Agents of SHIELD. Season 1 Discussion Thread

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

  1. LaxScrutiny

    LaxScrutiny Commodore Commodore

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    The "best at everything" would preclude just about any character outside of fan fiction, except maybe Dr. Who, and render the term pretty meaningless. The original Mary Sue was a teenage girl who was inserted into Trek and solved everything by being great at teenage girl stuff. This is exactly what Skye has been doing.

    As I stated, she solves situations that the rest of the team can't by looking things up on her cell phone or her tablet. She broke into the most secure mainframe on the planet with a laptop. This week she was so empathetic she accomplished what a trained social worker would need months to do with therapy. I think she fully qualifies as a Mary Sue, she solves far too much with really too little actual skill and training.

    If you really can't agree, at least see that this week she was Deanna Troi, only without ANY training, qualifications, or super-empathic abilities.
     
  2. Agent Richard07

    Agent Richard07 Admiral Admiral

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    Reminded me of the moment young Bruce became Batman right there in the alley when his parent were gunned down.
     
  3. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Vice Admiral Admiral

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    She's a Mary Sue in the sense that she's the center of attention even when she doesn't need to be and the writers/producers obviously have more of a hard-on for her than the audience does.
     
  4. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Since Skye's been gimped, because of her probation bracelet (or whatever they call it), she can't really do much except watch and learn, although The Hub was an exception, where she figured stuff out and egged on Simmons.
     
  5. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Vice Admiral Admiral

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    She still seems to be able to use the Internet when they want her to.
     
  6. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Oh, yeah, that's right. They had her whipping up reports.
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    The bracelet doesn't prevent her from using the Internet at all, it's more of a cybernanny, limiting her to authorized activity.
     
  8. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    In the lap of squalor I assure you.
    I'm sure it has an emp they can trigger if they think that she's up to no good.
     
  9. Alidar Jarok

    Alidar Jarok Everything in moderation but moderation Moderator

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    Except she didn't solve much. She's solved a couple plots by hacking into things, but her contributions to the team haven't been all that much. I'd argue far more that she's superfluous than a Mary Sue.

    The only real episode I remember where she took a probably overly large role in the resolution was the one where she went to Malta. Possibly The Girl in the Flower Dress, but I seem to recall her boyfriend being far more useful in that episode and Coulson and May actually saving the day. I'll give you hacking into computers in The Hub, but calling her a Mary Sue for hacking would be like calling Melinda May a Mary Sue for being able to kick peoples asses. That's the one thing it makes sense for her to be able to do.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not a huge fan of the character either, but that's mostly because I don't think she contributes much, not that she has some unrealistic ability to solve the plot or act as some kind of wonderchild.
     
  10. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    She's neither a Mary Sue nor superfluous. She's a promising apprentice.

    Well, no, not left out, just not given as much attention as the others. Which is fine, since he's had attention in the past. As long as they spread it out fairly, everybody doesn't have to have attention in every episode.
     
  11. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'd say that this week she took a dip in the "wonderchild" side of the pool.

    EDIT: See Urban Dictionary's definition of "Mary-Sue"...I've been unable to successfully link it here.

    I won't argue that she fits either definition to a tee, but there's enough overlap to make the allegation.

     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2013
  12. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    In practice, the characters with the exotic names are the ones the writers are too horny over to write as real people. Strictly speaking, "Mary Sue" refers to a new fan fiction character inserted into an existing ensemble, but the idealization that mars the Mary Sue proper can damage a character in professional writing.

    How many people named "Sky" do you know? Is Chloe Bennett really so much sexier than Natasha Henstridge?

    Really, the burden of proof is on the people arguing that Sky isn't a Mary Sue, using that term for default of a more widely accepted one.

    Having May put shaving cream in the monkey's paw is more like shrinking the character than expanding it.

    Did she steal everyone else's black leather uniforms, jackets, jump suits? None of the women even have black leather purses! (Or any purses at all, it seems.)
     
