Moderator: Chief Couch Potato Kylie
Who: “Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” airs on network TV, specifically on ABC, fall to spring Tuesdays, though it is currently on 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 finale aired on ABC, Tuesday, May 17, 2016.
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)
CPU! began this season of Agents of SHIELD by publishing our first podcast about this series, which reviewed season one, recapped season two, and ruminated on the progress of season three; we then recorded a second podcast episode bridging the gap through the mid-season finale. If you would like to catch up, click the embedded links below:
Season 3A Midseason
Our SHIELD panel, namely Kristen, Jen, and moderator Kylie, recently convened once again to discuss Season 3B and all things Inhumanly Hive as well as to prognosticate upon possible future plot developments, since SHIELD was renewed for a fourth season by ABC. Listen to the podcast, and see if you agree or disagree with our comments, reactions, and predictions.
This podcast was recorded in July 2016, and there are, without question, MAJOR SPOILERS, as the panelists cover key plot points of the second half of the third season. Listen at your own risk, and let us know what you think by commenting below!
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Remember, new episodes and blog posts are published weekly! Our next podcast episode will revisit Gotham and the second half of its second season, dubbed “The Wrath of the Villains!” Stay tuned!
Questions, Impressions, and Future Considerations
1) Revisited: Will we learn about the secret society and how far back the knowledge of this alien portal goes?
ANSWER: The secret society is, in fact, the root of what we know today as Hydra. Part of Hydra’s existence is defined by the worship of the alien creature on the Planet, who we find out was exiled to the Planet by the Cree. The secret society formed around the discovery of the portal, which is most likely Cree in origin, though nothing has been confirmed. The secret society, for centuries, has engaged in a ritual in which sons of fathers were forced to draw lots (via selection stones) in order to determine who would “volunteer” to venture through the portal and search for the creature. None came back alive until Ward/Not Ward (Brett Dalton), Coulson (Clark Gregg), and Fitz (Iain de Caestecker)/Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) orchestrated their respective escapes.
2) Still a Question: Will we learn which planet it is?
ANSWER: We haven’t yet, and it’s one of the main questions of the podcast panel.
3) Revisited: Will we learn what’s out in the desert?
ANSWER: The alien, which we learn was the first Inhuman ever to be created by the Cree alien race, was Hive. Once an Earth-born human, the Cree experimented with terrogen crystals to create the first genetically mutated Inhuman, who had the power to “swarm” and affect the constitutions of other Inhumans and humans alike. This being possessed the lifeless body of Ward after Will was killed and after Coulson strangled Ward on the Planet with his bionic hand.
4) Revisited: Who is Powers Boothe’s character, and what is his true mission?
ANSWER: Known as Malick, he became the de facto head of Hydra in this third season. His true mission, like all other Hydra heads before him, was to find Hive and bring him back through the portal, as Hydra officials worshiped the unknown Inhuman like a god (or maybe a devil).
5) Revisited: Will the Inhuman program be successful, and what will be its purpose?
ANSWER: This half season, Daisy (Chloe Bennett) was able to effect more of a program with metal manipulation guy, Lincoln (Luke Mitchell), and a new discovery nicknamed “Yo-Yo” by Mack (Henry Simmons); however, not all of these individuals survived this season.
6) Revisited: Can Lash/Andrew be saved?
ANSWER: The short answer: no. Though Lash/Andrew (Blair Underwood) survived and was squirreled away to the recesses of SHIELD’s headquarters after the mid-season finale, it turns out that Lash’s specific abilities were apparently ordained by some higher purpose, according to Lincoln; that purpose was to be able to cure Inhumans, specifically Daisy, who were held under the hypnotic “Sway” of Hive. Sadly, Lash/Andrew completed his transformation and then was annihilated by the formidable Hive in one of many confrontations with the powerful being this season.
7) 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?
ANSWER: Hive Ward was most definitely a blend of Ward as well as all who Hive occupied before Ward came along. Ward’s memories and feelings for Daisy did appear to affect Hive’s unusually strong Sway effect with Daisy; he seemed to favor her above all others.
8) What is the alien being’s endgame?
ANSWER: Once on Earth, Hive Ward’s mission was to create a new race of humans by attempting to make all humans Inhuman.
9) 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?
ANSWER: What or where the alien planet is remains a question, but it’s safe to say that Hive probably did kill everyone on the planet because he attempted, directly or indirectly, to do the same to Earth in season 3B.
10) Is the alien being the true face of Hydra/did it create Hydra?
ANSWER: Yes, Hive is the true face of Hydra, in the sense that Hydra was created partly in worship of Hive. Thus, Hive indirectly created Hydra, though Hive was long exiled to the Planet by the Cree who created him.
11) What was the Hydra-symbol shaped structure on the alien planet? Did the alien being live in it?
ANSWER: Still a question without an answer.
12) 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?
ANSWER: As far as we know, Hive Ward is the only human possessed by an Inhuman to ever come to and from Earth, in either direction, because he was the first of his kind and the only one to be exiled to the Planet. At least, so it appears.
13) Does the alien being plan to destroy Earth? Why?
ANSWER: Indirectly, Hive’s intention was to expose all humans to terrogen crystal gas in order to effect their “evolution” to Inhumans. Many humans do not have the alien genetic marker to allow such a transformation without side effects, mainly death, and though Hive enlisted a scientist obsessed with human evolution (and artificial augmentation) to experiment with human DNA such that humans might be able to accept the terrogen gas mutation without death, the humans subject to these experiments became mindless neanderthals with strength and speed but no real ability and no trace of who they used to be. Thus, if Hive had succeeded in exposing the globe to the gas, he would have annihilated most of the human population on Earth, but his aim was to create a society evolved like him, as he was once human and believed himself to be altogether superior to humans.
