When I first saw promo pics for Agents of SHIELD, I thought the cast loooked boring. Actually watching the show hasn't really improved my impression much.
- (Melinda) May -- I like her a lot, and I have aborbed fox1013's defensiveness of her (see also: my feels about Black Widow). I have worried at times that as an Asian woman, her strong-and-silent characterization would tip into stereotype, but so far I don't think it has.
- Skye -- I really liked that she pushed against SHIELD's secrecy, and I was bummed that they dropped that. I cared zero percent about her family quest feels, and while I understand why she has so taken to this found/chosen family, I feel a little bit like she just gets characterization etc. put on her when it serves the narrative. I'm sure people groaned when she was revealed to be this super-special baby that lots of people got killed for, but I'm into Super Special Girls (possibly a side-effect of coming of age with Buffy the vampire Slayer, but really I think I've always been fine with that trope).
- FitzSimmons -- bored. I like Simmons better 'cause she's a girl and I like girls better, but I still don't really care much about either of them -- though I doenjoy that the writers and the actors ship Simmons/Skye. (During much of this week's ep, I thought Fitz was gonna end up being a traitor and I would have been fine with that -- even though recalling the episode where they go back to the Academy I'm not sure that would have made very much sense, characterization-wise.)
- (Grant) Ward -- I have consistently been bored by Wooden Dude (that's great that you wanted to mention Natasha, but Ward has never ever shown us to have any spy skills -- unless of course he really is HYDRA -- he's very blunt instrument, witness e.g. any interrogation he is ever involved in...). After the Lorelei episode, people on Tumblr meta'ed about how it's been indicated that he was abused as a child, and how unfortunate it is that the show (and the fandom) treated his sex with Lorelei as mutually consensual instead of being something he of course couldn't (and likely wouldn't have) consent(ed) to and thus rape ('cause by definition). I recognized a while back that the show was building toward Ward/Skye and sort of sighed ('cause I have zero interest in that and I feel like it's being done in part just because they feel like they "need" a romance plotline); he's her supervising officer (or whatever they made up for "S.O." to stand for so they could have all the jokes about misinterpreting that abbreviation), so it would also be totally inappropriate, but of course in tv-land we don't care about that (sigh).
- (Phil) Coulson -- I liked him from the movies, and I don't necessarily have a problem with a focus on his
midlifepost-death crisis of building a family. I think it's really understandable that he feels really shaken and betrayed finding out that he was brought back to life against his will and lied to and his brain rewritten. I don't think I have enough movie canon to have a strong sense of whether he would have okayed such measures for other people, but there are plenty of things that feel different when you're the subject. I think he's totally taken to Skye like a father finding a daughter, though I rolled my eyes at his insistence that they need to keep this a secret -- since hello, haven't you already discovered your very self that secrets (or the inevitable revelation of them) lead to lots of badness? And then it makes it extra-terrible that he's so upset at May for having kept stuff from him. (Also: Just because she had a different mission from you doesn't mean she's acting against your mission!)
agentvictoriahand (who goes by Ari, I think, but is not my Ari) is where I learned that comics!VictoriaHand is canonically queer -- and also posited a trans!Victoria, which interests me.
So I was on team "Victoria's not a traitor" after last week's episode (which I hadn't even seen) despite not actually liking her all that much in the little I'd seen her previously. And was stoked when she was vindicated as Not A Traitor.
I saw Ward's weird look before he headed off to join Victora et al., so I suspected something was up, but I wasn't expecting him to, yanno, shoot the guards and Victoria. Tumblr speculates that he's acting as a double-agent. I don't really care if he is or not, but I would like Victoria to not be dead. Given that earlier in the episode, Coulson shot May but it was only tranqs I have some optimism that Victoria won't actually be dead.
I'm more interested in how things play out in this show than I have been at times previous, but I still mostly don't care and also wish they had made better use of their pre-Winter Soldier episodes -- stuff didn't have to be so slow, it didn't have to feel so much like "why are we going back and forth between like 3 different arcs (Centipede, etc.) depending on the episode?" (Yes, I know, #It'sAllConnected, but at the beginning of the series I didn't actually feel like the writers had a plan for that.)