Not only did Dr. List mention "the twins," but he experimented on Lincoln and Deathlok in those same cells we saw in the post-credits scene of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. There was more talk of Theta Protocol and Coulson called in The Avengers!
Below, TV Fanatics Jim Garner, Allison Nichols, Kathleen Wiedel, Hank Otero and the Helicarrier Podcast's Andy Behbakht discuss all those moments and speculate on how the movie will affect the TV series next week in our latest Round Table discussion...
This week's episode definitely tied-in with The Avengers: Age of Ultron. What did you think of the connections?
Jim: Loved it! Especially given the recent social media chatter about Joss Wheadon's comment on Coulson. I'm thrilled to see that the powers that be don't agree with Joss as they showed how valuable MAoS is to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Allison: It was a nice tie in. Of course I have a feeling this means if you don't see Age of Ultron this weekend, you may be a little lost on Tuesday's episode.
Kathleen: I doubt I'll be able to see Age of Ultron this weekend, so I am afraid next week's episode may leave me guessing! Oh, well. The way I see it, that's one of the risks when you attempt the level of synergy MAoS is with the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe! It was fun, anyway, and I have a feeling that Loki's Stick of Destiny is going to be important.
Andy: It was neat, but not as big as I had imagined and hoped. But I do think next week's episode may have some surprises.
Hank: Whedon simply meant Coulson is still "dead" as far as the characters in the movie are concerned. Well, except Maria Hill and Fury of course. His death mattered and brought the Avengers together, the lie would cheapen it. Personally, I found these tie-ins to be more fun than a mere mention of Hulk or Cap here and there. I doubt the movies will ever affect the TV series like Captain America: Winter Soldier did, but I was okay with what they came up with here.
Raina's "dreams" (or visions) are becoming more important. Do you trust her or is she a villain?
Jim: I'm not sure she was ever truly a villain. Oh sure, she worked with Cal and Hydra but to her own ends. Now that she's an Inhuman, I think we will see her try to manipulate situations for her own gain but that alone doesn't make her a villain.
Allison: I feel like she just was looking out for herself and what she wanted - to be special. So far, she doesn't seem to have been lying about her visions. I don't think she wants to jeopardize her role with the Inhumans, but she also wants power.
Kathleen: Raina is selfish and manipulative, and she really doesn't care if the rest of the world burns so long as she gets what she wants. I wouldn't trust her as far as I could throw her. Cal may be nuts, but I think he was right on the money when he told Jiaying to keep an eye on Raina.
Andy: She is neither: she is a victim and I feel that her faith isn't going to be well by the end of the season, mostly because Ruth Negga has been cast in AMC's new Preacher series. I do trust her though to a certain degree.
Hank: I'm with Kathleen, the character of Raina has always been manipulative and deceiving. I don't trust her at all, and Jiaying needs to be very careful with her. She will turn on the Inhumans at the drop of a hat if it benefits her. I do see her as more of a baddie than one of the good guys.
How did you feel seeing the whole team back together again? Was Ward being honest about his betrayal and missing the others?
Jim: I think he was. Him "giving" Agent 33 back to SHIELD to try and help her recover and not shooting Jemma after she tried to kill him shows that he can care, and that he cares for the team. This new "contractor" mode he is in will be interesting to see play out.
Allison: I believe Ward. He's been honest about the good and the bad. I have missed him and his sass so much. I loved the moment after Jemma tried to kill him. He showed that he had changed for the better and she had taken a darker route.
Kathleen: Ward is unstable, but I'm willing to believe that he genuinely misses the camaraderie that the team shared on the plane. That group friendship, that family setting, was something he'd lacked his entire life, even when he was "rescued" by Garrett.
Andy: It was the best! Actually, I think he was. This whole season, most of the parts, he has been honest pretty much all the time, especially to Skye. I also digged the moment he had with Jemma after she killed my Bakshi (cries): the show has really ruined the character of Simmons for me a lot so Ward was in a way, speaking for the audience.
Hank: This week, I realized how much I missed the original team. Ward was a huge part of what made that dynamic work. That said, I'm glad they haven't made his return easy and that the others didn't take him back with open arms. I definitely think Ward was being honest about his betrayal. Still, I'm hoping the writers find a way to include Ward more. I miss the guy when he's not around.
What exactly is Theta Protocol? How is Loki's scepter connected to The Avengers: Age of Ultron?
Jim: I'm guessing Theta Protocol is/was equipment and men in place for Fury to reassemble the Avengers once the scepter was found.
Allison: I agree with Jim. It seems like Theta Protocol is either what will call the Avengers back or what had to be done leading up to bringing them all back. I mean there has to be a really good reason to assemble the Avengers again, aside from Shawarma night.
Kathleen: I really don't know what Theta Protocol is; hopefully, it will be spelled out for us in the next episode! As for Loki's scepter, there've been rumors going around since The Avengers back in 2012 that the thing contained an Infinity Stone, specifically the Mind Gem (given its affect on Hawkeye and others). I'm guessing that, if the scepter does contain the Mind Gem, it will turn out to be a Plot MacGuffin for Age of Ultron, perhaps giving Ultron true sentience.
Andy: I have no idea what the Theta Protocol is at all sadly.
Hank: Having already seen Avengers: Age of Ultron, I can tell you I'm still not sure what Theta Protocol is LOL... I have an idea, but it's certainly not cleared up in the movie. As far as Loki's scepter, yeah that's a big one but I'm not going to spoil it for anyone here. All I can say is, go see the movie it's an absolute blast!
Raina clearly saw Ultron in her vision. How do you think the events of the film will affect the TV series next week?
Jim: I'm hoping a better acceptance of Inhumans working in SHIELD so that Skye can continue to go on missions. Did you see how bad-ass she was in this episode?? I'm guessing time will tell for sure.
Allison: I hope we transition out of containing the Inhumans to working alongside of them. Skye was instrumental in the rescue operation, and she was in full control of her powers. I hope that at least by this season's end, we are no longer operating under the protocol of all enhanced people being dangerous.
Kathleen: With Ultron on the loose and its robot minions running rampant across the world, I think it's possible that they might realize that they need "powered" help to fight back. On the other hand, maybe Gonzales might skew the other way and attempt to stamp out all super- or non-human forces as threats.
Andy: It's hard to say because I'm not sure what the time frame is going to be like if the next episode is taking place either during or after the events of the film. But I have a feeling that there will be some pretty interesting connections that some may not see coming at all.
Hank: It can be anything from working alongside the Inhumans (as everyone mentioned), to discovering a leftover Ultron drone or just helping clean up after the Avengers like the Thor tie-in episode. I'm not holding my breath for anything major, but a clip from the movie or something along those lines on the show would be good enough for me. I think they want the movie to stand on its own, so fans of the show don't feel lost. As far as I can tell, the connections are fairly minor this time around.
Tune in to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2 Episode 20 for more MCU synergy on Tuesday, May 5.