Into that conundrum wanders our new team of S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. We spend the bulk of the pilot getting to know them. And gloriously, practically miraculously, three of them are women. (Four if you count Cobie Smulders‘ Agent Maria Hill, who will surely be joining this show after How I Met Your Mother ends.) (If this show gets a second season. RIP, Firefly.)
Ming-Na Wen is Agent Melinda May, an no-nonsense veteran pilot who has no interest in (re?)-joining Coulson’s S.H.I.E.L.D. agents in the field. Clearly, she’s been pre-programmed with a tragic backstory. But Coulson adorably tells her she doesn’t have a choice, that she’s got to pilot the giant hulking jet that is their home base. But she’s more than just an ace pilot who can steal your breath in her leather S.H.I.E.L.D. suit and a power suit; she’s also a master of martial arts, which she uses to flatten a goon with a semi-automatic rifle before he can take out Mike Peterson.
OK, and also: Aviators.
Then there’s Elizabeth Henstridge‘s Agent Simmons. She’s one-half of a fast-talking dynamic brain duo — Agent Fitz is the other half — who drops a Hermione Granger reference in her first five seconds on screen, right before she changes into a blazer from the Melissa Hastings Collection, so we know we’re going to like her. She and her partner are the ones who concoct the cure for Mike Peterson after Coulson shouts at them to never tell him anything is impossible!