TV REVIEW: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “Shadows” 2.01 | FanboysInc

TV REVIEW: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “Shadows” 2.01

By Jason Pickup

TV REVIEW: Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. "Shadows" 2.01

Last evening one of the shows I most anticipated returned to television, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Now before you immediately brush me off as a fanboy or a sadist, allow me to expound on why I was excited to see it return. I’ll be the first to admit that season one suffered at times from not being able to get out of its own way, being saved only by an excellent use of a movie tie-in in the second half of season to add some cohesion to the plot – a device that one can’t always count on to save them. The anticipation for me was seeing if the writers would continue to improve the product and use the show to expand upon the Marvel Universe and not just as a vehicle to promote their movies. Oh, here is my “you’ve officially been warned, I’ll be discussing plot points which you may or may not consider spoilery-ish, depending on if you have or have not seen the show”.

The answer to my question, thankfully, is a yes: the second season premiere was solid and one of the better episodes of the show to date. The plot was dished out to us within the opening few minutes and while a few new hooks were added we spent the bulk of the show dealing with the matter at hand which was trying (and failing) to stop Mysterious Artifact #84 from falling into Hyrda hands (tentacles?). The failing to me is the best part, now we know to an extent we will not be treated to the Villain D’Jour as it sets up both Absorbing Man and Mr. Hundred Year Old Hydra Creep (official name, coining it now) as recurring foils. Speaking of Absorbing Man, it was nice to see him treated with the seriousness a guy who goes toe-to-toe with the Hulk on a regular basis deserves. Also, if you’re a comic book fan and you didn’t let out a geeky little squeak as he picked up the ball and chain you might want to see a doctor.

TV REVIEW: Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. "Shadows" 2.01

A few of the loose threads from season one were pulled a bit tighter in the season opener. Agent Ward has apparently been using his time in captivity to work on his creepy factor and it was interesting to see the dynamic between him and Skye turn almost into a Lecter/Starling thing, right down to him pining for someone who despises him. Of course Ward knows about Skye’s father because it seems like the only character on the show who doesn’t know about Skye’s parents is, well, Skye. But with Kyle Maclachlan cast as her father and set to appear this season we might finally get to the meat of this sub-plot instead of the knowing glances people give to each other every time he’s mentioned.

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While we didn’t get to see any advancement on the plot line involving whatever it was he was scribbling furiously at the end of season one, we did get to see what I hope is a recurring dynamic with Coulson; that of him being uncomfortable in a position of being the one to make the call. Coulson has always been the soldier and it’s nice to see a bit of hesitation in adjusting to his new role as Director. The big reveal at the end is that Fitz, in addition to having lost some of his cognitive capacity, is also actively hallucinating the continued presence of Simmons, something relatively benign now but wouldn’t surprise me if it took a darker tone as the season progresses.

fitzandsimmonsMy concerns at this point are minor. The acting seemed a bit ‘off’ from last season, it’s hard to explain and some of it could be attributed to most of the main characters taking on different aspects from the last season. Ward now as a broken shell, Skye no longer the Mary Sue – a move for the better, and Coulson adapting to giving orders and not taking them, and losing a bit of that trademark Coulson snark in the process. I’m also a bit sad that they spent the summer hyping up Lucy Lawless as being on the show, only to kill her off in the first episode. Yes, I’m aware this is Whedon and there is a strong chance I’ll end up eating those words, but for now I’m marking this as a letdown.

With a good start to the season hopefully the show will continue to pick up steam. As for now I’ve moved this from my “it’s on the DVR and I’ll get to it” to “I’ll watch it 15 minutes into the start time to burn through all the commercials” status. That’s my 2 cents. Be sure to add yours in the comments.

The Verdict: 9/10

Jason Pickup

Jason just pawn in game of life.

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