Agents of SHIELD. Season 1 Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Trekker4747, Sep 25, 2013.

  1. Venardhi

    Venardhi Vice Admiral Admiral

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    He had been given little incentive to learn to use it better. Surely SHIELD could have made a project of him and found a way to enhance his natural ability much like the Extremis did.
    Why was it necessary for May to inject him with the Extremis then? It was her double-dose that set him off.
    He is a human who is both fireproof and able to create (and control) flame from his hands. Limited or not that isn't someone you let walk around unutilized in a world where Captain America, Hawkeye and Black Widow are considered superheroes.

    Who says Extremis was even the reason he was able to perform at that level? How would they even know that his powers would be enhanced? It may just as likely have been a mental block from a lack of confidence and the discouraging warnings of SHIELD. This is the most powerful naturally occurring (not engineered or the result of an experiment gone wrong) meta-human ability we have seen in the MCU. I just don't buy it.
     
  2. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Maybe not literal mutants, but for all intents and purposes they might as well be with the kinds of powers they have.

    The asian dude in last night's ep might have gotten his power through radiation, but in the end his abilities still made him look like another Pyro from X2.
     
  3. Sto-Vo-Kory

    Sto-Vo-Kory Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    ^Interesting back story, Christopher. I always imagined the Joe/Cobra and SHIELD/Hydra similarities to be coincidental and unrelated but it appears that Larry Hama may have bridged them in an altered form, at least behind the scenes.

    Your idea about AIM being a subsiderary of Hydra on the show is also interesting. If it does turn out to be AIM, I wonder if the yellow bee-keeper uniforms will make an appearance, possibly modified for modern audiences, or if TPTB will decide to just forego the outfits all together. They may look ridiculous but I sort of hope to see them, for however briefly.
     
  4. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Actually, I thought May injected him with something to paralyze him, since he couldn't move afterward. If it was Extremis, then it must have just been to accelerate it, because I saw him eyeing the vials, too.

    This was another great episode. I was a bit nervous about the betrayal plotline, but they handled it well. Sky looking for her parents was a nice twist and it brought Coulson back down to Earth. From his reaction, I couldn't tell if he already knows something or not (and I'm sure he won't turn out to be her father). But it was good to see him in a bit of a different light; I love his blue-skies character, but something's got to set him off from time to time. And the reactions of all the other characters was perfect as well, especially Fitz's hurt naivete. I can't wait to see the healing process begin next week-- at least I hope it will begin next week.
     
  5. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Clean Old Mod Moderator

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    SHIELD's policy in the MCU seems to be to contain the public outbreak of superhumans, not to enable it. It's been expressed on the show, and is consistent with how eager they were to provide Tony Stark with a cover story at the end of Iron Man. Furthermore, the M.O. of having a case officer keeping tabs on the superhuman sounds like a slightly more hands-on version of their "watch but don't disturb" policy with Banner.

    And the events of the episode served as a lesson in why SHIELD makes an effort to keep beings such the pyro guy under wraps. They aren't all cut out to be super-heroes, and there are others out there who would use them towards nefarious ends.
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I'm with Mixer on this. SHIELD probably recognized that Chan's personality didn't lend itself to handling power well, and that it was safer for everyone to encourage him to restrain his power. Raina and her Centipede cohorts didn't care how much damage he did to himself or others; they were just using him.


    He was already starting to burn up, but he could've killed Coulson or others before he died. May just accelerated the process, in order to incapacitate him so he couldn't do further harm.



    Remember what Coulson said to Mike at the climax of the pilot. What makes those people heroes isn't their power, but their character, who they are inside. Just because Chan had a superpower, that doesn't mean he could've been a superhero. As we clearly saw here, offering him a heroic role and a power boost just went to his head and made him more dangerous.

    Indeed, the show seems to be doing something rather subversive here. Between Mike and Chan, we've seen two instances where the fantasy of being a superhero has been a corrupting influence or a dangerous delusion. It led Mike to nearly kill his boss when he decided the man was a "villain," and here it fired up Chan's ego and ambition to dangerous degrees. This isn't surprising, given how most of Whedon's ouevre has been about questioning or deconstructing conventional ideas of good and evil.


