Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: “Shadows” (S2Ep01)

I wasn’t sure if I was going to keep watching Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD or not. I really liked the first season and I thought it ended well. But, multiple Marvel fans kept telling me how much better the series could be. As I have said before, I am not really a fan of Marvel and have been watching this more as a Joss Whedon show. And in that regard it has been very good. But, in all honesty there was only one aspect of season two that had me excited and made up my mind that I would watch season two. And it was Xena. It being announced that Lucy Lawless would be featured in season two got me to watch it. So after how this episode ended, I might just be casually watching this show and blogging about it every so often.

Sometimes I am not sure if this show is targeting its regular fans, die hard Marvel comic book fans or its Marvel movie fans. I knew Agent Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) would be appearing on the show at some point to tease her upcoming ABC show Agent Carter. But having the first episode of season two start with her in Austria in 1945 and not with one of the characters we had grown to like last season seemed like a strange choice.

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I did not even know she was British

Only one important thing happens in the Agent Carter teaser scene.

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She found the first 0-8-4 from Hydra at a Nazi camp in 1945.

Anyway to the only thing I knew about this episode going into it.

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Xena!

The first scene in the present in former SHIELD Agent Isabelle Hartly and her two mercenaries Hunter (Nick Blood) and Idaho (Wilmer Calderon) trying to buy the 0-8-4 from the first scene off other former SHIELD agents. The main cast if giving them back up. They are pretty much hiding with their new haircuts until a bullet proof assassin comes in and steals the 0-8-4 information.

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Did someone call for badass chicks? And Agent Trip

Since we last saw her, Skye (Chloe Bennett) got a bad haircut and a lot of badass training from her new commanding office May (Ming-Na Wen). They and Agent Triplett (B.J. Britt) take Hartly and her gang back to Coulson (Clark Gregg), who is the new director of SHIELD.

Everything is clearly different in the new SHIELD. Skye, May and Trip have barely seen Coulson. Hartly, Hunter and Idaho are treating him like some all powerful shadow figure, like Fury has been since the beginning. Skye and May spend a lot of time being cryptic, stoic badass together. Skye takes a bullet that bounced off the assassin down to FitzSimmons (Iain de Caestecker, Elizabeth Henstridge) in the lab, but she acts super weird about it. It is clear that Fitz has not fully recovered from the explosion and his near drowning last episode. But, to add to that at the end we are told by Coulson that Simmons isn’t actually there. She left after last episode and Fitz is just imaging her.

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So that is why she is wearing the same outfit

To round out how strange the crew is now, Skye has to go visit Ward (Brett Dalton), who is locked in a jail cell in the basement to get information to track Hydra and the assassin. He only wants to speak to Skye, which May thinks is a bad idea. But Coulson sends her down. Skye is not feeling his apology or his sad story.

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Or that facial hair

Most of the action stuff happens rather fast and cryptically. But, the regular team and Hartly and her gang kidnap a general, who is working against SHIELD and Hydra, help the military capture the assassin and break into a military facility with a bunch of 0-8-4s.

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It was awesome!

They needed to steal a plane with cloaking technology so, as Coulson says, they can continue to protect the world even if the world does not want them to.

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May on a motorcycle! Skye can fly a jet now?!

Everything does not go as awesome-ly for Hartly and her team. She finds the weird sliver 0-8-4 that was among the things they were supposed to steal. The assassin finds her and she tries to use the thing against him, but it fuses to her arm and starts turning it purplish-black. Coulson tells them to continue the mission. Hunter says eff that and talks Hartly to the car for Idaho to drive them to the hospital. Hartly knows she isn’t going to make it to the hospital.

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So she has Hunter cut most of her arm off! Like, no big deal

I was already worried that these three new characters were driving off together. I thought they might just be leaving and we would never see them again but this happened:

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Causing this:

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And this:

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What the hell? Did the show bring on Lucy Lawless as a well publicized guest star and then kill her after one episode? From how this final scene was shot it looks like only Hunter survived. Joss Whedon, did you just bring on Buffy’s predecessor in female lead action shows onto your new show just to kill her off?

This episode was pretty good and I will probably continue watching season two. But, let me pause for a moment to talk about missed LGBT representation opportunities on this show. From what I have heard, in the comics Agent Isabelle Hartly dated Agent Victoria Hand. And both of them are still alive in the comics. The show had Agent Hand, played by out actress Saffron Burrows, in season one, but never addressed her sexuality and killed her. They then have Agent Hartly, played by gay-for-pay legend Lucy Lawless, and seemingly never address her sexuality and kill her off too. Also, Simmons is not actually part of the crew, which eliminates the popular femslash ship of Skimmons, Simmons and Skye.  I’m not really mad but because this is a Joss Whedon show, I’m just really confused.

I’ll be back next week. Xena better not be dead.

 

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