It’s not a matter of opinion that Agents Of SHIELD came in with shaky legs and not a clue during its first season. There’s no other way of putting it: for a while, it was disappointing, lacklustre and boring.
But as soon as it began to entwine with the MCU and it was discovered that HYDRA had infiltrated the team, things kicked off in a big way and the show became a must-see. Fortunately, Season Two has continued to be as strong and engaging as the back end of the first.
The aftermath of HYDRA’s rise and Ward (Brett Dalton)’s betrayal keeps the storyline running full steam ahead: Coulson (Clark Gregg) unravels his new-found tendency to carve alien symbols, May (Ming-Na Wen) becomes Skye (Chloe Bennet)’s new SO, Fitz (Iain DeCaestecker) deals with his brain damage and Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge)’ absence, who finds herself undercover at HYDRA’s headquarters. Along with the unravelling story and awesome gadgets and fight sequences, the characters really make the show.
It’s difficult not to end up getting attached to at least a handful of them. The ensemble cast is unlikely to start raking in awards, but they deeply succeed in bringing the diverse Marvel characters to life on screen and making you care about them.
A few new players also join the team, including mercenary Lance Hunter (Nick Blood), mechanic Mack (Henry Simmons) and Bobbi ‘Mockingbird’ Morse (Adrianne Palicki), and frequent appearances from genre favourites – the best being Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter, Kyle MacLachlan as Calvin Zabo and Lucy Lawless as Isabelle Hartley – keep fans’ geek-senses tingling.
Everyone seems to have an ulterior motive, which just adds to the notion that anyone could be working for HYDRA.
Occasionally, Season Two hits a bum note where the storyline either drags or goes off on a tangent. The third quarter of the season takes a little while to find its footing again after the mid-season break.
But when it’s good it’s very good. Opener ‘Shadows’, Simmons-centric ‘Making Friends And Influencing People’ and mid-season finale ‘What They Become’ are particularly tasty.