During the freshman season of ABC’s “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”, we learned a lot more about S.H.I.E.L.D. and the characters we’ve been introduced to throughout the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s films.
We learned that the beloved agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., Phil Coulson (played by Clark Gregg), who fans came to love after his many appearances throughout the MCU, had been brought back to life after his murder by the hands of Thor’s brother, Loki. The season was littered with hints of how Coulson cheated death and when the secret was finally revealed, even Coulson was speechless.
We saw S.H.I.E.L.D. taken over by their long-fought enemy, Hydra, from the inside. Many died, including season 1 villain John Garrett a.k.a. The Clairvoyant (played by Bill Paxton), while others were hurt, including good guy and brilliant scientist Leo Fitz (played by Ian De Caestecker), whose heroic act save Jemma Simmons (played by Elizabeth Henstridge), but left him a broken man.
We also learned that Grant Ward (played by Bret Dalton) was recruited by Garrett to work for Hydra and had been working for him all along. We were introduced to a blue alien with healing blood, found out Skye (played by Chloe Bennet) is an “0-8-4”, and that Nicholas “Nick” Fury (played by Samuel L. Jackson) has left the broken S.H.I.E.L.D. to Coulson.
So, during Tuesday night’s season opener, entitled “Shadows”, it was no surprise to see “Director” Coulson doing his best Nick Fury impersonation as he listened to his agents conduct a mission. It was really nice to see Lucy Lawless, who is famously known for playing “Xena: Warrior Princess”, and some new additions (Nick Blood, Simon Kassianides and Henry Simmons) working along with the rest of the gang (Ming-Na Wen, B. J. Britt and Patton Oswalt).
I loved how the show incorporated Agent Peggy Carter (played by Hayley Atwell) and The Howling Commandoes (played by Kenneth Choi and Neal McDonough), who we met first meet in “Captain America: The First Avenger”, searching for an 0-8-4. It was a nice set up from the mid-season show, “Marvel’s Agent Carter”, which is set to premiere in January. We also got a brief mention of Howard Stark, the father of Anthony “Tony” Stark a.k.a. Ironman.
We also get mentions of The Red Skull, more Hydra leaders and briefly see the body of what I believe to be the body of the blue alien we saw last season, which not only brought Coulson and Skye back to life, but Garrett as well (although it didn’t last long for him).
Skye is in complete agent mode and has been sticking to her training. Agent Melinda May (Wen) and Skye are working well together, most likely because Skye continued her training with May after Ward was taken prisoner.
Speaking of Ward, he seems to still be deeply in love with Skye and wants to help the team in order to get closer to her. In fact, he has information about Skye’s father, who may or might not be a man-eating monster.
As the team searches for the first 0-8-4, which we saw in the teaser, we are reintroduced to Glenn Talbot (played by Adrian Pasadar), who is now a brigadier general and introduced to Carl “Crusher” Creel a.k.a. the Absorbing Man (played by Brian Patrick Wade). We also learn that a Hydra member from the past has apparently cheated death and is hunting down the first 0-8-4.
But, the truly heart-breaking moment of Tuesday night’s episode was learning how badly Fitz was hurt last season and the true status of Simmons. Those last couple of scenes made me angry at Ward for betraying the very person who continued to believe in him and sad for the struggle Fitz is now experiencing.
I’ve known a few people who are facing the struggle Fitz is going through and it was very painful to watch. It also shows that during war, there are causalities and it doesn’t always have to end with someone dead, but broken.
The episode was written by two of the three co-creators, Jed Whedon and his wife Maurissa Tancharoen, and directed by Vincent Misiano, who has directed many episodes for many different shows.
Much like last season, the second season of ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ seems to be filled with potential, fun, action and deep undercover mission and my mission will be to watch this amazing show every Tuesday.