Agents of SHIELD S1E3: The Asset – Review

There are six members on Coulson’s Agents of SHIELD team, but with each passing episode, it seems like there are three distinct teams of two. Yes, they all worked together in episode two after the Bus had been commandeered, but with this episode we are back to smaller group dynamics. I think this works well, as the characters in each pairing play well off each other.

Skye and Agent Ward are once again paired up in this episode. Ward trains Skye, a hacker with no military experience, tricks that she’ll need to learn to stay alive in the field. Following the maxim that if a gun is shown in Act I, it must be fired by Act III, the means Skye learns to disarm a gunman in the opening of the episode is employed at the end of the episode. Though if I were Skye, I think I think I’d have less issue with pulling a trigger than I would sprinting off a balcony hoping that I land in the pool.


There’s nothing suspicious about playing with your compact as the villain reveals his master plan.

During Ward’s training of Skye, we find out that Ward’s brothers used to beat him up when he was a kid. We later find out he’s from Massachusetts. Of course he is. In movies and television, if you had brothers who liked to beat on you growing up, you’re either from Boston or Brooklyn. No one ever says “My brothers constantly beat me up when we were growing up…in Rhode Island.”

FitzSimmons continue to be my favorite characters on the show. I was hoping for more FitzSimmons in this episode, as they have a connection to Dr. Hall, the titular asset. Finally, Agent Coulson and Agent May round out the teams of two. Coulson and May, the two most experienced members of the group, often come across as the parent figures of the team. They’re in charge and the other characters definitely defer to them. Taking this analogy further, Skye and Ward are the surly teens of the family and FitzSimmons are the whiz-kid younger siblings.

Mr. Tim, of the Our Valued Customers webcomic, had a great one-panel comic that summed up exactly how I felt by the end of this episode:


Courtesy of Our Valued Customers

Well played, Joss.

I love that the creators are baiting us with Coulson’s mysterious resurrection. We gettwo really good lines of dialog here. Early on,  Coulson tells May, “I saw plenty of action with the Avengers,” to which she replies when he’s out of earshot, “And you died.” Later, someone tells Coulson he’s “a little rusty.” Rusty? Maybe because he’s a robot? At New York Comic Con this weekend, the most popular theory among the fans I talked to is that Agent Coulson is an LMD and doesn’t know it. I’m guessing we won’t find out the answer until the last scene of the season finale.

The final scene at the very end of this episode is huge. No Nick Fury or Maria Hill cameo, but this episode’s ending should have a big effect on the series going forward. It looks like we’ll definitely see the return of Dr. Hall. Many are saying, myself included, that we just saw the birth of the classic Marvel villain Graviton in that swirling ball of liquid metal that looked like a cast-off from The Abyss. I like that the show is setting itself up for returning issues to be dealt with (Graviton, The Power Broker). I’m really hoping that with Thor: The Dark World being released soon, we’ll get a Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston or at least a  Stellan Skarsgard cameo at the end of an episode soon.