Agents of SHIELD 0202: Heavy is the Head
Well after a great season 2 premiere but abysmal ratings (undoubtedly because of the fiasco of last year) the second episode of season 2 Heavy is the Head was just as good as episode 1. We see a death of a team member, a car chase, a dramatic scene between Skye and someone from her past, Coulson struggling with his demons within, and Fitz adjusting to life without Simmons. That may seem like a lot going on for this show, but like I said last week the current show writers and runners have it covered.
One of Coulson’s team is captured by General Talbot and Coulson pulls a Jax Teller-like plan to get Talbot to see him for what he is, a friendly. But Talbot wants nothing about it. We are even seeing Adrian Pasdar bringing in a great character, even though we watched him bomb on Heroes a few years back. Agent Skye and Agent May bond while Fitz’s new buddy is big time fan favorite all over the internet. This episode is chalked full of everything last season lacked, and so far this season is 2 for 2 in episodes better than all of last year. Alas, it is going to take a lot for the viewing public to forgive season 1, but they need to. It is not even the same show anymore.
Absorbing Man is back in this episode and more characters are mentioned throughout, with this kind of talent and with the list of stars at Marvel’s disposal, Agents of SHIELD is poised to spring back strong and take the Super Hero show genre by storm. But they need the commitment from fans that may have already abandoned ship too soon. This episode gets a 3.5/5 from me with a Must Watch label.
Notes: Must Watch
Agents of SHIELD 0201: Shadows
The Agents of SHIELD that we had such high hopes for has finally arrived. Even though season 2 has seen the lowest ratings ever, I don’t think it even matters because if they get cancelled they’ll will surely move on over to the
Marvel TV Network Netflix. The show is now about Coulson as Director of the broken SHIELD while being hunted down by General Talbot (Pasdar) and fighting to recruit assets against the also rebuilding Hydra. Episode 1 titled Shadows sees both Hydra and SHIELD vying for a specific artifact.
We see a few Marvel characters show up in this season premiere including a very well done Absorbing Man. Probably the best villain that they have done so far, Crusher Creel (Absorbing Man) is seen trying to steal an artifact that SHIELD also wants, and it is quickly made know that he is taking orders from Hydra. On top of this the US Army is always on the teams tail making it difficult to get things done as a rebuilding security team.
There has been much better dialogue and writing in this 1 episode and you can really tell that this show has done a complete 180 and is now headed in the right direction. It is refreshing because of the bashing that the show took from people that were comparing it to other Super Hero shows on TV even though this isn’t a super hero show, it is just based in a super hero universe that sometimes features super powered people. Overall for a season premiere it was top notch; that along with great writing and a superb introduction to a main Marvel villain I will give this episode a 4/5. It is a must watch.
Notes: Must Watch!
Agents of SHIELD
Coulson: Beginning of the End
First of all what a great and fitting season finale for a show that started out slow and after the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier; found a great foothold in American Television. The episode started out fast with Coulson and his team preparing for “war” against Garrett and Cybertek. There is some ambiguity in the episode about who is actually aligned with whom amongst the “villains” in the show but there is no doubt that the good guys are still SHIELD Agents and that is pretty damn awesome!
In the opening fight scene Coulson and his crew fight a bunch of the Cybertek Deathlok Soldiers one of whom is wielding the Berserker Staff. The CDSs are no match for Coulson, Skye, Tripp, and May whom just disarmed the Berserker and is now wielding the staff herself. During all of this Quinn and Raina are planning to take the Gravitonium and split but Raina has a close moment with Garrett and she sees how crazy he has become because of the GH235.
Skye and May infiltrate Cybertek while Coulson and Tripp distract the guards, Skye hijacks all of the CDSs and changes them to their Default Directive which is Protect John Garrett at all Costs. With all of the Cybertek handlers gone Skye takes that main handler and straps a bomb to him so he does what she wants. During all of this Garrett slowly goes more and more insane. While he is talking to Deathlok he rips a door off of the wall and starts to carve some alien designs in it with a nail. They are incoherent but clearly a plot device leading us into Season 2 this fall.
Ward goes to find Skye after having a talk with Raina, where Raina reveals the darkness that lies within Skye. When Ward gets to Skye he is ambushed by May who proceeds to fight him through walls and into many different things. The fight ends when May nails Ward’s foot to the floor with a air nailer. A swift roundhouse kick knocks him unconscious. During the fight Skye finds Deathlok’s son and gives the ok that he was waiting for.
During this it is revealed that Fury has found his way to Coulson and helps him fight Garrett. A couple really well placed one-liners Deathlok kills Garrett. The episode ends with the team reuniting under Coulson as Fury hands him the “Toolbox” a device that Fury only intrusts Coulson with. He names Coulson the new Director of SHIELD and gives him the duty to rebuild it and do it slow and right. The coordinates lead the team to a “Secret” facility called the Sandbox where Agent Bobby Koening was stationed as the “Keeper” of the base. This is a direct shout out to the Message Board Fans because clearly they are introducing Live Model Decoys (LMDs).
