This week, we flashed back to the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier and the day S.H.I.E.L.D. fell.
Gonzales and his people barely survived, but out of the ashes rose this new "real" S.H.I.E.L.D. Of course, these guys run things differently than Director Coulson and a take down was inevitable. Luckily Agent May came to the rescue and Coulson escaped.
Join TV Fanatics Jim Garner, Allison Nichols, Kathleen Wiedel, Hank Otero and Andy Behbakht of the Helicarrier Podcast as we discuss Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2 Episode 15 in our latest Round Table.
How do you feel about the "real" S.H.I.E.L.D. now, having seen the flashbacks to the day S.H.I.E.L.D. fell?
Jim: That it is a misnomer, given that the boat was supposed to be sunk at Fury's order and Coulson was made director by Fury, I would have thought they would have more respect for _which_ was the real SHIELD.
Allison: I loved seeing the origin of the real S.H.I.E.L.D., especially seeing that it was all started by Mack and Bobbi. They didn't join up with Gonzalez and Weaver after hearing their pitch. This was a decision they made in battle, and they started it all.
Kathleen: They are really, really full of themselves. They call themselves the "real" S.H.I.E.L.D., but I saw nothing in that flashback that showed any greater legitimacy than Coulson's group. To make it worse, Coulson and his team have been out there since Day 1 after S.H.I.E.L.D. fell, doing their darndest to handle minor little problems like deadly obelisks, Carl Creel, and (oh, yeah!) HYDRA. So what has the "real" S.H.I.E.L.D. been doing all this time, aside from apparently sitting on their hands? They certainly haven't been up to much, or else Coulson would have found out about them sooner, from an irate General Talbot if no one else. So, what do I think of the "real" S.H.I.E.L.D.? Smug, self-righteous, arrogant hypocrites.
Andy: Actually, I feel a little better about this now that we have some background on how this happened, even though I feel that they were somewhat "elitists" which I never like. But it was compelling, it was so much about Mockingbird who is one of my new favorites so I was very happy with the flashbacks. I will say this and without dissing Arrow: I like when flashbacks are very parallel with the present arcs and every time SHIELD has done an episode like that, they always succeed, which Arrow doesn't always do with their flashbacks.
Hank: Like Andy, the flashbacks made me understand this whole mess better; haven't been a fan of this B-story. I still don't like that Bobbi and Mack betrayed Coulson. He's our original hero and overall good guy. I have to agree with Kathleen, where have these guys been while Coulson and company were busy working their asses off solving case after case? I can understand Gonzales' point of view, but he absolutely comes across as a self-righteous jerk. I'm hoping the two camps find a middle ground and get to work, instead of all this squabbling.
Were you expecting Gonzales to take down Coulson's S.H.I.E.L.D? Did their conversation come across as authentic to you?
Jim: I wasn't sure what to expect, given how many more men Goonzales had over Coulson, I wasn't surprised. Seriously though, where does Gonzales get off telling Coulson his SHIELD isn't real. I really hope Fury shows up and setting things down once and for all.
Allison: I loved Coulson's point that Gonzales should have just voiced his concerns. S.H.I.E.L.D. has a thing for secrets and takeovers, it seems. I honestly don't know why approaching Coulson as a fellow agent wasn't an option. Coulson probably would have listened to someone as decorated as Gonzales.
Kathleen: Since Gonzales appears to believe like most everyone else that Fury is dead, Fury making an appearance would definitely make for an entertaining scene, wouldn't it? Hmm... Nick Fury and Commander Adama in a death-stare contest. Wish I could sell tickets to that one... Anyway, it was an interesting twist for Gonzales to capture the Playground. (I wonder if Gonzales has an Agent Koenig on the Illiad...?) Now Coulson's on the run with only Lance Hunter to help him. Sounds like fun! I liked the conversation between Gonzales and Coulson, especially when May popped in and iced Gonzales. (I can still hear the imaginary chorus from Chicago singing in the background: He had it coming, he only had himself to blame...)
Andy: I wasn't sure what to expect, honestly because I have been on the mix with this arc, but I will say that this episode did win me over a lot with this arc. I'm still not completely sold on it, but now they got me intrigued at least.
Hank: While I wasn't expecting the take down to take place this week, I'm thrilled it did. This means the writers can move on and kick things into high gear as we head into the final episodes. I do think the conversation was an honest one, and I liked all the points Coulson brought up. The "real" S.H.I.E.L.D. didn't like the way Fury ran the show, yet they seem to be doing the same thing. Kathleen, a Nick Fury/Commander Adama stare down would be amazing!
What did you make of Gordon's visit to the "retreat" (Bruce Banner's cabin)? Is Skye in good hands now?
