Marvel’s Defenders Series, Episode Ten: Marvel’s Iron Fist, Season Two (MAJOR SPOILERS)

CPU! final-01

A new podcast episode of Couch Potatoes Unite!, which is based on a blog of the same name hosted at couchpotatoesunite.wordpress.com. In this episode, recorded in September 2018, our panel of comic book and superhero enthusiasts – including moderator Kylie, Kristen, Nick, Hilary, Kyle, and Spencer – is back Around the Water Cooler as the Marvel’s Defenders Series panel discusses Season 2 of Iron Fist, the fourth property introduced into Netflix’s Marvel wing of its original streaming library. If you have not watched any of Iron Fist (or any of the other Defenders series: Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, The Punisher, and The Defenders crossover miniseries), be aware that there are MAJOR SPOILERS! Tell us what you think in the comments below and check out the blog and YouTube for other TV related discussions, in both podcast and blog format. Also, if there are other shows you’re interested in the blog covering, sound off below! Tell us what you like or don’t like. Keep the discussion going!

Editor: Kylie C. Piette
Logo: Rebecca Wallace
Marketing Graphic Artist: Krista Pennington

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PODCAST! – Streaming Originals & Around the Water Cooler: Marvel’s Defenders Series, Episode Ten, “Marvel’s Iron Fist” – the Season Two Recap and Review (MAJOR SPOILERS)

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Moderator: Chief Couch Potato Kylie

THE SPECS:

Who: “Marvel’s Iron Fist” is a web television series based upon the Marvel Comics character Iron Fist and is a Netflix original series, always available on Netflix.

What: “Marvel’s Iron Fist,” created by Scott Buck, is set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), sharing continuity with the films of the franchise, and is the fourth in a series of shows that led up to a Defenders crossover miniseries. Finn Jones stars as Danny Rand aka Iron Fist, a martial arts expert with the ability to call upon the power of the sacred Iron Fist.

SYNOPSIS

Danny Rand (Jones) returns to New York City, after being presumed dead for 15 years, to reclaim his family company from Harold Meachum and his children, Ward Meachum (Tom Pelphrey) and Joy Meachum (Jessica Stroup). When a threat emerges, Rand must choose between his family’s legacy and his duties as the Iron Fist.

When: Season 2 was released in its entirety to the Netflix streaming library on September 7, 2018, with a total of ten episodes.

Where: The action is set primarily in the New York City, New York, borough of Manhattan, as depicted in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  This season, the action primarily transpires in Chinatown.

Why: To find out why individual podcast panelists started watching this show, listen to the “Iron Fist” Episode 1 recap and review via the link below – though I will say that all of the panelists are fans of the Netflix original library and/or superhero/comic book based shows in their own right and have found themselves eagerly anticipating new entries in Netflix’s “Defenders” series of releases.  As a result, they’re committed to a CPU! series about same!

How – as in How Was It? – THOUGHTS

As long-time listeners should know by now, CPU! is chock full of panelists with a proclivity for comic book and superhero TV shows and films, including your Chief CP. Our Marvel’s Defenders Series was born of this proclivity, as we have already covered the two available seasons of Daredevil; the two available seasons of Jessica Jones; the two available seasons of Luke Cage; the first season of Iron Fist; the one available season of the crossover event miniseries, The Defenders; and the one available season of the first spin-off series, The Punisher.  Listen to the links below:

Marvel’s Defenders Series, Episode One, “Daredevil,” Season 1

Marvel’s Defenders Series, Episode Two, “Jessica Jones,” Season 1

Marvel’s Defenders Series, Episode Three, “Daredevil,” Season 2

Marvel’s Defenders Series, Episode Four, “Luke Cage,” Season 1
Marvel’s Defenders Series, Episode Five, “Iron Fist,” Season 1

Marvel’s Defenders Series, Episode Six, “The Defenders,” Season 1

Marvel’s Defenders Series, Episode Seven, “The Punisher,” Season 1

Marvel’s Defenders Series, Episode Eight, “Jessica Jones,” Season 2

Marvel’s Defenders Series, Episode Nine, “Luke Cage,” Season 2

In this, the tenth episode of our Marvel’s Defenders Series, we revisit the fourth in Netflix’s series of Marvel-centered shows that led up to The Defenders miniseries, namely Iron Fistfeaturing Defenders Series panelists Nick, Kristen, Hilary, Kyle, and Spencer.  In this episode, our panelists experience multiple “nerdgasms” over not only a vast and dramatic improvement over Season 1 but a growing addiction to the mythos and mythology behind “The Immortal Iron Fist.”  Common reactions to this season universally praise story execution; improved direction; Jessica Henwick as Colleen Wing; better pacing; the improvement of Ward Meachum (Pelphrey) as a character; the thrilling crossover appearances of Luke Cage character Misty Knight (Simone Missick), possibly seeding a “Heroes for Hire” entry – or even “Daughters of the Dragon” – in this Netflix lineup; and a more focused sense of story direction overall compared to Season 1.  Though our panel would have willingly gobbled up a third season, noting that we recorded this episode before Netflix canceled both the Luke Cage and Iron Fist solo series, alternatively, we would all also eagerly watch a first season of “Heroes for Hire” or “Daughters of the Dragon.”  To hear us hash out these opinions further, listen to our discussion via the embedded link below.

