Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S1 Ep2: 0-8-4

I love it when a plan comes together

After the success of its much-hyped opener, did Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. deliver the goods with its second episode?

This week’s mission

Coulson’s new team travel to Peru to track down an ’0-8-4′ – an object of unknown origin. When the mission turns sour, the bickering group must bond and work together to rescue the situation.

I hate snakes! I hate ‘em!

So, this week we have a mysterious artefact for the team to recover, They promptly get captured, locked up, escape and save the day.

I’m sure I’m not the first and I won’t be the last to comment that this felt like a cross between Raiders of the Lost Ark and The A-Team – not that that’s a bad thing. Deep it wasn’t – but it was fun.

A character-building experience

The basic plot of the episode – an old friend turning foe and the team being forced to bond under duress – was predictable and strictly by-the-numbers, but probably deliberately so. Instead more time is given over to addressing one of the pilot’s shortcomings, as the episode turns into a character-building experience, in more ways than one.

The team is forced to start ironing out their differences to engineer their escape, A-Team style. Coulson’s back-story is fleshed out a little. We explore why Ward and Skye have such opposing outlooks. And the revelation of Skye as a Rising Tide double agent creates a welcome ambiguity that gives her more to do than merely representing the audience’s eye-view.

The biggest surprise is saved until the very end, where we’re treated to a geekgasm-inducing cameo from Samuel L Jackson’s head of S.H.I.E.L.D, Nick Fury.

I liked the way this was done, satisfying fans who were unhappy at his absence in the pilot but without alienating new viewers by overshadowing the main story or the new characters. I doubt we’ll see him again, but it gives hope to those looking for future appearances by other Avengers – Clint Barton (Hawkeye), perhaps?

Overall, this was a step down after the flashy pilot, but one necessary to enable us to learn more about the members of the team. Expect more of the same for the next couple of weeks, at least.

Marvel mentions

The plane’s call-sign is ‘S.H.I.E.L.D. 616′. Earth-616 is used in the Marvel universe to distinguish real-world continuity from alternate timelines.

Coulson tells Skye that the last 0-8-4 S.H.I.E.L.D. found was a hammer – Thor’s.

Tony Stark (Iron Man) and Coulson’s death at the hands of Loki in Avengers Assemble are referenced.

The 0-8-4 in question is a Tesseract-derived weapon similar to those developed by H.Y.D.R.A. during WWII in the Captain America movie.

Best line

Coulson to a silent May:

Do you need anything else before I go check on the device fuelled by evil that’s sitting in our cargo hold?

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. reviews

Preview: Can Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. work without Avengers?

1.1 Pilot

This review was originally posted on

4 Comments on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S1 Ep2: 0-8-4

  1. Loving this new show too. It was a classic early series episode, not as sharp as the first (no Joss on the script) but satisfying in an old school way. It was VERY Indiana Jones but as I love that (and the A-team), I enjoyed the episode immensely. My review is in the usual place! Well done on the Metro gig BTW!

    • It’s interesting how widespread opinions are on this series – not just fans, but critics too. I think it all comes down to expectations: if you want old-school human hero action in the style of Indy and A-Team, this looks like it will fit the bill perfectly. If you’re expecting something deeper, with lots of Avenger appearances and cinema-quality action sequences, you’re going to be disappointed. I’m hoping there are enough viewers in the middle ground who will be happy just enjoying it for what it is – it’s this mainstream which will determine the show’s success.

  2. Jed Bartlet // October 5, 2013 at 1:33 pm // Reply

    I may have been too impressed by the first episode to be entirely satisfied with this one. It just felt a little flat.

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