Tag Archives: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Ranking: Every Marvel Cinematic Universe Hero and Villain

Ahead of the release of Captain America: Civil War, Andrew Bloom and Allison Shoemaker rank every Marvel Cinematic Universe hero and villain–both in film and on T.V.–and decide who would win in a hypothetical fight between each good guy and bad guy.

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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Hive, Daisy, and the Show Itself Are Beautiful Accidents in “Failed Experiments”


Once they’ve been on the air long enough, most television shows start to become a little more reflective, a little more aware of their own histories, a little more apt to try to look back and tie everything together. With the release of Captain America: Civil War around the corner, and the increased viewership Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is likely to attract because of it, the folks behind the show are more inclined to try to make a statement, pull out all the stops, and demonstrate that their work stands equal with its cinematic brethren. So “Failed Experiments” presents the audience with a referendum on its protagonist, a referendum on S.H.I.E.L.D., and in some ways, a referendum on the series itself.

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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Unsatisfying Farewell in “Parting Shot”


If you want to sell the audience on the kind of “sacrifice” that “Parting Shot” puts forward, you need to do two simple things that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. absolutely failed to do.

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The Forgotten Rape in the Marvel Cinematic Universe


In its first season, Marvel’s Jessica Jones thoroughly and thoughtfully explored the concept of abuse. It delved into the feelings of guilt, isolation, and the unavoidable sense of violation that weigh on victims of rape and others traumas. And it used Kilgrave, the show’s mind-controlling central villain who manipulates and dehumanizes his victims, along with Jessica’s road to recovery after suffering under his control, as a lens to explore the messy, disquieting aftermath of abuse of all kinds. Jessica Jones was hailed, quite deservedly, for the way it addressed these topics–including both metaphorical and literal rape–and their effects.

And yet another Marvel property, albeit one much lighter in tone, told a surprisingly similar story years before Jessica Jones did. But rather than taking the issues involved seriously, or using it as a chance for commentary or catharsis, that show simply threw in the incident as a single-episode plot point without ever genuinely addressing the implications of the story.

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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: “Chaos Theory” – How We Respond When People Change


People change — some because they want to, some because they have to, and some because of factors beyond their control. It’s a fact of life. But people also have relationships with friends, family, and those closest to them. And as a person changes, so too must those relationships. But navigating how those relationships should evolve in the face of those changes can be extremely difficult, and the more drastic the change the harder it is to figure out. That’s the struggle for Melinda May in “Chaos Theory”.

But it’s also what makes her story, and her relationship with Dr. Andrew Garner compelling here. In Season 2′s “Melinda”, the show implied that May herself was so changed by her experiences in Bahrain that it led to the dissolution of her marriage. She was shaken by the events she witnessed, and these experiences made her a different person, putting a strain on her relationship with Dr. Garner.

Then, as this episode’s flashbacks to Hawaii show, May was finally able to move beyond her past and once again find common ground with the man she loves. The last scene in the episode puts too fine a point on it, but when Andrew takes her picture as she gazes off into the horizon, the implication is that May has finally made some kind of peace with who she is and who she wants to be. Then, right after May finds her equilibrium with the man she loves, he’s forced through his own change, by forces neither of them has any control of. And in “Chaos Theory” those nascent changes drive a new wedge between them. It’s tragic, and it’s not hard to understand why May feels like happiness is something meant to elude her.

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What Agent Carter has that Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Doesn’t and Why it Matters

While watching the first season of Agent Carter, I couldn’t help but wonder why I enjoyed it so much more than Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., its much maligned and mildly resurgent Marvel television counterpart. Although the two shows have different teams behind them, they are, nevertheless, small screen cousins, with Peggy Carter making more than a few flashback cameos on AoS. The two series would seem to have too much shared DNA for anyone to have such different reactions to them. But in investigating this mystery, I kept coming back to one, overwhelming factor – Hayley Atwell.

Atwell soars as the protagonist of Agent Carter and commands nearly every scene she’s in. She portrays the titular character as a woman of quiet strength, with a steadiness in everything she does despite the tumult that surrounds her. But Atwell’s take on the character transcends the trope of the typical “action girl”, instead making Peggy a fully realized, three-dimensional character. Atwell acquits herself well when Peggy is exhibiting a steely resolve in a tense situation, and can just as convincingly show the character’s vulnerability and empathy in a private moment, with each emotional state feeling genuine and inhabited. She brings an undeniable presence to the character, and her rising tide lifts all boats in the series.

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