This podcast was recorded in September 2018, and there are, without question, MAJOR SPOILERS, as we cover major plot points throughout the second season of Iron Fist.  Do you agree or disagree?  Listen at your own risk, and let us know what you think by commenting below.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter (@cpupodcast), Instagram (@couchpotatoesunite), Pinterest (@cpupodcast), or email us at couchpotatoesunitepodcast@gmail.com – or subscribe to this blog, the YouTube channel, our iTunes channel, our Stitcher Radio channel , and/or find us on Google Play to keep track of brand new episodes.  In the meantime, let us know what you think!  Comment or review us in any of the above forums – we’d love your feedback!

Remember, new episodes and blog posts are published weekly!  Next Wednesday, our comic book oriented streak continues as our Gotham panel returns to the Water Coolerschedule permitting, to reason whether the highly inconsistent “Batman” prequel sustained its better momentum in the back half of Season 4, now its penultimate season, as the fifth season was deemed its to-be last by the Fox network. Stay tuned!

Lingering Questions

1) Netflix has canceled both Luke Cage and Iron Fist.  Are they paving the way, via efficiency of cost, for “Heroes for Hire”/”Daughters of the Dragon?”  Or, did the streaming giant actually give up on two of the properties comprising its unique corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe for any of the following reasons: low ratings for Iron Fist; disagreements with the Luke Cage show-runner; and/or the fact that Disney/Marvel is starting its own streaming service and is gradually relieving Netflix of these properties?  When, if ever, will we know the truth?

2) Who is the Pirate Queen, from which Colleen is descended?

3) Are Danny and Colleen doomed to spend the rest of their days as friends only, having ended their romantic relationship?  Were Misty and Ward really flirting over her “Maserati” arm?

4) How involved would Mary/Walker aka Typhoid Mary (Alice Eve) have been with Danny, Colleen, or any other purveyor of the Iron Fist?  Will she now transfer to Daredevil, as she is traditionally a “Daredevil” villain, with this show’s cancellation?

5) Would Bethany have had Ward’s baby?  Would Ward have been able to convince Bethany to permit him a connection to his child?

6) What would Joy (Stroup) have done, now that her plan for revenge has been foiled and since she suffered horrific injuries via the betraying and murderous hands of Davos aka Steel Serpent (Sacha Dhawan)?

7) Would Davos have escaped from jail?  Would he have come after Danny?  Would he have been broken out by some other faction, like remnants of the Hand or some other Marvel criminal and/or ninja organization? Or, would he have powered up his rage-driven chi again and created his own means of escape?

8) Would we have seen Danny’s journey to regain the power of the Iron Fist, particularly via his predecessor, Orson Randall?  Would we have met Orson?  Would we have seen the Iron Fist Guide or Book that provides the secrets of the power of the Iron Fist?

9) Would we ever have met Sao Lao?

10) If “Heroes for Hire” and/or “Daughters of the Dragon” is/are launched, would these series resolve the considerable loose ends/cliffhangers posed by the ends of the second seasons of Luke Cage and Iron Fist?

PARTING SHOTS

Frankly, listeners, ever since our panel learned of the cancellation of Iron Fist, we have vacillated widely and wildly between shock, stunned silence, and angry outcry.  Our panel universally enjoys this property; all six of our members rank it among the “Top 3” of our individual favorite Defenders (including The Punisher, not including The Defenders crossover miniseries). Kylie and Kristen rank it tied for first (with Daredevil and Jessica Jones, respectively); Hilary and Kyle rank it second after Daredevil; and Spencer and Nick rank it third after Daredevil and The PunisherIn fact, our panel unanimously recommends Iron Fist to fans of comic books, particularly from the Marvel universe; fans of the various Defenders series; fans of the character; fans of kung fu and karate movies; and fans of epic fantasy along the lines of Star Wars or, more on the nose, stylized martial arts epics like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.  The panel generally and universally agrees that Iron Fist is well-performed (yes, including Finn Jones!) and aptly written and directed with markedly improved pacing and story execution in Season 2.

The entire panel experienced even more rapturous and engaged fun watching the second season of this series and believes that some of the criticism from trade critics and viewers alike remains unduly harsh, as the panel uniformly asserts that many who find more than small faults with this series may have missed (or simply do not prefer) its tendency toward subtleties and foreshadowing.  They may also not understand or appreciate the fact that Jones is playing a childlike character in an adult’s body who is also meant to be a fish out of water – from an ethnic as well as a “this dimension, that dimension” perspective.  Plus, those that offer frustration by his lack of growth as a character in the first season should have been able to appreciate the character’s turnaround in the second.

The panel, further, vehemently disagrees with the “white washing” controversy surrounding this show; while we acknowledge that white washing is prevalent in mainstream Hollywood and is a potential problem, Danny Rand as a character is white in the comics and is meant to be the “other” in the mystical village in which he spent his childhood, as well as in Manhattan when he tries to reintroduce himself into his former life.  The entire panel, therefore, recommends re-watching with an open mind for those who struggled with some of these aspects and a first watch for those interested in the Defenders as a whole.

