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Agents Of SHIELD: The Well

Agents Of SHIELD Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

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#21 Christopher

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 04:30 PM

View PostG-man, on 21 November 2013 - 02:34 PM, said:

AFTER Skye gave Coulson reason to question what he was told.  Before that, he was inclined to go along with whatever Hand had in mind, trusting that she'd have his team-mates extracted.

I think you're giving him too little credit. She wouldn't have been able to convince him so easily if he was that blindly obedient. The whole reason he put this unconventional team together is because he's able to think outside the box.


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And seriously, good grief, there's hardly been an episode of the series that hasn't raised questions about SHIELD's use of its power. It's been a clear recurring theme throughout the season so far. Just because it hasn't become front-and-center yet doesn't mean it isn't there; it just means it's a slowly building thread that will almost certainly become more prominent as the season progresses.

Really?  Because I have not been seeing that, at all.

It was questioned in the first episode when they brought Skye on board; I saw it touched on in the Malta episode which concluded with this utterly dangerous device must not be destroyed and is only safe in SHIELD's custody, and the "Skye betrayed us" episode - which concluded by stating Skye was absolutely totally in the wrong and she should be ashamed of herself for failing to betray her principles and a longtime friend and lover to her new team-mates, and how dare form any loyalties to others before she met the team.  That's, what, 3 episodes out of how many?

Given that you had no trouble listing several examples, it's rather hyperbolic to claim you haven't seen it "at all." And you're misrepresenting at least one example. You're forgetting that Coulson insisted that the gravitonium be stored without any record; he listened to Hall's concerns about this power falling into government hands, and therefore he hid it away where SHIELD wouldn't know of its presence, and he didn't notify them that it was there. He deliberately deceived his own superiors because he didn't trust them enough to let this power fall into their hands. Maybe you need to watch the episode again, because you clearly missed some crucial details.

And "0-8-4" was also about the potential abuse of power, because it was about a former ally of Coulson's betraying him due to the temptation posed by a Tesseract-powered weapon. So I'd say the theme has been an element in at least half of the eight episodes to date. Which is not an atypical concentration for arc elements in the early part of a television season, since such elements are usually fed in gradually, especially in a premiere season.


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Basically, I'm feeling that this issue should be front and center instead of relegated to the background.

Again -- it's early yet. I'm sure it will be more prominent later. As I said, we know it's going to be a major thread in the next Captain America movie, which is very SHIELD-centric and which will come out during the latter half of the show's first season. It seems quite possible that the show will build up to that movie's events and then deal with their ramifications to the organization.
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#22 DWF

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 04:47 PM

View PostChristopher, on 21 November 2013 - 04:30 PM, said:

View PostG-man, on 21 November 2013 - 02:34 PM, said:

AFTER Skye gave Coulson reason to question what he was told.  Before that, he was inclined to go along with whatever Hand had in mind, trusting that she'd have his team-mates extracted.

I think you're giving him too little credit. She wouldn't have been able to convince him so easily if he was that blindly obedient. The whole reason he put this unconventional team together is because he's able to think outside the box.


I have to agree with G-Man on this, Coulson was repeating thier mantra of trusting the system before Skye told him the truth of the matter, It's why he was angry to be left ot of the loop/ Coulson as we learned in that ep. is one of Fury's favorites which is why he has the team he has and we don't know how unconventional of a team it is since we've not seen any other groups.

Edited by DWF, 21 November 2013 - 04:47 PM.

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#23 NeuralClone

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 04:48 PM

View PostChristopher, on 21 November 2013 - 04:30 PM, said:

Again -- it's early yet. I'm sure it will be more prominent later.
Early? We're 8 episodes into the first season (almost halfway) and the main story arc has barely progressed. We still know nothing new about Coulson. That character arc has mostly been on standstill since the first episode. The plot with Centipede has gone nowhere. The Rising Tide storyline has barely been developed. And the same is true of every other storyline this show has introduced. It seems to be really good at introducing stories and then doing absolutely nothing with them.

More happened in the first episode of Arrow than has happened in 8 episodes of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Even Lost was faster paced than this show. If they intend to slowly trickle the bigger plot elements into the show, that's still no excuse for generic, uninteresting writing. It feels an awful lot like Marvel was in love with the idea of a big budget weekly TV series but little thought was put into fleshing out how it would stand on its own or what it would ultimately even be about.

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As I said, we know it's going to be a major thread in the next Captain America movie, which is very SHIELD-centric and which will come out during the latter half of the show's first season. It seems quite possible that the show will build up to that movie's events and then deal with their ramifications to the organization.
But that's EXACTLY the problem. The TV show seems to exist simply to setup major plot threads in upcoming movies without being allowed to actually deal with any of the issues itself. The show should stand on its own without relying so heavily on movies that have yet to be released. That's just bad storytelling.

