Thanks for S.H.I.E.L.D., Carter – Review

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I don’t expect that any of you waited with bated breath for my review on the season finale of Agent Carter. I never wrote about the last episode because I had nothing to say. I love TV and movies and video games. I love stories about people and beings with powers, especially when they try to explain the (potential) world around you. Unfortunately, Carter struggled to deliver that on its own merit. However, the fruits of Carter’s fictional labor have delivered us Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, which returned with a vengeance.

Someone, or something, has lit a fire under Marvel’s rear, and I like to think its DC Comics. There has been an influx of sci-fi/fantasy/super hero stories brought to us via movies, television, and streaming services, and there’s a lot more coming. Marvel gave away (some of) their secret sauce for what they have planned over the next twenty years. D.C. shared similar, though fewer insights to their grand plans with their approach skewed more toward the television and streaming audiences than Marvel’s more expensive theatrical approach. With all of this field leveling happening, Marvel took advantage by raising the stakes with it’s most recent episode, a midseason launch, if you will, by finally getting to its propaganda-pushing point on what the show is really about – lead-ins and tie-ins for the bigger picture.

I’ll save my detailed rants for another post on why Marvel is better positioned for capitalizing on the strengths of their parent company, but for now, let’s just say DC comics requires a lot more paperwork to get their characters in front of us.

As far as I could tell, Agent Carter was a thoughtful filler show, entertaining us and keeping us enticed while we wait for them to get back to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (AoS). They gave us a strong female character who has women puffing their… well… confidently standing up for themselves – AS WELL THEY SHOULD! I believe Socrates said something along the lines of ‘if you give women an equal footing, they’ll quickly have the upper hand on men.’ However, I don’t think Marvel nor ABC gave Agent Carter their best efforts. Hopefully they run another season and hopefully they step up their game. The show was riddled with talent, beauty, and more back story content than… well… most things.

And so, they left us with a few hints as to how things began for AoS with Agent Carter leading the way to solving major crimes against the United States in honor of Captain America. They set the stage for the unending battles against Hydra. All of that is pretty straightforward. I’m wondering if the (spoiler alert) vile of Captain America’s blood that she poured out into the river will come back to haunt her. Those are some of the tie-ins.

Despite all the drama about the lack of drama with Agent Carter, AoS gave me all that I could ask for and more with their return. They introduced all the revenge, turmoil, internal and external hostility plots for the season, forcing us to keep an eye on each and every character. While some characters have been reinvented with new emotions, opinions, and side-missions, we now have Inhumans. Long story short – Inhumans are a mutant race created on Earth back when humans were in the stone age – not the same as the X-men type mutants born to their enhancements – origin-ly speaking. They don’t live forever, but they live 2 to 3 times as long as a human. Turns out, Skye was one of them and after she’s exposed to the Terrigon Mist (longer story), she’s starting to come into her own. Semi-nemesis Raina does not fare so well…

Now to the lead-ins. These are spoilers only in the sense that you can look this stuff up to and make your own inferences. I have no inside information on where these stories are headed.

In earlier episodes, Marvel introduced the Kree – giant blue people who’s blood helped revive Coulson (though it made him and others a bit crazy) and Skye (who handled it like a champ). The Kree are the alien race that created the Inhumans, and did so as a scientific experiment to create super soldiers for their own battle. Knowing this, it makes sense that Skye was fine after her Kree blood transfusion. At the end of the mid-season finally, she was sprayed with the Terrigon Mist, an element only Inhumans appear to withstand, though they’re are chemically altered on a molecular level. We don’t know yet what that means for Skye, but she’s got some super powers on the way.

With these hints at interstellar war, it’s no wonder that Marvel is taking us to all regions of space with Guardians of the Galaxy and importance of Infinity Gems. You would anticipate that much of what we see for the rest of this season will intentionally lead us into Marvel’s Avengers 2: Age of Ultron, but don’t be surprised when the ending has us salivating for a brand new series we haven’t seen trailers for yet.

Who wants year round Marvel? I do! I do!

Hopefully all of this indulgence doesn’t go the way of the vampires. But vampires never die, and neither do super heroes.

B E Howard