Who do you trust? Who is the Clairvoyant? There are a lot of questions that fans of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. are currently asking, and last night’s episode, “End of the Beginning”, only brought up more! Tomorrow, Captain America: The Winter Soldier hits theaters and from what I understand, it will change the current state of the Marvel Cinematic Universe! Events were set into motion on AOS tonight and if my predictions, which I will discuss in this recap, are correct, then we have one helluva thrill-ride coming up!
Think about this. After tonight’s episode it really seems that S.H.I.E.L.D. has some internal issues! I mean now that we know that the Clairvoyant is working from within S.H.I.E.L.D., and is an information expert, it is becoming easier to draw a conclusion to where this story line is taking us. First up, let’s at least begin at the top of the S.H.I.E.L.D. food chain, Director Nick Fury. Fury has been the creator or the builder of all of this. From his first appearance in Iron Man, Fury was the easter egg that let us all in on the big secret of things to come. After he pulled his thread throughout the other Marvel Studios films that lead up to The Avengers, it became a new character’s turn to pull everything together, Phil Coulson. Not only does Coulson represent the magnet that brought The Avengers together and gave them a purpose, but he was also brought back from the dead for a reason. Now this is still one of the biggest secrets on the show, but just looking at AOS from a team building aspect, Coulson shows his ability to bring people together from all different backgrounds and make it work. In fact, if you look at the team over the progression of season 1, he’s done a pretty damn good job.
So what is the importance of all this? Well let’s see what happens when the good guys are forced into a corner and made to fight…the “good guys”? Making them villains in the eyes of the public, it’s a classic. Two comic book examples that come to mind are Nick Fury vs S.H.I.E.L.D. (1988) and the Dark Reign (2008). Both story lines dealt with what happens when Fury can’t trust the organization he is working for and what he has to do to take it back. Interestingly enough, the character Victoria Hand was created during Dark Reign, and as we learned on AOS last night, she’s not one of the good guys. In the comics she was Norman Osborn’s, you know him as the Green Goblin, right hand as he took over control of S.H.I.E.L.D. after Secret Invasion. This was a classic hostile takeover scenario, one that looks to be the direction that both AOS and Cap 2 are headed in. Once I watch Cap 2 tomorrow, I will elaborate more on all of this in my review on Friday but for now let’s look at AOS a little more.
The direction I think that this is all headed in is similar to a story line that occurred during Dark Reign. Jonathan Hickman, who is now a Marvel Comics superstar, started his Marvel rise to fame in a little book called Secret Warriors. Secret Warriors was my favorite aspect of that mega-event, and I believe it’s the direction that the show-runners are headed in. Everything is about to change for the team as we approach the season’s finale, so I think that our team will be going underground. Not many people, not even the Avengers know that Coulson is alive, and with Agent Hand’s turn at the end of the episode, it should be easy enough for S.H.I.E.L.D. to wipe any trace of the team and Coulson’s existence from the map. This episode was truly the beginning of something new, this “uprising” I believe will have major ramifications throughout Cap 2 and leading directly into Avengers: Age of Ultron. So my prediction, Fury takes the people he trusts underground and from there, including a major cameo in next week’s episode, they have to operate off-the-grid to reclaim S.H.I.E.L.D.. This arc can also lead into Chloe discovering and developing her ability, whatever that may be. But this is a story line that I want to see start now and continue through the season finale. I don’t think it would be appropriate to just clean things up nicely after the end of Cap 2. Though I can see this happening, the best part of this show is when there is a constant danger, and now that we are getting closer to finding out the true identity of the Clairvoyant, I don’t want it to end there. With 6 episodes left in the season it may happen that way, but like I said let’s get through Cap 2 before we speculate too much.
The Clairvoyant is a perfect example of that. Did we learn who this character truly is? No, but we are getting closer. At least it wasn’t that guy in the chair and at least it wasn’t as easy as Victoria Hand. I am still holding out hope that it is a recognizable face from the Marvel Universe. But who knows, the truth is it S.H.I.E.L.D. has to tighten up its security! With all of this being connected and the mere fact that Frank Grillo (aka Crossbones) is a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent in Cap 2, I am sure we are in for some more surprises before it’s all over. For a little while there it seemed that Agent May was not who she seemed to be, but at least know now that she’s one of the good guys. Interestingly enough, it makes perfect sense that Fury would want an inside eye on the happenings on the Bus. The Clairvoyant is not a “super”, that is one thing that we learned tonight. Instead it’s someone who has a great deal of security clearance in S.H.I.E.L.D., but has no idea about what truly happened to Coulson after he died. This is how Coulson realizes that the CV is really an agent.
Turning point for one of our major characters tonight, Agent Ward ends up shooting Thomas Nash. Nash is our first CV patsy, and he is played by actor Brad Dourif (Lord of the Rings). He is a paraplegic who can’t even talk, instead a computer talks for him. Nash tells Coulson that something beyond their comprehension is coming for him and Skye and that she will die. So in response to this, Ward shoots him! But Ward’s intentions are not truly clear, was it an emotional response? Or is there more to this, did someone order Ward to shoot Nash? Ward is taken into custody and is going to be brought before a S.H.I.E.L.D. review board, but he doesn’t seem to mind at all! I am looking forward to seeing how this will play out.
So here we are. The turning point of season 1 and the beginning of the end! It was pretty cool to see all of our favorite S.H.I.E.L.D. agents show up (Garrett, Triplett, Sitwell, Blake) for this one, and the episode had a great “spy-thriller” vibe going on! Especially when they are on the hunt for Deathlok. The preview for next week’s episode promises that everything changes! So go see Cap 2 this weekend, it’s going to be epic! Also it may give us some more insight into what’s to come for our merry band. So where is Fury? He’s getting off the grid! Well until this happens… Check out both next week’s preview and the Cap 2 clip that was shown as the post credit’s scene last night!
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs Tuesdays at 8pmEST on ABC!