First thing is first: this week's episode is solid. The team finds tesseract technology in Peru. It's unstable, but our boy genius can keep it under control, right? Right? Angry Peruvians disagree. Long story short, Nick Fury is not pleased, and no one gets a fish tank!
The episode had all of the elements of non-stop adventure, but it ultimately lacked any emotional ties to the action. Coulson gets betrayed by an old friend? We should be angry on his behalf! We should want to storm Peru and demand retribution! We should boycott Machu Picchu travel deals! We should not give up Peruvian chocolate because there's not call for insanity here, people. We should care, but we don't. Instead, we just want to shake our heads and remind Coulson that you never trust people you meet at ruins in a jungle.
Agent Philip "International Sex Appeal" Coulson: He's the resident Nate Ford of the group, and that makes him the main character (not Skye. Never Skye.) He's the common link, and he has the most information about what goes on in the intergalactic scheme of things. He also might be a robot. However, this episode served to remind us that we don't actually know that much about Coulson's career pre-Iron Man. He is a mystery--a kindly, often snarky, paternal figure mystery.
Melinda "The Cavalry" May: Speaking of mysteries, Melinda May is kind of a one-woman army and everything Lone Wolf wishes he could be. However, her refusal to acknowledge her past and her insistence on maintaining her administrative role bespeak a horrifying and crippling back story. I can't wait.
Grant "Lone Wolf" Ward: He's growing on me. I mean, I'm still a little wary of his wooden performance, but I can understand it better now that I know that he just does not want to be on board that sleek, sexy plane. He doesn't like people. He doesn't like teams. He's grumpy but professional. If they write him well, I can get on board.
Leo "Not Really Modest But Trying Genius" Fitz: Boy geniuses are my kryptonite (Agent Reid...mmmm...) and are luckily one of Whedon's fortes. Fitz's ongoing commentary about everyone else and his own genius is not only hilarious but a window into this solitary scientist existence. Except for Simmons, Fitz doesn't know how to work with others. He relies on her to manage the peasants, even though he's a sincere guy who respects the team. Their dynamic is awesome.
Jemma "British Adorableness Personified" Simmons: Simmons is the dreamer. She is bright and experienced and clever, but she's not content with working in a lab for the rest of her life. She's young and brilliant and wants to see the world--see the good she can do and the value her intellect is. Her enthusiasm is indefatigable, even though her partner is a doomsayer who keeps telling her that they will regret going into the field. Maybe they will, but I'm choosing to drink Simmons' personal brand of Kool-Aid and get on board.
Skye "Most Boring Hacker Ever" Who-Cares: NO ONE CARES! Yes, yes, at least she's an infiltrator, which is more interesting than just reneging on all of her principles to be one of the cool kids (although, be honest, who wouldn't?); however, Skye is still just the epitome of trying too hard. She spends the first act tiptoeing around the rest of the team, being the awkward new kid. As soon as she realizes that this is only the second mission of the team, she doesn't respect a single one of them. Guess what, Skye? They are still experts in their fields and are useful in a crisis, unlike you. Wait, that's unfair. You remembered where the inflatable rafts were. Gold star for you. Be sure to thank the other members of the team that kept you alive and saved the day.
The technology continues to be every techies dream.
I begrudgingly admit that Skye’s Twitter speech about the Peruvian rebels was a good one. The only useful thing she does all episode.
Skye: “You got shot?”