Amidst the buzz of being confirmed for the whole season, MARVEL’S AGENTS OF SHIELD delivered with its 4th episode, “Eye-Spy.” The episode started with a spooky sequence in Stockholm, Sweden that introduced this weeks antagonist, Akela Amador. A former protege of Agent Coulson, played wonderfully by Pascale Armand; she succeeded in bringing some darkness to the SHIELD world this week. Armand played in the movie Kinsey and also nerd points if you recall her from the Grand Theft Auto games; although they really ‘uglied’ her up for her turn in the Marvel Universe.
Besides being darker this week, SHIELD found some edge. I am pointing at you severed hand. And how about the awkward ‘penis’ comment? It still is 8:00pm EST, ABC. It was hard to put a finger on exactly where this episode was going at first. Was it a jewel caper? A random mutant hunt? What it turned out to be is a mixture of memes and tropes that made it something special. Throughout the episode I thought Coulson was slipping up chasing his old student around; maybe letting emotions get in the way. It turned out the unflappable Phil didn’t. We got to see a little more of Agent May getting in the field and butting heads with Coulson. The team keeps coming together week after week as well. Fitz and Simmons performing surgery, Skye fitting in better and even joking around with Coulson. ESP/Telekinesis was thrown around early on in this week’s episode until we figured out what the issue really was (so ESP/Telekinesis does not exist…I think this may be a set-up for later on down the road). And how cool was the eye technology? Really neat how that fit in and they were able to use the other camera views while ‘looking’ through the high-tech, mysterious (and deadly) implant. This episode may have been the most streamlined team-wise for the group, May’s disobedience not withstanding; Coulson saving her butt was a nice touch after she went semi-rogue. Maybe the overall theme of Eye-Spy was taking the team out of their comfort zones. Agent Ward and his ‘seduction order’ was a great character gag and as previously pointed out, Clark Gregg played Coulson as rattled as he has ever been.
The two most intriguing items of note about this week’s slice were the existence of some shadowy organization and the little comment made by Armand’s character as she is leaving at the end of the episode. Who is pulling the strings behind these teched up slaves? My own pet theory (pulled out of thin air) is some remnant of HYDRA. This is based solely on Coulson’s connection to (and admiration of) Captain America. It would be a nice Marvel tie-in and something I could see Joss Whedon getting into (my fingers are crossed). Akela asking Agent May what was done to Agent Coulson was maddening from an info point of view. I need to know!!! Akela is positive that he is different and the doubt on Ming-Na’s face was obvious as she pondered the question after Akela makes her exit. Maybe this is a set-up for Coulson being Vision? They did pick this same episode to introduce the mysterious advanced technology; combine that with the seemingly innocuous comments made by Phil’s old trainee and you may just have a giant clue…or a giant red herring. That is the fun of it. Can’t wait to catch next week’s sampling and maybe get some more answers. Or at least some more clues to debate upon.