Watching Item 47, you have to assume it was built to sell the idea of a SHIELD TV series. If this is the case, it does its job quite effectively. If it wasn’t, well, the short doesn’t really seem to fit anywhere else.

[SPOILER ALERT: Yes, despite my attempts not to give anything away too much, I’m going to give away some items that could be viewed as spoileriffic by some sensitive souls. You’ve been warned.]

The 12-minute short, which is included with the new DVD release of The Avengers, starts with a goofy couple-Benny and Claire-rationalizing why they should take advantage on an opportunity that has fallen into their laps. As they walk into a bank and start blasting their way into the vault, it becomes apparent that that “opportunity” is a leftover Chituari blaster from what the SHIELD agents are calling the Battle of New York, referring to the battle at the climax of The Avengers. The rest of the similarly goofy short deals with how a SHIELD agent tracks down the bank robbers and the aftermath.

Tonally speaking, the short wouldn’t work as an added scene to one of the Avengers movies (a la the Agent Coulson scene at the end of Iron Man 2). It just doesn’t fit that mood or scope. It has a much more quirky, lighter vibe that feels more, for lack of a better word, TV-ish. By this, I mean the scope, characters, and situation are very small and contained in comparison to the mythos-heavy world of The Avengers. They would do very well in a weekly TV serial. And, in this way, they set the stage very well for the Joss Whedon-produced SHIELD TV series that is rumored to be coming from ABC.

In fact, by watching this short, one gets a very good idea of the format such a series would consist of. You got your case of the week. In quirky, Agent Coulson-esque fashion, SHIELD agents are dispatched to deal with the case, probably with more levity than, say, Fringe or The X-files. It wouldn’t be hard to imagine them using these very actors in the series.

So if Marvel’s goal in producing this short was to get us ramped up for the SHIELD TV series, congrats! It looks to be a very fun but less epic (translate as ‘expensive’) way to explore the Marvel universe.

If the short was intended as a tonal extension to the Avengers, I can’t say it fits that bill.

Have you seen Item 47? If so, what did you think of it? Tell us in the comments below!

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