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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - Season 2 - Finale Refresher and A Look At What's Next

Season two of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is almost upon us, and I for one can’t wait! I loved the first season from the first episode and the show only got better from there. I thought it would be a good idea to recap what happened last season and speculate a bit on what we know so far going into this new season. For people who may not have tuned in to last season, you can always catch up via the season one DVD, but really, this is the type of show that you can jump into even with its continuing plot lines and a new season is the perfect opportunity! Besides, if you’re an Avengers fan, you’re going to want to know all the nuances between the show and The Age of Ultron

When last we saw our intrepid group of Agents, they had defeated Garrett (Bill Paxton) – several times – with Coulson (Clark Gregg) ultimately liquidating him with some of the alien tech the team secured earlier in the season. May (Ming-Na Wen) had managed to satisfy some of her anger in capturing Ward (Brett Dalton) who is now in custody. Skye (Chloe Bennet) is now an Agent and Coulson is now Director of a much smaller S.H.I.E.L.D. Triplett (BJ Britt) has joined the team who are reunited with Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) after she and Fitz (Ian Caestecker) were saved from a watery grave by Fury (Samuel L Jackson). Fitz is alive, but forever changed by the ordeal – how changed we don’t yet know. 

        The entire team is now in hiding at the Playground, another secret S.H.I.E.L.D. base run by Billy Koenig (Patton Oswalt), Eric Koenig’s (also played by Oswalt) brother? Clone? Only time will tell how many Koenig’s are out there! The episode ends with two disturbing scenes. We see that Skye’s father is apparently still alive – though dripping blood, and we see that Coulson has been affected more than he’s letting on by the Alien blood coursing through his veins – assuming he was awake while he was writing all those symbols on the wall!

        The finale contained a couple of my favorite scenes. The first is Fitz’s confession that he thinks of Simmons as more than just his best friend – right before he tries to sacrifice his life to save hers. The second is the scene in which Fury identifies Coulson AS an Avenger and then appoints him Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. 

        Some of the things that I really appreciated about the first season that I think weren’t necessarily appreciated by die-hard Marvel fans was the time the series took to carefully build these characters. Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen did a great job helming when they had so many secrets to keep! Not everyone – Joss Whedon fans included – were willing to give the show a chance to build its own universe. It was never touted as a “superhero” show. Rather it was always meant to tell the story of the men and women behind the superheroes. 

        However, along the way, some of our Agents may have developed superpowers of their own. Is Coulson entirely human? Was Skye ever human? Are either of them a threat to the team? At the end of the day – or in this case the season, I’m still struck by the satisfying way that all of the story threads were tied together as the season played out. One example is the introduction of J August Richards as Mike Peterson in the “Pilot” and the entire development of Deathlok, continuing to the season finale that sees Mike’s relationship with his son and their conversation in the “Pilot” that they’re a team play a pivotal role in the finale. Simply adding more resonance to the conversation between Garrett, Coulson and Fury about what it means to be a team.

        So, what is going to happen to our team this season? Ward is still in prison, but we’ve been teased that there will be interaction with the team coming up. I was slow to warm up to Dalton last season. His acting seemed stiff and slightly wooden to me at first. Of course, this all became part of his deep undercover persona, and I was completely won over to Dalton by the end of the season. I know a lot of fans really want Ward to pay – and pay hard! – for what he did to the team, but I think the show built in a psychology that really explains his actions in a fairly sympathetic way. I’m not sure he’s the best man for Skye, but I’d love to see him redeem himself and really rejoin the team. 

        BJ Britt is back as Tripp, but sadly as a guest star, not a regular. Of course that could be because he’s tied up with another Marvel project – he’s been spotted on the Age of Ultron set… Fingers (and toes!) are still crossed for a number of our intrepid agents to do likewise! Fitz will be rejoining the team, but no news yet on just what the lingering effects of his close brush with death will be. And we don’t know how Fitz’s relationship with Simmons may change in light of his declaration of love to her.

        Joining the cast are Nick Blood as Lance Hunter – a mercenary enlisted by Coulson to help S.H.I.E.L.D. Clearly, Director Coulson is going to be thinking outside the box! Fans are no doubt excited to see Lucy Lawless as Agent Isabelle Hartley. One thing S.H.I.E.L.D. has delivered time and again is interesting women characters, so I’m very much looking forward to what Lawless will bring to the show! I’m perhaps most excited by the addition of Henry Simmons as Alphonso “Mack” Mackenzie. I’ve been a big fan of Simmons since his NYPD Blues days. And be on the lookout for yet another Koenig ‘brother’ to show up this season.

A few other guest stars to watch for include Reed Diamond as Daniel Whitehall. Whitehall is the Kraken – a HYDRA agent in the Marvel universe. Kyle MacLachlan will play “The Doctor” – Skye’s father! Again, I’ve loved MacLachlan since Twin Peaks. I can’t wait to see what he does with the part – it’s clear that he’s got the ability to play the tone of the show. Finally, I’m really excited to see Adrianne Palicki as Mockingbird. 

Some of the things that have been teased for the upcoming season are that May has taken Skye under her wing, and subsequently, Skye is becoming a kick ass field agent. Meanwhile, Director Coulson is busy trying to rebuild S.H.I.E.L.D. Unfortunately, this would seem to indicate that Coulson is going to be spending a lot of time behind a desk – overseeing things – not with his two feet on the ground. Remember, Fury’s last words to Coulson were that he was leaving his view from above to get back into the field. I’m looking forward to Skye getting to show us what she can do, but I hope that they don’t keep Coulson behind that desk for long!

It seems like there will be lots of new chemistry in the mix this season, so I’m excited to see where the sparks fly. Clark Gregg and Ming-Na Wen in particular manage to clearly have fun and relish their roles without making it seem hokey or taking us out of the universe. Hopefully, the new additions will also strike that crucial balance. Will May have a new love interest? What about Skye? And of course, what about Fitz and Simmons? I’m also excited to see how the Agent Carter universe is going to fold into this one, and how the next movie will as well. 

What are you most excited about coming into the new season? Do you want to see Ward back with the team? Which new character are you most excited to see? Are you pulling for Fitz and Simmons or do you want to see more sparks fly between Simmons and Tripp? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! For more spoilers, clips and interviews, check out the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. tag on SpoilerTv here. And don’t forget to watch the season premiere on Tuesday, September 23 at 9pm EST on ABC! Remember, it’s a new time!

About the Author - Lisa Macklem
I do interviews and write articles for the site in addition to reviewing a number of shows, including Supernatural, Arrow, Agents of Shield, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Forever, Defiance, Bitten, Glee, and a few others! Highlights of this past year include covering San Diego Comic Con as press and a set visit to Bitten. When I'm not writing about television shows, I'm often writing about entertainment and media law in my capacity as a legal scholar. I also work in theatre when the opportunity arises. I'm an avid runner and rider, currently training in dressage.

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