On the other hand, especially with the cancellation of this and the Luke Cage series confirmed and on the books, all panelists, including super-fan Kyle, effused enthusiasm for the prospect of a “Heroes for Hire” or “Daughters of the Dragon” spin-off vehicle, or two, if Netflix is secretly considering converting these two properties into either or both of these more efficient, more cost-effective, and likely more popular adaptations that have enjoyed a greater longevity of life in the comics. While we wait for Netflix’s decision about these new series possibilities, fortunately for us, Marvel’s Daredevil was released on October 19, and the Defenders panel is already ready already for the next chapter.  Stay tuned!

THE FUTURE OF THE SHOW

Canceled!  Netflix canceled Iron Fist on October 12, 2018, after two seasons.  CPU! will continue the Marvel’s Defenders Series as long as Netflix continues to produce seasons of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and The Punisher, though we remain ever hopeful for new series devoted to “Heroes for Hire” and/or to “Daughters of the Dragon.”  As always, CPU! will keep you informed of all Netflix/Marvel coverage.

LOOKING AHEAD

The CPU! Marvel’s Defenders Series panel will return to the Water Cooler shortly to review the third season of Daredevil, about which our devoted panelists expressed the utmost excitement, and to record post-mortem reactions to the cancellations of the solo series of Luke Cage and Iron Fist. Until then!

NEXT CPU! LIVE!

CPU! is going live again!!!  CPU! will next be LIVE at Grand Rapids Comic-Con. for our third annual appearance at the Con, on November 10, 2018, at 7:00 PM!  In that live podcast (also streamed to our Facebook page), a brand new panel will gather together to debate the multifaceted, multi-generational universe behind Star Trek. This panel will also seed a new ongoing series panel for the podcast!  Like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter and Instagram to keep abreast of all the details, but here’s the art for it for now!  Stay tuned!

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Marvel’s Defenders Series, Episode Nine: Marvel’s Luke Cage, Season Two (MAJOR SPOILERS)

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A new podcast episode of Couch Potatoes Unite!, which is based on a blog of the same name hosted at couchpotatoesunite.wordpress.com. In this episode, recorded in September 2018, our panel of comic book and superhero enthusiasts – including moderator Kylie, Kristen, Nick, Hilary, Kyle, and Spencer – is back Around the Water Cooler as the Marvel’s Defenders Series panel discusses Season 2 of Luke Cage, the third property introduced into Netflix’s Marvel wing of its original streaming library. If you have not watched any of Luke Cage (or any of the other Defenders series: Daredevil, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, The Punisher, and The Defenders crossover miniseries), be aware that there are MAJOR SPOILERS! Tell us what you think in the comments below and check out the blog and YouTube for other TV related discussions, in both podcast and blog format. Also, if there are other shows you’re interested in the blog covering, sound off below! Tell us what you like or don’t like. Keep the discussion going!

Editor: Kylie C. Piette
Logo: Rebecca Wallace
Marketing Graphic Artist: Krista Pennington

PODCAST! – Streaming Originals & Around the Water Cooler: Marvel’s Defenders Series, Episode Nine, “Marvel’s Luke Cage” – the Season 2 Recap and Review (MAJOR SPOILERS)

Image result for luke cage title

Moderator: Chief Couch Potato Kylie

THE SPECS:

Who: “Marvel’s Luke Cage” is a web television series based upon the Marvel Comics character Luke Cage and is a Netflix original series, always available on Netflix.

What: “Marvel’s Luke Cage,” created by Cheo Hodari Coker, is set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), sharing continuity with the films of the franchise, and is the third in a series of shows that led up to a Defenders crossover miniseries. Mike Colter stars as Luke Cage, a former convict with superhuman strength and unbreakable skin who now fights crime.

SYNOPSIS

When a sabotaged experiment gives him super strength and unbreakable skin, Luke Cage (Colter) becomes a fugitive attempting to rebuild his life in Harlem while confronting his past and fighting a battle for the heart of his city. After clearing his name, Cage becomes a hero and celebrity in Harlem, only to encounter a new threat that forces him to walk the line between hero and villain.

When: Season 2 was released in its entirety to the Netflix streaming library on June 22, 2018, with a total of 13 episodes.

Where: The action is set primarily in the New York City, New York, neighborhood of Harlem, as depicted in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Why:  To find out why individual podcast panelists started watching this show, listen to the podcast episode via the Season 1 link below – though I will say that all of the panelists are fans of the Netflix original library and/or superhero/comic book based shows in their own right and have found themselves eagerly anticipating new entries in Netflix’s “Defenders” series of releases.  As a result, they’re committed to a CPU! series about same!

How – as in How Was It? – THOUGHTS

As long-time listeners should know by now, CPU! is chock full of panelists with a proclivity for comic book and superhero TV shows and films, including your Chief CP. Our Marvel’s Defenders Series was born of this proclivity, as we have already covered the two available seasons of Daredevil; the two available seasons of Jessica Jones; the first season of Luke Cage; the first season of Iron Fist; the one available season of the crossover event miniseries, The Defenders; and the one available season of the first spin-off series, The Punisher.  Listen to the links below:

Marvel’s Defenders Series, Episode One, “Daredevil,” Season 1

Marvel’s Defenders Series, Episode Two, “Jessica Jones,” Season 1

Marvel’s Defenders Series, Episode Three, “Daredevil,” Season 2

Marvel’s Defenders Series, Episode Four, “Luke Cage,” Season 1
Marvel’s Defenders Series, Episode Five, “Iron Fist,” Season 1

