(Warning: this review of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will contain major spoilers from the latest Marvel movie, Captain America: The Winter Soldier as it does tie-in with the TV show)
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has gone through a lot of changes in its first season and despite that we still have a few weeks left until the season finale: because of the aftermath of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the show was also affected as this episode was a major game-changer.
They pick up right where we left off from last week as Coulson continued to question May and it’s revealed that she has been reporting to Nick Fury this whole time. But it doesn’t stop there as the viewers’ got to learn that May was the one who put this team together from the start. This was a plot twist that was shocking, but at the same time wasn’t because if Coulson is so important to Fury that he would move heaven and earth to bring him back, he would assign an agent like May to keep an eye on him.
The twist from last week’s episode that Agent Hand was somehow evil, got dropped pretty quickly as it was revealed that she wasn’t working with the enemy. But she did in fact believe that Coulson was working with Hydra and that explained her move in last week’s episode. The interrogation scene with Triplett and Simmons was an interesting one and for a second there, Hand almost convinced me that she was with HYDRA.
As we learn in the Captain America sequel, HYDRA has infiltrated S.H.I.E.L.D. and this obviously now affects the show as the organization is no more, with only a number of agents remaining out there. Reading interviews with the show-runners, this has been planned from the very start and it makes everything that we have seen since episode 1 and forward make sense. Just like the marketing has said, “it’s all connected” and this is only the beginning of what will without doubt retool the entire show as we wrap up season 1 and enter a second season that will be most likely ordered by ABC in May.
It’s so hard to believe that this was episode 17 because it really felt like a season finale. There were so many callbacks to the show’s first couple of episodes and it managed to take those individual episodes and make them feel like they were serialized from the start. It gives you as a viewer a new perspective for what the show was in the beginning and where it is now. If fans were able to get such a big episode like this, just imagine what the season finale has in store for us.
In the marketing leading up to this episode, they have teased that there would be a major betrayal as one of Coulson’s team members would reveal that he/she was a traitor and it turned out to be Agent Grant Ward. However, there has to be more to this story than Ward just having been a mole this whole time as I believe that he is a sleeper agent. Look at his eyes in the final scene as well as his behavior before and after he takes out Agent Hand, along with the other agents.
He didn’t even blink or say anything and he came off very robotic-ish and if you think about it, he did spend a long time with Agent Garrett and who knows what he could have done to Ward during that time. His supposedly involvement with HYDRA wasn’t a surprise either as there may have even been a seed all the way back in the pilot when Coulson was going through Ward’s profile and referencing his family.
Even the revelation that Garrett is in fact The Clairvoyant is something that we are still questioning, but only time will tell. The moment when Bill Paxton turned, he got a lot scarier and he sure does know how to play a good villain. There is definitely going to be some interesting revelations about Garrett’s goals in these upcoming episodes which should lead up to what will be one interesting season finale.
With S.H.I.E.L.D. being no more, it does bring up a big question: what will this mean for the future of Agents of, well, nothing? We have a theory that one of the main reasons why Fury brought Coulson back from the dead was because he believed something like this would happen. Because of this, maybe he always that Coulson will be the one to make S.H.I.E.L.D. rise again, should it ever fall. It would definitely be an interesting plot for a second season and it would make the show feel ever more connected to the movie franchise than it was this week, as we lead up to Avengers: Age of Ultron. Regardless, they will reveal sooner or later what the next step is for this show as fans are getting closer to the season finale.
Overall, this is one of the best episodes of the series, if not the best and it wasn’t necessarily just because of the HYDRA revelation coming from the movie into the show. Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen were able to put together a great story that made the show able to still stand on its own feet, just with the inclusion of HYDRA. The entire cast was phenomenal, especially with the stand-out performances by Clark Gregg and Ming-Na Wen. “Turn, Turn, Turn” featured some of the best action sequences that we have had in a long time and overall, it felt like a movie.
Note for next week: ABC is airing encore of this episode at 8 PM and after it, you will get a brand new episode which is 1.18 “Providence” at 9 PM. So don’t miss two hours of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on Tuesday, April 15!
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs on Tuesday nights, 8/7c on ABC.
[Photo via Justin Lubin/ABC]