Let’s hop into the Wayback Machine here folks (my dog and Mr. Peabody are good friends, so I got to borrow it) and I want to take you back to just a little over a year ago, the tail end of September in fact, when a new show first graced our screens. That show was Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and it was… meh.
The show had a huge hype train behind it as it was going to be tied to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Plus, it was going to see the return of a fan favorite character thought killed off, Agent Phil Coulson, played by the remarkably talented Clark Gregg. Gregg of course slipped right back into Coulson without skipping a beat, but he was surrounded by a bunch of stock characters nobody gave a crap about.
Agent Coulson and… these other people!
So the first few episodes roll out and it seems like we have an understanding of how the show works: 1. Coulson and Co. are ordered to find a dangerously powerful person or thing and 2. they find said person or thing that may or may not have some tangential connection to the MCU while beating up a bad guy or two along the way. Wash, rinse, repeat. It wasn’t a bad plan nor was it a bad show, it was however a bit too predictable and lacking in its own identity.
Then there was this little known movie, what was it called again?
Oh yeah, that one.
Cap ended up not only blowing up the box office, but the entirety of S.H.I.E.L.D. went with it! I remember sitting in the theater almost choking on my popcorn as I watched the flick. Didn’t Marvel have this whole TV Show dedicated to S.H.I.E.L.D.?! Now what the hell were they going to do?! Their answer was to fully commit to what had happened in the movie and watch as our agents scrambled around as their entire organization dissolved in front of their eyes at the hands of Hydra. Bodies started dropping, tying up loose ends and potential plot lines that didn’t seem to be going anywhere. Even a member of Coulson’s team turned out to be a plant with deadly motives of his own.
People debate how much was planned out and how much was the showrunners scrambling to rework the show to address audience concerns, but all agree that the rise of Hydra injected new life into the series. Like Coulson, the show was back from the dead, and it now had drive, purpose and teeth. Suddenly, our once seemingly invincible team had their backs to the wall, unsure what to do, and just trying to avoid being arrested or killed on sight. Without Coulson’s unwavering dedication to his job (his vocation in life), the team would have fallen apart. The end of the season would see Nick Fury leave the rebuilding of S.H.I.E.L.D. to the one person he felt would do it right this time, Agent Coulson.
Paid the cost to be the boss, Coulson and HIS Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Speaking of the other agents, the rise of Hydra gave them the one thing they needed desperately, their own personalities. Fighting for their very survival we got to see deeper into what made May, Skye, Fitz, Simmons, and even Ward tick. They became people instead of just characters occupying positions on some TV show checklist and we found a reason to give a damn about them.
This fall saw season two start and the show hit the ground running. Coulson is slowly rebuilding S.H.I.E.L.D., but with the world’s governments and Hydra still after them, its dark days full of desperate gambles and deals with devils. Phil’s on a whole other level now and it is exciting to see what lengths he’ll go to to keep the organization he loves so much alive.
Coulson’s core team continues to grow and adapt to their new situations causing loads of character growth as you see characters in positions and having to perform actions you never thought you see them do. It’s refreshing to see because no character is getting painted into a box as being only one thing, a thing that can happen quite often in ensemble cast dramas. The new editions to the team fit right in and thankfully add to the show instead of diluting it.
Adrianne Palicki, you make a way better Marvel than you did a DC
So, for those who checked out early on the first season I suggest giving the show a second chance. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what you find. For those who’ve avoided the show outright, what are you waiting for?! There is this cool spy/sci-fi action show out there right now for your enjoyment. It is full of fun,wit and charm, and you my friend are missing out. Do something about that.
John, Agent of One Of Us, going dark.