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Title: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Season: 02
Episode: 1 [SHADOWS]
Watched: September 24th, 2014
Released: September 23rd, 2014

September 24th, 2014

Wow my people, how are you all doing?
Now as you can see from this post, I’m considering picking up MARVEL’s Agents of SHIELD again for weekly posts, although I’m not sure, simply because it took me well over months after the last episode of the first season to continue the series [Noctowl can attest to this].

Nevertheless, since this was the premiere of the show, I wanted to make a quick post about my predictions, the questions that they’ve raised and, even better, link you to a few people who could potentially help you out with more knowledge on the series!!

Howling Commando, ft. Agent Carter: How to make an Entrance

WOW, this episode of MARVEL’s Agents of SHIELD! I loved the introduction, simply because it’s a reminder that Agent Carter [Captain America’s girlfriend, co-founder of S.H.I.E.L.D. as well as relative to Agent Sharon Carter, Agent 13, whom we’d seen in the movie] will be given her own TV show which will air while Agents of SHIELD goes on break, I believe. It also reminded us how, as we’d expected, HYDRA was not done for after the events of the finale and especially after Captain America II: The Winter Soldier.

The introduction also serves as prediction that this will be the main antagonist that MARVEL’s Agents of SHIELD will be focusing on [focusing much on Kraken – that is… Dr. Daniel Whitehall]. Now, before this episode, I had no idea who the Kraken was. I guess it’s normal, there are many scientists in HYDRA. I wonder if he and the Doctor Arnim Zola [x] knew each other [perhaps they even planned the whole overthrowing SHIELD thing together before Zola was put into several computers (hard drives of computers?)?]. And how is it that he survived all these years when you know that Agent Carter was old and shriveled in the present day when she was speaking with Captain America in The Winter Soldier? Did he find some kind of non-aging formula of some kind [I mean, do you see how undifferent he is from the “flashback” moment with Agent Carter and the moment when we realize that he’s the one who’s been employing Carl Creel, a.k.a. Absorbing Man]? And did he escape SHIELD? Or was he asked to join SHIELD (and was part of the HYDRA people who jumped out from there?). Agent Carter did  say that they would ‘hold’ Whitehall prisoner indefinitely.

I also adored how Agent Carter is now in charge of the Howling Commando [or at least accompanies it] even after Captain America ‘died’ [I wonder if we’ll be seeing her meet her husband in the Agent Carter show… how awesome would that be?]. Did you also notice that Dum Dum Dugan is there (He was one of Captain America’s best buddies back in the day [I found out about his friendship with Captain America during the Civil War event])?

The internet was raging about the not-so-subtle scene with the blue alien in this introductory scene. Thoughts like: “Is it possible that this was the same alien of whom was created the serum that saved both Coulson, Garrett and Skye in the previous season?” and even “Is this alien somehow related to the Obelisk (It would be a reasonable explanation, since they were found at the same place…? Or was it simply a storage place so everything could’ve been found in said place?)? Or perhaps to the symbols that Coulson and Garrett were drawing [after all, as you can see, its arm (or limb) bears a mark that resembles it A LOT (along with the Obelisk once it is activated actually)]?

I was really surprised to see that we’d be introduced to new characters who would join the team. Initially, my feelings of betrayal [I felt the same when Agent Triplett came, but then his extremely chill demeanor just won me over] were similar to when I realized that Young Justice also added new members. Eventually though, I got used to it and even got to like the characters introduced. I was expecting to do the same (especially with Hartley, since she’s friends with Coulson), but then look where that got her…

Hartley used to be a SHIELD agent [according to her ID card, she still is considered one and Coulson respects and knows her personally]. She worked many years undercover (where?) and met Hunter and other mercenaries like Idaho, whom she trusts enough to recommend Coulson for hire. It seems like she acts like a mediator between said mercenaries and the other SHIELD agents and out of the trio (Idaho – Hunter – Hartley), she’s the most likely to follow orders [especially coming from the director of SHIELD, I mean, that’s mighty serious].

