Episode Title: Scars
Original Airdate: 5-5-15
It’s a post ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’ Marvel Cinematic Universe, and ‘Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ does not shy away from acknowledging that fact. The penultimate episode of Season 2 titled ‘Scars’ not only makes references to the events of the film, but the characters themselves even analyze those events to get their point across in this episode. It’s a bold move but it pays off, as the show uses those events to further their own story and still make connections that answer a few questions and add to both the movie and the show. Although, maybe not enough to make the movie better. Fair warning: this Review of the latest episode of ‘Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ will contain many major SPOILERS for ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’, (my Spoiler-free Review can be found here) so if you haven’t watched the movie and don’t want to be spoiled… be wary!
‘Scars’ starts off with a flashback from a year ago featuring fan favourite Oswald Patton’s ‘Multiplicity’-styled character meeting with Clarg Gregg’s Coulson for the beginning of what’s been mysteriously referred to as Theta Protocol. It’s revealed that the Hellicarrier that Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury shows up with near the end of ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’, was actually part of that protocol that Fury & Coulson have been working together from since the beginning of Season 2. All of Coulson’s secret trips, massing of resources, etc… was all to keep that back up plan a secret, showing that Coulson knew about Edward James Olmos’ Gonzalez’s double cross from day one. It’s a cool reveal and does a good job at connecting some things to the movie, to further establish the current storyline of the show.
Ruth Negga’s Raina has visions of a dangerous weapon that may kill all Inhumans, which her and the Jamie Harris’ teleporting Gordon track to Gonzalez’s S.H.I.E.L.D. ship. With the existence of the Inhumans no longer a secret and having tracked Gordon back to their home known as Afterlife, S.H.I.E.L.D. plans a meet and greet with Dichen Lachman’s Jiayang to prevent an all out war. This is after all is forgiven within the ranks of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Coulson agrees to stay on as Director with Gonzalez and crew being a sort of council. I initially expected the show to ignore the events of the recent movie, but it’s cool how the writers used those events to further this story. The threat of a member of the Avengers screwing up and creating Ultron, made it even more important for S.H.I.E.L.D. to be an organization that enforces law and holds people accountable for their actions, preventing them from ignoring super powered Inhumans running around without stepping in. The logic is sound and makes sense for everything that’s happening in the show.
There is still lots of tension as the Inhumans are a largely mysterious group. As much as we want them to be good guys, a lot is unknown about them. This becomes even clearer when Skye’s mother Jiayang, tricks the the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. that came to meet her and manipulates things to start a full on war between S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Inhumans. It’s a shocking twist especially given that things were going semi well between the two groups. This comes as a huge surprise given how benevolent and nobel the character was initially set up to be.
The one thing definitely not working anymore in this show (if it ever did) is the arc featuring Brett Dalton’s Ward. After pretending to abandon his new lady love Kara, it seems it was all a ploy to kidnap Adrianne Palicki’s Bobbi to, apparently kid nap and torture her as revenge so that Kara can get some sort of emotional closure…? Beyond not making sense, it’s just not even that interesting.
After everything that’s happened, it’s difficult to predict where Season 2 of ‘Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ will end and what will remain of either group once it’s done. The show has done well to raise the stakes thus far and create compelling drama along with decent superhero stuff as well. I would’ve liked to see more connections to the movie, as the movie itself fails in doing that with the show, but for now it’s good enough for me to forgive that. I hope that by the end of Season 2 we have a good idea of where the Inhumans and the S.H.I.E.L.D. characters stand, not to mention get a lot more of the Inhumans mythology that has been teased in the show, but not yet fully explained.