This week on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D … A Skye-led rescue mission goes wrong when the team’s attempt to recover a valued asset, Dr Franklin Hall, succeeds only in creating a new super-powered individual who will be familiar to Marvel comic-book fans.
This week’s mission
Skye infiltrates the Maltese mansion of industrialist Ian Quinn to facilitate the rescue of kidnapped S.H.I.E.L.D. asset Dr Franklin Hall. However, the team’s plans are literally turned upside-down.
If last week’s ‘0-8-4’ evoked memories of The A-Team and the Indiana Jones films, then ‘The Asset’ sits squarely in the spy-fi/espionage genre of Mission Impossible and Alias.
The plot centres on a series of misdirects to keep the audience guessing throughout. The truck driver who is in fact a S.H.I.E.L.D. operative. Hall engineering his own kidnapping. Skye’s uncertain allegiances. Quinn, who is effectively set up as Tony Stark’s evil alter ego, appearing to be this week’s villain.
We’re also treated to not one but two big visual set-pieces, with the opening vehicle-flipping scene reminiscent of The Matrix Reloaded and Magneto, and the climactic showdown between Coulson and Hall taking place in a room where gravity has been inverted.
Overall, the mission of the week was a staple kidnap-and-rescue with a twist, but this was again good, simple fun which continued to shed a little more light on the characters’ back-stories and gave us a first glimpse of what will surely be a returning super-powered villain.
Getting to know you
In this week’s drip-feed of character development, Skye gets to be more than the audience stand-in as she is thrust into the heart of the action. We learn that she’s a high school dropout and a foster child.
Meanwhile, Ward talks about being beaten up by his brother and May decides to return to full field duty.
We still don’t know much about Fitz-Simmons – presumably we’ll have an episode focussing on the pair soon?
The episode provides a modified origin story for the transformation of Dr Hall into Graviton, a recurring super-villain who appears across several Marvel comics titles.
Coulson mentions the loss of his Captain America trading cards and Hall calls out S.H.I.E.L.D. for its experimentation with the Tesseract bringing about the Chitauri invasion – both referring back to the Avengers film.
Coulson also laments his loss of muscle-memory, a hint – or another misdirect? – that he may be a life Model Decoy (LMD), an android commonly found in Marvel comics which is designed to take the form of a human original. May mentions under her breath that Coulson died in seeing action with the Avengers.
Simmons, channelling Kryten and Lieutenant Commander Data, tells Coulson to lay off Fitz: “Saying his name repeatedly does not increase productivity!”