Marvel’s Defenders Series, Episode Six, “The Defenders,” Season 1

Marvel’s Defenders Series, Episode Seven, “The Punisher,” Season 1

Marvel’s Defenders Series, Episode Eight, “Jessica Jones,” Season 2

In this, the ninth episode of our Marvel’s Defenders series, we revisit the third in Netflix’s series of Marvel-centered shows leading up to The Defenders miniseries, namely Luke Cagefeaturing Defenders Series panelists Nick, Kristen, Hilary, Kyle, and Spencer.  In this episode, our panelists universally laud what they consider to be a vast and dramatic improvement over Season 1.  Common reactions to this season focus on a much improved and dynamic villain in John “Bushmaster” McIver (Mustafa Shakir), better pacing, the thrilling crossover appearances of Iron Fist characters (possibly seeding a “Heroes for Hire” entry in this Netflix lineup), and a better sense of story direction overall compared to Season 1.  In fact, the panel finds that said quality and story presentation so improved between the two seasons, what with no word yet on whether or not the series has been renewed, we now find ourselves worrying for the future of the series, as now we all want a third season renewal.  Alternatively, we would all eagerly watch a first season of “Heroes for Hire” or even “Daughters of the Dragon,” featuring the characters of Misty Knight (Simone Missick) and Colleen Wing (Jessica Henwick), as the panel unanimously described their chemistry and character portrayals in Luke Cage Season 2 as “perfect,” noting a serviceable and praiseworthy writer-driven turnaround for Misty’s character this season.  To hear us hash out these opinions further, listen to our discussion via the embedded link below.

This podcast was recorded in September 2018, and there are, without question, MAJOR SPOILERS, as we cover major plot points throughout the second season of Luke Cage.  Do you agree or disagree?  Listen at your own risk, and let us know what you think by commenting below!

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter (@cpupodcast), Instagram (@couchpotatoesunite), Pinterest (@cpupodcast), or email us at couchpotatoesunitepodcast@gmail.com – or subscribe to this blog, the YouTube channel, our iTunes channel, our Stitcher Radio channel , and/or find us on Google Play to keep track of brand new episodes.  In the meantime, let us know what you think!  Comment or review us in any of the above forums – we’d love your feedback!

Remember, new episodes and blog posts are published weekly!  Next Wednesday, the comic book oriented brains of the Marvel’s Defenders Series switch from the world of Marvel to the world of DC, when our same five panelists, all of whom also staff our DCTU Series panel, return to the Water Cooler to talk Season 4 of The Flash, schedule permitting. Stay tuned!

Questions, Impressions, and Future Considerations

1) Will Luke Cage be renewed as a solo series?  Or, is Netflix moving toward combining Luke and Danny Rand/Iron Fist, as the comics have, into a “Heroes for Hire” series and/or Misty and Colleen into a “Daughters of the Dragon” series, as panelist Kyle perceives and wholeheartedly wishes, with some vocal support from the panel.  All panelists indubitably enjoy and readily endorse the chemistry between Simone Missick and Jessica Henwick (Misty Knight and Colleen Wing, respectively) and between Mike Colter and Finn Jones (Luke Cage and Danny Rand/Iron Fist, respectively).

2) If Luke Cage is renewed as a solo series, will Luke be corrupted through ownership of the Harlem’s Paradise club?  Or, can he be a hero without being based in the club? Or, can he make the club a base for heroic activity rather than backroom money deals and other criminal activity? Why would the writers hint that this would even be a possibility, at all, for Luke, as he has spent two seasons recognizing and combating the corruption of the Stokes family?

3) Will Tilda (Gabrielle Dennis) seek revenge against Luke for being willed the club upon her mother, Mariah’s (Alfre Woodard), death?  Will she become the next in a long line of Stokes crime bosses?  Or, will she be content to run her holistic shop, now that she sent her mother, with a kiss of poisoned lipstick, into the great beyond?

4) Will Shades (Theo Rossi) return in a potential Season 3?  Or, will he remain in prison?  If he is in prison, will he be wooed into Wilson Fisk’s/Kingpin’s gang – will we possibly see him crossover and appear in Daredevil, Season 3?

5) Will Misty accept the offered promotion to precinct captain?

6) Will Bushmaster return from Jamaica to fight another day, even though Mariah met her end?  Does he still have an ax to grind?  Does he still see Luke as an adversary or enemy?

7) Panelist Kyle informed the panel in the podcast episode that Rosario Dawson is contemplating not returning to the Netflix Marvel shows, or at least not to Luke Cage, because her contract term is up, and she feels that Claire Temple/Night Nurse was relegated to nothing more than jealous/worried girlfriend in Luke Cage. Are the rumors true, or will Rosario find it in her heart to return, at least to any of the other three series?