  13. Yanks

    Yanks Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Interesting. I think Ming-Na Wen is the best actor of the bunch. It will be interesting to find out her back-story.
     
  14. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^^^This was telling us about her backstory!
     
  15. Alidar Jarok

    Alidar Jarok Everything in moderation but moderation Moderator

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    Well, the link isn't there, but the problem is that definition is so broad that it could practically come down to any female character who is annoying and contributes to solving the plot. If it's just for her hacking ability, then it just comes down to "how can an attractive character be good at anything?" and that definition needs to be rejected out of hand.

    If every episode was like The Asset, I'd agree. But that was really the only thing. I really don't think she did much this episode (the point pf her role in this episode was to emphasize the problems with SHIELD bureaucracy, not suggest she's super talented at reading people. She just tries to be nice, something that none of the others beyond Coulson seem to know how to do. I don't think it requires some innate super talent to be nice to people and being the "nice" character isn't wish fulfillment for anyone writing for the show). And I don't think it's fair to say that she's a perfect character. She's been shown incompetent in combat in most episodes, for example (Eye Spy being an example of ridiculous stupidity on her part. Even in The Asset, she did the gun grabbing thing, but couldn't do what it took to actually stop the bad guys when it mattered. Is that really wish-fulfillment?).

    Really, Mary Sue is such a vague thing anyway that unless a character actually meets all the elements, it's not worth using. Why isn't Fitz a Mary Sue, for example? Or May or Ward or Coulson? Is Natasha Romanov? What about Tony Stark?
     
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Right. "Mary Sue" has become so uselessly broad in its definition that it's come to mean little more than "A character I personally dislike," regardless of the specific reasons. Hell, originally it referred to a guest character in fan fiction who stole the thunder of the series' actual protagonists. So using it for a series lead is going well beyond its original meaning.
     
  17. Yanks

    Yanks Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I know.
     
  18. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Vice Admiral Admiral

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    EDIT: Okay, I tried fixing the link, but for some reason it keeps coming back to this BBS. Go to Urban Dictionary and look up "Mary-Sue".

    Simmons?

    It's all about the execution. As I've said, I was in Skye's corner a week ago. I don't think there's anything fundamentally wrong with the concept or the performance, and she definitely has her moments. But the "writer/producer hard-on" aspect was in full obnoxious force this week.

    You know what I'd like to see? A situation very much like the one this week, but one in which Skye's obnoxious, outside-the-box, unprofessional meddling puts the mission in jeopardy, teaching her a lesson.

    The definition was likely broadened in its usage to account for very similar characters popping up routinely in professional Trek literature.
     
  19. Alidar Jarok

    Alidar Jarok Everything in moderation but moderation Moderator

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    I think she is capable of fitting that mold. Unfortunately, she was too distracted by the pursuit of science. She essentially was so focused on solving what went wrong that she didn't have time. I agree that, if Skye didn't exist as a character, Simmons would likely have to take that role. However, she's a very non-confrontational, deferential person, so she probably would trust May to handle it. And, from a "fix the problem" perspective, May did handle it. It's just that, from a human perspective, what the person (does anyone remember her name?) needed was someone to be a friend.

    I don't disagree with that. We did get pretty close in The Girl in the Flower Dress, though. She was shown to be selfish. She put her trust in someone who ended up essentially causing the death of another human being. And SHIELD's methods were shown to be, if not a good thing, then a necessary evil. I do agree that it needs to be more explicit - related to her attitude than her early apparent conflicted loyalties.

    However, since it seems this is a setup to Captain America: The Winter Soldier, I don't think they want to go too far in suggesting that SHIELD as it's set up is in the right either.
     
  20. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Vice Admiral Admiral

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    As I recall, in "Flower Dress" Skye's boyfriend had already done his damage before she went to him. Her going to him seemed like a shocking betrayal, but wound up being of benefit to the mission. I think we're overdue to see a mission fail or become seriously jeopardized by her own actions...but I don't think we're ever going to see that, because she's the "hard-on" character. Her most obnoxious actions will always prove to have been justified in the end.
     

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