Elsewhere on this site I’ve discussed the dictum about genre shows finding their feet with the sixth or seventh episode, and it has to be said that Agents of SHIELD is considerably stronger now than it was in its second or third week. It really helps that Skye isn’t the central focus – she’s still important, and her misdemeanours (and that’s all they seem to be regarded as) have consequences, but attention is switched to the two characters who I’ve seen up to now as pretty disposable. I wouldn’t say that either Fitz or Simmons has become fully rounded, in the way we’ve come to expect from Joss Whedon run shows, but which is which is now clearer, and there are some stronger indications of their back stories.
There’s also a giant leap forward with regard to Phil Coulson and his “death” in The Avengers – if he’s a LMD (a life model decoy, a favourite trick of SHIELD’s in the comics), then he’s been meticulously created complete with healing scars. The scene between Coulson and someone suffering from the alien syndrome the team encounter gives Clark Gregg some material to work with, and his development across the rest of the episode tracks from there. Now all we need is for some equivalent movement for the other characters!
Verdict: An enjoyable – and sometimes tense – episode. 7/10