Megan Miller ’17/ Emertainment Monthly Staff
For weeks now, ABC has been marketing their new show, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. along with the hashtag #Coulsonlives. As promised, the fan-favorite of a string of Marvel blockbusters, Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg), did return from the dead—or, as he frequently cites, Tahiti—but if you haven’t yet seen the pilot of the super-show about the human-heroes, they’re just getting warmed up.
As Agent Grant Ward (Brett Dalton) moves up to clearance seven, so do we, but Coulson’s miraculous recovery is just the beginning. (You didn’t think Joss Whedon, creative force behind Avengers and the pilot episode, as well as executive producer of the show, would let his biggest secrets out early, did you?) Another group, Rising Tide, tries to bring together everything and anything that has worked in the past to create a super-soldier, and, masquerading as one of their people, Skye (Chloe Bennet), initially tries to convince the main focus of the episode to join them. His name is Mike Peterson (J. August Richards), and he is also the newest test subject for the treatment.
Injected by a device strapped to his forearm, aptly named the Centipede, the serum Rising Tide has created comes with side effects that bear a striking resemblance to those caused by Extremis, a term that will be familiar to anyone who saw Iron Man 3 this past May. Yet this new superhuman isn’t the main focus of the show. The important thing to remember about Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is the tagline, “Not all heroes are super.”
The pilot sets up an interesting character with Skye, whose transition is something along the lines of “anarchist-turned-agent”, as well as a mystery behind Coulson’s resurrection after Avengers. Agent Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) and Doctor Streiten (Ron Glass), both working for S.H.I.E.L.D., drop a cryptic hint that the agent is not all that he seems and that he himself doesn’t even know it (“He can never know”). The team is rounded out with Agent Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen), who returns to the field from a desk job at Coulson’s insistence, and Agents Leo Fitz (Iain de Caestecker) and Jemma Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge), respectively specializing in engineering and biochemistry.
With the highest audience turnout for a pilot since 2009, plenty of mystery is still to be revealed in the coming season. The pilot sets up a brave new world where anyone and everyone can be a hero.