I’m so sad for Coulson. All of his friends – whom we meet – die (except for Melinda May). Hartley, well you’ve seen what happens to her. There was that one woman where the team first went with Skye to get the object, who turned out to be a corrupt agent who turned on Coulson. And then there’s Agent Garrett, who also turned on Coulson, but because he was a HYDRA operative.

Who is Mack? Did he appear in the previous season? Is Mack considered a mercenary or… what [did he come along with Hartley and her people?]? Coulson appears to be trusting him a lot, for him to be telling [as if it was casual and normal!!] both Koenig and Mack about Fitz‘s current condition. It seems like Mack isn’t an operative, which is why he wasn’t sent in the field to help out. Is he some kind of engineer, a mechanic? That’s why he was working on the cars when the party first arrived to the PLAYGROUND? If he’s going to stay a part of this team, please make him bond with all characters, not just Triplett, because seriously! I want to know more about this character, where he came from, how he’s useful to the team, why he’s so close to Coulson [I mean what]!

It seems like Hunter has already met Coulson before, whereas Idaho hasn’t [seen when Hunter advises Idaho to be careful around the director but almost immediately says that he’s not that bad]. Hunter had a wife prior to having Hartley as a girlfriend (it seems like they’re a couple anyway). He really seems to care about his friends (or just particularly about Hartley), since he would be willing to override protocol AND Coulson’s direct orders in order to get her to safety and medically treated. This tendency is something that Coulson himself used to do [do you spot a parallel here somewhere?]. Hunter seems to have a bit of a vengeful face when he realized that Absorbing Man was basically the cause of their accident. I hope to see more of him and get his character and background more explored. He’ll probably be the newbie added to the team.

Idaho is apparently a really bad cook (although he does insist that he hadn’t had a lot to work with). Hartley mentions that they were in BUDAPEST. Is it possible that they were working alongside Black Widow and Hawkeye? It’s pretty sad that Idaho seems to have died and Hunter is the only one left (despite the fact that he wasn’t really wearing a seat belt whereas Idaho, as the driver, had to).

I was so sad to realize by the end of this episode that not much is left in the original team. Coulson leaves on recruitment mission all the time, so I don’t really count him in there. I also won’t really count ex-Agent Ward because, let’s be honest he’s not mentally completely there (more on that later). There’s Agent May, Skye and Agent Triplett, who joined really late in the season, but who I’m really glad we have.

I was glad to see that Skye became closer to Agent May than before (what with having her as an S.O. and all), as well as closer to Triplett as well. After all, when Triplett joined the team, I seem to remember that Skye was unconscious (that sort of comes with being stabbed to death and all). I’m a bit sad that she doesn’t get to see Coulson as much as she used to. He was for her a fatherly figure, after all, and now, the only reason why she gets to see him is because she has to go and interrogate the madman who Ward has become [and she even knows that it won’t be the first time that Coulson asks her about going to see Ward (who, by the way, doesn’t even seem to care about the other characters (whom he betrayed but who were almost like family to him) whatsoever! Doesn’t he want to know what happened to Fitz and Simmons whom he threw out underwater?!), which means that they’ll get to spend more time together… but will she really fall for this guy again? I… sort of hope not. I mean he wasn’t really abusive… just… betrayed everyone’s trust…]!! I really hope that this doesn’t lead to a tear between Coulson and Skye, though. I know that she understands she’s the only one who can get information out of Ward, but she can only do a limited amount of interrogations before she snaps [but she’s a stronger character than we often give her credit for so]…

Yes you do!

