Portrayal of Science in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Pilot

I loved the pilot, but let’s talk about Truth in Television or lack thereof for the more science-y things in it.

First, the good.

Having three people on the team covering the scientific/technical aspects? Thank you. It’s still too little, working on way too short a time frame to be realistic–(I mean come on, coming up with a way to reverse some random cocktail of superstuff and its effects on someone’s body in a couple of hours? Yeah, no.)–but, I realize there are story telling constraints and it’s still a huge improvement. Now if only everyone would stop getting their ideas of what science is supposed to be like from TV, I’ll be really happy…

By the way, I loved Fitz’s line, “It’s like magic. But it’s science.” Oh, and another fun line:

Borrowed from s3-ec.buzzfed.com

(Side note: This site in general has a bunch of cool gifs from the first episode.)

Neutral stuff: Fitz and Simmons were able to come up with a cure so quick because they were using a simulation program to determine what any potential cure would do to the body. This is straight up science fiction. Right now, I can’t even imagine our understanding of the human body getting to the point where a simulation program will actually be able to account for the insanely complicated and convoluted factors involved. If it ever happens (and I’m not sure we’ve even reached the point of knowledge where we can foresee whether it’s possible), it wouldn’t be anytime even remotely soon.

For the negative, I’m not so sure it’s a good idea to fire the antidote at someone with a similar velocity as a bullet. At someone’s head. I get why they did it for dramatic reasons, but I’d much rather they didn’t, for realistic reasons. I tend to be in the school of thought that just one cool moment isn’t worth compromising other aspects of the story–like characters, or realism. But that’s a personal thing.

Also, what exactly was Simmons doing, checking on the unconscious guy? Is she looking for vital signs, or something? Because she’s a biochemist, not a doctor or a paramedic. Checking vitals is not a biochemist kind of thing.

Lastly, I was actually angry at Coulson in this episode, for the things he said to Fitz and Simmons, starting with “Don’t ever tell me there’s no way.” He basically told them that if this man died, it was their fault.

This kind of research isn’t the same thing as going from point A to point B fast enough. The possibilities for what might maybe work are as vast as the ocean, and most of them won’t work. How are they supposed to land upon the one in a million thing that can fix the problem in three hours? Three hours isn’t generally enough time to finish even a single experiment.

If they didn’t succeed, it would have in no way reflected on their skills. And here Coulson is, telling them that it’s their fault a man died. Jerk.

Those are the things I noted–if anyone caught anything else, feel free to post! Or post for any reason.

Again, I loved this episode, the characters are fantastic, and I can’t wait to see more.

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One Response to Portrayal of Science in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Pilot

  1. Psycho Gecko says:

    Yeah, can’t really fit a magic tranquilizer or cure or something in a bullet unless you know obsessive amounts of detail about the person like their weight, if they had anything to eat within the last 24 hours, and allergies. It’s why they have to have anesthesiologists knock people out, rather than passing tranq guns around the operating room.

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