I don’t have cable. Not because I think television is evil and not because I want to sit around a campfire with my family singing worship songs. I love television but cable is very expensive. I did, however, sign up for a free trial of Hulu Plus last week so I could watch the premiere of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
I really enjoyed the pilot episode and can’t wait to watch it again next week. I know the reaction across the Internet was mixed, with most people either loving the premiere or absolutely hating it.
Most of my enjoyment came from simply experiencing Marvel’s Cinematic Universe on a smaller scale. I love Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and can’t wait to experience a small part of it every week. There have only been seven movies so far, totaling less than 20 hours of content. An entire season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will almost double that amount of content.
Here are some thoughts I had while watching the premiere.
I loved Coulson’s speech at the end of the episode, talking about humanity. Even more than Iron Man 3, the premiere of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. really examined the aftermath of the Avengers’ battle for New York. In a world full of monsters and super heroes, how does a normal human being cope? Coulson had to answer that question for himself as he came toe-to-toe with Loki and he helped Mike Peterson answer it as well. We shouldn’t strive to lose what makes us human in world of super humans. Even though Thor is almost indestructible, humans shouldn’t lose the ability to be frail and broken. And even though we don’t have super heroes to marvel at, we shouldn’t ignore the parts of our humanity that we may not like as much. We may not like our brokenness or our frailty, but it’s in our weaknesses that God can best show his strength.
Relationships are another key aspect of our humanity present in the premiere of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. God created us to be in relationships and Joss Whedon has always made great television shows built on strong relationships. At its heart Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is an ensemble, action drama about people working together in a world of super heroes. I enjoyed the pilot but I know it will only get better as we learn more about the characters and see how their relationships play out. That’s the main reason I’m so excited for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: I want to see how Coulson and Skye and Fitz and Simmons all end up interacting with each other. Ben DeBono of the Sci-fi Christian Podcast laments the lack of deep relationships in The Avengers. In Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Joss Whedon and company will have more time and a better medium to deepen and explore those relationships.
Skye begins the episode as S.H.I.E.L.D.’s antagonist, attempting to find the truth behind the government men in the black suits. Skye is searching for her truth and Agent Coulson is attempting to live out his truth. Skye thinks that S.H.I.E.L.D. is evil and Coulson thinks that S.H.I.E.L.D. is just trying to do some good in the world. The truth is somewhere in between as S.H.I.E.L.D. was trying to help Mike Peterson but also was trying to develop advanced weapons. So much of the world’s “truth” is relative and, if we accept it, we’re often left just trying to do the best we can. If we accept God’s truth as the ultimate authority in our lives, then we’re like a ship with a rudder and we won’t be tossed on the relativistic oceans of this world. If I had to pick a side to be on, though, I’d go with Agent Coulson.
I really liked Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., so much so that we’re probably going to keep our Hulu Plus subscription going. It’s not a perfect television show and it has some room to grow. But, as a nerd who loves Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, I just can’t wait to see more of it every week from the comfort of my own couch.
What did you think about the premiere of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.?