So, because of where I live and what my real job is, I don’t get an opportunity to watch Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. very often (as in, not at all, until it’s available on Netflix). Side note: You know, Agents of SHIELD (I’m taking the periods out of it because it takes so long to type) always felt like the favorite child among Marvel’s TV shows: he gets all the presents (MCU Easter eggs) on Christmas, he gets to always ride shotgun in the nice car (a great timeslot on ABC) and is constantly the one that gets his parents bragging out him (ABC’s promotion). Sorry, Daredevil (the middle child, forgotten on Netflix… Because, let’s be honest, Netflix is not as important as ABC, Fox, NBC or CBS) and Agent Carter (this is the youngest child; the parents force the oldest one to play with their youngest sibling constantly [there have to be at least a dozen Agent Carter crossovers so far in Agents of SHIELD]) but you aren’t Marvel’s favorites at the moment. It’s Agents of SHIELD.
Back on track: I have recently binged watched the hell out of season 2 and I feel like this would be a good time to throw up a review of the show.
Now, I liked season 1. It was everything I wanted from it; it felt more like a procedural sci-fi fantasy type of show. It was the Marvel world and how SHIELD dealt with those issues. I thought that it was great. I know some people didn’t enjoy season 1 but I thought it was incredibly entertaining. Season 2, however, took the foundation from season 1 and just made it better.
Season 1 opens up with Coulson and SHIELD trying to rebuild itself after the events in season 1 and Captain America: Winter Soldier. What’s interesting here and what I love is how this is our glimpse into the MCU world after Captain America. Of course I want to know what happens after HYDRA reveals itself and SHIELD falls. What were the immediate effects? Well, we find out here.
Another item I really enjoyed about this season was the large story arcs. I actually felt like these whole seasons are more broken up into two 11 – 13 episode seasons. The first half and second half, while connected, are their own stories that stand on their own. I do love the large story arc that is accompanying it. The first half of the season focuses on Coulson, his recovery, the carvings he makes and what they mean. It culminates in finding the temple. The second season all deals with the effects of finding the temple, the Inhumans and their people. These are large arcs that aren’t stretched out. The pacing from episode to episode is great.
Another thing I loved about this season was how the tone changed. I said that season 1 was a sci-fi procedural but season 2 felt like a spy show. There were secrets that characters kept from each other but the audience was left in the dark as well. Instead of making these secrets minimal or brushing them under the rug, Marvel reveals these secrets and we empathize with those who kept them. These aren’t secrets we see in shows like Supernatural or Arrow; these secrets in Agents of SHIELD matter and it’s not the same pattern over and over again. We don’t know who is aligned to who, where loyalties lie and who can be trusted. It makes the show, and the characters, that much more enjoyable.
Coulson is one of my favorite Marvel characters in either TV show or film. He’s like an Uncle I have; dry sense of humor with a strong moral compass. He’s basically the Uncle any of us would like to have. He is the star of the show and really holds everyone together. He’s the ultimate glue guy. If we were to look at ultimate glue guys in film and TV, Coulson would be in the top 5. Here’s what I have. Ultimate glue guys (and gals) have to be a character on a show or film that brings everyone together; they don’t need to be a star nor do they have to be a side character but their inclusion keeps everyone together and focused. Here’s what I would have, in order:
- Ray Stantz (Ghostbusters)
- Abed (Community)
- Agent Coulson (Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD)
- Batman (Justice League)
- Ted Mosby (How I Met Your Mother)
So Coulson is super important to this show and an amazing character!
Another thing I liked about this season was how the characters were affected and changed by the events in the first season. That was done no better than Fitz and Simmons. That near death experience really shook them up and really changed them. The love-story didn’t dominate their relationship or the show; it was done very tastefully and with care. Simmons morality becomes more ambiguous, especially when Grant is involved. Her value of safety of the many outweighing the few makes her more a complex character and stands in opposite of Fitz who still looks at saving lives individually and not in mass quantities.
By the way, here’s a cute family friendly trailer that portrays Fitz/Simmons as romantic comedy. Who wouldn’t want to see a Rom-Com starring these two?!
And here’s the sequel, “Love, Simmons”
Seriously, there’s a cash-cow right there. Marvel, you want the female demographic? Get these two a film franchise!
Other characters that we saw develop were May and Grant. Grant seeped deeper into a sociopath and that’s what he ends up being. He’s always there being a thorn in SHIELD’s side and we finally get to see more humanity from May. She’s a badass but now we know why she’s so closed off; we know more about her past and more about her as a character. We find out why she’s called The Cavalry. That was a very intense episode and a really valuable one to understand the conflict between humans and Inhumans. Being introduced to her ex-husband showed so much about what May was like before her incident as the Cavalry. I could feel the chemistry between those characters when they interacted. At this point, I’m trying to figure out if May is a better fighter than Black Widow. I would love to see those two fight on screen. I think May could definitely hold her own against Widow.
I’m also amazed at how good this show was at wrapping up items and introducing new plot points. The alien (Kree) carvings were a focus but it smoothly transitioned into the second half of the season. Outside of the fact that super nerds like me knew it was Kree starting in season 1, I thought introducing the Kree was the most ambitious part of this show. It helps connect the Guardians of the Galaxy part of the MCU with the Earth part of the MCU. The best part? It left us wanting more Kree involvement; Marvel wetted our appetite with these aliens and we’re ready for more. The Kree represent something bigger within this universe and we are seeing how they are affecting life on Earth.
I also liked that this season explained Skye’s family and background. Some shows like leaving those big plot points a mystery forever; eventually it loses its luster because we may never know. However, this show decided to reveal it and I enjoy that. While it is fun to discuss and predict about plot, I also like knowing about stuff. That’s what the show did. I thought Skye became such a compelling character because of her background and abilities.
And now that we are introduced to the Inhumans, a HUGE question is now presented: how will Agents of SHIELD affect the larger MCU? There is an Inhumans film that will be coming out in 2019. Now that the Inhumans is introduced in Agents of SHIELD, will there be more development within the show? Will the show just leave it alone? It seems that it might be better for the MCU if Agents of SHIELD takes a step back on the Inhumans; we have an introduction but now we need to leave enough mystery for a full length film. The other thing is that since audiences are introduced, will the film not be an origin story? Will the film be about Inhumans gathering themselves and organizing? Will it involve the Kree and the space side of Marvel? Remember, this film comes AFTER Avengers: Infinity War Part 1, so who knows? It may even be a prequel for all we know. There have been no casting decisions, no synopsis and no director locked down for this. It’s not surprising since the film is FOUR YEARS AWAY but I think Marvel made a big gamble to introduce Inhumans so early on. There are so many questions to be answered about this Inhumans film. However, I dig the concept of the Inhumans and I’m very excited for the film. Also, I know that Feige wants to keep the cinematic and TV universes together yet separate (they have separate creative teams and such) but at this point how do you not have Skye make an appearance? I’m also wondering how long with Agents of SHIELD last? Will it go until 2019 and have at least 6 seasons? Seems plausible but I don’t know it it’ll happen.
Either way, I loved this season. It had great stories, great character development, good acting and pretty good writing. I’m very excited to see how season 3 goes and maybe they’ll continue to drop hints at what to expect in this Inhumans film!
Rating: This season was a hell of a good time to watch with friends or by yourself! Check it out!