Agents of Shield


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Velcro Zipper wrote:

...and then the revelation came that Skye, the beautiful, expert computer hacker who everyone loves despite her dark and mysterious past, even Agent May who had finally come to accept how vital and important Skye was to the team, was born with super powers, a secret so dangerous an entire village and a team of SHIELD agents died, except for one guy who didn't so he could reveal the truth of Skye's mysterious past, to protect her from the shadowy group who would use her powers for evil..." typed the crazy, homeless SHIELD groupie on a broken laptop she found in a dumpster from the back of her van behind that shawarma joint where the Avengers ate that one time.

My Mary Sue theory isn't looking so crazy now is it? I'm with pres man on the eye-rolling. That reveal didn't make me mad. It just didn't surprise me, and I saw it coming from pretty much episode 1.

Donnie Gill/Blizzard coulda been worse. It went down pretty much how I figured it would. The kid playing Donnie did fine, and I expected the character overhaul. I just hope he's got some kind of costume the time next we see him. It doesn't have to be the one from the comics, but something more than just some guy in a pullover and slacks would be nice.

I dont think that she is a Mary Sue, or for more clarity maybe she is Mary Sue very deliberatly...I think she is how they are going to introduce the Inhumans to Marvel Tv/Movie U. Since they dont have the rights to Mutants they need to bring online the concept of powers that arent attained by accidents/ science. She comes off Mary Sue because A, Shield knows what she is and is giving her too much rope due to wanting ot keep her close, and B her latent powers are probably helping her out along the way.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Set wrote:

We don't really know what a Life Model Decoy is in the context of the show (and that's assuming that they even exist outside of the comic book continuity, or, for that matter, if they still even exist *in* the comic book continuity...).

The originals were robots with plastic-y face disguises like something out of Mission Impossible. Coulson pretty obviously isn't a robot in a Coulson mask, since he's been in enough situations where that would have been pretty obvious.

The next generation 'deltas' in the comics were organic and couldn't be told apart from the people they'd replaced even by surgery. (That was a great storyline...) If Coulson's brain was mapped over into a synthesized organic (or bio-mechanoid) body, or even a clone, that could be an option.

The main antagonist in "Nick Fury vs. Shield", was originally a low-end LMD who had continually upgraded himself by downloading LMD engrams into his brain. Eventually, he was an amalgram of every memory pattern SHIELD (and Hydra?) had in storage.

Shadow Lodge

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Shadowborn wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:

I think prior to the events of Avengers, SHIELD was a very covert organization. Think early- NSA. where they were so covert that most people weren't even aware the organization existed.

Since the New York invasion, SHIELD seems to have become more visible.

I'd probably buy that if it weren't for the flying aircraft carrier.

The invisible one?


Kthulhu wrote:
Shadowborn wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:

I think prior to the events of Avengers, SHIELD was a very covert organization. Think early- NSA. where they were so covert that most people weren't even aware the organization existed.

Since the New York invasion, SHIELD seems to have become more visible.

I'd probably buy that if it weren't for the flying aircraft carrier.
The invisible one?

Apparently not. If it were invisible they wouldn't have been attacked.


QXL99 wrote:
This new info on Skye must have her haters going crazy...

Why would it?

She was uninteresting and bland before, she's uninteresting and bland now.

I've figured out why I dislike Skye so much...she's got no character besides being a collection of skills and facts. She's a hacker, she's of unknown origin, she may have superpowers, she (supposedly) "connects with people".

But her name may as well be Blandy McWhogivesaf#$@. The only aspects to her personality were twofold: "information is meant to be shared!" and "what happened to my momma?". The first hasn't shown up in a while, and the latter was sorta-kinda resolved this episode so...back to just being a collection of skills.

This episode could have been pretty cool, given the character something to say, or do, that allows her to grab something back but...nope, we get a whole bunch of "Tell, not show" from Coulson because the writers couldn't even trust Skye to say her own damn lines to the audience firsthand.

Hopefully this will give her character a kick in the pants, because I'm not actively trying to dislike her, I WANT to like her, I don't like watching things where I don't like a character, you know?

But as-is the high point her character has ever reached is a big fat "meh".

They gave Fitz and Simmons distinct personalities.

They, well, we'll be fair ATTEMPTED to give Ward a personality (and he has plenty of moments recently where that shines through, though it's a bit spotty currently).

Mae's had a bit of development.

And Coulson is the same Coulson Coulson ever was (like it or not).

I guess the main issue is that Skye hasn't developed. She's a character stuff happens to, not a character who is touched by events, if that makes sense.

However, next week is really the "moment of truth" for Skye's character. It'll be the first time we really see her once the shock has worn off, and if they capitalize on her reactions and stuff it could make up for a LOT. It'll be interesting to see if she stops fighting SHIELD with every fiber of her being and decides to cooperate a bit since they're her "family" now, and how she'll react when (inevitably) the news about what they did to Coulson comes out and stuff like that.

However, I'm a bit doubtful since the preview seems to be more focused on "Tonight someone dies!", but I'm hoping to be pleasantly surprised.

Liberty's Edge

I had a fairly lengthy discussion with a friend about SHIELD recently and pretty much want to get my compile my thoughts. SHIELD hasn’t been blowing me away like I had hoped, but I like it and still think it has potential.

First seasons are always shaky as the cast and crew are learning to work off each other and the writers and still learning the actor’s strengths. As creators are often wary about going “all in” with the story in the event of cancellation. (Try rewatching the first seasons of Buffy and Angel sometime.)