By the time The Winter Soldier comes out, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will have bled off the majority of its viewership if the current trend continues. That's a really serious problem. If all the big, interesting events happen in the movies and the show simply acts as a teaser for those events, what's the point in spending time every week watching the show? It seems like that's the conclusion a lot of other viewers are coming to as well. The show needs to have its own payoff that's independent from the movies.

Edited by NeuralClone, 21 November 2013 - 04:49 PM.

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#24 NeuralClone

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 05:00 PM

Or put another way. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. feels like the Marvel equivalent of the local sheriff in a small town solving petty crimes while all the bigger, more interesting things are happening with his friends in a massive FBI investigation of a nationwide threat.
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#25 DWF

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 06:31 PM

Well I don't get the feeling that Agents Of SHIELD is a commerical for the MCU movies especially since Thor: The Dark World wasn't promoed very much during the commerical breaks. But I do have to agree the storylines are rather slow moving and that's odd seeing as how they had no idea they'd be geting a full season and had the show bee n cancelled after only 13 eps. we'd have another Firefly situation. As it stands though I have to wonder if the series will be renewed for another season.
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#26 NeuralClone

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 07:32 PM

View PostDWF, on 21 November 2013 - 06:31 PM, said:

Well I don't get the feeling that Agents Of SHIELD is a commerical for the MCU movies especially since Thor: The Dark World wasn't promoed very much during the commerical breaks. But I do have to agree the storylines are rather slow moving and that's odd seeing as how they had no idea they'd be geting a full season and had the show bee n cancelled after only 13 eps. we'd have another Firefly situation. As it stands though I have to wonder if the series will be renewed for another season.
I don't really mean that the show feels like a commercial for the MCU movies. It feels more like a big teaser for what's to come in those movies without really ever getting into the plot points in much depth. It's throwing ideas out there and then the movies pick up and run with them instead of the show.

But I definitely agree that their approach is a bit baffling given that they had no idea if they'd even get a full season. You'd think that things would have started moving along after a few episodes instead of not doing much of anything.
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#27 RJDiogenes

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 08:16 PM

I couldn't care less about the Marvel movies; I don't even think about them. I enjoy the show for itself and, thankfully, it is far less arc driven than most shows these days. I like the snappy, standalone stories as a structure to hang the characters on, giving them ways and means to interact. Apparently in this era of multi-volume novels people have lost the ability to appreciate short stories.
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#28 DWF

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 08:53 PM

View PostRJDiogenes, on 21 November 2013 - 08:16 PM, said:

I couldn't care less about the Marvel movies; I don't even think about them. I enjoy the show for itself and, thankfully, it is far less arc driven than most shows these days. I like the snappy, standalone stories as a structure to hang the characters on, giving them ways and means to interact. Apparently in this era of multi-volume novels people have lost the ability to appreciate short stories.

And except for Coulson's continuing trama concerning his rebirth and the fact that the doctor behind the catapiller is still out there, I might agree with you. But this ep. is a follow up to the Thor movie.
The longest-running science fiction series: decadent, degenerate and rotten to the core. Power-mad conspirators, Daleks, Sontarans... Cybermen! They're still in the nursery compared to us. Fifty years of absolute fandom. That's what it takes to be really critical.

"Don't mistake a few fans bitching on the Internet for any kind of trend." - Keith R.A. DeCandido

#29 NeuralClone

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 09:58 PM

View PostRJDiogenes, on 21 November 2013 - 08:16 PM, said:

I couldn't care less about the Marvel movies; I don't even think about them. I enjoy the show for itself and, thankfully, it is far less arc driven than most shows these days. I like the snappy, standalone stories as a structure to hang the characters on, giving them ways and means to interact. Apparently in this era of multi-volume novels people have lost the ability to appreciate short stories.
Extremis, the core component in the Centipede technology, relies on Iron Man 3 and Captain America (and to a lesser extent, the last Hulk movie). If you haven't seen those movies, it's largely just a big question mark because the show has made no effort to actually explain what exactly Extremis is. Coulson's death and revival relies on The Avengers. The state of the world is dependent on that movie as well. The alien virus episode relied on The Avengers and didn't bother to explain just who the Chitauri are or why we care. The latest episode is a follow-up to Thor: The Dark World. Knowledge of that movie is required to fully understand the story. The plot threads about questioning S.H.I.E.L.D. and its motives, which were brought up in The Avengers, are known to be the focus of the main plot in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

So while it's great that you can enjoy the show for itself, it doesn't stand on its own and neither do individual episodes. The movies are required viewing if you want to see the full picture. And since the show is doing a rather poor job actually fleshing out what exactly that full picture is, I fail to see how that's a good thing. The standalone stories are anything but standalone. They're serving as setup for future movies or as followups to other movies.

