Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Review: “0-8-4”

Camilla Reyes: Oh, Phil. You’re not even aware. Your renewed idealism, your collectibles, your airborne man cave, surrounding yourself with young, attractive agents—you’re having a mid-life crisis.
Coulson: More of an afterlife thing, really.
Camilla Reyes: And I’m not even going to mention the red Corvette.
Coulson: Her name is Lola.
Camilla Reyes: Of course it is.

How did the team fare in their second week together?

Title: “0-8-4”

Cast and Crew

Directed by David Strailton
Written by Maurissa Tancharoen, Jed Whedon, Jeffrey Bell

Clark Gregg as Phil Coulson
Ming-Na Wen as Melinda May
Brett Dalton as Grant Ward
Chloe Bennet as Skye
Iain De Caestecker as Leo Fitz
Elizabeth Henstridge as Jemma Simmons
Leonor Varela as Camilla Reyes
Carlos Leal as Archaeologist
Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury

Full cast and crew information may be found here.

Premise

The team head to Peru where S.H.I.E.L.D. has detected a mysterious, powerful object.

High Points

While the show telegraphs developments in obvious ways, we do see the team actually start to develop team skills in the face of serious problems. Likewise, however comic-panel the look on Skye’s face at the end, she actually faces a difficult dilemma.

Low Points

I recognize limitations of the format, and the show has always acknowledged the shadow of The Avengers. However, it seems downright odd that Coulson would take such an incoherent group on so critical a mission without additional backup. It made sense in The Avengers because of the characters’ unique abilities and the gravity of the situation—and even they had S.H.I.E.L.D. hovering in the background.

The Scores:

Originality: 2/6 A mismatched group of agents head out on a difficult mission where they bond while facing a common enemy. One character turns out to be someone’s lost love, who uses her past connection to forward a hostile agenda.

Effects: 6/6 Again, this isn’t a Marvel blockbuster movie; it’s a Marvel TV show. It features excellent effects, even if they don’t match those showcased on the big screen.

Story: 4/6 The story-telling remains straightforward, with a fairly predictable twist. We did get to see the team forming, as we did in The Avengers.

I’m hoping they can make the mysteries surrounding both Skye and May pay off, because they’re critical to making this show work.

Acting: 5/6

Emotional Response: 4/6 I enjoyed the cameo; I wonder how much they paid and whether or not we’ll see others.

Production: 6/6 “It felt like The Famous Five with a multi-million-dollar budget.”—my wife.

Overall: 4/6 Skye didn’t think “the show” would get so crazy this fast. I think it needs to get a little crazier. I’m enjoying it, but I’m hoping for something more, in the acting or the writing.

The theme certainly suits the genre, but does anyone else find Bear McCreary’s score just a tad too bombastic?

I kind of liked the lampshading of the show’s escapist elements, as Reyes explains how various elements comprise Coulson’s (already established as the stand-in for the typical older fan) midlife crisis fantasy.

In total, “0-8-4” receives 31/42

12 replies on “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Review: “0-8-4””

  1. Blackadder says:

    What they did with Lola is what they should have done last week. Had her present but not done anything with her yet. We are getting villain of the week stuff but I am hoping that there is something more overarching coming.

    • Fez says:

      I think they’re still in the “team building” phase getting the group cohesive and established, but they already do have a long arc going with Rising Tide that appears to be spinning up more.

  2. Bryan Price says:

    I think that there is also the mystery around Coulson. Is this really Coulson?

  3. Fez says:

    I enjoyed this episode but not so much as last week’s. The cameo was hilarious, especially Coulon’s last line.

    I don’t like to nitpick, but that raft would have popped through that hole very quickly, unless it’s made out of some special super-material, but then it wouldn’t have ripped in several places visibly in the lower right corner.

    I also find it difficult to believe that they didn’t have more defensive measures built into the bus… But maybe they will once it is rebuilt.

    They are setting some some decent mystery, but not much substance to them yet. Coulson’s afterlife, Rising Tide/Skye being a rather obvious double agent, May’s history, etc.

    • That bugged me too. I get that it was needed as their big climax, but there’s no way it would have worked.

      • And I haven’t had my coffee yet, I should have been much more clear and mentioned that I mean the raft wouldn’t have worked.

        • Fez says:

          Mythbusters should test that out. They’ve done tests with depressurization, and they’ve done tests with inflatable rafts from aircraft… Time to combine the two.

          • grimjack says:

            If it was fully pressurized, and most planes are not pressured to full sea level pressure, it is still only 14-15 psi. Not that bad. And with a hole that big, there would be one “POOF” and then it would be over, not 10 minutes of high speed air trying to blow you out.It would get cold, and lack of oxygen would soon become a real problem, but not what you see on TV. If it was a small hole, a coaster (conveniently provided by Agent Coulson) could stop the leak.

  4. Also, I just wanted to point out that the spoiler blocked bit is what they clearly lead you to assume, but at no point is that actually stated. My ‘Coulson is actually a gay man’ theory (since Iron Man) hasn’t been debunked yet. (He plays the pronoun game about the cellist.)

  5. I was a little disappointed in episode 2. Decent, but not as much fun as the first episode.

    The airplane decompression was just so bad. Too long, too overdone.

    Then there was the dead giveaway. The action at the front followed by “19 hours later.” Ron Moore, on the BSG commentary, said that when you see this trick, it means the writers are out of ideas on how to make the opening of the episode better. He was criticizing his and his team’s own work on the episode “Black Market.” It is a trick that’s often done in post-production to artificially pump up the tension. Occasionally, this can be done to good affect (like misdirection) but more than likely not (like this episode did).

    But, I have faith in Joss and company. He has a fair amount of credit in the bank and I’m good with slogging through a few mediocre episodes for the rest of the gems he’s capable of.

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