I made a pact with myself (and my wife) that if tonight’s Agents of SHIELD midseason finale didn’t deliver on the show’s promise, I’d go ahead and stop watching. After last week’s offensively stationary episode (which I mistakenly watched thinking it was the finale), I was about ready to call it quits, but obviously I had to see for myself how Agents of SHIELD delivered the long (long, long, longggggg) anticipated reveal of the Inhumans. So did the midseason finale deliver on all that Marvel Universe promise?
The short answer here is that, yes, finally, after 10 episodes of build, the midseason finale managed to wrap up a number of lingering threads.(Ed. Spoilers follow so come back later if you haven’t seen the episode yet!)
In no particular order, Skye met her Dad (Coooopppp!!), Whitehall met Coulson (you’re welcome?), and Skye & Raina met their destiny (Inhumans!). Oh – and we finally learned Skye’s real name: Daisy, aka Daisy Johnson, aka Quake, aka one-time Marvel Comics director of SHIELD!
Almost none of the larger Marvel Universe implications are explicitly stated in this episode, meaning we’ll have to sit through a whole bunch of expository dialogue when Agents of SHIELD returns in March 2015, but I’ll admit the reveals are exciting (if not altogether surprising).
I also can’t help but notice that the reveals here are a heckuva lot more interesting than the journey to them. Agents of SHIELD is still a uniformly disappointing entry in the Marvel Entertainment ecosystem. Even with an improved second season, and the midseason reveals here offering a LOT of promise moving forward, my interest in Agents of SHIELD to date has been entirely predicated on promise. It could be cool, and moving forward the introduction of Inhumans (the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s de facto mutants) should open all kinds of story telling doors.
I just have no confidence this show, in its current iteration is going to reach those heights.
That said, am I really going to stop watching now that Inhumans have been introduced in Agents of SHIELD (which it should be noted is a HUGE addition to the MCU at large from TV)? Who am I kidding, of course not. I’m immensely excited to see how these revelations play out as Agents of SHIELD returns and likely preps for some mild Age of Ultron infused drama.
Ultimately, my hope is that Agents of SHIELD keeps plugging along, offering relevant, exciting developments like Inhumans and Dr. Calvin Zabo (Cooooppp!!!) along the way, and that eventually it finds its place. I had the same experience with the Walking Dead, another comic book adaption I rooted for that stumbled mightly along the way. I’ve been shocked in season five just how legitimately great The Walking Dead has gotten, and that seemingly all it took was time and some very clever tweaks to characterization and the show’s momentum.
Could Agents of SHIELD correct course similarly in the near future? I really believe it has that potential to be great, and for the sake of the ever expanding comic book television roster (Hey, Krypton!) , I sincerely hope the return of AoS in March marks a new gear for Marvel.
In the meantime? I’m excited for Agent Carter, and have a strong feeling this will be the Marvel TV show those disheartened by a milquetoast SHIELD will be looking for.
What do you think? Big fan of Agents of SHIELD and think this season nailed it? Think there’s still no hope? Do what feels right to you in the comments.