Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3 Premiere Recap (Full Spoilers Ahead)
The best way I can describe the Season 3 premiere of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is that it satisfied my comic book TV craving that had been building up during the off-season and whet my appetite for the possibilities to come.
The premiere did a good job of finding the balance between setting up a number of story arcs and picking up on a couple of big cliffhangers from last season’s brilliant finale.
Between the rise of the Inhumans, the Kree monolith, Simmon’s fate, and introducing new characters & new threats, the premiere covered a lot of ground. Let’s discuss what happened!
Joey and the Great Glass Elevator
The cold open started off by throwing us into a fairly tense action sequence, although the special effects have some room for improvement. Introducing us to Joey is a plot device which served a number of purposes. Without too much exposition, it confirmed that the fish oil supplements are triggering the Inhuman gene. Through Joey’s perspective, it also served as a refresher on what an Inhuman is to the audience.
And in what will be one of the ongoing arcs is that Joey is likely the initial recruit to the Secret Warriors, a group of super powered Agents. Yup, super powers. This goes against the initial premise of the series back in Season 1, but let’s face it. The show is a lot of more interesting and self-sustainable if it can build its own world of super agents and super villains without having to reference the MCU constantly.
Welcome Back Skye, er I mean Daisy (or Quake)
In a few scenes Joey came across as a sympathetic character. He fills the role that Daisy used to be; the newcomer to the crew and since everything needs to be explained to him he functions sort of like an audience surrogate. Most of the explaining is done by Daisy.
Daisy is the centerpiece of the show, arguably even more than Coulson. She can cross over and bridge the gap between the Inhumans and S.H.I.E.L.D. story lines. She has a spiffy new haircut and going by a new name (her original name that is) which indicative of the viewer of having to accept her for who she is now, even if you still can’t completely buy into her as a super powered agent.
Since the “good guys” have superpowers, the new villains introduced are going to have be more than a match. The creature that Daisy and Lincoln battled at the hospital was a nasty piece of work (i.e. freaky looking). Lincoln as a doctor looked like a scene out of a soap opera which then morphed into a very comic-booky fight with the monster. It should be interesting to find out this villain’s motivation for putting fist sized holes into Inhumans.
This premiere can be defined to a certain degree by those agents Missing In Action. I couldn’t help but feel the absence of May, Ward and Simmons (until the end) but appreciated that the writers streamlined the episode. There’s a whole season to catch up with those characters in a more in-depth way, so I didn’t need them to drop in if they didn’t have anything significant to do.
On the other hand, Coulson got some significant scenes. He’s seems more like his old self from Season 1 or is it just me? When Coulson and Hunter got ambushed in the subway train, I appreciated that their escape was pretty straightforward. I thought they’d come up with something super elaborate but I liked that it was simply Coulson’s missing arm, which I forgot about, that gave them the upper hand (enough with the puns!).
One of the reasons for not including all the agents was to give screen time for the new characters. Rosalind Price walks a fine line between someone who could either be good or evil, maybe she swings both ways. It’s likely that Rosalind and her faction have their own agenda which will put them at odds with S.H.I.E.L.D. through out the season even if they aren’t the ones killing the Inhumans. I trust that the writers have a very different dynamic planned than last season’s SHIELD vs Real SHIELD. Coulson and Rosalind played off of each other very well and more scenes between them would be fun.
Fitz Versus the Monolith
I liked that Bobbi Morse is still recovering from last season’s finale. It was a little unusual seeing her in the lab, instead of out in the field kicking ass. This gives Hunter even more reasons to get revenge on Ward which should be fun to see play out. Another thing is that last I heard, a pilot for a Mockingbird spin-off show was ordered and will likely be shot in 2016, but it has not been confirmed it will go to series.
Another character who’s changed is Fitz. This is a pretty cool episode for him, considering in Season 1 he was an indoor lab geek and Season 2 he was coping with his disability. This is a very different Fitz but one that feels like a culmination of everything he’s gone through. He didn’t beat up those guys in Morocco, he outsmarted them which is exactly what Fitz would do. His emotional outburst at the end took me aback. I really liked that the episode ended (before the pre-credit scene) on this gut wrenching image of Fitz banging on the monolith. Characters in pain make for good TV, it’s in the Joss Whedon handbook for writers. I looked it up. Really.
Ahh Simmons! I’m glad that we didn’t have to wait another episode to find out what happened to her. Of the theories /speculation on Simmons after getting swallowed up, travelling to an alien planet wasn’t one of them. I’m excited for this direction and wonder how all this is going to tie back into the season’s story arc.
“Laws of Nature” is solid, purposeful episode to kick off Season 3. It’s a good decision to focus on a core bunch of characters rather than spreading themselves too thin trying to give all the agents screen time. Agent Fitz benefited the most, getting meaningful development and showing a raw, emotional side to him. In terms of the bigger picture, this episode paves the way for more Inhuman and Secret Warriors story lines to come.
What did you like or dislike about this episode? Where do you think Simmons is?