TV Review: “Agents of SHIELD” Episode 2 – “0-8-4”

Written by Alex Bowman October 03, 2013

With the writer torch being passed from one Whedon brother to the next I was worried that this show may not carry the same amount of charm and entertainment that follows the holier-than-thou footsteps of Brother Joss. Thankfully, I was proven wrong because this episode of “Agents of SHIELD” was just as entertaining as its premiere episode and kept me glued to the television set with every passing moment. Great action, great banter, and a surprisingly good amount of character development is combined together to make one great hour of television.

“An 0-8-4… It means… we don’t know what it means.”

This episode follows the agents all the way to Peru as they work with the local militia in trying to discover a strange artifact found in an ancient temple. It turns out the device gives off Tesseract energy and the agents must learn to work together when the flight home takes an unexpected turn for the worse.

The episode starts off with a bit of a sneak peek into the events of what will happen later on in the episode which tends to grind my gears as a viewer. I appreciate alternative narration as much as the next guy but with this much information and content being flung at our heads in the span of an hour, it would seem like a logical idea to stick with linear narration. Despite the nitpicking though, seeing the B.U.S. (their codename for the plane) falling out of the sky with a massive hole in it with Agent Coulson almost being sucked out is enough to pique anybody’s interest.

The show has excellent continuity; picking up right after the events of the previous episode and continuing the plot of the story which can be seen very subtly in the character dialogues. The team is still trying to work out the kinks and each member feels a sense of indifference towards each other despite the need to work together under pressure or in the line of fire. They do manage to pull through at the last hour though and make a really solid plan come together to prevent the plane from being hi-jacked.

The militia is led by a sultry Captain Name-Not-Important that has a very secretive yet obviously sexual past with Coulson. As soon as this piece of information is delivered, you know right away she is going to betray him. This was the one major flaw I thought dragged this episode down because it felt like too predictable of a turn to take in the show. These types of “we-had-history” moments are so contrived they are mostly reserved for the world of parody nowadays so I find it a little stagnant; especially when, despite her betrayal, Coulson still decides to spare her life. Contrived? Yes, but still entertaining in the realm of the episodes’ events.

“0-8-4” is also very good on action; Agent Ward and Agent May do an excellent job of kicking ass without taking names. I also enjoy seeing the multiple layers of personality that each character is displaying; Ward is pig-headed yet understanding, May is deadly but sympathetic and the two British scientists are still fucking annoying no matter what. I’m sorry, they just annoy the shit of me with their quick banter that is lost amongst their thick accents and their neurotic behavior that hinges on being worthy of a good slap. I hope these English twats are given more to do besides be the comedic voice-boxes for the techno-jargon. Also, Skye is potentially a bad guy? WHAT A TWIST… seriously, that needs to be explained immediately for fear of it being lost amongst later episodes.

Overall, another fun and entertaining episode for “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” to have under their belt. Clark Gregg is still entertaining as all hell and the cast is being given more to do and is really developing at the right moments while also giving the action scenes their time to shine with impressive choreography and pacing. The perfect cherry on top is when Samuel L. Jackson shows up at the end to reprise his role as Col. Nick Fury in order to remind both Coulson and the audience who’s really in charge.

My Rating: 7.5/10

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