Jim: I ADORED his visit. I loved that he knocked and asked to come in and pointing out that the first thing that Skye's mom did was to hold him and tell him it would be ok made a huge difference in his path and trajectory of controlling his abilities. I think this is the only way Skye was going to learn some control of her abilities in order to be able to come back to to the team.
Allison: He is the only one who has visited Skye! I'm with Jim, I loved it. Gordon allowed Skye to be open and discuss what it feels like when her powers kick in. She definitely needs to learn how to control her powers, and Gordon and his team are the only way Skye will learn.
Kathleen: I agree with Jim that bringing Skye to the Inhumans is a necessary step in the development of her powers. That said, it was rather disingenuous of Gordon to accuse Skye's friends of being terrible people for being freaked out by her sudden supernatural powers. Seriously, dude? You've known about this your whole life, and you're going to snipe at these guys for not knowing what the heck was going on or how to handle it? Given that we don't know a lot about Gordon and his people, I'm going to maintain a healthy suspicion of their motives. After all, Raina and Cal are both with them now, and we know how stable they are.
Andy: Oh I love this dude! The wit, the charm and he somehow just came off as cute all the time. I do think Skye is in somewhat good hands, for the time being.
Hank: Though Coulson and his team tried their best, they can't understand what Skye's going through. Like Kathleen, I'm still a bit skeptical but I think Skye will definitely learn a thing or two being around other Inhumans. I don't see her staying with them indefinitely though. She will want to get back to work as soon as Inhumanly possible. That is, if S.H.I.E.L.D. can sort their crap out.
Hunter is officially #TeamCoulson! Share your thoughts on this development.
Jim: WOOOO HOOOO! Reminds me a little of the end of Captain America: The Winter Soldier when Captain America and Falcon end the movie with "we just started". Can't wait to see what they do!
Allison: They just met up on a beach. I love it. I want to know who got in contact with whom. I assume Hunter reached out to Coulson, and then Coulson named a beach as their meeting spot. Hunter is on board now more than ever, probably because of Bobbi and this threat the real S.H.I.E.L.D. poses. I don't think Hunter would have been so gung ho if that hadn't happened.
Kathleen: I wonder what Bobbi would think of this? Gonzales would probably snidely remark that Coulson's only deluding people into following him. Though you have to hand it to Coulson: he inspired a man who can't commit to anything, to commit to his one-man-against-the-world cause! This is a remarkable feat, no two ways about it.
Andy: I'm happy with it, I'm glad that I'm turning around on Hunter as a character - I'm digging him a lot now and now that he is officially part of the crew, I'm interested to see what's his next step.
Hank: Over the course of the season, Hunter has become one of my favorite new characters. I'll be honest, I wasn't crazy about him at the start. Though I'm not sure how Coulson and Hunter plan to retaliate against Gonzales, I have a feeling Bobbi will end up being a wildcard. She still loves Hunter, and I think she's shaky on Gonzales. The "real" S.H.I.E.L.D. doesn't seem to be what she signed up for. Mockingbird will come around, I'm pretty sure of it.
Are you ready to meet the Inhuman Lincoln next week? What are your hopes for Skye meeting others like her?
Jim: I am sooo ready for SOMEONE to start using the term "Inhumans", but beyond that, yes I'm ready for Skye to meet others like herself so that she can realize she's not totally alone in the world and can start to get a grip on her powers. Did you see that tree she blew up... AWESOME!
Allison: I cannot wait to see more of the Inhuman training facility. I'm curious as to the range of powers everyone has too. I also want Skye and Raina to run into each other again. I'm curious as to how that will go down.
Kathleen: I'm very excited for the introduction of an Inhuman society, people who grew up with the knowledge and understanding of their latent abilities. I can't help but wonder, however, if such an insular community doesn't breed its own form of fear and prejudice, that against "mundanes," normal human beings of the outside world.
Andy: Oh am I ready to meet the awesome and gorgeous Luke Mitchell? Heck yeah I am! I hope that when Skye starts to meet other Inhumans, that she will start to get that family feeling in her life again.
Hank: I've been all about the Inhumans since the midseason finale and I've been getting impatient. The S.H.I.E.L.D. writers definitely don't burn through story like they do over at Arrow or The Flash. Still, if the final seven or eight episodes give us more Inhumans I'll get over the slow pacing. Luke Mitchell stole the show on The Tomorrow People, and he's got superpowers here too. I can't wait to see what those powers are.
By the way, Marvel's Daredevil Season 1 hits Netflix next Friday and I'll be covering it. Look for my reviews to chat about this exciting new series!
NOTE: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2 Episode 16 is titled "Afterlife" and airs on Tuesday, April 7.