“Agents of SHIELD” Returns Stronger Than Ever For Season 5

The+Agents+of+SHIELD+series+continues+to+expand+on+the+Marvel+Cinematic+Universe+to+the+delight+of+fans+of+the+comics.
The Agents of SHIELD series continues to expand on the Marvel Cinematic Universe to the delight of fans of the comics.

The Agents of SHIELD series continues to expand on the Marvel Cinematic Universe to the delight of fans of the comics.

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Creative Commons

The Agents of SHIELD series continues to expand on the Marvel Cinematic Universe to the delight of fans of the comics.

Aarushi Bhaskaran, Staff Writer

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The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) took entertainment to a whole new level when it began linking all of its films and shows into one extensive dimension. “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD,” the first small-screen venture of the MCU, revolves around the exploits of agents of the organization SHIELD. The show returned for its fifth season on ABC on Friday, Dec. 1. Directed by Jesse Bochco and David Solomon, the two-hour premiere set up the season for an entirely different terrain than ever seen before on the show: space.

 

 

The series stars Clark Gregg as the role of Phillip Coulson, a SHIELD agent who appeared in most of the previous Marvel movies. While his death was memorable moment in “The Avengers,” “Agents of SHIELD” shows that this was simply a ruse. Coulson is putting together a team of agents consisting of brilliant scientists Jemma Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) and Leopold Fitz (Iain de Caestecker), talented hacker Skye (Chloe Bennet), later known as Daisy Johnson, the intense, tough Melinda May (Ming Na Wen) and Grant Ward (Brett Dalton), another highly skilled agent. The team search for supernatural artifacts and individuals and shield the world from the threats that they pose.

 

 

Following the first season, the show made radical changes in tone and dynamic, completely reinventing itself. The series ties into the major events in the mainstream MCU, such as the destruction of SHIELD, which plays a large role in the plot and character. As a result, the cast has expanded and added many new important characters from the second season onwards. Recently, the show has adopted the format of “pods,” or multiple segments that each follow a complete story-arc within a season. The first “pod” in season five takes place in space. Agents Coulson, Johnson, Simmons, May, Alphonso “Mack” MacKenzie (Henry Simmons) and Elena “Yo-Yo” Rodriguez (Natalia Cordova Buckley) find themselves in an unfamiliar and dangerous environment with no knowledge of how they got there and how to get back to Earth. The space station that they are on is run by the hostile alienated race, the Kree, whom the team has previously encountered. Fellow humans on the space station seem uninclined to offer assistance, all concerned with their own survival. The team scrambles to find out what is happening without drawing attention and danger to themselves.

 

 

The series is highly versatile, allowing the directors to pull off drastic changes. The introduction of “pods” has greatly improved the series; having small but action-packed segments prevents plot-lines from becoming stale and allows for the introduction of multiple fresh concepts in a season. Season four was a particular peak in the show as a result of these “pods,” containing some of the series’ best episodes. The “space pod” is an intriguing concept that has never been attempted in the show before. The season premiere is action-packed, with mounting suspense that truly engages the audience by raising more questions than it answers. The episode provides tantalizing hints at what is to come this season and keeps the viewers guessing. The balance between action and comedy is maintained well enough that fans can still note the gravity of the situation. There are few flaws in the premiere, however. For instance, there is a lack of character and emotional development in recent episodes. Many fans have voiced their displeasure at the lack of screentime for Agent Fitz, although this is, in all fairness, a necessary plot-device for the episode. Other than this, however, the episode is a stellar example of what a season premiere should be on a show.

 

 

“Agents of SHIELD” has not always been successful, often gaining criticism and inconsistent ratings. Nevertheless, the series has gained a diverse fan following and has steadily improved with each coming season. Although season one was widely unpopular, the series managed to improve greatly in following seasons. The series found its footing in its tie-in to “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” after stumbling through its first season. These tie-ins to the films made the series a must-watch for avid fans of the MCU and are certainly enjoyable to even most casual viewers acquainted with the franchise. Despite this connection to the wider mainstream MCU, the series maintains autonomous plot-lines that generally do not affect the franchise as a whole — while the references to the films definitely enrich the viewing experience for the audience, targeting Marvel fans, they are not vital parts of the individual story-lines, making the series easy to follow for those who do not follow Marvel’s movies and other TV shows. Despite uncertainty regarding the series’ renewal for the fifth season, the premiere indicates what could possibly be the best season on the show yet.

 

 

(4 out of 5 stars)

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“Agents of SHIELD” Returns Stronger Than Ever For Season 5