avengers: maria hill

Agents of SHIELD

If you stopped watching Agents of SHIELD, it's worth giving it another chance. Those are not words I ever thought I would write, but the last two episodes are tense, suspenseful, character-driven, and fit the rest of the Marvel universe. I have officially upgraded its status from "mediocre brain candy" to "I really care about these people and want to know what happens to them."


1. I've known the generic American asshole agent was the Clairvoyant for a really long time, so I'm glad they got around to doing something about it. FINALLY.

2. I am legit upset that Hand is dead and Ward is HYDRA. Two weeks ago, I would not have given a shit whether he was HYDRA or not. Now, in the episode that finally made me care about his character and like him with Skye, I find out he's a traitor. I don't think it makes sense with the narrative arc they've established for him, and I hope there's more to it.

3. Fitz! Crying! That brought so much more emotional weight to SHIELD's infiltration and betrayal than anything else the show could have done. It would have been so easy to give him a moment of manly resolve, but this was much more emotionally resonant. (Oh, hey, that's a phrase I never thought I would utter in conjunction with this show!) And defended May when he had to, but it hurt him to pull the trigger.

4. Simmons, trying so hard to do the right thing. I liked that there was a moment when she questioned whether Coulson might be HYDRA. Keeping the drug secret violated her principles, and she was right to have doubts, but also right not to let them get the better of her. Of all the characters on the show, I've most enjoyed how she's developed.

5. May has emotions too! I love that the show finally answered the question of what would provoke an emotional reaction from her, and it was a worthy subject. And I really felt for her when everyone thought she was a traitor, and she was willing to suffer that to follow orders and do her duty. It says a lot about her. Also, seeing my favorite lady characters get shot is one of my favorite things ever. (It sounds twisted, but when I was a little girl, Leia getting shot in Return of the Jedi was my favorite moment ever. It was the first time I'd seen a woman in the middle of the action, and it stuck with me.)

6. Clark Gregg has more than one facial expression! I really loved the clarity in his eyes when he realized he didn't tell Stereotypical American Asshole about Reina.

7. Coulson doesn't know it yet, but he's basically all that's left of SHIELD. This has a very BSG vibe to it -- a band of survivors, on the run against impossible odds. There are so many more interesting and emotional possibilities here. This show is finally more than an American version of Torchwood on an airplane.

Sometimes I forget that Joss Whedon has anything at all to do with this show, but tonight really reminded me that he does. There was emotional resonance. The ending reminded me of Serenity -- patching up the ship, trying to move on. It also reminds me of what he said about the Avengers movie: that the best stories make you feel like there's no way the characters can possibly win. I feel like they've set that up here, and I hope they do something good with it.

Sigh. I need to finish Rare Women and start remix, and then no more challenges for awhile. There are too many interesting things to write about!
I believe my words were: "Yep it's a Joss show. Why? Oh, you like this character? Let me fix that for you." which usually results in death or WTFWARD! Though I refuse to believe Hand is actually dead. If Coulson can live, so can Hand. I love Hand. She's amazing.

I knew this was coming. The slow build. It drives the characters under your skin without noticing. I cried when Fitz cried. Not gonna lie that was the worst. And he wasn't with Simmons when shit went down. They didn't have each other and they made it. I think that was really important.

Also, and I think this did me in the most was the world building. And the fact that Ward has the hard drive with everything on it. Which makes me think that Zola is going to build Ultron.
Haha, considering this is Joss, I should just count my blessings that FitzSimmons are both alive.

I hoped this was coming, but I admit, I was kind of losing faith. Now this reminds me of season one of Buffy, which was really kind of horrible. You would never know from watching that how good the show got. I hope the same is true for SHIELD.
Also season one of Angel, I think Joss just has really slow first seasons (minus Firefly cause only one season but even then while excellent, it took the movie to get into the meat of things) to attach us to the characters slowly but in a way that can't be undone. It makes everything all the more horribly terrible and OH GOD WHY when something happens.
Apparently there's five whole episodes left! I feel silly now because I thought that was the season finale, and I despaired.
Maybe...maybe...there's something we can't see. Like he had secret information that Hand was evil? IDK. A girl can hope.

Or maybe he's going to have some cool tormented character arc where he was an evil sleeper agent but he started liking the good guys and now he's conflicted and will save everyone at the last minute...
My head was absolutely spinning after that last episode! All the things you said, YES. Fitz crying was so powerful and it's been great seeing May with emotions. And the FitzSimmons hug almost slayed me-- it was interesting that they were separated during this and made their big choices independent of each other. I liked that a lot (and still ship them so very much!)

