The highly anticipated Marvel primetime series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. premiered tonight at 8 PM EDT on ABC.
The show, helmed by Avengers mastermind Joss Whedon, had been receiving generally positive reviews from early screeners.
Here’s what you need to know about the premiere.
1. The Episode Began With a Reference to Avengers; “Heroes and Monsters Among Us”
The episode began with a montage of superhero scenes, citing the recent events in the Avengers film—namely the attack on New York City, and how the real cause was covered up by the secret government agency S.H.I.E.L.D.
Shots of Captain America’s shield, Thor, Hulk, and the Chitauri, the alien species that attacked New York City in the Avengers, are main focal points in the montage.
2. Unknown Superhero Rescues Woman from Fire at Beginning
We are then taken to an active fire, where an unknown man is seen with his son outside a burgeoning building fire.
The man tells his son to stay put and then rushes to the building. He puts on his hood, thus dubbing him “The Hooded Hero” in news stories throughout the episode, climbs a brick wall a la Spiderman and saves a woman from the inferno.
We later find out he knows the woman, and she is a doctor.
3. “The Rising Tide”
After the brief fire rescue by the unknown “gifted” (the term the series uses for people with superhuman capabilities), we are taken to Paris where S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Grant Ward (Brett Dalton) is in the midst of trying to steal a piece of Chitauri technology from an enemy named “The Rising Tide.”
There is a fight scene as he gets caught trying to steal the Chitauri artifact, but he makes it out with the device and catches a helicopter on the roof with the Eiffel Tower in the background.
He then heads to S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters, where…
4. Agent Coulson Revealed & Wants to Find the Hooded Hero
As was previously known, Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) did not die in Avengers. He is revealed in a scene to Agent Ward after Wards return from Paris, discussing the threat of the The Rising Tide.
The Rising Tide is then revealed to be an anti-government criminal organization, trying to reveal government secret programs like S.H.I.E.L.D.
S.H.I.E.L.D. wants to know who the newest gifted is before The Rising Tide gets to him first.
Coulson and Ward set out on a mission with Agent Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen) to find the Hooded Hero via a fringe Rising Tide hacker named Skye (Chloe Bennett) they have tracked, and who saw the Hooded Hero save the woman from the fire.
5. Hooded Hero Revealed; Skye Helps S.H.I.E.L.D. Find Him
It is revealed that the Hooded Hero, real name Mike Peterson (J. August Richards), is actually a created superhero. He has a “centipede” on his arm, which is a metal injecting device filled with fluid similar to the superhero fluid developed in the 1940s to make Captain America.
The centipede is also filled with Extremis, which Marvel fans will remember from Iron Man 3. The side effect of Extremis are irrational anger and, eventually, spontaneous human combustion.
Once finding this out, Skye switches allegiance to S.H.I.E.L.D.
Mike begins to exhibit symptoms of Extremis and attacks his boss, who had fired him earlier, with his superhero strength.
6. Mike Confronts Doctor; Kidnaps Skye
It is then revealed that the explosion at the beginning where Mike saved the woman from was a resulting explosion from another individual with Extremis.
The woman Mike saved was the doctor who gave him the centipede with the super soldier fluid and the Extremis fluid.
She warns him to lay low.
Mike confides in Skye that he just wants to live safely with his son. Skye informs him that he can remove all evidence he ever existed so both S.H.I.E.L.D. and The Rising Tide will never find him.
Mike begins to exhibit Extremis paranoia and he kidnaps Skye.
S.H.I.E.L.D. begins a massive hunt for Skye and to contain Mike before he explodes and destroys everything in a “two block radius.”
7. S.H.I.E.L.D. Saves the Day
In a climatic battle where Mike takes a hostage and is shot by a lacky of the doctor, Agent Coulson finally subdues him and promises him peace.
The doctor and her hired gun get away.
8. Mike is Saved & Relocated; S.H.I.E.L.D. Prepares for What’s Next
Mike gets his happy ending with his son, relocated to a safe house by Coulson.
Coulson then offers Skye a job with S.H.I.E.L.D. He then receives a call about an “OH4” that needs immediate attention.
And the episode ends.
9. Rating: B+
The episode was entertaining and it was fun to see all these story lines from so many Marvel movies coming together.
However, a major complaint would be the sometimes hokey dialogue.
10. There Will Be A Companion Web Series
In an effort to increase fan gossip about Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., ABC is partnering with Verizon to produce a companion web series titled Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D: Declassified.
Hosted by comedian Brett Ehrlich, the online program will feature sketches and featurettes with special guests. The goal of the web series is to bring fans up to speed on the last aired episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and get them psyched up for the next one.
The first episode of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D: Declassified is available above .