The second episode was better than the first. The various team members were all able to develop a little bit, and more importantly the team as a whole started to develop.
The most interesting thing to me about the episode was starting to understand the role Coulson is going to play in the series. He is arguably the star of the series, he is certainly the big draw for fans of the Marvel movies. I had assumed that in a S.H.I.E.L.D based series he would take more of a central role, but it seems like his role here is largely the same as it was in the movies. He is a midground character. He adds some humor and exposition and keeps the plot moving forward. Even though he’s quite capable, he voluntarily takes a secondary role in order to help his team find its legs.
**** Spoilers ****
My only complaints with the episode are the bit with Sky at the end and the Fury cameo after the credits.
While I’m glad that the Rising Tide subplot wasn’t dropped, but it felt a little cliched to me. I’m giving the writers the benefit of the doubt, until I see otherwise, but I’m hoping we don’t end up seeing the usual betrayal and change of heart scenes. I also hope this isn’t a subplot that’s drawn out over multiple seasons.
The Fury cameo really didn’t seem to fit in the episode at all. While it was cool to have Samuel Jackson make an appearance, the scene itself didn’t really add anything and the fish tank bit was goofy.