by Tony Ortega
*WARNING: THERE WILL BE SPOILERS. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK
The sophomore season of Marvel AoS is way better than the first. The writers added more diversity to the cast. The characters, generally, are more interesting (insert some Tony May hate here) and they are weaving S.H.I.E.L.D. more intricately with the Marvel Cinematic Universe as well as the Comic Universe. They are also delving into S.H.I.E.L.D.’s rich comic book history. ALSO, they had a bearded Agent Ward for part of the season. What’s not to love? Needless to say, I was anxiously awaiting the midseason premiere on March 3 and I was only mildly disappointed. So here we go folks:
Previously, on Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Whitehall is dead. Skye was revealed to be Daisy (Daisy Johnson aka Quake of Secret Warriors and Avengers) and her father possibly being Mr. Hyde of Daredevil fame. The Terrigen crystal exploded, leading to Skye and Raina undergoing, what appeared to be, Terrigenisis. Tripp looked like he absorbed some of the Terrigen crystals but was literally cracking up from the experience. We had a mysterious visitor with no eyes. Also, Melinda May continues to be the same old boring character she has been since the show started (that last part is pure personal opinion).
The episode opens up with some origin tale of the eye-less person named Gordon we saw last fall. Readers of Charles Soule’s current run of Inhuman will recognize him as Reader – the rebel Inhuman. We then jump into what happened in the cavern that fateful day when the Terrigen crystal exploded. Skye is in quarantine. Raina is nowhere to be found. Tripp is in pieces, literally. This broke my heart as Tripp was the one character with direct ties to the Howling Commandos. I was hoping for some weird Terrigensis mutation for him but alas, when the wheelbarrel with his pieces in it was wheeled away, we have likely seen the last of Tripp – or have we? Remember, Coulson died in the Avengers movie but they brought him back.
The episode takes us through the Agents grieving Tripp’s death. What I really liked was how the writers showed the different ways the agents were dealing with Tripp’s death, including Mac’s verbal beat down with Coulson. I felt like I was right there with the characters. I have always said that what makes a good show (movie, book, etc.) is for the writers to make me give a crap about the characters. They are doing a bang up job of this.
We also see Simmons have a major meltdown in front of Skye. Fitz is also on a one way trip to crazy town as well ass developing a man crush on Mac, if you ask me (I don’t blame you Fitz. Than man is one tall drink of water). Skye appears to be clueless of her Terrigenesis. And May smiled – TWICE. Major WTF moment for me.
Other things that went on in last night’s episode: Raina was revealed to have transformed into some sort of dangerous porcupine/thorn mutation girl. I can’t seem to find a reference for this character in Inhuman’s lore so folks, help me out here. After killing some low level agents (and almost Simmons), she gets in contact with Skye’s father Calvin. Mr. Hyde proceeds to encourage her to kill herself since she can’t live this way. While Raina attempts to do so, she is rescued by Reader.
Coulson and crew hatches a plan to destroy Hydra. Coulson and May are with their Hydra prisoner Bakshi and get side swiped by a truck. I shouted with glee as May could have died, become maimed or suffered significant frontal lobe brain damage to cause a personality shift. Alas, my hopes were daunted as she jumped out of the car, guns ablazing, unmaimed and still the same. She later appears to get shot in the heart (Coulson too) but apparently this was a ruse to get Hydra out of hiding. Damn it, that woman won’t die.
The major heads of Hydra appear to have been destroyed. Skye demonstrates her Quake powers in front of Fitz who covers for her with the gang and did everyone catch the side conversation that Bobbie and Mac were having? Please don’t tell me they are double agents.
The previews for next week make it appear to be a very Skye/Daisy centric episode, where she discloses her powers to at least Coulson and a new character appears – played by no other than Eddie Mcclintock of Warehouse 13 fame. Very excited about this addition.
Overall all, great midseason premiere. The new energy the writers have infused into the show continues to be very entertaining and enthralling. I think I am more hooked now than before. The only thing that I would have changed from the midseason premiere (other than killing May) would have been an appearance by WARD. I would have even taken a fully clothed and beardless Ward appearance. Hello?