‘Agents of SHIELD’ gives us a Furious cameo

agents of shield nick fury samuel jackson

Well, that didn’t take long.

Speculation in the weeks leading up to last week’s debut of the Marvel/Disney/ABC series “Agents of SHIELD” centered on when the weekly series would introduce (1) characters from Marvel Comics and/or (2) characters from the big-screen Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Cobie Smulders played Agent Maria Hill last week, and there was lotsa “Avengers” talk.

But tonight’s episode, “0-8-4,” brought in the big gun.

Samuel L. Jackson reprised his role as SHIELD director Nick Fury in a brief scene at the end of the episode. Fury gets kinda loud and strident as he scolds Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) for causing pretty substantial damage to “The Bus,” the high-tech SHIELD jet that Coulson’s team is using in the series.

Jackson turned his trademark Fury portrayal up to, well, maybe 11. It’s kind of hard to imagine that he would be quite that angry at a guy who, just a few months earlier, was pretty much killed by Loki in the SHIELD helicarrier.

Or maybe he wants Coulson to feel like everything is back to status quo.

I’m waiting – patiently, really – for “Agents of SHIELD” to hit its groove. I’ve enjoyed both episodes so far. I like the plots just fine, I like the characters and portrayals and I like the snappy writing.

It’s not really compelling TV yet – and that’s unfortunate in a day when so much episodic TV is really damn compelling – but I’m hoping it will get there.

Remember, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” didn’t really click until “Prophecy Girl,” the final episode of the first season. And “Star Trek: The Next Generation” took what, two or three seasons to really take off?

Tonight’s episode, in which Coulson’s team heads for South America to recover an 0-8-4 – an unknown object, possibly of extra-terrestrial origin – reminded me for some reason of an episode of “Alias,” J.J. Abrams’ series about globe-trotting spy Sydney Bristow. Maybe SHIELD will send Coulson in pursuit of a Rambaldi device.

Coulson’s character got an old flame and the team learned, after some rough moments, how to work together.

Best moments:

I could understand Fitz and Simmons a wee bit better this week.

Gregg’s cool under fire demeanor as Coulson.

How they got rid of the 0-8-4 at the end. Cosmic.

The moment of uncertainty at the end regarding Skye’s split loyalties between SHIELD and Rising Tide.

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