Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is back and all is right in the world. Recently, there was a pretty good article about crossovers between Marvel Movies and Marvel TV (or the lack thereof). So far as I can tell, the relationship between MM and MTV (pun not intended but definitely welcome and well timed) is strained to frosty, with MTV being required to ask permission to use certain stories and characters from MM, given that the movies take precedent because duh. There are crossovers, but most are one way: Minor or supporting characters from the movies make quick appearances in the shows. Only those same characters are used in the movies, and we have yet to have a TV character (like May or Daisy or Murdock or Kilgrave) make a jump to the movies. It sucks, but it looks like we’ll just have to deal until Infinity Wars swings around in 2018.
But lets talk a little bit about that opening scene between Coulson and President Ellis, who was famously kidnapped and almost turned into a smore in Iron Man 3: Iron Harder. Coulson asked Ellis to reinstate SHIELD (henceforth, “CoulSHIELD” or “SHIELD of Coul”), and Ellis quipped that the public had a short memory, but it wasn’t that short: the image of helicarriers falling on the capitol is hard to shake. Ellis wanted CoulSHIELD to keep on doing what it was doing, but in the shadows. The ACTU would be the face of the Administration’s response, but would answer to Coulson. And then this happened:
Coulson and Ellis were face to face, and clarified: “We keep doing what we’re doing, and you keep pretending we don’t exist.” Given the relationship between MM and MTV, this felt like a dig at MM by the MTV side of things. Coulson, the godfather of the MCU’s TV endeavors, telling Ellis, the President and representative and most recent cameo from the MCU, that they’ll keep doing their thing and the movies will keep pretending they don’t exist.
Maybe I’m reading waaay to far into that, but that’s exactly what it felt like. What say you?
1. That opening in space had a crazy Next Generation feel to it. I half expected Patrick Stewart or Neil deGrasse-Tyson to start talking and tuck me in. It also had another, smashing vibe. Maybe I’m just reading everything wrong, but when I realized it was the inside of a QuinJet, I immediately thought it was Hulk’s Jet from Age of Ultron. It said three months later (Civil War comes out in just under two months), so the timeline kind of worked, except there was a CoulSHIELD jacket in there and that cross necklace. Know who else had a similar cross necklace? Slingshot.
I can dream.
2. From the “previously on” part of the show, Malick gave a little monologue where he explained where Hive came from. Apparently he was born thousands of years ago and banished. I’ll say this one last time: Called it! But anyway, back in the comics, Hive was created by Hydra. Here, his origin has been changed to an original Inhuman. I maintain that Hive was too powerful, and his creation is what prompted the Kree to abandon the project and get out of Dodge. Apparently the original Hydra (of which Malick is part) was formed for the sole purpose of bringing him back. I guess Pierce and Red Skull and the Arena Club are the unfocused ones!
We also got a confirmation that Ward was dead (nice try Coulson!) when Hive took over his body. He’s doing the Paleo diet to get back into shape. SquidWard looks like he’s straight from The Walking Dead. Did Nicotero stop by? My goodness he looks creepy.
Another confirmation: When Malick was going down the elevator with Budget Magneto, he said Andrew screwed things up by taking out all the Inhumans: Hive needs them. Malick wasn’t making an army for Hive to command, he was making a buffet for Hive to chose from. That’s why he was so interested in Andrew/Lash: He was pretty goddamn powerful.
3. Slingshot’s powers are freaking amazing. I mean it. I like what they did with Quicksilver in Days of Future Past and I like what they did with Quicksilver in Age of Ultron (Déjà vu...), but I think one of my favorite speedster effects outside of The Flash on CW are right here with Yo Yo. Simmons barely saw her blur on the slowed down surveillance footage. When it comes to speedsters, that’s how it should be. My favorite version of this actually comes from Man of Steel, when Faora-Ul was taking out those commandos. You didn’t see her movements; she was just there. It was like a video game. That was a perfect representation, and Slingshot is the closest I’ve seen to that since.
I also loved the way she tested the interior of the holding cell while simultaneously keeping her eye on Mack after she was captured. She was bouncing all around that cell so quickly that it seemed like she was standing still. Crazy good effects.
More than that, I love the way the explain that her powers are tied to her heartbeat: She can go as far as she can get in one heartbeat. Right now it’s pretty quick, but remember something: May helped Daisy control her powers by controlling her pulse. When Daisy first got her powers, they would express themselves when she stressed out, almost like the Hulk. If May or Daisy can teach her to control her pulse, she can make her range expand exponentially. I see great things for Yo Yo in the future.
4. As always, Hunter was bringing the heat with the comedy. I laughed when he complained that it wasn’t fair since all it took was “one tainted fish taco...then pfft!” I rolled when he admitted to taking the fish oil pills hoping for X-Ray vision. And him imaging the possibilities of being invisible, and Mockingbird’s lock down of that who thing, was glorious. DAMN RIGHT HUNTER IS JEALOUS.
5. So Mack has tied someone up in a bathroom (Hunter) and has been tied up in a bathroom. The tier becomes the tiee!
6. Lincoln and Coulson don’t get along, and it showed. May was right at the end, Coulson was getting better, but still. I had no idea Coulson would be so willing to send someone to Tahiti, but here we are. And you could tell Lincoln was NOT COOL with tossing Von Strucker’s vegetables. I’m glad Lincoln is sticking around, though. Besides Daisy, he’s the best trained Inhuman CoulSHIELD has.
7. At the end of the first season, I gasped when Fury told Coulson he was an Avenger, because it was awesome and he was right and it wasn’t expected. At the end of this episode, I gasped when May told Coulson that he joined the Cavalry. But again, she was right: Coulson made the hard choice, just like May did when she earned the nickname.
8. I have two things to say about CoulSHIELD’s technology at this point: Coulson’s new hand is dope (you were right Fitz), and it appears that SHIELD employs Snap Bracelets to handcuff hostiles. I love the simplicity and complexity at play here. Advanced robotics that feel like a human hand, and 90's kids bracelets. I can’t wait to see what else Fitz thinks up. I like how they realized that they can keep the team together with the right tech solutions. Secret Warriors can be a large team with a small core, calling on certain people as the job requires.
9. Am I the only one who thought about Airplane! when Mack and Yo Yo were talking about her process of getting powers? I sure hope not.
Also, when SquidWard was sitting there watching the televisions at the end, right before he went all Sandman on Budget Magneto, I hoped with all my being that he would say “Multipass.” I CAN’T BE ALONE HERE, CAN I?
10. Lets talk about Joey. He was magnificent and is having a blast. I cheered when he “took care” of the weapons, and I cheered harder when he took care of Medusa. That was some quick thinking fusing his glasses to his face.
The best part, however, was how they let him be the point man on uptake for the new Inhumans they’re recruiting. Keep this up: He’s very personable and much warmer than Mack. He scary, yo. How do you take someone as big as Mack, anyway???
11. Talbot was named the head of the ACTU, and I cannot wait to watch this Odd Couple try to work together. Coulson has more respect for Talbot than Talbot has for Coulson, and can’t stand SHIELD. I hope they get their own theme music.
12. FITZSIMMONS IS BACK IN THE MOTHERFUCKING HIZOUSE! They started fresh, but god DAMN am I glad they got over that chasm. All is right in the world.