PARTING SHOTS

In a dramatic turnaround from the Season 1 review, the panel now universally but cautiously recommends Luke Cage to fans of comic books, particularly from the Marvel universe; fans of the Defenders series; and fans of the artistic and cultural contribution of Harlem, as the panel agrees that this series remains, in many ways, a deft love letter to Harlem and its literal and symbolic position in this, our modern society.  The panel suggests, as part of the cautiousness informing the recommendation, that would-be, new viewers of Luke Cage treat the second season as something of the official first season, and/or use their own judgment when embarking upon viewing this series, as the panel recognizes that Luke Cage does have a vocally supportive fan base, even though our panelists would not have counted themselves as part of that base following the release of Season 1.  The panel generally and universally agrees that Luke Cage continues to be well-performed, and that the direction, writing, and continuity improved markedly in Season 2, even though the pacing languishes still at times, though without the drudgery that so alienated our Defenders defenders following the first season.  The panel, further, unanimously praised the performance of Shakir as Bushmaster and the writing around this villain; he created palpable tension around which characters could galvanize while still remaining a flawed but real human character with a compelling back story.  Because of the dramatic turnaround for our panel’s reception to the show, in terms of its presentation and production value, the panel now looks forward to a third season rather than resents the possibility of having to watch it for our podcast series.  On the other hand, all panelists, particularly super-fan Kyle, who still does not like the Luke Cage solo series much despite affirming the improvements that impressed the other panelists, effused enthusiasm for the prospect of a “Heroes for Hire” or “Daughters of the Dragon” spin-off vehicle, or two.  In any event, the panel is hopeful following the finish of this second season and eagerly awaits more Defenders entries.  Fortunately for us, Marvel’s Iron Fist was released in September, and the Defenders panel is already ready already for the next chapter.  Stay tuned!

LOOKING AHEAD

While no official announcement has yet been made, TV pundits believe that renewal for a possible Season 3 of Luke Cage is more than possible, though many suspect that Netflix is also heavily considering spin-off series for either “Heroes for Hire” and/or “Daughters of the Dragon,” which became popular series for the comic books after the “Luke Cage” and “Iron Fist” comic book series were canceled.  In addition, there is some rumblings that Netflix and Disney are re-negotiating the distribution of this series, given that Disney is looking to launch a Marvel-centered streaming service.  Rest assured that if/when a Season 3 is announced and/or has aired, CPU! will plan to reconvene our Marvel’s Defenders podcast panel, ready and willing to dissect any additional seasons of this action-packed Defenders entry. CPU! will also, as always, keep you posted on future developments. Stay tuned!

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Season 5 (MAJOR SPOILERS)

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A new podcast episode of Couch Potatoes Unite!, which is based on a blog of the same name hosted at couchpotatoesunite.wordpress.com. In this episode, recorded in September 2018, our small and slightly less robust panel–including moderator Kylie, Jen, and Micah–is Around the Water Cooler and discussing Season 5 of Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (we previously recapped prior seasons of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. with panelist Kristen, who has since declared that she has jumped the shark). If you have not watched any of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, be aware that there are MAJOR SPOILERS! Tell us what you think in the comments below and check out the blog and YouTube for other TV related discussions, in both podcast and blog format. Also, if there are other shows you’re interested in the blog covering, sound off below! Tell us what you like or don’t like. Keep the discussion going!

Editor: Kylie C. Piette
Logo: Rebecca Wallace
Marketing Graphic Artist: Krista Pennington

PODCAST! – Around the Water Cooler: “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” – the Season 5 Recap and Review (MAJOR SPOILERS)

Image result for agents of shield season 5 title card

Moderator: Chief Couch Potato Kylie

THE SPECS:

Who:  “Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” airs on network TV, specifically on ABC, 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.

SYNOPSIS

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: Season 5 aired from December 1, 2017, to May 18, 2018, on ABC.

Where: The show is set in the fictional Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and closely follows the events of “The Avengers” films, previously directed by series creator Joss Whedon (along with brother Jed).

Why: Two reasons for most of the panel: Joss Whedon and Disney’s first television production of a Marvel-type nature.  It seemed like a no-brainer, really.

How – as in How’s It Going? (THOUGHTS…at present)

CPU! has covered Agents of SHIELD since the beginning, though in podcast format only starting in 2016.  If you would like to catch up on our SHIELD coverage, click the embedded links below, or find the audio equivalents on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, and Google Play (links further below):

Seasons 1-3A

Season 3A

Season 3B 

Season 4A

Season 4B

Our SHIELD panel is back to talk about all of Season 5, given the unusual airing schedule for this season, what with ABC’s attempt to precede it with a dose of Marvel’s Inhumans, which was subsequently canceled by the Alphabet network.  With the delayed start and unusual airing schedule, in addition to a new Friday time slot, the break between half seasons was not long enough or in a logical span of time that would allow our panel to check in at mid-season (which fell somewhere around March), so here, we offer a longer-than-usual, and perhaps slightly more intense, dissection of Season 5.

Additionally, since last time, we have had a personnel change on our Agents of SHIELD panel.  The panel wishes to wave a fond goodbye to panelist Kristen, one of the panel’s original members, who left it because she “jumped the shark” watching SHIELD and was frustrated enough not to want to watch or discuss it further.  That’s how it rolls from time to time at CPU!  Don’t worry!  If you’re a Kristen fan, you can still hear her voice on many of our active panels, as she is currently our most involved panelist!

Our SHIELD panel then, now consisting of Jen and Micah, tackles talk of Season 5, including the SHIELD agents’ adventures to space, to the future, and through a time loop, as well as prognosticates upon possible future plot developments of the surprisingly renewed sixth season while speculating upon the likelihood that the show is facing its last hurrah, especially since the events of Season 5 led our panelists to believe that the show’s writers and producers expected Season 5 to be the literal and living end for the series. Listen to the podcast episode below, and see if you agree or disagree with our comments, reactions, and predictions.

