“Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D” just had by far the best midseason finale of any fall show. There, I said it. The level of awesomeness on display here was beyond compare. Oh, and it also just happened to unlock a previously untapped side of the Marvel Universe that has the potential to impact just about every upcoming Marvel movie. Pretty cool for a show that too many impatient people left for dead last season, huh?
This episode was kind of a mixed bag. We raised some interesting questions and made some progress with the whole alien city storyline, but the whole thing seemed like a setup for next week’s (hopefully) epic midseason finale. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it left the events of this episode feeling a bit too much like filler. Oh well, we work with what we’re given.
Okay, seven episodes into Season 2 of “S.H.I.E.L.D” and I’m ready to make a bold proclamation: This show is now top tier TV. No, it’s not as good as the best dramas on TV like “The Good Wife,” “Mad Men” and “Game of Thrones.” But it’s just as entertaining as any of them, and its implications in terms of the Marvel cinematic universe are getting more important. I don’t see “Game of Thrones” influencing an entire movie universe.
This week’s “S.H.I.E.L.D” came with enough angst to fill a season of “Glee.” Skye wanted to know more about her father, Ward had brother issues, Fitz and Simmons had to pick up the pieces of their relationship and, most entertainingly, Hunter and Bobbi had to find a way to work together without constantly bickering. And while all this was going on, H.Y.D.R.A launched an ingenious plan to infiltrate a S.H.I.E.L.D safe house in Belgium.
Thank god “S.H.I.E.L.D” didn’t make us think Simmons had actually joined H.Y.D.R.A for too long. Simmons is my girl and has been since she jumped out of that airplane in Season 1. Seeing her turn to the dark side for real would have been absolutely heartbreaking considering she had always been such a goody two-shoes. But having Coulson plant her as a spy in H.Y.D.R.A says a lot about both their characters: Coulson is now more willing to put his friends in danger, while Simmons is strong enough now to be trusted with some heavy field work.