The pilot, written by Joss Whedon (who is also the executive producer), starts off with a man. A caring father, out of work and low on cash. He sees an apartment building burst into flames and jumps into action!
Or climbs rather. Yeah, climbs… up a brick wall. Saves the damsel, jumps from 5 stories and lands on his feet. Unbothered.
Skye, a hacker expert, sees what he did and follows him. She says SHIELD is going to find him, that they are bad men in black suits. She knows about what happened in New York (the Avengers movie) she knows about “project pegasus” (Thor’s movie). She says that they’ll stop at nothing to cover up the existence of superheroes… which is what she thinks Mike Peterson is. Skye wants to bring his story out in the open, before SHIELD gets their hands on him. She says being a superhero can get him a better life with more opportunities.
Meanwhile, Cobie Smulders is reprising her role as Maria Hill:
And she drags in a hotshot loner type named Grant Ward and commissions him to bag Skye, the marvelous hacker. There’s so witty exchange in which he is “Welcomed to level 7” by none other than Agent Coulson (played by Clark Gregg).
Wait Agent Coulson? Didn’t he die at the hands of Loki in the Avengers? What?
He spouts a story about his death being faked and an extended vacation in Tahiti (but I think he’s a clone).
Ward and co. go out to grab Skye. Coulson busts out the weirdest interrogation technique ever by locking Ward and Skye in a room together and giving truth serum… to Agent Ward. Hmmm….
He earns Skye’s trust and she helps SHIELD find Peterson. Who has a freaky metal centipede on his arm and is approaching his boiling point. Literally. He beats up his former employer and starts rampaging. SHIELD goes after him to try to get a handle on it.
Along the way they find that the creator’s of “centipede” mixed “supersoldier juice from the 40s,” Gamma radiation and basically any known superpower causer.
They confront Peterson in a heated (literally) exchange where Peterson declares, “It used to be enough, just to be a man.” What he continues with is that now there are gods and giants… it’s also an analogy. Peterson is out of work, out of cash, out of hope. Out of the American dream. And it used to be enough… just to be a man.
They gloss everything over, make it look nice for the cameras… and cover up what they don’t think the public is ready for. But for those involved there is a happily ever after. I seems to me to me to be propaganda, like I should take away that we only THINK the government is the bad guy, but we don’t truly understand. Yeahhh… seemed to be some “Yeah, America” brainwashing happening. Which is also what I thought was happening in episode 1 of Sleepy Hollow, so, maybe it’s just me….
At the end of the episode they still hadn’t “cut the head off of centipede” so I’m sure there will be some vaguely foreign vigilate types experimenting on down on their luck people in the coming weeks.