I don't have an issue with short stories if they're actually interesting. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s "standalone" short stories are far from interesting and have been done to death (and done better) on many other shows. The short version is that other than its connection to the big budget Marvel movies and the occasional well-written piece of dialog, this show has very little to offer in its current form. It has nothing to do with being impatient or not appreciating standalone stories. It has everything to do with the show doing a terrible job doing exactly that, and it's failing at telling a decent story arc as well.
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#30 enTranced

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Posted 22 November 2013 - 10:46 AM

View PostChristopher, on 21 November 2013 - 02:27 PM, said:


We know nothing of the kind. All we know is what we suspected already, that she's been through some intense trauma and suffered PTSD and thus can identify with Coulson's PTSD. That certainly does not mean that they both experienced the exact same trauma. I mean, clearly she can identify with Ward's trauma too, and that's what drew them together.

Noooo.....that's not what I said at all.

We may not know fully what May's trauma was but we DO know she had one and from her talk with Coulson we know it changed her and we can reasonably be sure that this was the trauma the staff put a light on.

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#31 G-man

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Posted 22 November 2013 - 11:17 AM

View PostNeuralClone, on 21 November 2013 - 07:32 PM, said:

View PostDWF, on 21 November 2013 - 06:31 PM, said:

Well I don't get the feeling that Agents Of SHIELD is a commerical for the MCU movies especially since Thor: The Dark World wasn't promoed very much during the commerical breaks. But I do have to agree the storylines are rather slow moving and that's odd seeing as how they had no idea they'd be geting a full season and had the show bee n cancelled after only 13 eps. we'd have another Firefly situation. As it stands though I have to wonder if the series will be renewed for another season.
I don't really mean that the show feels like a commercial for the MCU movies. It feels more like a big teaser for what's to come in those movies without really ever getting into the plot points in much depth. It's throwing ideas out there and then the movies pick up and run with them instead of the show.

But I definitely agree that their approach is a bit baffling given that they had no idea if they'd even get a full season. You'd think that things would have started moving along after a few episodes instead of not doing much of anything.

I believe I understand what you're saying.

The show is expending so much effort into tying itself into the movie continuity, that it isn't really establishing itself as an distinct and independent (if interconnected) entity examining all of those issues in depth that wouldn't have an easy resolution.  Consequently, it is undermining its own potential to be great.

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#32 NeuralClone

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Posted 22 November 2013 - 11:36 AM

View PostG-man, on 22 November 2013 - 11:17 AM, said:

I believe I understand what you're saying.

The show is expending so much effort into tying itself into the movie continuity, that it isn't really establishing itself as an distinct and independent (if interconnected) entity examining all of those issues in depth that wouldn't have an easy resolution.  Consequently, it is undermining its own potential to be great.
Pretty much exactly that, yes. The show being interconnected with the movies is perfectly fine. That's actually kind of cool. But because of the movies it's automatically unable to explore issues on the level it should be allowed to explore them. Instead we're stuck with a show that hints at certain issues and then just puts them on the back burner for the movies to explore. It makes watching the show in its current form unrewarding (and frustrating) because the true payoff won't even be appearing on the show until after the movie(s) have dealt with it.

The show has made some effort to introduce what I assume will be unique story arcs to the show (what happened to Coulson, the Rising Tide, Centipede, etc.). But it's made so little progress on those story arcs in 8 episodes that it makes the whole thing just that much more frustrating. Again, standalone stories are fine if they're well-written and contribute something of note. So far I don't feel the standalone stories have done that on this show. They simply exist. Many of them rehash stories that have been done elsewhere and done better. Standalone stories should be more memorable than that, especially on a new show that's trying to establish itself. If they aren't contributing to a story arc and if they don't stand well on their own, it makes it difficult to stay motivated to tune in every week. It's even worse when the characters feel generic.

Gone are the Star Trek syndication days where shows could get away with being terrible early on while they found themselves. There are simply far too many things competing for peoples' attention today. A new show needs to stand out and stand out strongly if it has any hope to gain enough viewers to survive. If it doesn't stand out, people will likely move on to other things that they feel are more worthy of their time investment. I know that I'll personally give up on a show if it doesn't draw me in and make me care about the characters and stories. I'd rather be reading, playing a game, or watching something else that does those things. Otherwise I'm just wasting my time watching something I merely tolerate instead of something I truly love.

Edited by NeuralClone, 22 November 2013 - 11:37 AM.

