Agents of SHIELD: Eye Spy review S1 E4

Agents of SHIELD has settled into its cozy role of being a superhero-esque spy procedural that isn’t really aspiring to be anything remarkable. Like Arrow, AOS benefited from arriving before the onslaught of superhero TV shows although I’d argue Arrow over delivered on what audiences expected while SHIELD had a harder time finding its way.

Eye Spy was another solid episode that was another one and done outing without taking advantage of the opportunity to do a long-form comic book style story arc (for now). It’s interesting revisiting these early episodes and noticing how few of my gripes would carry over into the second season with one glaring exception. Fortunately that issue became less of a problem by Season 3.

Things start off interesting with a group of men in intimidating looking red masks with briefcases handcuffed to their wrists walking to a Stockholm subway station. They get attacked by a woman who only steals one briefcase with diamonds valued at $30 million.

To refresh so far in four episodes of Agents of SHIELD the bad guys have been a black jewel thief, a Peruvian commandant, a white tech genius and an Extremis corrupted black guy. That’s not a great ratio. At least all is not what it appears.

agents of shield eye spy review - akela

Thanks to Skye being the only one capable of knowing how to use a computer, SHIELD is able to track down the thief, Coulson’s former protege, Akela Amador (Pascale Armand). Skye tries to play off the slight of not being Coulson’s first project while he’s focused on bringing Amador in.

Skye and FitzSimmons are on stake out in the van while Coulson and Ward go after Akela. It really feels like the writers have no clue what they’re doing with FitzSimmons as they constantly get tech-bailed out seemingly every episode by Skye. Their contributions always feel so minimal largely because of the writer’s insistence on writing them as a package deal instead of two individuals that engage in more than group thought.

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On the plus side they finally seemed to realize it might be worthwhile to do something with May besides having her glare menacingly at everyone. She goes after Akela despite Akela’s ability to see in the dark thanks to a robotic eye piece. Coulson makes the last minute save using Fitz’s newly created stun gun. Turns out Akela was operating under orders from someone who’d inserted the eye implant and wasn’t bashful about triggering a fail safe if she got out of line.

Akela says her team got killed because she didn’t trust them like Coulson advised. This seems to resonate with May, who’s been icy at best with her new teammates. While FitzSimmons attempts to remove the implant from Akela, Ward goes undercover to trace the source of her controller with some help from Skye. This allows for more flirtatious banter between them. The apparent SkyeWard shipping is not subtle.

agents of shield eye spy review - fitzsimmons and skye

Ward spots a mysterious pattern on a chalkboard while escaping and he’s savvy enough to get a screenshot before breaking out. Coulson and May track down the controller, a former MI-6 operative, who himself was a pawn whose failsafe activated. No new leads here.

Akela asks May what was done to Coulson, but given May’s puzzled response, she decides not to say anything. That was a questionable move and hardly the act of someone grateful for a second chance.

Skye tries to make “AC” happen, but she’s forgetting there is only one TV AC and his last name is Slater, not Coulson. This does a solid job of further establishing the father/daughter bond with Coulson and Skye.

This was another good enough, but not essential episode. SHIELD hit the ground running with a pair of MCU cameos, but left to swim or sink on its own, the verdict is definitely still out at this point.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Photo Credit: ABC

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