In many ways last week was a grim start to the second season of “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” The team is working from the shadows to rebuild S.H.I.E.L.D., while still contending with Hydra, and new threats like the Absorbing Man, and some members have been sidelined or otherwise damaged from the events of last season. And not the least of their troubles are the less than stellar ratings of the series… Join me after the jump for my thoughts on “Heavy Is the Head.”
I really can’t go any further without talking about the huge elephant in the room as far as “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” is concerned. I’ll just say it. The ratings for the first episode of this new season sucked. The live viewing ratings were abysmal, less than any episode previously. There was a boost later from folks who watched via OnDemand or on DVR, but really not enough to write home about. Should this continue, I am unsure we will see all of this season, or “Agent Carter.”
Ratings have been a problem all along with “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” even a crossover with the blockbuster Captain America sequel did not help the show as much as the powers that be intended. And that’s a shame, because that’s when things really started to get good. And quite honestly, last week’s “Shadows” was one of the best episodes so far. I hope word of mouth can get the folks watching because this show really does rock.
When last we left our heroes new guy Hunter had been trapped in a crushed car with Izzy and Idaho after hitting, Crusher Creel, the Absorbing Man. Wow. Izzy did not last long, welcome to the Whedonverse, Lucy Lawless. And Lance Hunter is now a prisoner of the military. As a mercenary he has no real loyalty to SHIELD, so that is a problem.
While the Absorbing Man got away with the dreaded first 0-8-4, a weird untouchable obelisk with alien writing on it. The same kind of writing has obsessed both Coulson and Skye for months, writing we know is Kree, but no one has said such a thing out loud yet. Andy and JP, your bet is still on hold.
Fitz and Simmons
SHIELD has also obtained one bonus from their government raid – a quinjet. The main reason for getting what is, in the comics, the Avengers’ main source of transportation. What Coulson wants it for is its cloaking technology so they can use The Bus again. The Bus as you might recall is the SHIELD team jet, and it’s great to see it in action again.
Cloaking is what poor Fitz had been working on to no great shakes. He is very damaged, and watching him talk with the imaginary Simmons is starting to get creepy. It’s one thing when he’s just talking to her, another when she talks back – and still another when she begins to act independently. Fitz, and Simmons, and Al (who really is there) are onto a way to stop Creel.
Super-Villain Speed Dating
While waiting for Hydra to pick up the obelisk, Creel has an accident, he gets infected by it. As its touch has eventually killed everyone else, this is bad. Waiting for his next chance to give it to Hydra, a woman approached him out of nowhere. Really, where the hell did she come from? I guess you never know who you’ll meet in a dingy alley next to a suspicious looking van these days.
Her name is Raina, oh yeah, her, the girl in the flower dress. She wants the obelisk. Not only where did she come from, how does she know about not only the obelisk, but also the Absorbing Man? This is far too convenient, even for her. And isn’t it time she changed that dress? Some of these questions actually are answered in this episode.
Raina knows what she knows because of her new boss, Kyle MacLachlan, who we know from promotional material will be playing a character called The Doctor (no, not that Doctor, shameless plug), who is also Skye’s dad. He is able to allow Raina to touch and hold the obelisk, which glows with Kree writing when touched.
Also back at The Playground, it’s time for Coulson’s regularly scheduled ‘episode,’ the reason he hasn’t been in the field, and the reason May is keeping a more cautious than usual eye on him. He falls into a trance and carves those Kree symbols and letters into a wall, while she films. These are the same glyphs Skye has been investigating, and once again, appear on the obelisk. If they’re Kree, does that mean The Doctor is Kree, and does it also mean Skye and Coulson have Kree DNA in them? Time will tell.
If you know your comics, you know who Glenn Talbot is. He’s the perennial loser from the old Incredible Hulk comics. He couldn’t stop the Hulk, he couldn’t impress his boss, General Ross, and he couldn’t marry Betty Ross, Banner’s girlfriend. Here, it seems as if he’s been demoted. He can’t even stop the guttered and on the run remains of SHIELD. Coulson is certainly making a fool of him so far. Maybe he can try to stop Squirrel Girl next?
After an unconvincing treacherous turn, it seems that Lance Hunter will be hanging around. It’s a shame we lost Lucy Lawless so soon, but that what living in the Whedonverse is like. Hopefully when Mockingbird finally shows up, she’ll be staying for a while.
Next: Hydra… and Simmons!