys. I'm not trying to hate, but go on literally any other site, and you'll see the massive amounts of criticisms the series gets. We should be writing about great shows that don't force us to sit through hours of boring and terrible fluff in order to get to the good parts, instead of acting like that "technique" is something we should put on a pedestal and use as an example of how other shows should be. Just my two cents.
Inhuman - 2/5/2014, 11:50 AM
Ive been a loyal fan from episode 1. I hope theres a season 2
SauronsBANE1 - 2/5/2014, 11:52 AM
Like, even the word from the title of this article, "Persistence", implies that we had to suffer through some type of negative thing in order to get to the good stuff. I can't speak for everyone, but that's not the type of show I would want to watch, write about, or defend.

When I'm talking to friends and saying they should get into this new show, I'm not going to say "Yeah, well, the 1st dozen episodes are pretty below average, but just wait till you get to the 13th one!!" Instead, I'm going to show them something else that actually makes the effort to grab us in and make it worthwhile just from the start. There shouldn't be any "rewarding" for our "persistence." That's just really flawed in my opinion.
SauronsBANE1 - 2/5/2014, 11:53 AM
But yeah, as you said bropous, just my opinion. I totally get that others have their own view on the show and I don't mean to try to change anyone's minds. Just explaining my thoughts!
Dandy - 2/5/2014, 11:55 AM
Overall, I'd say the show has been going steadily uphill since the mid season finale.

Yes, I do think the creators listened to fan grievances and are slowly moving away from the episodic form and into a more arc driven narrative.
Dunejedi - 2/5/2014, 11:56 AM
It was a great episode with a lot of great moments. One you didn't cite was when Simmons sacrificed herself wrapping up the guy with the grenade to save Fitz and Skye. Brave and selfless, I love her.

I would totally love it if they turned Skye into Spider-Woman, I'm just not completely convinced that's where they're going. It sucks we have to wait a month. I don't even like the Olympics.
Firgosaurus - 2/5/2014, 11:58 AM
I like this show. It's not good, it's not bad. It's a good filler for about an hour.
MrSuperheromoviefan - 2/5/2014, 11:59 AM
Yes, definitly e13 picked up things. I was starting to get bored, but now i have hopes. KEEP GOING!!
cocaegelo - 2/5/2014, 12:03 PM
Nice episode, I really want to see Deathlok in full charge hahahaha and I bet that Skye's Jessica Drew.
TheCaptainIsRight - 2/5/2014, 12:05 PM
Not every great show starts off brilliant from episode 1. I agree the title is not great. I've liked it from day 1. This reminds me a lot of the reaction to DOFP. People are claiming it doesn't look good when we've seen very little from it. We can speculate, but we don't know and we tend to be very cautious of what we don't know.

In reality I prefer a show that layers on more elements as time goes. It requires more work and thought from the watcher, but I'm down to give it that.
Omarvls - 2/5/2014, 12:05 PM
There is no ? Agents of Shield is getting better
The only ? is it too late
TheCaptainIsRight - 2/5/2014, 12:12 PM
Omarvls, a bigger issue is probably the breaks.
PeterParker1991 - 2/5/2014, 12:20 PM
This show took WAY too long for development. Shows like LOST gave us an indication of who all the characters were in the friggin' pilot with the aid of flashbacks. SHIELD is ass. Ep. 13 was good, but still lame at the same time
CharlesLord - 2/5/2014, 12:22 PM
Am I the only one who doesnt think Skye will be Spiderwoman? I mean turning Peterson into Deathlok obviously shows that they dont need to have the comics origins, but I just havent seen any hints that Spiderwoman would be a character that an entire village gets slaughtered over. I think she may be Crystal from Inhumans (prolly not) but I def dont think shes Drew.
deepee3 - 2/5/2014, 12:22 PM
How are people making a connection to Wonder Man and Ward? Other than the guy kinda looking like 'Simon Williams' (handsome white guy) there doesn't seem to be anything that would suggest he become Wonder Man.
CharlesLord - 2/5/2014, 12:27 PM
that would be funny if he became Taskmaster, mainly cuz he'd come right out the gate as the anti hero guy. And I say that cuz Ward is showing that he disagrees with some of the stuff going on.
ChiliConCarney - 2/5/2014, 12:27 PM
Been into this show from the start. Glad to see people catching on. Make mine Marvel!
kevberg - 2/5/2014, 12:42 PM
Where was any hint Thats Shes Jessica Drew? any proof?
kevberg - 2/5/2014, 12:46 PM
I still think you guys are expecting too much out the gate. these aren't the movies. the cost Per episode is high and insisting on too many villains and fx will surely drive the costs up .

Its getting better every episode, have some patience and let them develop characters like deathlok.
JaySin420 - 2/5/2014, 12:56 PM
I feel like everyone's crazy saying the show is getting better.

The scene where May is on the train with the parachute was just awful, I couldn't stop laughing. Then I was worried for half a second when Skye got shot (I admit that was an awesome scene), but then I remembered it's the MCU.....where nobody dies....especially good guys.

It's like a kid's show, except even in kid's shows people die sometimes to teach the kids lessons.
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