Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S:02 E:12

Episode Title: Who You Really Are
Original Airdate: 3-19-15

I (Bubbawheat) am just here for one episode while Shah is off on vacation (lucky so and so) but he will be back to continue discussing the rest of S.H.I.E.L.D. next week. After a great set up last week for the entire Inhumans-not-mutants situation, this brings in one of my favorite guest stars from last season Jaimie Alexander as Lady Sif, but what it really does is focus on the inner workings of the team dynamics and how Skye’s change has shifted everything completely. This is one of the few superhero shows outside of Arrow that is not on its first season and so it’s more able to focus on the characters and team dynamics rather than all the world building that needs to be done on the other shows. Not only that, but the characters here already have gone through changes and arcs and are the farthest thing from one-dimensional. And besides all of the character interactions, there are also a small handful of important revelations in this episode that have far reaching consequences.
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Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. S:02 E:11

Episode Title: Aftershocks
Original Airdate: 3-3-15

After a long mid season break, Marvel’s ‘Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ returns to continue the amazing plot set up in its earlier episodes of Season 2. Last time we saw Agent Coulson and the team, Skye had just been exposed to what is known as Terrigan Mist in the alien city, along with Raina, which also caused the death of Trip. This episode is a somber one that deals with the aftermath of the change in status quo for the show, while dealing with how the death of a team member affects everyone differently.

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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S:02 E:09 & E:10

Episode: …Ye Who Enter Here
Original Airdate: 12-2-14
Episode: What They Become
Original Airdate: 12-9-14

I know, I’m a week behind on this, but it just slipped my mind. It’s not because of the lack of interest because I’ve been enjoying the second season quite a bit. The characters have really meshed well together, the story arc is getting interesting, and I keep hearing good things about what’s going on. I will be combining these two episodes as I watched them back to back and am not entirely sure where one episode ends and the other begins anymore in my memory. This marks the return of Rayna who was left to run off into the wild so that she could more or less lead S.H.I.E.L.D. to Whitehall because he was after her. One of the best parts of the moment where Rayna gets recaptured by S.H.I.E.L.D. is the return of Patton Oswald as the Koenig triplets who are down to two, though there’s a question as to whether there are more brothers out there that we haven’t been introduced to yet. With all of the action going on and the politics between Hydra and S.H.I.E.L.D, the comic relief of Patton Oswald is worth the minor budgetary special effects used in order to sell the twin effect. I loved the little jokes that he kept doing like when he said there were thirteen of them, and then later when his brother was off screen he joked that he had to recharge his batteries. There’s also a great moment of return of Agent 33 who still has the technology that gave her Agent May’s face and voice, although because of the electrocution from their earlier fight it apparently is permanently fused to her face, only there’s a large burn scar on one side and the voice modulation isn’t working correctly. Although I imagine that part of that is so that Ming Na can get a little bit more screen time as well as the chance to play a villain because she is so great at being the badass. And now that the team dynamic has shifted in season 2, she hasn’t had nearly as many opportunities to be that badass, especially since Skye has started to transition more into that role herself. And she gets a great chance to kick some major ass here during a fight with Agent 33, though she doesn’t come through it completely unscathed. But some of the major relationship issues get resolved here in the midseason finale portion. Skye gets one of the greatest moments with Ward when he starts working with her again, and she just shoots him the moment she gets a chance to, even though he does manage to survive. It really shows a lot of growth for Skye’s character compared to how she started out in the first season. There’s also the slight surprising moment where Whitehall gets shot by Coulson, not only that, but he shoots him right before Skye’s father gets his moment of revenge for the death of his wife and Skye’s mother. Or technically Daisy’s mother. I must say that I almost expected during the moment when Skye’s father starts humming “Bicycle Built for Two” and Skye says that she had heard that song before, I totally expected her to say something along the lines of “that space movie with that psycho HAL computer”. And we finally get to see what’s inside the buried alien city which is mainly just a lot of weirdness, and we do earlier get to find out that the aliens definitely are the Kree who play an important part in the Marvel universe, though I personally don’t exactly know what that part is. It’s sad to see Agent Triplett go, but I am curious to see what the future holds for Skye and Rayna in the latter half of the show.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S:02 E:08

