Woo! 3 geek shows caught up, 3 to go!…Not counting Arrow and Castle. Now to catch up on season 3.
I’m probably one of the few who was optimistic about Agents of SHIELD throughout its less than stellar first season prior to the release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. I liked the first episode and kept watching because I wanted to find out what happened to Coulson (AKA Best SHIELD Agent…tied with May.). The Nick Fury cameo in the second episode helped. After Winter Soldier hit, however, SHIELD got SO. MUCH. BETTER! Now thanks to it we have all the other Marvel shows: Agent Carter, Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and all the other Marvel Netflix shows still in production, they’re all because SHIELD was so successful and got a second season.
WARNING: MINOR SPOILERS FOR AGENTS OF SHIELD SEASON 2
With SHIELD now scattered thanks to the reveal of HYDRA’s long time infiltration, Agent Coulson, now the director, seeks to smooth SHIELD’s relationship with the world and reform SHIELD back to its former glory. Sadly, with a few additions, he mainly just had his team, minus Ward who’s been locked up in their basement, Simmons who’s been working undercover in HYDRA, and Fitz, still suffering from the brain damage when he nearly drowned in the season one finale. Along the way, Coulson’s team begins to cross paths with Skye’s dad who has his own plans for HYDRA and his daughter. In the middle of it all, a mysterious obelisk acquired by Agent Carter in the 40s with deadly properties that changes everything.
So, you know how in season 1 the main plot was about finding out how Coulson survived dying in The Avengers and eventually about damage control from the events of Winter Soldier? Well, now the two main plots are about both Skye’s origins and her family as well as continuing damage control from the consequences of Winter Soldier, mainly the fact that HYDRA had been a part of SHIELD since its inception and some people see SHIELD and HYDRA as one in the same.
Another major factor in this season is the introduction of a new element to the Marvel Cinematic Universe that I can’t go into for sake of spoilers. Though if you’ve seen the upcoming movie list for Marvel and have a passing knowledge of what’s been going on in the comics the past few years, you know exactly what’s going on and what will be involved for the main plot of season 3. But that’s season 3 and we’re talking about season 2.
The plot is much improved from last season. The problems from last season are pretty much gone. While last season did the whole ‘monster of the week’ thing that most shows do with their first half season, this one’s more consistent with an ongoing story. Ward is no longer boring and bland now that he’s been revealed as a HYDRA agent, he’s interesting, scheming, and obsessive. First about Skye and later Agent 33. Both those obsessions are different and both affect him in different ways. He’s far more interesting as a villain than he ever was as a good guy.
The main cast from season 1 are all back and true to form though with supporting character Agent Tripwell from last season joining full time as well as Lance Hunter as a hired gun and mechanics expert Agent Mack. In addition there’s also Agent [SPOILER] who comes in later on adding another badass woman to the team. Ruth Negga’s Raina also returns full time, this time working for Skye’s father with her own plans. In addition, the spoiler I can’t mention introduces a whole slew of new interesting characters.
And of course, while all the characters have their times to shine, the real stars are Clark Gregg’s Coulson and Chloe Bennet’s Skye. It’s their stories that push the narrative forward and changes everything. From Coulson’s drawings to Skye’s past, their stories mush together well. Fitting, considering the two see each as family. Both have to adjust to Coulson’s new position as SHIELD director and everything they know changing around them.
Also, Agent [SPOILER] has become one of my new favourite characters and has been optioned for her own series alongside Hunter. Supporting characters from HYDRA, the army, SHIELD, and the spoiler are also a joy to watch, whether because you want to punch them, sympathize with them, or fight alongside them. Of special note is Agent 33 and Lincoln, one is a brainwashed SHIELD Agent, the other…a spoiler. One needs all the help she can get and the other does what he can to help others. Both are sympathetic for different reason and you just want things to turn out alright for them, even if they end up in the hands of the wrong people.
The main setting, also improved. No longer on the damaged plane, the team now has a fully equipped stationary headquarters with state of the art technology for Fitzsimmons to play with, quin jets with cloaking devices, everything a secret agency need. And now that SHIELD and HYDRA are seen as the same, making them fugitives, they have to act even more covert than before leading to new strategies to finish the missions. Also, with SHIELD scattered, there’s no back up. They are it, along with whatever allies they can scrounge up. Yes, I know Fury’s still alive, but who knows where he is.
Also, I have to talk about the spoilers’ home setting. I’m a sucker for East Asian architecture and this place is no exception. It is beautiful!
Of course since this is Agents of SHIELD, the series also ties in with the MCU films and the only film released during the series was Age of Ultron. The episodes before and after Ultron’s release actually explain a few things unexplained in the film. In this way, the show affects the movie instead of the reverse that happened last season for Dark World and Winter Solider. The only question now is how Civil War will affect season 3 and vice versa as it’s the only film scheduled to come out during season 3’s run and how Doctor Strange, set to be released in November of next year, affect the eventual season 4.
This season is amazing, if you were turned off of SHIELD thanks to the opening half of season 1, I beg you, please finish season one and watch this one. They are vast improvements and you won’t be disappointed. Both seasons are on Netflix and likely season 3 will be shortly after it ends, so you’ll be able to catch up before season 4 starts. Enjoy!
(Photo via ABC)