Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 6.01 Missing Pieces
Season five of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. managed to give us that rare thing in television, a proper ending. Unaware if they were getting renewed, the writers wrapped up all the major storylines and brought everything to a bittersweet conclusion. Phil Coulson finally got together with Melinda “The Cavalry” May but at what cost? With only weeks, possibly days, to live it seemed Agent Coulson had finally come to the end of his adventures. Except if the collective forces of HYDRA and the Kree were no match for S.H.I.E.L.D. then slightly lacklustre viewing figures certainly weren’t going to stop them.
So our heroes return in season six opener Missing Pieces directed by Coulson himself Clark Gregg. One year has passed since we last saw Quake, Mac, Yo-Yo and the gang and they certainly haven't been resting on their laurels. Daisy, Simmons, and newcomers Piper and Davis have gone looking for the frozen form of Fitz who you may remember from last season was put into suspended hibernation to catch up with his time travelling team mates. Travelling through space it appears Quake has built up quite the reputation as battle hardened mercenaries run from the very mention of her name.
Meanwhile back on Earth at the lighthouse base of operations Mac is trying to live up to his predecessor's name as the new director of S.H.I.E.L.D. whilst he and May also mourn the death of their friend. Unfortunately some strange anomalies have been detected and with their brainiest members off somewhere in deep space the Earthbound agents are having trouble even coming up with a good name for them, let alone working out what they are. Eventually these anomalies will reveal the new bad guys, Mad Max looking villains who even have their own post-apocalyptic giant truck. Oh, and a leader who looks incredibly familiar.
Missing Pieces is a great first episode for this new season. Quickly reintroducing our heroes and bringing us up to speed with the new faces and relationships. It seems Yo-Yo and new agent Keller have formed a bond more than just professional but have yet to tell Yo-Yo's ex Mac, possibly because as Keller says "he's really big". The series is continuing last season's theme of becoming a much more space based show very much inline with the grand cosmic vision we have seen in the MCU. Mac's plan to build a S.H.I.E.L.D. academy to ensure a future generation of heroes is also nice touch that could easily be fleshed out in future episodes.
Marvel are definitely not scrimping on the budget with some incredible special effects depicting the more galactic portions of the show; nothing would look out of place up on the big screen in Guardians of the Galaxy or Thor. There are plenty of exciting action scenes as Quake, Simmons et al engage in space battles whilst searching for Fitz and also back on Earth as May and Yo-Yo charge into the fray amidst strange temporal anomalies.
It was a nice touch seeing Clark Gregg reprise his role as Phil Coulson even if it was just as a hologram that Mac watches for advice in dealing with being the new man in charge. Will Coulson make an actual return in the flesh? Only time will tell but this is a comic book based show and he's already been killed and resurrected once so we will have to wait and see. By now the other cast members are obviously very comfortable in their roles, particular standouts being Ming-Na Wen as Agent May and Chloe Bennett as Daisy "Quake" Johnson.
One thing that was slightly disappointing was a lack of any mention of the events from Avengers: Infintity War and Avengers: Endgame, especially in relation to the Snappening (or Snapture, whatever you prefer). Past seasons of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. have always leaned heavily on the goings on of the MCU from the original Avengers movie to Lady Sif turning up after the events of Thor: Dark World. The biggest tie in being the fallout from the HYDRA revelations of Captain America: Winter Soldier. Hopefully future episodes will address the biggest event in the MCU, as it is I'm not actually sure where this current season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. sits in the MCU continuity.
This minor niggle aside, the new season is off to a flying start and I eagerly await to see what comes next, exactly what a good comic book adventure should do.
Avengers: Endgame (2019)
Dir: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo | Cast: Brie Larson, karen gillan, Robert Downey Jr., Tessa Thompson | Writers: Christopher Markus, Jack Kirby (based on the Marvel Comics by), Jim Starlin (comic book), Stan Lee (based on the Marvel comics by), Stephen McFeely