Episode: The Things We Bury
Original Airdate: 11-18-14

This was a great episode, especially for anyone who thought that they might still be angling towards some sort of redemption for Ward’s character. No, he is fully within the realm of a villain, and a very interesting villain at that. He’s good at what he does, he has intimate knowledge of S.H.I.E.L.D. and its operations, and there’s honestly no telling what his real motivation or goal is. There’s been some speculation that he might end up becoming Taskmaster who was featured in the recent direct to video Marvel animation Iron Man and Captain America: Heroes United, speculation that Brett Dalton himself appreciated but did not confirm or deny. At the end of season one I was a bit worried at what he would become here in season two, but I must say that I do like the direction they are going, especially after his full turn here. There’s still an element where he is working both sides, but I’m pretty sure that whatever his goal is, it’s entirely for his own purposes and not to specifically align himself with either Hydra or S.H.I.E.L.D. On the other side of things, Skye’s father gets a bit more screentime and allows himself to become quite the person of interest as well. There’s also plenty of flashbacks that shed light into Whitehall’s background and how he has remained youthful for all these years. We also get a brief cameo from another Whedon alum who I recognized as Sierra from Dollhouse who plays what appears to be Skye’s mother in a great reveal at the end of the episode. It’s such a simple moment, but it informs so much more about what angle her father is playing and what is actually so special about her. It’s really a standout episode in an already stellar season, I can’t wait to see where everything goes from here.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S:02 E:06

Episode: A Fractured House
Original Airdate: 10-28-14

Honestly, this episode felt like a giant excuse to show how much of a badass Ward can still be even though he has more or less gone rogue and escaped from S.H.I.E.L.D. custody. But as much as some people like Ward, he just seems way too good at everything he does. There’s still a question of his overall motive, but I’m glad that they don’t seem to be going for the full redemption storyline that I suspected at the end of the first season. Even though he is working for the good of S.H.I.E.L.D. at the moment, the way he is going about it is way too reckless and violent for him to continue to be a valued asset for the team. The only positive outcome I can see at this point for his character is that he might become someone like the Punisher when he was part of the Avengers where he is called in to do the jobs that no one else is able to do, the ones where they need to do the jobs that require the elimination of the target. The other aspect of the episode finally answers the question of the mysterious alien writing that has been plaguing Coulson and a few other members. While I’m glad that this issue has finally been resolved, I didn’t quite like how everything was wrapped up in a neat little package. And now it is all ok. The solution that the map was three dimensional was the one aspect that I liked about it, but time will tell if this new-ish alien city aspect of the story pans out in a good way or a bad way.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S:02 E:05

Episode: Hen in the Wolfhouse
Original Airdate: 10-21-14

An episode full of intrigue and misdirections as the different elements start coming together in interesting ways. While I’m a little bit disappointed that Simmons’ stint as a Hydra double agent has ended, it certainly ended with a bang. And the very short lived Wonder Woman is the one who gets to save her. Adrianne Palicki was a nice addition to the team, though it’s really starting to feel like the team is getting a little bit too big and spread out. The only member of the team that has gone was Ward and even he’s not completely out of the picture, and now there are three new agents added to the team, and there’s even a slight chance that Rayna might end up playing ball as well. At least the show has held up the fact that it’s nearly the only superhero show out there that has so many strong female characters and it has a good chance to add two more to the team in the near future. I will say that I enjoyed the extra surprise that she was the ex that Agent Hunter has been talking about. And finally I have to mention Skye’s father. He’s a bit of a wildcard at the moment, he’s possibly part or all alien, he’s a bit of a psycho, and at the end of the episode he decides to work with Hydra in order to kill Director Coulson. That is really the one aspect of this season that I’m not entirely sold on yet. The way Hydra is playing out has been interesting, including the double agents and the technology, but I’m not entirely buying this father who just wants his daughter back. Only now he doesn’t really want her back because she thinks he’s a monster? Maybe? Aside from that, it’s still a fine episode and Skye has really come a long way from who she was at the beginning of the first season. I’m also glad that the pulse meter was only there for that one episode. Anyway, I’m looking forward to where this season ends up.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S:02 E:04

