Whatever episode was on tonight showed Hero Guy, Tough Asian Woman and Glamorous Normal Girl Who Was Once A Hacker But Now She's Just The Recipient Of Explanations are still boring as shit, flashbacks to terrible past or not and Euro Iteration Of Standard Joss Quirky Smart People are still one note annoying and Coulson is still hinting at whatever secret about his death that we honestly do not give two fucks about at this point. The two great thematic opportunities - the Asgardian who stayed on Earth and the nordic pagan facism / white supremacy were largely inert and unexplored. If this was a CW - UPN - Fox show, there's a 70% or better chance of a decent Lords of Chaos reference and a few more immortality jokes/emo material for Peter MacNicol. I mean, Supernatural may look like it's stuck together with duct tape and be worn thin creatively, but they did more with Curtis Armstrong acting sinister while standing underneath a freeway interchange than all the cash that was poured into this episode's FX and stunt work. Hell, Charmed got more wit and narrative drive out of their dime store mythology and guest stars who were pretty much all veterans of UHF only shows. I've been re-watching the first season of Angel recently. It varies in quality from scene to scene, as if they only had enough resources time and skill to give full effort to part of each episode, but it finds the strengths of its cast and setting rather quickly, perhaps as a side effect of having to convey a fantasy world on a tight budget and schedule. I suspect Marvel and ABC are more interested in a a dash of wit on the crime team formula which can safely invest a larger budget for 100 episodes. I mean NCIS remains one of the highest rated shows in America, although it seems almost as vivid as an HBO production next SHIELD's unmemorable cast and presentation. It's not an issue of missing episodes either - I've watched plenty of random episodes from series where the appeal rests on continued viewing, and you don't need to be familiar with everything to recognize when something is actually interesting and others get by on being a merely decent time killer a slice of well marketed but utterly generic pizza.