In my reviews of season 2 of Agents of SHIELD, I’ve oscillated between enthusiasm at the show’s improvement and exhaustion at wishing Marvel would take far more chances. Since I’m tired of being a perpetual bummer over a show many MCU fans enjoy, and since my Mom told me if you don’t have anything nice to say, shut up already (something like that), I’m taking a new approach.
Rather than watch Agents of SHIELD and feel disappointed, I’m simply going to write what I wish had happened on last night’s Agents of SHIELD, sight unseen. Hopefully much of it happened, and double-hopefully the writers and producers of AoS significantly surpassed the one hour train-ride rantings of a madman (that would be me). All I know is 1) I promised my wife I wouldn’t watch Agents of SHIELD anymore (big win for her) and 2) This is what I wish was happening instead:
Previously on Agents of SHIELD
As we all remember from 9 weeks ago, when Agent Carter was naught but a twinkle in our Captain America: The First Avenger collector’s editions, Agents of SHIELD ended on a pretty big turning point.
Finally, after weeks of hemming and hawing, it was revealed that Skye was in fact Daisy Johnson, aka Quake from the comics, aka an Inhuman in her Marvel Cinematic Universe incarnation. Same goes for Raina, the character literally known for wearing flowery dresses (see also: the guy at work everyone calls Chuck because he wears Chuck Taylors, and that is the only thing anyone knows about him).
So the good news: Director Coulson and his crew of the world’s least cautious archeologists discovered an underground Inhuman terrigenesis chamber which transformed Skye and Raina and gave AoS some actual Marvel continuity to play with.
The bad news: Trip got turned to stone and died, the city got earthquaked, and Skye’s Dad, Dr. Calvin Zabo (COOOOOOPPPP!!!!), didn’t straight up transform into Mr. Hyde when he semi-murdered Daniel Whitehall (with a major assist from Coulson), previously immortal leader of Hydra.
I think that about sets the stage for Agents of SHIELD season two, part two.
Where Are They Now?
Agent Cooper –
To his knowledge, Coop has been robbed of his rightful revenge of Whitehall, and his daughter. Mr. Hyde had a grand plan, and it pretty much all went straight to heck (although strangely his goals were both achieved – just not in the manner he planned).
So where can Mr. Calvin Zabo turn? Who does he blame? Coulson of course! Despite the heart on his sleeve, Papa Calvin wasn’t just out to kill Whitehall for honor. The man has completely lost it! He was always going to have a murderous mission, and now he has his sights set on the homewrecker Coulson.
In the return episode, this means Zabo is wearing a green shirt and tie, and wreaking absolute Hyde-hell on covert SHIELD facilities. That’s right: Mr. Hyde is going full super villain on a rampage until he finds where Coulson is hiding.
Since this naturally can’t go on forever, in the aftermath of one of his raids, Agent CoopHyde is approached by a shadowy cloaked figure with no eyes: None other than the mysterious Inhuman introduced at the end of the midseason finale! He has a proposition for Dr. Zabo, and it involves the safe return of his daughter, Daisy.
“Why should I trust you,” Hyde emotes.
“Who can you trust if not your brother-in-law?”
BOOM! Inhuman family mic drop.
Daniel Whitehall –
Wait, I thought Whitehall was killed during the midseason finale? He was! Or so it seemed. In grand Marvel tradition, though, you can’t keep a good villain down, especially one who can return to the show wearing a completely baller helmet.
Finally, Whitehall goes full Kraken, the shadowy Hydra figurehead from Jonathan Hickman’s Secret Warriors. For the first several episodes of AoS’ return, we will only see the Kraken, not fully realizing he is in fact, Whitehall reborn! Since you already know this from the comics (or would have quickly read a blog post titled “Could Kraken Be Daniel Whitehall Still Alive?!!” within hours of his first appearance), I won’t try your patience with a tedious slow build.
So what is our main man the Kraken up to? Let’s face facts: he botched the recovery of the Inhuman city pretty hard, and his Hydra overlords are NOT pleased.
