vrijdag 2 januari 2015

Agents of SHIELD season 1 - review

Tahiti... it`s a magical place!

In the really meant effort to reduce my backlog seriously during 2015, I finally managed to find the time and finish the first season of Agents of SHIELD, even though season 2 in the meantime is already in it`s mid season finale.

Planned for a 3 year run, this is the main television series of Marvel, and it`s goal is to connect the big Marvel movies between each other.

The first season starts immediatly in the aftermath of the The Avengers movie, touches upon Thor: The Dark World mid-season and closes as Captain America: Winter Soldier was in the theatres, it`s final episodes spanning the run to, the actions during the movie, and the immediate aftermath of the film.

The main character of the series is none other then Agent Philip Coulson, presumed killed by Loki in the Avengers.  It is revealed his death was apparently staged to bring the Avengers together under the mum of a common friend`s death, and he is forming a team to discover other superheroes.  But something is being kept a secret from him...

Their first mission involves the "hero" wearing an artifact that seemingly combines the powers of other heroes into one, but at an highly unstable rate.  The team forms with May (a veteran agent), Ward (a reluctant specialist), and Fitz-Simmons (two young wizzkids), and recruits a young hacker from an organisation called "Rising Tide", Skye.

As soon as episode 2, a leak is hinted at from within SHIELD, while in episode 4 a former associate of Coulson is discovered to have a fake eye, a technology decades more advanced then what current technology should be able to cook up.  As the team shortly after discover strange alien writings in a Belarus facility, they start to realise that something big might be brewing behind the scenes.

When in episode 10 Mike Petersen, the hero from the pilot, returns, we learn he has now been recruited into SHIELD and his alien device is stabilised, but he gets blown up when the powers behind the devices, called Project Centipede, try to capture Coulson as he is the `level 3` to unlocking the full power of the devices.

More and more, the mystery to what really happened to Phil thickens during the season, as Tahiti keeps being an odd subject, and under torture he remembers a surgery performed on himself, with his brain lying open, and begging to let him die.

And we learn Petersen didn`t die, but is being equipped with bionicle upgrades of a technology called `Deathlok`, and with a prostetic eye bomb now as well, he is forced to serve `the Clairvoyant`, a returning name along the first part of the season.

When the mystery around Tahiti starts to unravel, Coulson learns that his recovery is based on the genestruture poured in a medicine labelled GH 325, and was extracted from a Kree.  When Skye gets mortally wounded, they go and recover the last remaining vial of the drug to save her.  By then, a strange Asgardian called Lorelei has also arrived on Earth, and Syf, from Thor fame, has been send after to bring her in together with the team, resulting in the first truly epic superhero battle of the series.

When Coulson summons all the high level agents to The Bus, Sidwell is send to a mission on the `Lemurian Star`, the vessel from the opening of Captain America`s movie, and like in that movie, the fall of SHIELD is gradually beginning.  It turns out Garrett, a long time friend of Coulson is The Clairvoyant, and though they can take him in when it is revealed HYDRA is behind it all and back on the scene, Ward srpings him free by killing agent Hand and showing his allegiance as well.

With SHIELD now collapsed, the team goes in hiding but still go after Garrett and Ward on a personal vendetta and to stop him from unlocking the dataresearch of GH325, while Coulson learns that the man behind Tahiti was... Coulson!  They had to rewrite his memory as the side effects of the drug are to severe though.

When this causes Fitz and Simmons to be dumped in the ocean, they are saved by now post Captain America look Fury and together they take down Garrett and Ward, and free Peterson of his enslavement, making Deathlok set free in the world to right his wrongs.  Fury explains Coulson why he went through with Tahiti and promotes him to the new Director of a SHIELD in need of rebuilding.

And HYDRA is still out there!

The series might have started slow, but it picked up pace from around episode 10.  A spy vs spy sort of series full of James Bond-esque gadgets, it is an enjoyable read, and even though i already know what all the fuzz about Skye is going to be turning out to, I`m saving that for the season 2 review in half a year or so!

Oh, and of course Stan Lee makes a cameo in the series like he does in the movies of Marvel.  Check out episode 13, and see him flanked by some intresting `assets` ;-)

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