Episode: Face of My Enemy
Original Airdate: 10-14-14

Another great episode that moves forward several different ongoing plotlines. The crux of the episode is a painting that has been found that’s hundreds of years old and on the back is the alien carving that Coulson has been doing since the end of season 1. We also get to see more of the relationship between Coulson and Agent May who is the only person that Coulson trusts with his condition, and to do what needs to be done if his condition worsens. We also get to see how much of a threat Hydra really is, as they are not only brainwashing former S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, but they also have the technology to pose as one of their dopplegangers with an electronic form of Darkman’s synthetic skin or the Mission Impossible masks, etc. Though it’s a little bit more believable here as it is electronic so it’s also able to mask their voice. Not only that, but at the end we see that they are also able to easily get the drop on Rayna and they want their obelisk back. Back on the S.H.I.E.L.D. side of things, Fitz is starting to make even more progress than before, even though he is still talking to his imaginary Simmons, he is also starting to reach out towards the rest of the group including the newcomers a little bit more, and also gets the chance to be Fitz once again while still having to work through his mental disability. Another great episode.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S:02 E:03

Episode: Making Friends and Influencing People
Original Airdate: 10-7-14

Season 2 is continuing a strong run where we get to find out where Jemma Simmons went after she left Fitz. She is putting her bad lying abilities to the absolute test working undercover for a Hydra facility. This is a great opportunity for her character and I’m very curious where it will end up going. Elizabeth Henstridge plays is very well, she still has Simmons’ nervous personality, but she has grown a lot of guts to show that she is up to handling this assignment, even though I’m sure it will test her mettle in more ways than one before all is said and done. Meanwhile Fitz finds out that Ward is still alive and continues making small progress working through his own mental blocks as we again get to see a brief glimpse of his own personal Simmons before he calls her out on not being real. I’m glad to see that he is already working through his issues, while I don’t want it to be cured too quickly, I also think his quirks could get annoying if overused and this episode is a step in the right direction on how it should be used from now on. The last bit that I have to mention is Skye’s character arc moment. She is moving forward with her field agent training and eliminates her first target successfully and without any immediate emotional trauma. She is headed towards the path of being an elite agent along the lines of May and Ward which I’m not sure how well it will play out over the season, but I’m currently curious. The only thing I don’t like about it is how they use her pulse meter as a visual indicator of how emotional she is getting in these situations.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S:02 E:02

Episode: Heavy is the Head
Original Airdate: 9-30-2014

S.H.I.E.L.D. continues strong into its second season as things continue to have been shaken up since the events from the end of the first season. The team still has a lot of rebuilding to do, and it has to reassess their threats from various sources including Hydra, the government, and yet another group who we get to see a little bit more of in this episode.
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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S:02 E:01

Episode: Shadows
Original Airdate: 9-23-14

While I had a somewhat disappointing reaction to Gotham, I was very excited for the return of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and it did not disappoint. There was a lot of shaking things up at the end of the first season and it wasted no time in getting right to the heart of the action while still tossing in a few hints at a bigger picture. And on top of everything else, it took what happened into directions that I didn’t exactly expect it to, and opened with a taste of what’s to come with the other Marvel TV series showing up later on, Agent Carter. I’m glad that I stuck with this show from the very beginning, and I have high hopes for where it’s going to end up throughout the rest of this season. As usual, I won’t be shying away from spoilers so be warned if you haven’t watched the episode before reading this.
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