Definitely a step up from the last couple of episodes, Eye Spy still seems to be mining its stories from the bionics series of the 1970s – this one revolves round an eye which basically does what Jaime Sommers’ replacement ocular was capable of forty years ago – but there are some nice touches which make it work. Everyone seems to be outside their comfort zone – from Simmons feeling really squeamish about having to give an injection, to Ward given an order to carry out that really isn’t suited to him at all.
The start of the episode has a sense of an Avengers tale of the Patrick Macnee variety, rather than the superhero series, with identically dressed businessmen carrying briefcases chained to their wrists marching through a square and down onto the subway, all while wearing red masks. Roxann Dawson’s direction carefully doesn’t let you know whether these are the good or the bad guys until the requisite moment.
There are small moments which start to distinguish the characters: the sparring between Ward and Skye is still there, but gives us a little insight into her. There’s still one scene between Skye and Coulson that feels clunky but at least we didn’t get any of the ‘is she/isn’t she’ histrionics. Even Fitz and Simmons are starting to become separate entities: one is capable of working better under pressure than the other, a flaw that hopefully will be capitalised upon as the series progresses.
Coulson’s willingness to go to the wall for his people is reinforced, although there’s a few hints that this comes as a surprise to the former SHIELD agent, Akela. What happened to Coulson in The Avengers is obviously going to be a long-burn plot, but hopefully it’ll get sorted sooner rather than later.
Verdict: A better mix of action sequences and plot development than before, this suggests that the show is starting to settle down. 7/10