The show does have a few problem areas.
It’s been a really slow burn, focusing on building the characters, setting-up their backstories, and the expanded universe. But this takes patience, faith the audience will stick around. The show initially seemed to have a lot of disparate and unconnected threads, jumping right into filler stories. This may not exactly be true as the cases seem connected. But that's taking a while to become evident.

Other than name-dropping the movie properties again and again the show doesn’t seem that connected to the larger Marvel universe, cinematic or otherwise. Even established SHIELD characters like Clay Quartermain or La Contessa de la Fontaine are absent. You could change the name of the show (and remove the token movie name dropping) and it would have little effect on most episodes.
I imagine some of this might be juggling and working around the planned movies, which are likely tying up things like Hydra and AIM and other common enemies of SHIELD. They have to stick with the B-villains. Even then, it’d be nice to see some of those enemies rather than just get their origin. Again, slow burn...
The show really seems stuck on what the movies have established rather than exploring other bits of the universe. And it’s likely the show is waiting for Captain America 2 to come along and shake-up the status quo.

The characters aren’t helping. SHIELD is a big paramilitary organization of specialists, and Colson’s team moreso. Overt trained espionage agents aren’t always the most identifiable characters; it’s hard to relate to an experienced spy, two field agents, and three geniuses. There’s a lack of an accessible Everyman. It doesn’t help that we have two characters that are the stoic unemotional “muscle”. Ward served a purpose when May was the driver, but now she’s willing to kick some more ass he’s a tad redundant.
Skye was likely meant to be our “in”, the new recruit who can be the voice of the audience learning the procedures as we do. But Skye’s also initially presented as a traitor and then someone with conflicted goals. She’s a bit of a Wesley Crusher honestly: we keep being told how special she is but it’s just not coming off in the show. This could be the scripts or it could just be an actor that just can't nail what' seeing provided.
It’s a shame that Mike Peterson was treated the way he was, as he’d be a pretty good Everyman as well. And someone with superpowers in the main cast would remind us that this isn’t just a generic spy show, and this would be an excuse for another Everyman type character.

Still, there’s always a learning curve. We’re just getting to the episodes written after they knew they were getting a full season (and likely a second season) so we’re likely to see some expanded plot. And they can react to audience reactions to the show.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I started off the season really excited about the show.

Three new episodes ago, I had the show on but started to do something else halfway through and just treated it as background noise.

Two new episodes ago, my husband turned it on, and I went into another room to do something else. When it was over, I asked how it was and he said, "Eh, it was all right."

Last week, he turned it on, watched about ten minutes, said, "You know, this show is really boring," and turned it off again.

I wanted to like the characters, but they just haven't connected with me. I even like Coulson less now than before the show premiered.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber
Skeld wrote:
Kalshane wrote:
Sif to appear on Agents of Shield: http://blog.zap2it.com/frominsidethebox/2014/01/agents-of-shield-jaimie-ale xanders-lady-sif-coming-in-episode-15.html
I'm on-board with more Sif.

There's a rumor floating around on the Marvel boards that Skye could be Sif's daughter... fits the new alien designation SHIELD has given her last show. Now, who's the father? (perhaps he is the one trying to kill the SHIELD Agents who discovered her all these years ago...)

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Here would be something funny...

Her father's the Winter Soldier.

Spoiler:
In the comics, Bucky's lack of aging was explained by him being thawed, sent out to kill, frozen again. On one of those trips in the 80's/90's he got a little frisky.

As to the inhumans, aren't they part of the Fantastic Four properties?


Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
Skeld wrote:
Kalshane wrote:
Sif to appear on Agents of Shield: http://blog.zap2it.com/frominsidethebox/2014/01/agents-of-shield-jaimie-ale xanders-lady-sif-coming-in-episode-15.html
I'm on-board with more Sif.
There's a rumor floating around on the Marvel boards that Skye could be Sif's daughter... fits the new alien designation SHIELD has given her last show. Now, who's the father? (perhaps he is the one trying to kill the SHIELD Agents who discovered her all these years ago...)

I wonder if Coulson is her father.

Dark Archive

Matthew Morris wrote:
As to the inhumans, aren't they part of the Fantastic Four properties?

Since they've been involved with others, such as Crystal being an Avenger for awhile, they are open season for either company to use in a Fantastic Four or Avengers movie (just as Pietro and Wanda are open season to use as Avengers or mutant-children-of-Magneto, so long as whoever is using them doesn't mention the other stuff).

As I understand it, anyway.

The Beast might even have this status, being both an X-Man and an Avenger, or 20th Century Fox might have gotten exclusive rights to him as a special line item, since he was a founding X-Man. (It's not like Marvel is likely to fight for him, since they have a dozen or more other non-contented Avengers they can put on-screen instead.)

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Spiral_Ninja wrote:
Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
Skeld wrote:
Kalshane wrote:
Sif to appear on Agents of Shield: http://blog.zap2it.com/frominsidethebox/2014/01/agents-of-shield-jaimie-ale xanders-lady-sif-coming-in-episode-15.html
I'm on-board with more Sif.
There's a rumor floating around on the Marvel boards that Skye could be Sif's daughter... fits the new alien designation SHIELD has given her last show. Now, who's the father? (perhaps he is the one trying to kill the SHIELD Agents who discovered her all these years ago...)

