Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Shadows
September 24, 2014 6:18 AM - Season 2, Episode 1 - Subscribe

Coulson and his team are now wanted fugitives with limited resources -- but that's not stopping them from keeping the world safe from powerful and unseen threats everywhere. However, with new members they hardly know, will S.H.I.E.L.D. ever be trusted again?
posted by Jacqueline (34 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Loved this episode. Love the fact that Skye is a badass now.

The whole thing with Fitz was heartbreaking.

Two characters from the Marvel vault were introduced: The Absorbing Man, and Kraken, who looks to be the season's principal bad guy.
posted by jbickers at 6:32 AM on September 24, 2014 [2 favorites]

God, Fitz. So sad. I wonder where Simmons is at the moment?

I got a bit muddled with Lucy Lawless and her mercs - she's SHIELD but has brought along two mercs from her undercover days to help out because SHIELD is in such dire straits, is that what happened?

And poor Coulson, stuck with the He's Making The Hard Choices And His Heart Therefore Must Be Stone plot.
posted by PussKillian at 6:41 AM on September 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

The Fitz revelation caught me totally by surprise, but I really should have seen it coming. Simmons never interacted with anyone else. That's always the giveaway that someone is hallucinating.
posted by Servo5678 at 6:46 AM on September 24, 2014 [3 favorites]

They stole a general. Then they stole a jet. That's the best.

The word 'gifted' came up a lot in reference to people with superpowers. I'm guessing that's going to be the replacement for 'mutant', which is owned by Fox.

Overall, just a great way to start the season, the show has really come a long way.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:52 AM on September 24, 2014 [4 favorites]

Looking for a recap? Here's one a friend and I wrote.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:49 AM on September 24, 2014 [3 favorites]

I'm just glad that they kept Trip on the team. Actually, my initial tip-off that something was up with Fitz and ImaginaryGhostSimmons was that Trip was doing his flirty thing with Skye instead of Simmons.

It's nice to see Adrian Pasdar back as Talbot. Pasdar's been the voice of Iron Man in at least three or four different Marvel animated productions, so I get the sense that he's developed a real passion for working in that universe. At the very least, this part gives him plenty of hardboiled military-guy dialogue to chew on, which is more than can be said for his chronically-underwritten role on Heroes.

I'm also glad that the characters are picking up on the multiple-Koenig mystery, which means that it might be more important than just a winky way to keep Patton Oswalt on the show.

I hope they figure out some way for Fitz to get his temporal-lobe mojo back. Speaking as somebody who loses words while speaking occasionally, watching him struggle with it was painful in a relatable way.

In any case, I'm glad to see that the momentum from last year's ending arc hasn't dissipated, and I'm looking forward to the new season as it develops!
posted by Strange Interlude at 8:14 AM on September 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

Brandon Blatcher, the picture you had standing in for BeardedWard in laser-prison cracked my shit up. Just thought you should know.
posted by Strange Interlude at 8:38 AM on September 24, 2014 [2 favorites]

Thanks, sheala.draws put that in. The recap is collaborative thing.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:47 AM on September 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

Was I the only who, there towards the end, thought "Jesus Christ! A horcrux!"
posted by worldswalker at 9:18 AM on September 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

The guy I was watching it with kept joking that Fitz was faking his injury because it made Simmons touch him. When the truth was revealed, he felt like a huge asshole. Well played Agents of SHIELD.

(The reveal made May's line where she said something about staying and helping make much more sense because it read as "maybe somehow we'll get this science problem done because I just kick so much ass" which, though the ability to kick-ass is true, was a little off.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:43 AM on September 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

The comic nerd in me definitely chuckled as soon as Creel reached for the ball and chain. Just enough of reference without being overly gimmicky.

I hope the Gotham team was watching this episode (although they did sneak in one "he's some kind of absorbing man" type line, completely unnecessary). It's a tricky balance to give comics fans their due while still appealing more to the mainstream audience they need for the show to thrive.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 10:49 AM on September 24, 2014 [2 favorites]

I just realized that we haven't brought up the Peggy Carter & Her Howling Commandoes cameo. She just had Morita and Dugan along from what I could see, but still pretty cool! I know Derek Luke is a busy film actor, but it would have been neat to get more stuff with Gabe Jones, just for the family connection to Trip.

And I didn't even recognize Reed Diamond (previously on Dollhouse) as the immortal(?) Nazi villain. I think this might be the first of Marvel's trademark still-alive Nazi bad guys to appear in one of the main MCU properties. The comics are absolutely lousy with them.

(Kevin Bacon in X-Men: First Class doesn't count, since it's a Fox movie and therefore not in the Marvel Studios continuity. Also the Zola-computer in Cap 2 doesn't count because the real Zola still died.)
posted by Strange Interlude at 10:51 AM on September 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

As Coulson impersonated Talbot, Patton in the background just puts his hands up over her face in the best "Oh, no" gesture ever. I cackled.

I can't believe I missed that that was Reed Diamond, although I correctly identified the cheekbones as being awesome. I love Reed Diamond, but apparently you slap a bad Nazi accent on him and I'm lost.
posted by PussKillian at 12:22 PM on September 24, 2014 [2 favorites]

I just realized that we haven't brought up the Peggy Carter & Her Howling Commandoes cameo.

