‘Agents of SHIELD’: Why Didn’t Quake Use Her Powers More During Fights?

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is memorable in many ways. While not the first proverbial cinematic universe by any means, it is the most successful case with a magnitude that stretches beyond the silver screen.

One of the most ambitious projects, Agents of SHIELD, took the universe and brought it to network television before Disney+, or even Netflix, tried their hands at doing so.

Sometimes, as many fans posit, this meant that they had to change things up to fit a television budget.

Big Screen ideas on the small screen

JEFF WARD, ELIZABETH HENSTRIDGE, CHLOE BENNET
JEFF WARD, ELIZABETH HENSTRIDGE, CHLOE BENNET | Mitch Haaseth via Getty Images

Network television typically operates on an entirely different model than premium cable and channels like FX. While network shows’ budgets can be enormous, they rarely have the same cinematic quality that their neighbors on other networks do. Agents of SHIELD tried to bridge the two concepts into one neat package. 

While taking place in the heart of the Marvel universe, SHIELD showed the secondary superheroes who were focused less on protecting the world and focused more on smaller crimes against humanity. While there was some crossover, with Clark Gregg’s Agent Coulson rising from the grave to take over the government agency, it existed on its own time. 

Ghost Rider, Yo-Yo, and several other Marvel superheroes came and went throughout the series, which focused on both crimes and the aftermath of the big-screen events around it.

This came with a particular set of constraints that took some creativity to get around. For one, while big-screen movies have a box office to justify nine-figure budgets, the series has to be more frugal.

This may have been the case in Chloe Bennet’s Daisy Johnson, an Inhuman who goes by both Skye and Quake. As powerful as this character was, however, she rarely got to show it on the screen.

Who is Daisy Johnson

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Chloe Bennet played Daisy Johnson for the entire series run. Johnson went by Skye, a government-funded hacker who did not have superheroes at the beginning. What she did have, however, was a set of skills that made her just as valuable for SHIELD. Her hacking ability helped the agency bring down some of its most prominent villains, and her martial arts skills made her effective on the field. 

However, after unleashing her real powers through terragenesis, the hacker became an almighty being who could shake the earth whenever she wanted. However, with such a powerful weapon at her disposal, this didn’t mean that every scrap she got in led to shaking everything up. Instead, she had to pick and choose when to unleash them, typically deciding against it. 

On the one hand, this goes with her passive ways. On the other, however, she might have had less-exciting reasons behind the scenes that had less to do with the characters’ motivations and more to do with the lack of budget. Fans on Reddit theorized why Quake rarely uses her powers during fights. 

Fans wonder why

In a thread about the character, Reddit user u/Thedrunner_2 asked why Quake rarely uses her powers.

“I honestly could never understand how rarely they had her use her powers. Mostly she would do hand to hand fights. We’d be yelling “use your powers” at the screen. Probably a budget thing.”

While there could be several excuses about why u/doctorlawyerspaceman likely landed on the biggest. No, it wasn’t because of her conscience or her DNA as a character. It was likely a price thing.

“I honestly could never understand how rarely they had her use her powers. Mostly she would do hand to hand fights. We’d be yelling “use your powers” at the screen. Probably a budget thing.”

In a perfect world, all creators would get the budgets to match their ambitions. However, even the most high-profile projects have a fraction of what they’d have to work with on the big-screen when dealing with network television.

Perhaps Disney recognized this. By moving the bulk of their television adaptations to their new streaming service, they’re bringing the Hollywood budgets with it. Who knows, perhaps this could be the key to letting Quake shine in future series.