I wonder if Coulson is her father.

Nope. We know that she is Half-Chinese.

So if Sif (an Asgardian) is her mother, then her father is Chinese.


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Colson,

Dude, people wake up on the operating table without remembering it all the time. You don't WANT to remember that, trust me.

Sovereign Court

Yeah, that movie, awake, chilled me to the bone.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

If The Clairvoyant turns out to be Skye's father, mother, sibling, Tyler Durden-esque alter ego or some other variation of Darth Vader, I might have to demote this show to Hulu-viewing-when-I-get-around-to-it. If Coulson turns out to be Skye's father or it turns out she's half-Asgardian (regardless of whether she's Sif's brat or half-sister or some other dumb thing) I'll be about as underwhelmed as I was when I learned she might have super powers (because, of course she might.) Now, if it turns out she's somehow the unholy offspring of Beverly Switzler and Howard the Duck, I think I'd actually be totally cool with that.


So Skye, depending who her parents actually were assuming she has parents, could be an illegal alien and not a U.S. citizen.


Why does it matter who Skye's parents are? As long as they keep her character consistent then I won't really care.


I'm surprised so many find Skye flat and uninteresting. I've found her to be a powerfully humanizing influence on the rest of the team as she often times seems to be the only one who sees subjects/suspects/perps/whathaveyou more as actual people and less as something akin to a math problem in need of solving.

I like her character more and more as the season advances.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Aranna wrote:
As long as they keep her character consistent then I won't really care.

Yeah. I really hope Skye continues to consistently annoy me and make me wonder why someone hasn't shot her into the sun.

I think a lot of people saw the first of these announcements coming, but I'm okay with that because Deathlok is cool. I kind of the want the second one to turn out to be Skye. I'm not convinced it would actually make me give a fraction of a fart about the character or bring me any closer to liking her, but at least her having the ability to enchant people through pheromones or something, even subconsciously, would explain the supernatural level of acceptance and tolerance she receives.

The Exchange

Dal Selpher wrote:

I'm surprised so many find Skye flat and uninteresting. I've found her to be a powerfully humanizing influence on the rest of the team as she often times seems to be the only one who sees subjects/suspects/perps/whathaveyou more as actual people and less as something akin to a math problem in need of solving.

I like her character more and more as the season advances.

Some people hate the "writer favorite" syndrome that Skye could be said to represent. That is, they consider her a Mary Sue and thus just about anything about that character that deviates from those lines is ignored by this people.

I wouldn't at all be surprised if the same people who hate Skye also hated the hell out of River Tam in Firefly - nevermatter that River was an actual character with an actual, crippling mental disability and that most of the characters in the show were afraid of her or impatient towards her most of the time. Once people get the idea that it is possible to define some aspects of a character as a Mary Sue, they will see every single thing the character does in this light.

Not that I'm saying Skye is River Tam. Not even saying that Skye is not somewhat of a Mary Sue (though I'd say she really isn't more of a mary Sue than any of the other characters in the show). Just that people expected her to be a flat character and that's what they see, when in fact she is one of the more complex of them all - agent May seems MUCH more one dimensional to me than Skye, for example.

Shadow Lodge

Lord Snow wrote:

Some people hate the "writer favorite" syndrome that Skye could be said to represent. That is, they consider her a Mary Sue and thus just about anything about that character that deviates from those lines is ignored by this people.

I wouldn't at all be surprised if the same people who hate Skye also hated the hell out of River Tam in Firefly - nevermatter that River was an actual character with an actual, crippling mental disability and that most of the characters in the show were afraid of her or impatient towards her most of the time. Once people get the idea that it is possible to define some aspects of a character as a Mary Sue, they will see every single thing the character does in this light.

Not that I'm saying Skye is River Tam. Not even saying that Skye is not somewhat of a Mary Sue (though I'd say she really isn't more of a mary Sue than any of the other characters in the show). Just that people expected her to be a flat character and that's what they see, when in fact she is one of the more complex of them all - agent May seems MUCH more one dimensional to me than Skye, for example.

Not at all, and please stop trying to paint anybody you disagree with a single brush. River Tam was actually one of my favorite characters, especially pre-Serenity. In the same way the Jayne shows us how to play CE and still be a team player (usually), River shows us how to play Superman in a group of mundanes and have it work.

I will agree that Agent May is a little meh, too. She seems largely there as fan service, but as a bit too much superman "I can do everything each of you can do, just better" sort of thing. (superman in a team for gaming done wrong). She's a better soldier than Ward, she's the power behind the throne that is Coulson, (and mentor and confidant), and out does him in leading and experience, when she feels like it, master manipulator too, and she is the "big guns" they bring in when things need to happen. I think the thing is she's a little bit more interesting than Skye, and there's a pretty good reason she is part of the team from episode 1 on.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I only joke that Skye is a Mary Sue of Skye. I don't actually think she's a stand-in for one of the show's writers, but she ticks off nearly every box on the Idealized Self checklist.

