Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1, Episode 12: “Seeds” Review

Agents Of SHIELD Season 1 Episode 12 Seeds

In “Seeds” Agent Ward, Fitz-Simmons and Skye investigate a freezing device set off at S.H.I.E.L.D. academy. Meanwhile, Coulson and May track a down a former agent who has information on Skye’s origin.

Continue reading for a spoiler filled review of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1, Episode 12.

After last episode’s less than impressive reveal on Coulson’s mysterious resurrection, my expectations for “Seeds” weren’t very high. Maybe because I wasn’t expecting much and I’m in the mood for some escapist entertainment I put aside my hang ups about the show and enjoyed the main story in this week’s episode.

As always, I’ll recap some of the main plot points but feel free to discuss anything about the show in the comments section including the parts I’ve skipped over.

Let’s Discuss What Happened!

• Call Me Fitz: “Seeds” is a solid episode for Fitz. Fitz’s humour didn’t come from bumbling around as a lab geek out of his element. I liked his funny zingers when sarcastically putting down Ward (he has wonderful ideas from time to time) and perhaps unintentionally on Skye (the easiest SHIELD division to get into is where Skye would be). As seen in previous episodes, he can be a tad peevish at times which is a nice contrast to his spritely other half – Simmons.

If it wasn’t for Simmon’s positive influence it’s very possible that Fitz could have instead met the wrong kind of people and ended up using his genius mind for nefarious purposes. Sort of like what happened to student Donny Gill.

• Blizzard:  I liked the extra time spent on developing the origin story of a potential new super villain in Donny Gill. Like many villains, Donny is initially well-intentioned but that may change after his best and only friend dies because of an accident he caused.  Dylan Minnette’s (Lost, Prisoners) strong performance gave his character some added depth and it would be cool (ahem) if he returns at some point.


Skye is a 0-8-4 #@$!: Though I can understand Skye’s emotional reaction to learning bits of information about her origin and feeling connected to her SHIELD family, since several agents as well as a small village lost their lives to protect her, I’m still not invested in her journey. Coulson’s speech at the end sounded like the writers’ plea to viewers to stop hating on Skye. Throwaways lines like “I hacked my way into SHIELD” which acknowledge Skye doesn’t fit in yet feel more authentic at this point.

If Skye is in fact a 0-8-4 is it a good thing to keep her as a central figure of the series when many fans prefer her in a supporting role? Coulson’s talk with Skye faded out but can we assume he didn’t keep the 0-8-4  a secret from her?

Visual FX:  From the ice freezing up Donny to the bus landing in the eye of the ice storm the visual effects are well done. The one shot that didn’t look quite right is when Ward opened the door to find the storm raging outside. Many of the exterior locations added to the production value such as the Wall Of Valor hall. Some fans may have groaned when Skye name dropped Bucky Barnes from the wall but I kind of chuckled at the irony. 

Hogwarts:  I liked the visit to SHIELD academy because it makes this Marvel universe feel more lived in and expansive. It’s nice to imagine there’s a whole other world going on beneath the surface. There’s also something eerie about an organization dedicated to training young students to spy even if it’s under the guise for the greater good.

I also liked the competitive rivalry between the different houses or divisions of SHIELD. Simmon’s explanation about the boiler room which turns out to be an underground bar for students is nice touch as well. The show could benefit from more world building to capture the imagination of fans.

Best Line by May: Agent Ward and I have been having sex.

The Wrap Up

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has a track record of bouncing back with a stronger effort after a lacklustre episode. Although the show’s producers haven’t demonstrated they can craft a compelling long term character or story arc yet, they can pull off some good stand alone episodes.

In “Seeds”, use of each of the agents is fairly well-balanced and I appreciated that the humour didn’t feel forced or cheesy like the earlier episodes in the season. Although I’m relatively positive in my recap there are still on-going issues with the show that need to be addressed such as what to do with Skye. Skye haters will have new ammunition after this episode’s surprise reveal.

What do you think about Skye as a 0-8-4? Are you interested that Ian Quinn is connected with the Clairvoyant? Does this episode affect your decision to continue with or drop the show?

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Posted on January 14, 2014, in Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., Television and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. Overall I enjoyed this episode – much better than the previous one. I think they are doing a really good job with FitzSimmons. The show seems to be a bit stronger when they let these two have a decent storyline and show their different personalities. The storyline with the academy was fun to watch. Agree about Blizzard and how the show took time to develop him. Would be great to see more of this in the future.
    As for Skye – what can I say? I don’t hate her, I just think she doesn’t offer much. She doesn’t seem to have much chemistry with anyone else and can be a bit boring at times. I’d much rather see her in a supporting role rather than be a featured character each episode.
    With the FX, thought the scene with Lola in the air was the other one that didn’t look quite right. I guess flying cars can be a bit hard to make convincible.
    This episode gives me hope that they’ll keep on improving, but given past episodes not sure that will happen.

