Who: “Marvel: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” airs on network TV, specifically on ABC, Tuesdays at 9:00 PM, though it is currently on mid-season hiatus.
What: “Marvel: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D,” a serial television drama based on the comic/graphic novel and film universe of Marvel Comics.
The mission of the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division, i.e. S.H.I.E.L.D., is to monitor and collect rogue supernatural subjects, forces, and people and to control them. The Division is kind of like the so-called Men in Black but is focused on any fringe element looking to create the next Tony Stark (Iron Man) or Captain America or Thor without the natural-born endowments (or the cool suit invented by a rich guy). Of course, the mission has been complicated ten times over since the start of the series.
When: The season 3 premiere aired on ABC, Tuesday, September 29, 2015, at 9:00 PM.
Where: The show is set in the fictional Marvel Cinematic Universe and closely follows the events of “The Avengers” films, directed by series creator Joss Whedon (along with brother Jed).
Why: Two reasons: Joss Whedon and Disney’s first television production of the Marvel property it recently acquired. It seemed like a no-brainer, really.
How – as in How’s It Going? (THOUGHTS…at present)
We recently published our first podcast about this series, which reviewed season one, recapped season two, and ruminated on the progress of season three. If you would like to catch up, here’s the YouTube link:
Since our first Marvel: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. podcast and, really, any true revisit of the series was a long-time coming for CPU!, we made up for lost time, and the fact that so much had happened in the episodes following our last podcast, by reconvening mid-season. Thus, our S.H.I.E.L.D. podcast panel, namely Kristen, Jen, and moderator Kylie, decided to check in on the series and to dissect what has happened, including the several colossal plot developments in the mid-season finale. We also decided to prognosticate upon possible future plot developments, since our favorite agents are in various states of rebuilding and recovery following some unexpected deaths and another visit to the alien world through the portal. The last three to four episodes of the first half of season three were especially jam-packed; our panel delves into the meat of those episodes thoroughly. Listen to the podcast, and see if you agree or disagree with our comments, reactions, and predictions.
This podcast was recorded on February 7, 2015. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter (@cpupodcast), or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org – or subscribe to this blog, the YouTube channel, and/or our iTunes channel to keep track of brand new episodes. In the meantime, let us know what you think! And remember, new episodes and blog posts come out weekly!
1) Why does Lash leave Skye/Daisy alone?
ANSWER: Unclear but presumably because Lash, who is Andrew (Blair Underwood) in real life, recognizes her. Also, Skye/Daisy (Chloe Bennett) is legitimately alien, unlike many Inhumans who are simply reacting to the crystal dust in the atmosphere.
2) What is the ATCU’s true mission?
ANSWER: Roz (Constance Zimmer) believed that it was to contain Inhumans and other “special” people and responsibly put them in stasis, possibly affording ATCU’s scientists the opportunity to “cure” them, which is different than S.H.I.E.L.D.’s traditional courses of action. As it turns out, however, ATCU is really one of many legitimate faces of the heads of Hydra, which also surprised Roz, who was unaware of that fact.
3) Will Fitz/Simmons rescue Will from the alien planet? And if they do, how will it affect their tentative romance?
ANSWER: Fitz (Iain de Castecker) volunteered to return to the alien planet, under duress by Ward (Brett Dalton), who would have forced Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) to return to help him find what he was looking for (and to help him get back) if Fitz didn’t go – and Ward convinced Fitz to do this by allowing him to listen to Simmons being tortured in the next room. While it looked as though he might save Will, he and Coulson (Clark Gregg) discovered that Will was occupied by the unidentified alien in the desert that Will and Gemma previously feared, so Fitz shot the Will-infested creature with a flare gun. In the meantime, Coulson, with his bionic hand and a thirst for revenge after the death of Roz, strangled Ward to death by crushing his neck. Yet, Ward’s body was sneakily occupied by the spirit of the unidentified alien, and he returned to Earth behind the others. Thus, Will has died, and we do see Fitz reunite with Simmons after returning from the alien planet and, presumably, informing her of the tragic news amidst embrace. The love triangle that could have been is, therefore, currently defunct, but we have not yet seen the aftermath or effect this news has/will have on Simmons and/or her relationship to Fitz.
4) Will we learn about the secret society and how far back the knowledge of this alien portal goes?
ANSWER: All we know right now is that the secret society is yet another head of Hydra or related to Hydra in some way, and that the knowledge reaches back for centuries, based upon some connections that Fitz and Simmons found in some old books. We also know that there is a Hydra symbol shaped structure on the alien planet, and that the character played by Powers Boothe seems to think that the alien planet is the source of power and knowledge that Hydra has been seeking since its inception. Other than that, no other blanks have been filled.
5) Will we learn which planet it is?
ANSWER: We haven’t yet, and it’s one of the main questions of the podcast panel.
6) Will we learn what’s out in the desert?
