TV RECAP: Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD
This week’s Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD delivered one of the best episodes of the season as well as provided a lead into Avengers: Age of Ultron.
AoS has played a small part in phase two of the Marvel Cinematic Universe since its premiere in September 2013. What initially appeared as pedestrian first season, the show really started picking up when producers started feeding loosely tying into the films as release dates approached starting with Thor: The Dark World (2013).
*Spoilers from here on out*
In the eighth episode of the first season for AoS, “The Well” deals with the aftermath following the events of TDW where the Phil Coulson(Clark Gregg)’s team encounter the remnants of an Asgardian berserker staff following Thor(Chris Hemsworth)’s fight with Malekith(Christopher Eccleston). The staff taps into the user’s rage upon contact. Those who initially discovered it which were members of a Norse hate group. SHIELD ultimately procured the staff which basically ended up as an excuse to tie Thor’s universe into the episode. You didn’t have to see the film to understand the events of this episode.
The biggest defining moment of the young show came surrounding the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014).
The film signified a major turning point for the MCU in that SHIELD, the elite tactical force responsible for assembling the Avengers, has imploded on itself after being infiltrated by its greatest mortal enemy, HYDRA. The events of the movie concurred with the AoS 17th episode of the first season, “Turn, Turn, Turn.”
The biggest plot twist revealed John Garrett (Bill Paxton) as a SHIELD turncoat, HYDRA collaborator and the “Clairvoyant” who Coulson was pursuing all season. His right hand man was revealed to be Grant Ward (Brett Dalton), who was his “surrogate son” he raised to be everything he is today. The reveal dealt a major blow to Coulson and company since Ward’s was one of his most dependable and loyal agents on the team.
The episode forced SHIELD to go underground as they battled not only with HYDRA, but also the world they’re trying to protect that now viewed them as a threat.
The mix of survival, intrigue and facing such adversity made AoS must-watch TV.
Enter the events of “The Dirty Half-Dozen.” If you’re wanting to see how it ties to the upcoming The AoU, tune in the last five minutes. Everything else is kind of inconsequential in regards to the film with the ongoing Inhumans story arc going on.
Coulson reveals to Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) the results of his latest infiltration (with the help of Ward in the most awkward of circumstances, sans the late Garrett) of the HYDRA base that held the location of Loki’s scepter, which caused a lot of trouble during the first Avengers when Coulson initially died at Loki’s hands. The scepter also holds mind controlling properties, which will play a part AoU.
Project: Theta Protocol, which was initially revealed its existence by Gonzalez(Edward James Olmos)’s “real” SHIELD, was kept hidden by Coulson from everybody including his most trusted agent, Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen), became unlocked as the code to release the Avengers.
Meanwhile Raina (Ruth Negga), who was revealed to have precognative abilities was in the middle of challenging Jiaying(Dichen Lachman)’s authority with the Inhumans, came across a vision with the incoming events of the film with what’s presumably Ultron (James Spader)’s minions tearing apart cities and Loki’s scepter.
The base ran by Dr. List (Henry Goodman), experimented on “special” people like Deathlok (J. August Richards) and Lincoln (Luke Mitchell), eventually fled to meet with Strucker (Thomas Kretchmann) following Coulson’s successful rescue.
While we will see List and Hill, who were both featured in this episode in AoU, one has to wonder if this was really needed. As much attention and prior success the Avengers is already getting, there really isn’t much of anything the show’s added that won’t likely be revealed in the new film.
This sort of begs the question, what will AoU’s after-credit scene be? Since AoS is ultimately leading up to Inhumans and new Avengers Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) are being introduced in that fashion with Fox owning “the mutants” in the X-Men universe, will AoU give the rub back to AoS furthering the Inhumans story?
The next episode of AoS will follow the events of AoU and it will be interesting to see how the show wraps up its second season.
I presume these questions must be asked.
- After Ward’s narrow escape from Simmons’ (Elizabeth Henstridge) attack and subsequent sparing of her life, will he still act as Coulson’s wildcard to continue to “make up for past transgressions?”
- Will Gonzalez’s committee revert back to their previous positions once Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) reveals himself?
- Is Fury going to take back his director position?
- Will any of AoS cast appear even in a cameo in AoU?
- How will SHIELD operate during and after events of the film?
- Will AoS shift focus toward the events of Captain America: Civil War?