If you're into thinkin' and drinkin'

Agents of SHIELD – 0-Eight-Four S1 E2

Well, I have to say it. I was wrong. You would think secret agents dealing with crazy science fiction circumstances where reality bends at a moment’s notice wouldn’t want to incapacitate themselves with drink or have time for that kind of habit, but episode two of Agents of SHIELD proved that they will booze it up mid mission and then afterwards. Tracking all of the booze in this series is going to be interesting

Set off to the side in the Agents living area, 3 decanters of spirits.
  • So on their fancy airplane the agents have three decanters of varied spirits. I didn’t expect this at all. It sets the tone for the whole AoS booze adventure. It’s like a private executive jet outfitted with all of the creature comforts including drinks that make you terrible at your job.
    Booze Tally: 3 decanters spirits (brown, yellow, clear)
2 beers, probably empties, on the table at the archaeological dig
  • Here we see the remains of the dig worker’s previous evening. This is the kind of setting enhancement that makes the environment realistic. It’s entirely natural and expected that there would be beer bottles on the table. The director is saying this site is what you would expect…it’s rough, it’s common, it’s real. I call out two bottles and think they are beer because of the shape, size and color. There is a third bottle on the table that’s clear, but looks plastic and more like a water bottle. That’s not to say it wasn’t repurposed to hold rum or something else as they do in the Caribbean Islands, but I feel that level of speculation is too far out
    Booze Tally: 2 beers
Peruvian soldiers and 3 beers
  • Agent Coulson extracts an old friend and her unit from a firefight with rebels in Peru. First thing the soldiers ask for is a drink. Not an unusual request, but maybe it shouldn’t be expected on the plane. But Coulson can easily oblige this request and we see the soldiers relaxing with several beers in the lounge area. This plane is a tactical vehicle. Why are they allocating space for alcohol? This isn’t Tony Stark’s plane
    Booze Tally: 3 beers
Skye with a bottled peace offering
  • If you follow along, Skye is an outsider to SHIELD who has been thrown in with Coulson and his agents for her technical skills but isn’t formally a member of the organization. She’s a consultant like Stark. She’s having trouble getting respect from Agent Ward, so she offers to share a drink and conversation with him to get to know each other. This is not particularly unusual, but the circumstances shouldn’t really make this the appropriate time for it. They are escorting a highly volatile alien device and a bunch of foreign soldiers to a safety area; it’s not time to let your hair down. Skye might not realize this, but Ward should flatly decline the drink. The moment is used as sharing a drink moments often are…to bring characters together, share information, and let us see who they are. This was used in Captain America, Thor, Agent Carter…I expect we’ll see a lot more of it
    Booze Tally: 1 bottle and 2 glasses brown spirit
Looks like a cola drink telegraphing danger
  • The drinks in this case were used as a plot device. Ward realizes the soldiers aren’t really drinking, meaning they are staying sharp for some kind of action, and this is a tell for Ward to ready himself. Doesn’t help. They’re all still captured. It looks like the soldiers are not drinking cola drinks. I’m assuming there’s rum in there.
    Booze Tally: 2 Rum and Colas
End of mission celebration beers; it’s Miller time
  • Fitz and Simmons bring a cooler of beers to the team to watch the rocket disposing of the alien technology be launched into space. Episode 1 demonstrated that having a beer after the mission is possible, now with the end of episode 2 we see the ritual repeated, so now we know having beers is likely. This makes the characters relatable to the audience, because otherwise these characters would totally not be. I think it’s significant that Skye and Coulson don’t take a beer, especially Skye since she is directly offered one. We know Skye drinks because she shared a bottle with Ward, but the occasion was only to achieve a purpose. She uses booze to an end; it is not the end in itself. It will be interesting to see how she treats alcohol as the series continues. Coulson, on the other hand, we have never seen him with a drink…not with Stark before his death, not after his death…he says he drank Mai Tais in Tahiti, but there is a thread in the story that suggests that was an implanted memory or something. It will be interesting also to see if he ever drinks, despite the fact he clearly thinks his plane should be loaded with booze
    Booze Tally: 5 beers

So far I’m loving the series. I love the callbacks to the movies and references to the world we already know. I love seeing how this world is being made. And I particularly like seeing Coulson in action. His directness, his use of humor to deflect conflict, his fearlessness…I’m looking forward to seeing how his character develops

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