After the events of ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier,’ the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe was changed forever. Thanks to ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,’ we saw the fallout immediately with the episode titled ‘Turn, Turn, Turn’ and since then we’ve been following Director Coulson as he attempts to keep his team together while keeping S.H.I.E.L.D. alive and searching for other agents along the way. However, one glaring question remained: What happened to the agents that stayed loyal to S.H.I.E.L.D. that Coulson couldn’t track down? Somehow this never came up on the ABC series, but this week that problem was finally addressed. And not only that, it ended up being a lot better than I imagined it in my head.
Now that we’ve met the “real S.H.I.E.L.D.” and have been reintroduced to Grant Ward and Agent 33, Edward James Olmos’ Commander Robert Gonzalez came knocking on Phil Coulson’s door with the help of Mack and Bobbi. Upon resuming their posts at The Playground, Coulson has caught on to the true allegiances of Agents Mackenzie and Morse. However, little do May, Fitz, Simmons, and the rest of the team know, they’re about to have some unexpected houseguests. Meanwhile, Skye tries to adjust to life at The Retreat with her new powers, but she gets a visitor of her own.
Before the confrontation between Coulson and Gonzalez, we got to see how “the real S.H.I.E.L.D.” came into existence on the day that S.H.I.E.L.D., which we first saw during ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier.’ Mack, Bobbi, Gonzalez, and Isabelle Hartley were all aboard one of the helicarriers when HYDRA rose from the ashes and we got to see the origin of this S.H.I.E.L.D. offshoot that claims to be the real deal. First of all, it was awesome to see Lucy Lawless return as Agent Hartley. She was taken away far too soon from the MCU, but thanks to this flashback, we got to see her ass-kicking skills once again. Secondly, this show seemed to be the only superhero show on television that didn’t utilize flashbacks heavily to tell a story. ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ never used flashbacks to the same degree as ‘Arrow’ ‘The Flash,’ and ‘Gotham’ (which I’m counting on a technicality since it’s a prequel to Batman) until this episode, but it worked really well. Not only did they deliver a well-crafted, engaging story, but they also did a good job at slipping in an organic reminder that this show is part of a larger universe. In fact, they managed to do that in practically every inch of this week’s episode.
Since the start of this season, I’ve been saying that ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ is planting some major seeds for ‘Captain America: Civil War,’ ‘Inhumans’, and other Phase Three films. But actually, we might be seeing some ties to Phase Two’s ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ as well. The Retreat, the cabin that Skye was sent to that was once used by Steve Rogers, looks a lot like the log cabin that we’ve seen in various promotional materials for the next adventure starring Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Someone even refers to it as “the house that Banner built” after we saw the huge, Hulk-like fist imprint in the wall. With Skye’s new powers and the gloves that make her look a lot like her comic book counterpart, it will be interesting to see if Daisy Johnson does actually become an Avengers level hero.
Speaking of Quake and her powers, I was surprised to see that there was a good bit of Skye’s storyline in the latest installment of the first TV series set in the MCU. Following the events of ‘One of Us,’ I thought that ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ would be taking a break from all the Inhuman action for a little bit while they dealt with the struggle between Agent Gonzalez and Director Coulson. However, the creative team managed to weave both together in an unexpected way that enhanced both main storylines of the episode. While it seemed like the showrunners were going for a slow burn on major developments with last week’s episode, this week more than made up for time stalled with Skye’s interactions with Gordon. But now there are even more questions arising about how deep into Inhuman mythology we’ll get before we see the entire race spotlighted on the big screen in 2019. Will we get to see Attilan? Will we meet Black Bolt and the rest of the Inhuman Royal Family? I’m excited to find out.
Finally, the biggest question coming out of this week’s ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ is this: What’s the deal with Nick Fury? As we saw in the flashback, Bobbi Morse was operating under orders from Fury when S.H.I.E.L.D. fell. But wasn’t Coulson acting under Fury’s orders as well when he assumed the position of Director and began recruiting and rebuilding? They’re all on the same side here, or at least it seems like they are. While they figure it out, one thing for sure is that the mysterious eye-patched man played by Samuel L. Jackson is certainly sending mixed signals. But then again one would probably expect that from a secret agent wearing an eye patch, right?
Overall, this was another awesome episode of ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’. There was some great world building and very interesting character development up until the very last seconds of the show. With the next Marvel Studios feature approaching and the first Netflix original series ‘Daredevil’ debuting in less than two weeks, business is certainly picking up in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ starring Brett Dalton, Ming-Na Wen, Iain De Caestecker, Elizabeth Henstridge, Adrianne Palicki, Chloe Bennet, and Clark Gregg airs on Tuesdays at 9:00pm on ABC.