Did you go see Avengers: Age of Ultron opening weekend and leave confused about Theta Protocol? Well, you're certainly not alone.
Luckily, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2 Episode 20 shed some light on that mystery and gave us several more call backs to the movie. Plus, Jiaying made an unexpected move that kickstarted a war between the Inhumans and S.H.I.E.L.D.
Join TV Fanatics Jim Garner, Kathleen Wiedel, Allison Nichols, Hank Otero and Andy Behbakht of the Helicarrier Podcast to discuss this week's movie tie-ins, Gonzales' death and our overall thoughts on Season 2 in this week's Round Table discussion...
What did you think of the Theta Protocol reveal? If you watched Avengers: Age of Ultron were you satisfied with the tie-ins? For those who haven't seen the film, did this episode confuse you at all?
Jim: I had guessed what Theta Protocol was when I saw the movie the second time (yes, I saw it twice opening weekend). And I thought the tie-ins were well done. Coulson's last words last week were "send in the Avengers" and that is right where the movie started.
Andy: It was empowering because think about it: it's thanks to Coulson that thousands of people were saved - there is a reason why this man is an Avenger. Was it as big as Winter Soldier's tie-in was last year? No, but this was far more compelling and meaningful to the character of Phil Coulson. I am overall happy with the Age of Ultron tie-ins.
Kathleen: I haven't seen Age of Ultron yet, but from the dialogue I can guess that the Helicarrier was instrumental in saving the day. The tie-ins for AoU were not as extensive and ground-shaking for Agents of SHIELD as The Winter Soldier, but I'm perfectly happy with that.
Allison: I was satisfied. The only thing I wasn't thrilled about was that Coulson wasn't in Ultron. I mean he could have been chilling on the helicarrier or left Cap some new trading cards for him to sign or something.
Hank: I left the movie theater still wondering about Theta Protocol. It was exciting they left that particular reveal for the TV series. Like Allison, I was hoping Coulson (or any of S.H.I.E.L.D's cast) made a cameo in the movie. Still, I understand why Joss Whedon refused to open that can of worms. Overall, I thought the tie-ins were handled well.
Jiaying made a major move. Did her actions shock you? How do you feel about the Inhumans now?
Jim: A big part of me is shocked that Jiaying decided to declare war on SHIELD, but then again, she's had real affection for Cal the murdering pyschopath, so I shouldn't have been that surprised right?
Andy: I feel that I shouldn't have been shocked but yet I was! It was a big surprise to say the least an I think we all knew that this season would end with a big Inhumans Vs SHIELD battle.
Kathleen: I shouldn't have been as surprised as I was, really. She'd always seemed so rational and reasonable (especially next to Cal), but this is a woman who was literally chopped into bits and pieces by Hydra (which, as you may recall, was still masquerading as SHIELD at the time). I'm just worried as to how this will affect Skye.
Allison: Now we know why she and Cal were married. They both have some crazy in them. I liked that the expectation was that Gonzales was going to screw over Jiaying, but Jiaying was the one to derail the peace talks with murder. It will be interesting to see how the Inhumans want to proceed. Does everyone want to go to war or do they just want to be left alone?
Hank: Yes Jiaying's move surprised me. I mean, she had been so passive and rational the entire time. It makes sense she would refuse for her people to be "Indexed" by S.H.I.E.L.D. I'm just worried the Inhumans are going to suffer major losses. Well, unless they have a really powerful gifted person at Afterlife. I'm looking forward to the finale.
Any thoughts on Gonzales' secret cargo (the ancient Kree stone)? Is it what Jiaying says it is? Are you sad to see him go?
Jim: Wow, 3 questions in one. I'm curious how the cargo is going to come into play as I suspect it will quickly. I have no idea if Jiaying is correct, but there is no reason to think she's not at this point. And I am sad that he died the way he did, he was honestly try to make peace as he brought her a precious gift and she repaid him by murdering him.
Andy: I'm not sure what to say about the Kree stone just yet, but I'm definitely fine with Gonzalez being no more, even if it had to be done through Jiaying going completely evil on his butt.
