Here we go again, fellow Marvel nerds! Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returned to ABC last week for its season two premiere (and you can read about its season one premiere here). I have to say, this one was kind of on the brink for a while. About halfway into last season, the show seemed to be in a rut—not really raising the stakes or answering any questions or even going much of anywhere. Fortunately, the show started to pick up, and by its tie-in episode with Captain America: The Winter Soldier, it was, for me, finally must-watch television. So did this premiere keep up the hype? Let’s discuss.
*WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS FROM SEASON ONE*
What I liked:
- Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) as the new head of S.H.I.E.L.D. I just love Coulson in general, but I think he’s going to be great in this position. In this first episode, it’s pretty clear that he’s been a busy head honcho, and I cannot wait to see what he has in store. Plus, I’m crossing all of my fingers and toes that he has a cameo in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Pretty please, Joss Whedon?
- A surprise cameo from Agent Carter (Hayley Atwell). As some of you may know, Carter will be getting her own TV show some time next year, but this episode manages to slip in a little sneak peak. We even get to see a few familiar faces from Captain America: The First Avenger!
- How Ward (Brett Dalton) is used. Ward was often a little bland in season one—even when the team discovered his betrayal—but I found him vaguely creepy and somewhat vulnerable in the premiere episode, which was refreshing. I’m hoping the writers explore that vulnerability more and get down to what really makes him tick. If they make him less of a mustache-twirling villain type and more of a real person, he could be really interesting.
- The introduction of a somewhat familiar villain. His power is pretty nifty, and he could be quite a problem for S.H.I.E.L.D. Who is he? I’ll give you a hint: he has one of the worst supervillain names ever. Marvel fans might be able to guess him just from that…
- The very surprising twist with Fitz (Iain De Caestecker). It’s pretty apparent that his character is suffering some side effects from his near-death last season, but it’s not clear how much he’s suffering until the very end of the episode. My heart is breaking for the poor guy, but his story is already off to a very interesting (if tragic) start.
What I didn’t like:
- The new characters. Admittedly, we don’t spend a whole lot of time with them, but it was just enough time that I was like, “Nope. Don’t care about you. Can we go back to the guys I know?” Speaking of those new characters…
- They make some stupid, stupid decisions. Who trained these chumps anyway? That could just be my frustration from the above point coming out, but Coulson’s original team seems much more professional.
- The lack of Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge). She’s around, sure, but she hardly gets to do anything in this episode. I think there are some very important moments coming for her (especially involving Fitz), but it’s a little frustrating that she doesn’t do much more than twiddle her thumbs in this episode.
- This is clearly a set-up episode. Things happen, but not enough to make it a 100% fulfilling premiere. This first episode is paving the way for some potentially great things in the future, but overall I was hoping for a little more “umph” from the season kickoff.
The Potential: With Marvel, there is always potential. I’m just hoping this season won’t take as long to reach that potential as last season did. There are already some solid pieces in place—season two just has to find its groove and focus on the characters we love. And, of course, throw in some more references to the Marvel world so we can all geek about it. This season is going to be particularly interesting because the last few episodes might just coincide with the release of Age of Ultron…I guess we’ll see!
My Grade: B+