Yeah, I loved how the opening scene was sort of a mini backdoor pilot for Agent Carter.
posted by Jacqueline at 12:24 PM on September 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'm a speech-language pathologist and geeked out pretty hard about Fitz's anomia/mild aphasia. I would like to apply for a position on the Shield rehabilitation team.

I'm really enjoying how much May and Skye seem to have bonded.
posted by a hat out of hell at 1:21 PM on September 24, 2014 [2 favorites]

I noticed that too, ahooh. I'm still not altogether convinced that May isn't Skye's mom somehow. If the rumors about the casting on Skye's dad are correct, the combined genes of Ming-Na Wen and REDACTEDPOSSIBLESPOILER would probably result in a pretty good-lookin' kid, with or without latent superpowers.
posted by Strange Interlude at 1:32 PM on September 24, 2014 [2 favorites]

OH ALSO did they seriously introduce Lucy Lawless's character only to immediately kill her? Did George R. R. Martin write this episode or something?

Seriously though I really enjoyed her character and hope she isn't really dead.
posted by a hat out of hell at 2:08 PM on September 24, 2014

It's not like she has to STAY dead. This is Marvel.
posted by Jacqueline at 2:14 PM on September 24, 2014 [3 favorites]

The Fitz reveal hit me out of nowhere, but in retrospect, it shouldn't have. Every time they did the hand-holding thing, I found myself being like "...huh. If I were her and had had to shut my best friend's romantic intentions down moments before we almost died, I can't say I'd be as throwing-caution-to-the-wind about squeezing his hand lovingly. Or has he forgotten how she shut him down under the sea and she's not telling him?"

The answer, of course, was that Simmons wasn't squeezing anything, except in the comfort-hallucinations of poor Fitz's head.

Also, definite linguistics shoutout to Fitz's aphasia. I was trying to cram it into the Broca's box as I watched and tried to remember my college courses, but on consultation of the Wikipedia oracle, A hat out of hell nailed it: anomia. Poor kid, it's got to be so incredibly frustrating to be that smart and not be able to get the words out when you know you know them. He's not even real and I still feel for him.
posted by Hold your seahorses at 3:53 PM on September 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

Lucy Lawless. Lucy.Effing.Lawless. Welcome back to my tv screen. It is incredibly good to see her again. And now she's gone. Damn you, MAS!!!! Damn you!!

Now if we can just find a show for Peta Wilson. 

As for the Lab Kidz. It turns out that even with everything they went through in season 1‎, I still can't stand them. They're whiny and annoying and just too damn twee. And now only one of two. That was a damn good reveal. Still can't stand them.

‎Ah, ha, honeycomb kill room. Love it. 

New people. Love it. 

Apparently I'm on board with mimicking anything you can touch but camouflage from that ability i‎s too much for me. 

Lucy Lawless. Always badass. Always. ‎

posted by Ik ben afgesneden at 5:49 PM on September 24, 2014 [2 favorites]

I give the episode a B+. It wasn't the best AoS episode, but it was definitely good and enjoyable. I was really excited about Lucy Lawless, but then I kind of forgot she was Lucy Lawless because something about her character was completely different than what I associate characters by Lucy Lawless being...i.e., she dun played good in her new role! I do think it's safe to say that Ms. Lawless isn't dead, or at least staying dead. The camera work seemed to imply that her recent contact with whatever the alien artifact was had an effect on her.

I like new Skye. I look forward to seeing more of new Skye. Ward has gone completely over into the too honest and is kind of creepy vibe. "I first had a button, and then I had some paper, and finally, I just ran my head into the wall a few times...NOW I FEEL BETTER!" Right now, I'm feeling he needs to keep playing the Hannibal role behind the force field. Too creeptastic!

The situation with Fitz was at first, "Hurray, he's conscious!" and then followed by a continual spiral of sadness. The final reveal, which I didn't pick up on at all, was poignant. I definitely appreciate the writers deciding to set this character development up. I was surprised the entire time, given the situation between him and Simmons, to see her routinely touch him. That should have been my clue in, but I figured, she was just feeling sorry for him.

I loved the Agent Carter intro with her and the Howlin' Commandos. While we know she didn't just give up the world after she lost Steve, it's great to see her out there kicking butt and taking Hydra names so soon after his death. She wasn't reduced to a weepy depressed individual who needed some terrible "Get back into the game!" speech from Stark or something. Also, immortal Nazi Hydra officers? SURE. Can't wait for Agent Carter this winter.

Once I realized that the soldiers/marines shooting at our agents gunning for the plane couldn't hit the broadside of a barn with their machine guns, I stopped worrying that May was going to be shot or someone else. With Coulson's speech and the music, I was at first ready to see someone go down.