Unusual or exotic name or appearance - check
Attractive - check
Possessive of exceptional abilities - probably check
Extremely talented in some or many skills or fields of study - check
Readily loved, accepted and admired by protagonists - check
Close relationship to author's favorite character - I'll call that Coulson, check
No detrimental flaws - check
Endearing flaws - check
Dramatic backstory - big, fat check

Also, as someone who did indeed hate River Tam, I can say it isn't because she was a Mary Sue. River wasn't a Mary Sue. I hated River Tam because she had a crippling mental disability that didn't really appear to cripple her in any meaningful way and occasionally turned her into a ninja for mysterious reasons. Most of the characters in the show were afraid of her or impatient toward her because she was a burden and a frustrating cipher who fluctuated between semi-lucid catatonic and batpoop crazy like a huge baby. She wasn't so much a person as she was a speed bump filled with land mines. Just a boring lump on the ground until she explodes.

Dark Archive

Depending on how Mary Sue is defined, pretty much everyone on that plane is various levels of improbable. Grant supposedly has the best scores since Romanov, Coulson is mysteriously worth moving heaven and earth to save, despite being famous for getting killed once, May has her own nickname, and Fitz and Simmons are oohed and awed over when they visit the academy because they are just that darn smart.

And yet, it kind of makes sense. If you're part of a ridiculously advanced secret agency, *everyone* on your number one team would indeed be exceptional, and there wouldn't be a bunch of dead weight on the plane. "And Bob, who finished in the top half of his class, and has completed six field missions without terribly screwing up or getting written up for incompetence."

May is all traumatized and anti-social, except, she really isn't.

Grant has turd-with-knives-sticking-out-of-it issues of dealing with others, except when he's all Rico Suave and bonding with others.

Half the team has 'flaws' that are pretty much closet super-powers, and don't actually do anything to hold them back.

"Hi, I'm Agent Ward / Melinda May, and I'm ridiculously competent at *everything.* My crippling drawback is that, being able to solo my way through a Soviet Gulag armed only with a sharpened toothbrush and a stick of chewing gum, I don't really need (or want) backup."

And yet, of the things that bug me about this show, the agents being ridiculously competent is not one of them. In a world where they rub shoulders with the god of thunder, a man with a 2 mm thick suit of metal that can repel tank shells, pop out rocket launchers that are six inches wide, and somehow never puts wrinkles in the tux he wears under it, and a dude with 'breath-taking anger management issues,' some highly-trained and equipped folks getting all Batman-ny doesn't phase me.


Hmmm the only real complaint I have heard about Skye is that she gets away with so much... but that isn't her fault it's Coulson's fault. He shields her from so many consequences and encourages her to play outside the box. Take all that away and she wouldn't stand out any more than anyone else on the show. Heck she wouldn't even be on the show if that were the case. SHIELD would have braceleted her and left her to her own devices after episode 1. Her personality is just fine and she even has motivations and goals which make sense. A great character.

Soooo... the real question is Why does Coulson act this way? Is he acting on some pointless writer fantasy or is there a purpose behind Coulson's actions? I guess this all depends on how well thought out the story is. The detractors of Skye assume the worst of the writers and can't stop complaining. While those of us with faith in the writers look for clues as to what is really going on in the series.

So far the only thing that surprised me in the show was May and Ward having sex. But even that painted a better picture of May than the cardboard ninja they had started out with. And so it was a pleasant surprise. Everyone seems to be acting in character and with well thought out foresight by the writers... So I remain optimistic about the show.

Shadow Lodge

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I wonder how many of the people here that loath May Sues in their fiction grimace in disgust when someone in their group shows up with a character that isn't purely a work of optimization.

The Exchange

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DM Beckett wrote:
Lord Snow wrote:

Some people hate the "writer favorite" syndrome that Skye could be said to represent. That is, they consider her a Mary Sue and thus just about anything about that character that deviates from those lines is ignored by this people.

I wouldn't at all be surprised if the same people who hate Skye also hated the hell out of River Tam in Firefly - nevermatter that River was an actual character with an actual, crippling mental disability and that most of the characters in the show were afraid of her or impatient towards her most of the time. Once people get the idea that it is possible to define some aspects of a character as a Mary Sue, they will see every single thing the character does in this light.

Not that I'm saying Skye is River Tam. Not even saying that Skye is not somewhat of a Mary Sue (though I'd say she really isn't more of a mary Sue than any of the other characters in the show). Just that people expected her to be a flat character and that's what they see, when in fact she is one of the more complex of them all - agent May seems MUCH more one dimensional to me than Skye, for example.

Not at all, and please stop trying to paint anybody you disagree with a single brush. River Tam was actually one of my favorite characters, especially pre-Serenity. In the same way the Jayne shows us how to play CE and still be a team player (usually), River shows us how to play Superman in a group of mundanes and have it work.

Hey, I just said I wouldn't be surprised to find out that it was true, I never claimed to know anything. And I did get it right with Velcro Zipper, who was the main person I was thinking about when I wrote my post.

@zipper: that entire list you wrote is applicable to just about every single crew member in the show. It's simply that Skye is the "person from the outside", that is, you learn about new things in SHIELD when she does, because unlike the other characters, she is new around. It's a good idea to have a character like that in a show like this, where all the poker faced agents who talk in very business like ways do not serve as the best exposition tools out there. Given that Skye came from outside the agency and has a different mindset, it makes sense to make her the "human" character - she is more relaxed, and is more attached emotionally to the humans they deal with. To make it believable that she is , a noob, is allowed to work with the pros, it makes sense to make her very likable, which is a reason for them to accept her with greater ease.
By the way, some of the items on your list are not even all that true. Take the "attractive" part, for example. Let's start with the fact that every one on that plane (or at least, ever women) is very good looking. And sure, Skye had a sexy outfit in the first episode (mostly to catch viewer's attention I'd wager), but she almost immediately switched to wearing pajamas and not being sexual in any way. Hack, May is getting more action than Skye is. So the "attractive" part is really toned down in this case.Also, compared to some of the other crew members, Skye's skill set is rather narrow. I mean, it's OK that Fitz is one of the most brilliant scientists evah, and can also pull his weight alongside Ward in an infiltration mission into a military base, but it's not OK that Skye can both hack and bluff well or something? I mean, she is very smart and everything, but she is not the uber specialist that everyone else in this show is...