ANSWER: A hostile alien being, but we do not know its true form. We only know that it occupies Ward’s presumably lifeless body currently.
7) Will Coulson learn about Roz’s true motives?
ANSWER: He learned about ATCU, and the connection to Hydra, but he also learned that Roz truly believed that ATCU was doing good work, as she talked about the loss of her husband, who died of a fatal disease, and how she joined ATCU to apply its principles to fighting the likes of, for example, cancer. We learned that Coulson and Roz had fallen in love, despite their initial cat-and-mouse spy agency competition and sexual tension, and that Coulson was wracked with grief and anger when Hydra agents took out Roz.
8) Does Ward even matter anymore?
ANSWER: Well, he does NOW! Except he’s not really Ward. WHAT WILL IT ALL MEAN?!
9) Who is Powers Boothe’s character, and what is his true mission?
ANSWER: We only know that he is a member of the “old guard” of Hydra and has a lot of knowledge about the organization’s history and mission. It is still unclear how he fits into the picture, but he was definitely after whatever was on the alien planet, though not even he knows what that might be – is it the alien being? The Hydra structure? Or, is there something more to that planet?
10) Will S.H.I.E.L.D. – or Lance (Nick Hunter) – ever catch up to Ward?
ANSWER: And how, only it was Coulson who got Ward in the end, and he got what he thought was his revenge by crushing Ward’s neck with his mechanical hand.
11) Will Lincoln (Luke Mitchell) accept S.H.I.E.L.D.’s protection (and calm down)?
ANSWER: He seemed to calm down, so much so that he was added into the mission as S.H.I.E.L.D. chased Ward (and Fitz/Simmons) back to the castle with the alien portal.
12) Will the Inhuman program be successful, and what will be its purpose?
ANSWER: So far, the Inhuman program seems to augment S.H.I.E.L.D’s larger mission, but Skye/Daisy is looking after only Lincoln and the guy who could manipulate metal that they found at the beginning of the season. Future story lines will no doubt flush out this task force.
13) Can Lash/Andrew be saved?
ANSWER: His fate is undecided – it looks like he died, but we didn’t really see it, and it was left open ended.
14) Can Mack (Henry Simmons) get more to do?
ANSWER: And how. Because May (Ming-Na Wen) was emotionally compromised by the discovery that Lash is Andrew, Coulson placed Mack temporarily in charge while Coulson chased down Ward with a vendetta for Roz’s death on the brain. Mack was insecure but ultimately an able leader, though May helped him out a bit.
Questions Going Forward
1) Will Ward/Not Ward use any lingering sense of Ward-ness (his memories, his feelings for Daisy, his skills, his grudges, etc.) while occupied by the alien being, or will this new Ward be a whole new animal reflective of the being within?
2) What is the alien being’s endgame?
3) What or where is the alien planet? Is it the Cree home world? Is it somewhere else? Are there any other occupants on that planet besides the alien being, or did it kill everyone off all over the planet?
4) Is the alien being the true face of Hydra/did it create Hydra?
5) What was the Hydra-symbol shaped structure on the alien planet? Did the alien being live in it?
6) Have other alien beings inhabited other human visitors and found their way back to Earth? Or, is the Ward/Not Ward alien being the first one?
7) Does the alien being plan to destroy Earth? Why?
8) Who are the Cree after all?
9) Is Andrew/Lash actually dead?
10) Where will May’s head be when the second half of the season starts?
11) Who is the Powers Boothe character (beyond what we know), and is the Ward/Not Ward being what he was after in the end?
12) Will Daisy learn to fly? Soon?
13) When is the Bobbi (Adrianne Palicki)/Lance spin-off supposed to start, and would it be worth watching?
14) Does the alien being have any plans for Hydra? Is it aware of Hydra?
15) What will happen with Daisy’s Inhuman task force?
16) What will the aftermath of Will’s death be for Fitz/Simmons? How will they evolve? Will they evolve?
17) How will the new Captain America movie and the events depicted therein affect our characters on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.?
18) What is the alien being’s true form?
Marvel: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. just keeps getting better; the entire podcast panel still believes that it’s become one of the most satisfying, action-packed “superhero” dramas currently on television, more or less – in fact, there was consensus, in that we think the third season is the best so far. Even if the panelists vary in whether we think this show is “can’t miss” appointment television, we’re still eager to see what happens next. Plus, the show is moving along at a great clip, with engaging story arcs for its characters. It’s worth tuning in, even if the “tuning in” does not necessarily occur at the time of first airing.
A full season of this program was ordered upon renewal, and both our podcast panel and other TV pundits believe that renewal for a fourth season is a safe bet, though no official announcement has yet been made. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns from its mid-season hiatus on March 8, 2016. The podcast panel will revisit this program at the end of season, so keep checking back with CPU! for all the latest blog posts and podcast episodes.
Coming next week: CPU!’s first look at the TV show Gotham.