    • I’d like to see more of FitzSimmons too. I’m probably been slower to warm up to them than most viewers but I’m getting there. I hope the writers can find scenarios that’ll let their personalities and brilliant minds shine. I don’t hate Skye either. I do find that there a lot times where characters like Ward, May and Coulson keep telling me how great Skye is when it would be more effective to show it.
      Ever since the pilot I wondered when we would get to see Coulson’s car flying again. It’s a tricky effect to pull off on a limited TV budget. I’m looking forward to the 4 episode run of episodes featuring Bill Paxton as an agent but I’m not going to raise my hopes up too much.

  2. I liked this episode. The story was good. The balance between the characters was good. There was character development for everyone, including Skye… (but I’m not talking about that 0-8-4 crap. THAT’S NOT A REVEAL. 0-8-4 means unknown. She’s gone from a question mark to a label that literally means unknown… progress?) I like that everything she learned put her firmly in the pro-SHIELD camp while the reason Coulson told her everything is because he no longer is.

    And you’re right, the best line was May’s I’m sleeping with Ward line and the great timing of it. You’re right again, the effects were great except for the Wizard of Oz shot with Agent Ward as Dorothy. I thought Starfleet Aca- I mean SHIELD academy was cool and I hope they go back in a later episode. Also if Skye can hack security created by Academy grads maybe she should be teaching a class instead of fretting that she never went.

    The Buck Barnes line proved to me that they will only shout-out Marvel characters if they have a movie coming out soon or if it’s in theaters. (Last one was Thor and the Dark World tech) I bet it’s the lawyers preventing them from doing that with other Marvel properties.

    The episode, over-all, felt comfortable. Like the creators, writers and characters are getting comfortable and like they want us to get comfortable. Maybe so they can hit us with something big. Hope so.

    • I liked the balance between the characters too, everybody had something to do. Since the former agent was forthcoming with answers, if I was Coulson, I would have asked more specific questions about Skye’s past like why she’s classified as an unknown and why it’s so important to protect her? The former agent also didn’t want to know anything about the baby/Skye like he’s afraid of learning too much information. That’s a good point about Coulson and Skye; in terms of their viewpoint on SHIELD they flipped positions when compared to the Pilot episode.

      Great analogy about the Wizard of Oz shot and the swirling storm. Does that make the Clairvoyant the Wizard? In the school academy setting it’s interesting to see that FitzSimmons are popular stars while Skye wishes she fits into some clique. A lot of mention of the Sandbox, I think we’ll eventually get to see that whole place which was also mentioned in F.Z.Z.T.

      I’d like the writers to be more selective with the references and name dropping. It works for me if it’s only when a marvel movie is about to or is already out. It would be weird yet kind of funny if someone mentions Rocket Raccoon. Speaking of lawyers, it’s my understanding that all of these super normal people on the show like Blizzard, Mike Peterson, even Scorch get their powers from (pseudo) “science” based explanations instead of being born with their abilities since the rights to genetically mutant characters were sold to Fox.

      When the show needs to deliver a big episode it’s a let down. But this week is a good episode and I’m still somewhat hopeful for the show. I just don’t want to unrealistically raise my expectations. Nice to discuss the show with you Mel!

  3. Hey man! I just got around to watching this episode today and I’m glad to report that it was a hell of a lot better than the last one.

    I too liked Fitz, his humour worked well and I loved his interaction with Donnie, it felt real and emotional. Donnie too I loved his loved his involvement in the episode, he’s this fragile little loner who is absurdly smart but gets involved with the wrong kind of guy that leads him to getting his friend killed. That death I didn’t expect and it was pretty good, this show needs more death. Plus it turned Donnie into a hate dude who will eventually return.

    The fight between May and Richard in that alley was gorgeous, nice choreography, tight and slick and so badass. I love May, I want to marry her. 🙂 That scene when she told Coulson about her and Ward having sex was hilarious. This time round I didn’t hate Skye, she’s not turned around completely but since she wasn’t the main focus I survived. I do wanna know what the deal is with her, has she got powers? Is she special? Speculation files!

    Great review man, hopefully you’ll see my review soon enough 🙂

    • Hey there! I also enjoyed this one more. Good to hear you liked it too, I wasn’t sure if you were going to drop the show or not. 🙂

      Fitz’s humour worked for me as well, although I can see how he can rub some fans the wrong way with condescending remarks. The scenes between Fitz and Donnie worked too, I kind of felt Donnie was a younger version of what Fitz may have been if he lacked social skills. Donnie was sympathetic even when making poor decisions. Because the show is from the Disney/ABC network I was thinking they might save Donnie’s friend at the end but he needed to die to sell the idea that Donnie may turn dark … Donnie Darko! 😉

      I didn’t mention it in the recap but I also enjoyed the May Vs Richard (is that his name?, good catch!) fight. I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a long list of fans wanting to marry May haha … the actress is almost 50 did ya know? That line was so funny and out of the blue, but coming from May it actually makes sense that she gets right to the point. Because the show is not a soap opera I”m glad Coulson didn’t make a big deal about it. Skye is in a supporting role this episode, she didn’t join the investigation about herself which was nice. I get the feeling we won’t find out more about Skye until the end of the season.

