Thursday, July 14, 2016

Geek TV: Agents of SHIELD Season Wrap-Up!

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Okay, I know this is pretty late coming, but at least I'm finally getting around to it! Spoilers ahoy!

So, this season of Agents of SHIELD continues not only with the Inhumans, but also with Hydra, as Hydra continues to restore the first Inhuman, Hive, to power. I have to admit, the idea that Hydra's formation was completely centered around the idea of getting the portal to work in order to get Hive on Earth was kind of surprising to me... as well as awfully short-sighted of the Hydra leaders throughout history.

Let's look at this: Hive, as the first Inhuman ended up being named, has the ability to connect other Inhumans to his own mind, changing their very personalities and possessing great power, not only to destroy, but also to be pretty much unkillable. This is the creature they wanted to bring to Earth in order to gain power? I think someone had their story wrong way back when, and assumed that this would enable Hydra's leaders to gain great power, whereas the truth of the matter was, Hive didn't give a rat's ass about what Hydra wanted, he only wanted full control for himself, with the rest of the universe to follow. Hardly the ally Hydra was expecting!

I have to say, having Hive being able to take over the body (including keeping memories) of whichever host it chooses made for a pretty nasty foe. We thought that Grant Ward (the Hydra sleeper agent Phil Coulson had on the team at the beginning of the show) was going to be long gone after Coulson finished him off on the far-distant planet (which I believe was a former Kree colony, although I'd imagine that world was declared off-limits by the Kree).

I really liked how Coulson was committed to expanding SHIELD's roster to include those Inhumans who wanted to use their abilities for the greater good, such as Lincoln Campbell (Daisy's love interest from the previous Inhumans storyline) and Elena "Yo-Yo" Rodriguez. They added a lot of character to the show this year.

My favorite characters are the ones who were in it from the beginning: Phil Coulson, the director of SHIELD, balances a very difficult act of doing what he knows is right and struggling not to let his personal feelings interfere with his decisions. It's not an easy thing to do, especially when he's in a position of power that makes it all too easy to pursue a personal agenda.

Daisy "Skye" Johnson, aka Quake, was one of my favorite characters from the get-go. Her original attitudes have toned down a bit, making her more of a follower than she originally was, but it helped her be a better agent. Unfortunately, her need to feel like she belongs to something doesn't seem to have quite been satisfied by working with SHIELD, which is why she was so willing to abandon SHIELD to be with the Inhumans last season, and made her especially vulnerable to Hive this season. More on her shortly.

Jemma Simmons and Leo Fitz, the "lab rats" of SHIELD, were also favorites of mine from the very beginning (and it doesn't hurt that Elizabeth Hendstridge, who plays Jemma, is absolutely adorable). I've been rooting for them to get together since the first season, and my favorite part of this season has been their finally getting together and overcoming the fears they had there.

Two more recent additions to the show were written out this season, Bobbi Morse (whom we know as Mockingbird in the comics) and Lance Hunter. Originally, this was done to free up the characters for a spin-off show, but then it was decided not to do the spin-off after all, so they were excised from the show for no good reason whatsoever. This makes some openings for new agents next season, but it does feel like we've been jerked around by ABC (especially since the way they were written out pretty much makes it impossible to bring them back in).

As you may already know, the season ended with killing off Hive, a long and torturous process for SHIELD. There have been many times when it appeared Coulson and his team had the upper hand, only to find out the cards were against them. The way Hive was finished off kind of felt a little... well.. dissatisfying. Lincoln sacrificed himself to end Hive, and instead of it being an epic ending, it just kind of... happened. The only time I've ever felt what was leading up to an epic battle and felt more left down was at the end of the first season of Heroes. Still, at least we can move on from here, Hydra seems to have been put down along with Hive (as if... "Cut off an arm, and two more shall take its place," you know?).

The final episode of the season jumped ahead a number of months, and we see that Daisy has apparently left SHIELD and gone completely rogue, using her hacking skills to steal money to give to others (I don't know if the people she's helping are Inhumans in hiding or just people who need help) and using her powers to stay a step head of the police and SHIELD. We do know that Coulson and his team have been working to track her down.

The entire season has had a lot of thematic ties in to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, especially Captain America: Civil War, with the Sokovia Accords and the following Superhuman Registration Act. This has been working against Coulson's efforts to create a special powered team within SHIELD to deal with situations his regular agents can't. It doesn't appear that he was able to continue with this after Hive was killed (after all, only "Yo-Yo" would be left, given Daisy and one other member are gone and Lincoln is dead.

We will just have to wait a few months to see what happens next. What exactly is Daisy up to? What's the current status of SHIELD? Will Major Talbot continue to be a huge pain in the ass, or has he started to see that Coulson's the right man for the job and is doing the right thing more often than not?

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