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I thought the same thing as I putting the list together, Lord Snow, but Skye differs in a couple of pretty key ways for me. Everyone on the team is really good at what they do and nobody is really plain or noticeably ordinary, but Skye seems to be the only one who repeatedly and flagrantly breaks the rules without any real repercussions. She's usually rewarded and admired for it. The show also focuses on her a whole lot more than many of the other characters.

Fitz, May, Ward and Simmons are all pretty much what it says on the tin. We know Ward let his brother drown or something and May killed a bunch of dudes and rescued some people, but the show spent all of ten minutes on that stuff while the mystery of Skye's past has dragged out over the entire season. Simmons and Fitz finally have identifiably different personalities and that's awesome, but we haven't learned anything about them other than they did really well in school.

Skye being an outsider just enforces my point. I'm not unfamiliar with how consultants and government contractors work. Having a different perspective is great, but it shouldn't give Skye carte blanche to undermine operations and endanger personnel whenever she feels entitled to some piece of information, especially when she claims she's trying to build trust within an organization that is supposed to be the top spy agency in the world.

I've never had a problem with Skye's hacking ability or some of the other things I think you've determined I don't like about her. I'm fine with her vaguely defined computer expertise. It's typical of any tv show or movie computer expert. It's her sense of entitlement and SHIELD's, so far, unexplained tolerance for her childish crap I don't like.

I think the show has gotten a lot better with the last few episodes and Skye hasn't done anything to really bother me since she convinced Simmons to help her hack into a top secret terminal and SHOOT A SUPERIOR SHIELD AGENT. Right now Skye's big secret is the only thing keeping this from being a really enjoyable show for me. I hope they resolve that plot soon so she doesn't have any more reason to be such a brat.


I've never heard the term "Mary Sue" in this context. If it's a term coined to reflect something about the blogger... well I don't really see myself making use of that term any more than I read her blog.

But where Skye is concerned, my initial impression of her was that she fit a certain look and feel of previous Whedon characters. Specifically Faith & Fred. It's not precise, but I keep seeing in her a ton of attitude, mannerisms, and other indicators that remind me of those two characters. I'm not bothered by it. Not really surprised that they cast/wrote that type of character into the show given the previous popularity of those characters she emulates.
I am curious where her arc will lead given the recent revelations.

The show on the whole is living up to my overall expectations... I have a restrained enthusiasm because I really expect Whedon shows to pick up speed after 12 or so episodes. I'm getting the sense this is happening now.

Oh and Mike Peterson?

spoiler:
Deathlok in the making. Count on it. ;)

Dark Archive

I see one of the defining features of a Mary Sue as not just being ridiculously competent (far more an issue with May and Ward), but also being loved by everyone, inexplicably. May seems to strongly dislike her being on the team, even if Simmons (who seems to like *everyone*) and Coulson are in her corner. I can't tell if Fitz cares one way or another that she's present. And Ward seems to be mentoring her not because he likes her, but because he initially saw her as a liability, and someone who needed to be watched, and decided to put his money where his mouth is, and keep an eye on her / whip her into shape.

To someone who's seen Buffy, the 'iconic' Mary Sue, would be the character of Jonathan, in the episode Superstar. He's a better fighter than the best fighter, he figures out stuff the team geniuses miss, he offers various characters relationship advice to sort out their interpersonal dramas. And yeah, it's all a big fantasy, but a Mary Sue tends to be like that, showing up and magically knowing better than everyone else, and being able to show up everybody else in their own specialties, and generally being adored and thanked for swooping in to dispense this largesse.

Nobody on the show has fit that.

If Skye turns out to be half-alien or half-Asgardian or whatever, and becomes super-strong and better in a fight than May or Grant, and downloads a bunch of stuff into a computer in her head and becomes better at science than the techno-babble twins, *and* is loved and adored by everyone, no matter what she does or says, then yeah, Mary Sue, full steam ahead. But she's not even close.

The mystery of why Skye gets away with crap *as a civilian* that pales in comparison to stuff like SHIELD agent Simmons tasering one of her superiors while breaking and entering in her own agency's headquarters, seems to begin and end with 'Coulson's got a fair bit of leeway in protecting his team from the consequences of their actions.'

The Exchange

Velcro Zipper wrote:


The show also focuses on her a whole lot more than many of the other characters

The "many of the other characters" are Fitz, Simmons, Ward and May, I assume. But actually, when you look at it, there was an entire episode dedicated to Simmons (It's still my favorite so far in the show), and entire episode to Ward, and Fitz played very major roles in a couple of episodes himself (the most recent one, in the University, focuses on him as a source of inspiration to that freezing villain dude).

When you consider that the character who had the most focus in the show so far is Coulson (and by quite a margin), Skye is not actually getting all that much more attention than the other people. Sure, she is second place after Coulson, but she is barely ahead of many of the support cast.