14) Who are the Cree after all?
ANSWER: All we know so far is that they are an alien race of beings not originally from Earth.
15) Is Andrew/Lash actually dead?
ANSWER: He was not as of the mid-season finale, but he is now.
16) Where will May’s (Ming-Na Wen) head be when the second half of the season starts?
ANSWER: She was largely dutiful to SHIELD and to Coulson, though she vehemently disagreed with Phil in how to handle Daisy after she was affected by Hive’s Sway.
17) Who is the Powers Boothe character (beyond what we know), and is the Ward/Not Ward being what he was after in the end?
ANSWER: As above, he became the de facto head of Hydra after all other known heads were destroyed. Yes, Hive Ward was his true objective; he was tasked with bringing him back to Earth.
18) Will Daisy learn to fly? Soon?
ANSWER: Yes. As of the season finale, Daisy was flying, “Quake” style, though this was presented in a time-jump epilogue, said to be occurring six months after the primary events of the season.
19) When is the Bobbi (Adrianne Palicki)/Lance (Nick Blood) spin-off supposed to start, and would it be worth watching?
ANSWER: The purported spin-off was canceled by ABC prior to the network airing the pilot, so it doesn’t seem very worth watching.
20) Does the alien being have any plans for Hydra? Is it aware of Hydra?
ANSWER: Hive planned to rule Hydra, all humans, and the whole world. Hive became aware of Hydra when it arrived on Earth and sized up Malick after Malick fed information to Hive in the early days of his return to Earth (he watched a lot of TV).
21) What will happen with Daisy’s Inhuman task force?
ANSWER: As of now, two of them have died, and Daisy is off the reservation as of the “six months later” epilogue, so it is safe to say that the task force was short lived, or it is on effective hiatus, though it did help fight Hive in the end.
22) What will the aftermath of Will’s death be for Fitz/Simmons? How will they evolve? Will they evolve?
ANSWER: Though Simmons very much missed Will, she allowed herself to explore a long overdue relationship with Fitz. By the end of the season, they had done the horizontal mambo and come away without too much emotional fallout, so they seem to be well into romance territory. Let them stay healthy and alive, Whedons! We know the game!
23) How will the new Captain America movie and the events depicted therein affect our characters on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.?
ANSWER: There was mention of the so-called “Civil War” and the “Secovia Accords” on SHIELD, but the film’s events bore little overall effect on our television characters, but for mention of the need for Inhumans to “register” themselves.
24) What is the alien being’s true form?
ANSWER: He was once human but became a being that can swarm and possess others as well as affect Inhumans with his Sway.
1) What happened in the six months prior to the third season time jump/epilogue? How much could have really happened to change everything so much?
2) Is Daisy definitely “Quake” now? What is her aim at this point? Is she totally rogue? Is she working undercover for SHIELD? Is she off the reservation over mourning the loss of Lincoln?
3) If Coulson is no longer the director of SHIELD, who is? Is May the new director? Why is Coulson no longer the director of SHIELD? Did he break away over his personal (fatherly) feelings for Daisy or for another reason?
4) Will we find out about the “purpose” behind the Inhumans, as alluded to by Lincoln (RIP), and explore more of the mythology and connection between the Inhumans and the Cree? Will we ever find out the true origin of the Planet? Is the Planet important beyond being the place where Hive was exiled for millennia?
5) Will we ever learn more about the Cree themselves? Are they related to any of the individual Avengers?
6) Will we be returning to some “the team chases Daisy” motif as we already experienced in season 2? The panel is against this idea.
7) What or who will be the new “Big Bad” now that Hive has expired?
8) Is Hydra really gone? It can’t be, right? New heads and so forth?
9) Will Bobbi and/or Lance ever be brought back to the show, since their purported spin-off was axed before airing?
By consensus, the podcast panel definitely feels that Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. hit a show high point with season three; 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, though the season-ending time jump gave us a significant amount of pause. The body count in season three was high; the cast turnover was, therefore, also high; and there was definitely a sense of “Where can they go from here?” after the tense and engaging story of Hive and the origin of Hydra, especially as Hydra seems to be effectively benched in the show’s story lines. There is also a sense that SHIELD is at a crossroads; the next season could be a “make it or break it” season for this program, since it seems, after years of following the Ward character through his many transformations, the story will need a new focal point. Will that new focal point be as engaging, as entertaining, and/or as satisfying as the last three seasons of Ward’s evolution and eventual demise? That’s the question plaguing CPU!’s SHIELD panel today, particularly since the time jump epilogue seemed so anticlimactic in comparison to everything that came before it, but we all intend to keep watching at least a bit longer to find out the answer. At the very least, the panel agrees that the show is moving along at a great (and better) clip than previous seasons, with engaging story arcs for its characters. The panel still thinks it’s worth tuning in, even if the “tuning in” does not necessarily occur at the time of first airing.
Marvel: Agents of SHIELD has been renewed for a fourth season, which is slated to premiere on ABC on Tuesday, September 20, 2016, at 10:00 PM. The Marvel: Agents of SHIELD podcast panel will next reconvene following the fourth mid-season finale of SHIELD, which will likely air in or around December 2016. As always, CPU! will keep you informed of news and additional SHIELD coverage. Until then!