Overall I rate this episode a 5/5 while the season gets an overall 4/5 from me. The 1st 1/2 of the season was a 2.5/5 or a 3/5 but the second half of the season and especially after Captain America: The Winter Soldier was a strong 5/5 from each episode. I am very excited that Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD has been renewed for a season 2, but I am a little concerned that there might be a 13 week hiatus between the mid season finale this fall and the mid season premier next spring. ABC announced that will be the running of Agent Carter starring Haley Atwell as the titular character based on the rise of SHIELD (Hydra). I know ABC will rework a lot of things before then, but right now it makes me nervous.
SHIELD Coulson: Ragtag
Another damn good episode. Man ABC/ Marvel/ Disney has a hit on their hands. The slow start and the bleeding off of fans, coupled with the fact that producers and writers clearly listened to some things true fans had to say; created a true Whedonesc show that ends very strong and full of cult like fandom.
This episode opens up with a young Grant Ward in a Juvenile Detention Center and Agent John Garrett comes to recruit him. It is revealed that Ward killed his younger brother by accident by setting the house on fire. Garrett uses many different techniques to try recruit Ward while he was there, many of which work. Ward agrees to join SHIELD and work with Garrett.
May and Coulson go under cover to infiltrate Cybertek which is revealed not to be either Hydra or SHIELD. While inside they have a funny back and forth as Coulson is acting as Fitz and May is acting as Simmons via ear piece. While inside they realize that they have to get to a certain room inside of the building and make their way towards it by force.
Raina meets with Ward and she tells him she is curious about Skye and where she comes from. She tells Ward a story about a small child abandoned in province in China 25 years ago. The child was found in a village within the province but Monsters destroyed everything in the village to find the baby. Raina revealed to Ward that those monsters were not there to kill the baby but to save it.
Raina tells Ward she thinks Skye and her are the same on the inside, and that she does not trust Garrett any longer. Ward has a lot of confusion on his face, but just then Garrett collapses and reveals that he is dying.
The files that Coulson and May find in the Cybertek HQ reveal the Deathlok program goes back to 1990 and the 1st person to become a Deathlok was in fact Garrett himself. But his organs and everything are dying and the cybernetics can only keep himself alive for another month tops.
As Coulson and his team split up, half of them go to the barber shop in Havanna and the other half go to the Plane on a runway outside of Havanna. At the plane Fitz and Simmons disobey an order from Coulson and run into Ward who captures them and takes them onto the plane. Meanwhile Coulson, May, Skye, and Trip infiltrate the barbershop base.
It flashes back to Garrett and Ward sitting around a campfire about 10 years earlier and Garret reveals to Ward that he is actually Hydra and that SHIELD left him for dead. That is why he started Deathlok, so he could live to see SHIELD pay for betraying him. He recruits Ward to Hydra there. In the flashback Ward is told to kill his loyal dog, and in the present he is given the same order to kill Fitz and Simmons. With them trapped in a container to keep them away from Ward, he drops them out of the plane into the Atlantic Ocean.
Raina comes in and while Ward is taking care of Fitz and Simmons she injects Garrett with the GH235 and he goes inferno like the Extremis’ Solderies earlier in the series, but he stabilizes and wakes up feeling refreshed and confident. The episode ends with Coulson, May, Skye, and Tripp surrounded by numerous Deathlok soldiers and a soldier carrying the Berserker Staff; while Quinn meets with 2 top US Military Generals about the US buying Deathlok soldiers from him.
Agents of SHIELD Coulson: Nothing Personal
2 episodes left in the season and it is safe to say just like many Joss Whedon shows it is finally making its way into greatness after making such a slow start. “Nothing Personal” starts off with Agent May finding Agent Maria Hill while Hill is talking to Pepper Potts on the phone walking in New York. Hill played by Colby Smulders drops some names from the Marvel Universe like Man-Thing mainly as Easter Eggs for fans of the show.
May enlists Hill to help Coulson and reveals he is up at Fury’s secret base in Canada because it is feared the Alexander Pierce is responsible for TAHITI and Coulson may be inadvertently Hydra without knowing or wanting to be.
Back at Providence Coulson, Fitz, Simmons, and Agent Tripp are struggling to find out answers about where everyone went. While looking around Fitz stumbles upon a note left by Skye that reveals that Ward is Hydra just as Simmons find Koenig’s dead body bleeding from the ceiling. With Fitz freaking out and Simmons doing the autopsy on the body, it is determined that Ward is the killer and Fitz starts throwing and crashing around not wanting to believe Ward could do this. It was a very heavy scene and one great proof that this show has come a long way.
While sending Hill with Talbot to Providence to get Coulson, May is seen digging up a grave and retrieving a USB device from it and returning to her car. She plugs it in to her laptop and the scene fades back to the grave and it is revealed that it is Coulson’s grave that she dug up. Pans back to her laptop and shows “CLASSIFIED for Fury’s Eyes Only” She presses play and is startled.
