I do love a good TV show recap – good in the sense of the recap being good and in recapping a good show like Agents Of Shield, which is now a great show in fact with big improvements over season 1, season 2 drew to a close almost 2 weeks ago now with a near 90 minute 2 part finale which felt like a Marvel movie in itself. I found it it that good to watch and it really epitomized the scope, ambition and entertainment value that season 2 had throughout.
Season 2s’ big theme if I had to choose one was change, there were rumours of new super powered characters coming to the show as the Inhumans but imagining fully fledged powered on Agents Of Shield, surely not (Lady Sif is a cameo character so meh). Well Marvel had a plan with the show, season 2 followed on from the dramatic fall of shield, with the team being betrayed by Ward at the end of last season, Coulson is picking up the pieces and getting on with business, though things couldn’t be normal with Fitz suffering mental damage, Simmons not being with the team initially adding new agents in Triplett, Mack and Hunter.
Season 2 really started on a strong note, establishing things were different and the fun team of agents element of season 1 wouldn’t quite be the same, though we still got the feel for that as the season progressed with Simmons coming back and Fitz slowly re-integrating. The new team was actually great to watch, Bobby ‘Mockingbird’ Morse was a great addition to the season as was Agent Triplett and Mack, adding new comic relief and a sense of camaraderie to the Agents, Hunter and Bobby especially gave plenty of funny scenes through the season with their love-hate relationship.
The action set pieces in the 2nd season were a highlight of course, more or less any fight with Bobby springs to mind, as does Agent 33 and Agent Mays’ fight (one of the best in the season) and it showcased the entertainment value of the show, Agents Of Shield is just a lot of fun of watch and it revels in that, the writing, humour and characters all reflect that. Though this season was a fair bit darker in quite a few places.
Character development was huge this season and we saw backstories to a lot of mysteries e.g. the Tahiti project and Coulsons’ resurrection, Skyes’ past and parentage, part of Mays’ past, introducing her ex-husband as well and a lot of characters got some great plot arcs. Ward was around here and there but wasn’t that central to the plot this time around, though he gets a bigger part in the 2nd half of the season, Agent Coulson played a new role as director, plagued with Alien visions while keeping the agents at a distance. His relationship with everyone was strained a bit, but with May quite a bit. And Clark Gregg definitely brought his A-game as Coulson in season 2, as did Chloe Benett as Skye, also Skye especially had a great arc with the inhumans revelation and her gaining her powers. And general characterization, it was all handled generally well looking at the whole season but there were downsides, aside from her Hydra infiltration plot arc, she wasn’t left with that much to do this season and her reaction to a powered Skye felt a bit unrealistic (though she is a bit neurotic and overreacts) as did her actively trying to kill Ward.
Also Bobby and Hunter going to the ‘dark’ side, to work for the ‘real’ shield felt a bit out of the blue at first but it was understandable as the season went on, the Shield vs Shield element of the season was interesting, adding some extra conflict and giving us legitimate reasons to question Coulson, though in the end I felt the ‘Real’ Shield went to extremes a bit too often. And anyway what about Hydra? They got pretty beaten down this season, Bakshi ended up getting killed as did a lot of Hydra higher ups and while they were mostly present, Shield sort of overcame Hydra. Who are now at a pretty lowpoint as referenced in the season finale, what happens with them now is pretty interesting for the show as it seems Ward is being set up as an out and out villain, out for revenge.
Season 2 can’t be talked about in detail without mentioning the inhumans arc and their introduction to Marvels’ TV universe was handled really well I thought, we went from knowing nothing about them in the context of the show to finding out they have a fully fledged society, as viewers we were in the dark just as Shield itself was. Skyes’ dad was in Kyle was common knowledge to us all but we didn’t know who her mom was, though it was a bit of an easy guess once we saw Zha Ying and what she went through, seeing Skye re-united with her family was a great touch anyway and seeing her initially at and then away from Shield coping with her powers was interesting. It was interesting to see how the agents all reacted to the powered Skye, though still trying to help, the ‘Real’ Shield was fully anti-inhuman, setting up some inevitable conflict.
And the pre-cursor to that all was the visions Coulson was having, leading to the alien city and the Kree technology that was left, I liked how they built up to the inhumans with that, leaving us guessing all the way but it was a shame to see Agent Triplett bite the big one as he was a great character. The Inhumans plot arc more or less was the 2nd half of the season and it was great, these characters existed and Shield and its agents had to react to them, especially as one of their own was an Inhuman and now Quake (though Daisy has superhero name yet) and seeing the inhumans humanized through certain characters was a nice touch. No one this season aside Bakshi and some Hydra people were truly ‘evil’ and that was a nice touch for the show as the characters were three dimensional and complicated, especially Kyle, Skye and Bobby and once again, great characterization makes for great viewing.
Season 2 was a very entertaining romp – I just had to use romp at some point in this review but really it had all the makings of top quality TV with a bunch of great, complex characters, compelling villains and great stories, the action was great as were the slower moments and new characters always added to the show instead of taking away from it. Season 2 shows clear progression improvement from the first season and you can see that clearly in the finale which brought things to a great close and opened up opportunities for some exciting new stories, very inhuman stories at that and I can’t wait to see where the show goes from here.