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#33 SparkyCola

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Posted 23 November 2013 - 04:48 PM

View PostRJDiogenes, on 21 November 2013 - 08:16 PM, said:

I couldn't care less about the Marvel movies; I don't even think about them. I enjoy the show for itself and, thankfully, it is far less arc driven than most shows these days. I like the snappy, standalone stories as a structure to hang the characters on, giving them ways and means to interact. Apparently in this era of multi-volume novels people have lost the ability to appreciate short stories.

No, I like that structure. But the characters are too flat to pull that off, and the bad dialogue isn't helping matters.

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#34 Christopher

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Posted 23 November 2013 - 05:04 PM

View PostenTranced, on 22 November 2013 - 10:46 AM, said:

Noooo.....that's not what I said at all.

We may not know fully what May's trauma was but we DO know she had one and from her talk with Coulson we know it changed her and we can reasonably be sure that this was the trauma the staff put a light on.

But what you said was that we knew exactly what she saw, and "some major trauma" is hardly exact. We know it's that particular event, but since we know nothing about that event, we still have no clue what, in a literal sense, she actually saw.
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#35 RJDiogenes

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 07:33 PM

View PostNeuralClone, on 21 November 2013 - 09:58 PM, said:

So while it's great that you can enjoy the show for itself, it doesn't stand on its own and neither do individual episodes. The movies are required viewing if you want to see the full picture. And since the show is doing a rather poor job actually fleshing out what exactly that full picture is, I fail to see how that's a good thing. The standalone stories are anything but standalone. They're serving as setup for future movies or as followups to other movies.  
Of all the Marvel movies, I've only seen The Avengers and I've had no problem with the series.  It takes place in a world of aliens and super technology and stuff. I'm familiar enough with that sort of premise to just roll with it.

View PostSparkyCola, on 23 November 2013 - 04:48 PM, said:

No, I like that structure. But the characters are too flat to pull that off, and the bad dialogue isn't helping matters.  
Well, then in this case it's just a matter of differing taste, I guess. I have bonded with the characters and I think the dialogue is generally pretty snappy.
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#36 sierraleone

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 08:05 PM

View PostRJDiogenes, on 24 November 2013 - 07:33 PM, said:

View PostNeuralClone, on 21 November 2013 - 09:58 PM, said:

So while it's great that you can enjoy the show for itself, it doesn't stand on its own and neither do individual episodes. The movies are required viewing if you want to see the full picture. And since the show is doing a rather poor job actually fleshing out what exactly that full picture is, I fail to see how that's a good thing. The standalone stories are anything but standalone. They're serving as setup for future movies or as followups to other movies.  
Of all the Marvel movies, I've only seen The Avengers and I've had no problem with the series.  It takes place in a world of aliens and super technology and stuff. I'm familiar enough with that sort of premise to just roll with it.

Same here.

View PostRJDiogenes, on 24 November 2013 - 07:33 PM, said:

View PostSparkyCola, on 23 November 2013 - 04:48 PM, said:

No, I like that structure. But the characters are too flat to pull that off, and the bad dialogue isn't helping matters.  
Well, then in this case it's just a matter of differing taste, I guess. I have bonded with the characters and I think the dialogue is generally pretty snappy.

It is satisfying and enjoying to me so far as well. I understand the weaknesses others are pointing out with regards to the slowness of the plot/themes, but I guess I just don't think those weaknesses have detracted to such a large degree to affect my enjoyment of the the show. I actually like, on some level, that the over-arching theme/plot with SHIELD isn't detracting too much attention/time from the character stuff. Not that a good writer couldn't do both at the same time, but even then sometimes you still loose stuff. I've read some people complain that their isn't enough comic-book-like stuff with regards to guest-star heros (any Marvel Heros, not necessarily Avengers), but I'd rather focus on the characters that this show regularly consist of and not have guest-stars be the focus of most episodes. I don't mind that it is not like the big splashy movies every week. I like that it feels more like regular people caught up in the more ordinary world of SHIELD (ordinary by comparison to the movies/comics with their big-name characters anyways). Matter of taste I guess. Of course there are valid criticism, whether from those enjoying or not enjoying the show.

Edited by sierraleone, 24 November 2013 - 08:07 PM.

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#37 FarscapeOne

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 01:54 AM

I thought I recognized the blonde, Petra.  She played Kat on season 2 of ALPHAS.

#38 Christopher

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 10:26 AM

Yep, that was Erin Way. She's a rather distinctive-looking person.
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#39 FarscapeOne

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 12:34 PM

And this makes the second former STAR TREK series cast member directing.  Good to see that, because some of the best character based episodes were directed by the actors.  I particularly enjoyed Frakes, Burton, Dawson, and Brooks directed ones.



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