Warning SPOILAGE Lay Ahead!

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been called a “roller-coaster” show, and I would have to agree. I was not overly impressed by the show around the midway point of season one, in fact I felt it went really flat after a strong start. BUT you have to have faith in Joss Whedon and Marvel Studios, how can you not. I knew this to be true, and unlike many viewers I did not jump ship during the show’s slump. The payoff? Well it was pretty amazing. Once Captain America: The Winter Solider rolled around, AOS went into high-gear and really amped things up with its Hail Hydra storyline. The show didn’t fully address some of the mythos it was building during its freshman season, but who would want that?! Plus that isn’t really Whedon’s style, plant seeds and wait for them to grow.

By the end of the season, S.H.I.E.L.D. was disassembled and that carried true into the movie-verse as well. Fury went off the grid and left Coulson, now Director Coulson, with the task of rebuilding S.H.I.E.L.D.. Some time has passed and we find our team on the run, with some new faces helping them out. Agents of Shield Shadows 02To kick things off for season 2 we are treated with a flashback scene to the 1940’s and Agent Carter. A great way to introduce the character into the TV world, as she will be getting her own show this winter, this was a great opportunity to start building the relationship between the two shows. Agent Carter is accompanied by Dum Dum Dugan and Jim Morita, both familiar faces from Captain America: The First Avenger and a nice nod to the world building that Marvel Studios does so well. Will these two show up on Agent Carter, I betting so and hoping so. The team is there to shut down the last HYDRA base and get their hands on an item of great power, one which they tag as an 0-8-4. Flash to the future.

Skye, May, and Tripp are at an undisclosed location, as backup for new character Isabelle Hartley and her team of mercenaries. Skye has definitely changed, she has been training with May and is now a full-fledged agent. They are all trying to get intel on the item that Agent Carter took from HYDRA. But with the world a mess and no loyalty from most ex-agents, some are looking to make a buck on the info they have. The meeting is quickly broken up by an unknown assailant who quickly dispatches the rogue agent and takes the intell, all the while taking several bullets (which bounce off him) and then throws himself out a 20 story window. FINALLY some supers, this one being The Absorbing Man. Crusher Creel is a well established Marvel villain who can change his skin to any substance he touches. You can read his Marvel profile here.

This sets the team on a mission to find out more about this “absorbing man” and who he is working for, which they suspect HYDRA, duh. Coulson has been doing a lot of footwork trying to find new allies to their cause. With Glenn Talbot (now a General) on their tail hunting them, things are not so easy. Talbot is much more of a threat than he was presented as in Season 1, and I like this angle. Very similar to the Ross/Hulk dynamic, if they keep this up I really think it could work well. MING-NA WEN, LUCY LAWLESS, NICK BLOOD, WILMER CALDERON, HENRY SIMMONS, CHLOE BENNET, PATTON OSWALTCoulson realizes that they need to be able to cloak themselves so they can easily travel as a team to fulfill their duty of protecting the innocent. So who do they need to get the cloaking tech working for them, Fitz of course! But as we soon find out Fitz isn’t the same since his brain damage. He is having a hard time completing sentences and is a shell of his former self. But Simmons is there to help him as much as she can.

We find out that Coulson is keeping Ward prisoner at their secret base and he sends Skye in to get info on Creel. Ward is very different, after a few attempts at killing himself he has come to terms with what he “wants to do”. He will only talk to Skye and promises that he will never lie to her again. She gets the info she wants from him but we find out (she doesn’t hear it) that Ward knows info about her father, a mystery that was presented in season one. I really like the direction they are taking with Ward, I was really worried that the things he had done would be kind of swept under the carpet BUT they make him more like a loony toon than a redeemed man. Which is fine with me!

The show presents itself very well from start to finish, this is a much darker world than we remember from season 1. The humor is still there but things have changed. Everything seems more desperate, especially when Coulson and team are able to hack into the HYDRA signal Ward turned them on to. It reveals that Talbot has not defeated HYDRA, only driven them into hiding, which on a map looks to be triple the amount of support that SHIELD has. That’s a very scary thought.

Coulson knows that Creel will go after Talbot as it is the only way to get close to the 0-8-4, so he sends him team to protect Talbot. Things go as Creel wanted and he is able to get captured by Talbot’s forces and taken to the base where the item is. May captures Talbot, Coulson is hoping that he will be able to convince him that they are the good guys. This of course doesn’t work since Talbot is such a hot head, so they just take his clothes. Agents of Shield Shadows 04The team heads into the base by having Tripp pretend to be a General coming to visit Talbot. They are able to get in, they get to the item and Isabelle is ambushed by Creel, who has EASILY escaped his cell, in a quite a creative way! Isabelle thinks its a good idea to grab the item and it immediately starts to drain the life from her, starting at her hand and working its way up her arm. But Coulson has another reason for them to be there, to acquire a Quinjet. When asked if they should abandon the mission, Coulson tells them no.

Isabelle’s team decides to get her out of there and to medical help, she asks Lance Hunter to cut her arm off to save her. He does. Skye, Tripp, and May push on. They are able to escape with a Quinjet, but Isabelle and team are not so lucky. Creel is in the streets waiting for them, he quickly changes himself to stone and flips the car as it hits him! The next thing we know Isabelle is dead! WHAT?! Is this for real? Lucy Lawless, a major star is dead?! I was VERY shocked by all of this!! Hunter survives and Creel takes off with the item. Wait, Lucy Lawless is dead, ALREADY?!?!?!

If I were a crying man, there is one major reveal this episode that almost broke me. We find out that Fitz is actually hallucinating that Simmons is there. She left a long time ago because she thought that Fitz would do better without her there. It actually broke him. Will Fitz ever return to normal?! The absence of the FitzSimmons element really takes this show’s lighter side a throws it out the window. When I rewatched the episode you can see that she isn’t there in the initial scene with May. This is very sad and I hope they bring back that dynamic soon. But this is the dark path that the show is headed down. Which on the other hand I don’t have a big problem with.

So who is Creel working for? At the beginning of the episode there is a HYDRA officer who is looking for the object, before Carter and crew arrest him. In the end credit scene it is revealed that he is still alive, AND HASN’T AGED!!! Who is he? Daniel Whitehall, better known as the Marvel Comics villain Kraken! Meet your big bad of season 2!

Wow! An explosive, action-packed start to season 2 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.! If the show is able to keep this pace going and stick with the tones that Shadows set, I’m pretty confident that things will be pretty badass this time around! Now all I need is to know what the heck is up with Agent Koenig, Life-Model Decoy anybody? Of course he is!

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