Lady Sif Delivers Solid Ratings Boost for ‘Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’

Warning: This article contains spoilers!

Disney Marvel's Agents of SHIELD is battling with Comcast NBC's The Voice for ratings.

Lady Sif boosted ratings in Ep. 15 of Disney Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Photo: AoS Official Twitter Feed

Go ahead, I dare you: Just look me in the eyes and say with a straight face last night's episode of Disney (NYSE: DIS  ) Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. wasn't a blast.

Titled "Yes Men," episode 15 featured the series' second -- and easily most significant -- big movie crossover so far, guest starring Thor: The Dark World's Jaimie Alexander as Lady Sif. Her appearance was brilliant, giving audiences a deeper, more personal look at the character as Sif enlisted the help of Coulson and his team to hunt down fellow Asgardian Lorelei.

The episode's novelty also achieved one of Disney's goals, resulting in a 5% week-to-week increase in total viewers to 5.8 million. That translated to an 11% core ratings boost over last week to a 2.0 for adults 18-49, helped by a massive 25% spike in young adults 18-34.

What's more, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. tied Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA  ) NBC's The Voice with men 18-34 -- no small feat considering The Voice commanded an impressive 13.14 million viewers during the same hour, good for a night-topping 3.4 rating in adults 18-49. The Voice also had novelty on its side, as Comcast and NBC brought the singing competition back last week for the first time since October. Nonethless, Disney and ABC were quick point out Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. finished as Tuesday's number one scripted series for its 15th consecutive first-run airing.

It wasn't just the Asgardian
But those of who've watched the episode already know Lady Sif wasn't Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s only highlight. With twists and turns aplenty, the show felt a bit darker than usual last night, and still managed to insert adequate comic relief to keep viewers smiling.

Take Coulson's "It sucked" comment, for example, which not only stood an amusing departure from his typical "It's a magical place" response, but also seemed to mark a significant shift in his agitation surrounding the circumstances of the revivals of both he and Skye.

After quizzing Lady Sif on her encounters with blue-skinned aliens in a fruitless attempt at discovering more about the strange, seemingly dead fellow introduced in last week's episode, Coulson ultimately vows to Skye they'll go after "the person responsible for this" to "make him pay" -- presumably a reference to the now "off the grid" Director Fury. Incidentally, the latter appears to be a nod to Fury's part in next month's Captain America: The Winter Soldier, for which S.H.I.E.L.D. is expected to play a much larger role compared to previous Marvel blockbusters.

Meanwhile, we see Agent Mae as she secretly listens to Coulson's angry dialog through a bug, then calls on an encrypted line to say "He knows. I repeat, Coulson knows." And that's not to mention the newly formed love triangle compliments of Lorelei, who -- without naming names -- revealed Agent Ward may have "desired" Skye over Mae all along.

Put it all together, and it appears Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is finally offering the kinds of juicy, intriguing, Marvel-infused story arcs skeptics have requested for months. That should be great both from a ratings standpoint for ABC, and also in helping Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. be even more effective at fulfilling its broader purpose of building enthusiasm for Disney's massively profitable Marvel Cinematic Universe.

What do you think? Is Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. proving its worth?

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Comments from our Foolish Readers

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  • Report this Comment On March 13, 2014, at 2:07 AM, dhallx7 wrote:

    A well written article.

    I just find it funny however that the motley fool has spent every waking moment from the first airing of the agents of shield pilot episode... until the morning OF the lady sif episode, writing nonstop articles about what crap agents of shield is. There are probably more articles by the motley fool hating on agents of shield, than there are herpes cells in Kim K. Then... the very next day.... there is suddenly an article by TMF singing the praises of agents of shield, and that it's awesome.

    A well written article, by someone other than the writer that usually hates on the show.... but seriously, 90 billion articles of hate towards a show, then suddenly a 'the show was awesome!!!!' article? It should be called the motley tool instead of the motley fool.

  • Report this Comment On March 13, 2014, at 3:17 AM, TMFSymington wrote:

    @dhallx7: Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed the article. IMHO, the show just keeps getting better and I can't wait to see where it goes from here. (Stay tuned for next week's Marvel special!)

    On our differing opinions, however, keep in mind The Motley Fool intentionally doesn't constrain us to repeating a single "party line." (See here for a more thorough description of why we do things differently: )

    And besides, from a writer's standpoint, I can think of few things more frustrating than being forced to argue the merits of something in which I don't believe. In the case of Agents of SHIELD, it just so happens I've maintained a favorable opinion since its debut last September.

    Still, by encouraging the expression of differing viewpoints when they exist, I'm convinced leaves us all as better informed, more well-rounded investors and fans.

    Fair enough?

    Thanks for reading and Fool on!

    Steve (TMFSymington)

  • Report this Comment On March 13, 2014, at 4:16 AM, macanoodough wrote:


    Better, but still nod Good. It is a soap opera. Too much story, not enough plot advancement or subplot resolution.

    Much more Buffy than Firefly and I will state now that once the other Marvel tie-in shows air, Disney will not keep up the budget. If the other shows bank the same ratings (not hard) it may go for a season 2, if the new show(s) generate the ratings a major network like ABC is used to (double what this show currently generates), there will be no season 2. Even if the contracts are signed, the plug will get pulled. Again, I love Joss and I'm not trying to hate, but having Coulson just keep crying is giving me a headache. Touch upon it here and there, but every episode 3 or 4 "talks" about it, the only thing missing is the 90210 Brenda music. OMG!

    And at the end of the episode, he is sooo curious he doesn't even ask the Asgardian for info on possible giant blue humanoids that look just like Ice Giants or feel her out for any info whatsoever..........Simply Bad TV, And though I only ever saw 1 episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, if memory serves, it moved faster than this show.

  • Report this Comment On March 13, 2014, at 4:20 AM, macanoodough wrote:

    To add: I know Coulson asks if any of the 9 realms visited earth recently, but that's not the same as getting a name of a race of Giant Blue dudes, why would she know for certain if any of them visited earth, and even if the creature is NOT from the realms, you still have the obvious conversation for the viewers sake.

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