Agent Triplett is really hilarious [I mean he’s even going to joke about how good he looks in his new (General’s) attire with Skye] (other than being the chillest person alive in that show [as shown above]); with all of his theories about how Agent Koenig had too many brothers who might actually be clones. I actually side with him [on how really weird that is despite being glad that he reappeared after his “brother” suffered from Ward killing him back in the other base that he was keeping safe for Nick Fury], and I wonder if there’ll be a filler episode about that one day… or if that’s meant to be explored much later [in another season, for example]. Do you think that Agent Koenig could actually be a highly sophisticated L.M.D. [Life Model Decoy, which Nick Fury is famous for using ALL THE TIME]? Another question is: does Coulson know about it and keep from the others [after all, he does keep a lot of things compartmentalized; maybe the LMD are explained in Nick Fury’s toolbox, too]?

Ex-Agent Ward, do you believe him when he wants to be rehabilitated [I don’t know, but Emergency Awesome seems to think that Ward isn’t]? That he’s truly found peace and solace after all he’s been through? I know one thing hasn’t changed since the season finale: he’s still madly MADLY in love with Skye (infatuated? obsessed?). I wonder what exactly he knows about her father and if he knew about her father when he first met her. [the GIF taken is from the previous season, just saying, because that scene broke my heart (in terms of learning how crazy he was!!! I kid, I kid)]

A friend of mine (let’s call her Munchlax‘s friend) really can’t bring herself to hate Ward. His eyes also make me feel like I can’t hate him despite what he’s done (wasn’t he sort of brainwashed by Garrett, who was, for him, his fatherly figure, after all?). Knowing that he mutilated himself (with pant buttons, folded paper (just right), plastic knives, etc.) doesn’t help his cause here, I feel like giving him a huge hug and telling him that everything will work out (even though Skye will probably never love him).

I don’t know whether to trust him or not at this point. Clearly, Agent May, who, as I will mention, is great at assessing people, is clearly against him and doesn’t want Skye to have to endure his company and to being lied to by the madman. Despite looking and sounding a bit crazy though, it seems to me like Ward is still pretty observant (being able to see the change in Skye despite not having seen her and seeing that May trained Skye‘s left side because Skye’s right-handed, that takes observation skills).

I hope that, when he comes to his senses and is hired by Coulson (or rehabilitated?). [Then I wonder what Maria Hill will have to say about that, especially after her last encounter with Ward (speaking of her, I hope that she will be making some more cameos in the future episodes, I know that she works for Tony Stark now, and all, but she could still be an asset for SHIELD, right? AND, plus, you all know from the comics that she’s really the second-in-command and takes over of SHIELD whenever Nick Fury chooses to disappear (or disappears), which means that she should also still be in the picture. Perhaps she’s in the list of allies ready to take on action when called upon it that Coulson speaks of)] Perhaps once he realizes how bad Fitz is because of him, maybe Fitz can somehow snap back to his own self? Even if it’s to shout obscenities at the man who almost killed his “family”.

On a side note, let me link you to an interview that Ward’s actor did on some talk show (which I found on Tumblr, because Tumblr), explaining how people who recognized him on the street said things like: “I felt betrayed” and “You still love Skye, right?” to him. That moment was freaking hilariously cute!

I’m also glad that Skye is pretty tough and doesn’t let Ward get into her mind. I wonder if May trained her for that or if she’s just lost her trust into Ward completely [my close friends can tell you that I understand this the most].
Also, who else thought that Skye’s new hairstyle and new abilities [as a field operative] are making her freaking awesome? *waves hand in the air* She seems more confident, more capable and less naive (which I guess might be a bad thing, and somehow, I can feel there’s a difference between her holding a gun in this season compared to her holding a gun in the previous season, but it might actually really be just me).
Some people often talk about her and not as much about May as strong female lead, but I guess it’s because May is more of a support character than a main, whereas Skye has had a lot more time on the lime light and developed much more (arguably). Some people even argue and compare our Skye to Agent Carter (as you see on the link).