    Umm, the script? There's nothing saying otherwise except your wishes, and wishing doesn't make it so.

    Why wouldn't they? It enhanced Mike's abilities, making him stronger, faster, quicker-healing, etc. And remember, the Centipede formula isn't just Extremis, but a mix of that, a gamma radiation source, and a knockoff of Erskine's supersoldier serum. It enhances normal abilities, so why wouldn't it enhance a paranormal one?

    And heck, they didn't really care whether it did enhance his abilities or not. They just wanted to lure him in to harvest his platelets. If the injection hadn't boosted his powers, they would've still found an excuse to harvest his blood.


    Actually they did say something about him being near a fire at a nuclear power plant, so it's not an innate power.
     
  7. Venardhi

    Venardhi Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Unless the population of Fukushima is suddenly going to develop water powers in the MCU, that throwaway line really doesn't hold up. Radiation doesn't rewrite genetics, it may have triggered inactive genes, but being the root cause is completely off the reservation.

    The simplistic cartoon logic of the science at play here is distracting to me, but clearly my problems with the background story and resolution aren't shared by everyone, that is fine. I'm happy you enjoyed it all more than I was able to.

    Hopefully the next one is more satisfying.
     
  8. Alidar Jarok

    Alidar Jarok Everything in moderation but moderation Moderator

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    You're seriously questioning the science of a Marvel superpower origin story? It's clearly a world where gamma radiation, cosmic rays, etc. cause superpowers. Radiation has always given superpowers in this universe. It's clearly just building on that folklore.
     
  9. M'rk son of Mogh

    M'rk son of Mogh Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Heh, I was about to say almost the same thing.

    Almost every Marvel hero gains his powers through a form of radiation, the line about (Basically) an accident at a power plant was true to type. I actually loved that throwaway line. It felt very Marvel.
     
  10. Alidar Jarok

    Alidar Jarok Everything in moderation but moderation Moderator

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    I'd also guess it was done deliberately to make clear that he wasn't a mutant. People get powers in traditional Marvel fashion for others besides the X-Men.
     
  11. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Clean Old Mod Moderator

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    The SHIELD Science Directorate has determined that cosmic rays are not a source of superhuman abilities.

    We're FOX's lawyers, and we approve this message.
     
  12. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Metahuman, humanplus, posthuman, or homosuperior?
     
  13. Venardhi

    Venardhi Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The MCU is an opportunity to remove some of that cheese. This isn't the 50s and 60s and radiation isn't some mysterious magical force that can do everything and anything in fiction without question anymore. It is a lazy crutch to fall back on such an outdated trope.
     
  14. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That's right, we have nanotechnology to do that now.
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Actually the MCU version of the Hulk got his powers from an attempt to recreate the Erskine supersoldier formula, though gamma irradiation was part of the process (presumably taking the place of Erskine's "vita-rays").

    So maybe there was some other factor that Chan was exposed to along with the radiation. The episode was deliberately ambiguous about the source of his powers.
     
  16. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    And I'm not convinced that "gamma radiation" in the MCU, or even in Marvel period is the same as "gamma radiation" in our universe. I think it's pretty much like the various "radiations of the week" the various Star Trek series would run into.
     
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Oh, that's a given. Marvel uses "gamma" as essentially a magic incantation doing whatever the plot requires, although usually something Hulk-related.
     
  18. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    Yeah, but it's easy to hear "Gamma radiation" and assume that it means, well, Gamma radiation, something that actually exists and not "Gamma radiation" as in, "Eh, stick a Greek-letter or a fancy-sounding word in front of "radiation" and we'll say it can do whatever we need it to do."
     
  19. Alidar Jarok

    Alidar Jarok Everything in moderation but moderation Moderator

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    And it appears that they chose not to exercise that opportunity. At least, to the point that davejames' complaint that they're focusing on X-Men style mutants is without merit.
     
  20. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    I'm happy they're not trying to remove the "cheese." The "cheese" is not only inherent to the source material, but it's part of the appeal of the genre. Whenever anybody tries to remove the "cheese" in favor "realism," they only succeed in mainstreaming the magic out of it. Give me creativity and imagination, not dull reality.