Astghik Cin Poghosyan ’17/ Emertainment Monthly Staff
Right from the beginning of the episode “Eye Spy”, as is its tradition, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. introduces the audience to this week’s antagonist, a former agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., Akela Amadour (Pascale Armand). This line of villainy is starting to look like a trend, since the villains of the past three episodes have been people connected to S.H.I.E.L.D., or Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg).
Amadour enters a train that has been occupied by multiple individuals with red masks and conspicuous briefcases handcuffed to their wrists. Right before she proceeds to severing the wrists of the people wearing the red masks and stealing, she closes her eyes for a minute and wrecks the train lighting system, creating the mystery of the plotline of this episode. Why did she close her eyes? Skye was really favoring the concept of telepathy even though there was no scientific proof to support her claim. She did have a point that the idea of gods and aliens sounded crazy before as well, but after the battle in New York, everything is possible. Also, taking into account that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the concept of mutant powers is a possibility.
The scene flashes to a frontal view of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s new high tech plane. Looks like the show producers are as eager to exploit it as much as the characters are to use it. Coulson tells Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen) that he’s thinking of taking up piloting himself and asks her what part of piloting Melinda likes best, to which she answers “the solitude”. Even though it’s a very blatant way of telling Coulson to leave the cockpit, it’s also subtle character development on the writer’s part. Melinda is a private person, and being in a position where she is in control and on her own seems fitting.
is attempting to turn into a gun in order to have multiple bullets of the same tranquilizer in a cartridge. Fitz calls it the night-night gun, a name that sparks much retaliation in Grant, who declares that they are absolutely not naming it the night-night gun. In regards of humor, the writers are keeping it consistent through the interactions of the main characters and even though a night night-night gun sounds silly when choosing a name for a weapon, it also portrays certain aspects of Agent Fitz’s childlike youth and innocence as someone who has not fully seen the horror of field missions.
Coulson is looking for Skye (Chloe Bennet), and Ward says that the last he had seen her was during her shooting training. Apparently, every time Skye pulled the trigger she said “bang” and could not distinguish between the guns safety release and the cartridge release. Skye is definitely not an agent yet, and even though her specialties lie in the hacking spectrum, her enthusiasm to be a field agent for either selfish or selfless purposes is a source of humor and admiration.
Coulson finds her alone with her computer in an isolated area. The fact that she has her own agenda and is not fully part of S.H.I.E.L.D. is seen through her chosen seclusion. Maybe she’s trying to not get too attached to the agents that she might end up betraying in the end? Skye is still affiliated with the Rising Tide and her intentions can always be questioned.
Skye, Coulson and May travel to the scene of the crime and due to modern media and the obsession of society’s documentation of events through sharing photographs on social websites, they easily find that the person they are looking for is Akela Amadour. It turns out her case was not assigned to the team by headquarters, but instead was handpicked by Coulson himself because she used to be one of his trainees. This is ironic, considering that in the episode Skye mentions the only thing she knows about Coulson as being that he likes collecting old things. It looks like that hobby does not limit itself to solely physical objects, but includes memories as well, or as Loki would say, “sentiment”.
There are mixed feelings about how they should proceed in dealing with Amadour, after she runs over the van with three of the agents in it while they were tracking her (They hacked into the camera on her person and were tracking her movements through that). The fact that it took Skye, and Fitz-Simmons a while to figure out that the camera was looking at them was quite ridiculous. Even though their delayed reaction was used for comedic purposes, it contradicted the nature of their characters. Coulson thinks of her as one of their own since he trained her, while Melinda and Grant see her as nothing more than a threat that needs to be eliminated. While monitoring the camera on Amadour, they realize that the camera is actually in her eye and that she is being controlled through the messages sent to her.
There were two main highlights in this week’s episode: the growing relationship between Skye and Grant and the mystery behind Coulson’s recovery. We find out that Amadour’s bionic eye can see through things. She notices the difference in Coulson’s behavior and when she comments on it she also asks, “But what have they done to him?” Maybe she saw something internal that would explain the miraculous recovery. Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) joked about a Live Model Decoy and maybe that’s what S.H.I.E.L.D. has turned Coulson into. Maybe he was a Live Model Decoy all along and that was why he recovered. Maybe Marvel is establishing the setting of introducing a new character called Vision that exists in the comic books through Coulson. There’s a lot of speculation around this topic and all the writers give us are small hints through which we can build our speculations.
Another thing that this episode did was establishing an overarching enemy that might occupy the plot development of the future episodes. The identity of the individual who placed the bionic eye in Amadour was not revealed, but while examining said technology Fitz-Simmons comments that the technology is “a decade ahead” of what they have seen. Keep in mind, these are S.H.I.E.L.D. agents and they have access to the latest available tech. Additionally, the mapping in the research laboratory that Ward had to break into was also alien and nothing that they could decipher. The mysterious enemy is either an alien or someone who has gone through time travel (considering that the series is set in the MCU, both options are quite probable).
There’s a lot of controversy concerning Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. On one hand, it’s part of a loved franchise, and the fans want to follow through with it and support the Whedons. On the other hand, it’s based on stock characters, overused plot lines, and relies on its and the writer’s name. While it’s understandable that the Whedons are being very cautious about how they go on about the series since it’s part of a much bigger franchise and they want it to succeed, the series’ ratings have dropped drastically since the airing of the pilot. They need to step up their game in order to keep their viewers and satisfy their fans.
Tune in to ABC every Tuesday at 8:00 pm for the next episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.