This podcast was recorded in September 2018, and there are, without question, MAJOR SPOILERS, as the panelists cover key plot points of the fifth season. Listen at your own risk, and let us know what you think by commenting below!

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter (@cpupodcast), Instagram (@couchpotatoesunite), Pinterest (@cpupodcast), or email us at couchpotatoesunitepodcast@gmail.com – or subscribe to this blog, the YouTube channel, our iTunes channel, our Stitcher Radio channel , and/or find us on Google Play to keep track of brand new episodes.  In the meantime, let us know what you think!  Comment or review us in any of the above forums – we’d love your feedback!

Remember, new episodes and blog posts are published weekly! Our next podcast episode will stay in the MCU as, schedule permitting, our Marvel’s Defenders Series panel returns to the Water Cooler to discuss Marvel’s Luke Cage, Season TwoSweet Christmas!  Stay tuned!

Questions, Impressions, and Future Considerations

Old Questions

1)  REPEAT QUESTION: Will we learn which planet it is (i.e. Hive’s home planet beyond Earth)?

NEW ANSWER: We haven’t yet, and it’s one of the lingering questions of the podcast panel (at least for Jen and for Kylie). We also may never know now, as the monolith that accesses that planet, which is apparently stored deep within the recesses of a SHIELD station called the Lighthouse – which is literally under a lighthouse – is destroyed. A device, planted by a ragtag group of people calling themselves Hydra and confiscated by SHIELD, explodes and destroys the Hive planet monolith along with two other space and time bending monoliths also stored there, creating a rift to a so-called #feardimension.  Please note: this is the show’s name for it, not ours. Listen to the podcast episode for details

2) REPEAT QUESTION: 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 Kree?  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?

NEW ANSWER: The Planet information may be impossible to know at this point, given the destruction of the monolith that accessed it.  The purpose of the Inhumans has not (yet) been addressed by the show, if it ever will be at all.

3) REPEAT QUESTION: Will we ever learn more about the Kree themselves?  Are they related to any of the individual Avengers?

NEW ANSWER: This season, we meet actual Kree leaders, including Kasius and his father as well as soldiers and generals that report to Kasius.  While we do not learn much information about the Kree’s history and why they take such an interest in Earth, especially after, in the future, Earth is destroyed by the so-called “Destroyer of Worlds,” we do learn that Kasius rules over the remainder of Earth’s scattered population, housed aboard the Lighthouse station, which, in the future, floats as part of the debris evidence of Earth’s destruction in space.  There, he breeds Inhumans by exposing humans under his control to terra-genesis, trains them to use their newfound abilities, and sells them as slaves and generals to the highest alien bidders seeking soldiers with powers.  What we can also say, definitively, is that no Kree are related to the Avengers – at least, as far as we know.

4) REPEAT QUESTION: Is Nadir affiliated with Hydra?  Could Hydra be coming back – since it seems foolish to eliminate them from the MCU completely?

NEW ANSWER: Though Nadir is not a factor for this season, as our panel predicted when discussing the end of Season Four, Hydra as an actual entity returns via one flailing, growing head of the many-headed enemy.  Hydra is not at the strength of its heyday, but one should never count out Hydra.  Listen to the podcast episode for details.

5) REPEAT QUESTION: What happened to the Inhuman undergoing terra-genesis that Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) was blindfolded and squirreled away to help and, then, to abandon when the process was complete?

REPEAT ANSWER: Unknown.  We may never see this Inhuman again.

6) REPEAT QUESTION: Is Coulson (Clark Gregg) really attempting to position Daisy (Chloe Bennett) as a possible future SHIELD director?

NEW ANSWER: Though at the end of last season, it was hard to see this eventuality as truly possible, Coulson successfully advocates for Daisy’s leadership of SHIELD, with May’s (Ming-Na Wen) support, this season. At one point, Coulson abdicates his own position as leader and asks Daisy to lead the agents in his absence, as he leaves to confront what is left of Hydra, much to May’s chagrin.  Listen to the podcast episode for details.

7) REPEAT QUESTION: Will we see any more Avengers or Avengers-related characters on the show?  The panel feels strongly that the show would benefit from an injection of movie-caliber quality, either in character appearances or in story reworking.

REPEAT (ISH) ANSWER: We have not seen show appearances of Avenger-type proportions so far, aside from Hydra as an abstract concept, though at one point, there is an oblique mention of Thanos’ invasion in Avengers: Infinity War, which was kind of surprising, as earlier in the year, it was rumored that Marvel Entertainment had disowned Agents of SHIELD, with much of Season 5 set in the future and in space, a departure for these characters from the comics.  I guess that’s why they call them rumors, though.

8) Will we see Ghost Rider again?  Or, is he being limited to this season?  The podcast panel votes for a spin-off for this version of Ghost Rider, with frequent guest appearances by Daisy.  They have a certain chemistry, we think… And Ghost Rider and Quake together are kind of bad-ass.  At the very least, he should simply return from time to time, as long as he is not used as a method of convenient last minute escape (lest his appearances feel cheap).

