Though last week's pilot was far from bad, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has come on a long way in this second episode.
This week's instalment sees the team dealing with an unknown, possibly alien, piece of tech buried deep in the Peruvian jungle. Though this is an early hint at the show's international scale, most of the action takes place on 'The Bus', S.H.I.E.L.D.'s spy-plane hub seen in the pilot. This has the effect of making this episode feel far more compact and the plotting is tight, leaving more room for believable character moments and occasional bursts of action.
David Straiton has taken over the director's chair from the big man himself, Joss Whedon, and he adopts a more assured and far less flashy visual style which stands as a great improvement over last week's distracting visuals.
The jokes have also been sharpened up and fit far better with both the individual characters and the action going on around them. We also have the early promise of some great musical work from famous TV composer Bear McCreary, whose score really starts to flourish in some late celebratory scenes.
This episode also sees the first cameo from the wider Marvel universe which is wonderfully played and left me with a huge grin on my face. The success of this scene bodes really well for future guest stars, even though this was the obvious place to start.
Two weeks in and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D has seriously got into its grove, delivering a terrifically enjoyable second episode.