I'd suggest that if you actually sit down and do the "screen time" math, you'd see that Skye is not nearly as favored as it might feel to you. It's simply that her background probably has something to do with the meta plot of the show.

Velcro Zipper wrote:


Simmons and Fitz finally have identifiably different personalities and that's awesome, but we haven't learned anything about them other than they did really well in school.

Only in the same sense that we didn't learn anything of Skye except that she is an outcast hacker activist with some conspiracy overshadowing her childhood.

We know quite a bit about both Fitz and Simmons - not of their background, really, because it's not terribly interesting. But of their characters? I'd say both of them are at least as well developed as Skye. Probably more, actually, as we got to see each of them in times of great stress, and just from watching their reactions we can tell quite a bit about them.

I don't know about you, but if every single character would have had an origin story as "interesting" as Skye's, the show would feel dumb to me. May moping about her own awesomeness, Coulson moping about his revival, Ward moping about brother issues, and Skye moping about her mysterious past is quite enough for me. I like it that the two geeky kids on the team don't need a Shakespearean past to earn their place there.

Velcro Zipper wrote:


and Skye hasn't done anything to really bother me since she convinced Simmons to help her hack into a top secret terminal and SHOOT A SUPERIOR SHIELD AGENT.

That was Simmon's doing, and she got away with it too... and just generally speaking, that entire episode was a horrible clusterf*&k, the (very) low point of the season so far. The writing was terrible, and I wouldn't generalize what happened there to be the rule.

I mean, just in the previous episode we've seen Skye kicked off the airplane because she doesn't belong. Previously, she was wearing the bracelet thingy. It's not that there's no feedback at all to her actions, it's that there is maybe less than you'd expect... but not horribly so. All the characters in the show get away with disregarding authority (Like Ward's brilliant idea of sneaking into an investigation room and opening the roof to intimidate the prisoner, thus risking the entire operation himself). I'd say that it's not that Skye is getting away with everything too easy - everyone is. I agree that it's annoying. But it's not a Skye specific thing.

Shadow Lodge

While it was a messed up episode, it still makes sense. The other agents that they went to help where actually doing something unauthorized to begin with, but also lying to Coulson and his team. The "no extraction plan" would have been a glaring issue in the permission briefing, and nothing would have happened until that was established along with a min of 2 alternatives, but hand waving that aside, Coulson's tam discovered that the entire mission was unauthorized and that they where being used. So they basically did their own mission on the side to get their people back, and told the other team "Yah, we know that if either of us report this, we are both going to get in a lot of trouble, because we both just broke the law pretty bad, so you keep your mouth shut, I keep my mouth shut, and we walk away. Oh, and don't ever cross us again. . ."

So it kind of goes without saying that the other team would cover everything that could lead to someone figuring out anything about that mission being swept under the rug.


I'm surprised at the number of posters who object to characters that buck the system and get the job done on the back of personal heroics. That is out of place in a police procedural or military drama, but action/adventure is a different critter. You aren't surprised that James Kirk or Dirty Harry go outside the playbook yet only get a slap on the wrist when the dust finally settles--they are rewarded for getting results (in a way that thrills the audience for this genre of story telling).

Shadow Lodge

Actually, in both cases they have almost been fired/kicked out multiple times, and generally only saved from getting the boot or going to prison by storyline.

Kirk in particular in the movies (old) alone was curt martialed like 3 times, and then also found guilty and handed over to the Klingons for his actions, as far as I can recall, (not a huge Trek fan).


Yeah, but Kirk got command of a starship after being busted from the admiralty!

Shadow Lodge

SeeDarkly_X wrote:
I've never heard the term "Mary Sue" in this context.

More than you ever needed to know about that term

SeeDarkly_X wrote:
Oh and Mike Peterson? ** spoiler omitted **

That's essentially been confirmed by the people behind the show via twitter.

Shadow Lodge

Set wrote:
I can't tell if Fitz cares one way or another that she's present.

Tell me you are kidding.

Fitz DESPERATELY wants Skye. It's pretty damn blatant.


Kthulhu wrote:
SeeDarkly_X wrote:
I've never heard the term "Mary Sue" in this context.
More than you ever needed to know about that term

Yep, don't see myself using the term despite the shear age of its origin. It just seems kind of an obtuse way of over-simplifying characterization more than anything else. Also, it doesn't seem that it's being used as defined in regards to this specific character... she's flawed, betrayed the trust of the team, and was largely unappreciated as a member of that team UNTIL she used her skill set to come through for them. Hardly a "perfect heroine," but that's just my viewpoint.

Kthulhu wrote:
SeeDarkly_X wrote:
Oh and Mike Peterson? ** spoiler omitted **
That's essentially been confirmed by the people behind the show via twitter.

Oh good! Happy to have picked up on it without Twitted spoiling...

Makes my inner-nerd feel warm and tingly! 3:)
(Who am I kidding? My inner-nerd is no different from my outer-nerd...)
Can't wait to see it happen now!

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Set wrote:
The mystery of why Skye gets away with crap *as a civilian* that pales in comparison to stuff like SHIELD agent Simmons tasering one of her superiors while breaking and entering in her own agency's headquarters, seems to begin and end with 'Coulson's got a fair bit of leeway in protecting his team from the consequences of their actions.'

Actually, the main reason Simmons and Skye got away with that was because Agent Hand does not dare report the incident.

She violated several regulations herself in sending Ward and Fitz on a mission without an extraction plan.

