And so, with the startling recent cliffhanger (with Agent Coulson being abducted) for Marvel’s TV show, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. over on ABC, We have to say that while were weren’t quite overwhelmed, we weren’t so much underwhelmed either. The Show turned in a fairly decent first season, and while we know folks on both sides of why this was either a terrific show and why it was less than thrilling, we are essentially OK with it all. Mostly because we really like the character of Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg). It is clear that there is some sort of mystery going on with Coulson and Producer Joss Whedon is just the kind of guy to have some very interesting twists up his sleeves, and we say this because with each passing episode, a little bit more is being revealed about this enigmatic character.
In the series opening episode, it is explained that Agent Coulson died for eight seconds during The Avengers movie (when he was stabbed in the chest by Loki). Needless to say, he was revived and sent to Tahiti to recuperate. At one point in that opening episode, Agent Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) indicates that Coulson can’t know the truth about his death, which has cause some folks to postulate that Coulson is actually an LMD (Life Model Decoy). It has also been pointed out that whenever anyone mentions Tahiti, Coulson refers to it as “magical place,” as almost an automatic response, as if that response and the corresponding memory were implanted, as opposed to actual.
Further episodes give additional clues, his difficulties with his pistol (The Asset), Coulson’s former protégé Akela Amador (Pascale Armand) notices a difference in his personality (Eye-Spy) as well as Coulson’s own concerns with his health (Repairs). All of this coupled with Coulson’s own fascination with an earlier era (his love of the car Lola, Captain America trading cards from The Avengers movie), as well as the odd collection of old stuff that he has in his office aboard the S.H.I.E.L.D. plane point to a deeper mystery, one that suggests that perhaps he has been an LMD all along, perhaps since the days of Howard Stark (Tony’s father).
Clearly there it more to Coulson than meets the eye, and whether or not we will learn of it in this season, a future Avenger or Iron Man movie, ior even next season on S.H.I.E.L.D. is yet to be seen. To be sure, while all of this is fun, we still would like to see more Man from UNCLE or even Steed and Mrs. Peel-style Avenger action mixed in with all of the mystery. We do understand that we really aren’t going to get the Steranko-level visuals that we feel that we deserve, we still believe that we are entitled to at least his level of storytelling and intrigue.
Robert J. Sodaro has been writing professionally for some 30+ years. He came of age not only watching TV, but reading comicbooks and going to the movies. Subscribe to receive regular articles and reviews about TV programs.