Film & TV

TV Review – Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., Season 2, Episode 1

Spoiler Warning

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. just blasted back onto our screens. And if the first episode was anything to go by, it’s going to be a great series. Although Series 1 started slowly, it found its feet after the Captain America: The Winter Soldier crossover. ‘Shadows’, the first episode of the second series, sets the pace perfectly whilst managing to successfully introduce us to the initial key players of the new series.

At the end of last series, our main cast were forced underground as S.H.I.E.L.D. was revealed to have been thoroughly infiltrated by H.Y.D.R.A.. Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) has stepped into Samuel L. Jackson’s shoes as the new director, tasked to rebuild the organisation whilst maintaining the myth of its destruction.


As a first episode of a new series, Shadows did well to maintain the pacing of the final episodes of last series, whilst also introducing new plot lines and characters. Rarely did it feel like things were being crammed in, meaning the episode was, as a whole, very satisfying. Among the new plot-lines, H.Y.D.R.A. agent Grant Ward’s mention of Skye’s father, as well as Marvel latest McGuffin ‘The Obelisk’, both seem like exciting developments.

With H.Y.D.R.A. already set as the series’ Big Bad, in the form of the mysterious Dr Whitehall – a man not only seen in present day but also seen facing Agent Peggy Carter just after World War II (a lovely cameo from Hayley Atwell, reminding us the Agent Carter series is coming soon) – the episode baddie appeared in the form of Carl ‘Crusher’ Creel. Creel has the ability to absorb any substance, making him a pain in the team’s side.

The episode was also not afraid to throw surprises at its audiences. ‘Shadows’ introduces us to Hunter, Hartley and Idaho, mercenaries who have aligned themselves with S.H.I.E.L.D.. But, by the end credits, only Hunter remains, with Idaho and Hartley swiftly dispatched by new baddie Carl Creel. The fleshing out of Hartley in particular during this initial episode made her death a shock, and I’m sure the shockwaves, especially for Hunter, will be felt for the next few episodes.


Another big shock was the reveal of Fitz’s fate. At the end of the last series, he and his lab partner were dropped into the ocean by Ward, only just escaping with their lives. The quicked-witted duo provided some of the best moments of the last series so it was devastating to see that Fitz has been reduced to a shell of his former self, struggling with both words and emotions. Credit to Iain De Caestecker, the complete difference in his portrayal of the character is heart-wrenching. The blow is furthered by the reveal that the Simmons we have been seeing all episode is a mere hallucination. Fitz’s bubbly lab partner has left the team, leaving Fitz to hallucinate her. Though it’s nice to see Elizabeth Henstridge is still around, I cannot wait for Simmons to return. She can’t have left forever… right?

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. couldn’t have asked for a stronger start. With a number of intriguing storylines that will no doubt unfold in due course, and an expanded team with great potential, more of the same would be great. Here’s hoping it doesn’t slip into the same rut that the middle of the first series did.

Henry Stanley


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Catch Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on Channel 4, Fridays at 8pm.

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