S.H.I.E.L.D. goes after a kidnapped agent, Skye tries to prove herself, and a supervillain is born.

Title: “The Asset”

Cast and Crew

Directed by Milan Cheylov
Written by Maurissa Tancharoen, Jed Whedon.

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
David Conrad as Ian Quinn
Ian Hart as Dr. Franklin Hall
Scott Subiono as Todd Chesterfield
Assef Cohen as Translator
Bodie Newcomb as Agent Mack
Brandon Molale as Main Guard

Full cast and crew information may be found here.

Premise

The team head to Malta to rescue a kidnapped scientist who has discovered a mysterious, powerful energy source.

High Points

The laboratory (run by our lone mad scientist— Dr. Frankenstein notwithstanding, they rarely require crews) turns Escheresque to great effect. I also liked the semblance of moral ambiguity, especially surrounding S.H.I.E.L.D.

Low Points

Gravitonium, sure, because, you know, Marvel Universe. But I don’t see how Mack, Trucker of S.H.I.E.L.D. survived with so few injuries.

Skye makes it pretty far, considering she acts like the most conspicuous undercover operative ever. Seriously, if one is trying not to get noticed at a fancy event, one should probably avoid continuously talking aloud to a hidden transmitter.

The Scores:

Originality: 2/6

Effects: 5/6 The effects remain strong, though Gravitonium Central looked less impressive than most of what we’ve seen in this series.

Story: 5/6

Acting: 4/6 Did anyone else find the acting a bit stiff this week? Ward’s attempt to open up to Skye felt particularly flat, and not just because he has trouble engaging as a human being.
I found Fitz and Simmons, however, more entertaining than usual.

Emotional Response: 4/6

Production: 6/6

Overall: 4/6 I’m enjoying the show, but thus far, the pilot has been the best episode, and the show overall has not quite found its ground.

In total, “The Asset” receives 30/42

It appears Graviton, Master of Fundamental Forces, will turn up in a future episode.
And, if the Avengers cast cost too much, can we cast an as-yet-unused Avenger for infrequent appearances? I know these are heroes in the shadows of the superheroes, but the plots cry out for an occasional team-up.