You thought Whitehall was the Hydra overlord? Of course not! Cut off one head and two shall take its place. All we’ll see in the opener is the mysterious lurking Kraken figure waking up in a Hydra hospital room (you wouldn’t believe the copay), but this sets the stage for Kraken’s disapproving review at the hands of Hydra.
Daisy Johnson / aka Skye No More
As we’ve seen from all the trailers, Quake is dealing with her newfound Inhuman powers inside a SHIELD medical facility.
Listen: I can already tell you that in the real version of Agents of SHIELD, Skye learning to control her powers is going to carry on for too long. Some of her team will be excited (Fitz, Simmons), some will be threatened and freaked out (Bobbi, Lance), and some will just be happy they weren’t offed in an Inhuman cave (Mack).
My initial reaction here is to cut short the “omigosh I have quake powers!” histrionics as quickly as possible, but in truth, we haven’t had any young people learning to deal with completely new and insane powers in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Since mutants are trapped inside the persecution chamber of Fox Studios movie rights, the MCU has actually never had to deal with, and I don’t like using this term any more than I have to, “gene-freaks.”
So I’m actually very much on board with the learning curve associated with Skye becoming an Inhuman and the rest of SHIELD figuring out how to deal with that new type of person (is it a person?) in their lives.
My plan for getting out of this “learn your powers” quagmire is simple. We need a Professor X analogue. With mutants, you always have the opportunity to tell a young woman who just earthquaked an ancient city and maybe killed her teambro that “My name is Charles Xavier, and I’m a mutant like you.”
Who do we have in place to tell this to Daisy?
This could go a lot of directions, but in the post-credits tease of Agents of SHIELD this week, we’ll see a mysterious Inhuman (no reveals yet) walk through Eldrac the Inhuman Door (we can’t use Lockjaw yet, so hell yes for some Eldrac the living DOOR) straight into Skye’s room. Since this would likely set off all sorts of SHIELD alarms and Daisy’s own quakeshake, our mysterious Inhuman will need some sort of time-control / molecular control powers.
The Rest of SHIELD
Meanwhile the rest of SHIELD needs to learn a heckuva lot more about what just happened. Director Coulson and crew will seek out any and all renowned Inhuman specialists they can find. They will fail – spectacularly –as no one knew a thing about the Inhumans and this Kree destiny until like one episode ago.
That’s when Coulson has an epiphany. The last time they were in this situation, he contacted a Professor of Asgardian lore. It’s time to put in a call to the Lady Sif and see what Asgard knows of these Inhumans.
Ward / Hydra May with the Face
I pleaded for Agents of SHIELD to keep Ward out of the second season to no avail. Much to my surprise, Hydra Ward actually remained one of the most interesting elements of the second season.
As such, let’s give the man a promotion. Duplicitous, scheming, very possibly evil Ward is going to get noticed by the higher ups at Hydra. Whitehall failed their Inhuman gambit, fresh off the colossal failure in Captain America: The Winter Soldier (defeat snatched from the jaws of victory).
Is Ward suddenly going to become Baron Von Strucker’s right hand man? Of course not. But he is going to be handed the very important task of infiltrating a covert A.I.M. base (remember them?) and capturing a Scientist Supreme.
Hydra will need A.I.M.’s scientific acumen in order to understand the Inhumans, and how they can harness this power for their own nefarious purposes. Ward and Hydra May with the Face can do what they do best (sneaky yet violent base infiltration) and introduce the long overdue third acronym to the SHIELD spy game.
I’ve mentioned a handful of “mysterious Inhuman figures” throughout this grand plan, but that will only remain for the first episode or so. The Inhumans are slowly building their plans, as new members begin to grow within their ranks.
From the brief scene at the end of the midseason finale, I got the sense that the Inhumans were surprised their numbers had grown. This implies terrigenesis has been lost to them, which actually works quite nicely.
If you’ve read Charles Soule’s Inhuman you can probably see where this is going, but what we’ll be looking at here is different Inhuman factions seeking out the Terrigenesis machine that transformed Skye into a cool character.
Agents of SHIELD Midseason Premiere
There you have it. The Agents of SHIELD plot and story I want to see.
What do you think? Great ideas? Terrible ideas? The actual show is just fine, stop picking you blasted cow? Do what feels right to you in the comments.