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Post-The Avengers, Marvel's first attempt at translating the new MCU to the small screen was Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., a show following a team of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents led by the originally killed-in-action Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg).

The idea of giving a character we all believed to have been written-off completely his own show which, as far as we knew, wouldn't include any major Marvel superheroes, was not a particularly exciting prospect as it felt like a bit of a stretch. On the other hand, Phil Coulson was always a likeable character and S.H.I.E.L.D. has always been a setting packed with potential. The team we're introduced to includes the recently revived Coulson, tough-as-nails operative Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen), top scientists and tech experts Fitz (Ian De Caestecker) and Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) with superspy Grant Ward (Brett Dalton) and new recruit hacker Skye (Chloe Bennet). The early episodes focus mostly on Skye's absorption into S.H.I.E.L.D. as a potential new member of Coulson's team despite her initial suspicions about the secret organisation. Skye being the least interesting and most out-of-place character of the bunch, this makes for a rocky start to the show.

You can certainly tell that the writing is still trying to find its legs 5 episodes in and the spotlight on Skye is always in danger of making us lose interest entirely with the overly-jokey Fitz and Simmons not helping matters much. Luckily, the rest of the characters are appropriately mission focused plus there's enough mystery in the overall plot and the action is well done enough that the show never gets too redundant or grating. As it goes on, nifty cameos by the likes of Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) himself and Sif (Jaimie Alexander), reliably good guest stars like Bill Paxton or Peter MacNicol and some well executed twists and turns help improve the show little by little. As the shadow of Hydra looms over Coulson and his team, the episodes start to reflect the events from Captain America: The Winter Soldier in a subtle, interesting way and the last third of this first Season ends things on a promising note with a solid foundation to build an even better second Season on.

After an uneven, too light-hearted and somewhat generic first batch of episodes, Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. soon manages to build a genuinely involving intrigue with a slightly darker tone and clever character development complete with big twists you might not actually see coming.

Good so far.

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