Skye and Ward are seen in the original diner from episode 1 where they all first met Mike Peterson, and she starts stalling while sending information to local police about Ward while cops are in the building. She gives Ward a long speech about loyalty and being a good person, finally the cops make Ward and start to take him, he breaks free and chases Skye into the street. Deathlok (Mike Peterson) is there waiting on her, they are get onto the bus and fly away. On the plane Skye berates Ward again calling him a Nazi, and spitting at him. But as Deathlok shoots Ward with a device that stops his heart, Skye agrees to help if Ward can live.
Coulson sneaks onto the plane to try to save Skye while Hill and Tripp try to stop Ward from flying the plane. As the plane takes off Coulson finds Skye and gets her into the Cargo, they jump into Lola the red convertible and drop out of the plane to safety. A couple of missed shots by both Ward and Deathlok allow Coulson and Skye to escape easily.
Coulson starts to realize that SHIELD is no more, and is never coming back. They are sitting around a motel telling stories and swapping notes. All Coulson can think of is his team. He goes to his room and May is there waiting for him. He tries to apologize and May stops him. She says, “You’ve got to see this.”
May pops the USB into a computer and it is the Classified item from earlier. She presses play and it is Coulson. It is revealed that Coulson was Fury’s lead on TAHITI, and the message was from Coulson to Fury saying to abandon the project because even though the Alien’s blood cures the victim, the side effects are not worth living. Madness, psychosis, and violence is the side effects and the only way to get around it is to erase and replace the patient’s memory.
Agents of SHIELD Coulson: Only Light in the Darkness
After 4 really good episodes this one took a turn back to where they had been before the big Hydra reveal in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. This episode was still really good but it didn’t have that “thing” that the last few have. Don’t get me wrong I have loved this show since the pilot but even fans know when something is off and on in their shows. This episode will get a 3.5/5 from me and included a nice little B to C level baddie Blackout (Marcus Daniels).
Episode starts out with the crew hanging out in Providence, the SHIELD base that Fury set up just-in-case, and ward comes in through the blast doors as he had been on a side mission. He is sitting in the infirmary getting stitched up and telling so wildly unbelievable story about the “Fridge” getting taken over and how he stopped Garrett and killed him. All of which Coulson and the team eat up except for Agent Koenig (Patton Oswalt) seems a litter weary of.
Coulson wants to take a team to stop some prisoners who have escaped, because Coulson, and he remembers one prisoner in particular; Marcus Daniels. It is revealed that Marcus Daniels was stalking Coulson’s girlfriend in Portland and that is where the two met. As this is showing we see Marcus Daniels steal a truck from a man after touching him and stealing his energy. Just as we see this Coulson says to his team that Marcus Blacks out his victims with one touch and of course Skye says I bet they call him Blackout.
Before the team could leave Koenig says they have to take a lie detector test and then we get a funny montage of all of the team (sans Ward) taking the polygraph and saying funny and stern answers. Then Ward gets on there and only Koenig and Ward are left and of course there are plot devices and reveals that ends up with Koenig asking Ward with a gun pointed at him if he is Hydra and why he is there. Ward escapes by revealing that he came back for Skye and that he cares for her. Camera pans after he passes and he pulls a nail out from under his thumbnail. CHEATER!
Coulson’s team of Tripp, Fitz, Simmons, and himself leave for Portland and that leaves May feeling out in the cold, and Ward with Skye staying behind with Koenig in the base. May storms off and leaves after fixing the Bus and she is last seen in the episode pouting and walking through the Canadian wilderness. Meanwhile Ward and Skye share an intimate moment where he reveals that his older brother was the one who made Ward kill his younger brother and that is something he has never gotten over . Ward tells Skye that he is evil and he doesn’t think he will ever come back from it, and then they kiss.
Skye is alone as Ward sneaks up on Koenig and kills him so that Ward may take Skye on what he is telling her is a mission for the team to use the hard drive to help bring people back to justice. But Skye finds Koenig’s body and seems to realize Ward is Hydra. She struggles a bit until it seems that she has a idea of her own and goes with him willingly.
Blackout sneaks up on the Cellist at a performance but Coulson and his team are waiting on him. It is revealed that is was enhanced by SHIELD Hydra with the “Dark Force” to be almost invincible. While he is a B/C list villain in the comics the fact that Hydra was playing with the Dark Force links almost directly to the CAP 2 stinger about Strucker’s comments with otherworldly weapons. The acting a dialogue in this show sometimes is lacking and hokey but the build up and storytelling is phenomenal.
Coulson who is desperate to once more save the woman he loves, uses 3 guns built by Dr. Bruce Banner and after giving a funny quip uses the guns on Blackout and after a few moments disintegrates into pure Dark Force and flies away. Coulson runs to the Cellist and tells her he loves her but when her eyes open its Simmons standing above her. Coulson is not ready to tell the woman he loves that he is still alive.
There are only 3 episodes left and next week’s “Nothing Personal” features Colby Smulders’ Agent Maria Hill and Adrian Pasdar (Heroes) as General Talbot who infiltrate an already deserted Providence.
Marvel’s Blackout (Marcus Daniels)