ANSWER: Ghost Rider does not appear in Season 5 in any way, except by mention of Coulson, who believes he is dying because of his deal with the Rider at the end of Season 4.  We do not know what Coulson means by this declaration; all of the panelists continue to ‘ship Daisy and Robbie, though.

9) Who captured the SHIELD agents during the season 4 epilogue?  Who are the shadowy figures really? Kristen predicts that the government is behind this abduction; Jen predicts Hydra is back and behind this abduction as does Kylie; Micah speculates that a group called “Sword” from the Marvel Comics or the Inhuman Royal Family or groups like “Raid” or “Aim” are all possibilities for the potential perpetrators.  Kylie also hopefully wonders if the Kree own the spaceship/space craft on which Coulson finds himself and if the audience will finally be given more answers around the mysterious alien race consistently referred to in the show’s earliest seasons.

ANSWER: We learn that in the Season 4 epilogue, an alien robot entity known as Enoch exposes all of the agents but Fitz (Iain de Castecker) to a monolith, which opens a portal and propels them toward the future, the year 2091 to be exact, when the Earth has been destroyed.  The shadowy figures are Agents of Hydra, as Jen and Kylie predicted.  They abduct Fitz and take him to an unmarked Hydra facility, where their leader (a spoiler covered in the podcast episode) attempts to shake Fitz down in order to suss out the location of Fitz’s teammates.

The Kree do not own the Lighthouse station, on which Coulson finds himself at the end of Season 4, but the Kree do control it and the remnants of Earth’s population inside it.  The audience, however, is not given much more information about the Kree beyond their sense of ruthlessness and materialism, their technology, and some of their cultural norms.

10) Where is Coulson?  How did he end up in space?

ANSWER: Coulson is aboard the Lighthouse station, still standing on a chunk of Earth broken away from the core planet after the Earth is destroyed in this bleak future.  Coulson finds himself there, and in space, because of Enoch’s endeavor to bring SHIELD and its agents into this future to help save the world and the past/timeline.

11) Where is everyone else?  How did Coulson get separated from the team?

ANSWER: Everyone but Fitz finds themselves in this spacey future with Coulson.  They all eventually find each other, 

12) How much will Marvel’s Inhumans, premiering in fall, affect Agents of SHIELD, if at all?

ANSWER: Unknown.  None of the panel watched Inhumans, at least prior to watching Season 5 of SHIELD and recording this podcast episode.  And then the network canceled it. So….I guess that’s all she wrote.

13) Will there be lasting effects of the Framework on the team, especially Fitz and Simmons and Coulson and May?

ANSWER: As for lasting effects –

Coulson: no.

May: no.

Simmons: no, except as it relates to Fitz (see below). 

Yo-Yo (Natalia Cordova-Buckley): no, except as it relates to Mack (see below).

Daisy: no.

Mack (Henry Simmons): yes, because raising an actual version of his lost daughter Hope in the Framework and losing her again is, according to him, more painful than if he had never raised her at all, which he confesses to Yo-Yo (Natalia Cordova-Buckley) this season. 

Fitz: yes.  He experiences mass amounts of guilt and self-doubt, living with the specter of his shadowy Framework self, the evil, ruthlessly scientific Leopold known as “The Doctor.”  His focus on not repeating the mistakes of the Framework version of himself somewhat results in a self-fulfilling prophecy, however, when he suffers a psychotic break in the second half of the season and begins seeing what amounts to a hallucination of Leo the Doctor, his Framework self dressed in a suit, which influences Fitz to embrace his most ruthless and least compassionate instincts in a crucial moment.  Listen to the podcast episode for details.

14) Will there be another time jump?  If there is, dear writers, explain it!

ANSWER: If being temporarily thrust into future time counts as a time jump, the answer is yes, though, fortunately, the writers do a great job of explaining it (more or less).

15) Did Nadir’s brother Vijay start a second terra-genesis when he fell into the water, as Micah observed?  If so, what does this mean for Inhumans, for him, and for our team?

ANSWER: Vijay does not return this season, and panelist Micah does not seem as bothered by what he believed he observed last season.  Who knows what the future will bring, though?

16) Will Coulson and May finally admit their obvious feelings for one another?  Will a romantic coupling between them feel weird?  They’re kind of like the mom and dad of the whole outfit.

ANSWER: Yes. No. And, mom and dad or not, you want to see your parents together and happy.  Plus, Coulson plants a kiss on May that is, frankly, kind of hot.  And the panelists rejoiced.  Yay (waving suddenly appearing flags).

17) Will SHIELD survive the move to Fridays?  We hope so!

ANSWER: If being renewed for a sixth season counts as survival, SHIELD defied the odds this year!

New Questions

1) Is General Talbot (Adrian Pasdar) actually, once and for all, dead?

2) What really causes Coulson to begin dying?  Is it because he was exposed to the Kree substance odium when fighting Kasius’ trainer (who had consumed odium himself)?  Or, alternatively, does Coulson’s alleged deal with the Ghost Rider demon in Season 4, which he references in the latter half of this season, cause him to be in danger of dying because, as panelist Micah surmises, the Ghost Rider manages to undo the Kree resurrection technology that allowed Coulson to come back from Loki’s fatal stabbing at the beginning of the series, thereby righting the natural balance and duality of life and death in this universe?

