Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1 Review “The Hub”

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D Episode 7 The Hub (1)

It’s been a busy week for Marvel television! Agents of SHIELD has enjoyed being the only television series in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it won’t hold that title for long! No, Marvel has announced this last week that they are developing FOUR new 13-episode TV series in collaboration with Netflix, and they will be based off of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, and Luke Cage. Not only that, but it was revealed that frequent Joss Whedon collaborator Drew Goddard (Angel, Buffy, Cabin in the Woods) will be writing the Daredevil series! So while we got a look this last week at how the Marvel small-screen universe will be developing, “The Hub” also showed us the greater universe of the SHIELD organization.

We’ve heard The Hub mentioned in episodes before this, but it was good to actually see it on screen. Not only that, but Maximiliano Hernandez returned tonight to reprise his role as Agent Sitwell that he’s already played on The Avengers and Thor. We were also introduced to Agent Hand, played by Saffron Burrows. She holds the distinction of being the first major SHIELD agent that we haven’t seen in a previous film (or DVD extra in Agent Blake’s case). While it was good to finally see the aforementioned Hub on screen, it made SHIELD seem a little less mysterious and enigmatic when you see a whole bunch of agents just walking around an office building. It makes them seem like less of an all-powerful and omnipresent organization and more of a regular ol’ company.

I do appreciate the increased character development and quiet moments between Fitz and Simmons between this episode and the last. The first few episodes just built them up like they were a bickering old married couple that only spoke in scientific jargon, but these last two episodes have really deepened their relationship nicely. However, tonight’s episode split them up for the most part, and instead paired Fitz with Ward and Simmons with Skye. We haven’t seen either of these duos spend much time together on screen, and they both had their fun moments for sure. It was definitely a little jarring to go from Fitz and Ward’s life and death situation to Simmons and Skye’s goofy misadventures at The Hub. That’s really an issue with the show in general, though: Nothing ever feels like it’s high stakes. You knew that nobody was in any real danger tonight. Everything was going to come together just fine, and it did! I’m fine with that, though, as long as the episode is fun to watch and it pushes some of the other mysteries and character developments forward.

Not everything worked tonight, though. I don’t understand why SHIELD would send two of their agents in to a dangerous mission with no extraction plan. It just didn’t make any sense to me. I had to rewind Agent Hand’s explanation at the end because I couldn’t believe it would be that stupid. She just believed that Coulson would find out about it and go save him themselves? Why would they want to sacrifice two important assets like that? Oh, and namedropping “Barton and Romanov” is just baloney. If you didn’t recognize the names, that’s Hawkeye and The Black Widow, two members of the freakin’ Avengers! Just because you could send two quasi-superheroes into a dangerous mission with no extraction does not mean it will work with all of your agents.

We got a little more development on Coulson’s mysterious recovery, as he almost stopped himself from parroting his mantra to Agent Hand (“It’s a magical…place”). The tag at the end of the episode didn’t give us a lot, except to just confirm that the details of Coulson’s recovery are being kept a secret from him. We already knew that, though.

The ongoing mystery of Skye’s parents got a lot more, though, as we found out that a SHIELD agent dropped her off at an orphanage. Maybe you guys can confirm this with me, but are we supposed to infer from the picture of the dead woman in that file means that this mysterious SHIELD agent is now dead? And that SHIELD agent was Skye’s mom? You have to imagine the only reason that Coulson and May would be keeping this secret is because there’s something off about this agent. Maybe she did something wrong? Maybe she’s a traitor? Who knows?!

Overall I’m still having a lot of fun with Agents of SHIELD. It’s possible that I’m just going in with lower expectations than everybody else, but I still see so much potential in this show. I’m hoping they can get out of the whole “Go to this place, investigate this person/technological macguffin, hang out on the plane” routine.

Random Thoughts:

– I thought we were going to get some kind of follow-up on that salty drink that Fitz took in that bar. The bartender appeared to share a sly look with the others about what they gave him.

– Maximiliano Hernandez was pretty boring tonight as Agent Sitwell, but if you want to see him as a much more interesting agent, I highly recommend checking out the first season of The Americans where he plays Agent Amador. Such a great series.

– That magnetic pouch that Ward and Fitz were in did not seem like it should have worked.