It's no secret Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. struggled to find its footing last season. The series premiered to ridiculously high expectations and over 12 million viewers in the U.S. By the time Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1 came to a close, the audience settled in around six million.
We all know the bumpy start was due in part to S.H.I.E.L.D's tie-in with Captain America The Winter Soldier. However, the series has felt like a reboot since Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1 Episode 17.
This spectacular sophomore run leaves no doubt the showrunners understand what kind of show Marvel fans were longing for.
If you tuned out early last season, do yourself a favor, and watch Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. online. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been forever altered by Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2 Episode 10. Let's talk about the season so far and our hopes for the show when it returns in March 2015 with our TV Fanatic report card.
Warning: This report card contains major spoilers. We highly recommend you catch up before reading any further.
Check out our report card and leave us your grade below!
Best Episode: There were many fantastic episodes in this first half of the season, but you can't beat the reveal in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2 Episode 10. The writers have been dropping clues about Skye's 0-8-4 origins since last season, and the wait paid off in a big way. The introduction of the Inhumans will not only shake up the show, but the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole. This is the first time the series has a massive effect on the feature films. Characters introduced in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. over the next few years may very well appear in The Inhumans movie (November 2018). This is a brilliant move; it gives Marvel the chance to expose audiences to this relatively unknown corner of the MCU over several years. This is why fans must tune in!
Slowest Episode: Probably Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2 Episode 9 because it was basically the first part of the midseason finale. It would have worked better as a two-part midseason finale. Yes, the Kree were finally mentioned, but this installment included tons of forced exposition and felt like an early Season 1 episode. It wasn't all bad, though, because S.H.I.E.L.D. works best when on location, and the Old San Juan exteriors were the best part.
Best Character: What Iain De Caestecker has managed to pull off in his portrayal of Leo Fitz this season is nothing short of astounding. The realization Fitz was hallucinating the presence of Agent Simmons was heartbreaking, as was watching Iain struggle to find the right words. Fitz-Simmons were my favorite characters from the start, and this season has proven they're the heart of the series.
Honorable Mention: Brett Dalton has been phenomenal as Grant Ward since the reveal he was a HYDRA agent in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1 Episode 17. Dalton has not missed a beat, making Ward come across as both sympathetic and unhinged. How is it we still care about this traitor? The man has proven himself to be a fantastic actor and certainly more than just a pretty face.
Worst Character: Sorry Koenig fans, but the Koenigs (all of them) and the lanyard schtick have overstayed their welcome. While the character was cute at first, thanks to Patton Oswalt's comedic timing, every iteration of Koenig is utterly annoying. Every time a Koenig pops up lately, it's the equivalent of nails scratching a chalkboard. Bring on another L.M.D. is my advice to the writers!
Most Underused Character: I don't think anyone would argue that Antoine Triplett was terribly underused. B.J. Britt was so charming as Trip and, while the impact of his death will haunt Skye moving forward, I can't help wonder why he was sidelined this season. The Trip-Simmons relationship went nowhere, and the Howling Commandos connection was wasted. It's a shame Trip got the short end of the stick.
Best Villain Superpower (or VFX): Carl "Crusher" Creel's (aka The Absorbing Man) ability to take on the properties of any substance he touches was impressive. The visual effects for Creel surpassed anything the series attempted last season. It's a shame we didn't have more superpowered villains in the first half of the season. However, with the introduction of the Inhumans, I have a feeling we'll be seeing more of them in Season 2B.
Most WTF moment: Though I loved the midseason finale reveal, I was expecting the Inhumans to be introduced so it wasn't a surprise. That said, learning that Fitz was hallucinating Agent Simmons blew my mind. Though revealed a bit early, that twist is not one I will forget any time soon.
Hopes for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2B: My biggest hope for S.H.I.E.L.D. is that Marvel fans realize the showrunners and writers have found their groove in this second season. Don't judge an entire series by those first 3 or 4 episodes that failed to meet your expectations. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is not a "DVR show," it's worth watching LIVE and deserves better ratings. I'm excited to learn more about the Inhumans in Season 2B and watch Skye learn to deal with her new powers. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has now established itself in the larger MCU and cameos by Coulson, May, or Skye in Age of Ultron next spring would be fantastic. In the meantime, bring on those superpowered Inhumans in Season 2B!
Overall Grade: B
YOUR turn, TV Fanatics! What grade would you give Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2 so far?