Kathleen: I wouldn't be surprised if she was either completely wrong about the cargo, or was lying her backside off about it. We need a reliable third-party source to confirm what it is. Maybe Lady Sif could do a consult? As for Gonzales, I didn't like him at all, but he did seem to be making an effort to meet them peaceably. He didn't deserve to be murdered and used as a pretext for war.
Allison: I'm with Kathleen. I need someone else to explain the purpose of the Kree Stone. It's hard to trust Jiaying's word, especially after what she did to Gonzales. I'm not really sad to see him go. The one potentially exciting thing about his death is how Bobbi will react. Will she adopt some of his more radical ideas or still support Skye, claiming she isn't dangerous to them.
Hank: I have a feeling the Kree stone will come into play in the season finale. I'm not sure exactly what it does yet, but it was clearly introduced for a reason. That said, I don't trust Jiaying either. She's proven to be quite manipulative. I'll be honest, I'm not upset by Gonzales death. I couldn't stand the way the "real" S.H.I.E.L.D. was dragged out since MidSeason. I'm glad it's over and that he's gone.
It seemed Skye had chosen a side, but will Gonzales' death change things? Do you think S.H.I.E.L.D. will learn the truth about his murder?
Jim: I think if Jiaying had stayed the course Skye would have stayed with the Inhumans. Now, when she learns the truth about Gonzales, she's going to 100% behind SHIELD again.
Andy: Well, since the finale is 2 hours long, I think it would be shocking if she and SHIELD didn't find out about his death. I do think Skye will be somewhat put in a tough spot when she learns who her mother really is.
Kathleen: Oh, I have no doubt that the truth about Gonzales's death will come out. And I completely agree with Andy that Skye's going to be in a difficult place when it does; her decision one way or another will be a huge turning point in her character arc.
Allison: Skye will be in for a crazy time. She has to chose between two families and decide which one is telling the truth. I don't know how anyone else can know what Jiaying did unless she confesses. Maybe Raina had a vision about it, and then she gets to be the one to break the news.
Hank: I think the truth about Gonzales' death will come out, and Skye will stick with S.H.I.E.L.D. I'm hoping Lincoln decides to stay with her, she still has so much to learn. The Inhumans will probably remain a threat next season and Skye will be stuck in the middle.
Share your overall thoughts on Season 2, as well as your hopes for the epic finale next week.
Jim: It has been a wild ride. While I'm thrilled that we are mostly done with HYDRA, I'm a little disappointed that we dropped right into a war with the Inhumans. I will say that I'm finally glad the term "Inhuman" has started being used after Skye explained it last night, so we will see how things end next week!
Andy: I am obviously excited for it, but I definitely want to get some more clues in the finale what the spin-off is going to be about because they have said that an element of that show will be introduced before the season is over and so far, we haven't really gotten anything...unless we have missed something?
Kathleen: From right off the bat, Season 2 was stronger, better written, and more exciting than (the first half of) Season 1. The characters were more free to develop and grow, and definitely benefited from it (see "Ward, Grant"). The introduction of the Inhumans is a gamechanger, no question, and probably the first major development that Agents of SHIELD brought to the Marvel Cinematic Universe on its own. I'm going to leave myself open to whatever they want to throw at me for the finale, though I'm definitely hoping for something spectacular.
Allison: I need the team to be a team again. We've been really splintered this season and not really all acting like a unit with the same trust there was pre-Ward betrayal. I'm excited to see what the plan is for next season. I don't know both the Afterlife and S.H.I.E.L.D. will exist next season, meaning the amount of time will we spend with each of them. It would be a shame to just ignore Afterlife and go back to the weird case of the week.
Hank: I agree with Kathleen, Season 2 started off much stronger than last year but it began to fizzle for me after the MidSeason finale. I also miss the core team, and although the additions were okay I was never wild about Bobbi, Hunter or Mack. There was too much flip-flopping and lying going on to really like any of the newbies. Now that Season 3 has been confirmed, I'm curious to see what comes next and how the series ties in with next year's Captain America: Civil War.