Welcome to the spiritual anniversary of Agents of SHIELD “getting good.”
It was last April, right before the release of Marvel’s early summer blockbuster, Captain America: Winter Soldier, that all the pieces that SHIELD painstakingly put into place finally went into motion sending us all on what has been a satisfying ride of a second season.
Now we’ve come around to the eve of the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron and the first 50 minutes of the episode, “The Dirty Half-Dozen” were representative of just how far this show has come.
The elements of Coulson’s core team who had been scattered to the five winds by treachery, personal quests and intra-agency skirmishing all donned tactlenecks and reunited for “one last job” to rescue Mike Peterson and Lincoln from the clutches of HYDRA.
The takedown of the base was quickly paced and well-choreographed, particularly Skye’s close quarters takedown of the medical area where she utilized her SHIELD training and her newfound powers to get that area under control.
The day does indeed get saved (RIP The Bus) but not before Bakshi is turned to ash during Jemma’s attempt to get revenge on Agent Traitor McHeelturn, the very man who put her and Fitz into a box and dumped them to the bottom of the ocean.
I’m not sure where the show is going with Simmons’ recent ruthless streak but anything that gets her one step closer to wearing a Jumpsuit of Evil is all right in my book.
And then there was the last 10 minutes of the episode that served as the bridge to the Avengers movie, and it just felt … tacked on.
While a little Cobie Smulders is never a bad thing, the whole video conference between Coulson and Hill was flat and obvious, even by SHIELD standards: “Remember this object? It’s still important. Gonzales is a committee voting tool. Now go buy your damn movie tickets and we’ll see you next Tuesday.”
The clunky connector to the movie side of the Marvel Universe might be a blessing in disguise for Agents of SHIELD. The first season was so dependent on the Avengers world that it literally stalled for time for about 15 episodes before it took off. Now that we’re in the home stretch of Season 2, SHIELD has carved out a nice little world for itself that’s completely independent to what’s going on in a theater near you.
There will be fallout from the Avengers that the show will have to deal with, but it’s nice to know that Agents of SHIELD has forged its own identity and will continue on, no matter what else is going on in the MCU.
Craig Wack is a veteran journalist. Please follow his Twitter.