Good episode, ready for next week!
posted by Atreides at 9:30 AM on September 25, 2014 [2 favorites]

I'm still sort of meh about AoS, but I like Fitz's hallucination friend. I hope they stick with it/make it interesting, for awhile.
posted by Margalo Epps at 11:26 AM on September 25, 2014

The Ward thing is so difficult. I kinda love Brett Dalton now, because he seems like he's loving playing the baddie and he's so gleefully geeky about it all. And I like the stuff they can do with Ward as a character, I think it's interesting. But they've put themselves in a bad position, everyone in Hydra a Nazi? Because it sure seems that way, even though there's apparently an argument to be made about Hydra splitting off somehow, but I don't know what the deal is with that and if it's true they're going to have to make it a lot more clear. Redeeming a Nazi who has been shown killing a bunch of people with callous glee is really hard (harder than redeeming vampires, I think, even though they also kill lots of people with callous glee but then they're not exactly a threat in real life) and I know a lot of people don't want the show to even try it. Actually, there are people who will be really pissed off if the show tries redeeming him because of the whole overtones of the white boy villain woobie thing.

Personally, I buy the thought that Ward was a little shit and then Garrett came along and became a father figure, doing the whole intermittent love and abuse thing that bound Ward into this abusive adoptive Hydra family that was less about ideology and more about pleasing the only daddy figure in your life. But they'll have to go a long way to make me believe he regrets what he's done to his secondary, loving adoptive family (the team on the bus from season 1) and that he's interested in making amends not just because he's hot for Skye. And having poor broken Fitz around as a direct reminder of what exactly Ward has done...oof.
posted by PussKillian at 1:32 PM on September 25, 2014 [3 favorites]

I want to see sweet, kind and gentle Simmons punch the shit out Ward, in full on righteous anger.

'Cause if anything would prompt, it would be what Ward's actions did to her best friend.

Then she can finish working on a cure.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:55 PM on September 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

I am continually disappointed by how cheap this show feels. The team breaks into a military installation guarding the government's darkest secrets, and there are about 4 soldiers on the base. I keep hoping for Mission:Impossible or MI5 crossed with the marvel universe, but they keep delivering Scooby Doo.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 8:45 PM on September 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

Not just a military installation, the Pentagon, if I heard right. Surely they could've at least had May, Skye and the Brit take down 15-25 guys. Is it really that much more expensive to choreograph a decent-sized fight than a tiny one?
posted by michaelh at 8:00 AM on September 26, 2014

To be fair, the rest of the soldiers on duty (who were mostly dressed as Marines, yet addressed as soldiers, were off investigating the weird appearance of California hills in Arlington and the over abundance of California street signage (at least they had a Virginia license plate?) I joke, though, it's a sacrifice we make to have shows at least pretend to be in different environs. If Bones can make it so many seasons in California D.C., then AoS can pull this episode off.

I do agree that you would think they could have hired a few more extras to at least run around in the background.
posted by Atreides at 8:09 AM on September 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'm glad they didn't have to fight through more soldiers. One of my problems with the first season was that they spent as much time breaking into their own bases and attacking their own people as they did fighting bad guys, even before the Hydra story arc.

We're not terrorists, really! We're just attacking US military installations to steal weapons of mass destruction...
posted by mbrubeck at 10:30 AM on September 26, 2014 [2 favorites]

honestly I think they picked the wrong scientist to keep around. I was totally prepared to have fitz be in a hospital or coma or something, with simmons kicking the ass and fixing the problems. Now to have him not only be the hero, but also the poor poor lonely unloved lover, is a bit much.

Other than that (and a few other things!!!) this episode was GREAT and I am so happy that the show is back on the air!
posted by rebent at 1:31 PM on September 26, 2014

The actress who plays Simmons is signed for the season, right? Hopefully she will be back soon. I would like Fitz back in the saddle, but more importantly, I would like Simmons to shoot a few more superior officers (in other organizations now, I guess.)
posted by michaelh at 4:12 PM on September 26, 2014

I just mainlined Season 1 (I moved just before it got good last spring, and ABC's stupid online ep schedule meant I couldn't catch up) and man, I'm excited for this season. They really hit their stride, and this opener set all sorts of interesting things up. I actually care about Skye! She doesn't suck as much any more! (And yay, Reed Diamond, who was not my favorite character on Dollhouse but played it to perfection and won me over regardless.)
posted by restless_nomad at 11:07 AM on September 28, 2014

I just rewatched this episode last night; I keep hearing that AoS "got good" in season 2 so I'm giving it another chance. I'm having a VERY hard time with it though because the writing is so, so bad. Almost everyone talks in ridiculous cliche-speak and there is nothing about the way SHIELD is portrayed that feels like even a quasi-realistic take on a paramilitary / intelligence bureaucracy or mission force. It's more like a live-action GI Joe cartoon. Anyway, I'll keep working my way through it and hoping for that point when it becomes worth watching.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 12:32 PM on November 30, 2015

Finally getting around to watching Season 2 and I guess that it's better than the first. There are a few laughable moments though. Why would Lawless pickup alien technology with her bare hands? Also, I've been on a couple of military bases and you can't just drive through the exit gate like it's a parking garage. There are huge pop-up barriers even on Coast Guard bases, I'd think that a secret technology store would be a little better guarded.
posted by octothorpe at 5:26 PM on April 23, 2016

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