Agents Of SHIELD - Did Season Two Deliver?
Agents of SHIELD will soon be back on American screens (No UK air date at time of writing) so let's take a look back at the last season and check in with our heroes. There will be spoilers...
Agents of SHIELD remains one of television's most fun and frustrating shows and being so heavily connected to the MCU is both its greatest asset and its greatest weakness. There's a difference between tied to and tied down by and the second season too often felt like the latter.
The Inhumans seemed to be hiding in a garden centre pretending to be one of the seven cities of Heaven but not K'un-Lun because we won't see that until Doctor Strange or the Netflix Iron Fist show. The Inhuman city of Attilan is reduced to a few dark corridors, both a victim of budget and not revealing too much before The Inhumans movie comes out in 2019.
Then, conversely, there are the times when the series doesn't feel tied down to the MCU enough. The shifting HYDRA leaders were placeholders for Baron Von Strucker who was given little more than a cameo in Avengers: Age of Ultron. If only he'd been a real presence in the show!
This season felt like the middle film in a trilogy (The closest example in the movies would be Iron Man 2). It exists to get characters from point A to point B and hope that the journey is interesting enough. The destruction of SHIELD and HYDRA means the show was suddenly struggling to find a new status quo whilst also establishing new and exciting threats in the Inhumans (no longer just "registered gifted") whilst also charting Skye's transition into Daisy Johnson aka Quake.
They said "Coulson Lives" but so rarely do we get to see the side of Phil Coulson we loved so much in the films. There wasn't any time in this season that felt as cool as Coulson and Fury teaming up in Season One.
But that's not to say that this show is terrible. It really isn't and never has been. The special effects are often spectacular even when the direction occasionally isn't, the action is fun and the main characters are still compelling. Bear McCreary's score is still fantastic, his main theme for the show one of the most hummable on television right now. A compilation of music from the first two seasons is now available to buy on MP3.
The second season added some great new characters. The addition of Bobbi Morse aka Mockingbird (now ex wife of Lance Hunter instead of Clint Barton) added to the shows already strong roster of female action heroes and a feeling that the shows was really had some super heroes to play with. She was fun, smart and good in a fight. Hunter is very much this series' equivalent of Hawkeye, playing dumb but actually super smart. Kyle Maclachlan stole the show, his deranged quest to be loved by his daughter was utterly compelling, heartbreaking and often funny. When the show wanted to nail us with twists, turns and unexpected casualties it wasn't afraid to do so with bravery and style.
The third season is perfectly set up to deliver more Marvel excitement. We're getting The Secret Warriors (in the comics, the secret warriors were set up by Nick Fury - yet more Brian Michael Bendis influence making its way into the MCU), more Inhumans and it will be exciting to see how the events of Captain America: Civil War affect the team. Whose side will team members be on?
Let's just hope that Season 3 keeps up that momentum and consistency that the previous two seasons have both had to build towards. Oh, and an appearance by Captain Britain and MI:16 would be nice too.