      Thanks man, I’ll check out your review when it’s out. 🙂

      • Haha Donnie Darko, man you’re on fire this week! 😀

        Yeah we needed death, it is one of those key points in any TV show that let’s an audience know that stuff like that can happen and not just off-screen, but right in front of your eyes.

        As for Ming-Na Wen, her age is not even an issue and I will fight anyone to get to her. She is brilliant! I’m in love. 🙂 And yeah I like that they didn’t sugar coat the sex issue, everything was done and dusted fairly quick. And Skye’s history better not be as drawn out as Coulson’s backstory or god help us.

        Oh and in case you haven’t seen that its up, here’s my review if you’re interested:

        • Haha, on I’m fire but no new episode this week to review 🙂

          That’s a good point about why death is important to show. For me, I like to know there are big consequences for character’s choices and there is real danger. The show should explore this more … I mean the main character “defeated” death, would it be interesting if Coulson has become immortal?

          Haha, you might have to fight Ming-Na Wen and her husband 🙂 If Skye has special abilities it could be interesting to explore as long as they give concrete answers along the way and it impacts the show in a meaningful way. If they draw it out with vague teasers and the reveal is anticlimactic a lot more people will drop the show.

          I missed your post in my reader yesterday, I’ll check it out for sure!

  4. I won’t give up on this show but that has more to do with my love of comic book characters in any form than anything else. At least this episode gave us a cool version of the Blizzard, pun intended!

    I just hope they decide to make Donnie Gill a hero – and bring him back!

  5. Hey Hook, I heard the 2nd half will be more inspired from the comic books. Blizzard is cool and I hope they bring him back too!

  6. Sorry for the really belated response on this. I got behind on watching the show and tried to watch this episode on Hulu, only to find they’d already pulled it. 😦 However, I appreciate your review and synopsis so I can get caught up before I watch the next episode which is (thankfully!) still on Hulu. 😉

    Sounds like this episode had some good moments, I’m sorry I missed it. It sounds like the writers are still struggling a bit about what to do about Skye. I think they were hoping to have her be the main character in the series, but viewers don’t really seem to have warmed up to her. I’d like to see them keep trying out new characters until they find a balance that really fits.

    • No worries at all, I always appreciate whenever you find the time to stop by and comment. 🙂 I’m so sorry Hulu already pulled this episode 😦 I liked this one quite a bit. The good news is that the next episode that you can watch is even better!

      Although I personally don’t dislike Skye, for all the time spent on developing her character she’s still problematic for some viewers. I think it helps that she’s not keeping secrets any more from the team. I like the idea of adding new characters to find stronger chemistry and balance, episode 14 attempts to do this and I think it helps.

  7. I liked Fitz and Simmons and enjoyed the plot of this episode when they went back to their school. I too liked the character of Donny Gill and wish they will bring him back. I was a bit disappointed with the way he turned out, but as you suggested, he could be a potential future villain, that would be interesting too.

    If there were going to be those romantic undertones that simmer on for seasons, neat boxes would be May+Coulson, Ward+Skye, Fitz+Simmons. Since we’ve been surprised with a colleagues-with-benefits thing going on between May and Ward and even the boss being okay with it, when it comes to Skye’s story I’m thinking just let May turn out to be her mum, or Coulson her dad and have the mystery of her background done with. I actually like her ever since the first episode but I hope this particular story will have a neat conclusion by the end of the season, and they give her a more badass and interesting one by season two. It might be interesting if she had gone on to work for Ian Quinn, but as undercover agent for S.H.I.E.L.D.

    I like that Ian is connected to the Clairvoyant, by the way! That was an interesting development and a nice way to bring him back.

    • Who would have guessed that Fitz and Simmons are very popular at their old school, they’re like famous stars? I hope Donny Gill returns at some point. The first season is planting some seeds that can be developed later on. The show can always use some super powered villains (or heroes).

      The show has a way of setting up potential relationships only to surprise us by going in a different direction. I like this approach to keep relationships from being predictable. I’m guessing we’ll find out more about Skye’s origin at the end of the season. The show is trying to figure out how to best utilize her. The process of Skye learning to be an undercover agents for SHIELD could be a fun story.

      It’s good that the writers are connecting the dots between characters, Ian Quinn working with the Clairvoyant adds to the intrigue.

  1. Pingback: TV Review: Agents of SHIELD, “Seeds” (S1/EP12) – Is This What a Good Episode Looks Like? | We Minored In Film

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