There’s been something missing from “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD.” The show opened to great ratings that have been slowly dropping (though that’s not as bad as it sounds), but there’s just been something lacking in the weekly almost-fail-but-then-suddenly-succeed antics of the show: a point.
Just what is the purpose of “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD”? As the series heads into its seventh episode (and November sweeps), it’s still unclear. Why did Agent Coulson, newly resurrected, decide to use his new lease on life to bring together a group of misfits and newbies to go around and resolve an array of random SHIELD problems? What is “Agents of SHIELD’s” function within the Marvel Cinematic Universe beyond just being a TV connection to its very successful film counterparts?
From the get-go, it was clear that “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD” wouldn’t work by simply being That Show With That Guy Who Died In “The Avengers.” To truly grow and become a series worth investing in, it would need to prove that it is an equal player within the MCU and that it’s more than just the connective tissue between the releases of the Marvel movies. But with its first episode being focused on the aftermaths of the Battle of New York and Extremis and a “Thor: The Dark World” crossover coming on Nov. 19, its connections to the Marvel movies are the most interesting parts of the series at the moment.
Time after time fans have been told to put their faith in the Whedon, and it’s paid off. Here’s hoping that showrunners Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen really do have a greater plan that makes investing in Agents Coulson, Ward, May, Fitz and Simmons (and Skye, of course) all worthwhile. If not, then “Agents of SHIELD” really needs to start working on developing its ensemble’s dynamic (which it did a good job of in last week’s “FZZT”) to start growing an audience instead of losing one.
Some shows work perfectly fine just spending time with their characters or resolving a case of the week, and that’s great. But “Agents of SHIELD” has the promise and potential to be so much more than just another procedural, albeit a comic book-inspired one. While we’ve been enjoying “SHIELD” just fine as it is, it’s hard to not be frustrated with the show not living up to what it’s capable of.
Agent Coulson was such a wonderful character developed in the Marvel movies that it makes such little sense that he would go from working with the Avengers to this randomly assembled (albeit attractive and charming) collection of agents and risk his career on gambles like Skye to just travel around the world running errands in their SHIELD jet. And why would Nick Fury let him get away with it if there wasn’t some other motive for Coulson’s actions? It doesn’t make much sense unless that is the case which, hopefully, it is.
So here’s a request for you, “Agents of SHIELD” powers that be: if there is a point to this show, please make it — and soon. It’s time to start letting the audience in on the show’s mysteries instead of just keeping us aware that there are unanswered questions that everyone seems to know the answer to except the viewers.
Have you been frustrated with the seemingly pointless pace of “Agents of SHIELD” as well?