Published on September 24th, 2014 | by Sharp-O0
S.H.I.E.L.D. Exposed: “Shadows” SEASON 2 PREMIERE
YOOOOO! The Agents of SHIELD are back and better than ever!
Hello again, true believers! How was the break? Did you enjoy Guardians of The Galaxy? Of course you did, you have a pulse. SO! Agents of SHIELD returns to our screens and straight out of the gate it’s not pulling its punches. It looks at the floundering of the first season and thought “SCREW THAT!” and kicks the door open with cameos, plot threads and emotional fallout.
WARNING! This review and those that follow will feature HEAVY SPOILERS for UK viewers. As of time of writing, there’s been no word on an air date for the UK so these reviews will feature SPOILERS.
BOOM! The episode kicks off in WWII with Agent Peggy Carter and the Howling Commandos! Already off to a strong start as we see the return of Hayley Atwell, Neal McDonough and Kenneth Choi (all reprising their roles from The First Avenger), probably setting the stage for the upcoming Agent Carter TV show. They raid a Hydra facility in 1945, procuring many ancient and alien artefacts (The Kree from T.A.H.I.T.I., anyone?) and start cataloguing them. This is a fantastic little scene; short, sweet and setting up many elements we’ll be seeing in the future.
When we see the team for the first time, they’re in their element. Skye, May, Trip and newcomer Hartley (played by the gorgeous Lucy Lawless) and her crew, in a sting operation on ex-SHIELD members trying to sell secrets. Unfortunately, the deal goes south when a Hyrda agent intercepts the info, taking several gunshots before leaping out of a 25ft window. This badass is Carl ‘Crusher’ Creel, better known as the Absorbing Man and current recruit for Hydra. Coulson brings the team in and we find out he’s being run ragged by his new responsibilities as Director of SHIELD. Most of the team barely sees him now and the family unit we’ve been following is kind of drifting. That’s the impression I got anyway.
We get introduced to a lot of new characters, Hartley and her two guys, Lance and Idaho and Alphonso “Mac” Mackenzie. They definitely feel like a B-Team but they’re all pretty likeable.Not much to say about them at this moment.
Crusher Creel, despite having very little to say in the episode, is a pretty cool bad guy to watch and a good antagonist for SHIELD. His ability to absorb any material he touches is played with well by the effects team and none of his forms look silly, though the point in the episode where he become wood is a little weird, as he did it just to unwind, though I guess this was to play into his character that he’s obsessed with the metamorphosis.
We find out that Ward has been locked in the basement of SHIELD’s new base since the end of last season and time has not been kind. He’s unshaven, desheveled, the clear signs of suicide attempts present on his arms and head. He’s refused to speak to anyone other than Skye and now that the situation warrants it, their relationship becomes all too clear as they sit either side of a hi-tech forcefield cell. Ward’s attitude points towards a repentant man but screw that, I’m with Skye on this one. You can’t trust this guy and any redemption story he has better be drawn out and significant.
Fitz and Simmons are… a little different to how we left them. The trauma of Fitz’s near-death experience has affected severely and it’s just sad to see the once brilliant jokester reduced to a broken mumbler, constantly looking to his carer for the words he can’t find while the rest of the team looks at him with pity. He’s clearly lost something and his mind isn’t right but the presence of Simmons calms him and even makes him feel like he could get better. But he’s not. Because Simmons left months ago and everything we’ve seen has been Fitz talking to himself/the Simmons in his head. This reveal is truly heartbreaking and I got genuinely choked up by it. The sadness in his eyes hurts to watch as Iain De Caestecker’s performance gives the indication that he’s all too aware that Simmons is gone but can’t let her go.
The stinger for the episode is the Hydra informant we saw talking to Creel talking to a silhouetted man named Daniel Whitehall, who is revealed to be the Nazi commander we saw at the start of the episode! DUN DUN DUUUUUUN!
Shadows is an intensely entertaining and satisfying beginning to this season. It takes the lessons learned from the latter half of the first season and continues building this fantastic world and giving us plenty to chew on. What did you guys think? Let me know in the comments below and I’ll see you guys next week!