Considering they work with some of the most powerful superheroes in the Marvel universe, the folks at S.H.I.E.L.D. sure seem to be having a bit of trouble finding their own footing. And after just two episodes, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Tuesdays on CTV and ABC) already feels like it's in need of rescuing. Here are six things we hope Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will do to find its voice -- and set its course -- as the season continues.
Remember the medium
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. may share plenty of DNA with the Marvel cinematic universe and Joss Whedon's blockbuster movie The Avengers -- primarily in the form of Clark Gregg, back as the resurrected Agent Phil Coulson -- but it needs to play to its strengths. If the series keeps trying to ape the scale of the Marvel movies, it will look ridiculous. S.H.I.E.L.D. should focus on characters over action.
Use crossovers carefully
Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) made a surprise appearance at the end of the last episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.... and wow, what a waste. Considering how seldom we'll likely see Fury show up on the series, to use him as a bit of throwaway levity was borderline criminal. Hopefully Whedon and company will save these kinds of extra-special crossover appearances for moments that matter, instead of, say, having Thor drop by in one episode for a quick shawarma break.
Find a balance between laughs and gasps
Whedon's TV work has aways walked a line between comedy and drama, but Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. already feels like it's straying over that boundary into sitcom territory. Not every line needs to go in search of a laugh, and trying too hard to push jokes just squeezes out opportunity for genuine drama.
Don't screw up Coulson's resurrection story
The fanboy theory about Coulson surviving his apparent murder by Loki in The Avengers is that the Coulson in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is actually an android called a Life Model Decoy -- a familiar Marvel MacGuffin -- implanted with false memories. That would kind of suck, though. We'd rather see something that still allows this Coulson to be flesh and blood, even if it's outlandish. Maybe Dr. Strange cast a spell that brought him back to life? Tahiti is, as they keep saying, a magical place.
Ease up on the Fitz/Simmons thing
Are they lovers? Are they pals? Are they separated-at-birth brother and sister? Hopefully their chirpy schtick will evolve and present them as real people instead of a running gag, as well as revealing whether or not there was (or will be) something romantic between them. Warning: assume the one you get attached to the most will be killed. This is a Joss Whedon joint, after all.