S.H.I.E.L.D. Returns To A Post-S.H.I.E.L.D. World

S.H.I.E.L.D. Returns To A Post-S.H.I.E.L.D. World
ABC's "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D."

ABC’s “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”

Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Season 2, Episode 1

When we last left Phil Coulson’s ragtag group of secret agents, the proverbial shit had hit the fan. Following the release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and the reveal that the Anti-S.H.I.E.L.D., HYDRA, had infiltrated our hero organization to the highest level, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. finally got exciting. The first season was extremely hit and miss, but after Winter Soldier, the show was turned on its head. Allies were suddenly enemies, and enemies became allies. At the end of last season’s finale, former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Grant Ward was captured, the Big Bad of the season was killed, and Deathlock (J. August Richards) was set free from HYDRA control. Nick Fury had the last laugh, continuing his shadow melting actions begun in Winter Soldier, and handing the keys to the kingdom over to Coulson himself.

This is where we pick up at the beginning of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s sophomore season. Coulson’s team has gone dark, working 100% in the shadows. HYDRA has taken dozens of mystical and dangerous artifacts that S.H.I.E.L.D. must now recover, already laying the tracks for the arc of the season. Familiar Hulk guest star General Talbot is in pursuit of Coulson and his team, which has grown substantially from the five people who occupied the plane during season one.

Guest stars abound in this season, several in this episode alone. Patton Oswalt is back, in fine form, as Agent Koenig, who may or may not be a robot, or just very unemotional about the death of his twin. Lucy Lawless, who fellow nerds will know as Xena: Warrior Princess, is in fine form as New Coulson-recruit/Old S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Isabelle “Izzy” Hartley.

Fanboys will get a treat in this episode, I know I certainly did. For a show built on a cohesive universe of superheroes, S.H.I.E.L.D. seemed a little afraid to commit to the world of the comics during the first season, bringing in original characters and terrorist organizations.

Normally, this is a perfectly fine thing for a show based off a comic property to do, but in the world of Marvel, you have to keep in mind that everything is supposed to connect. This isn’t like Arrow/Flash and Gotham, the former two airing on the CW and the latter on Fox. Because of the nature of Marvel’s buyout by Disney, all of these properties exist under the Marvel Cinematic Universe umbrella, meaning that anything that happens in the films will have an effect on the show. We have already seen Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury and Cobie Smulder’s Maria Hill, and there’s no reason we can’t see The Avengers or The Guardians gracing the small screen. When Marvel finally finishes the Netflix series, there’s a very good chance we will see Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. crossover with Luke Cage, Daredevil, or other Defenders.

Sorry, lost my point a bit there. Anyway, the thing fanboys and girls are going to be super excited to see is classic Marvel villain Crusher Creel, aka Absorbing Man, complete with the ball-and-chain he’s so fond of in the comics. It took us an entire season to see Deathlok in all of his glory, and the fact that it’s taken 15 minutes for us to see a fully fledged Marvel Comics villain in the second season gives me hope that maybe, finally, S.H.I.E.L.D. has found it’s standing within the greater Marvel Universe.

Fitz and Simmons are back, and are as amazing as they always are. This is a Joss Whedon show, after all, and Whedonverse shows always deliver the best lines via the nerdy characters they inevitably have (think Xander and Willow for Buffy, Fred for Angel, Topher for Dollhouse, etc.) and these two are no exception. There is a lot less on the funny this time, but the chemistry between them is there. Last season, we learned that, through the actions of Grant Ward, Fitz suffered brain damage, which is kind of a big deal when you have a brain capable of understanding complicated Marvel U science. There’s a pretty great reveal with him too, one of the only genuine shocks of the episode.

The other setup for the mystery of the season is just what, exactly, was Coulson writing all over his wall in the last 20 seconds of season one? Here’s what we know: we know Coulson had the same alien transfusion given to sky which resurrected him from death after the events of The Avengers. Comic fans, and movie fans too now that Guardians has been released, know that Blue thing was a Kree, one of the big alien races in the Marvel U (and what Ronan The Accuser was in Guardians). We know that he is writing some weird glyph-like language on the wall. There are many theories floating around, ranging from Coulson going darkside to Coulson becoming the Kree warrior, Captain Marvel. At this point, I have no good guess. I’d love to see the Captain Marvel thing happen, though I doubt it will because of Coulson’s other obligations within S.H.I.E.L.D., especially now.

I’m very excited for the new season, as I stuck with season one even when it was pretty terrible. I do believe S.H.I.E.L.D. may have finally managed to find it’s footing, and this season promises much in terms of tying into the wider universe. As usual, they put their trust in the fact that maybe they don’t have to explain every single detail for people to enjoy it, maybe we’ve gotten to a point where we can fill in the blanks ourselves. What I mean by that is that with the Summer Marvel has had, the massive success they’ve experienced recently, just serves to show the executives at Disney and ABC that they made the right decision in sticking with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and I think the fans did too.


Stuff And Things


  • Very cool intro flashback to the Howling Commandos, which gives me great hope for Marvel’s forthcoming Agent Carter miniseries, which tells the story of Peggy Carter and the rest of the Howling Commando’s (Including Neal McDonough’s Dum Dum Dugan!) formation of S.H.I.E.L.D. in the post WWII era
  • Grant Ward grew a beard, and as we all know, beards equal evil. Or depressed. Depressed evil. Boy is he depressing. But don’t feel too bad for him kids, remember HYDRA was started by Nazis, so Ward is a nazi. It’s okay to hate nazis.
  • The special effects on Crusher Creel and absorbing man were very cool to see, you can definitely see the increase in budget this season has. Also, the way they got him his signature weapon was very cool as well (ripping off a ball and chain from a park fence) That said, I could have used more fight.
  • Just a casual reminder that Agent Melinda May (Ming Na) was the voice of Mulan
  • Was sad we didn’t get to see Bobbi Morse in this episode, but I hope this means she’ll just get an extra badass introduction. For those of you who may not be aware, Bobbi Morse is going to be played by Adrianne Palecki. Bobbi also goes by the name Mockingbird, mostly when she is hanging out with THE AVENGERS or being married to HAWKEYE. So you can understand my excitement.
  • FLYINGMAN (Adrian Pasdar) is in fine form here as General Talbot, who is well acquainted with chasing the Hulk, almost as well as General Thunderbolt Ross is. See what I mean about how they don’t seem afraid to tie things in anymore?
  • “That was smooth.” Yes it was, Patton. Glad to see you back here and back in our internet lives.
  • Well, damn, army, if that’s the way you’re going to guard prisoners with powers you really may need to look into special training of some kind
  • Do I detect a spark of loooove between Skye and the new guy? Here is hoping no. I could use one show, just one show, without silly romantic subplots that would rarely happen in real life. Oh, and diggin the bangs Skye. Haters gonna hate, gurl, but you be you.
  • Again, I cannot undersell how cool Absorbing Man’s powers are when they are on display
  • Today in “Marvel Mystical Artifacts”, something called The Obelisk. Yes, it can totally kill you. Yes, all you have to do is touch it.
  • Hello Xena! Goodbye Xena…
  • Jim Morita: “No sudden moves or we’ll tie a blasting cap to your…. Hey, Dugan, what’s the German word for nuts?” Dum Dum Dugan: “I don’t know, Jim. But tie a blasting cap to ’em, I bet we’ll hear it.”

Well that does it for Fayettevision (eh? ehhh?) for today. Leave your thoughts in the comments, kids!

Categories: Entertainment