Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. kicks off in New York City – which rightfully includes the Stark Tower – as the Avengers and the alien Chitauri battle it out as they did in the culminating moments of Joss Whedon’s 2012 film. The show then switches up its focus to East L.A.

Paying for hotdogs from a street vendor, a down on his luck man asks his son which “Heros of New York” action doll is his favorite before a nearby explosion sees him leave his son with the vendor so he can go to the rescue. Onlookers snap pictures as the man carries a woman out of the burning building. Cut to Paris.

In the French city, S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Agent Grant Ward (Brett Dalton) is working on a spy operation sans superhero reinforcement. When The Rising Tide – some unknown organization – compromises the mysterious package, Ward gets the order to abort the mission, which he ignores. After he gets the package in his possession using fingerprints to break through security measures, he’s met with men who threaten to thwart him. Thankfully, he’s airlifted out of there just in time.

Back at a S.H.I.E.L.D. field office, Ward needs to face the music for failing to follow orders. Marie Hill (How I Met Your Mother’s Cobie Smulders reprising her Avengers role) isn’t amused with Ward and his jokes. After he hands over the Chitauri neural link, Hill tells him that the world is a different place now that regular citizens know about the super human entities out there. She also informs him that he’s to join Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) in a new mobile command unit. Their first task at hand is to recruit an “unregistered gifted” – the man who saved the woman from the fire. Coulson was killed in The Avengers before the New York battle, but the logistics of Coulson’s resurrection aren't revealed.


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Coulson adds Agent Melina May (Ming-Na Wen) to his team with Ward, revealing that her role won’t involve combat but just general leadership. Once on the mobile command unit, Ward meets two more team members – engineering expert Agent Fitz (Ian De Caestecker) and biochem expert Agent Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge). The two British agents are both joined at the hip and eternally bickering, weighing the merits of a paralysis gun prototype called the Night Night.

A young woman named Skye (Chloe Benne) has been tailing the gifted man – otherwise known as the Hooded Hero or Michael Peterson. After following him to a diner, she introduces herself and alerts him to the fact that S.H.I.E.L.D. might be onto him. Skye also tries to give him advice about how to use and perfect his powers. She even offers to provide computer services for him. Coulson and Ward eventually realize that Skye is The Rising Tide and pick her up. She’s incredulous that S.H.I.E.L.D., with all their resources, hasn’t discovered project “Centipede” yet. She uncovered it from the confines of her command center in a van. Mike Peterson, meanwhile, discovers an eviction notice and converses with someone on the phone about the factory explosion and about the possibility of outing himself as a hero.

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At the now decimated lab, Fitz, Simmons and May look for information, while Coulson doses Ward with a truth serum so that Skye can question him openly. When they all come to a round table to discuss everything they know thus far about Centipede, they realize that it wasn’t a bomb that exploded but a reaction that ensued when a Centipede subject received a shot of Extremis. The question is now; will Mike be the next to explode?

The S.H.I.E.L.D. team endeavors to capture him, as he’s taken off with both his son and Skye. Meanwhile, the woman Mike had saved (aka his Centipede doctor) puts a hit out on him. Coulson steps up to the plate to deal with Mike, calming him down by engaging in dialogue before shooting him square in the head. Fortunately, Coulson’s weapon of choice was just the Night Night gun. Afterwards, Coulson offers Skye a spot on his team, which she glady accepts.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will return to ABC next Tuesday at 9/8c.

– Chelsea Regan

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