Plot: In the middle of a busy Switzerland subway car, a case of extremely valuable diamonds is stolen. Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) takes on the investigation for both personal and professional reasons, but he and his team quickly realize that the thief might not be the only one in control.
These first four episodes of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. have all been building up for something bigger in the future. Unless we see otherwise, each episode is building up to completely separate conflicts for the team to encounter later on. We have the still unknown group creating the Centipede from the pilot episode, the mystery surrounding the device from “0-8-4,” and the two villains introduced last week in “The Asset.” This week’s episode, titled “Eye Spy,” is no different as it both answers one question while simultaneously asking a much bigger one. While the big twist at the end was both unexpected and a bit creepy, it begins to make one wonder when previous stories are actually going to be focused on. This doesn’t stop “Eye Spy” from being another exciting episode though.
The undisputed focus of the night was Coulson’s connection to the thief Akela Amandor (Pascale Armand). Amandor is a former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent that was supposedly killed in action when one of her missions went wrong. Coulson himself trained her to be an agent too so the personal connection runs very deep. Amandor’s introduction into the show was one of the most creative moments I’ve seen to date as she expertly mugs a large group of men all wearing the same grey suits and creepy red masks. The uniformity of the entire red masked group was a really cool touch and I enjoyed the revelation that they didn’t have any sinister means to dressing up in such a creepy manner. Truth be told, I totally expected the briefcases to detonate on the train or something. Instead, the sheer numbers and identical appearance were simply to confuse thieves as one of the many was transporting a briefcase full of valuable diamonds. We don’t find out until later how exactly Amandor was able to steal the correct case, but the thought that someone with Telepathy might actually exist in this show was really cool.
Unfortunately, Amandor didn’t have Telepathy, but instead had an equally cool robot eye where her right eye was supposed to be. The eye uses extremely advanced technology to give the user x-ray vision. This is technology that, according to Agent Leo Fitz (Iain De Caestecker), is far more advanced than anything S.H.I.E.L.D. has available. The team shortly discovers afterwards that Amandor is receiving orders through the very same eye meaning that someone is controlling her from behind the scenes. This opens up an entirely new conflict for the group as they now have to both find a way to save Amandor (which Coulson wanted all along) and to find her controller. Everything surrounding the super eye, from the team’s discovery of it to how they were able to solve the issue, was really awesome. The scene where Skye (Chloe Bennet) decoded the recorded video feed to find Amandor watching their van was really tense in particular.
Dealing with this issue from two separate fronts was easily one of the better moments of this series to date. On one side, you have Fitz and Agent Jemma Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) working to remove the eye from Amandor. They have to find a way to take it out without killing her in the process. Then on the ground you have Agent Grant Ward (Brett Dalton) wearing a pair of glasses that has taken over the feed and Skye controlling it from behind the scenes. The Ward moments were especially awesome from both his journey through a dangerous facility to his action packed escape from angry guards. Using the x-ray eye to shoot guards through a wall was a particular high point. I laughed a bit too when Ward received orders to seduce a guard and Skye simply suggested he “bromance” him.
The Fitz-Simmons eye surgery was tense as well though it confused me on how everything was really happening. For starters, how does Simmons know how to perform dangerous eye surgery on a human being? Her nervousness to injecting the local anesthetic to the eye is proof that this isn’t something she’s done before. Hell, she even said that this is beyond what she is actually capable of doing. Yet despite this she went through the surgery without any issue. It makes me wonder if the writers were being a bit too comfortable with the limits of what Fitz-Simmons can actually do. Yes they’re incredibly smart but eye surgery felt like a bit of a push for me. Plus, the removal of the eye was simply “cut the big wire” once Simmons took it out, ultimately making Fitz’s role a bit unnecessary. I mean, you don’t need to be a super scientist to cut a big wire and throw a dangerous device into a sealed container.
Agent Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen) had her own shining moment last night but that had its fair share of questionable content. Her fight with Amandor was incredibly enjoyable despite it not lasting very long. There’s just something special about watching two combat trained agents come to blows. How that happened is where I’m a bit confused. Only two episodes ago May was giving Coulson crap about her seeing combat again. Not seeing combat was one of her personal requirements before joining the team, though I can’t imagine how she thought they wouldn’t see action. Regardless, she seemed all too willing to jump back into action now despite her apprehension. She even went to attack Amandor in secret too without any team backup, which simply made matters worse. It didn’t seem in line with her character as a professional S.H.I.E.L.D. agent to watch her make such a rookie mistake. We’re lead to believe she has more experience than anyone on this team too. It just didn’t make sense.
I know it’s only been four episodes but I hope that we get some follow up to previous events soon. Having all of these individual conflicts introduce separate, bigger events is really cool but we’ll need some continuation sooner rather than later. The last thing I want is for the show to get so wrapped up in separate stories that past events aren’t even touched upon anymore. The end of “Eye Spy” in particular revealed that Amandor’s controller was himself being controlled meaning there is someone else out there in secret pulling the strings. Then again, a big revelation later on could be that a single person is behind the Centipede, Amandor’s control, and the alien device found in Peru. That definitely would wrap everything up in a nice little bow.