It amazes me how, Coulson, who was taught by Nick Fury, would decide to compartmentalize missions without telling his agents, just like Nick Fury did, as shown in The Winter Soldier. Look where that got Fury, Coulson! LOOK! I don’t think that’s a good idea, but I guess… since Coulson doesn’t have many agents anymore at his disposal – nor does he have many he can trust among those agents, it must be tougher for him to not revert to how he was taught.

The whole dialogue about how Harley and her team couldn’t possibly be expected to do their job with agents tailing them reminded me of Captain America when he told Nick Fury that it wasn’t good if Black Widow had her own orders and possibly could ruin the mission if she didn’t tell him.

Throughout the episode, everyone implies that they rarely see Coulson anymore, even Agent Melinda May, who is still in charge of Coulson, which means that Nick Fury is definitely still in the picture (perhaps she feels the need to monitor Coulson without the help or orders of Nick Fury though, but I highly doubt that).

I wonder why she wants Coulson to avoid Field Operations. Is this also partly the reason why she often tells Skye to stay close to her and took Skye under her win as her S.O.? So that she can monitor how Skye is during the mission [and/or protect Skye, since Skye is obviously so important and one of the few people alive who have the Blue Alien’s blood and/or immune system capabilities in her system (the only other one known being Coulson himself)]? But she can’t monitor both Coulson and Skye at the same time, perhaps?

I’m glad that Coulson is still taking advice from May. It shows her skill as assessor for Nick Fury as well (remember that she’s the one who had chosen everyone on the team (except Skye) back in Season One, based on the criterion Directory Fury gave her, in order for the whole team to be able to monitor Coulson‘s ‘rehabilitation’ into the world and his mental state particularly). She knows that they’re mercenaries and they’re there for the money. I really hope that they’ll use this knowledge of hers more often in the future episodes. I sort of need to know more about the Cavalry (I hope also that, even if she doesn’t want the mantle, that she’ll still be randomly called that from time to time, just because callbacks and continuity, all right?).

I’m glad that, despite the situation that they’re in, Coulson is still able to be so funny [I mean, threatening a soldier to be… something in horse manure and snorkel something? That’s gotta be the most hilarious thing that they talked about so far]. I’m really sad also for Coulson. Nick Fury may trust Coulson to do the right thing and to rebuild SHIELD well and without HYDRA infiltrating it, but it means that Coulson has to do the hard calls, and it must break his heart to sacrifice Hartley and the others in order to get the quinjet [or rather its ability to make them invisible, as he later explains].

I don’t want to leave this blurb on Coulson on a bad note, so let’s take one small moment to talk about how Coulson’s actor is freaking cute and awesome [x] I really had no idea that he’d been reading comics as a youngster, that just makes his involvement in MARVEL even better! 

Brigadier General Glenn Talbot is a third party [at least we can consider him the head of the party and the one who represents it (the one we’ll be seeing the most of during this season, I bet)], working against both S.H.I.E.L.D. and HYDRA. Doesn’t he remind you of that dude who used to chase Bruce Banner (Hulk) around a lot but then became the Red Hulk? His obsession with SHIELD is almost comparable. He also reminded me (I guess in his face, please tell me you see it too) of J.J. Jameson, the head of the Daily Bugle [in the Spiderman universe]. So, do you see it? At any rate, I’ll give him that, despite his mean-ish demeanor, he has sarcastic humor, I like that [and obviously, we’re probably going to see more of him later on (at least I hope)]!

In case you were wondering how Coulson and his team knew that Talbot was getting targeted, it’s because they were able to read the directive sent by Dr. Whitehall (or his minion rather) and Crusher Creel Absorbing Man (he has so many nicknames I don’t know which to use).

When he finally appeared, I truly believed that Fitz was not as ‘broken’ and had properly had the time to heal! I was really crushed when we found out that there are still ‘things’ that are sort of still tough for him to go through. The worse is that he feels sidelined by the others and replaced by Koenig, who practically does his job for him (most of the jobs that he used to do anyway). He looked so upset that they tread lightly around him, like he’s about to break, I also felt like I wanted to hug him.

