This One Heinous Scene Perfectly Sums Up Why I Hate AGENTS OF SHIELD

Brace yourselves, a fat bearded dude is about to bitch about a widely praised show.

I’ve long criticized Agents of SHIELD for being one of the shallowest, ugliest, suspension-of-disbelief breaking additions to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. When the show was first announced, I knew it couldn’t possibly compete with its silver screen peers. Television simply doesn’t afford the same budget as a feature length Iron Man or Captain America flick. Still, I thought (rather, I hoped) that Agents of SHIELD would compensate for its lack of spectacle with a far more cerebral, character driven affair. They didn’t really go that route though, did they? Joss Whedon, his brother Jed Whedon, and that brother’s wife Maurissa Tancharoen have delivered us a super SUPER derivative piece of pulp. A few cups of recycled Buffy story lines, a dash of hand-me-down jokes, and an insanely plasticy universe, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for Agents of SHIELD.

agents of shield sucks
My name’s Skye, and I teach the power of friendship to super secret spies!

And you know the one scene that perfectly sums it up? The one that really grinds my gears? The most heinous of the heinous?

In last night’s episode, “Ragtag”, while Coulson and Mae escape the super secret Hydra tech facility, their teammates shot a harpoon into the fourth floor window to create a zipline. The elder spies jump onto the zipline and slide down to their getaway car.

So in what sturdy material did the harpoon bury itself? Was it a porous concrete pillar? A denser-than-he-seemed Extremis soldier? Or how about a nice stout desk?

Or how about a ceiling tile. Because that’s totally what the pair used to anchor themselves. A God Damn ceiling title! A square piece of perforated cardboard totally supported their combined weight, because physics and stuff.

I know it doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it’s emblematic of the show’s entire problem:  They don’t care about a believable universe at the most basic levels.  The Whedon crew is so self aware and drenched in television tropes that they don’t even care to cultivate a credible world. I know these are superhero stories, and are innately absurd, but let’s take a page from the Russo Bros. and their incredibly successful Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Their tale involves the struggles of a recently awoken World War II soldier who was preserved in a chunk of ice. The science in that origin story is absolutely insane! But we, as the ravenous audience that we are, accept this fiction because the universe the Russo Bros. created is so believable in every other way, that we can happily believe their narrative. Every bit of combat has visceral weight. Each gunshot carries a true threat of death. And while humor is utilized, low-brow quips aren’t the basis for characters, as the Whedon’s have done with every single person in Agents of SHIELD.

Behold! The great weight bearing paramount of Western Architecture… the ceiling tile.

ceiling tile



Heyo. I'm Nick Dourian, the Editor-In-Chief around these parts. Now, I went to a few other sites, read a few awesome bios, and I really want to fabricate a badass origins story for myself, but I'm feeling particularly unimaginative today, so 'f' that jazz. I read comics, drink bourbon, and cook meats. Imagine Ron Swanson, but with a fuller beard and cuter eyes.
  • Yawner

    A ceiling tile can’t support that kind of weight and there is no such things as superheros, stop picking holes, enjoy the stupid show or watch something else.

  • kixxxers

    I have yet to watch a single episode! But I look forward to Binging on it! I did watch the first episode of Arrow and never revisited now everyone says good things about it! Gotham looks Good but I can’t 4get that Dude was Ryan on the O.C. …

    • Tony

      And a cop in the show “Southside” and did a pretty good job. I think he will serve it well. And Arrow is a really good show, great actors, Susanna Thompson as Moira Queen, Colton Haynes as Roy Harper and Manu Bennett who is a great Slade Wilson/ Deathstroke and I would love to see him in a movie against Batman, just to name three and Agents had a pretty bad start but caught up and is now a nice show that is getting better each week.

      • kixxxers

        I missed Southside! I will check them all out this summer.

        Thanks for the review

  • TheGoddamnBader

    I have these tiles in my bathroom. You are giving me too many ideas, Chief!

  • Tony

    “Television simply doesn’t afford the same budget as a feature length Iron Man or Captain America flick.”
    So what? You really saying that it needs a million dollar budget to make a good show? Ever watched “Arrow”? In my opinion a way better show and story than the “Dark Knight” Trilogy. Yeah ok, a ceiling tile wasn’t the best maybe but there are movies out there that are way more filled with things like that.

    • Unleash The Fanboy

      I do hear great things about Arrow. My whole point is… if you don’t have a movie budget, don’t aim for movie spectacle. Agents of SHIELD could really do without the CGI. Whenever it’s implemented for superheroics, it looks cheap.

      As well, I think they missed a great opportunity to make a great spy show. Imagine the inner working of SHIELD, as we saw in Winter Soldier, with dark, gritty spies in the field. Awesome!

      • Tony

        I totally agree that it wasn’t really good at the beginning but it caught itself and it is a nice show now and all the CGI is kind of neccesary the show is part of the MCU there is a lot of crazy stuff going on there.

        A spy show could have been nice but not with the stuff that was coming in Winter Soldier *SPOILER for anyone who maybe did not watch any of it* with SHIELD falling apart and Furys death. I think we won’t see a lot of this CGI’ed stuff but maybe more this whole Coulson and team against HYDRA story that I bet won’t be lot mentioned in the movies and than next year maybe some hints for Avengers 2, maybe something like the first look at Ultron or something like that.

  • excelsior14

    This show sucks. Period. The Whedons missed a great opportunity to craft a nice complement to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. They have failed in every way – plot, chararcter development, dialogue. Hard to believe SHIELD was infiltrated by Hydra when one of their top agents was an arsonist, attempted murder and fugitive who, after being broken out of juvi detention, spent his formative years training in the friggin’ woods prior to being accepted to the SHIELD Academy. So stupid. This show is the skid mark on the underpants of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.