Agents have to volunteer for such missions, which did not happen. So, if she reports Skye and Agent Simmons, Jemma Simmons testifies to what Skye found.

This would still send Skye and Simmons to prison, but Victoria Hand would be court-marshaled right beside them.


Would Skye go to prison? She is technically a civilian contractor and not a real SHIELD agent. Since she committed no crime she would just be fired and sent away... probably with a complimentary bracelet. I mean it isn't a crime to look at restricted information is it?

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Depends on the information. Also depends on if you see it accidentally or if you are purposefully trying to get access to restricted information.

Purposefully trying to get access to certain restricted information is called "spying", is considered "treason", and can result in more than just prison...namely, the death penalty.


Shield in the show comes across as an international organization, so treason is unlikely to apply. But they do seem to be able to make people vanish into undisclosed locations pretty easily, so that's always an option for them.


Grey Lensman wrote:
Shield in the show comes across as an international organization, so treason is unlikely to apply. But they do seem to be able to make people vanish into undisclosed locations pretty easily, so that's always an option for them.

If shield is an American organization then her cracking us government computers is "inter-agency rivalry"

If shield is an international organization then her cracking US government computers is spying, espionage, and yes treason (because I think from where she got picked up she's American)


Lord Snow wrote:
Just that people expected her to be a flat character and that's what they see, when in fact she is one of the more complex of them all - agent May seems MUCH more one dimensional to me than Skye, for example.

She's complex...ish. And she's not a Mary Sue.

However, there's a world of difference between character complexity, and character likeability.

May is fairly one-dimensional: She's the badass with a hidden heart of stone due to some tragic thingamajig that happened X years ago. Extremely common character archtype, no new ground tread there.

However, she's a likeable character. She interacts with a crew in either a polite and to the point way, or on rare occasions in a friendly manner. She never really does anything to piss the audience off, though whether that's due to the fact that she rarely does anything besides kick ass is up for debate.

However, Sky is a bit different. She's semi-consistent, and is more than a one-note character...but all her notes are pretty sour, at least to me. She goes all out on every one of her character traits. Nothing in moderation.

"Information must be shared!" okay, cool, nice sentiment...until you take it to the extreme where you're digging up sensitive information that can get people killed. I will point out that the main evil plan of "Enigma" (Riddler pre-Riddler) in the new Batman game was essentially this. Dig up all the dirty secrets of all the politicians and public figures in Gotham and spread release them simultaneously. KNOWING that this would cause mass mayhem either due to most of the important fixtures of the community being tossed out for their conduct or mayhem because they WEREN'T tossed out and people got mad and started rioting.

"I wanna know about my parents!" great, good goal you've got there. Unfortunately, you keep bringing it up at the EXACT WRONG TIME.

"I'm more connected to people than you guys!". True, in context. Skye is the only person who seems to have any people skills involving people outside the team. The only issue I have with it here is that it's played up as this amazing ability she has to just GET people...when really it's that everybody else on the team has the people skills of a flatulent skunk, and she's pretty much just a normal person (which is infinitely better in comparison). More an issue with the context than the character here.

The Exchange

@Rynjin, I can agree, she is not the best character Iv'e ever seen and not remotely the best character in the show. However, going from there to some of the real, passionate hateful responses Iv'e seen in this thread is maybe a bit much. And I also certainly feel that those who dislike Skye strongly enough to consider not watching the show because they feel she is a writer's pet... I don't know, it feels like an overreaction of people who see what they expect to see based on an initial impression, not like esomething based on what's actually going on.

And the show DID play somewhat with our expectations - I expected Fitz and Simmons to be the geeky guys that the real action heroes visit to get the daily gadget at the start of every episode. Instead, they are very central. Skye is not really the "main character" any more (she was only in the first episode), and while her story is full of unoriginal tropes, there's nothing actively horrible about it.

Grand Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Rynjin wrote:
...

Different people have different tastes. I think May is unlikeable simply because she's generally grumpy and unfriendly.

Also (spoiler about Season 1 plans from Motley Fool):

Spoiler:
Long Motley Fool Article wrote:

I recently discussed how Disney's (NYSE: DIS ) ABC network was having problems with the Avengers spin-off "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," due in part to how segregated the show seems from the cinematic universe that Marvel Studios has built. The lack of "Marvel"-ness seems especially obvious when compared to shows such as the CW's "Arrow," which is based on one of Time Warner's (NYSE: TWX ) DC Comics characters. While "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." has largely relied on more generic threats and occasional name-dropping to tie it in to the larger Marvel universe, "Arrow" features appearances by a number of DC heroes and villains.

It seems that ABC has more planned for "Agents" than just a few one-off references and a cameo by Samuel L. Jackson yelling about goldfish. Recently announced plans show that ABC is building toward more interaction with the Marvel universe at large, and possibly may be dropping hints about the future of Marvel Studios' films as well.

Spoilers ahead
The most recent episode of "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." introduced Donnie Gill, the alter ego of the Marvel villain Blizzard. Similar to the previous introduction of Gravaton, the episode focused on Gill as a non-powered character and granted him cryogenic powers near the end (potentially foreshadowing him as a villain later in the series). It turns out that Gill was only the first of several Marvel characters planned for the second half of season one, however.

