With May sweeps hitting the airwaves this month, there are a slew of TV series gearing up for their respective final episode runs. With Agents of SHIELD, the show has recently taken a turn for the better and amped up its quality, excitement and momentum. Of course, the ratings don’t reflect this improvement much, as they are floating around at the same level they had while they were in free fall, but the show has improved dramatically the last few episodes and looks to finish strong with a whirlwind of action, deception, and perhaps some more betrayal.
SPOILERS to follow.
If you haven’t seen the show lately or seen Captain America: The Winter Soldier, you may want to skip this post. A whole lot of craziness has gone done in the world of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and that has carried over nicely into their TV world. The show did not start off this way. It was slow moving, tentative and kinda boring and bland. I did not like it and actually stopped watching after five or so episodes.
But then they did a wonderful thing that maybe seemed like a marketing ploy on the surface; Marvel decided to crush it hardcore with the Captain America sequel in both a creative way and at the box office. A huge hit with critics and fans alike, The Winter Soldier was smart, exciting and more in touch with the modern day political/terrorist quagmire that grips much of the Middle East and has ramifications for all of us.
The Winter Soldier couldn’t not have been a better Cold War Spy Thriller if it tried.
They blended the action and political tenseness with the character driven aspect of both Samuel Jackson’s Nick Fury and Steve Rogers, AKA Captain America, in a fantastic way. The fallout from the film, the fact that the evil organization HYDRA that good old Red Skull led in the first Captain America film has infiltrated SHIELD, has now carried over to the TV show.
I’ve written about this before but now the ante is up, up, up and the show has kicked into over drive. The core team, Agent Coulson, Skye, May, Fitz and Simmons must now deal with a HYDRA traitor in their midst. It’s Agent Ward, the hardcore badass special ops guy you wouldn’t want to meet in a dark alley. HYDRA continues to dig deep into the lowest levels of SHIELD and the systematic destruction of the agency, which Agent Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders of How I Met Your Mother fame) describes as the end of SHIELD.
In the latest episodes she tells Coulson SHIELD is finished, that there is no turning back.
It’s hard to disagree with her and that is part of what makes the show exciting now. The stakes are as high as they could be. Actions mean something and mistakes of the past come back to haunt them. It’s a great time to be watching this show but the question remains; what will the future bring?
Marvel has a bunch of films coming out and another TV series based on Daredevil, which will coincide with the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That’s pretty cool. They could have a nice cross over with him like they have with other characters from the films, like Lady Sif from Thor and of course Cobie Smulders’ character and Nick Fury. It’s a tough balance, though, between connecting with the film world and letting the show do its own thing. There is no doubt whatsoever the events of The Winter Soldier invigorated Agents of SHIELD. I think the show would be dead in the water without it. But what happens next?
How do they keep the excitement and stakes high?
The show has yet to be picked up for a second season officially and though it is a safe bet it will, there is no guarantee.