3) Will Coulson remain dead, if he, in fact, dies off screen, since it is heavily implied at the end of the season that he will live out the rest of his days in the real Tahiti with the company of May, with whom he has mutually acknowledged and reciprocated romantic feelings (it’s about time they admitted it)?

4) If the SHIELD agents broke the time loop causality that leads to the repeated destruction of Earth and SHIELD’s trips through time and space to begin with, does any element of that future still exist?  For example, does Deke Shaw (Jeff Ward) still exist?  Are there parallel timelines running against each other? Did breaking the time loop cause a different paradox?  Time travel in science fiction: the riskiest of all storytelling devices.

5) Will Simmons find the frozen Fitz, floating in space?  How will she do that? She’s not known for building spaceships.  That was Fitz’s job (and, no, I’m not crying…now). If Simmons does find Fitz, will they have to be remarried, since frozen Fitz was frozen before future Fitz married present Simmons in the past?

6) What will SHIELD’s primary mission be, with Mack at its head, now that SHIELD has saved the world from this ominous, apocalyptic future?

7) Will the events of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4 affect the events of Agents of SHIELD, Season 6?

8) If Daisy injected herself with all-healing Centipede Serum, does this mean that she is now invincible, as well as quake-y?

9) Since General Hale was destroyed by Talbot, empowered by the infusion of gravitonium, is there anything left of Hydra after all?

10) Though May and Deke successfully redirect missiles at Confederacy member Qovas’ ship, what is left of the Confederacy alien alliance, and will the SHIELD agents meet this alliance again?

11) Will the Agents meet the Kree again, either Kasius or his father, but in a different context?

12) If Coulson does die, what will May do then?

13) Are Mack and Yo-Yo okay as a couple, given the revelations and behaviors that occurred in Season 5 to complicate their relationship?

14) Is there an ending for SHIELD now that could possibly be as good as the fifth season finale?  The panelists are at a loss to predict what such an ending might look like.

PARTING SHOTS

By consensus, our smaller again,  yet always robust, podcast panel believes that Agents of SHIELD took a gigantic risk in Season 5, one that courted the ire of the production company and fans alike, but one that also, ultimately, paid off in storytelling spades in the end, as it seems that the writers and producers, like so many of the rest of us, believed Season 5 to be the last of the series.  As a result, Season 5 offers some excellent action-fueled drama and emotionally resonant character moments that left our panelists feeling satisfied – so satisfied, the three of us cannot possibly guess where SHIELD might travel next season, except to possibly rescue the frozen, floating Fitz in space, if he is, in fact, still out there.  While the season presented some continuity and logic flaws, given the “bold move” (as panelist Micah called it) of engaging in time travel and time loops, all panelists also enjoyed the season heartily and plan to keep watching, even if the fifth season finale felt more final than other season finales preceding it.  The panel, however, is split as far as whether or not individual members would recommend tuning in to SHIELD at this point, and those that do suggest doing so advise that would-be new viewers begin with the first season, even if the “tuning in” does not necessarily occur at the time of first airing. Still and all, the panel regards Agents of SHIELD as entertaining and worth the watch, though the panelists, your Chief CP included, find themselves apprehensive about what Season 6 might bring in the wake of the apparent (SPOILER) deaths of two major characters.  Of course, to be fair, few really stay dead in the MCU in the end – whether or not the two characters to which I am referring do, all panelists hope beyond measure that any element of the new season’s story, including potential reintegration of seemingly lost characters, be as competently engaging as most of the first four seasons have proven themselves to be.

LOOKING AHEAD

Agents of SHIELD has been renewed for a sixth season by ABC, which is not expected to premiere until Summer 2019.  The Agents of SHIELD podcast panel will next and likely reconvene following the complete airing of Season 6 of SHIELD, depending upon how many episodes are produced and whether or not the show is interrupted by a significant hiatus during a reasonably lengthy mid-point (in other words, will CPU! have enough time to record a reaction panel at some point in the middle of SHIELD’s sixth season? Time will tell).  No official premiere date for this show has yet been announced as of the publication of this post. As always, CPU! will keep you informed of news and additional SHIELD coverage.  Until then!

Marvel’s Defenders Series, Episode Eight, Marvel’s Jessica Jones, Season Two (MAJOR SPOILERS)

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A new podcast episode of Couch Potatoes Unite!, which is based on a blog of the same name hosted at couchpotatoesunite.wordpress.com. In this episode, recorded in June 2018, our panel of comic book and superhero enthusiasts – including moderator Kylie, Kristen, Nick, Hilary, Kyle, and Spencer – is back Around the Water Cooler as the Marvel’s Defenders Series panel discusses Season 2 of Jessica Jones, the second property introduced into Netflix’s Marvel wing of its original streaming library. If you have not watched any of Jessica Jones (or any of the other Defenders series: Daredevil, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, The Punisher, and The Defenders crossover miniseries), be aware that there are MAJOR SPOILERS! Tell us what you think in the comments below and check out the blog and YouTube for other TV related discussions, in both podcast and blog format. Also, if there are other shows you’re interested in the blog covering, sound off below! Tell us what you like or don’t like. Keep the discussion going!

Editor: Kylie C. Piette
Logo: Rebecca Wallace
Marketing Graphic Artist: Krista Pennington

Episode Sponsored By: Heritage Theatre Group