Feb. 4 will see the continuation of J. August Richard's storyline, which began in the series pilot. When his character Mike Peterson was last seen, he had been captured by the recurring antagonist Centipede. According to executive producer Jeffery Bell, Peterson will be transformed into the cybernetic assassin Deathlok; this is significant as the character not only has a 40-year history in the comics, but almost made it to the big screen in a stand-alone film as well. Though the film has generally been considered dead for a few years now, if the character proves popular then it's always possible that Marvel could revive it with Richard in the lead.

Also coming to "Agents" is a direct crossover with the "Thor" films. Jaimie Alexander will reprise her role as Lady Sif in the 15th episode of the season, coming to Earth to track down an Asgardian named Lorelei. This could give viewers a hint of what to expect in a potential third "Thor" film, as in the comics Lorelei is the sister of Amora (better known as the "Thor" villainess The Enchantress, a major character that is expected to show up sooner or later as a film antagonist.)

Will it work?
While "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." isn't strictly a "superhero" show in that it doesn't follow the exploits of costumed heroes, many fans have been disappointed in how little the show deals with known characters given the number of heroes and villains in the Marvel universe. The inclusion of several Marvel characters in the second half of season one could be a move toward the vision many had for the series based on early hype: a weekly view of the Marvel universe from the point of view of those who have to keep it under control.

The transformation of Mike Peterson into Deathlok, combined with the teasing of villains such as Graviton and Blizzard, shows that "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." is playing a long game with its storytelling. With Bell's statement on Deathlok revealing that the transformation was planned from the introduction of the character, it gives us a glimpse at how far in advance the studio is planning some of its plot twists. This isn't necessarily a good thing, however.

Most of the episodes of "Agents" are designed to be self-contained, with larger story arcs looping through them. If not handled well, this can lead to pieces of the story arcs feeling bolted on or out of place in the context of the episodes that they appear in. Worse yet, it can make the individual episode plots seem like filler designed to stretch out the story arcs across the season. Balancing these two aspects will become more important as more of the Marvel universe at large begins showing up in "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D."

There's hope yet
Though viewership has declined significantly since the show's pilot brought in more than 12 million viewers, "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." seems to have found a core audience by this point with between 6 million and 7 million viewers each episode. If ABC and Marvel Studios can begin fleshing out the groundwork they've been putting down and using the show to expand on the cinematic universe that appears on film, then the show might just be getting started.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Shadowborn wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:

I think prior to the events of Avengers, SHIELD was a very covert organization. Think early- NSA. where they were so covert that most people weren't even aware the organization existed.

Since the New York invasion, SHIELD seems to have become more visible.

I'd probably buy that if it weren't for the flying aircraft carrier.

Flying INVISIBLE aircraft carrier.


DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
Shadowborn wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:

I think prior to the events of Avengers, SHIELD was a very covert organization. Think early- NSA. where they were so covert that most people weren't even aware the organization existed.

Since the New York invasion, SHIELD seems to have become more visible.

I'd probably buy that if it weren't for the flying aircraft carrier.
Flying INVISIBLE aircraft carrier.

Is it really invisible? I thought in the MCU it merely flew really high (above the clouds) and had Stealth capability. No invisibility, just can't see it from the ground and it's undetectable by radar.

It wouldn't make any sense for it to be invisible, actually. In Thor 2 the Asgardians seemed FLOORED by the concept of the invisible space/aircraft the Totally-Not-Drow used.


DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
Shadowborn wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:

I think prior to the events of Avengers, SHIELD was a very covert organization. Think early- NSA. where they were so covert that most people weren't even aware the organization existed.

Since the New York invasion, SHIELD seems to have become more visible.

I'd probably buy that if it weren't for the flying aircraft carrier.
Flying INVISIBLE aircraft carrier.

Yes, invisible. Except when people attack it, blow portions of it up, and send large, flaming pieces of it hurtling back to the earth. Nothing to see here, move along.

Sovereign Court

Rynjin wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
Shadowborn wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:

I think prior to the events of Avengers, SHIELD was a very covert organization. Think early- NSA. where they were so covert that most people weren't even aware the organization existed.

Since the New York invasion, SHIELD seems to have become more visible.

I'd probably buy that if it weren't for the flying aircraft carrier.
Flying INVISIBLE aircraft carrier.

Is it really invisible? I thought in the MCU it merely flew really high (above the clouds) and had Stealth capability. No invisibility, just can't see it from the ground and it's undetectable by radar.

It wouldn't make any sense for it to be invisible, actually. In Thor 2 the Asgardians seemed FLOORED by the concept of the invisible space/aircraft the Totally-Not-Drow used.

Um, in Avengers they make the helicarrier invisible. Visually invisible.

The Exchange

Rynjin wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
Shadowborn wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:

I think prior to the events of Avengers, SHIELD was a very covert organization. Think early- NSA. where they were so covert that most people weren't even aware the organization existed.

Since the New York invasion, SHIELD seems to have become more visible.

I'd probably buy that if it weren't for the flying aircraft carrier.
Flying INVISIBLE aircraft carrier.

Is it really invisible? I thought in the MCU it merely flew really high (above the clouds) and had Stealth capability. No invisibility, just can't see it from the ground and it's undetectable by radar.

It wouldn't make any sense for it to be invisible, actually. In Thor 2 the Asgardians seemed FLOORED by the concept of the invisible space/aircraft the Totally-Not-Drow used.

I think it was less the invisibleness more the get past Heimdallness of the stealth, remember invisbleness is a sliding scale based on whats trying to breach it.

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