It personally upset me that the authors wrote Simmons leave in this way [but it was MIND BLOWING how they made us realize that Simmons was only ever in Fitz’s mind all throughout this episode]. Of course, it provides some insight on how broken Fitz is and because she wanted him to heal faster).

When Absorbing Man‘s scales turned back into skin and bled onto his table, Fitz almost sighed in relief until he recollected himself and said that it was weird.

Is it because he’s been seeing things and he was glad that someone else (Simmons and May) could see the same thing; proving that it wasn’t a hallucination of some sort [because he knows that Simmons isn’t really real]? Or perhaps is this reaction because he thought that he would never be able to find the source of the metal and, seeing as it turned out to be something of biology level, it’s really more in Simmons‘ area of expertise, and he was going to get out of the task given to him?

I love every Fitz-Simmons interactions. They really are so attuned with each other [as Skye mentioned earlier in the previous season] and are so sweet. I love how he mentions that he feels calmer when he’s with her; since she knows what’s on his mind, she can express the ideas that he fails to find the words for [is that why she left? Because she was facilitating his task at expressing himself and it wasn’t truly helping him recover?].

Didn’t Trip had a crush on Simmons, too [even though she didn’t necessarily notice, I know that Fitz did in the previous season)]?! How could he let her go that easily? I really wish we’d get to know more about Trip, the way we got to know most of the other characters in the main team (especially since he’s shaping up to become one of those members). And also, did he decide to step down because, let’s get things straight, Fitz is always going to be with Simmons [I mean look at the loving gazes!! Look at just how much he loves I mean cares for her well-being and safety and knows how to console her when she’s sad (well they have spent a lot of their training years at the Academy together, and they’ve probably spent a lot of down time together there too) [HOW COULD SHE LEAVE HIM TO HEAL ON HIS OWN?! How do you expect me to behave now that my babies are not together?! [x]]!!]! **By the way, these GIFS are from Season One).

I bet that the words his hallucinations of Simmons often say to him; “he’s getting better”, “he’s needs to be patient with himself”, etc. is probably something that the real Simmons used to tell him before she eventually left. I wonder if she confided in him about the reason why she left.

Someone on Tumblr wrote a post that made me realize that the last thing that Fitz was consciously aware of before getting injured when they were underwater [and before he pushed the button that would ultimately save her life but not his, as he’d chosen to make this sacrifice for her] was Simmons‘ hand on his shoulder. Needless to tell you, I teared up when I realized that this was true, and that it actually explains a lot about why Simmons does that a lot in his hallucinations.

Coincidentally, someone also mentioned [x] how there will probably be an episode (or an arc, I don’t care, I want it to happen) where Fitz might have to save everyone from certain doom and the blogger was wondering if Fitz would be able to snap out of it in order to do so… I think he’d be able to… but it really depends… The use of the gif though is impeccable.
Please revert back to the old Fitz as soon as it’s possible for you to recover, Fitz!

Since I wasn’t able to finish all of my season one episode reviews (I’m sorry Noctowl for I have failed you), here are all of the callbacks from last season [x] and let me leave you with all of the actors having fun together, because seriously, I simply couldn’t let this pass [X].

Here’s a story of Absorbing Man, from Comicstorian, who is Carl Creel both in the comics and in the new season! This history is much more precise than anything I could give you! I knew him from the Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes where he appears a little [really little judging by the fading memory I have of him], but it still didn’t help me from learning who he is…

Here’s Emergency Awesome‘s video about this episode! He mentions Simmons but calls her Ward mistakenly, but I nodded to almost everything that he predicts and says.

imageThat’s it for now, I’ll see you next week for another episode review! At this point, I’m not even hoping to catch up with the series… (maybe during the month of January, when it comes back, I really couldn’t tell).