I am holding out hope that Hand isn't dead. I still think it was weird she told Ward to shoot him in the first place. I've never really liked Ward-- but he's been a good member of the team. It's so hard to see that betrayal and I wonder how/when they'll find out. If it will be advertised or if he's going to be secret agent man. Whether HYDRA will boast at Hand's death or pretend she died in a raid.

And I wonder how his affection for Skye will affect his choices here on out. I don't believe he was faking that and I'm not sure if I'm pulling for her to help him back from the brink or worried it will be a last minute Darth Vader dying while taking out the big bad to save his son. Because I am getting a little sick of the whole "I will die for you because I love you" thing.

Oh, I'm so invested now! I need MOOOOORE! I'm so glad there are still 5 episodes left. That's a lot of room to play and I can't wait to watch it unfold.
He'll be saved, redeem himself, everything will seem fine and dandy, three episodes into season two he is killed because he trips and falls and breaks his neck... Joss is a cruel master
There's five episodes left?! I totally thought this was the season finale, and I despaired.

You're the second person who's mentioned the significance of Fitz and Simmons being separated, and that makes me really want to write about it. Except I have remix and Rare Women still due, and it's not fair!

I wonder if Ward's arc is that he was an evil sleeper agent, but he really started to like these good guys. The Clairvoyant (I always forget his real name) talks about how much Ward has changed - maybe that's not a coincidence. Before, he was this lone wolf out for himself with few feelings for others, and if HYDRA is where the power is, why not follow it? Then he starts to enjoy being part of a team, and he thinks that's no big deal because HYDRA's not coming out any time soon, right? But then they do and he is very conflicted, and now he has made an awful decision but will perhaps redeem himself in the future.

But I should probably not get too attached to that storyline because it will probably not happen that way.
I think Ward's turned, as well, unless he was playing a very deep game this entire time. I want it to be time for the next episode right now!
Yes! 22 episode season! Hurrah! :) at first I thought this was the penultimate episode, so clearly they haven't been very upfront about what to expect!

There are so many ways they can go with this Ward storyline and I can't even figure out which one I find most plausible! I cannot wait to find out!

Ahhhhh! Feelings! And I'll be anxiously awaiting your FitzSimmons fic! When I ever have a chance to read anything again, ugh. Signed up for too many writing things and I'm freaking out. Plus work work work. Have to get these three fics done and no more fests for a while!
Theory One: Hand isn't dead; what with S.H.I.E.L.D. down to almost no top brass, there was no reason for her to escort Garrett from the Hub—and there is no reason consistent with her characterization for her to have invited Ward to shoot Garrett away from Coulson. Ward's been turned and is really working for S.H.I.E.L.D., and this is all a plot to get into HYDRA's guts the way they got into S.H.I.E.L.D.'s. The harddrive that he's carrying is probably harmless by design, filled with errors or false information, or is, in fact, no longer in Ward's hands but was returned to Skye off-camera.

Second theory: Ward's been under suspicion for a while and the harddrive's how the team plans to infiltrate HYDRA—and (wishful thinking) that entire production between Coulson and May was for show (as was the chemistry-free kiss that Skye shared with Ward because ew, ew, so much EW! for an SO wanting to "get a drink" with his subordinate. Just . . . no).

Annoyance One: I did not want to like this show or find it interesting in any way; I have too many things to occupy my time. For weeks, I merely put up with it for Shog's sake, but now, I'm feeling impatient for it to return!

Annoyance Two: I've not yet seen The Winter Soldier and may be way off base with my theories. I don't really care, though; I'm just having fun finally wanting to see the show. :P

Edited at 2014-04-13 02:24 pm (UTC)
I agree with basically all of this. It sort of just... IDK, existed on my screen all year, and now I've had two eps (I watched them back to back too) where I was just WOW, OKAY, YES, HERE FOR THIS. I've got high hopes for what it might do from here on in, so excited. :D
The last two episodes were everything I had hoped for. I think it was Mo in an interview who said that they had to slow-build it to keep in timing with Cap 2, and they did a magnificent job in doing that. Since they spent the first part of the year making me interested in these characters, now that they are the ragtag band, I actually want them to win. I want to know why Ward did that, when at first I couldn't have cared less about him. I want to know what's going on with all of them, and when I started watching all I cared about was Coulson. We needed that build, and if you stuck it out it was so worth it. :D