Okay, SHIELD has now hit 4 episodes. Four is an important number. Most people will give a new TV show four episodes before deciding if it is or isn't worth it for them. (I honestly remember reading this figure, but not sure where other than possibly TV.com.)
Star Trek: The Next Generation thrived on not being episodic. It didn't need to be. Deep Space Nine was a very episodic show, but it made more sense. They weren't exploring. The carryover of stories from the beginning to the end (yes, there were a lot of stand alone episodes) is something that kept Deep Space Nine interesting for me.
Changing genres (slightly), even before SHIELD started airing, I thought it should mimic Deep Space Nine's semi-episodic plot device. And now that it seems to be, I'm not sure it was the best choice.
FYI: At this point on, I will be spoiling things about the episodes.
The first episode leaves us with a missing villain. Odds are, it's possible that this villain will return. However, it may be a while. The second episode also has a living villain. But she isn't worth bringing back. In a way, we have 2 villains in the 3rd episode. One "dies" and one escapes. If they don't both return, this was a useless episode. It marginally moved Skye's character forward. And it continues the annoying "We may have Skye and Ward hook up. What do you think about that?" (I'll come back to that.)
But in this past episode, we finally get something worth working with. We don't know who the real villain is still. Perhaps it's the doctor from the first episode (which would make sense and work well.) This isn't such a Skye-centric episode that it makes us want to shoot her just to get her to stop annoying us. And finally, we have a hint to what is going on with our main character, Coulson. Really, the first one since the premier.
Regardless, this 4th episode finally hit a Marvel feel. No, Wolverine didn't claw around. Thor didn't throw the hammer down. Captain America didn't appear in his armor. But it at least gave me a glimpse of hope that this show isn't going to go nowhere. We also got to see a decent chick fight, always a plus.
As a pre-published author (no, no book deal or anything, but maybe one day as I try), I can see a lot of ways to take this story to make things match up and tie out. Hopefully they'll hit some of them, but still find ways to surprise me.
Alien abductions are involuntary, but probings are scheduled.