Marvel: Agents of SHIELD 2.1 – Shadows

IAIN DE CAESTECKERAt the beginning of season one, I became very sniffy suggesting that Marvel: Agents of Shield was little more than a glossy version of Torchwood and who really needed that?

So much changed.

And between seasons, so much more has changed!  This is a series of incredible growth.  Moreover, it allows that growth to be shown by natural drip-feed rather than info-dumping.   I like this.  I really hate info-dumping.   I think this is one of the reasons Dan Brown frustrates me so much.  He has some great stories, but they’re always Infodump – Art history- infodump -running about – exposition – art history-Info-dump.

What matters here is that MAOS has now transcended the ‘Monster of the Week’ format and is promising bigger and better things, picking up on seeded threads from the first season.  This appears very much to be a ‘long game’ TV series and if, as recent speculation has it, it really does tie-into and seed further MCU movies, we’re onto something special.

Of course, I hate to get overly excited about other people’s speculation, but…. EEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!

So anyway, SHIELD is down to six members. They’ve had to employ mercenaries – some of whom are ex-SHIELD.   I thought there would be a neat tension between the mercs/grey hats – temporarily led by the wonderful Lucy Lawless – and Coulson and his white hats. I was really hoping Lucy Lawless would play a recurring character, but her untimely maiming and then death seems to have put a stop to that.  Oh, who am I kidding!   She could turn up again at any moment!   This is the Marvel Universe, after all.

I was never really that much of a fan of The Absorbing Man as a character in the comics.  A lot of those early villains were poorly conceived and poorly realised, but here, Creel has been fleshed out quite neatly and makes for an excellent antagonist.

He actually has the two coolest moments in the show, firstly hiding in the glass was beautifully creepy and kneeling on the concrete to cause the car accident was simply the coolest thing I’ve seen on TV in a long while.

By a curious coincidence, shortly after watching the episode, one of the endless repeats of The Big Bang Theory aired – The Middle Earth Paradigm – and boom!  There was Creel!  Brian Patrick Wade aka Kurt, Penny’s ex-boyfriend in about three episodes.  I don’t know if we’re done with The Absorbing Man, or whether he’s going to show up again, I kind of hope he does.

Seeing Agent Carter from the Captain America movies was a fun and I’m looking forward to a full series. See!  Already seeding new Marvel stuff.

Of course, the worst thing about this new season is seeing a broken Fitz.  Suffering from Hypoxia, one assumes, given the symptoms, Fitz has gone from irritating idiot to integral team member and one of the more likeable characters. Seeing him post-Bends, barely able to string a sentence together, knowing what his predicament is and hallucinating Simmons is pretty much heart-breaking.  Iain De Caestecker: star of the show!

Sky has hardened up and is now much more SHIELD than ditzy-but-savvy geek.  Her heritage, it appears, is going to be a major plot arc.  As I’m a week or so behind everyone else, I’m not sure if this has been addressed further, but I’m wondering whether she is ‘other’.  I Wonder if, in the light of an Inhumans movie being announced, she’s just waiting for the Terrigen mists.  Could be another 0-8-4?

Who knows.

So many questions and maybe Ward, in his new role as a kind of Cassandra figure, holds some of the answers.

I am genuinely excited by this show.

Going back to the Torchwood comparison for a moment.

You had the first two seasons and then CHILDREN OF EARTH… that’s the kind of difference we’re talking.


It’s all a bit bitty this review.  Excitement sometimes gets the better of you . . .



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