'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' Recap: Agent Coulson Just Made His First Supervillain

Alright, so tonight's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D was not the series' best moment so far. It was exciting, as always, but it didn't have the sharp wit that the show usually does. 

But when the show made the announcement that "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D will be right back," it was clear that was about to go down. If you didn't stick around for the last five minutes, go back and watch it right now because Agent Coulson totally just created Graviton, y'all.

So where does Graviton come from, and who was he in the show?

In "The Asset," Dr. Franklin Hall was a great scientist, friend of S.H.I.E.L.D., and former teacher to Agents Fitz and Simmons. He's then kidnapped by Ian Quinn, head of Quinn Worldwide (aka a wealthy dude who gives off some serious anti-government vibes). Quinn wants him to make a bigger machine with the new, powerful gravity element he's found. But there's a twist: Hall was the informant inside S.H.I.E.L.D. that led to his own kidnapping — he wanted to be kidnapped so he could destroy the machine, Quinn, and his compound along with it. He realized the element was too powerful for anyone to control. 

But this would also take down all the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents as well as all the innocent people at Quinn's compound along with it, so Agent Coulson decides to...let Dr. Hall fall into the machine, effectively killing him? There were about a million other ways to handle the situation, but Coulson inexplicably decided to kill the scientist with good (if very misled) intentions. And at the end of the episode, it's revealed that Dr. Hall is still alive, so Coulson has made both his first supervillain and his first mortal enemy: Graviton. But of course, Graviton's character didn't originate with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D...

Graviton originated with Avengers comic #158 in 1977, and his origin story was much different than in the show. Dr. Franklin Hall simply made a miscalculation while conducting a research experiment, causing graviton particles to merge with his own molecules. He then discovers he can mentally control gravity and becomes tempted by his newfound power, becoming a supervillain named Graviton.

Many Avengers fans have been disappointed by the lack of Marvel characters in the show, but I smell a recurring character with Graviton. Since Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D has just started getting its legs as a show, it's overarching narrative has been really underdeveloped. But now we're getting into more depth with its ensemble cast of characters (even though Skye's foster kid backstory is one that's a little tired, especially with an action show like S.H.I.E.L.D), and we're getting some possible long-term villains instead of your basic "bad guy of the week."  "The Asset" may not have been the show's best episode so far, but it gave us some insight into what Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D could become...and in it's third episode, that's pretty gravity-defying (okay, I couldn't come up with a better pun, but this is what I'm working with, people.) 


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