Nothing is more disappointing than wasted potential. Among new TV shows, this is the show that everyone is discussing. But no one is saying, “holy shit, this is great!”, it’s basically, “damn, it could be so much better”. That’s not good. Disney has a brand to protect, of course they do. Can’t let the weekly TV show bring down the multi-million dollar movie cashcow. Everyone gets that. But can something remotely exciting happen? Or something a little outside of the procedural playbook? These reviews are going to start getting redundant, because all the show is, is redundant.
My number one complaint for this week is going to be aimed at the casting department. We know Coulson, but I’d be hard pressed to name anything that Clark Gregg was in prior to his Marvel movie appearances. Ming-Na Wen? I guess she’s been in a few things here and there, but I wouldn’t have been able to name her before this show. The rest of the cast might as well be acting rookies, and it shows. Okay, so Whedon and Co. didn’t want to take any huge risks with the creative direction of the show. One obvious way to get around that is to cast well-rounded actors with loads of experience that are capable of carrying the show from week to week, making the audience forget that essentially the same shit is happening in every episode. God bless them, maybe this set of actors will be able to do that some day. For now, they’re far from it.
The “Problem” this week is that some street magician in China has mysteriously acquired the ability to produce flames with his body. SHIELD knows about him, but now, so does Centipede. Terrible name for a super-villain group, by the way. Centipede preys on his need to become famous. In a world where everyone seems to have a fame-seeking gene to one degree or another, the show’s writers seemed to make it as old-fashioned and 1970s comic-booky as possible. That’s not a compliment.
There’s a twist! Skye isn’t 100% on board, and is working with a boyfriend hacker behind their backs! Everyone on the team is pissed off that the anti-establishment hacker is an anti-establishment hacker! No one saw this coming, even after they advertised in thousands of weekly trailers! The boyfriend has betrayed Skye too, selling out to, guess who?, Centipede! For a million dollars! Even the twists are boring as fuck and telegraphed as much as humanly possible.
At least the resolution is somewhat satisfying. The firebug Chinese dude is completely insane and wielding his power with no regard for human life? Let’s incinerate him. That at least makes sense. But Skye is somehow still on the team, and not locked up for the rest of her life. That makes a little less sense.
I don’t want to waste too much time on this. The writers obviously didn’t. When there’s a little more content beyond the comprehension of a third grader, I might make a larger investment.